Inexpensive mount for C6
Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:00 PM
I think I've gotten in a bit over my head - I've never bought a telescope before and have only experienced pretty low end ones. After becoming OBSESSED with buying a telescope recently I finally got a C6 OTA this morning sans visual back/diagonal for what I thought was a really good price (turns out it's still a good price but nothing great). Now I have to buy a mount but I'm finding out that with a diagonal, visual back, eyepiece, and mount I'm very quickly going over my budget
Anyone know of the most inexpensive mount I can use? I'd like to stay around $100 if possible.
FYI this will be used about half and half for looking at the amazing views out my back yard and for astronomy viewing.
Posted 31 July 2009 - 11:09 PM
Another option is a version 1 William Optics EZTouch, still over your budget but very good.
Otherwise just start looking for a used Vixen, Orion, Celestron or whichever low cost brand Alt-Az with aluminum legs on AMart, you will find one of those for cheap eventually.
Or for an EQ platform an Orion Astroview (generic is EQ-3 I believe) or an EQ-2 could be found for quite cheap on Astromart.
Posted 31 July 2009 - 11:37 PM
A Celestron Advanced Series GT is probably the best buy you can find at just under $600. This is a completely automatic mount which will comfortably hold your 6" SCT and will allow you to grow into larger telescopes in the future, as it will also handle an 11" SCT. A tripod is also included with this mount. An Ioptron Cube Pro is less expensive than the Celestron but not as beefy. It is also automatic and comes with a tripod. The cost of this is about $400. The only other thing you can do to save some money is to look for a used Celestron GT. There are many of them around, so it may not be too difficult to find one. If you're lucky, you can find a good one for about $400 or under.
Finally, you can find a manual mount used for a few hundred dollars, but you will need to learn how to target your objects first. Doing this is time consuming and could be difficult.
Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:28 AM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:46 AM
If you can't afford a several hundred dollar mount, don't sweat it. Lots of people are going to suggest mounts >$500, but if you can't do it, you just can't, buy something stable that you can afford.
I would avoid an EQ-1, it would probably be more frustrating and ruin your enjoyment. A stable Alt-Az would be a cheap and easy way to start manually learning the night sky. That is the way a lot of people here have gotten to know the sky when they first began.
Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:12 AM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:24 PM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:21 PM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 06:58 PM
Good luck and clear skies,
Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:33 PM
I think I've decided to go with the a really cheap celestron alt-az for $100. It states that it works well with a C5 so a C6 isn't too much of a stretch I think
That's for the spotting scopes which do not get pointed up towards the sky. The altitude bolt on that type mount tends to slip back with heavier loads. Had the Orion version and would not put anything bigger than a 70mm Short-tube on it.
IMO, cheapest, most effective alt/az mount for the C-6 would be the Skywatcher AZ-4 which has the ota mounted off the side rather than on top, where center of gravity would be too much for the Celestron.
Starts at $199:
A used Astroview or CG-4 should also workout fine for the C-6 and be available for under $200.
Good luck with your search!
Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:37 PM
Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:04 PM
More than you wanted to spend but this a great portable setup. It works well with a C8 and should be even better with a c6.
Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:12 PM
Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:49 PM
You didn't mention a finder in your original post. If your C6 didn't come wih a finder, you will definitely need a decent finder if you intend to put your C6 on an alt-az mount. And if you live in an area of high dew, you'll need to purchase or build some sort of dew shade for the corrector lens. Sorry to bring up these items, but I've been down this C6 road and you'll be disappointed and frustrated without them. I usually mount the C6 on my go-to Ioptron MiniTower, but that mount is way over your budget. I have mounted the C6 on my Unistar Light Deluxe alt-az mount once or twice and definitely needed my Rigel Quickfinder to aim the scope. You will need a mount that can handle about 12 pounds. I'm being a little conservative with the weight here. Anything less could be a bit unstable, and you will not enjoy this hobby with a shaky mount.
Good luck and clear skies,
Fortunately this did come with a finder. Here's the item on Ebay
There really isn't dew where I live except maybe in the coldest nights in the winter so hopefully that won't be a problem. I'm still not quite sure what mount to get but I've been reading a ton and checking out all the ones you guys are suggesting.
Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:35 PM
Dam this is a tough decision...Are GEMs just a PITA to work with for a beginner? For some reason it looks like they are the cheapest options that can hold a C6.
Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:39 PM
Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:55 AM
These mounts are not anything great, but the C6 is not very demanding on the mount at all.
The only serious problem you might have is findind a way to attach the telescope to the mount. Many of these old mounts used mounting tabs to mount the telescoep rings.
Since your scope most likely uses a dovetail, you can often fabricate an interface form a peice of oak. Tap the bottom of the dovtail if it doesn't already have some holes in it, and attach a strip of oak to it.
Mount the telescope by using screws from under the bottom of the tabs to go into the oak strip.
I have done this several times to mount telescopes to these kind of mounts. If you paint the oak strip, you can even make it pretty decent.
The old EQ3 is not a bad mount. Not at all. It looks old fashioned, but it actually works OK. In fact, Celestron I think used to sell the C5 on these for a short while. The C6 is only a bit heavier.
So, shop Craigsist.
CG2 is too small. CG3 is about right.
FYI, I just checked Craigslist in my own town (Austin, TX) and found a Celetron 114 on a CG3 being sold for $125! You see scopes like this all the time!
Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:00 AM
Personally, I think a CG3 is a far FAR better choice than a cheap Alt Az mount.
Heck, in my world, a CG3 is far better than even EXPENSIVE Alt-az mounts.. LOL.
Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:53 PM
Thanks again to everyone!!