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Grab and go mount for AT72ED

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#1 Jeff2011

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

I have been looking for a grab and go Alt-Az mount for my AT72ED. So far the Vixen Porta II looks like a good choice. The mini looks too light weight to me. The scope and accessories is about 7lbs. The Porta II is a bit pricy, but appears to look very sturdy. Any suggestions?

#2 MRNUTTY

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:38 PM

hi Jeff, i chose between the Vixen, and the ioptron alt-az. by this time, ioptron may have more choise. i loe that scope

#3 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:31 PM

The Porta Mini is too light, and junky too. I have one.

The Porta II is nice, and can be had for about $279 with a little shopping. That's not bad, really, for what it is. But for another $100 or so, you can get it on the heavier duty HAL130SXG tripod. which makes it even nicer.

Also, if you have a buddy that wants a 3" achromat, you can get the A80Mf kit (80mm f/11.4 achromat with finder, diagonal, rings, dovetail and a couple of Plossls) on the Porta II for $399. The scope and accessories alone run $239, the mount alone runs $279, the two of you could split the savings difference proportionately on each piece. :grin:

Another option is the Desert Sky Astro DSV-1. You can get the single saddle version for $190 and put it on a clearance Oberwerk tripod for $119.

Regards,

Jim

#4 Jeff2011

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:21 PM

Thanks for the ideas Jim. I am not looking at getting anything much heavier than the Porta II. The idea of getting the kit is intriguing. I do have a friend looking for a refractor, but he was looking at something bigger than an 80.

The other mount that caught my eye was the ioptron cube pro. For $120 more than the Porta II, I can get goto and tracking, but I will be near the upper limit of the payload capacity for that mount.

#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:59 PM

You could use the AT72ED on the Nexstar SE mount, too:

Posted Image

Regards,

Jim

#6 Jeff2011

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:26 AM

I did not think of that. I guess I did not realize that they came with a standard vixen style mount. The NX 4/5 is on sale at astronomics right now for $330. That narrows the gap.compared to the Porta II to $50 minus the CN discount. A very attractive deal.

#7 herrointment

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:38 AM

Do note the focuser knob positions with the Celestron mount. Unconventional but it works fine.

#8 Guy Noir

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:25 AM

Hello Jim,
your SE mount seems to be an SE 6/8, is there enough space at zenith with the focuser tube all the way out (or almost)?
Would you happen to know if this set up (AT72ED) would also work on the SE 4/6 which is slightly smaller?

I am looking for a small goto travel mount for my AT72, and I had considered the SE line (either 4/5 or 6/8), or the new celestron skywatcher Allview mount.

For the OP, I have my AT72ED on an Astrotech voyager mount and it works very fine for me for dso and even Jupiter at higher mags (4 mm TV)
The reason I want to change is the goto :jump:

Cheers and beers,
Michael

#9 Jeff2011

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:47 AM

For the OP, I have my AT72ED on an Astrotech voyager mount and it works very fine for me for dso and even Jupiter at higher mags (4 mm TV)


Michael,

I looked at the voyager. Currently out of stock at Astronomics and could not find it elsewere. Astronomics has a good details on the NexStar 4/5. Looks like it will be able to handle the AT72ED just well.

I also live in a light polluted city and used to have problems identifying contstellations when going to a dark site. However, thanks to Sky Safari,I don't have the problem anymore. The Porta II is an eligant well built mount that seems to be very popular here on CN. Having used my Dob for a couple of years, I can do without goto, but tracking sure is nice. The extra $50 for the NextStar seems to be worth it for me. The only draw back is having to rely on batteries or bring my power pack with me. I thought this would be an easy decision but am now torn.

Jim,

Is that the pink AT72ED? Oh yea, I forgot, you are the most interesting astronomer in the universe. You can get away with that. I enjoyed reading your signature line. :lol:

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:52 AM

The AT72ED barely clears the arm and the top of the base on the larger 6/8 SE mount. I have my doubts that it would clear on the smaller Nexstar mount.

That's a $450 mount, but it does provide GOTO and Celestron's excellent Nexstar software. You can also use Sky Safari with a Sky Wire to operate the mount from an iOS or Androis device (phone, tablet, etc.) which is pretty nifty. One thing potentially that you could also do is extend the stock short dovetail on the scope by bolting on a second vixen dovetail beneath it, to increase the focuser knob clearance.

Here's a picture of my AT60EDT rather than my AT72ED on the mount illustrating how tight the knob clearance is with focuser in conventional layout, with a smaller scope than the AT72ED:

Posted Image

The AT72ED won't clear unless you mount it with the knobs as shown in my first picture. But with an extended depth dovetail, you might be able to increase knob clearance enough.

Yeah, my AT72ED is pink. Your eyes didn't trick you. :lol:

Posted Image

Regards,

Jim

#11 hottr6

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:53 AM

I looked at the voyager. Currently out of stock at Astronomics and could not find it elsewere.

The AT Voyager is now marketed as the VersaGo III by Orion, readily available from Orion.

#12 Guy Noir

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:12 AM

Thanks Jim for the info and pics ... considering the tight fit, maybe I will consider the Celestron/Skywatcher Allview mount, similar payload as the small SE mount, but scope can be mounted on the outside of the one arm fork ...
Oh and a pink scope, I must not let my 4 year old daughter see that one, she will so want it ... and put a "hello kitty" sticker on it :-)))
cheers,
Michael

#13 Agatha

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:56 AM

Hi Jeff,

There are so many choices. The AT Voyager is actually just like this one and is available. Link

The Orion Versago III is just like the Explore Scientific Twilight I.

I have the Porta as well as the other 2 mentioned. I like them all but I do admit I like the Porta the most. It is very light and quite capable with my AT 72.

I don't have a Celestron Nextar at all so I don't know if you can just swing the scope around without using the hand control. Others can certainly answer that.

Agena also has the Porta in stock.

FWIW, I think that both the Porta and the Voyager are smoother than the ES Twilight I.

Good luck choosing. :)

Best, Linda B.

#14 Jeff2011

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:01 PM


I looked at the voyager. Currently out of stock at Astronomics and could not find it elsewere.

The AT Voyager is now marketed as the VersaGo III by Orion, readily available from Orion.


I think it is the VersaGo II not III.

#15 Jeff2011

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:08 PM

Jim,

Thanks for the info and pics. It has been very helpful. You ought to incorporate that pink scope in your sig line. Something like owning a pink scope increases your testosterone or something like that. :grin:

#16 Agatha

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

Jeff,

Yes indeed, Jim's pink scope is a real looker. But even more than that, I covet the Tak Teegul Lapides mount that he has it on, but that is for another thread. :)

Here is a pic of AT 72 on the Porta with an added dovetail to aid in better balancing. If the little built in dovetail foot is reversed for better balance, it can get in the way of the focuser. This gives a bit better clearance.

Best, Linda B.

Attached Files



#17 Agatha

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:22 PM

And here is a better pic of the added AT dovetail.

Scopestuff offers a dovetail for this exact purpose, but I find that I like the AT version better since the underside is open and much better suited for more choice in distances.

Best, Linda B.

Attached Files



#18 jrbarnett

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:09 PM

Linda, the extra dovetail looks like it works extremely well. I'm gonna copy you!

:grin:

- Jim

#19 Jeff2011

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:59 PM

I have noticed that the AT72 is a little rear end heavy when I balance it on my AVX. The little dove tail plate looks like it solves that. I am going to get me one of those. Thanks for posting your pics Linda.

#20 Agatha

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:49 AM

The dovetail doesn't completely solve the balance issue but does improve it. And if needed can rotate focuser as Jim has shown also. For fun, I am going to try a 2" diagonal in the scope and a heavier eyepiece to really throw the balance off. I'm thinking that I can rig up a small counterweight (from my little collection) on the front of the dovetail. There's always a way to tinker around some of these little issues. That's part of the fun. :)

Let us know what you decide for your g and g mount Jeff.

Best, Linda B.

#21 Jeff2011

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:30 AM

I am thinking of going with the NexStar SE. I will take my chances with the smaller one (4/5) and hope that the dovetail will add extra clearance. Won't be a big deal if not since viewing at the zenith is not very comfortable anyways. This won't be my primary mount anyways since, I will be using the AVX at home.

Jim and Linda, thanks again for you recomendations. Jim, I hope you did not take offense to my comment about your pink scope. I think it is an awesome scope and thought it might be funny to add something in your sig line in the spirit of the most interesting astronomer in the universe.

#22 Agatha

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:46 AM

Jeff,

The Nexstar SE sounds like a lot of fun. Please post pics when you are set with new mount. It's always exciting. :)

Best, Linda B.

#23 Jeff2011

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:18 PM

Just pulled the trigger on it and the dovetail at Astronomics. I will post pics when I get it setup. The other nice part about it is that I already own a Celestron mount so the comming up to speed time should be quicker for me.

#24 Jeff2011

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:06 PM

Update:

Here it is. I needed the dovetail plate. With the focuser fully extended, I just can't quite get to the zenith, but I won't need to extended it that far to get focus with the EP. Plus the mount has a configurable altitude limit.

Attached Files



#25 Agatha

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 02:12 PM

Jeff,

Looks great. Have fun. :jump:


Best, Linda B.






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