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Next step: Astrophotography

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#1 Fernando134

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

Dear all,

After many years observing with a very small telescope, and now, with more time available to study and observe, I got a Celestron CPC800 for observing. I'm enjoying it very much. I am currently investing in acquiring quality eyepieces (Nagler, Ethos, Panoptic) and other equipments. For 2014, I am planning to start in astrophotography. During 2013 I intend to research and study about equipments and techniques for astrophotography. And hear the thoughts of those with accumulated experience in the Forum. Right now (I have a DSLR Canon 50D), I am praticing with the tripod and soon prime focus.

The first research I did was about equatorial mounts. After decided which mount, I will do some research on telescope (the CPC800? a 90 - 100 mm apo?), guider and so on. The mounts that seemed appropriate for my budget are:

Orion Atlas EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount.

Losmandy G 11 Equatorial Mount with Tripod G11-S

Losmandy G 11 Equatorial Mount with Tripod and Gemini GoTo System G11-G

Could you comment on the pros and cons of each?

The descriptions about the mounts are extremely technical, limiting very much my understanding :confused:. For example, the price difference between the Losmandy is $ 1,000.00. Besides the Gemini GoTo System G11-G, is there any other reason for such a difference in price?

Thanks in advance,

Fernando

#2 SKYGZR

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:43 PM

Can't go wrong with an Atlas and EQMOD.

#3 terry59

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:57 PM

The materials used and overall fit/finish for one. Gemini is superior to SynScan but EQMOD makes them more alike there. The Losmandy mounts support Ethernet and wireless connectivity. Using EQMOD makes the $300 handset worthless but you can no longer buy a mount without one. Parts are readily available for the Losmandy mounts and maintenance is easy. That is not true of the Orion mounts.

I own both the GM-8 and Sirius. If I had to pick one it would be the GM-8

#4 Patrick

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 12:06 AM

I got a Celestron CPC800 for observing.



Have you considered putting your CPC800 on a Celestron HD Pro or MItty Wedge? You would then add an ADM MDS dovetail on the top and bottom of the OTA. The lower dovetail plate you'd use for an ADM counterweight. The upper one you'd use to mount an 80-90mm refractor for imaging/guiding.

I think that would be less expensive than going with a new GEM mount. The CPC mounts are capable of tracking quite well. It's at least something to consider. The one negative is that you're not going to be able to swap out the C8 like you could with a GEM mount.

Here's a CPC1100 on a Mitty Wedge with an AT66ED refractor. Here's an image of M27 taken with the setup.

Patrick

#5 Fernando134

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:34 PM

Thanks Patrick!

Great pictures. Hope I will be able to take pictures like that in the future!!!!

Your CPC1100 is in an observatory, right? Is it permanently mounted?

Right now, my CPC800 is in my country-side place, where I spent mostly weekends. I am planning in the future to built an observatoyr there. Nowadays, I have to put the telescope together for every observation. I am wondering how would be this routine with a wedge.

#6 Patrick

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:17 PM

Right now, my CPC800 is in my country-side place, where I spent mostly weekends. I am planning in the future to built an observatoyr there. Nowadays, I have to put the telescope together for every observation. I am wondering how would be this routine with a wedge.



I imagine it's much easier to put a CPC800 on a wedge than the CPC1100. :smirk: I think putting together a GEM mount is probably as much work as putting a fork mount on a wedge. The GEM mount has more pieces to assemble and the total weight is actually greater than the similar fork mount. However, each of those pieces is typically less than the weight of the fork and scope of the CPC800.

Your CPC1100 is in an observatory, right? Is it permanently mounted?



I have a permanent pier, but no observatory, so I have to setup and tear down each time. I no longer have the wedge and I mainly use the CPC1100 as my outreach telescope when doing school stargazing programs. I wish I did have an observatory so that I could leave everything setup. It can take me up to 2 hours to setup and by that time I'm sometimes ready to call it a night. :crazy:

At present my imaging setup is an EdgeHD 8"/AT66ED refractor mounted on a CGEM mount. The CPC1100 was getting to be too heavy for me to set on the wedge, but once setup it was a nice rig and worked well. The CPC800 is significantly smaller than the CPC1100 (42 lbs vs 65 lbs), so it would be easier to mount. I would have considered going that route again if I hadn't purchased the CGEM already for a different scope.

Patrick

#7 Fernando134

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:39 PM

Hi Patrick,

Thanks again. That is a great, hands on, practical advice. I am 63 now. So far, is not a big deal moving the CPC800 in and out. But I can antecipate that this will change soon. Also, I have to think and research a lot before making any move. I am in Brasil and custom service, technical support for itens bought in the US may be an issue.

Fernando






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