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Lightweight GoTo mount suggestion?

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#1 Dragonwatcher

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:27 PM

I am about ready to consider a GoTo GEM. Can I do better than a CG5-GT in terms of my needs? Want as lightweight as possible. Visual only. Biggest telescope at 10-12 pounds and F/6 with binoviewer. $800 or less used or new. Relatively simple to use. Don't want wasteful overkill, as lightest weight a very key factor second only to being able to carry at least 12 pounds comfortably.

#2 Falcon-

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 04:20 PM

Hmm... the Skywatcher EQ3 Synscan might be a *little* lighter then the CG-5. I think the EQ3 comes with 1.75" tripod legs rather then 2" tripod legs. Not sure if the mount head is any lighter though (I have not seen an EQ3 in person).

I own a CG-5 ASGT myself. I am thinking given the EQ3 is not going to be a *huge* difference in weight I would in your place go for a CG-5, but then keep an eye out on the classifieds here and on astromart for someone selling the 1.75" tripod to save on some weight, or someone who will trade for your 2" tripod. The 2" tripod is more stable of course, but you do have a fairly light load in mind and you did say you want as light as possible.

There is also an older aluminum tripod that came with CG-5/EQ-5 mounts in the past - I have no direct experience with them but I get the general impression it would be better to stick with the heavier 1.75" or 2" steel tripod even though they weigh more.

#3 Arbacia

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 07:51 AM

What about a Nexstar SE?
It can handle 12lb and can be placed in an urban backpack

#4 Bart

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:16 AM

CG-5. Easy to lift and move. You'll have something to grow into due to it's weight capacity of 35lbs. And at around $650 it's a bargain.

My two cents.

#5 Dragonwatcher

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 11:36 AM

I have a Nexstar 6/8SE mount (which I haven't used yet) but my understanding is while you can use the motors to follow an object, it doesn't track like a true GEM. Also, it has limits on length of a refractor before you start hitting the frame at certain elevations. I think my short tube 80mm MIGHT work but not my 125mm refractor (lightweight at 10 pounds but longer than the clearance.

So far, it sounds like the CG-5 GoTo version

#6 nemo129

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 05:44 PM

I think you would be good to go with the CG-5. They are light (relatively :) ) and easy to use, solid platform and can take a pounding. I really love mine! :jump:

#7 Arbacia

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:40 PM

CG5 GT is a very good option indeed. Strong, light and cheap. However, it need to be use on a tripod (6kg) or column. For transport the tripod and the counterwights are an issue.

Nexstar SE has tracking as any EQ (Sideral, solar, lunar & none), and can be mout on an EQ wedge. For sort tubes is OK, but long tubes will have an issue, especially looking near the zenit in AZ mode. Moreover, it can be use with no tripod at all. Frequently, I use it on a table as in that photo (Megrez 80 + coronado solarmax 40mm)

Try to use the Nexstar you have already before to buy a CG5 GT.

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#8 Trev

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 02:50 PM

Celestron Nexstar SLT mount is a step down from the SE mount but is capable of holding 12lbs. The factory mount tripod is shaky but easily replaced with an aluminium tripod.
My SVNHNG with binos and a 2" diagonal weights exactly 12lbs, focusing is a little shaky but when it's tracking it's very steady.

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#9 Renae Gage

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:57 AM

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Vixen Sphinx. It is the first mount that I have owned that is truly much smaller, lighter than anticipated and makes a great visual GOTO platform.

#10 RTLR 12

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:11 AM

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Vixen Sphinx. It is the first mount that I have owned that is truly much smaller, lighter than anticipated and makes a great visual GOTO platform.


Maybe that's because the OP was asking about mounts under $800. ALthough the Vixen is obviously a very good mount, it is just a little bit above the price point of the OP.

Stan

#11 waassaabee

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:32 AM

Another fan of the CG5 here!! Check around and you can usually find excellent condition used CG5's for under $500. Just make sure it's the upgradeable hand controller!!






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