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Looking for Alt-Az tracking mount

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#1 TimK

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:56 PM

I recently acquired an Orion 100mm F6 refractor and need a new mount for it. I would like a simple alt-az mount for grab and go (visual use) but I would also like to use this for outreach so tracking is mandatory.

I do not really want the added complexity of a goto mount. I have several but I want something simple here. I don't really want DSC's either. I want to visually locate an object, lock down the scope and let it track (at least for a while) without having to constantly nudge the scope. I would like positive locks so that overeager viewers won't move the scope off target and slow motion controls would be a real plus.

I have tried various EQ mounts and dislike the extended setup times required for accurate alignment.

I would like to keep the cost of the mount plus tripod under $1000.

Any suggestions?

#2 Mark9473

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 03:21 PM

I'm really interested to find out if this exists, as it would perfectly suit my needs too.
I thought that for an alt-az mount to track, it has to be goto.

#3 stevenf

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 04:07 PM

How about the Orion teletrack?

http://www.telescope...telescope-mount

#4 TimK

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:45 AM

I think I remember hearing about this one awhile back.

I checked the Orion website and downloaded the manual. It sounds pretty good but it won't track objects above 60 degrees (above the horizon). Even if it could I don't think a long refractor would work without the tube hitting the mount. But we are definitely on the right track.

#5 Trev

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:18 AM

I know it's a goto but have you considered a Celestron SLT mount? They offer it with a 102mm f/6.5 so your scope should fit with no problems. You can still "star hop" using the HC and then let it track for you.
I have a couple of them so if you have any questions let me know.
http://www.celestron...D=16&ProdID=661

#6 MikeBOKC

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 12:27 PM

I got the SLT mount for my solar scope and now use it with a T|MB 92L and it works very well. Sowould either of the slightly larger Nexstar mounts, and they run from $300 to abuot $500. . . versatile and handy.

#7 skybsd

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 12:33 PM

Hello,
The NexStar SE mounts to indeed track, but the thing to bear in mind with mounting refractors to this mount is the OTA length and balance point.

You'll then need to be sure you understand and set the slewing limits so that your OTA won't slam into the mount base when slewing to targets close to or at Zenith.

Another option would be to use something like the APT Astro Wedge in order to mitigate against this.

Regards,

skybsd

#8 Kfrank

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:14 PM

How about the Orion teletrack?

http://www.telescope...telescope-mount


The OP wants this mount for an f6, 100mm scope focal length of 600mm).

The Teletrack (in addition to its 60 degree limit) is only intended for optical tubes up to 15" long and weighing 8.8 lbs or less. This limits its use to very short tube refractors or small Cassegrain type scopes (90mm Maks, etc).

It's a pretty limited use mount.

#9 TimK

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:38 AM

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. It looks like what I really want doesn't exist yet!

#10 Ira

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:51 AM

Get the Vixen PortaMount (II) and then the after market JMI drive for it. Should do exactly what you want.

/Ira

#11 neotesla

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:18 AM

iOptron Cube and Cube Pro or the mini tower is what I have been looking at, but there seems to be a quality control issue with them right now.

#12 Fox1971

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:48 AM

You can get an astrotech voyager and then use the JMI train and track system. I believe that will give you what you want and at not too great a cost.

#13 Ira

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:54 PM

I am getting the iOptron MiniTower Pro with after-market upgrades by Steve Forbes to address the QC and reliability issues.

/Ira

#14 TimK

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:18 PM

I checked the website and the JMI train-n-track sounds interesting.

I will have to give them a call for more details. On the Portamount or Voyager it could do the trick. I will let you know if this works out.

#15 dscarpa

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

I think the Porta would be over loaded with a 4" refractor. My Voyager on a Oberwerk tripod handles my 20lb WO ZS110 with ease. Let us know how your quest for tracking-goto with a stand alone alt az goes. David

#16 DaveE

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 03:03 PM

I tried a TV-102 on a Porta II and the mount could not handle it. Actually, to be more specific, the legs couldn't handle it. The head was fine.

-Dave

#17 Ira

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 04:12 PM

The PortaMount head is quite robust. The stock legs are a bit iffy. They carry my 4" 2-element WO refractor, but it is fairly light. If it were heavier I would probably swap them for something stronger. Still, it's a sweet alt-az mount.

/Ira

#18 AlienRatDog

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:04 PM

Just add a wood tripod...works fine with my ED100 f/9...

#19 TimK

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:47 AM

I have decided to pull the trigger on a AstroTech Voyager. It is a simple mount with slow motion controls which I like.

I also went to JMI and ordered the Train-n-Track unit. I am not exactly convinced this will work as I want it but it seems pretty close.

The testing begins next week.

#20 Naviguessor

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:27 PM

Do keep us posted on its perfomance, very curious how it works out.

#21 Dragonwatcher

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 09:48 PM

Yes, I would also love to hear how the Voyager + Train-N-Track work. I read all the details on the JMI site and now I am tempted...

I am wondering if this would be an improvement over a Celestron SE6/SE8 mount?

#22 george tatsis

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 01:31 PM

http://www.landseask...roducts_id=1333

I have had my Teegul for more than 8 years now and I wouldn't change it for anything else.

Rock solid with smooth slow motion control makes it a breeze observing at 200X.

Pricey, but unique!

George

#23 FishInPercolator

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:03 AM

Any updates on how well this combo works together?






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