SW 100 ED - EQ or Alt-Az w/slo-mo
Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:33 PM
I'll soon be getting this scope and was wondering which type of mount you all like for a fast "Grab n' Go" setup?
The Orion AstroView EQ for 250.00 is on top of my list, and the Stellarvue MGF Alt-Az would be second, only because I had a Voyager and trying to track at hi-mag was a bit tedious.
I plan on using the mount/scope for double-star observing,.. mostly.
Which of the two would you use and/or do you think is the most stabil?
Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:19 PM
As a grab & go, I take it on holidays with my family for some casual fun with a very simple alt-az mount (Sky Tee), along with just 3 eyepieces. I know my way round the sky well enough to star-hop to the usual objects to entertain friends and family, and this mount is surprisingly steady.
For serious observing nights I have a SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 which is pretty much nirvana - in alt-az mode it tracks smoothly - its probably overkill for double stars with this scope - yet I can release the clutches and push it around without the controller losing calibration. And it does GOTO.
I have used it in equatorial mode but as I am not a photographer I don't see myself using it that way often.
My other reason for buying the AZ-EQ6 is that I also have a pair of 180mm Maks and this mount is perfect for these scopes.
Posted 08 November 2013 - 08:46 AM
But that is neither here nor there.
There are many people I think that want to look at all doubles at very high power, and if this is you, then you may find tracking to be desirable. Once you get over 100x, things start hustling though the field, and pushing the scope or using slow motion controls will cause the scope to oscillate, which really distracts from the ability to simply enjoy the view.
For this reason, I personally find most Alt-Az scopes to be unsiutable for high power observing and would recommend a mount that has some kind of drive.
And while the Orion mount can be fitted with a motor, the problem is the tirpod that it uses. These are thin wall aluminum and just not really all that stable when extended high enough to keep you from sitting on the ground when viewing near zenith.
A much better choice would be the Celestron CG-4 with steel tube legs. These can be purchased for ony $20 more (including shipping)
Because it is a geared mount, you also eliminate the issues with nose dive when chaning eyepecies while viewing a target.
So, my advice would be to stretch up to the CG-4.
Also, for double star observing, you might want to condiser a good quality zoom eyepiece! Eyepeice quality matters little for splitting doubles, but I would still buy a good quality zoom. Maybe a used Baader II (much less than the used Mk III but optically the same).
If you are going to view tight doubles at high power though, I would recommend some form ot tracking mount, and not the Orion you are looking at, but something with a steel tube leg or Vixen HAL tripod.
Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:18 PM
I chose and bought the AstroView today and you are right about tracking. I do plan to get a smaller and shorter refractor for this mount, but wanted to see how well it would work with the SW 100 ED Apo. Even at my age, I still have a pretty steady hand at the eyepiece yet. I was doing aok with the voyager at hi powers also on doubles.
And, the SW 100 will be used for all types of observing, it's just that, right now, I'm kind of hooked on doubles.
Clear and Steady Skies