Jump to content


Photo

Alt-Az Tracking Mounts?

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 BillP

BillP

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11677
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Vienna, VA

Posted 03 April 2011 - 08:06 PM

Can anyone recommend a very good and stable Alt-Az with tracking for a TSA-102? Need a setup for tracking so I can concentrate more on sketching.

Alternately, guess I could just get an RA drive for my CG-4 mount as a cheaper solution...but me and GEMs have never seen eye to eye so that is a backup plan.

#2 M44

M44

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 309
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2007
  • Loc: SoCal.

Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:24 PM

Hi! Bill,

I am also interested in one.

I sold my GEM and placed an order for Super Halfhitch. Charles of Halfhitch telescopes will be working on a tracking platform shortly. I am sure it takes time to develop a brand new tracking platform.

For TSA 102, a Quarterhitch with tracking would be perfect.

#3 Ira

Ira

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2625
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:42 AM

iOptron MiniTower and MT Pro.

/Ira

#4 marked

marked

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Silverthorne, CO

Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:12 AM

I use an iOptron MiniTower with my TV102. The combo works very well.

Ed

#5 BillP

BillP

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11677
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Vienna, VA

Posted 04 April 2011 - 10:57 AM

Have you had the MT modded with that aftermarket upgrade to tighten it and put in better gears/bearings? I see lots of posts about the aftermarket service, which I believe is way expensive, but not sure if their current offerings need it or not.

How often do you use yours with the TV 102? Is the got and tracking accurate? Any complaints?

#6 neotesla

neotesla

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:50 PM

Have you had the MT modded with that aftermarket upgrade to tighten it and put in better gears/bearings? I see lots of posts about the aftermarket service, which I believe is way expensive, but not sure if their current offerings need it or not.


I've been told that the primary reason that there has been problems with the MT is that people tend to load them to their limits or beyond. If you keep the total wieght below it should be no problem. Just remember to factor in all the bits and pieces, the mounting brackets, dovetail, diagonals, EP...

#7 FeynmanFan

FeynmanFan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 586
  • Joined: 18 Feb 2011
  • Loc: N Colo front range

Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:21 PM

Hi Bill,

I bought one of the first MTs right after they came out. It has served me very well. Other than the common complaint about the connection to the GPS module being loose and the need to make sure the altitude lock is tight, I've had no issues. After doing an alignment and then synching it to the next few objects, I find the gotos to be very accurate, and the tracking exceptional (finding Jupiter still near the center of an 8mm Plossl field after over an hour away). I don't stress it much, using only a 6" SCT or an ETX90 tube. I can't comment on the stability of the tripod because I always observe seated and the legs are barely extended. I really like mine. Good luck in your search.

#8 marked

marked

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Silverthorne, CO

Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:19 AM

Bill,

My MT has no modifications. It has had it's issues (see this thread: here , but they were all sorted out using iOptron's phone support and quick shipping of parts to me (at no charge).

I only get to use mine periodically, mainly during the summer when I'll use it several times a week. As HeynmanFan said, with proper set up and after an alignment and a few sync's it has accurate goto's and tracking.

Given the options available, I think for the price it has served me well.

[Note: edited to fix broken/long url link]

#9 Scott Rose

Scott Rose

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 727
  • Joined: 20 Apr 2008
  • Loc: beachwood ohio

Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:08 AM

I would avoid the minitower. I have had two that both died after a couple of months. Unrealiable, poor quality control, and customer service is not great.

#10 neotesla

neotesla

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:32 PM

http://www.telescope..._goto_mount.htm

Anyone hear anything about this one? 8Kg payload...

#11 t.r.

t.r.

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4449
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008
  • Loc: 1123,6536,5321

Posted 09 April 2011 - 06:29 AM

Bill, there is the JMI Train-n-Track available for Voyager and Porta alt/az mounts. Gives 10 minutes of uninterrupted viewing before quick reset. Personally, I like the CG-4 & RA motor option...unlike you, for planetary viewing, I can't seem to get away from GEMS and love the stability and tracking ease. But yes, that portability factor of alt/az mounts is the brass ring! The quarter and half-hitches are the bomb but, boy are they expensive.

http://www.jimsmobil...y_acc_altaz.htm



#12 Mogster

Mogster

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2004
  • Loc: Manchester, England

Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:00 AM

The mini tower is OK. I had the standard loose GPS connector but I was almost expecting that and after tightening the connector to the board under the top panel everythings worked fine. It gets plenty of use in the summer with my Solarscope sometimes double mounted with my ED80 for white light.

I wouldn't overload the standard tripod but as long as you stay within weight limits its a nice thing. I wouldn't mind the heavier tripod for mine but nobody in the UK seems to stock them.

#13 neotesla

neotesla

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:53 AM

The Minitower Pro is now $1000, down from $1300... 33lb cap, on one arm and 11lb on the other.

#14 LouP

LouP

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 198
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2009

Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:29 AM

I would avoid the minitower. I have had two that both died after a couple of months. Unrealiable, poor quality control, and customer service is not great.


Sorry but I need to disagree based on my experiences with iOptron. See my "New Mount" thread for the details. I understand that we all can have different experiences but this seems like such an extreme from how well they have assisted me.

LouP

#15 donnie3

donnie3

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2712
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2004
  • Loc: bartlesville oklahoma

Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:22 PM

i would not buy a product where you had to send it to another company in order to upgrade it to produce a quality mount. that should tell you a lot about the product. it would be like buying a new car, then have to take it to a auto service shop to get the motor rebuilt. CRAZY!!!!

#16 Wes James

Wes James

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5504
  • Joined: 12 Apr 2006

Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:02 PM

i would not buy a product where you had to send it to another company in order to upgrade it to produce a quality mount. that should tell you a lot about the product. it would be like buying a new car, then have to take it to a auto service shop to get the motor rebuilt. CRAZY!!!!



You mean- kind of like the late '60's Carroll Shelby Mustang GT-350's??
That are now worth HUGE amounts of money?? ;)

#17 donnie3

donnie3

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2712
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2004
  • Loc: bartlesville oklahoma

Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:10 PM

i had a couple mustangs in my younger days, 65 and 67. very fine autos. built to last! i drove the he-- out of them, of coarse gas was a lot cheaper then, ha, ha.

#18 Wes James

Wes James

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5504
  • Joined: 12 Apr 2006

Posted 21 April 2011 - 11:29 AM

... And don't you wish one of them had the Shelby nameplate in it??? *s*
Wes

#19 donnie3

donnie3

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2712
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2004
  • Loc: bartlesville oklahoma

Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:00 PM

yes! but i would rather have a 1913 bu liberty head nickel.

#20 Ira

Ira

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2625
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:53 PM

I ordered a MiniTower Pro to be upgraded by Steve Chase at Trapezium Telescopes. I also ordered the equatorial wedge option for it, designed by Steve and available from APM. I'll let you know how it works out if it ever gets here.

/Ira






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics