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Recommended LOW COST mount for this telescope

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#26 terraclarke

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:27 AM

I think you will detest that cheap Celestron alt-az mount in a hurry when you try and use it effectively with that telescope. While it may lock and hold the tube it is going to vibrate and the clutches will be worthless for making positional adjustments at anything other than very low power when you don't want to crank the slow-mos. It also does not have 360 degree gears and so they will have to be reset every hour. Bottom line, the torque with a tube that length on that mount will be a total PITA. Don't waste your 80 bucks as you will no doubt regret it.

Just wait for a used Vixen polaris mount. They periodically come up for around 100 bucks here on CN. As PDXmoon indicated in your other thread in the refractors forum, you might even find one for less on Craigslist. You will however need a set of rings. A rail is not necessary as the rings bolt directly to the mount. You will also have to take off the stock side mounted rails to get the proper ring spacing on the tube to fit the mount. It will be a fine mount to accommodate that scope.

#27 Space_Girl1234

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 09:02 PM

Thank you for your suggestions.

#28 Space_Girl1234

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 09:08 PM

First off I've been there having to economize. What people in the hobby often forget is that beginners don't just have "stuff sitting around" to make a scope work.

Perhaps she purchased the wrong scope? Yes the 102GT OTA is a steal, but was it right for her? Maybe an astroscan, and ETX90, or a Galileoscope would have been a better deal? Despite the being a good deal on the OTA what are you going to spend?

OTA $69.00
Diagonal: Around $75.00
Finder: $25.00
Mount $125.00
Eyepieces (2): $50.00 each or $100.00
Case (A piece of PVC pipe with padding might work) $20.00

I get a total for $414.00 to get the scope ready. Essentially this OTA combo has turned into "buy the accessories get the OTA for free"! So I can't fault her for trying to save a couple of bucks on the mount.

If I was her I would look for a good used CG-4. I purchased mine for $125.00. New I believe they are $375.00. They are around, although I don't see any for sale right now, and would make a good match for the 102 GT.

There is a VIXEN Portamount II for sale for $175.00 in the classifieds that is interesting. I would look at this seriously!

The $69.00 tripod deal mentioned would work but wouldn't be optimal.


Thank you for reminding others that amateur astronomy shouldn't be the rich man's hobby it really is. It is rare that posters weigh cost as a primary factor in this hobby.

#29 Space_Girl1234

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 09:21 PM

Please provide us with what you are willing to spend.
I'm sorry, but until you do I will assume you are an internet troll.
You keep repeating the same thing and won't give us any feedback. Yes this assumption is harsh, but it needs to be said (IMO).
Well, I guess I don't really think you're a troll, but you are acting like one.


Again thanks everyone for helping me.

I asked a simple question for a LOW COST mount for a LOW COST telescope...the same question many have since buying the Celestron scope.

FWIW...asking a simple question is not being a troll.

Reviewing some of the answers I got from those who feel the need to act like trolls, it would seem that Cloudy Nights is not the kid friendly place it advertises to be. My Dad warned me that asking about a low cost mount in a hobby that spends thousands of dollars for a mount would be a problem.

If kids can't afford equipment, how can this neat hobby of the stars continue?

#30 cn register 5

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:16 AM

Did your dad also explain that being rude to people who are trying to help you is not polite?

This is not a simple question. And the answers you have been given explain why.

Astronomical telescopes work at quite high magnifications, the one you are thinking of getting will probably not be able to work at less than 25 or 30 times, and more like 60x to 100x. This means that any wobbliness is magnified a lot and this make is difficult and frustrating to see anything through it.

This means that in addition to low cost the mount has to be rigid enough to hold the scope. It really also needs a way to adjust it's position smoothly in small amounts.

This sort of thing costs money. People have to be paid to design it. People have to be paid to make it. The materials have to be paid for, so does the dealer who sells it. And it has to be shipped to you. All these things cost money. People have to eat and if they can't do so supplying a mount to you they will have to do something else.

The best mount for that scope will probably be something like a CG5 mount, maybe a CG4. A manual one, with no motors may be available second hand for $100 I guess. Smaller mounts may also be possible, but as they get smaller they get more wobbly.

I doubt that you will get a commercial mount that will actually hold that scope for less than the price of the scope.

The other alternative is to make one and it's possible to make a dobsonian style refractor mount and tripod from plywood for not very much in money but some investment in time. Your dad will need to help with this diy. It's more fun than painting the spare bedroom!

Another idea, do you have a local Astronomy Society? If so join it and talk to the members. They may have loan scopes or mounts. My astro society has all sorts of things like this for loan, including a CG5 with one of those scopes. There may also be a helpful member or two who can help with loaning something they have abandoned.

We are in the UK so that's probably a bit far to travel.

Hope that helps,

Chris

#31 pugliano

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

First, think of it as a $300 scope that you got for an amazing price, rather than as a "low cost scope"!

Second, since price is your primary objective (I get it, you just want to be able to enjoy looking at the stars with your scope without spending a fortune to do it!), then I would say the $59 mount from Amazon will work fine for what you want. Just make sure you don't touch the scope while looking through it, as it will shake.

Most of us old-timers pretty much all started with shakey mounts, and with scopes that were of much lower quality than the 4" refractor you now possess, and we managed to survive and be thrilled with the views until we were able to afford something better.

So, welcome to astronomy! May you always be in awe of what you see in the Heavens.

#32 Raginar

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:08 AM

Spacegirl,

You'll find that most of the people around here aren't young and very established in our careers. We have differing definitions of 'low cost' as well. I think what many people remember from their first scopes is how frustrating it could be trying to deal with a mount that is 'shaky' and how they wish they'd spent a little more money instead of going through the upgrade cycle.

Now, I'm guilty of it :). I went through a First Scope 114 to star with, and followed that up with a Firstscope 114 "GT" that gave me GOTO! Very frustrating scopes/mounts, and I wish I'd gone a different route. If I'd saved the money from those two I could've bought... well, I dunno, something else :).

So, people are leery to recommend the mount you suggested because they don't want to give you bad advice. Will it work? Maybe. Might it not work well? Maybe. The low end market is full of stuff that barely works :).

The recommendation to find a local astronomy group is very valid. In fact, before spending any more money, look into that. You might find that there are people with old gear they'd loan you or even give you. You'll find many astronomers love to share what they've collected over the years and you'll have someone to ask questions of as you explore the sky.

Good luck!

#33 clintwhitman

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:02 AM

Spacegirl,
This is actually a friendly place for anyone. Folks are so excited about your post they just get carried away!!
It also is not a rich mans hobby. It seems I have mostly let the Rich guys buy the stuff and then when they cant lift it anymore I swoop in like a vulture and grab it cheap...

I remember being like 16 and wanting a bigger telescope. So I know what it is like to get the wants and being short of haves. In fact I still have that problem allot.
:confused:.
That time some rich guy backed over his expensive telescope in his garage and he gave it to me for mowing his yard a few times.

The best suggestion on here was to go find the local astronomy group. Go to a meeting or star party, and make a few friends. I was at a star party last month and a friend wanted to sell me a super polaris with motor drives for $100, he was out of room and needed to get rid of it. I am in the same boat "No More Room" Seeing how these sell for $400 used it qualified to me as a cheap really super nice mount for your scope.
Not quite a Troll, but sorta.
(aveman :bow: :roflmao:
1947 Nippon Kogaku 5CM
1980 Brandon 80mm
1980 Super Polaris Mount
If you need any help with odds and ends we are in SoCal Clint and Debbie Whitman do a search
And have fun on the Group! :roflmao:

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#34 cirrus1500

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:06 AM

Or, knowing the weakness of the "low cost" mounts, you can manage your expectations and go for the one most acceptable to you. e.g. some are shaky when touched lightly. Some cannot point higher than 70 degrees (photo tripods), etc. Once you know what you get and can accept it, you could still be satisfied with it for some time, until you are ready to spend more. Once you have experience with a "low cost" mount first hand, you will know what to look for in you next purchase. Then you can sell off your first mount and buy the 2nd one. I think that is a valid solution, too.

#35 Lost in Space

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 01:21 PM

Hi Space Girl!

I heartily endorse checking out a local Astronomy Club. Don't know your locality, but I think that unless you are living really out and away from even a small city, you should be able to find one. A quick Google search may be worthwhile, but I am including one link here for you that lists some, but not all US Astronomy Clubs - assuming you are in the US. They also list internationally located clubs:

Some US Astronomy Clubs

My club has a loaning library of telescopes, mounts, binoculars, (yes, binocular astronomy is fun too!) books, and who knows what else. Plus, there are members who are willing to help out newcomers.

Locate a nearby club, and have your Dad take you to a meeting and see if you find a similar circumstance. I believe that you will be very happy.

Regards,
Ed

#36 Lost in Space

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 01:26 PM

P.S. -- When you look at the clubs on that link (I just checked several out in North Carolina) the member count shows 0. I don't believe that they have a very good handle on that, so don't take that number as gospel.

Ed

#37 Wmacky

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:23 PM

I have a new in the box CG5 (manual only) that I might sell for $100. I wonder if that would be the right mount for her? I was going to use the nice tripod on a future Alt- AZ head, but what the heck.

#38 Brent Campbell

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:31 AM

Your very welcome! Keep looking. Don't get discouraged. When I was looking for my C8 it took several weeks before I got the deal that I wanted. My CG-4 took 3 weeks to find.

Keep your criteria "general" (be flexible) and look around. A CG-4, Vixen Portamount, Astro Tech Voyager, Vixen Polaris, Vixen Super Polaris - all of them make great mounts for this scope. Each of them are going to be somewhat different in function but all of these mounts will get the job done.

#39 Brent Campbell

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:40 AM

Again thanks everyone for helping me.

I asked a simple question for a LOW COST mount for a LOW COST telescope...the same question many have since buying the Celestron scope.

FWIW...asking a simple question is not being a troll.

Reviewing some of the answers I got from those who feel the need to act like trolls, it would seem that Cloudy Nights is not the kid friendly place it advertises to be. My Dad warned me that asking about a low cost mount in a hobby that spends thousands of dollars for a mount would be a problem.

If kids can't afford equipment, how can this neat hobby of the stars continue?


As a father of two girls I applaud your efforts. One of my daughters is interested in this hobby and in the next year we will be exploring that interest together.

One thing to remember that Astronomy is hard! (It really is)....Much harder than sitting in front of a cell phone and texting....

Spacegirl, you will be able to do this although it won't be easy. Your mount will be available, and if it isn't you can even build one... (see pipe mount). I would go for a good used mount. Check out Ebay, Cloudy nights, and Astromart. The lesson that you learn in overcoming the lack of resources will serve you well into the future.....Keep going!

#40 Brent Campbell

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

Spacegirl take wmakey up on the offer to sell the manual cg5 for 100.00 .if you can make the deal and if the mount is complete you wont find a better deal.

#41 cirrus1500

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:07 PM

That will be the best deal you will ever find. Just like the 102GT you bought, CG5 at $100 is a non low cost mount at low cost :)

#42 PeterR280

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:23 PM

The $59 telescope you got is a wonderful bargain. You will be able to experience high quality views that are usually reserved for much more expensive telescopes. It's also something you can keep for a long time and grow with. I wish I had a telesope of that quality when I was young.

Start with a used CG4 or equivalent(the used CG5 deal for $100) and upgrade when the time, money aand opprtunity comes.

#43 WesC

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:58 PM

I too tried to go the budget route when I started out. I read a little bit (too little in fact) and ended up buying a Nexstar 130SLT. Even for $450 that thing was so shaky and had such a poorly made focuser that all I wanted to do was kick it off of my porch. I had to collimate it every time I moved it, and the gotos were never quite right. I struggled with it for months. I was really frustrated and not having much fun.

I realized pretty quickly that to meet my expectations I would have to spend more money. So, to do things right, I went back to reading and asking a lot of questions. The answers were not always what I wanted to hear, but they taught me a lot. This went on for a good 3-4 months before I finally had a clear idea of what I would need... and how much I would need to spend to get it.

In the end my $450 ended up being almost $4,000 for a Celestron Edge 11 on a CGEM and a few high-quality eyepieces. NOW I am getting the stable, deep views that I was after! I cannot get enough of using my telescope!

And eventually I want to do astrophotography, and I know even the mount I have now won't completely meet my goals and I will need to buy a better mount.. and a CCD camera, reducer, filters, guider, software and even a second scope for wider field imaging. This is what the hobby is.

Yes, astronomy doesn't have to be for the rich person. You don't HAVE to spend what I and many people choose to. But there are physical limits and realities to this hobby that can only be overcome by spending money on high quality equipment. You just have to adjust your expectations accordingly and that comes through experience.

There is a massive wealth of experience for you to learn from on Cloudy Nights, just as I have. You can choose to accept the advice given you or not. But one way or another you will learn that these folks are correct in what they're telling you. :)

#44 pogobbler

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:44 PM

I agree with others who recommend finding a used CG5 mount. It'd be a nice, sturdy, relatively simple mount that would hold that scope with ease. The one another poster mentioned he might let go for $100 would be a good deal. I purchased one of those scopes, too, and I currently have mine mounted on an old CG5 I had and it works great. I'm eventually going to build a Dob style mount for it, for the ultimate ease of use, but it works just fine on the CG5 now.

Note that the CG5s that I know of, shipped with an 11lb counterweight, which I know from experience is too much for a scope that light, so you might need to rig up some sort of lighter counterweight for the mount. I'm currently using a 5lb weightlifting type weight that's secured from falling off the counterweight shaft with one of the things you use to keep the weights from falling off on a barbell.

If you've go this route and have any further questions about this type of mount or anything else, the people on here really are very helpful, or you can feel free to send a private message my way. Just a quick note about being a beginner and most everyone who might be otherwise will lighten up.

Good luck with the new scope! I know when I was young and starting out in astronomy, I'd have killed for a scope that good. haha

#45 Wmacky

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:04 AM

Well, no word from Space Girl so I guess she bailed on the astronomy project! I guess I'm going to keep the CG5 as the tripod alone was worth the $100 to me! I just wish they still sold the tracking motor kits for it.

#46 orlyandico

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:25 AM

Wmacky, you can use the Orion Sky View Pro dual-axis motors, or any of the innumerable clones on fleabay, or the "DK-3" dual-axis drive. All of which cost over $100.






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