Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

List of compact portable tracking mounts

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 core

core

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1525
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

Since there's been quite a few threads going on recently, I thought a 'master' list of what's commercially available would be a great resource. A couple of notes:

a) quite a few of the mounts are from Japan/China/Taiwan/HK, if you click on the links in Chrome browser it should automatically translate it to English (or what ever else you need) - if not cut and past url to translation site.

b) Estimated base prices are from websites that I have found; take it as more of a ballpark figure.

c) iirc forum rules prevent posting pictures that do not belong to the poster (including mfg photos) - it would be nice if it were possible to include a quick snapshot of each mount imo.

So here goes:

1) Vixen Polarie US$430 - 4 track rates

2) Vixen GP2 Photo Guider US$1,100 - complete with wedge, tripod

3) Kenko Sky Memo US$800 - two versions, R and RS (adds 4 track rates)

4) AstroTrac US$580 - 3 track rates

5) Losmandy StarLapse US$700 - 9 track/pan rates

6) TOAST Pro US$1,100 - 2 track rates

7) unitec SWAT-200 US$1,000 - 6 track/pan rates

8) Sightron nano-tracker US$250 - 5 track/pan rates

9) MusicBox EQII US$250 - mechanical wind-up tracker!

10) eyeball CD-1 US$435

11) Pentax O-GPS1 (technically not a mount, but it tracks! ;) ) US$200 - useable on some Pentax DSLR

12) PanHeadEQ US$550 - 6 track/pan rates

13) Takahashi Teegul Sky Patrol III US$1,300

14) Takahashi PM-1 US$3,200 - 5 or 7 track/pan rates, multi-configuration GEM, 2nd version PM-1XY

15) Orion Min-EQ Tabletop EQ manual drive US$70, drive motor +$80

16) iOptron SmartEQ GOTO GEM US$399, complete with tripod, US$60 polar scope optional

17) iOptron SmartEQ Pro US$499 - metal gears ,polar scope, guide port

#2 Traveler

Traveler

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1385
  • Joined: 19 Aug 2007
  • Loc: The Netherlands

Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:08 AM

Thanks for this list Peter!

#3 themos

themos

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2008

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:17 AM

you forgot http://www.amazon.co..._pr_product_top

#4 core

core

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1525
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:37 AM

Updated with Orion's tabletop mount - thanks!. hmm, I was thinking since skymemo is in the list, iOptron's SmartEQ at <14lb should make it there to?

... and maybe the list should be in 2 approximate categories - on one end there's GEM type mounts like the StarLapse (9lb head alone) and SmartEQ , and on the other are the really compact trackers like the Polarie ...

#5 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11932
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:45 AM

Yes, the iOptron SmartEQ is specifically sold as a lightweight portable tracking mount.

-Dan

#6 *skyguy*

*skyguy*

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Western New York

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

Great list ... you might consider the GOTO Ioptron Smarteq GEM ($399) for this list. Its innovative design that places all the weight of the batteries, drive motors and gears below the polar axis allows the attachment of a DSLR and lens (up to 4 lbs.) without the need of a counterweight.

https://www.ioptron....eb-0c0ba49ddf1d

Thanks for posting ...

#7 Phil Wheeler

Phil Wheeler

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2018
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2005
  • Loc: 3 miles WNW of Celestron

Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:05 AM

Great list. I wish I'd seen it *before* buying my Polarie. Not that I'm disappointed with the Polarie, just that I might have gone for something with a bit more weight capacity. But it will hold my 60Da with 200L f/2.8 lens so probably would still have chosen the Vixen Polarie.

#8 themos

themos

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2008

Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:15 AM

Plenty of choice, covering $150 EQ1-M - $1300 Teegul!

#9 Joe Cipriano

Joe Cipriano

    Entropy Personified

  • *****
  • Posts: 8094
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Uh... anyone have a GPS?

Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:48 PM

Good reference. Should probably be pinned, or added to the "Best Threads" list.

#10 chboss

chboss

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 737
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Zurich Switzerland

Posted 26 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

Excellent list Peter!

regards
Chris

#11 Don Trinko

Don Trinko

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2272
  • Joined: 05 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Ohio

Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:46 AM

Celestron SLT is portable and OK for a small scope. Don T.

#12 core

core

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1525
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:39 AM

A quick bump and single update to the list ;)

18) iOptron SkyTracker US$349 - built-in 'wedge', 2 rates, $50 polar scope option

Might have to revise the MSRP listing for the Japanese mounts in the initial post, since the Yen/USD has shifted quite a bit in the last 3 months.

hmm, wondering if the SLT be included - not a dedicated tracker, may require some add-ons for polar alignment, but at around $100 used imo it's mighty tempting; even has goto! (fwiw I do have a SLT but haven't considered using it in EQ mode)

... oh and one more thing, pic of prototype/to-be-released mount from Sightron, even smaller than the nano-tracker, battery and controls on the unit itself (rather than a separate hand box for power and controls).

Attached Files




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.



Recent Reviews


Imaging/Sketching Contest






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics