Camping telescope - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-01-2016, 02:05 PM   #21
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Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:46 PM   #22
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The magnification is the focal length of the eye piece divided into the focal length of the main lense or mirror. Both are usually given in millimeters. So 1000mm/20mm yields 50x.

Thanks Raz, I was wondering the same thing. I'm new to the telescope hobby. We're just looking for something reasonable that we can have fun with. We also want something that's durable. We have to carry it alone with other camping equipment.
We aren't going camping to go stargazing, but stargazing will be part of our camping fun when the sun goes down. Much like hiking, playing horse shoes and corn-hole during the day, then a little stargazing at night.
We understand that without a high quality telescope we won't be able to see most of the detail, but it would be nice to see things better. Some of the binoculars mounted on tripods we looked through, when the SA Astronomical Society was at the park were amazing. Even some of the smaller telescopes were really nice. There were also some huge telescopes with computer control, cameras and monitors for display. It was really beautiful!


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Old 10-04-2016, 03:35 PM   #23
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I own 3 telescopes and my part time job is putting on star parties every week at the JW Marriott in San Antonio. Not saying I'm more qualified than anyone else, just giving my humble opinion.

Apps: The apps we tell folks to install on their phones, tablets, etc,
1- Star Walk available on apple or android, this is the go to app that myself and the other astronomers use. I believe it is $2.99

2- Gas Giants I use for teaching purposes, shows the location of the different gas giant moons at any particular time. Apple or Android

3- Phases of the moon for free. Either on Apple or Android

As far as telescopes goes I am asked about my Orion 10 inch Dob all the time, how much, what can I see etc.

Larger is better when it comes to telescopes, that being said you must remember that it will go up in size and weight as you climb that aperature( inches ) ladder. Me being a woman, I can comfortably lift my 10 inch Dob by my self. It's a solid tube, so no break down of the optical tube. So it's always in my SUV.

I tell the guests not to go below a 8 inch telescope. I decided to buy a Orion 6 inch table top reflector to save on room to take on a trip to Santa Fe. Was so disappointed in the views, I sold it as soon as I got home.

I own a 12.5 inch Obsession that I keep permanently on my property in west Texas. That one breaks down, but I need my husband to help me lift it. The optics and views are spectacular.

Then I have a 8 inch Celestron 8SE. I have only owned reflecting telescopes, so a schmit cassegraine was a learning curve for me with all the electronics etc. I have enjoyed the views very much through the scope, I even bought the star sense camera to go with it. Now I don't have to do anything except hit star align and away it goes. That is a pretty portable scope, views are very good, and I can carry it with ease.
So I hope this helps, I have owned 3 Orion scopes, I have two astronomer friends, they own a Orion 12 inch Dob and a Orion 14 inch Dob. We are very happy with them. I have a friend who owns 2 Meade Dobs and is always having issues with one thing or another.
So that's my 2 cents :
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:43 PM   #24
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If you live close to Sonora, Texas they have the Eldorado Star Party coming up:

http://eldoradostarparty.org
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #25
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The o.p. is a beginner and wants a scope to take camping. I recommended the Edmund Astroscan because it's well regarded, cheap, has decent optics, is easy to find, is very forgiving, sets up in seconds, and most important will give any newbie hours of good viewing. I'm not pushing here, there are of course lots of other simple to use, quick to set up options.

There is so much one needs to know before paying hundreds if not thousands for a large complicated instrument. It doesn't matter how good the instrument is if it sits in the closet. An old, borrowed 3" reflector mounted on an old surveying tripod was enough to get me excited. Just a thought.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:59 PM   #26
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The o.p. is a beginner and wants a scope to take camping. I recommended the Edmund Astroscan because it's well regarded, cheap, has decent optics, is easy to find, is very forgiving, sets up in seconds, and most important will give any newbie hours of good viewing. I'm not pushing here, there are of course lots of other simple to use, quick to set up options.

There is so much one needs to know before paying hundreds if not thousands for a large complicated instrument. It doesn't matter how good the instrument is if it sits in the closet. An old, borrowed 3" reflector mounted on an old surveying tripod was enough to get me excited. Just a thought.
I have to agree on this one. An Astroscan, or one of the newer small wide field Newtonian reflectors, would be the way to go. The Astroscans permanently aligned optics and the 'optical window' will remove colimation concerns and keep dust and such out of the tube. Large aperture binoculars are a good option as well, just don't go for high magnification.

Anything used for viewing stars and planets is first and foremost a light gathering instrument. It is amazing what you can see at low magnification when you funnel the light gathered by a 75-100mm objective lens(or mirror) through your 8mm pupil.

Also, with most small telescopes, you will be finding objects by star hopping. To do that effectively you need to know the sky. Good sky maps are good for preparing your viewing evening. And then there's the old standby, Rob Walrecht's 'Planisphere for North America'. Google Sky Map on my Android phone helps me to find objects when my sky view is limited by trees, as in some campgrounds.

Oh, one last thing. Go to the drug store and buy an eye patch. Keeps you from holding the off eye shut when viewing. Some wrap around red laser enhancement glasses, as used with laser surveying, can keep your dark adjusted eyes from getting blasted if you have to go into the trailer for something.

Initially, keep it simple. Don't spend a ton of money. As you get drawn in, you will get a better idea of what you need.

Mark, I don't know where you are in Texas, but the Texas Star Party, https://texasstarparty.org, is one of the biggest, as you would expect in Texas.

PS: I just checked and Edmund Scientific will be releasing an updated version of the original Astroscan in 2017, and parts and accessories for the original Astroscan are available.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:09 PM   #27
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Info on Astro Scan, looks to be a 4.5 inch mirror:


Review: Edmund Scientific Astroscan telescope
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:12 PM   #28
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If you do decide to go with a Astro Scan Mark, here is one for sale on Cloudy Nights:

Edmund Scientific astroscan - CN Classifieds - Cloudy Nights
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:35 PM   #29
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Christine the 10 inch Orion is a really nice telescope, but Raz is right. I just want an entry level telescope. I've never owned a telescope and I'm not taking it on every camping trip. It's for occasional use. Maybe if we really like it we'll buy a better telescope and really dive into this hobby. Thank you so much for the suggestions on the apps. That was a real great help. We've bought apps before only to find out it's not what we wanted.
I'm not worried about the weight of the telescope but, having a small trailer and carrying most our things in our SUV means room is at a premium. It also means things need to be stacked so durability is an issue. I'm not going to put the telescope at the bottom of the stack but, I'll bet the first turn we make a case of water will end up on it! Lol!
I'm still googling some of the terminology. Refractor, Reflector, Newtonian! I didn't even realize some telescopes invert images and make daylight viewing difficult.
It amazes me how versatile FGRV owners are, and when it comes to different subjects, wow! The Edmond Scientific telescope looks nice. I'm going to look into this.
I live in Laredo, TX. It's in South Texas, 150 miles south of San Antonio.


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Old 10-05-2016, 04:20 AM   #30
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Marky, one thing you should know. Mirror alignment (collimation) on an Astroscan required sending the scope to the factory. With Edmund's gone, that no longer is an option. And some of these scopes are close to 40 years old. Kind of like buying a used car.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:24 AM   #31
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Marky, they have a couple of nice scopes on Craigslist in San Antonio. One is a Orion SkyQuest 8 inch with a set of eyepieces for $300. The price is not firm. Also, if your ever in SA on a Wednesday evening, the San Antonio Astronomical Association sets up our telescopes on Wednesday evenings(weather permitting) at Ramond Rimkus park off 410. Good luck with your decision
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:10 PM   #32
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Marky, one thing you should know. Mirror alignment (collimation) on an Astroscan required sending the scope to the factory. With Edmund's gone, that no longer is an option. And some of these scopes are close to 40 years old. Kind of like buying a used car.
Edmund's is still in business, under another name.

Talked to Scientifics Direct, what used to be Edmund's Scientific, today. They confirmed that they no longer adjust the Astroscans, as the guy who did repairs and adjustments is now in the safety department. They did confirm for me that the updated Astroscan will be coming out in 2017 and appears to be on schedule. It will be manufactured by another company, so until it comes out quality is unknown. We'll have to await reviews

I asked them to give my number to the safety guy so I can find out how to colimate this little scope, in case I find on when I go to estate sales. As a wide field scope, I suspect that the primary mirror is fixed and that colimation is restricted to the diagonal mirror mounted on the optical window.

Here is a link to a 2010 review of the Astroscan:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/wp-co...can-201007.pdf

Note: Though this article references the updated scope, this was written 3 years before production of the original ceased. This is not referencing the 2017 model.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:49 PM   #33
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How To Collimate An Astroscan – Gary Seronik



From Wikipedia

Today[edit]
In 2000 Edmund Scientific was purchased by Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories, a western New York based science supply company. Science Kit and Boreal Laboratories is part of a group of companies that provide science supplies to elementary, middle, and high schools as well as colleges and universities. This group falls under the unofficial umbrella "VWR Education" and are owned by VWR International, a multi-national conglomerate with offices in India, China, Europe, Canada and the United States. They are no longer affiliated with Edmund Optics Inc.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:28 PM   #34
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Wow! That seems complicated for a beginner to be collimating an Astro Scan! I saw a Astro Scan used on Cloudy nights classifieds for $140. And that had some clouding on the mirror and it was missing a screw.

Marky,
May I suggest this small scope that is easy to use, easy to collomate, and is light and compact:

Orion StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope | Orion Telescopes
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