On this page, I ask the question of whether it makes sense to carry one of my two smaller telescopes (Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 OTA, Omegon Photography Scope 72/432 ED OTA) in a backpack on the Heiligenstein hill to have a great view. Or should I better transport the telescopes in my bicycle or car? At the end of the page, I will present my answers to these questions.
I had this idea on my way to the supermarket, where I typically use a caddy to transport my purchases. Sometimes, I also take a backpack with me, if I am going to buy a lot. So I wondered if it would be possible to disassemble my small telescopes and transport them in a caddy and a backpack. On our terrace, the view is very limited, but on the Heiligenstein vineyard I would be able to enjoy an all-round view.
Of course, this immediately raised the question of whether I can actually motivate myself to go on such a walk at night... But before this question can be resolved, I wanted to check whether the preconditions for such an endeavor can been met. So I tried to pack my small telescopes in a backpack and a caddy.
This is the second attempt in this matter because my telescopes had changed in the meantime. Read my first attempt on page Carry the Telescope in a Backpack on the Heiligenstein?.
First, I prepared the Skymax-127 for the transport on foot with backpack and caddy. The tube fitted quite tight into the backpack, but it still fitted. In addition, the zenith mirror and the viewfinder fitted into the side rooms. But with that load, the backpack was quite heavy...
The AZ Pronto mount (disassembled) as well as eyepieces and a flashlight were to be transported in the caddy. The tripod of the AZ Pronto mount is longer than the bag of thecaddy. So the tripod legs stick out on top, which is no problem (except if it should rain, but then you cannot observe either...).
All in all, I did not pay attention to that everything is well packed, but only to wether everything that I want to take with me would fit into the backpack and caddy. I forgot the flashlight and the angler seat. But there should be room for both in the caddy!
The following photos show that I succeeded in packing everything as desired:
|The whole equipment for the walk (except for a flash light and an angler seat)||Equipment without tripod, caddy, and backpack (except for a flash light and an angler seat)||A look into the backpack packed with the Skymax-127; viewfinder and zenith mirror are also transported in the backpack.|
|Look into the caddy; I would pack everything more carefully for an actual walk.||Ditto with backpack||Ready to go!|
Then I prepared the PS 72/432 for the transport on foot with backpack and caddy. The tube seemed to be a bit longer than the Skymax-127, but I was able to close the backpack without problems. But because the refractor is thinner than the Skymax-127 I was able to store the Rigel viewfinder and the 2" zenith mirror beside it.
While the Skymax-127 uses only 1.25" accessories, the refractor can use both 1.25" and 2" equipment. This makes the equipment more complex and heavy. Thus, I packed the 2" zenith mirror, two 2" eyepieces and four 1.25" eyepieces into the backpack and caddy. It would be much more compact when using just a 1.25" zenith mirror and 3-4 eyepieces with 1.25" connector... In any case, all this fits without any problems into the caddy! Also the angler's seat would still fit well into the caddy (I had included the flashlight this time...).
The following photos show that I managed to pack everything as desired:
|The whole equipment for the walk (except for an angler seat)||Equipment without tripod, caddy, and backpack (except for an angler seat)||A look into the backpack packed with the PS 72/432; viewfinder and zenith mirror are also stored in the backpack.|
|Look into the caddy; I would pack everything more carefully for an actual walk.||Ready to go! Somewhat lighter than with the Skymax-127...|
Note: The following text was borrowed from my first attempt (Carry the Telescope in a Backpack on the Heiligenstein?).
I had two observation places in my mind for the Heiligenstein hill (vineyard). One was at about the highest point of the vineyard, but requires the use of a small table. The other ons is located at a view hut with picknick seating and table outside - here you can do without a table. But the view to the west is unfortunately severely limited by trees. Also, this place is a popular meeting place of youths in the night (easily reached by car). In this respect, it is probably not an option.... Both places are about 20 minutes away from our house (1.5 km).
I visited both places consecutively on my walk (3.4 km). This showed that climbing the Heiligenstein with lightweight luggage like the Heritage 100P was already an effort over time. I was glad not to have made my first test with the Heritage P130! In the end, I came to the conclusion that walking to the observation places and back home would take about forty-five minutes and that even lightweight luggage would already make trouble at the ascent. So already for this purpose, using a bicycle would be recommended, especially since I can cope with the steep ascent without too much trouble using my electric bike. In the plane, hoewever, I would accept a one-way trip of 10 minutes on foot (there are potential candidates for observation points also at lower sites nearby).
Map displaying the situation; the complete round trip is 3.4 km (1 h); going to the observation places takes about 20 minutes
Here are photos of my "on foot " excursion:
|The first observation place. Here a table is needed.||Base on folding table||Heritage 100P on folding table|
|Ditto||The second observation place with picknick place||Westwards, trees limit observations|
|Telescope on picknick table||Ditto||
Telescope on picknick table directed towards a transmitter on an opposite hill
After my walk to the Heiligenstein there is actually only the following solution: For the lighter PS 72/432 I will take the bike, for the bigger Skymax-127 the car is recommended. However, I have not yet tested whether the caddy content can be accommodated on the bicycle...
Since my first attempt I have made at least two trips with telescopes to the Heiligenstein, but only by car. Once I also carried the telescope and a mount together with my wife to the plain behind the cemetery...