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About amr911

  • Rank
    Mercury Member
  • Birthday 09/11/1970


  • Location
    Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Occupation
    sales - mobile phones
  1. taking your telescope abroad..

    RE: taking telescope abroad Dear Dellio, Yes Tenerife is quite heavily populated, but due to it's nature as an (almost) dormant volcano, almost all towns cling to the coastline. The National Park surrounding the Volcano and The national forest nature reserve that surrounds this are vitually free of any towns or villages. Above 5,000 ft everyone observes a nightime blackout due to the International Observatories located there. Almost the entire national park lies within an extinct volcanic caldera that forms a natural 'light shield' from the rest of the island. And the park sits about 8-9,000ft above sea level (Mt Teide is the highest mountain in Spain at about 12,500 ft). However, the real bonus for Tenerife's skies is to do with it's weather microclimate. Damien Peach explains this very well in his article "The Ultimate Location for Amateur Astronomy" which can be found under the sub-heading of published work on his website www.damienpeach.com . I've made a little progress in researching taking a large telescope abroad: 1) CASES; - Storm make an excellent (if a little large) armoured hard plastic case that could easily hold an 8" (or even 10") SCT OTA, plus room for a couple of cases to store the counterbalance kit, finderscope, Autostar, eyepieces. This is the model no 2975 (31.3"x20.4"x15.5"). You can buy this in the UK from Jitpak.com for about £225. This compares very favourably with similar hard cases from JMI which - on comparison - don't seem anywhere near as safe as those from Storm/Pelican, etc. Jitpak also have some excellent smaller budget cases for storing accessories. - JMI also make a case specifically for the EQ5 head, that also has room for the counterbalance bar, Autostar, and some eyepieces. This can be bought for about £125 in the UK. However, If I buy this I'll still need to buy other cases for my laptop, and tripod. As an alternative, Lowepro and Tamrac make backpacks aimed at photographers that could easily store the EQ5 head, digital camera, a laptop, power supply, plenty of accessories, a coat, and your tripod strapped to the back of it. they compare favourably to the JMI case pricewise and have the added benefit of being able to carry them on your back (leaving your hands free). Does anybody have any experience of using these in an astronomical context? - They're the plus points. The minus ones are weight issues; The Storm case fully loaded comes alarmingly close to the maximum permissable luggage weight (32kg) that a single item can be. Plus they'll charge you at least £30 excess to take this on the flight - if they have room! - The backpack would probably fall within the 20kg hold luggage standard weight allowance. - my only other concern in the context of Tenerife is in trying to lug 80+lb's of equipment around at 10,000ft altitude. That's about it for now. I know what I am talking about may seem like an almost impossible task, but being a typical Eccentric Englishman I shall persevere and keep you all updated. In the mean time feel free to add anything you like. Regards, Andy.
  2. taking your telescope abroad..

    RE: taking telescope abroad Hi Medusa, I guess my ETX90 would suffice for basic astro observing and it is very portable, but for some good observing and photography I'd really need to use an 8" (or greater). And as Tenerife offers some truly outstanding skies it would be a shame to let the opportunity go to waste. I've been doing a little more research and JMI offer some good cases (one for the OTA and another for the equatorial head), National Geographic also make (what seems to be) a very good telescope case that works like a backpack with pockets to store my battery pack and leads - I think the Meade bags are rubbish, constantly slipping off my shoulder and clunking against my knees! Originally I thought about getting the Pelican 1660 case - it's huge (32x23x19"!). I could store everything in one of those - OTA, EQ head, Laptop, Eyepiece case, Battery pack, counterweights.... the lot. It's just that then the whole thing would weigh close to 200Ib'sand the impracticalities of moving it around would defeat the objective. I would like to try and make my scope 'truly portable' , not just something that fits in the boot of a car. Damien Peach wrote a brilliant article on amateur observing in Tenerife and he took a Celestron 11' SCT with him (+ a PC!). I think when I'm done with all this I'll post a piece on the possibilities of doing this, there doesn't seem to be much out there. Regards, Andy.
  3. taking your telescope abroad..

    taking telescope abroad Airport baggage handlers are my big worry - anything with 'Fragile' on it they seem to take as their cue to trash it. There's no way I could take it on as hand luggage. I am hoping to take a LXD75 to Tenerife with me. It'll probably be packed (tightly) in a Pelican case - those things are used by the army and have survived air crashes intact. But even packed into one of those the stability of the mirror still worries me. I think I'd definitely have to re-collimate it when I got there. Hopefully there's a decent astronomy shop in Tenerife too (there should be as there's so many astronomers there!) I figure that the telescope you buy in Australia or The UK has been freighted (by air) to the shop from it's source factory in The USA at some point and survived intact? Maybe I should contact Meade - and wait the normal 6 months fo a reply!! Perhaps there's a business opportunity in hiring out telescopes to amateur astronomers on holiday!? Regards, Andy.:hmm:
  4. Has anyone any epxperiences of taking their telescope abroad? I'm planning to take a Meade LXD75 8" SCT to Tenerife in September and I was just wondering if anyone else had tried anything similar; - how did you transport it? - were you charged any extra by the airline? - did it arrive in the same condition it left in? - is it better to take it on the flight with you (in the hold) or get it specially shipped to your destination? - any other thoughts.....:pipethinker: