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Go 2 for a Mak

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#1 JimmyK

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 05:46 PM

Hey Y'all,

One of my scopes is an Orion Mak-Cas 150. Too much of a beginner and skies not good enough locally for the mount it came with. This is one of those "it must be the singer not the song" kind of situations.

Looking for a decent Go To that is easy to use and I don't have to call someone at The Johnson Space Center to figure out.

I have a place in the Hills as well and those skies are good but I don't get out there enough to learn enough to use the EQ Mount I have.

Any way thanks for your time.

JimmyK ;)

#2 teast

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:59 PM

Hi Jimmy,

Do you have the SkyView Pro 150 package that Orion sells as a bundled setup? If so then this should be what you need to add GoTo to your scope.

If you have a different mount, then if you can provide some more details, you should get more suggestions.

-Tom

#3 GaryML

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:41 PM

Maybe the iOptron Mini-tower? It should handle the load quite easily. Simple alt-azimuth set-up: set it up so the "S" sticker is roughly aimed to the South. Level the head using the three adjustable screws and the bubble level. Add the telescope, point it straight up. Turn it on, let the GPS sync, and run the alignment routine. Then you're all set, and the goto on this mount is very accurate. It is probably the easiest goto mount to set up and use.

#4 Bugsi

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 01:35 AM

The iOptron Mini-Tower will absolutely handle the Orion 150 Mak, which weighs in at 12.1 lbs for the OTA, and the Mini-Tower handles 25 lbs. It will also be easy setup and use as GaryML describes.

It costs around $800, and includes the tripod. Orion's GoTo unit for the Skyview Pro mount runs around $500 without the tripod, the tripod is another $380 separately. They can be purchased together for $820, so both systems are comparable in terms of cost.

To decide on one or the other really depends on whether he has the SVP mount or not. I just picked up the SVP Goto on the Orion Clearance page for $352.

#5 JimmyK

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:18 AM

Hi guys.

1st thank you very much for your time, I do appreciate it.

I have looked at both options over the last few weeks. Yes I have the SVP mount and have been thinking about the upgrade kit as well as the iOMT.

I was thinking if I went iO I could sell the SVP mount as it is in like new condition. If I could get $250 for it that would put the iOMT on equal ground cost wise with the cost to upgrade the mount.

Spending $800 on a mount would not leave me with enough money to build the dog house I would be forced to live in for awhile so I am trying to keep cost down somewhat.

However, if the iOMT is a good investment and a better performer than the upgraded SVP mount I am pretty sure that is the way I will go and just sell the SVP.

In reading, I understand the SVP would still need to be Polar aligned yet the iO simply pointed in the general direction. That of course leaves out the need for the a-Tool.

I also like the idea of the ability to put another scope along side the Mak on the iOMT.

Right now in the "ideas" mode so again thanks for your time.

Jimmy

#6 Bugsi

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:00 PM

For what it's worth, the polar alignment on the SVP with GoTo doesn't need to be an exacting time consuming task if you're just viewing, and not doing long exposure astrophotography. I was out quite late last night with my SVP+GoTo, and after finally figuring out that I had the wrong time zone entered, I was viewing for a couple hours.

I don't have the polar alignment scope (which is only around $50 if memory serves) and I just flop the SVP mount on my front walkway with the N leg facing north and sight Polaris through the mount (took about 5 seconds) and then did the 3-star alignment. That was all I needed to get every target I viewed inside the eyepiece. I made adjustments to center the objects in the eyepiece, but once centered, they stay centered. So rough alignment is completely satisfactory on the SVP as well, although it has several additional levels of fine tuning and drift aligning that can be performed if you ever plan to do astrophotography.

Do check out the clearance page on the Orion website, the SVP GoTo is just $352. The installation instructions were easy to follow.

#7 JimmyK

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 09:32 PM

Bugsi that was some good information. I really appreciate your time.

Regards
Jimmy

#8 GaryML

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 11:13 PM

I have looked at both options over the last few weeks. Yes I have the SVP mount and have been thinking about the upgrade kit as well as the iOMT.

I was thinking if I went iO I could sell the SVP mount as it is in like new condition. If I could get $250 for it that would put the iOMT on equal ground cost wise with the cost to upgrade the mount.

Spending $800 on a mount would not leave me with enough money to build the dog house I would be forced to live in for awhile so I am trying to keep cost down somewhat.

However, if the iOMT is a good investment and a better performer than the upgraded SVP mount I am pretty sure that is the way I will go and just sell the SVP.

In reading, I understand the SVP would still need to be Polar aligned yet the iO simply pointed in the general direction. That of course leaves out the need for the a-Tool.

I also like the idea of the ability to put another scope along side the Mak on the iOMT.

Right now in the "ideas" mode so again thanks for your time.

Jimmy


I agree with Bugsi about the polar align. For visual use, just sighting through the hole where the polar scope can go is good enough. That's what I do with my CG5-ASGT. Then you run the alignment routine, which is about the same as the iOptron. If you don't have the GPS module for the SVP, then you need to input the time and also the location (but I assume it keeps the location from the prior use).

I have used the iOptron, but I haven't used the SVP. The iOptron Mini-tower is probably on a par with the SVP in terms of sturdiness, with a slight edge to the SVP in steadiness. The advantage of the iOptron is the more compact size, slightly easier set-up, and perhaps more accurate and sophisticated goto. (I haven't used the SVP goto so I will defer to others to comment on this).

I was a bit disappointed in the build quality of the iOptron while I owned it, as there were a lot of details that were not well executed. The mount was sturdy, but the plastic casing for the electronics and batteries was cheap. It just struck me as something that may not hold up under years of service. I returned it and ended up getting a CG5-ASGT for well under $600 to use until I decided on a mount for the the long haul. The CG5-ASGT was the absolute cheapest goto mount that could handle my 15 lbs scope. Well, it worked great for 3 weeks and the the goto pointing went bad and didn't aim close to where it should. Now the mount is sitting at Celestron waiting to be repaired. :mad:

So what is the good and cheap goto mount? I'll still looking for it and wondering whether I should have stuck with the iOptron. When you find it let me know.

#9 Luigi

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:49 AM

I completely agree with the polar align. I most often set up while it's light out and just use a little compass (correcting for mag var) and the the latitude scale. Works fine for visual. My house and road are square with the cardinal points so I can orient to North using that as a reference instead of the compass.






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