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Suggest good Mount for 60-70mm APO for Chile Trip

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#1 Cotts

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:53 PM

Need an airline portable EQ mount to hold a 60-70mm class APO refractor for astrophotography trip to Chile in March 2014. The mount does not need Go To at all but must be compatible with Autoguiders like the KWIQ guider from KW telescopes.

Is the venerable GM-8 the sort of thing I need? Ioptron makes some interesting smaller mounts as does Celestron.

Tried and true and available on the used market is a plus.

Recommendations?

Thanks, Dave

#2 orlyandico

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 02:44 AM

A Vixen GP with either the DD-1 or the Orion dual-axis drive, with autoguider mod.

You can probably get in for $200-$300. Man I'd like to go to Chile...

Alternatively, find any really small but high-quality mount like a Tak Teegul Sky Patrol. A Polarie is probably too small.

#3 MartinTreadgold

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 02:59 AM

what's your weight limit?

#4 skullpin

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 03:39 AM

GM8 is pretty heavy for travel. I just read the shipping carton labels yesterday: 58lbs for the mount, electronics, counterweight and shaft, and 18lbs for the "travel tripod". Seems excessive for a light refractor.

Keith

#5 Mkofski

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:09 AM

I'd get iOptron's zEQ 25. The only problems I've seen with the mount are right after receiving it so don't get it on Monday to leave for your trip on Tuesday. Probably not going to find one used. It has a 27 pound capacity and weighs less than that. It would be perfect for a small refractor and AP.

#6 orlyandico

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:16 AM

I still say the zeq25 is too heavy. You'll bust your baggage allowance and will have to pay through the nose for excess baggage.

I would say Tak Sky Patrol. Its predecessor the Space Boy was beefy enough to carry a Mewlon 180, so it should be plenty for a 70mm refractor. It doesn't have guide inputs though and has no GoTo.

I once carried a Vixen Polaris in check in baggage. Without tripod it nestled nicely with my clothes in my suitcase. Also no guiding, but an SVP drive that's been modded would serve.

#7 orlyandico

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:20 AM

Oh. I know someone who put a Space Boy, Borg 60ED, tripod, and DSLR, in one large camera bag. No need even to check in.

#8 Chr. Jensen

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 06:23 AM

No personal experience, but I'm looking into something similar, and I have my eyes on an astrotrac:

http://www.astrotrac.com/

#9 Ultron

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:49 AM

What about the smart EQ pro from ioptron? Should be good for that size apo and has a guider input. It is small and compact too.

#10 giorgio_ne

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:16 AM

I use a teegul Sky Patrol III on a manfrotto tripod. It does not have a guide port but I was able to push it up to two minutes with a rough alignment using a Tak FS-60CB.
I never tried drift alignment but it should be possible to do it. I understand it isn't the cheapest option nowadays but I guarantee this mount is built like a tank and it just works without over fussing on it.

#11 orlyandico

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:58 AM

on the other thread I was told the ZEQ25 is only 10 pounds. The tripod is 11 pounds, plus counterweights.

Some people use bottled water bottles (with gravel inside) as counterweights, so that they don't have to bring CWs in their checked baggage.

#12 Cotts

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:16 AM

on the other thread I was told the ZEQ25 is only 10 pounds. The tripod is 11 pounds, plus counterweights.

Some people use bottled water bottles (with gravel inside) as counterweights, so that they don't have to bring CWs in their checked baggage.


The Tak mount is just too expensive.

I'm leaning heavily towards the iOptron ZEQ25. The head is, as you say, about 10 pounds and the tripod 11.

As for the sand in the bottle trick, there's plenty of sand in the Atacama!

Dave

#13 orlyandico

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

The Teegul Sky Patrol III is not that expensive, it's the same order of magnitude as the ZEQ25. of course it carries less payload and has no GoTo or auto-guiding.

But then at the end of the day, the SP III will last forever.

Depends on your needs I guess.

If you really want to save money a used Vixen GP as I originally mentioned would be the way to go.

But if it were my money - $800 for a ZEQ25 versus $1300++ for the SP III, I'd go with the SP III. I'm now down to 2 mounts - selling my China mounts at huge losses - and both my remaining mounts are AP's. So this is my thinking...

#14 Cotts

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:05 AM

The Teegul Sky Patrol III is not that expensive, it's the same order of magnitude as the ZEQ25. of course it carries less payload and has no GoTo or auto-guiding.

.


The $500 saved by not buying the TAK mount will mostly pay for the AT 65 APO I plan to get...

The importance of an auto-guider port for my purposes cannot be underestimated as well.....

Dave

#15 mattyfatz

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:31 PM

Why not look into the Vixen Skypods? They seem to be versatile. Looks like there is even a table top version.. Not that there will be tables in the Atacama desert...

#16 orlyandico

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:01 PM

the skypod is an alt-az. cannot be used for long-exposure AP due to field rotation.

#17 Falcon-

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 03:38 AM

Having now had my hands on a ZEQ25 I would have no problem bringing one along with me should *I* get a chance to go to Chile!

I was really quite surprised with the performance of the one I got to use. Had it guiding as well as either my CI-700 and better then my CG-5 ever did first attempt, no tweaking, no guess-and-adjust with PHD's settings. It just worked. (I do admit I took a few minutes to clue in to the the axis "locks" instead of clutches after expecting clutch-like behaviour, but that is a user issue, not a mount issue ;))

I would expect it to match well with the AT65EDQ size scope.






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