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Alt-az mount for ED-80 needed

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#1 Stelios

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:18 AM

I made an impulsive buy of a Celestron ED-80 which I intend to use as a grab-n-go scope. So now, of course, I need a mount. I've decided it'll be Alt-Az, and will have slow-motion controls. I don't want something heavy--the goal is to be able to grab the mounted scope with one arm and go. (I also plan to leave the scope mounted, if it makes a difference).

So far I'm wavering between the Vixen mini-Porta and the Vixen Porta II. Is there a clear winner? Are there better alternatives? The ES Twilights are too heavy.
What about the cute small iOptron cubes? Will they handle the ED-80? Will they be too much trouble for G&G?

All advice much appreciated!

#2 Goodchild

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:15 AM

Stelios,
Are there better alternatives? That depends on your perspective. If you want a truly portable mount capable of handling your 80ED then another option would be an AZ-3 mount. I have one that I use for my Skywatcher 120 refractor and it handles the scope very well. Slo-mo controls and the whole mount and tripod must be under ten pounds (I haven't actually weighed it but it is very light). Just something to consider.

#3 Agatha

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:46 AM

Stelios,

I vote for the Vixen Porta II. I haven't used a Mini Porta, but I've read that at is a little weak to put it politely. The Porta II is so light and more than capable for your scope. I love the Porta II so much that I have 3 of them. :o
The slow motion controls are really nice and work well.

I also have a "cute" little Ioptron cube pro. Only used it once so far. I plan to try it out some more once I get moved and resettled.

Many people have replaced the legs on their Porta II mounts with wooden legs for more stability. So far I haven't felt a need for it.

Good luck with your decision making.

Best,

#4 Stelios

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:49 AM

I didn't see the AZ-3 mount for sale in the US. The closest appears to be the Orion AZ-4. If this will handle it, it's certainly cheaper.

#5 Noisykids

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:00 AM

i've got the orion micro motion az for my eon 80. the 300 dollar one. my only beef is the way the slow motion controls can get in the way, though there are two mounting points for each one. i've seen suggestions for mounting wheels on them instead of the longer cables. i'm otherwise happy with it.

#6 dpippel

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 01:07 PM

The Porta II is a perfect alt-az match for the C80 ED IMO. I love mine.

#7 Goodchild

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 01:34 PM

Hi, Stelios,
Here is a link for the AZ-3 mount.
http://www.optcorp.c...uth-tripod.html

#8 Stelios

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

That one! I didn't realize the Celestron tripod with slo-mo was the AZ-3. I found it even cheaper at Amazon. However I noticed that many say that it's hard to look at things high-up in the sky with this mount. :question:

#9 belgrade

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:18 PM

The iOptron CubePro will handle it just fine but it's still $400. Orion has on clearance as a 2nd at this time VersaGo II for $150 and that one would work too though I'd prefer SW AZ4 for $200 sold now only directly by Celestron. That's cuz legs are better than VersaGo's.

#10 Stelios

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:19 PM

Yes, but unfortunately the Celestron-sold Skywatcher AZ-4 has no slow-motion controls.

The little cube is $340, but I worry that when I add a 2" diagonal and my 28mm UWAN (something I'm looking forward to) I will way overwhelm it. Both the Porta II and Skywatcher AZ-4 should handle this easily.

#11 Binojunky

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:31 PM

The mini Porta will handle a short 60-70mm scope but for the ED80 the full size version is the way to go.
If you can live without slow motions then the Orion Versago 11 is fine, less money than the Vixen, in fact it may be on sale still(around$150) with free or low cost shipping.
This is what I use for my small scopes including the ED80,s, works very well,very portable,DA.

#12 dpippel

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 04:04 PM

That one! I didn't realize the Celestron tripod with slo-mo was the AZ-3. I found it even cheaper at Amazon. However I noticed that many say that it's hard to look at things high-up in the sky with this mount. :question:


Personally I would only consider this mount if your budget is set in stone at that level and you have no other choice. I had one and while it WORKED, it was restrictive, not too stable, and not fun to use. Mounts like the Porta II are in a completely different league.

#13 Stelios

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 04:43 PM

The mini Porta will handle a short 60-70mm scope but for the ED80 the full size version is the way to go.
If you can live without slow motions then the Orion Versago 11 is fine, less money than the Vixen, in fact it may be on sale still(around$150) with free or low cost shipping.
This is what I use for my small scopes including the ED80,s, works very well,very portable,DA.


I'd rather not abandon slow-motions, so it looks that the Porta II is the winner. The only downside is that it weighs 15 lbs, but that should still be OK.

Will be ordering something tonight :jump:, so if anyone has any tempting thoughts... :question:

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:13 PM

Desert Sky Astro DSV-1 head ($190)...

http://www.desertsky....com/DSV-1.html

Plus, Oberwerk "blem" or "clearance" wooden tripod from bigbinoculars.com ($99-$125)...

http://www.bigbinocu...om/tradeins.htm

And you'll have an imminently portable alt-az mount setup suitable for many different OTAs (up to 6" SCTs and shorter 4" refractors) that will work and look like a million bucks.

I use this setup for my 60mm achromats, an SV80S and my Coronado PST. Great mount, nice tripod and wonderful ease of use. About 16# all in for head and tripod. With a small OTA on board, it's very easy to pick up and move around the yard.

Regards,

Jim

#15 astrophile

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:03 PM

If you have the budget and can find an interim stand-in, the upcoming Mini Hitch II looks like an interesting "better solution." Will weigh much less than 15lbs; and based on Nova Hitch experience, it ought to be a joy to use.

#16 pdxmoon

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:45 AM

+5 on the Porta II. My ED80 sits well on this mount.

#17 Binojunky

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:44 PM

[quote name="Stelios"][quote]The mini Porta will handle a short 60-70mm scope but for the ED80 the full size version is the way to go.
If you can live without slow motions then the Orion Versago 11 is fine, less money than the Vixen, in fact it may be on sale still(around$150) with free or low cost shipping.
This is what I use for my small scopes including the ED80,s, works very well,very portable,DA. [/quote]

I'd rather not abandon slow-motions, so it looks that the Porta II is the winner. The only downside is that it weighs 15 lbs, but that should still be OK.

Will be ordering something tonight :jump:, so if anyone has any tempting thoughts... :question: [/q
To be honest after useing a small ED80 on both the Versago and the Porta I find it easier to just nudge the scope useing the tube than try screwing two slow motion handles at the same time, JMPOV, DA.

#18 ziggarut69

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 01:04 PM

Desert Sky Astro DSV-1 head ($190)...

http://www.desertsky....com/DSV-1.html

Plus, Oberwerk "blem" or "clearance" wooden tripod from bigbinoculars.com ($99-$125)...

http://www.bigbinocu...om/tradeins.htm

And you'll have an imminently portable alt-az mount setup suitable for many different OTAs (up to 6" SCTs and shorter 4" refractors) that will work and look like a million bucks.

Do you find the lack of slow-mo an issue with this mount?

#19 Stelios

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:05 PM

To be honest after useing a small ED80 on both the Versago and the Porta I find it easier to just nudge the scope useing the tube than try screwing two slow motion handles at the same time, JMPOV, DA.


Can you not nudge on the Porta at all? It *seems* that you should be able to as long as the scope is well-balanced.

I am going to order something (likely the Porta, possibly just the head and add legs) for sure, but temporarily I'll use my CG-5 tripod and the Giro II I have while I pay a visit to WHCT to maybe see the mounts up close.

#20 Locoman

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:10 PM

I have the VersaGo and the StarGuy. StarGuy is the Porta 2 on a beefier tripod. Nudging on the VeraGo is smoother than the Porta. The VersaGo mount head is more sturdier than the Porta. But the Slo Motion controls on the Porta are nice when using a refractor or SCT. The VersGo is great for a 6 inch reflector or smaller. The 80 mm refractor is a nice fit for the Porta for sure.

#21 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:47 PM

Nope. Buttery smooth friction adjustable axial movements. Especially with wide field fast refractors. I use mine a lot with C5, C6, C90, SV80S and PST and haven't missed slo-mo with any of them. I also have the big brother DSV-3. That model has slo-mo knobs. I rarely use them, preferring good balance and smooth manual tracking.

Regards,

Jim

#22 314Sprout

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:50 PM

I'm with Jim on this one. I haven't missed slow mo controls at all on the DSV-1. I have the exact same set up as he describes, the DSV on the blem wooden tripod. Rock solid, damps quickly and easy to track. Tonight I had the Celestron 102 that everyone is clamoring about (I got sucked in for $59, what can I say!) and it was a great match to this mount combo. Legs fully extended so I could look at Saturn, very quick dampening. I also regularly mount my C-90 and that very short scope is also very easy to nudge along. Raul has a made us a clear winner of a mount. You won't be sorry.

#23 Binojunky

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:36 PM

To be honest after useing a small ED80 on both the Versago and the Porta I find it easier to just nudge the scope useing the tube than try screwing two slow motion handles at the same time, JMPOV, DA.


Can you not nudge on the Porta at all? It *seems* that you should be able to as long as the scope is well-balanced.

I am going to order something (likely the Porta, possibly just the head and add legs) for sure, but temporarily I'll use my CG-5 tripod and the Giro II I have while I pay a visit to WHCT to maybe see the mounts up close.


Yes you can nudge the Porta however you said it had to have slow motions whatever your choice, the Versago is half the price of the Porta and in the case of a ED80 F7.5 works every bit as well,good luck in your choice,DA.






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