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The cube for a solar scope mount?

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#1 Al Canarelli

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:08 AM

While I already own a Celestron Advanced GT, which works very well with my dedicated H-alpha solar scope, I want something lighter in weight (I'm not getting any younger). I'm thinking of ordering the Ioptron Cube SmartStar-G shown at this link @ $360.

http://www.adorama.c...fo=Ioptron Cube

My question is this: is it a good choice for my needs? I will use it mostly with my Lunt 60mm H-alpha double stack and don't expect the total scope weight to be more than 8 or 9 lbs...probably less. I may also use it with an 80mm ED as a grab and go which weighs about 10 lbs. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help!

Al

#2 Luigi

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 02:00 PM

I considered the cube as well as other motorized alt az. I decided getting a 60SLT and trashing the OTA ($260) was the best way to go. It's a great little mount and carries the Lunt very well tracking the sun for hours on end. The weakest link is the tripod. Kept short it's not bad. Fully extended it's too wobbly.

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#3 Astrobuddy

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:04 PM

I would definitely go for the CubePro for your 10 lbs payload. It gives stability and room for grow.
The 60SLT is a little stretch for 10 lbs besides the poor tripod. I tried to improve the stability by securing the folding tray of the tripod but failed. The wobbling was originated at the hinges as well as the RA base that I couldn’t do anything.

#4 Telescopeman54

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:13 AM

I agree with Astrobuddy. Go for the Pro. The tripod is more stout, the gears are metal and the bearings seem to be better. For the extra money you will realize a greater value.

CS

Steve

#5 Luigi

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:56 AM

Gears are metal in the SLT too, the structure, base and side arm, are cast aluminum, not plastic, and have thrust ball bearings on both axis. Also, the load is centered over the tripod rather than cantilvered off to the side. It'll run 8+ hours on the internal AA batteries. IMO, the SLT is the better mount and there probaby have been millions sold (almost like McDonald's burgers). The tripod needs help though.

#6 Doug D.

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 08:59 AM

Granted, this is a much pricier option but the latest Astrotrac has lunar and solar tracking rates and can't be beat in terms of portability (and accuracy), quality materials and craftsmanship (even if "just" a barn door tracker, LOL). I guess I wouldn't recommend it if you also weren't interested in using it for dSLR imaging at night or if you weren't interested in ultimate portability. But if you are, this is a jack of all trades and although marketed for dSLR use has a pretty impressive capacity for big lenses and small scopes (owing to design and weight centered right over pivot point).

If you already have a suitable tripod and ballhead lying around - this might be worth looking into. Otherwise, just another idea........

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#7 Al Canarelli

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 09:50 AM

Thanks to all! You've helped me decide to bite the bullet and go for the CubePro instead of the Cube, at about $100 more. So guess what I found when I went to the dealers web page to order? It's the "bigger, better, more expensive tactic" that all manufacturers always use. They are now selling the "Limited Edition CubePro". For only $100 more, you get a nice case which holds everything...mount, tripod, etc. I think I'll decline the Limited Edition and stick with just the plain old CubePro. Thanks again for your help! I'll let you know how it works out.

#8 Telescopeman54

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:55 AM

Al:

You should be happy with it. It's definitely an improvement over the Cubes. The case is really designed for the many people who are planning on going to the eclipse. It fits the overhead compartments and is supposedly airline rated. Save the $100.00 if you do not plan on shlepping the thing all over the place.

CS

Steve

#9 Astrobuddy

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:55 PM

The limited edition also has a car charger in the case which cost $22 if purchased separately.






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