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What can be done with this mount?

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#1 leonalex12

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

I'm pretty new to the skies, and I have an Orion Starblast 6. I would really like to put it on an equatorial mount, to give it a try. Everyone that has one says the are great once you get used to it.

Now, I don't want to shell out $500 for one and then figure out that it's not for me. So here is where the real question is:

I found someone on Craigslist selling a Bushnell telescope for $25 and it looks like it has an equatorial with it. I haven't yet contacted them (though I plan to do so), ASSUMING that it is possible to put my Starblast on this thing safely. I'm sure that it is clearly not the best, but at least it is a start, right? A cheap start, at that.

Posted Image Now, I looked it up and I am thinking that scope is this one.

Anyone have any input?

#2 t.r.

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:10 PM

For $25 bucks...give it a go! Whats there to loose...$25 bucks?!?! You could blow that at the slots in about 10 minutes. :lol:
The Starblast is 12 pounds though and this mount looks light.

#3 Stelios

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:13 PM

That mount is way too flimsy to carry the Starblast.

That's not a start, it's going backwards. Don't do it.

Your Starblast weighs 12lbs (OTA only) so it requires a fairly decent mount, at a minimum an Orion Astroview.

But I wouldn't buy an EQ mount unless it had a tracking drive (and in today's age, GoTo as well). Without tracking, you'd be better off with a more intuitive alt-az mount and fine-motion controls.

I know you don't want to spend a lot of money. That's OK--enjoy your scope as is. Spending the money to achieve negative results will only turn you off the hobby.

#4 GolfSierra

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

I would pass on that idea, do it right the first time look for a mount that can support the weight of your telescope. Used Vixen, Orion etc are available if you are patient. Your tube assembly would be to heavy for such a light weight mount. There are not many shortcuts in this hobby.

#5 leonalex12

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:24 PM

But I wouldn't buy an EQ mount unless it had a tracking drive (and in today's age, GoTo as well). Without tracking, you'd be better off with a more intuitive alt-az mount and fine-motion controls.


See, I'm okay with no tracking. I just hate the constant adjusting side to side required with alt-az, and I'd much rather just move in one direction.


But as for the mount being too light, that was my worry. Is it just worrisome though, or is it pretty much a no-go?

#6 Stelios

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:00 PM

AFAIC, it's a no-go.

#7 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:20 PM

But I wouldn't buy an EQ mount unless it had a tracking drive (and in today's age, GoTo as well). Without tracking, you'd be better off with a more intuitive alt-az mount and fine-motion controls.


See, I'm okay with no tracking. I just hate the constant adjusting side to side required with alt-az, and I'd much rather just move in one direction.


But as for the mount being too light, that was my worry. Is it just worrisome though, or is it pretty much a no-go?


I agree that equatorial is nice even without tracking. My concern is the size and weight of course but also there may not be an easy way to mount a different scope onto this mount. You may end up paying $100 for some hardware to make it happen. It is hard to see in the picture how the scope attaches. I would keep looking for a much sturdier mount for a Starblast 6.

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#8 orlyandico

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

Try to find a used non motorized Vixen Polaris or CG4. $150 if you're lucky.

#9 leonalex12

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:47 AM

Try to find a used non motorized Vixen Polaris or CG4. $150 if you're lucky.


Alright. Would the Cloudy Nights classifieds be a good place to look? I've been doing that, but what worries me is shipping price, and due to that it would probably be just below the price of buying it brand new. Because of that, I've been looking on Craigslist and other places where I can find people selling things locally. However, I am in Miami which isn't really know for its astronomy.

#10 orlyandico

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 09:22 AM

Local craigslist is probably best. You might get lucky for $50-$100. The CG4 is $250 and the Polaris is discontinued, but the slightly larger Great Polaris is $500+ so no danger of buying for close to new price.

This is the one you want!!! $50

http://orlando.craig...4100354878.html

It is a Celestron/Vixen C4.5 with a Vixen Polaris mount. Made in Japan. But it's a very old ad. Even at $150 for just the mount, it would be a good deal.. but this one includes the Japanese-made Vixen telescope.

This one is $125

http://tampa.craigsl...4096439647.html

The mount is probably a CG3 or CG4, so better than your first choice but a very poor and distant second to the first deal I've linked to. Interestingly, also a Celestron - but that was the time Celestron started degrading and was no longer selling the nice Japanese Vixen gear but instead started selling Chinese-made stuff.

#11 leonalex12

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:34 AM

This is the one you want!!! $50

http://orlando.craig...4100354878.html


Oh wow... Thanks!! Didn't think you would look through ads for me... I didn't think to actually look a little bit outside of the Orlando area to be honest. So this mount is good quality (assuming it has been well taken care of course)? Is it possible to easily put a tracking motor on it if I wanted to at some point?

#12 jrcrilly

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:38 AM

It's very good quality - that's a Vixen Polaris mount!

#13 leonalex12

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:58 AM

I guess I should try to scoop it up then huh? I think I'm going to see if he is willing to part with the mount alone...

I hardly have a proper place for my Starblast as it is!

#14 orlyandico

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:00 AM

Get the whole thing. That C4.5 telescope is probably a better scope optically than your Starblast. Plus if you put the Starblast there, you'll need to buy tube rings, which could be well over $100.

besides the whole thing is $50.

and yes you can put a tracking motor on it. Don't put a Vixen tracking motor, everything Vixen is overpriced (the SD-1 controller is $160, and the MT-1 motor is $80) - these prices should tell you something about Vixen quality!

Put an Orion EQ1M or similar motor.

I did this -

http://orlygoingthir...nt-hacking.html

Even if you don't change the crystal on the EQ1M, it will track adequately well for visual (in spite of the wrong tracking speed) - it still tracks surprisingly well (at about 40X it took well over 20 minutes for the moon to drift out of the FOV).


this $30 motor (might) work - http://www.bhphotovi...Astromaster_...

but it will require some adaptation. This motor I know will work, because I used it (it bolts right up) - $80

http://www.telescope...rive/p/7826.uts

but the speed is wrong (it is designed for a 100-tooth gear, the Vixen Polaris is 144-tooth). Hence my blog entry above about modifying it.



p.s. I didn't realize that particular telescope is 250 miles from Miami! :tonofbricks: that's a whole day's drive back and forth. Makes the 50 bucks not seem like that much of a bargain..

#15 jrcrilly

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:13 AM

Get the whole thing. That C4.5 telescope is probably a better scope optically than your Starblast.


Yes (it's a Vixen, too!).

#16 SteveG

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:02 PM



this $30 motor (might) work - http://www.bhphotovi...Astromaster_...



Yep - works perfectly and the speed is adjustable. I mounted it by drilling and tapping one hole in the side of the mount.

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#17 t.r.

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:25 PM

Wow...didn't know that $30 motor was still available...I have one too, works great.

#18 greju

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:36 PM

"and yes you can put a tracking motor on it. Don't put a Vixen tracking motor, everything Vixen is overpriced (the SD-1 controller is $160, and the MT-1 motor is $80) - these prices should tell you something about Vixen quality!"


Kind of a contradiction. ;) If you get the mount you will probably have to go with the motors previously pictured. Mainly because the real deal is as rare as hens teeth. ;)

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#19 greju

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:38 PM

No modifications required.

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#20 leonalex12

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:22 PM

Well the drive is no big deal. I might be on my way to Orlando anyway this weekend so that is fine.

Now... What has me wondering is what you guys said about the C4.5 being optically better. I thought that 6 inches of aperture would be better, no?

EDIT: Looking through the ads in Orlando I saw this. Given my track record so far, I'm thinking it's probably not as good as that other one, but I don't really know. Anywhere that I can find out this info myself?

Also, what is this about rings? The Starblast already has rigns for the scope... Although I'm guessing now that those aren't compatible with the Polaris mount?

Edit 2: He answered! He is still selling it!

#21 orlyandico

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:06 AM

The one you just linked is really of lesser quality. :)

Get the Vixen if you can. Good that the $30 Logic Drive works on it (with modification).

You are right, the Starblast 6 does have rings. It should not be a big problem to bolt it to the Vixen Polaris then.

the Celestron/Vixen C4.5 is of better optical quality because

1) it's Made in Japan
2) it has a slower focal ratio, hence less parabolization is required

However, you are also correct that 6" is better than 4.5" - but a finely-figured 4.5" will show you more detail on Jupiter than a mediocre 6". So since the scope and mount is $50 (and the seller probably won't split them up) get both the mount and scope, and try them and compare to your 6".

If the C4.5 does better than your 6" then sell the entire starblast. If not.. then sell the C4.5 - with any luck you can get $100 for it. :D

#22 leonalex12

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:14 AM

Awesome. You guys have been great!

You're now making me regret my $150 Starblast 6 purchase...


Now I'm wondering what eyepieces this guy is selling it with, as well as the condition. Time to ask before I go up there this weekend!






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