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best value EQ mount for visual?

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#1 stevenp_86

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:30 PM

I made a previous topic about what would be the best AZ mount for my 5" apo (15 pounds) and most of you said the unistar, but I am also considering now EQ mounts, what would be the "best vale" equivalent in terms of price, and quality as the unistar, but for EQ mounts?

#2 astrophile

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:34 PM

One of the below, in increasing order of quality:

- A new discontinued/discounted CG5
- Used Vixen Great Polaris or Super Polaris (may need to get RA motor separately for tracking; no go-to)
- Used GM 8 (basic/no Gemini...will track but not be go-to)

The new AVX (which replaced the CG5) may be a contender also if you're looking for new, latest and GOTO.

*These are all visual-use recommendations...I would not consider any of them for AP with a 5" class APO, not stable enough for that.

#3 stevenp_86

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:40 PM

no goto or anything fancy, just simple manual

#4 obin robinson

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:53 PM

Skyview Pro. It's dirt simple to set up, align, and use. Add the TrueTrack motors and you are golden.

obin :jump:

#5 herrointment

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:57 PM

The Sky View Pro, when tuned and switched from EQ mode (and it is a good EQ mont) into an ALT/AZ configuration is the most enjoyable viewing platform I've used.

Buy used and experiment!

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#6 stevenp_86

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:06 PM

no motors or computers

#7 stevenp_86

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:45 PM

is the Sky View Pro basically the same as this?
http://ca.skywatcher...tail.php?sid=56

#8 obin robinson

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:49 PM

Pretty much that's the same as the Skyview Pro! You can slew it easily if you don't want motors. I have tracked satellites just using the knobs.

obin :)

#9 Eddgie

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:05 AM

Used Vixen Great Polaris or Super Polaris (may need to get RA motor separately for tracking; no go-to)



I would not suggest this for a 5" APO. When raised high enough to use a 5" APO the tripods simply are not strong enough.. Even the HAL 130 will struggle here.

#10 Eddgie

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

I would not discount a Go-TO mount like the CG5.

Just because it has computers does not mean that you need to use them to get the benefit of the mount.

You can run a CG5 for many hours off of a battery pack with 10AA rechargable batteries (Eneloop 2500 MAs) that will fit in a shirt pocket or 7 amp battery ($25 on the web).

It is not necessary to align the scope to get the benefit of tracking and variable speed slewing. You don't have to polar align or level or anything.

Just set the mount down facing north and take the "Last Alignment" option.

The scope will now start tracking in RA, and you can use the hand contral to move the scope for sweeping, and you can loosen the clutchs to make long slews (the exact same way you would do with the non Go-To mount, and this would be better for you because slewing is what runs the batteries down.

With a 10 AA battery pack, you can hang the pack from the spreader so there are no cables on the ground.

These mounts weigh only about 3 or 4 pounds more than the motorized mounts.

And if you ever decide you want to use the Go-To, it is there for you.

If you bought a non Go-TO mount and later decided you wanted Go-To (which you may very well decide once you get tired of the same 100 bright, easy to find objects and start looking for challanging double stars and Trumpler clusters and things) then you would either have to upgrade (and the Gemini upgrade costs as much as the freaking mount) or sell and buy new.

Just my own opinion, but if you are thinking of a GEM, I think you are making a major mistake not to go ahead and get a Go-To GEM. It is pretty easy to set them up and use them if you don't want to do Go-To.

You just drop the mount down on the groun facing roughly north. You don't have to level.

Plug in your batter and turn on. Take all of the defauts. You don't have to set the time, date, location, or anything else..

When it asks you what kind of aligbment you want, just use the last alignnment.

Now the mount is tracking and you have 9 slew speeds at your fingertips...

GM8 Is nice. Expensive, but nice.

If you go with a CG5 type mount, look for the big stainless legs. This is what I would recommend for a 5" refractor. The GM8 legs are OK too, but the thin stainless legs or the aluminum legs are not going to cut it for anything but low power work.

If you are going to get a GEM though, for $450, you can get a CG5 with Go-To and large stainless legs taht would be a decent mount for your scope. You don't have to use the Go-To, and you still get tracking and electric slow motion in both axises.

#11 ErikB

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 07:53 PM

Steve, why would you want an EQ mount if you are strictly visual? I love my portable EQ mount for imaging, but when I use it for visual I am always bothered by having to rotate the diagonal when the mount rotates the optical tube. And if I use bino's or a heavy eyepiece, the diagonal may rotate itself before I get to it :shocked:

#12 stevenp_86

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:08 PM

well I dont know any other options, everyone sais the unistar is the best, but its gona cost 900$ to get to my door after tax and everything, my local retailer sais that for 500$ (he sais I might like it more) I can get an equatorial, but I really dotn know who to belive, I just want something that is east to use, good quality, and affordable, I CAN get the unistar, but I want to consider all of my other options first

I am going to travel 2 hours tomorrow to my retailer and return my current orion versago 3 (hate it) and get a skywatcher eq5 probably, unless anyone sais otherwise

#13 ErikB

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

Well, again, you might find that an eq mount for visual is not "easy to use" to the same level as a simple alt-az mount. With a mass-produced eq mount you do get a good price, but watch out to make sure it doesn't need an extension between mount and tripod in order to provide clearance for pointing in all directions with your presumably long scope tube. The same applies to any alt-az mount of course. While the the unistar has a great reputation for performance, there are some less expensive alt-az mounts that supposedly can handle your load. It seems the Explore Scientific Twilight II is on sale in the U.S. for $450 including tripod. It is a 2-sided mount so you could potentially attach two scopes. I have no personal experience with that mount.

#14 Nippon

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:53 PM

I have owned a Celestron AVX mount for about two months now and am very pleased. I can use my 4" ed refractor or my C8 on it and it is very solid. Noticeably more solid than my Vixen GP2. To me the thing that is nice about an Alt/Az is the scope never gets in weird positions as you view but I have found that the drag about an EQ compared to an Alt/Az in that regard is when you are trying to find something. With the goto AVX you just hit enter for the object, sip whatever... coffee... or something else and when it ends it's slew you just rotate the diagonal and enjoy the view. I have never tried the Unistar but I have owned a TV Panoramic with a TV 85 and a Astro Tech Voyager used with the TV 85 and a Porta II and in the end I have just been more pleased with the German equatorial mounts I have owned. Perhaps If I had a half Hitch or a DiscMount I might have a different opinion but in my economic reality the most fun and satisfying mount I have ever had is the AVX.

#15 ErikB

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:55 PM

I have to agree with Nippon that having goto is much better than relying on star-hopping, especially if you are in a light-polluted location. I get the impression that you are looking for mounts that are much less expensive than something like the AVX, and are not willing to pay the extra cost of goto. However, if you will consider goto, you can also consider a push-to system using digital setting circles to locate objects. While goto is flashier and in some situations superior, dsc's can be quicker. Personally I tend to get impatient waiting for goto systems. DSC's can easily be added later onto some altaz mounts but not to every model, so it is something to keep in mind if you shop for an altaz. Finally, I find motorized tracking to be very valuable, and it is something you can get with a relatively inexpensive eq mount, but not with an inexpensive altaz mount that can handle a scope of your size. The lack of motor drive on my Panoramic altaz mount is the reason I don't use it, and instead live with the inconveniences of my eq mount. If I had enough money, I would get an altaz mount with motor drive and either dsc's or goto for visual observing.

#16 Midnight Dan

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:15 AM

... I just want something that is east to use, good quality, and affordable ..


If you want something that's easy to use, go with the alt/az mount. EQ mounts are heavier, require more setup time and teardown time, and will put the eyepiece in awkward positions for viewing.

For visual observation, the advantages of most EQs are that, for a reasonable price, you also get tracking and goto - but you say you don't want that. The only advantage of a manual EQ is that you can track by turning one knob instead of two. That's not particularly compelling compared to the disadvantages.

The Unistar is a great mount. For your stated purposes, it would be perfect.

-Dan

#17 stevenp_86

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:26 AM

Post deleted by stevenp_86

#18 ur7x

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

I think we are tackling this from the wrong point of view.

What it your budget and then lets work from there.

If you are looking for the best value in ANY mount... used is always going to be your best bet.

#19 stevenp_86

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

I just got the eq5, thanks for the help guys :)






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