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question about these two mounts

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#1 donnie3

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:16 PM

of these two mounts, what one would you purchase for its quality, dependability and ease of use, the ioptron mini tower or the celestron nexstar 6/8 mount. metal gears or plastic.

#2 abrock5

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:30 PM

I cannot speak to the ioptron mini, because I have never owned or used it. I have the single fork arm NexStar 6SE. This was my first telescope/mount, and I really enjoyed it. It seemed to my eyes to be a very sturdy build. It was very easy/quick to set up and get aligned. Once aligned objects stayed in the eyepiece for a really long time also. Getting the AC power adapter or a power tank is an absolute must for this. The only thing I did not care for was the weight of the mount; it seemed too light. Focusing caused the image to shake quite a bit, although it did settle down quickly. Same thing goes when you would accidentally bump a leg on the tripod. I think this could be solved by hanging some weight from the middle of the tripod, but I never tried it.

Anyway, my 2 cents about the NexStar. I would definitely recommend it, but I am sure the ioptron mini is excellent as well. I am actually looking to sell my NexStar mount/tripod because I moved to a CGEM. PM me if interested; if not, no biggie and I hoped this helped some.

#3 Terrance

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:34 PM

I can comment on only a few of these issues. The 6/8 is well vetted technology, while the mini-tower is newer and has had some technical problems.

If you are used to a celestron goto system, then the Nextstar 6/8 will be easier to use initially without the need to relearn a goto system

On the other side the Nexstar 6/8 is designed for very short SCTs or MCTs and other scopes will often be too long to reach near zenith without hitting the mount, and you may need to adjust slew limits to avoid that as well as cutting out a portion of the sky near zenith, if not using an SCT. (I once tried to use a Orion 120mm ST refractor on a Nexstar 6/8 mount and had to limit its elevation to somewhere between 60-70 degrees to avoid hitting the mount and tripod)

It is for this very reason that I am considering getting a Minitower Pro, because I have other scopes and only the Minitower would allow me to use them without limiting their range.

#4 donnie3

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:39 PM

terrance, just wondering if those technical problems was worked out in the minitower pro. don

#5 letimotif

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:55 PM

Well, I happen to have both. Here are my thoughts, in no particular order.

1. The mini has more capacity. For example, my 150mm Mak is no issue, and I can dual mount a small refractor on the other side. My 8" SCT is pretty much the limit on the NexStar mount.
2. As a confirmed C user, I like the hand control configuration on the NexStar better.
3. The Minitower's sync function does a great job of improving my go tos. The go tos on the NexStar are quite good, it's just that the Ioptron's are better.
4. The Ioptron has a built in GPS. For somebody like me, who travels to a variety of sites, this is a convenient option. Not critical, but it is convenient. The GPS link on the Ioptron is one problematic area for some folks. I did have to reset the connector, but it's working fine as of last Saturday.
5. I like to use my 8" SCT with a focal reducer. Just my preference. Even with the adjustable dovetail, with a 2" diagonal in place it does hit the mount base at zenith. The Ioptron tripod legs clear the longer Mak no problem.
6. I like the named objects database on the NexStar better than the Ioptron's database. I'm certain that's just because I've been using the NexStar system for years and years.
7. The Ioptron, despite the advertising, I find more time consuming to set up than the NexStar. Take a look at the setup routine in an on line manual, and you'll see what I mean. With practice, someone will get pretty efficient at setting up the Ioptron, but I'd have to give the nod to the NexStar on this one.
8. While the Ioptron has a nice case, and the components are all quite manageable, the NexStar is lightweight. It's much easier for someone to heft about as there are only three components: scope, mount and tripod.
9. Overall, I'd have to say that if you're mounting only an 8" SCT or 6" SCT, I think the NexStar is a clear winner. If you want the advantage of using the mount with modest length refractors, or heavier than 10-12 lbs scopes, the Ioptron would be the--more expensive--winner.
10. I've had to adjust backlash settings on both to some extent. Once they're set, both are excellent.
11. I added the JMI hand control bracket to the NexStar. For me, this was a needed investment as I tended to have trouble hooking it back into its cradle in the dark. So, add $45, or so, to the mount's purchase price if you buy it as a standalone. (Yes, I'm sure someone could create his own version. I'm not that handy.)

Might think of something else later, but that's it for now.

#6 donnie3

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:56 AM

letimotif, very helpful info, thanks. don






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