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"Portability"

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Posted by Daniel Johnson on October 25, 2002 12:43:25 UTC

I have the 10-inch model. I'm a guy of average strength in good health. I can set up the 10-inch by myself in the field, but it is a struggle. I've nearly dashed it on the pavement a time or two. I chose it because it is the largest scope I can set up alone.
You'll notice that the 12-inch model has TWO sets of handles. That's because the manufacturer expects it will require two people to set up. The overall size isn't much bigger than the 10-inch, since they use the same fork (except for the extra handles), so in terms of space the portability is similar, but you need to be stronger than the average guy to set up the 12-inch in the dark alone, or in the daylight alone as you get older.
As for the heat, I have only limited experience. My climate is a little cooler (the Indiana/Kentucky border) but much more humid. My scope has survived one summer in a very hot garage. I'm adding air conditioning to the garage next year (partly to keep other things from getting mildewed, but also to protect the scope). I have two suggestions. First, don't store any C-cell batteries in the scope; they'll leak in the heat and are of limited use anyway (see comments on C cells in the previous thread topic--plan on using "jump start" style external batteries). Second, be sure your observatory is well ventilated (say, by a few 12-volt fans run from a solar panel) and painted white (to reflect the heat).

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