Jump to content


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Alt AZ for 4" f/8ish refractor

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Nippon



  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1048
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 30 August 2013 - 03:59 PM

I'm looking for a good steady Alt Az mount and tripod for my 103mm f/7.7 refractor. The ota weighs about 9 1/2 pounds with finder and eyepiece. I have a Porta II mount but even using it with my HAL 130 tripod it is too shaky for my taste. I would like to keep the cost under $1,000. Any recommendations?

#2 kevint1


    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 658
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2011
  • Loc: West Michigan

Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

Desert Sky View DSV-2 or DSV-3 on a surveyor tripod.

#3 dennilfloss



  • -----
  • Posts: 409
  • Joined: 06 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:47 PM

The Skywatcher AZ-4 (1.75" steel legs version) is smooth and steady but it has no slow-motion control. You'd need to gently nudge the OTA but I've done it with my refractor and it works very well still at 223x.

#4 karstenkoch



  • -----
  • Posts: 1084
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2012
  • Loc: GMT+9

Posted 31 August 2013 - 11:58 AM

I use the Explore Scientific Twilight II and it is almost perfect for what I need. Every so often I wish it had slo-mo controls, but the truth is that it still works great (tracks smoothly and precisely) without them. It's a solid mount but still in the grab-and-go category according to my definition of G&G. I think you would be hard pressed to find a better mount that can hold more payload for less money.

#5 Pat at home

Pat at home

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 328
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:44 PM

Here is an alternative that is significantly less than $1000. My ED100 (4" f/9) is in the 10 pound weight range and I have it mounted on a cheap AZ3 on which changed the legs to DIY in Oak. Totally different mount now and very suitable to the task.

Attached Files

#6 Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 410
  • Joined: 11 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 31 August 2013 - 05:22 PM

This on one of these.

#7 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 734
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2009
  • Loc: South Kansas

Posted 31 August 2013 - 05:32 PM

I use the Canadian Telescopes Duo-T on a Celestron CG-5 tripod. It works well with my 80mm and 102mm refractors and also the Vixen VMC200L. My 102mm refractor is quite long and heavy yet the mount is very steady

The only thing I don't like is the azimuth slow motion control does not move with the scope ( like the Porta does).

#8 Bill McNeal

Bill McNeal

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 337
  • Joined: 07 Oct 2007

Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:08 PM

I'm looking for an Alt-Az for an 4" f/10 achro, similar to the OP.

But it's mainly for terrestrial viewing. The Celestron AstroMaster is well within my budget at $79.95. Anyone have experiences with it?

Alternatively, is there an alt-az mount only to install on my tripod? Here's a view with my old CG-4 removed:

Attached Files

#9 terraclarke



  • *****
  • Posts: 9482
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: Through the Looking Glass!

Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:29 PM

This on one of these.

I second the motion. I have the UA Unistar Deluxe on a heavy duty surveyor's tripod and it handles my 4 inch F11 refractor like a dream. Easy to balance, smooth, and stable. Put the handle on it and track with one finger at 200X. The eyepiece tray is also a nice add-on.

#10 Ebbisham


    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 232
  • Joined: 02 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Surrey, Uk

Posted 04 September 2013 - 05:45 PM

Like my AOK Ayo on a Berlebach tripod for my f8.6 4" scope. If you take the Ayo without encoder unit (can always be added later than you should be just ok with your budget.

The beauty is that you can have the mount on its own and if you want to add a computer you simply buy the additional unit with the encoder and install it. The encoder unit also serves as a pillar extension.

The AOK website is in German but Beat, the owner will reply to english emails.


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Topics

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics