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help me decide - simplified version

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#1 Guy Noir

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:20 PM

ok, my plea for advice was likely much too verbose or complicated
http://www.cloudynig...5785269/page...

so here is the simplified version:
I need advice on a travel goto mount for AT72 short tube refractor (3.4 kg)
NexStar 4/5 SE ??? or
NexStar SLT ??? or
NEW Celestron/SkyWatcher Allview Alt/Az mount ???

Help me make the right choice ...
Thanks a bunch
Michael

#2 rmollise

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:34 PM

What do you want to do with this mount other than carry it around on a dadgum aeroplane?

#3 Pinbout

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

how about a ioptron's smarteq

#4 Guy Noir

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:10 PM

good question

1) enjoy night skies and views of dso's in a most time efficient manner in accord with the fact that as overworked dad I got 2 lil' babies needing my attention 20/24 ... (reason 1 for goto)
2) when traveling to dark skies I am overwhelmed by so many stars (because I live in light infested suburban hell) I can not find my a..h.le from a hole in the ground ... (reason 2 for goto)
3) I am strictly visual ... (reason for stable but small mount)
4) means no imaging (ditto)
5) don't want to check my mount or scope with airlines since they can not be relied on delivering a stack of lead bricks on time, to the right place, undamaged ... (reason for small light weight mount)

all was pretty much explained in my original (other) post :foreheadslap:

Cheers and beers,

M.

#5 Mike X.

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:04 PM

I would not recommend the slt mount. Not because is not a good one, the head is ok and precise enough for visual but the tripod ruins everything.
If you mount it on a more sturdy tripod it is really nice

#6 Guy Noir

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Mike X for your input - I suspected the SLT tripod to be somewhat flimsy ... any suggestions on what tripod to mount the SLT head on, particularly for travel? I know there are light weight travel tripods around for cameras or binos, but not sure what there is for slightly larger Alt/Az heads ... btw, the Allview mount is supposed to have 1.5" diam legs, is this better than the SLT tripod???
Cheers and thanks
Michael

#7 Mike X.

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

The 1.5" inch mount of the allview mount i don't know it, i haven't seen it personally so i can't tell you for sure.Probably yes.
With the actual tripod the SLT is really sensitive to the slightest touch which can be annoying.
I can post you a photo of the SLT when i used it a couple of years back with an ED80 so you can have an idea of the dimensions of the tripod. (it is at the bottom of the page).
http://www.webalice....aris/M31FT.html

.Probably the SE series tripods would have been a better choice for C. to pair with this mount.

I hope i've been of help.

#8 Guy Noir

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:05 AM

Hello Mike X - thanks again - you're right, from your pic it looks like the SLT tripod legs are a little "thin" ... the value of 1.5" for the legs for the Allview mount I got from some website (not sure any more which one), but one can never be sure about it ...

In your opinion, what was the goto accuracy of your SLT mount? What I like about the NexStar system (SLT or SE) is the fact that like the celestron CG5-GT mount, which I have, they are tried and true systems, that have "most" of the bugs worked out (unlike some new(er) mounts, e.g. iOptron tower, or LX80, etc ...), so one knows what to expect ... since I have just learned about this Allview mount, despite the fact its been around for about 2 years without a review (could not find one), I am not sure I want to opt for an unknown quantity ...

So would you think that the mechanics and the goto on the SLT is "good enough" for use with a wide field refractor (like my AT72)?
If you had to do it over again, what tripod would you suggest for the SLT to improve stability, but retain portability?

Thanks again for your advice,
Michael

#9 Mike X.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:39 AM

Hello Noir, it's a pleasure.
The slt can be ok for a short refractor like the 72mm you mention.
I used it with it's original 102/660 refractor and the 80/500 ED refractor and at these focal lengths the goto accuracy was satisfactory.
Do not expect it to be near the accuracy of a cg5-gt.I have also a cg5 which I use for photography and it is a completely different world.
the slt is nice for planets and wide field gotos.
Regarding the bugs now .
Most of them are worked out.
one bug I still get even with the latest firmware is cord wrap.So you have to keep an eye to the cord during slews.The mount tends to make a goto not always towards the Shortest way..
The other I had was that the alt axis needed some tightening but it is a really easy job, there is one screw that tightens the axis once you open the mount.pretty straight forward.
Regarding the tripod, depends how portable you want it.
On the cg5 tripod it becomes rock solid.
personally if I had to buy a tripod I would go for the lighter versions the cg4 or the SE series have and I would try to find a way to adapt the mount on it.In the used market you may find some in a good price from time to time.
Another solution ,which we tried and it might not be pretty but it works out nicely, could be to mount it on a small wooden surface,A small, table or something similar.Wood is easy to work with and you could adapt the mount on it very easily.
(Sorry for the typos , i'm writing from a cell phone at the moment :) )

#10 Guy Noir

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

Thanks Mike X, lots of good info ... btw, can the slt be moved in alt or az, or both, without motors, i.e. by hand without loosing goto alignment? Like, loosenig a clutch and push to the aproximate position, then retighten clutch and use goto for final approach ... it would need double encoders for that ...
Best regards,
Mike

#11 Mike X.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:17 AM

No problem Mike,
No the SLT cannot be used manually without losing alingment and as far as i know, at least the model i have, has no cluthces at all.So you will need to use it with some sort of a power source.It does take 8 AA small batteries if you want to..but..they don't last too much.A small power tank is the best solution..even a small alarm battery so you don't have to carry with you a heavy battery. ;)

#12 Guy Noir

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:53 AM

I see - so in that sense the new celestron Allview mount, having clutches and dual encoders, would have the advantage of being "push to" without loosing alignment ... of course a power soure is needed for the encoders and controler ... by alarm battery, you mean like the ones used as backup for house alarms?
Cheers
Michael

#13 Geo.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:04 AM

The 4SE has the advantage of of using Celestron's time worn wedge bolt pattern. The former Nexstar 8 tripod will accept the 4SE mount. You want the one with the slide rule type aluminum legs. Replace these with some sturdy wood legs and you'll have what you need.






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