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EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP

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#1 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

I'm putting together a AP setup, my ES 102mm ED triplet is on the way, this is the new essential series which comes with barebones with upgraded focuser.

I am looking at a EQ mount and considering AVX, LX80, IOptron IEQ30.
However it seems like iOptron has various issues and hard to work with mount, I don't want to be running to ACE hardware buying nuts and screws to become a mount mechanic.

I'm planning to use
1. CCD Camera
2. Filters
3. SSAG Mini Autoguider
4. Focal Reducers

Appreciate if anyone can provide their thoughts to make a decision between AVX and LX80. While I am considering iOPtron but hesitant due to their quality control issues.

#2 terry59

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:01 AM

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?

#3 CounterWeight

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:14 AM

I agree, get a better mount than you think you need. Imaging is all about keeping things pointed as precisely as possible (and what is possible is amazing) over the imaging run. Also look at the ways of setting the mount up and their ways of polar aligning for imaging.

Auto-guiding will reign in some small variances but it's the mount setup that lays the groundwork.

#4 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:16 AM

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?


Thanks Terry.
AP11 etc are out of my budget and Atlas/CGEM series are way too heavy for me to move from 4th floor apartment. I'm not not sure about the filter setup yet but will get one of those Baader/Astradon filter setup. ES says focuser is R&P type ans is better than the old Crayford focuser they used with their old gen scopes.

#5 terry59

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 AM

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?


Thanks Terry.
AP11 etc are out of my budget and Atlas/CGEM series are way too heavy for me to move from 4th floor apartment. I'm not not sure about the filter setup yet but will get one of those Baader/Astradon filter setup. ES says focuser is R&P type ans is better than the old Crayford focuser they used with their old gen scopes.


How about a smaller mount, smaller scope and camera with a smaller chip? A Sirius (for example)can easily handle an 80ED class scope. Match that with a chip that gives the FOV you want.

#6 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:48 AM

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?


Thanks Terry.
AP11 etc are out of my budget and Atlas/CGEM series are way too heavy for me to move from 4th floor apartment. I'm not not sure about the filter setup yet but will get one of those Baader/Astradon filter setup. ES says focuser is R&P type ans is better than the old Crayford focuser they used with their old gen scopes.


How about a smaller mount, smaller scope and camera with a smaller chip? A Sirius (for example)can easily handle an 80ED class scope. Match that with a chip that gives the FOV you want.


My Scope is already on the way :) but camera/filters etc is something I can control. Sirius Mount looks good but how does it compare to AVX and LX80?

#7 terry59

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

The Sirius has the same reputation as the Atlas. They just work. Also, for imaging, EQMOD is hard to beat.

#8 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

The Sirius has the same reputation as the Atlas. They just work. Also, for imaging, EQMOD is hard to beat.


Terry, Does Sirius comes with PEC and other features similar to AVX? its also $400 more.

#9 Gary Minder

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 01:14 PM

Moving a mount to/from a 4th floor apartment is a tough constraint. I can give you some insight regarding the AVX.

I keep mine in my garage, fully assembled, ready to pick up and move. I move it about 50' to my front porch area when I image. I can easily pick it up and move it without the two 11-pound counterweights. If I had to try to get it into an elevator or down a stairwell I might have to take the mount head off to collapse the tripod. I think that would adversely impact my polar alignments. I marked the concrete after a good polar alignment so I am able to place my tripod very precisely session to session. My polar alignments rarely take more than a 1/2 turn on the Alt/Az knobs.

My C8 starts off about 2 pounds heavier than your ES 102. I have an Orion 50mm guide scope/SSAG, a Celestron 50mm RACI finder, a 6.3 reducer and a Canon 450D. I haven't crunched the numbers but I probably image at about 60%-65% of the AVX's 30 lb rated load.

I'm a noob so if I am overloading my mount, my acquisition and processing skills aren't good enough yet for it to matter. There may be a beefier mount in my future, but while I'm learning it's great having the AVX that I can set up quickly and accurately.

#10 Jeff2011

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 02:14 PM

It amazes me how much stuff I need for AP. I can't imagine hauling it all down from a 4th floor apartment. The main reason I went with the AVX over a heavier mount is portability. After learning how to image in my light polluted backyard I have only recently started traveling to a dark site to image. I have it where I can now fit everything into two good size storage tubs except for the OTA and tripod legs of the AVX.

The AVX is not a bad mount, but like most low end mounts will require autoguiding even for shorter duration imaging. I have two issues with it. The periodic error seems to be pretty high and it has a backlash issue with the declination. Guiding and PEC will keep periodic error under control. The dec backlash becomes an issue with guiding. My workaround has been to guide dec only in one direction, but that limits automatic dithering to RA only.

If I remember correctly, I chose the AVX over the Sirius because the AVX was a new scope that just came out, had thicker tripod legs and cost less. I have not used a Sirius, but I hear it does not suffer from the same backlash issue and probably has less periodic error. If I were to start again with the knowledge I have learned, I would probably go with the Sirius.

I do not regret my purchase of the AVX however. My plan was such that I would buy lower end equipment to see if AP was for me and then go on from there. I have found out that it is and have enjoyed it immensely.

I would listen to the guys on this site. Terry, Jim, and Madratter call themselves beginners, but they have acquired a lot of knowledge between them and many of them have learned the hard way. They are trying to help beginners by not making the same mistakes they did.

This is a very fun but addictive hobby and can be very expensive. It is best to take it slowly and learn the fundamentals before trying to get into too much advanced stuff. I typically learn much more from my mistakes than if I luck into it.

Hope your AP adventure will be as enjoyable as it has been for me.

#11 DrDispatch

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

I have the sirus EQ. for $1100 it has NEVER let me down, guides all night long with orion mini guider. was doing all 20 and min subs last 2 nights. I have issues with weight and this was my choice.

#12 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

I have the sirus EQ. for $1100 it has NEVER let me down, guides all night long with orion mini guider. was doing all 20 and min subs last 2 nights. I have issues with weight and this was my choice.


You mean your each sub was 20 min long exposure?

#13 DrDispatch

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 04:54 PM

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)

Attached Files



#14 DrDispatch

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:04 PM

I have never even ran PEC
got mount 5pm last fall, put together, new scope & all
went on deck, got it guiding with PHD. does good every night. did rough balance. I do have a 5.5 lb carbon fiber scope, weight is EVRYTHING on these mounts. never go much past 1/2 capacity.

#15 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:41 PM

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)


Very nice,:like: can you post Color Pictures, As I understand the only thing Sirius EG-G is missing compared to AVX is the PEC feature correct?

#16 terry59

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:47 PM

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)


Very nice,:like: can you post Color Pictures, As I understand the only thing Sirius EG-G is missing compared to AVX is the PEC feature correct?


If you are going to do long exposures you will need to autoguide. If you guide you don't need PEC. If you use EQMOD instead of the SynScan hand controller you can do PEC if you wish.

#17 mamamia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:36 PM

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)


Very nice,:like: can you post Color Pictures, As I understand the only thing Sirius EG-G is missing compared to AVX is the PEC feature correct?


If you are going to do long exposures you will need to autoguide. If you guide you don't need PEC. If you use EQMOD instead of the SynScan hand controller you can do PEC if you wish.


Sirius $1200 vs. AVX $800
Mini Auto Guider $400

+ Sirius=EQMOD
+ AVX = $1200 gets me an AutoGuider+Mount

Decisions--Decisions :confused:

#18 terry59

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 06:48 PM

Based on comments from Jeff2011 in other threads (he has the AVX) I gather the AVX has problems similar to the CG-5. If'n it wuz me Id stay away and spend a little more. Good luck....

#19 Madratter

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 07:23 PM

I own the Atlas and for portability reasons, I would not go there. Mine is great but I have an observatory so it doesn't get moved around. I also own and imaged with a CG-5 (now retired because of the Atlas). The CG-5 was the predecessor to the AVX. The AVX is clearly an upgrade on the CG-5. However, the declination axis, while improved over the CG-5 still does not have roller bearings.

I totally agree with Terry here about the Sirius vs AVX. I would definitely go with the Sirius if you can come up with the money. Weight wise, they are very similar (the Sirius might be slightly less if I'm reading the specs correctly).

You'll get much better bearings on the declination axis with the Sirius. That in turn will lead to much fewer hassles when guiding.

#20 nodalpoint

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:44 PM

Based on comments from Jeff2011 in other threads (he has the AVX) I gather the AVX has problems similar to the CG-5. If'n it wuz me Id stay away and spend a little more. Good luck....


Kind of hard to make that determination based on one person's experience.

#21 Madratter

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:21 PM

I heartily recommend going to the mount forum and reading the various threads on the AVX. You might need an afternoon to do it. But the bottom line is that although the bearings in the AVX are improved over the CG-5, they still suffer from some of the same problems. Some people do love them. For visual work I loved my CG-5. You'll see that reading the threads too. Hey, I was able to make my CG-5 work imaging with my C8. It was a constant source of frustration, but I did make it work.

#22 Jeff2011

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:07 PM

The dec issue is not just with the CG5 and AVX, the CGEM also appears to have or have had this issue. See the following CN article.

http://www.cloudynig...hp?item_id=2702

#23 Raginar

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:35 AM

Ok, I'll chime in. Either get a smaller scope or get a bigger mount. Terry speaks from years of experience. He isn't just trying to spend your money. We all have been through having cheap mounts that can't quite make the cut. It's frustrating and your 800 bucks is wasted.

Go over to astrobin and do some equipment searches. You'll see what size telescope you can fit on what mount.

You bought too big of a scope for a portable mount.

#24 mamamia

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 09:51 AM

Ok, I'll chime in. Either get a smaller scope or get a bigger mount. Terry speaks from years of experience. He isn't just trying to spend your money. We all have been through having cheap mounts that can't quite make the cut. It's frustrating and your 800 bucks is wasted.

Go over to astrobin and do some equipment searches. You'll see what size telescope you can fit on what mount.

You bought too big of a scope for a portable mount.


Smaller scope that 102mm Triplet? My initial thought was 127mm then I decided go smaller and got an 102mm :grin: its already on its way. I thought AVX would probably handle 102mm if it handles heavier 9.25 SCT like Celestron sells as AP package.

#25 Wmacky

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:05 AM

Celestron is wrong.






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