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Choosing a Mount

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#1 spmv


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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:54 PM

Difficult to say the least. The scope? That's easy, a Tak FS 128. I've gone from the CGEM, Atlas, G 11, Discmounts DM6, then back again. Anybody want to add some more choices? :grin: Goto is not necessary. Owned a CGE once, didn't really care for it (quality issues) so the CGEM might be eliminated. The G11 is a beauty, but looks like a lot of mount to set up. And the DM6? Quicker to set up but I'm worried about using higher powers and tracking.
Maybe a poll will help with the decision.

#2 David Pavlich

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:16 PM

You'll probably get more responses if you give us a budget. From your list, if you didn't have any problem setting up the CGE, the G11 isn't much different. The tripod is a bit more fussy, but overall, very similar.


#3 jrcrilly


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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:24 PM

If you want something lighter and easier to set up than the CGE and G11 you might consider a GP/DX (or its modern version, the GP-D2). My GP/DX does a fine job with the FS-128.

#4 spmv


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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:47 PM

Thanks David and John. A standard G11 is about the max budget wise so about $2200. The CGE wasn't a problem setting up. My set up at the time was a CGE 1400 and the tripod did the splits on me once. The lower spreader was not tight enough. Every fastener needed to checked nearly every time I set up. That's only one problem I had among many.
I will look into the GP mounts John. Thanks.

#5 Bowmoreman


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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:57 PM

Given that budget... I'd recommend checking out a Vixen Sphinx (either SXW or SXD)... Setup is dead easy, gotos are accurate...

Now, if you wanted to do AP on that scope, you'd have to step up to G11/CGE class (IMHO)....

clear enough skies

#6 Luigi


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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:41 AM

Might sound like blasphemy to TAK aficionados, but I had a G11 for 10+ years and downsized to a CG5 when I downsized OTAs. I'm quite happy with it for my ~16lb OTAs. It handles high power planetary tracking with no problems at all. I have a padded case that fits it very nicely while still attached to its tripod so it's very easy to transport and fast to set up, almost G&G. For it's weight, I don't know if there's a mount/tripod that's functionally any better.

#7 Bob D

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:13 AM

From your list, if you didn't have any problem setting up the CGE, the G11 isn't much different. The tripod is a bit more fussy, but overall, very similar.


I have a friend with a CGE, but don't have easy access to check-out a G11. In what ways is the G11 tripod "more fussy?" Are there just more parts that need to be checked and tightened?

#8 gnowellsct


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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:45 AM

The G11 has three legs. Each leg telescopes and has to be clamped at the length you want it. So that's one adjustment. Then each leg has to be tightened on to the tripod head. The result is extremely rigid and very strong.

I'm not sure how it compares to the Celestron version, but I can make a few points:

1. I've seen thousands of posts on teh Losmandy user forum (Yahoo, losmandy_users) and have never seen anyone complaining about the tripod setup, not even our converts from the Celestron product. When you join Losmandy Yahoo you get several files of information sent to you automatically, one of them compares Celestron and Losmandy, and no one even thought to include the tripod issue.

2. These days I use the G11 on a Berlebach Tripod which is sold in the U.S. by Teton Telescopes. I prefer to deal with wood in sub zero weather. It's a nice setup and all the pieces except the tray stay together which is convenient; I think that's the way the Celestron works.

There are other options including ATS piers and so on. So you can find what works for you.

The design point that Scott Losmandy is making is that one of the major sources of flexure, both up down and rotational, is the leg joints. Scott basically eliminated that in his tripod designs.

There is a heavy duty *folding* tripod that is available on the Losmandy web site, it's not over priced as far as these things go, massive, sturdy, and folds all up.

So you've a variety of options in addition to the default, and I'd spend some time thinking about them. You are of course welcome to join the Losmandy group and post a question there.

Greg N

#9 adamsp123


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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:54 PM

Seriously consider a Vixen Sphinx on the HAL tripod, very light but very sturdy, I have had a 29+ lbs on mine and done imaging with that load. Starbook is so easy to use as well.

#10 spmv


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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:51 PM

I finally made up my mind and ordered the Orion Atlas. The G11 would have sapped my funds. I will be adding an ADM saddle and BT Tech dovetail to fit the Tak clamshell.

I was also very close to calling Discmounts and ordering a DM6, but I just like the look of a GEM.

Thanks for all the input everybody!

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