Getting a GOTO mount for a Celestron 8" SCT
Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:39 AM
I have a Celestron G-8 8" SCT and I'm tired of manual operations, so I'd like to get a standard (not overly expensive) Autostar-controlled GOTO mount for it. As far as I can see, the two main options are:
1. Celestron CG-5. Pluses are that the tripod and mount itself are nearly identical to the G-8's GEM mount, and that it would most likely fit the dovetail attached to the scope. Minuses (from what I've read) is that it is very loud and needs to run on a car battery or a separate 12V power supply.
2. Meade LXD75 mount. Apparently, if you get the mount alone it can work with various other OTAs. Pluses are that it runs on D batteries. Minuses are that I'm not sure whether my SCT's dovetail will fit on it.
Has anyone used a Celestron 8" SCT with either of these mounts and do you have any feedback on either one? Is there another mount in this general price range (under $700) that might take its place?
Thank you in advance!
Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:45 AM
Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:55 AM
BOTH of these mounts can be powered by either a car battery, power tank, or AC adapter.
Both require about the same amount of current to operate.
The only difference in the power system is that the power tip is slightly different for each of these. This is no big deal as the adapters will come with the correct tip, or you can buy a "Universal" adapter that comes with a variety of different tip styles.
As for preferences, I agree that he Celestron hand controller function seems more user friendly because of the shortcut keys. The Meade requires a lot of menu scrolling.
That being said, the AutoStar software makes it possible to create customized tours, or to download things like Comet orbits. I didn't find this particularly useful for me, but some observers LOVE these features. If you want to image the ISS for example, the Meade might be a good choice.
But overall, I vastly perfer the Celestron hand control software.
My advice on this point is to download the manuals for each mount from the companies support web site.
Spend a few minutes imagining yourself doing an observing session. Going from Target A to Target B to Target C.
What you will see is that it takea a lot more button presses to get there in the Meade.
But I encourage you to do this exercise for yourself. You may find attributes for the LXD that makes you prefer it.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:04 PM
You don't mention if you are looking for an altaz or a GEM GOTO. I think autostar is a Meade trademark, nexstar is Celestron, Smartstar is Ioptron's GOTO system. I just got a Celestron 8" Edge and the Ioptron Mini tower. I was looking for an altaz to start with. I plan to get a GEM as I get more scope experience. I like the mini tower. The hand control is great and has 8 lines of display. Plus it has a built in GPS.The mini tower pro has thicker legs and I think better tracking. Ioptron's IEQ45 is a fairly new equatorial mount that looks decent. Time will tell... The Mini tower uses a vixen 1.75 inch dovetail. I need more time with my scope and mount, but this crazy winter in the northeast has kept me inside more nights than I had expected. My yard, deck and driveway have been almost unusable since December! Good luck. I wish there was more info on cloudy nights about the minitowers.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:26 PM