I've been using a couple of scopes over the last few years on a couple of semi-usable mounts: an SVR7)ED on a heavy photo tripod with an Astrotrac, and an AT6RC screwed into a old Great Polaris mount. Neither set got used much. The Astrotrac was a bit finicky (and I kept forgetting the battery pack) and my setup didn't handle a scope well due to an odd design issue with the Astrotrac wedge, and the GP screwed into the mounting rail of the AT6RC which I found not a particularly secure way to transport a scope.
After visiting Universal Astronomics two weeks ago, I decided to order a Unistar Deluxe. VERY solid mount and nice smooth motions. It showed up this afternoon via FedEx. I spent MUCH more time looking for a box wrench with which to disassemble the top of my existing tripod so I could attach the Unistar than it took me to attach the Unistar and set up my AT6RC.
The weather forecast for tomorrow and Saturday night are both for clear skies with mild temps and winds; not too common in the Northeast this time of year.
I find myself giddy with anticipation. A can safely and easily carry the AT6RC in a Fat Max case (instead of leaving the AT6RC attached the tripod and the setup laid in the back of my van), and I don't have to balance the AT6RC while attaching it to the mount. The SVR70ED will be trivially easy to attach. Setup is going to require a minute or two at most; no batteries, wires, or polar alignment.
I'm going to make a point of leaving my tripod, mount, both scopes, my eyepieces, observing chair, and additional 'stuff' in my van for the remainder of the winter and spring, ready to take off for a viewing location on a minute's notice. No need to let the scopes come to temperature.
The Unistar has freed me from even the slightest complexity. It's just me, a scope, and the sky! Yay!
Pre first-light review: UA Unistar Deluxe
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