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Low cost mount/tripod recommended for 150mm Mak

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#1 k2power

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 10:08 PM

I just got an 150 mm Orion Mak OTA and am looking at various equatorial mount assemblies for it. would prefer to spend less than 200 but 250 is not out of the question. The Celestron CG4 loks best but I am curious if there are other dovetail equatorial tripods/mounts that I should look into. I don't do any photography so am not needing perfect stability. Used or new is fine. What models should I be looking into?

#2 k2power

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 06:27 PM

Anyone have suggestions? Anyone?

#3 Patrick

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:19 PM

I just got an 150 mm Orion Mak OTA



Is it a Mak Newt or a Mak Cass? Orion has sold both of them at one time or another. I looked at Orion's website and can't find either one now, so I assume it's used...?

If it's the Mak Cass, then the CG4 would probably be okay, but the Mak Newt would more than likely overwhelm the CG4.

Patrick

#4 Sarkikos

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:17 PM

Kevin,

For the Orion 150mm Mak-Cass, the CG4 should be fine. I've mounted my Bosma 150mm Mak on the CG4 with good results. If you don't mind an alt-azimuth mount, something like the Orion SkyView AZ or the AT Voyager would be a good choice.

Mike

#5 Wes James

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:43 PM

I would agree with Mike in recommending the AT Voyager... They're not too difficult to find used, too..

#6 Geo.

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:43 AM

With used CG-5s going for about $100 that's where I'd be looking. They're a little beefier than the CG-4/EQ-3, but really don't weigh a lot more. Aslo a Meade LXD-55 that's been stripped of its goto can be found for about the same price and it can assume the alt/az position. Pretty easy to put a drive on either of these mounts, too.

#7 hottr6

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

The CG-5 would be a good fit. Another good fit is the classic Vixen Polaris GEM. The latter is an excellent ride and a do-able GnG. The CG5 is a lot more massive.
Posted Image
I realize I am a little late on this thread, but I thought that my little bit of information maybe important to someone.

#8 Tim2723

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:54 AM

I've used the Orion Skyview Pro for several years with my Intes 6". They still offer the manual version which is all I use for visual observation often over 300x. I believe the Intes is a bit heavier than the Orion 150, so much the better.

#9 ohioalfa64

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

Hottr6,
Any concerns or problems with the 150mm Mak on the Vixen Polaris? This is what I want to do. What weight do you calculate the mount is carrying? 7 kg?, 8 kg?, 9 kg? Any stability problems from all that weight? What size counterweight do you use? As you can tell, I am concerned about weight and want to keep the Grab and Go capability of this setup.

#10 eyepiecedropper

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

hi, another vote for the eq-5. carries my skywatcher mak 180 with ease.

regards, martin

#11 ohioalfa64

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:44 PM

Are a 150mm Mak and a 180 comparible? One (the 150) has a OTA weight of 12-13 lbs. A 180mm OTA is approximately 18-19 lbs from what I can find online. Are there no GEM mounts/tripods that apply for the light end (10-12 lbs) without also including the higher end of this weight band (18-20 lbs)? It seems people always want a mount 1.5X the capacity of the scope. Are all the mounts that bad (flexible) and permit deflection during operation that they must be oversized?

#12 eyepiecedropper

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

it´s more about the price/performance ratio. in my opinion the eq-5 with steel tripod ist the smallest and cheapest well-working mount which is readily available. a -visually- very nice mount that also carries my lightweight 8 inch newtonian. the eq-3 has a shaky alumium tripod. buy it used. then it´s low cost. buy too cheap then you´ll buy twice. astronomy is a journey and mounts can get too small in a very short time. therfore i would prefer mid-range to low-range.

regards,martin

#13 hottr6

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

Hottr6,
Any concerns or problems with the 150mm Mak on the Vixen Polaris? This is what I want to do. What weight do you calculate the mount is carrying? 7 kg?, 8 kg?, 9 kg? Any stability problems from all that weight? What size counterweight do you use? As you can tell, I am concerned about weight and want to keep the Grab and Go capability of this setup.

I have no concerns at all with this rig, except when I am carrying the whole kit-and-kaboodle as a grab-n-go the 40' to it's observing spot. I'm nearing 60 y.o. and not the pup I used to be.

I use a counterweight and shaft from a CG5-class mount. I think it is 11 or 12 lbs, about the weight of the OTA. So even with all this weight, I find the mount very stable. The Polaris carries it all with elan, something I cannot say about the CG5 which always seems overwhelmed with anything larger than a 6" f/5 Newt or a 3.5" f/11 'frac. The CG5 is just not grab-n-go, though it will easily carry the Mak.

The Polaris is super smooth in use, and is hands down my most enjoyable mount to use... moreso than the CG5 and G8. The Polaris is not driven, though I have a drive for it. It is just so pleasant in use I chose not to fit the drive.

I regularly use mags up to 300x, and vibration is minimal. Wind seems to have no effect. Vibrations at these high mags damp in less than 2 seconds.

Seriously, if I had to choose just one 'scope/mount combo in my small family, it would be the 150mm Mak and Polaris, hands down. The others really do not even come close. The Mak is the weak link in the combo, as I am less than happy with the horrible mirror shift while focusing, and the 1.25" visual back.

And by golly, the Polaris comes with an eyepiece tray! :)

#14 Jaimo!

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

With my Intes MK-67, 150mm f/12, I use an old manual CG-5 and the OTA is rock solid! No problems with vibrations going above 375x, the seeing and light pollution are another thing... I generally use this Mak for planetary work and the added stability works well in this application. I have used the the Voyager with this scope, which works, but the CG-5 is so much more stable, especially at higher magnifications.

:penny: :penny:
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#15 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

Shane,

The Polaris carries it all with elan, something I cannot say about the CG5 which always seems overwhelmed with anything larger than a 6" f/5 Newt or a 3.5" f/11 'frac. The CG5 is just not grab-n-go, though it will easily carry the Mak.


I've never used a Polaris, but I agree with the comments about the CG5. I experimented with mounting a 10" f/5 Newt and then an 8" f/6 Newt on my CG5. No sir, I would not advise it. That mount is maxed out by about a 6" f/5 Newt or 6" Mak.

Mike

#16 hottr6

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

Shane,

The Polaris carries it all with elan, something I cannot say about the CG5 which always seems overwhelmed with anything larger than a 6" f/5 Newt or a 3.5" f/11 'frac. The CG5 is just not grab-n-go, though it will easily carry the Mak.


I've never used a Polaris, but I agree with the comments about the CG5. I experimented with mounting a 10" f/5 Newt and then an 8" f/6 Newt on my CG5. No sir, I would not advise it. That mount is maxed out by about a 6" f/5 Newt or 6" Mak.

Mike

I must add that my CG5-clone is on a heavy wooden surveyors tripod. This certainly increased the head's carrying capacity, but also makes it less convenient to carry around.

I must be less tolerant of vibration (induced by wind, focuser-manipulation or accidental bumps) than others, as I have seen posts of folk swearing by a 4" f/15 'frac on a CG5, that for me is an exercise in frustration and futility.

#17 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

That long double-cantilever of a very slow achromat can easily magnify vibrations, especially in a wind. I recently sold my C4-R. The 4" f/10 achro wasn't seeing much sky time. It was actually easier to take out and deal with my 8" f/6 Dob. The 8" gives better Moon and planet views, too.

Mike

#18 ohioalfa64

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

I am about to explore the merits of a 150mm Mak on the Vixen Polaris mount. Stay tuned.

#19 ohioalfa64

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

I have 6+ pounds on the Vixen Polaris counterweight shaft, and need about 100% more to balance. So, I require almost exactly what Hottr6 staed he needed in counterweight (see above).

#20 hottr6

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

Here my Polaris is carrying the Mak and a 12lb counter-weight.

Attached Files



#21 Sarkikos

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

Looking good!

:grin:
Mike

#22 ohioalfa64

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

Thanks for the photo.

#23 hottr6

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:14 PM

OK, I am going to revise my opinion of the 150mm Mak on a Polaris GEM.

I recently fitted a 2" Crayford focuser and 2" diagonal to the back of my Orion, and when used with a heavy eyepiece (e.g Vixen LVW in a 1.25"-to-2" convertor) seems to have pushed it over the edge when riding on my Polaris. It is fine at mags up to 25-30x/inch, but above that I am less tolerant of the vibration.

The Crayford is a valuable addition as I no-longer have to deal with the infuriating mirror shift. In order to retain the steadiness I have previously observed with my Orion/Polaris combo, I will replace the Crayford with a 1.25" Borg helical.

#24 ohioalfa64

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

It took 10 lbs of 2.5 lb ($2.00/ea) barbell weights in addition to the original 6.5 lb counterweight to balance my iOptron 150 Mak on the Vixen Polaris. Used Lowes purchased 16mm nuts and washers to secure them.






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