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How to do low-cost GOTO for 80mm ST?

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#1 magic612

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:51 AM

Hi -

I'm interested in a GOTO mount for my Orion Short Tube 80. I don't want to buy a full set up that already has a 80mm scope - just the mount is all I need.

Other than the IOptron alt-az mounts, are there any other GOTO mounts on the market? If not, what should I look for in a used mount setup? Anything I should avoid?

I don't figure that the Meade ETX mounts are likely to be the best option, since the fork arms look pretty short, and when using some of my eyepieces, I have to rack the focuser pretty far out, and it might cause difficulty viewing at the zenith.

Thanks for any/all replies. If there's any questions, just ask.

#2 Al Canarelli

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:03 PM

Have you considered the Ioptron cube? This is as inexpensive as you will get.

#3 magic612

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:09 PM

I guess I should point out that I have no problem adapting an existing GOTO mount to work with my ST-80, so if there's something besides the IOptron (like a Meade or Celestron GOTO mount) that someone has removed their OTA from, I'm more than willing to work with something along those lines, as a used mount will likely be a less expensive route.

#4 n1toga

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:50 PM

I used a floor model Nexstar 80 SLT ($190) for my C6 ota, works like a charm.

#5 Dave H.

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:06 PM

I also use the Nexstar SLT, it has the saddle/clamp to accept any Vixen/CG5 style dovetail, so one can use differnt OTAs and swap them out in seconds.

This mount is super easy to use, a great grab and go GOTO mount, and on a 80mm OTA it is close to ideal on a stock Nexstar SLT.

I'll send you a PM.

#6 magic612

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:36 AM

No one has any thoughts on adapting the Meade DS go-to mounts?

#7 Eddgie

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:39 AM

LXD-55s are inexpensive and fairly good performers. There are smaller mounts out there, but many suffer from being limited in height adjustment.

The nice thing about the LXD55 besides being cheap is that you can easily mount other telescopes on it, up to maybe a C8 in the event you ever want to compliment your smaller scope with a bigger one.

To me, it is always better to slighly overmount a telescope than undermount it.

#8 jason_milani

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:36 PM

A Nexstar GT (basically the same as an SLT) 80mm mount would be perfect. The clamshell will fit the ST80 and it's really light. Want one? PM me if you do.

#9 Zebra24601

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:32 PM

I second the lxd55. You should be able to find one used for about $250 if you're patient. Great flexibility for a larger OTA in the future, too.

#10 mischief

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:26 PM

Orion has a GoTo mount for $299. It is called the TeleTrack AZ-G Altazimuth GoTo mount. It should handle the ST80 with no problems. Weight limit is about 10 lbs. You should be able to find info on their web site; I get the catalog which is where I saw it.
Dorothy

#11 Jeff Lee

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:45 PM

Hmmm, SLT craig's list = $85 works like a champ....my C5 loves it...

#12 MtnGoat

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 08:35 PM

DS scopes are cheap and the cradle would fit your ST80.

#13 pennyandchris

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:11 AM

If it's visual only, I'd use the Nexstar SLT, or even a Vixen Skypod.

If you may ever want to do AP, then an LXD55/75 or CG5 GT would be good. There's also the NEQ3 Synscan, slightly smaller, which may suit.

#14 magic612

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 09:24 AM

I'm definitely looking for visual only, so I'm thinking the Nexstar SLT (possibly the Meade DS) sounds like a good direction to go. The LXD55 seems a bit big and bulky for a scope that only weighs 3.8 pounds. I already have one solid (and HEAVY) mount for my C8+ SCT; I'm not looking for another one.

Quick and easy, one-handed "out the door," 2-3 star align-and-go type of thing. Thanks for everyone's suggestions - they really have helped!

#15 MtnGoat

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 01:54 PM

I'm seeing a ton of DS scopes for $50-100 on Clist in area lately.

#16 jgraham

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

The Meade DS-2000 series of mounts work great for this. The DSX-series is particularly nice as they have a generic mounting plate. I bought a DSX-90 (an ETX-90 OTA on a DS-2000 mount) and I use the mount for my PST. Plan-B would be to buy any of the DS-2000 scopes (fairly common on the used market) and adapt the cradle. A DS-2090 (the 90mm refractor version) would be nearly ideal.






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