Mount opinions for 80mm Refractor
Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:05 PM
I'm not new to this, but there is way more knowledge, experience and valid opinions out there among visitors to this forum than I could ever duplicate in a lifetime of trying.
I recently purchased an 80mm EON. Very nice scope! I had it out with my Atlas and had some great views with it and the Atlas seemed very happy...
But there will be times when I want something lighter and more portable.
It must be GEM, have GOTO with enough quality and load capacity for light astrophoto use. My Atlas can handle the more serious attempts...
I have had a CG-5 in the past and found it to be a very good mount, and would buy one again, but not before putting the question to the group for alternative suggestions.
The noise of the CG-5 is not objectionable, so does not need to be factored in.
Price range under 1k USD
Thank you for any input you may contribute.
Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:43 PM
Posted 13 March 2010 - 07:19 PM
Posted 14 March 2010 - 10:14 AM
If you are flexible and can accept the differences in the handset, an older Meade LXD-55 can often be had for less than $300 and actually has one huge advantage over the newer mounts. The flimsy tripod is only flimsy when used with heavy telescopes. for light telescopes, it actually is a great choice because it weighs about 7 or 8 lbs less than the steel legged LXD-75! The difference is that with an 80mm scope, lifting the entire mount, scope, counterweight, and tripod is a SNAP! This is especially true if you get one of the hugely expensive Vixen counterweights or one of the very light Orion counterweights which allow you to minimize the weight on the mount making it both more stable and easier to carry. Vixen sells 4 lb (or about) counterweights, an Orion sells a 6 lb (or about) counterweight. Using the stantard 10 lbs weight is way overkill. I will go out of my way to find the lightest counterweight needed to balance the intended scope for the mount. For example, I recently made an adapter to use an LXD-750 counterweight on my CG5 to balance my EdgeHD 8" on my CG5. I needed about 14 lbs, and adapting that weight saved me 6 lbs over adding a second 10 lb weight.
So, if weight saving is important and you can live with the Meade handset, a used LXD-55 is a great inexpensive light-weight approach with full Go-To.
Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:35 AM
Posted 14 March 2010 - 06:52 PM
The CG5-ASGT would be an easy buy, as I have already have had one. I did not like the poor fit and flimsy construction of the plastic used as a cover surrounding the drives and electronics. In all other respects it was a very easy to use and serviceable mount. I'll have to take a look at the other suggestions and see how I feel about them.
Posted 14 March 2010 - 07:18 PM
I also own the GC5 and I agree with you the cheap plastic pieces over the motors suck. The Dec housing on mine actually got stuck on the dec lever and ripped the housing apart causing my mount to go to Celestron for 45 days.
I haven't had any problems with the LXD75 but it does develop some backlash after using it so every 4-6 months I take the motor housing off and tighten the worms. It really helps out. For the price the ASGT and/or LXD 75 are excellent mounts not G11 but good entry level go to mounts.