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Need some help with MOUNT OPTIONS

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#1 lw24

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:21 PM

Hi all,

I've come to the conclusion that I need to replace my AZ3 mount as it's not very useable with my 120ST Refractor. I have a few ideas on what mount to get:

AZ4 Stainless Steel Legs:
I've heard good reviews about this mount. My only problem with it, is the size. How big is it, when the legs are shortened fully?

EQ3-2 Mount:
Don't really like the idea of Polar Aligning, but gives me tracking and slow motion controls. Also a bit cheaper.

The ideal choice would be the AZ4 on Aluminium Legs, but apparently this isn't a great combination as the legs are a bit wobbly.

What are your thoughts on what I should go for?

#2 solshaker

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:46 PM

ive never used an AZ mount. i do own an astroview (i believe its the same mount). if youre only doing visual observing, you dont have to get precise with polar alignment. just set your latitude and point the ra axis north and youre good to go. if you wanted to get closer, you can just center polaris in the bore of the ra axis, you dont even need a polar scope. youll need to make occasional tweaks in dec to compensate for the drift but since youve been using an az mount that shouldnt bother you.

your 120st should ride just fine and the set up might still be light enough for you to carry out in one trip. ive used my astroview with my 120f/8 and 102f/5. the longer tube of the f8 made for shaky focusing but when dialed in with a gentle touch the mount tracked along great. with the smaller f5 scope its rock solid.

i would strongly recommend a tracking motor for the ra axis. its great not having to chase objects through the ep and you can relax and concentrate on the views.

#3 stevenf

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:42 PM

I tried to buy an AZ4 this weekend lw, to put my own ST120 on. But when I got home they had given me an HDAZ instead! So I can't help you much other than to say that the HDAZ is pretty superb so far. I think it uses the same steel legs as the AZ4 and mine are about four feet at their shortest. They are big!

I hear nothing but good things about the AZ4 and I think you would be fine with aluminum legs. They can be upgraded later on if you really don't like them, but I found they weren't the weak link in the AZ3/ST120 combination so much as the altitude bolt on the mount itself.

If you go with the EQ3-2 you have the option for setting the mount up in alt-az mode, so you might get the best of both worlds. Don't be scared of polar aligning. Just point the scope north and set your latitude, that's enough for a rough alignment.

Good luck!






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