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Celestron HD Alt-Az mount

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#1 Darren B

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 01:49 AM

Has anyone have or used this mount Link . I am thinking of buying this to use with my 66ED telescope. What are your experiences and what telescope/binoculars etc did you use with it?

Thanks
Darren

#2 Patrick

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 07:28 AM

It looks to me like it's designed more for terrestrial use. Make sure it has quick release lock knobs on both axis or you'll be turning those slow motion knobs a lot. My main concern would be telescope creep at zenith.

For astronomical use, a small EQ mount like the AstroView might be a better choice for the 66.

Patrick

#3 Darren B

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:13 AM

Hi Patrick

I'm not to fussed about turning the slow motion controls, I'm quite use to that. I'll be mostly doing lunar viewing and maybe solar some time in the future. I've noticed you have an AT66ED, what mount do you use with yours?

#4 Spyke

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:25 AM

Hi Darren,

It's basically the same as the Skywatcher AZ3, with slight differences. I had one for my PST and it performed very well for that. I usually strip my AZ3's down, regrease them, adjust the tensions and generally improve them before using them. I found that in the Celestron's case the improvements were not as noticeable as on an AZ3. I never mounted anything else on the Celestron, only the PST, but would think it would handle a 66mm no problem.

Solar syatem viewing from the UK is never going to take you near zenith anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I usually mod mine and add a counterweight bar to allow better balance at high elevations, and usually put washers in the spaces between the moving parts on the tripod spreader section, and that improves the solidity of the tripod noticeably.

Personally, I'd go for an AZ3 but they are quite similar.

Ant

#5 Spyke

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:27 AM

Just remembered, it includes a 1/4x20 attachment plate, which is very habdy andI think that would go into the attachment foot on the WO 66?

#6 Darren B

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 01:20 PM

Didn't realise it was an AZ3. Telescope House has the same mount under their Revalation label with the mounting plate and a carry bag for £68.

#7 Spyke

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:36 PM

Yeah, but I also had a look at the Revelation model and it aint as nice! I honestly can't remember what it was about it I didn't like, but there was something, and I sold it on fairly quickly if I recall correctly. Still, if it's a good one it's a cheap price.

#8 Patrick

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:41 PM

I've noticed you have an AT66ED, what mount do you use with yours?



Darren,

I usually mount my AT66ED side by side with my C6 SCT on a CG5-GT for imaging, but if I use it solo, I'll put it on a 475B geared tripod with a 501HDV head. The 501HDV is a very beefy fluid head capable of supporting the little refractor even at zenith. The 475B geared tripod is nice because I can change the elevation quickly when going from horizon to zenith which keeps the eyepiece in the same spot.

That setup is a bit more expensive than the one you're currently looking at but for me it's been worth it because it's very versatile. I use it more with my 15x70 binoculars than the 66 refractor though.

Patrick

#9 Eddgie

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:29 AM

I recently purchhased one of these BRAND NEW for $50 from the big auction site.

I have owned them before too.

Here is the MAIN issue with them. If you use them at higher elevations they will tend to cascade back on you.

There is a nylon lined locking nut that you can adjust for tension, but if you get it tight enough to keep the telescope from creeping or cascading back when you go high, it can be stiff to move manually when aiming at lower elevations.

That being said, I rather like the last one I bought. The one I owned previously I think someone had taken a nylon "Clutch" pad out of. I never got it adjusted well at all. The new one is much easier to adjust.

I was able to get it to a nice compromise tension for use with my ETX 90. Was only planning on using it as a daytime spotter, but was able to get the tension adjusted quite acceptably for nighttime use.

But the ETX 90 is VERY light, and makes minimal demands. most of the weight is concentrated at the rear of the OTA. You might not be as successufl with a longer refractor and heavy eyepieces.

Keep it LIGHT though, and it may be OK.

When Vixen used to sell this kind of mount, they also provided a counterweight that stuck out the front. It looked goofy, but I can understand why that did it.

So, for that particular scope, it might be OK if you keep it light and aren't using it a lot at zenith. You may have to fiddle with the tension nut some, and there is a risk that you won't get an acceptable compromise between movement tension and creep prevention. The mount I had previously could not cope with a Celestron 80ED with 2" diagonal. Never even came CLOSE. Yes the mount was not quite rigth, but I don't think even the new one would cope with that kind of setup.

Your scope is SOOO light though, that it may do just fine. Works GREAT for my ETX 90.

Good luck.

#10 Spyke

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:58 PM

Eddgie has hit the nail on the head. Getting the balance between fluid movement and the risk of cascading back is the problem. Easily fixed (if necessary) by adding a counterweight bar assembly to the front.

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Ant

#11 KWB

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:51 AM

Hi

Been there,done that with this scope/mount combo. Not to my liking as the little 66ED is heavy enough to have frustrated me from the start when trying to view high up in the sky. The Celestron AZ also has limited movement on both axis. The Vixen Portamount is more money but is money well spent as it is a superior mount across the board.

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#12 Rcade

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 03:52 PM

I use an EQ Polaris mount for my Stellarvue 80mm and it is great. OK before you start yelling that you wanted an Alt-Az you can remove the counter weight and shaft set it up at 90 degrees and it works grat as an Alt-Az. Very sturdy but light weight and very versatile. Just an alternative idea???






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