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Need suggestion for a 70lb telescope

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#1 TopQ

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:12 PM

Hello all
I need some suggestions/recommendations for holding a 12.5 F/4.5 reflector. The total weight of the scope is about 65 lb. I am not interested in astrophotography at all. The mount does have to have GOTO and good pointing accuracy is important since I tend to look for very fain stuff. I will also like to be able to control the telescope with a tablet.
My price range is 7K or less but that doesn't mean I want to spend that much.

Thanks for your help,
TopQ

#2 Mkofski

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:25 PM

Did you see the AP 900 in the classified. It is $7700 but a great price for the mount.

#3 blueman

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:48 PM

The AP900 could work, but with a camera and guide system it would probably exceed the aproximate 70 lb rating. scope and accessories (not including counterweights), depending on length. Recommended for: Astro-Physics and similar fast refractors up to 180 mm f9, 12" Cassegrains and 12-14" Ritchey-Chretiens, 12.5" CDKs.
These are only guidelines. Some telescopes are very long for their weight or heavy for their size and will require a larger mount. Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation.

Going to be tough to get a mount for that price that will handle a scope that big and heavy without finding a GOOD deal.
Blueman

#4 mayidunk

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:53 PM

The AP900 could work, but with a camera and guide system it would probably exceed the aproximate 70 lb rating...
Blueman

The OP said they aren't interested in AP. That being the case, why would the weight of a camera, and guide system be an issue?

#5 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

Would the CGE Pro Mount work?

#6 orlyandico

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:18 PM

Losmandy Titan. AP900QMD. Used AP900GTO. Used Takahashi NJP or Takahashi EM400.

Tak NJP's go for as low as $3800 on astromart. So that would be my first choice. The lack of GoTo control from the handpad can be sidestepped with a SkyFi and iPad or iPhone.

#7 blueman

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:11 PM

You know, I missed that part! Thought I read he WAS interested in astrophotography. My bad :grin:
So, yeah it would work fine for visual, no problem.
Blueman

The AP900 could work, but with a camera and guide system it would probably exceed the aproximate 70 lb rating...
Blueman

The OP said they aren't interested in AP. That being the case, why would the weight of a camera, and guide system be an issue?



#8 TopQ

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:57 PM

Thanks guys
Will all those mounts work with a tablet?
The Titan looks interesting. The Astrophysics is nice but seems very expensive. I really dont know about the Taka. Are they easy to find use?

Thanks again,
TopQ

#9 orlyandico

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:15 PM

The Tak NJP is quite hard to find used. It will work with an iPad tablet. I've seen the videos on youtube.

It would probably work with an Android tablet as well, using a bluetooth to serial interface. But I haven't tried that (I have an Astro-Physics).

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 09:59 PM

Celestron CGE Pro would probably work. It's about $4000.

It's heavy, though. But it will work perfectly with Sky Safari and Sky Fi on an iOS device.

I have an AP 900 QMD. It has great capacity, but is push-to rather than GOTO. That is, it uses digital setting circles and tracking motors. You can get one of those for about $3500; half the cost of a GOTO AP 900 GTO.

- Jim

#11 hottr6

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 08:09 AM

I need some suggestions/recommendations for holding a 12.5 F/4.5 reflector. The total weight of the scope is about 65 lb. I am not interested in astrophotography at all. The mount does have to have GOTO and good pointing accuracy is important since I tend to look for very fain stuff. I will also like to be able to control the telescope with a tablet.

Byers 812, Losmandy 492, encoders, Nexus and SkySafari.

Posted Image
Posted Image

For visual, you will need to rotate the OTA, so will need rings as well. If rings were not included in your 65lb weight estimate, add another 15lbs for rings, and another 15lbs at the c/weight end. So budget for a mount that can handle 80lbs of OTA.

When you have finished looking at the shiny stuff, Byers 812.

Edit: The Meade DS-16/Starfinder 16 GEM should also work for this payload. It should be straightforward to adapt encoders, and from there, Nexus/Sky Safari is plug-and-play.

There is a Schaefer AT-10 for sale on AM, but I don't know what would be required to convert the AC Hurst motors to stepper motors. The seller has experience with mating an AT-8 with a Losmandy 492, and the AT-10 may be similar, but may require a firmware update to the 492 controller.


Edit Edit: Ooops, missed the OP's MUST HAVE GOTO. Ignore my post.

#12 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:45 PM

Order an Astro-Physics 1100. It's basically portable - the largest piece weighs 25 pounds.
Rgrds-Ross

#13 Falcon-

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:46 PM

How about the Skywatcher EQ8? Specs at least say it should have the needed capacity and is well within budget.

#14 Startraffic

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:26 PM

TopQ,
Orlando has it, a Titan wi Gemini-2. Built like a tank (& weighs like one too, ~75# for the head alone, so be aware it ain't no Grab & Go). Fully loaded (HD folding Tripod, Polar Scope, Gemini-2) $7510; If you're on a pier $6295 (Mount & Polar Scope); Just the mount $5995,
I've seen a few of them show up on AM recently. One went for ~$4100+shipping.
I have it's older brother, the HGM-200. It went out of production in ~97 IIRC. It is to the G-11 what the G-11 is to the LXD-55. The difference is that significant. I needed parts (bearings, & a worm) They had them in stock & in my hands in 3 days. I've put a 10"f4SNT, 6"f8, 90mmf3, PST, 30mm finder, & 4 cameras on mine. It just grinned & kept on tracking. Good Luck

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#15 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:35 PM

I do not know the load capacity on it, but if you can find an old Meade LXD 750 with the Meade Giant Field Tripod, it might do the trick.

The tripod on these were real monsters and the mounts were huge, though the counterweigh shafts are rather small.

Still, they were big, sturdy mounts.

The only reason I mention it is that they can often be found for $1000 to $1200.

I don't know if it would handle a 70 lbs scope, but I know that it will handle 55 lbs without a bit of problem.

This is the refractor version. It has much taller legs than the standard version.

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#16 orlyandico

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

There's a reason why LXD750's cost that little... if they get damaged you'd be up s*** creek without a paddle. Parts would not be available, nobody to repair it...

#17 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:45 PM

Meade LXD 750 with reflector

Don't know what he is running, but it looks serious

#18 Eddgie

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:48 PM

Parts can be difficult to find, but it takes the same electronics and motors as the LXD 650.

These often sell for less than $700, and you could have a complete backup parts set.

But I have seen used parts sold here and there.

True though, not denying the exposure.

Only suggested it as a less costly alternative to most mounts that will cost $4000 to $6000.

But I am not sure that the LXD 750 would truely be big enough.

It is easlily more stable than the CGE though. I know that for sure.

#19 Andy D

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:34 PM

As an owner of a LXD 750 I'd advise against it. Over the years I've replaced both RA & dec bearings, the gears & worms. It now has US digital encoders. The 'slot car' motors have been replaced by SEC M6's and they're now controlled by a FS2. It still has the Meade nameplate though !

andy

#20 twhite

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:28 PM

I use AP GTO mounts with iPad and iPhone with SkySafari via SkyFi. It also supports Android devices.

If you're going to consider the AP900, you should consider the 1200 as well. Much more massive mount. Whe I went looking for something bigger than my Losmandy G11, I originally started looking for the 900, but soon discovered that it wasn't that much more (relatively speaking) to go to the 1200. I have not regretted that decision.

Edit: to be fair, I did try to wait on Scott Losmandy to start shipping the Titan, but after my experiences with the G11 with my big refractor -- which weighs 38 lbs naked -- I felt more confident in the proven AP mounts. Again, I have not regretted my decision...

#21 starhacker

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:39 PM

I am putting together a 12.5-inch f/4.5 newt, and received my EQ8 just last Friday from Focus Scientific (who now know how to export from Canada to the U.S.). I can't offer an opinion on the wisdom of my choice until I get things assembled. I am a bit concerned that my scope will be about 90 pounds, and the mount capacity is 110 pounds, but for 70 pounds I expect it is a great solution. Just bear in mind that there is an 8% U.S. import duty on the mount, if that is your destination.

#22 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:05 AM

I will throw my hat in the ring.

I am running an LX850 supporting 80lbs without a problem for video, visual and astrophotography.

Control is via the LX850 hand controller and SkySafari/SkyFi on my iPad and Mac. SkyFi is part of my home network. On colder days I control the LX850 from inside my home, but monitor the video and camera feeds inside.

Gotos are spot on - which will help you on the visual front per your needs.

LX850 is an excellent system.






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