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Options for a heavy-load alt-az?

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#1 grom

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:53 PM

Hey guys,

I am quite lost with the recent developments on alt-az mounts. I am looking for a capable mount with tracking (essential) and goto (desirable). Since it will be purely for visual use I figured an alt-az will be cheaper than an equatorial, is this about right?

The iOptron Minitower is nice, but I would want something for heavier loads. What are the options?

In other words, is there any alt-az equivalent to a G11?

#2 Telescopeman54

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:30 PM

We had a C11 on our Mini Tower at the WSP. It was a bit overloaded until I installed Timken roller bearings. Then it settled down quite a bit. Just what OTA do you wish to use? We have a lot of C9.25s on the Mini Tower with no complaints.

CS

Steve

#3 grom

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:59 AM

Thanks for your answer Steve.

By the way, I read in the iOptron site and in yours that the Minitower can be "even further enhanced by more than 50% with heavy-duty accessories", but I can not find such accesories..... is this a future development?

#4 Telescopeman54

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

Grom:

That is a poorly written way of saying that the accessories that are included can add or support up to 50% of the stated load capacity to the secondary side. The secondary saddle plate, counterweight, counterweight shaft and a small OTA are the items to which they were referring.

We have been able to get our Mini Towers to do some pretty impressive stunts. Those range from side by side C8s to a 5" f/8 refractor on one side and a C8 on the other as well as other combinations. We've even been running one in EQ mode for about six months now. The mount really has not reached its full potential, yet.

CS

Steve

#5 Herenomore

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:38 AM

Hey guys,

I am quite lost with the recent developments on alt-az mounts. I am looking for a capable mount with tracking (essential) and goto (desirable). Since it will be purely for visual use I figured an alt-az will be cheaper than an equatorial, is this about right?

The iOptron Minitower is nice, but I would want something for heavier loads. What are the options?

In other words, is there any alt-az equivalent to a G11?

DiscMounts DM-6. It'll easily handle 40 lbs and there's one CN forum member that's mounting 56 lbs on his. Tom Trusock's reviews of the DM-6 and the smaller DM-4 are here:

http://www.cloudynig...php?item_id=611

http://www.cloudynig...hp?item_id=1280

User reviews of the DM-6 are here:

http://www.astromart...?article_id=542

http://www.astromart...?article_id=648

Call Tom Peters @ DiscMounts. He's a great guy (he'll talk your ear off about astronomy which he loves) and he'll recommend exactly what you need even if it means not selling you one of his mounts.

Tom

#6 NHRob

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 10:44 AM

Steve,
I'm curious if there are adapter plates for mounting the MT to a beefier tripod .. like a Berlebach or a G11 tripod.

Thanks,
Rob

#7 Telescopeman54

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 02:42 PM

Rob:

We are currently working on adapters for the Meade Field tripod, CG5 tripod and Atlas tripods. I use the Atlas tripod for my personal units in both A/A and EQ modes. The CG5 tripod is an odd duck in that it requires an adapter cone to go down inside of the head. This is because the center bolt is too short to raise above the level of the head. The Atlas tripod has a center bolt which does go up above the plane of the head and is easier to make. Regardless, both have made a significant difference in the stability of my mounts.

If the demand continues to grow for heavier tripods then we may very well design and build our own. Since the Atlas and CG5 tripods are not available as seperate items this may be a good idea.

I've never even seen nor even heard of a Berlebach tripod. LOL I guess I need to get my hands on a G11 tripod, now, too! (Rolling eye balls and more chuckling)

CS

Steve

#8 darylf96

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:30 PM

One can usually adapt just about any mount to the Meade HD feild tripod. I have mounted my DM-6 to this tripod, including a Losmandy extension and the Meade leg spreader using the CGE spreader unit. This setup is rock solid and will carry at least 40 Lbs.

Daryl

#9 grom

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:22 PM

DiscMount 6 would be just fine for me...... if it had tracking.

It has the possibility of DSC, but no tracking nor goto, if I am not mistaken.

#10 Herenomore

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 05:53 PM

It's manual push-to, not motorized go-to. As for DSC's, it's not a "possibility", it's a reality. The mount is perfectly orthagonal meaning that after your two-star alignment (whicn takes 1-2 minutes), every object you punch into the Sky Commander computer will fall at, or very near, dead center of your scopes FOV. It can't get any easier than that. As for "tracking", the mount is so smooth, stable, and responsive that you can observe, track, focus and re-focus, without ever losing the object, all at 300X.

Tom

#11 grom

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:55 AM

Tom,
What I meant by "possibility" is that you can buy the DM 6 with or withouth the DSCs.
Now, the DSCs could work perfectly for me as a substitute of the goto, but as I wrote in the first post, tracking is essential for me.

#12 Nick Lloyd

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:11 AM

I'm in the same boat... if Discmounts had tracking then I would pony up the $$$.

Steve- have you tried a 9.25" SCT on the iOptron?

#13 Telescopeman54

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:07 PM

Nick:

I have about 6 or 7 clients that have the C9.25 on their MTs and they are all happy with them. Not one has said that it was not up to the task. Most of them got the Ultra Tune Up to make certain that they achieved the best results.

I JUST NOW received some stunning images from a client who is using his C8 Hyperstar with a Mini Tower. I am completely blown away! He should be making an entry on our BLOG later and will upload the images soon.

CS

Steve

#14 Nick Lloyd

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 10:09 PM

Compared to the noise volume of a Nexstar mount, how loud is the MT?

#15 Telescopeman54

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:03 AM

Less. Much less. It is a bit louder than my Atlas.

Steve






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