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What's your advice on these mounts? Im new....

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#1 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:06 AM

I have been digging around for a while and I would like an EQ mount for a refractor (I have yet to buy) that would handle up to a 6" scope. I am not interested in GoTo right now but I would like to maybe upgrade later.. Maybe not. Right now I want slow motion controls and a nice sturdy mount that will serve me well for years to come. I am a visual observer so photography is not a priority now.

I would like to not spend more than $500 and I am hoping you can give me your opinions of these, or others I may be overlooking….Or should consider. The scope I am looking at possibly getting is either an Explore Scientific, AR102 or AR127,... Or Skywatcher Pro ED80 or ED100. Just so you have a point of reference of what I would like to mount on this..

Orion Astro View

http://www.telescope.../Orion-Astro...

Orion Sky View Pro.

http://www.telescope.../Orion-SkyVi...

Celestron CG4

http://www.optcorp.c...rial-mount.html

Astrozap GEM

http://telescopes.ne...rial-mount.html

Any advice or opinions are welcome!!!!

#2 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:40 AM

if your looking to spend 500 tops for just a mount i'd skip all of those above and get a used CG-5 AGT, they sell used regularly for 400 now and new ones can be had for 550. its a better mount mechanically than all that you posted above and it has goto to boot.

#3 dmdouglass

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:49 AM

I would echo the post for the CG-5.
I have one, and use it as my "travel" mount.

But don't delay !
The reason they are priced this low, is that they are the "last of the last", and on close-out. Dealer inventories are probably reducing rapidly.

#4 Stelios

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:53 AM

Out of your choices I'd pick the sky view Pro, which offers an upgrade path. That said, I think you would like GoTo once you experience it, and I agree with another responder that today the CG-5 is one of the great mount bargains. They are strong and long-lasting.

#5 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 12:28 PM

here is a place that has them still at 550 new.

http://telescopes.ne...ized-mount.html

#6 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 01:51 PM

Hmmm....You got me thinking now...

Does the CG-5 allow you to not use the go-to and use manual tracking via say,... slow motion controls? or is that done with the key-pad??

#7 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:53 PM

keypad, how tracking vs completely manual GEM work is those slow motion knobs on a manual GEM are the worm gears on the mount, on a tracking or goto GEM like the CG-5 rather than having slow mo knobs there are motors attached to the worm gears and that is what drives the mount. because the CG-5 is basically a copy of the vixen great polaris design at heart if one wanted to remove the electroncs and motors and attach slow-mo knobs and make it into a full manual mount one could, in fact older CG-5's did not have goto and some did not even have tracking motors.

also another alternative is to tighten the clutches just enough that they will slip if you move the scope but hold if you don't I have done this on mine when using it for terrestrial use but you must be careful when doing so and make sure your balance is good as well. all that being said you never want to manually move a goto GEM via clutches or otherwise if you are using the Goto because it will mess up your alignment.

#8 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:36 PM

keypad, how tracking vs completely manual GEM work is those slow motion knobs on a manual GEM are the worm gears on the mount, on a tracking or goto GEM like the CG-5 rather than having slow mo knobs there are motors attached to the worm gears and that is what drives the mount. because the CG-5 is basically a copy of the vixen great polaris design at heart if one wanted to remove the electroncs and motors and attach slow-mo knobs and make it into a full manual mount one could, in fact older CG-5's did not have goto and some did not even have tracking motors.

also another alternative is to tighten the clutches just enough that they will slip if you move the scope but hold if you don't I have done this on mine when using it for terrestrial use but you must be careful when doing so and make sure your balance is good as well. all that being said you never want to manually move a goto GEM via clutches or otherwise if you are using the Goto because it will mess up your alignment.


So its pretty easy to remove the motors and swap out with slow mo knobs? If so that would be a great backup, or option....Just in case I dont want to power up the goto...

According to the manual (Celestron) there are Slow Mo knobs included as part of the kit. I can't see that as correct....

#9 dmdouglass

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 04:25 PM

No such kit to my knowledge on the CG-5(GT).
Also... can be difficult to manual point with an EQ mount. Much different than an Alt/AZ.

I think all the major vendors are supporting this price, with some offering further reduction if you are a member of their ??? group.
For example, look at the Astronomics ad at the top of this page.
Opt has the "rewards" program.
Each vendor has "something".... usually worth about 2% or so on mounts.

I "think" (have not checked today) that the price, which is set by Celestron, is including free shipping. But that should be checked out.

#10 rmollise

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 04:54 PM

Hmmm....You got me thinking now...

Does the CG-5 allow you to not use the go-to and use manual tracking via say,... slow motion controls? or is that done with the key-pad??


The CG5 doesn't have slow motion controls and none are available for it. You can move manually with the HC buttons, but that is it. It's go-to is very reliable, and most people are happy to just use that. ;)

#11 ur7x

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:59 PM

X2 on the lack of knobs on the ASGT/CG5.

Speaking as someone who cut his teeth star hopping on old school manual equatorial mounts, you will miss the knobs for all of 30 seconds. The hand controller becomes second nature right quick... and once you have the alignment procedure down, it is easy to fall in love with "GOTO"... Once you hook up the mount to a PC and you use a point a shoot system like "MySky" then you are really having fun.

12V extenders to your car's battery are cheap and easy to get so power isn't really an issue either.

#12 dmdouglass

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 05:59 PM

Hey there Uncle Rod...

I like the new pic !!

#13 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:10 PM

there is no kit per se that will convert a AGT version of the CG-5 to a full manual one but if you get your self a pair of knobs for just about any other manual mount they will attach to the worm gear ends you just have to remove the motors, their brackets and the brass gear that is on the end of the worm gear. it can be done but as others have said manual GEM's are kind of a pain to point unless your head is set in GEM mode from years of manual use. goto is the way to go on a GEM much easier to operate than manual.

#14 Jesus Munoz

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:12 PM

If you want to change from manual motion to electric motion then go for the Orion SkyView Pro. You can also add a push-to computer later. But I think it is better (and cheaper) to buy that CG5 Dwayne suggested.

#15 Don Taylor

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:30 PM

I have not tried this with my CG-5 but perhaps someone else here on CN has. And I'll try it the next time I set it up.

Visual only: Rough polar align by sighting through the polar axis. Do a quick align (I guess you could do any of the alignment routines for that matter). Do not use goto. Loosen lock levers and manually slew to target. Engage lock levers and fine center using the keypad. The encoders would be lost so all you would have is tracking.

Will this work for those times someone just does not want to use goto or motorized slewing? You might have to do something to avoid the limits.

Why someone would want to manually point vs goto is a different question entirely. But would the above scenario let the user operate the mount manually?

Thanks

#16 mrowlands

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:12 PM

Don,

Absolutely this will work and as frito pointed out above, if you carefully set the clutches and your scope is well balanced, you don't have to continually adjust them. Although on some eq mounts, the clutches can eventually tighten themselves after you've pushed the scope around alot.

Mike R.

#17 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:30 PM

just to make it clearer now that i'm at home

http://www.optcorp.c...-gp-porta-mo...

two of those and removal of the motors, brackets and gear off the worm on a CG-5 will turn it into a full manual mount. why you would want to do so no idea. its not a hard conversion to do but its not something you would want to do whenever you feel like it. you would need to remove both RA and DEC plastic housings, the motor control board and interface board in the RA housing then the motors and their brackets and lastly the brass gear on the worm drives.

it would take me about 10-15 minuites to do but why do it esp for visual when its easy as pie to setup and align a CG-5 for visual use. i can have mine up and running in 10 minuites if i'm just doing visual. you simply sight polaris down the bore of the RA axis (no polar scope) turn the thing on, enter all your location (only needs to be put in once) date and time then your off and slewing to first alignment star, then second and then just do 1 or 2 calibration stars, by the 2nd calibration star it should be landing pretty well centered already and if that is the case just skip doing more and your good to go for visual use.

#18 Kendahl

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:31 PM

You said you are considering purchase of a refractor and want an equatorial mount that will handle one up to 6 inches in aperture. That's a big, long telescope. None of the mounts you suggested will handle it. Although it is significantly more expensive than a CG5, an AVX would be a better choice. A mount with a 40 pound capacity, like an Atlas, CGEM or iEQ45, would be even better. The alternative is to limit yourself to telescope that doesn't push the mount's load limit.

#19 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:26 PM

I agree it seems silly to dumb down the mount to a manual slow motion version... So thank you for humoring me and giving me an option to do so if I chose that route. 

I think you are all correct. If I wanted to go with this mount then why go backwards? Since I have no experience on equatorial mounts yet I didn't know if manual slow motion controls were important in addition to the electronic ones. I guess it just comes from being a dob owner and always knowing I can still move the scope all around by just releasing the clutches and I am back to manual mode like the old days.

All your suggestions are well appreciated and I thank you for educating me. 

I am still not sure what I will do but at least I have a framework to start with.

#20 astrophile

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:59 PM

Only GEM I can think of close to your price range for a 6" refractor is a used Atlas.

#21 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:16 PM

for visual use the CG-5 is quite capable of handling a typical 6" refractor. do keep in mind that celestron actually sold a 10" 1200mm Newt on a CG-5 before. it required 3x yes 3x 11lb counterweights to balance on the mount but for visual use it did work though it was less than ideal but if your looking for aperature GEMs are not really the way to go Dob's are.

#22 frito

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:19 PM

http://www.telescope...ronc10ngtref...

I don't see any unhappy customers in their reviews either.

you ain't going to image with that kind of weight and length on a CG-5 but visual is not the same as imaging, the mount can handle it and the AVX is no better than it in what it can handle, its simply an updated and improved in some areas version of the CG-5 it even still has one of the worst features of the CG-5 and that is the bearing-less DEC axis.

#23 pdxmoon

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:06 AM

What's involved with tracking of the moon with this mount? Do I do a polar alignment first, or do I just center on the moon and use the lunar tracking speed?

#24 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:18 PM

You have all convinced me... I went with the Celestron AVX as my mount. It seemed to have good reviews and the price, even though a couple hundred $$ more, I feel I’m getting the best my limited money can buy.... Maybe someday I’ll get one of those Sky Watcher mounts with Dual Encoders so I can go manual or Go To on a whim! But man you really PAY $$ for that!!






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