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How heavy-duty a mount for 10" RC

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#1 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:00 AM

I'm building a 10" Ritchey-Chretien scope (using wonderful Star Instruments optics) that I have almost got ready to put on a mount. What I'm wondering is, how reliable are the manufacturer's ratings of what a mount's load-capacity is? And are those values likely to be substantially different in terms of reliability from one manufacturer to another? Is there a minimum price-range I should be looking at?

Tube specs:
OTA weight w/o eyepiece ~20 lbs.
Tube is 12.4" diameter and 30" long
(not counting the eyepiece holder--so with a decent eyepiece, it'll be between 36 & 40" sky-end to exit-pupil).

I don't want to get something that will be jiggly (been there, done that), but I also don't want to get something that will be a real pain to move around (so I'm hoping to keep the weight of the mount/tripod low enough that I won't not use it because it's a beast to move around). I do not anticipate doing long exposure astrophotography or even spending the money to get the gear to do it. I'm mostly interesting in viewing and would like to get back into school outreach (which I enjoyed doing some of in my younger days).

As a concrete example, I've looked at the iOptron iEQ30 which is supposedly rated at 31 lbs capacity. Assuming there's a decent finder and perhaps (if I ever tried it) a piggy-back camera or moderate refractor on the thing, it would seem that ~30 lbs would be a reasonable amount of actual weight. So, is that mount really going to be hefty enough or should I be looking at the iEQ45 (rated at 45 lbs)? Another mount I've considered is the Celestron CGEM (which one place lists as having a 40 lb capacity--overkill or about right if the ratings are optimistic?). Interestingly enough the CGEM DX appears to be exactly the same mount on a heftier tripod and the same place says it's rated at 50 lbs. The lower-down-the-price-chain VX says it will take 30 lbs, but a review I found suggested that was optimistic and you'd be better off w/ half that.

So, suggestions, experiences, advice, tales of woe or joy--all most welcome!

John

#2 orlyandico

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:27 AM

My first thought was "a Mach1 will carry that" - Mach1 is rated at 45lb, and it's a real 45lb. But that's a long tube, so for imaging I'd be more comfortable with an AP900 - what's the use of great optics if you can't get tight stars due to bad guiding and a wobbly mount.

But since you're visual only.. A Mach1 would be great, and it's lightweight. A CGEM would probably work, but it's heavy. So between a CGEM and an iEQ45, the '45 weighs less and so is more desirable. G11 would work too, but also heavy.

So... I'd say Mach1 or iEQ45.

#3 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:31 AM

Well, I can vouch for the LX850 mount load capacity.

Currently it easily handles the approximate 72 lb load I put on it. Very rock solid. The mount itself is easy in itself to move around in this size class.

Regarding visual and back to school outreach, even though the mount's primary focus is AP, it does work great for visual and video. Certainly the one part I like in this department is the steady views, easy alignment process (including automatic drift alignment), and the high precision pointing. Set-up for gotos is very quick and easy, and targets will be dead on all night.

#4 andysea

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 09:12 AM

I have imaged with the 10" Astro tech RC on the Mach1 and on the Tak NJP. My scope was about 40lb. fully loaded. They both worked fine.

Andy

#5 rmollise

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:48 AM

I didn't see a price range, so be prepared for posts urging you to drop 10K + on an AP. That is not bad advice if you can afford it. If not look at:

Celestron CGE Pro
SkyWatcher EQ-8
Losmandy Titan

;)

#6 Footbag

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:20 AM

For visual only, I would think that the IEQ45 and CGEM DX are more then adequate. Plus, it kind of stinks to worry about a very expensive mount while doing outreach. I have a CG5 clone that I use for that.

I love my Mach 1, but if it wasn't for imaging, I would own a cheaper mount and more expensive OTA.

#7 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:29 AM

Hey, thanks for pointing out a major left-it-out item, Uncle Rod.

Neither 10K+ nor anything like it is in the budget. That would definitely not get by the "CFO" (and would be more than I'd want to spend anyway--would not be worth it for the time available). I'm looking to spend no more than ~2.5K (and would be happier in the 1 to 2K range). That puts the Mach1 out of range (unless someone is giving one away)--that certainly appears to be a beautiful mount, to be sure; the LX850 would be over-budget too (again, unless someone's got a used one they don't need their investment back on ;-)

John

#8 cn register 5

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:33 AM

It might be worth considering the AVX. My experience is that it carries at least 25 lbs for imaging. That's a 6" GSO RC with a Moonlite focuser, filter wheel, ATIK 383L+ camera and a ST80 with an ART 429 camera for guiding.

Celestron seem to be far less optimistic about what this mount will carry than they have been, that's why they give it a lower weight limit than the CG-5, even though it is obviously much more solid.

I think that, especially for visual, you can take this to the limit, and probably beyond. Borrowing a mount to try first would be ideal of course.

Chris

#9 WesC

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:58 AM

I think the CGEM DX would be good. If you want to do AP, you need a lot more mount capacity than what your weight is...

#10 rmollise

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:21 PM

I would say, then, seriously look at the Synta (Orion/Skywatcher) AZ-EQ6

#11 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 04:15 PM

Anyone know how easy/hard it is to get the IEQ45? The CGEM?

#12 Raginar

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 09:26 PM

AlphaGJohn,

IT's very easy to find either of them.

#13 Erik30

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 01:07 AM

I have the iEQ45 and the CG5-GT. I LOVE my iEQ45 mount, I have scopes to push the limit of it, just haven't tried it yet. I went with the iEQ45 instead of the CGEM because of all the trouble I have had with the CG5-GT.. I just could not give 1 more dollar to Celestron because of this. The iEQ45 is light weight and easy to set up. My goto's are always spot on, and can get 2 minutes subs with my 80ED without guiding. Just my 2 cents worth.. Search the forums on how many issues the iEQ45 has and then the CGEM.. You will spend a lot of time reading about the CGEM problems.

#14 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 01:25 AM

Sorry, got distracted in the middle of that last post, left out a key phrase, and then sent it w/o rereading it :foreheadslap: (and then tried to delete it when I noticed the problem and I guess was too late). What I really wanted to know was how easy it is to get the mount off the tripod (since I'd not likely be leaving it assembled for moving).

The IEQ45 is looking good to me at this point. I did some reading of the manual and it didn't look too bad to assemble/disassemble. The one thing that sounded a bit awkward was a mention of plastic washers that you needed to keep track of with the attachment knobs--I figure a spot of glue to hold them to the mount is probably all it would take to solve that problem.

#15 orlyandico

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:48 AM

the iEQ45 is the lightest of the mid-range China mounts (the others being the CGEM and Atlas/EQ6). You really don't have any other choices here..

#16 psandelle

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:08 AM

John - I've been using the iEQ30 since it came out last year (pretty much the same as the iEQ45, but smaller) and the plastic washer thing has never been a problem. I keep the knobs and washers in a plastic bag in my mount case with the mount head, controller and weight bar extension. They are the third thing set up (Binoscope tripod, then mount head, then bolts/washers) and the third to the last put away, so at neither time, even at 4am, are they something that you forget/drop/are entangled in. I guess the glue would work, but you probably won't really need it.

And, I must say, the iOptron customer support is first-rate, the polarscope routine is very, very good, and for this dollar mount, I haven't had any complaints.

In fact, I like the iOptron offerings so much, that when the "45" version of the Z comes out (and, you know it will), I'm going to guinea pig one of the first ones of those.

Paul

#17 AlphaGJohn

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 01:20 PM

psandelle--thanks much for the direct experience. I'm still wondering if I need the iEQ45 or if the iEQ30 would do it--I wouldn't expect to exceed the rated capacity of the 30 (which they say is 31), but if I'd end up substantially steadier with the 45, that might be the way to go. It's hard to know because it's not a standard scope.... Maybe I'll give the iOptron folks a call and see how their vaunted customer service is on a pre-sales call.

I'm also curious about the new iEQ45 that can go Alt-Az or EQ and has a dual scope option in Alt-Az; might be a cool option; doesn't seem to be available with the 30.

Thanks all!

John

#18 andysea

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:02 PM

You should search in the mount forum. Someone imaged with the IEQ45 at or beyond - I can't remember - it's declared payload and they got excellent results. The IEQ45 is really really light and it looks very small considering what it can carry.

#19 psandelle

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 03:31 PM

I've used an ES AR152 achro on the iEQ30 for visual (that was pushing it, but still fine - the electronic balance in Dec got a little "sensitive"), but I'd get the iEQ45 for your scope just to be on the safe side, and in case things change (like they come out with a 180 degree 40mm eyepiece that weighs 15lbs or something).

Paul

#20 pfile

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 01:50 AM

had lots of trouble with G11/G2 using a 10" RC. bought a used mach1GTO and could not be happier.

don't skimp on the mount, you'll be sorry...

#21 orlyandico

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 03:12 AM

pfile, he's not planning to do long-exposure AP. a Mach1 is overkill for visual only..

#22 powerstroke01

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:49 AM

My AT10RC on a G11 is near perfect. My vote is for a g11...

#23 EFT

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:48 PM

psandelle--thanks much for the direct experience. I'm still wondering if I need the iEQ45 or if the iEQ30 would do it--I wouldn't expect to exceed the rated capacity of the 30 (which they say is 31), but if I'd end up substantially steadier with the 45, that might be the way to go. It's hard to know because it's not a standard scope.... Maybe I'll give the iOptron folks a call and see how their vaunted customer service is on a pre-sales call.

I'm also curious about the new iEQ45 that can go Alt-Az or EQ and has a dual scope option in Alt-Az; might be a cool option; doesn't seem to be available with the 30.

Thanks all!

John


If you are going to get an imaging scope, which the RC is, then you should get a imaging mount. If you get a smaller mount where you are near the rated capacity, you will only regret it. Stick with the middle weight mounts at least. You will end up happier in the long rund.

#24 pfile

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:20 AM

pfile, he's not planning to do long-exposure AP. a Mach1 is overkill for visual only..


missed that, i do clearly have reading comprehension issues.

#25 orlyandico

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 01:39 AM

Actually Ed has a point. RCs are imaging scopes, so to use one solely for visual seems a waste... An SCT or classical Cass or even a DK would arguably be more than sufficient for visual only...






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