Thankful the AP Stowaway 92 fits in a Porsche 911


Phillip Jones
 

For the past 23 years, my usual mode of transportation to southwest Texas was via my previous or current Toyota 4x4 trucks. If you've ever driven from Fort Davis to attend the Texas Star Party or visit McDonald Observatory, then you've driven on a section of the curvy Davis Mountains Scenic Loop. Continue on past the observatory and the loop requires more responsive steering, making me wish I was in a sporty car. Further south on the US-Mexico border is the most scenic road in Texas:  FM 170. The twisty section between Lajitas and Presidio hugs the Rio Grande river in the valley and canyon between the mountain ranges on each side of the border. I decided it was time to venture down there to experience these roads in a sports car, so I packed the 2016 Carrera GTS in preparation for the 10-hour drive from my Dallas suburb. I rented an isolated VRBO house on a hilltop outside of Terlingua, TX. Looked like a nice dark sky site. I should take binoculars for some observing. Better yet, I should take a telescope.

Could I? The 911 frunk and backseat are not generous with space. After several attempts, I was successful with packing the AP Stowaway 92, iOptron iEQ30 mount, an observing chair, and a Goal Zero battery for power, along with a suitcase and camera bag. I limited eyepiece selection to 1.25" barrel size and took a total of 6. Despite owning the refractor for 14 months, I have not yet used it in dark skies because I was clouded out on every attempt. I feared the curse would continue as I was clouded out until my last evening in Terlingua. The skies cleared completely and I enjoyed the darkest skies I've ever seen with almost no atmospheric interference. While the focal length doesn't seem to be ideal for viewing planets, I couldn't resist looking at Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars via 6mm Delos and 4mm Super-Mono and wow...the performance on the planets was impressive. This little scope exceeded my expectations with sharpness, contrast, and DSO brightness. It was a joy to use this premium refractor:  the mechanical structure, the smooth focuser, and superb optics are a match for a premium sports car. =)


Karen Christen
 

It sounds like you had a great trip, Philip!  Thanks for sharing the story and a great photo with us!
Karen
AP

From: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io> on behalf of Phillip Jones via groups.io <jediwebdude@...>
Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2022 6:37:12 PM
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-ug] Thankful the AP Stowaway 92 fits in a Porsche 911
 
For the past 23 years, my usual mode of transportation to southwest Texas was via my previous or current Toyota 4x4 trucks. If you've ever driven from Fort Davis to attend the Texas Star Party or visit McDonald Observatory, then you've driven on a section of the curvy Davis Mountains Scenic Loop. Continue on past the observatory and the loop requires more responsive steering, making me wish I was in a sporty car. Further south on the US-Mexico border is the most scenic road in Texas:  FM 170. The twisty section between Lajitas and Presidio hugs the Rio Grande river in the valley and canyon between the mountain ranges on each side of the border. I decided it was time to venture down there to experience these roads in a sports car, so I packed the 2016 Carrera GTS in preparation for the 10-hour drive from my Dallas suburb. I rented an isolated VRBO house on a hilltop outside of Terlingua, TX. Looked like a nice dark sky site. I should take binoculars for some observing. Better yet, I should take a telescope.

Could I? The 911 frunk and backseat are not generous with space. After several attempts, I was successful with packing the AP Stowaway 92, iOptron iEQ30 mount, an observing chair, and a Goal Zero battery for power, along with a suitcase and camera bag. I limited eyepiece selection to 1.25" barrel size and took a total of 6. Despite owning the refractor for 14 months, I have not yet used it in dark skies because I was clouded out on every attempt. I feared the curse would continue as I was clouded out until my last evening in Terlingua. The skies cleared completely and I enjoyed the darkest skies I've ever seen with almost no atmospheric interference. While the focal length doesn't seem to be ideal for viewing planets, I couldn't resist looking at Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars via 6mm Delos and 4mm Super-Mono and wow...the performance on the planets was impressive. This little scope exceeded my expectations with sharpness, contrast, and DSO brightness. It was a joy to use this premium refractor:  the mechanical structure, the smooth focuser, and superb optics are a match for a premium sports car. =)


Roland Christen
 

Thanks for the road trip story. I've been down there and experienced some of the blackest skies ever.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Phillip Jones via groups.io <jediwebdude@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Nov 24, 2022 6:37 pm
Subject: [ap-ug] Thankful the AP Stowaway 92 fits in a Porsche 911

For the past 23 years, my usual mode of transportation to southwest Texas was via my previous or current Toyota 4x4 trucks. If you've ever driven from Fort Davis to attend the Texas Star Party or visit McDonald Observatory, then you've driven on a section of the curvy Davis Mountains Scenic Loop. Continue on past the observatory and the loop requires more responsive steering, making me wish I was in a sporty car. Further south on the US-Mexico border is the most scenic road in Texas:  FM 170. The twisty section between Lajitas and Presidio hugs the Rio Grande river in the valley and canyon between the mountain ranges on each side of the border. I decided it was time to venture down there to experience these roads in a sports car, so I packed the 2016 Carrera GTS in preparation for the 10-hour drive from my Dallas suburb. I rented an isolated VRBO house on a hilltop outside of Terlingua, TX. Looked like a nice dark sky site. I should take binoculars for some observing. Better yet, I should take a telescope.

Could I? The 911 frunk and backseat are not generous with space. After several attempts, I was successful with packing the AP Stowaway 92, iOptron iEQ30 mount, an observing chair, and a Goal Zero battery for power, along with a suitcase and camera bag. I limited eyepiece selection to 1.25" barrel size and took a total of 6. Despite owning the refractor for 14 months, I have not yet used it in dark skies because I was clouded out on every attempt. I feared the curse would continue as I was clouded out until my last evening in Terlingua. The skies cleared completely and I enjoyed the darkest skies I've ever seen with almost no atmospheric interference. While the focal length doesn't seem to be ideal for viewing planets, I couldn't resist looking at Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars via 6mm Delos and 4mm Super-Mono and wow...the performance on the planets was impressive. This little scope exceeded my expectations with sharpness, contrast, and DSO brightness. It was a joy to use this premium refractor:  the mechanical structure, the smooth focuser, and superb optics are a match for a premium sports car. =)


Ross Elkins
 

Nice story/pics Phillip. I have been wondering the same after using my wifes 4Runner for many years and wanting to venture out in my Mercedes SLK 350. I have a larger Losmandy G mount for my Stowaway, so don’t think it will work with the hardtop collapsed into the trunk! Ought to be a go with the roof up! We just bought a new Subaru Crosstrek to replace the 4Runner. I’m thinking this will be a pretty good compromise for sportier driving and plenty of room for the camping gear! The Mercedes passenger seat will be filled with gear whereas the Crosstrek can fit the wife too🤠


Roland Christen
 

For me the ideal astro-vehicle is the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid. We got one last year for our Hawaii home and it's an awesome car. The hybrid version adds 50 hp rear electric motor which gives the car fantastic off-road capability in 4 wheel drive mode. On-road performance is very sporty in that it easily carves up the twisty mountain roads on the island. Compared to other mid-sized SUVs that I have driven, this one is the closest one to driving a sports car (and I'm a gear head when it comes to cars).

City-highway driving averages close to 50mpg in the 3500 miles that we have used to date. That's a huge plus when you have to pay island prices for gas. Room - there's enough room for sure for any size astro-gear you can think of. I could easily pack a 1600 mount with 8" refractor or 14" - 16" Cass and all the trimmings into the back, have room for 5 passengers, and take it up to the top of Mauna Kea in 4 wheel drive mode.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Elkins <rossmon1@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Nov 25, 2022 10:18 am
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Thankful the AP Stowaway 92 fits in a Porsche 911

Nice story/pics Phillip. I have been wondering the same after using my wifes 4Runner for many years and wanting to venture out in my Mercedes SLK 350. I have a larger Losmandy G mount for my Stowaway, so don’t think it will work with the hardtop collapsed into the trunk! Ought to be a go with the roof up! We just bought a new Subaru Crosstrek to replace the 4Runner.  I’m thinking this will be a pretty good compromise for sportier driving and plenty of room for the camping gear! The Mercedes passenger seat will be filled with gear whereas the Crosstrek can fit the wife too🤠







Christopher M
 

Ah First World Problems:  Packing a telescope into a sports car!  
I loved the story.  Glad you were able to have fun on-road as well as off-road (parked).
This may be the packing test for the new 110 - will it transport in a 911 frunk? :)
Christopher


Shawn Quinn
 

Thanks for sharing your story and pix Philip!  I’ll be headed that way in the February time frame for another round of imaging from the Big Bend Area.  It is definitely one of the darkest areas I’ve been to in the continental US.

Shawn