best value EQ mount for visual?
Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:30 PM
Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:34 PM
- 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.
Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:53 PM
Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:57 PM
Buy used and experiment!
Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:49 PM
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.
Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:21 AM
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.
Posted 11 October 2013 - 07:53 PM
Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:08 PM
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
Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:28 PM
Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:53 PM
Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:55 PM
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.
Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:16 AM
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.