Low end mount for C11 for modest imaging?
Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:41 PM
A CPC1100 will cost $2600 these days (I already have a wedge). For just a few hundred more, I could get the same scope on a CGEM or EQ6 (Orion's Atlas is really an EQ6, right?) I think to get to the next quality level of mount would cost another couple thousand (G11) which I can't spend.
I'm basically familiar with the fork vs. GEM issues (eg, meridian flip, circumpolar access), but what I really can't determine is how the different mounts compare on tracking. That's the key issue for me. Which of these three mounts (and if there are others in this range, feel free to include them) will deliver the best images? If they're pretty much equal, I would lean toward the CPC1100, having used forks for all of my 25 years in this hobby. (Serious years - the decade with the Sears 50mm refractor doesn't count!)
I should note that I'm no mechanic. While I'm pretty sure I could handle the ball bearing replacement in the CPC1100, much more than that would be beyond me. So if a given mount can get nice results, but only with re-engineering, that might rule it out.
I know the fork vs. GEM debate always rages, but I haven't found any threads that are really on point since at least 2006. So I would really appreciate any recent thoughts. Thanks in advance.
Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:50 AM
Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:56 AM
Ps, the mount Steve linked above would be a VERY nice candidate for your needs.
Posted 04 June 2009 - 07:06 AM
A buddy of mine has this setup. Nice rig...
Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:06 AM
Like seeing, steadiness, etc... (Seeing will be the biggest - most likely).
yeah, autoguiding will help... but that's a loooonnnngggg focal length to be playing with if one doesn't have a lot of experience. Yeah, with a reducer it's better than the native (2800mm?), but still, most "experts" (of which I am not yet by any imagination!) suggest starting in imaging at/below 800mm for least frustration...
that said, if OP is comfortable imaging with the old C8, then going with a C11 on a GOOD EQ mount (EQ6 or above, but, preferably a CGE or G11) won't be impossible...
Maybe score a used CGE for around $2K??? Versus $1500 for EQ6/Atlas or $1799 for CGEM? Just a thought...
Clear enough skies
Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:32 AM
I'm not too worried about imaging at f6.5. I was pleased with my results on the 8". You can see the images on my site - that's what I'm shooting for. (You can never be disappointed when you hold yourself to low standards! )
But I still have that bottom line question. Does anyone know how these mounts compare for tracking purposes? A lot of folks have mentioned that they image with GEMs, but does anyone have experience with both fork and low end GEM? I don't think a CPC fork is going to match a G11, but is there any reason to think that, well tuned, it can't get the same results of that hypertuned EQ6?
Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:56 AM
Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:04 AM
Out of curiousity, which wedge do you have?
The Celestron "Heavy Duty" wedge. I know, I know. But it has worked out basically okay, especially on my pier. I have, however, occasionally wondered if I should have just modified my old Super C8+ wedge, which was single-piece cast, to fit the Nexstar's base.
Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:22 PM