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Visual GOTO Mount - Any Advantage to EQ vice ALT-A

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#1 gaz-in

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:12 PM

Hi All,

Looking at GOTO mounts for a C8. Some kinda like the look, feel, functionality, stability, and weight of the Vixen Spynx SXW. However as I will only be using it for visual, wondering if an ALT-AZ is the better option.

Are there any advantages to an EQ for strictly visual work?

Thanks
Dan

#2 cuivienor

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:20 PM

Hello,

In my opinion, Alt-Az works better for visual work, if the mount is of good quality and can track correctly. Then when you want to sweep through a star field, recenter an object, etc, simple lateral and horizontal movements are enough.

Equatorial doesn't add much to the mix, except the fact that when well aligned, it will track better than AltAz does. Also, purists might insist this is the way telescopes are supposed to be mounted :)

I would also say that in terms of goto mounts, AltAz are generally cheaper at the lower end.

So in my opinion, for visual goto, AltAz is the way to go...

Cheers,

Yannick

#3 obin robinson

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

Are there any advantages to an EQ for strictly visual work?

Thanks
Dan


Yes. All celestial coordinates are in RA and DEC. If you want to find something then you just use the setting circles.

obin :)

#4 DeanS

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:08 PM

Alt/Az fork mounts will generally keep the eye piece at a more comfortable position, unlike a GEM.

#5 gary-sue69

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:08 PM

Just for visual goto, Alt-Az is the way I would go.

#6 davebl

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:59 PM

You might consider getting a mount that can be set up in either Alt / Az or EQ. I'm not sure if the Sphinx can do that or not.
Dave

#7 obin robinson

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:43 AM

Just for visual goto, Alt-Az is the way I would go.


So how do you find things if you don't have the RA and DEC coordinates? Do you spend most of your time just nudging the scope around trying to find what you are looking for? I find that if I have the RA and DEC of any object in the sky then I can at least see where it is supposed to be a lot quicker than guesswork. This is especially true in light polluted skies or when dealing with narrow fields of view.

obin :question:

#8 mclewis1

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:51 AM

Obin,

Of course you have RA and DEC information with today's popular goto alt az mounts. Once you've done an initial alignment you can manually enter RA and DEC values to goto any point and can get (read) RA and DEC values for any point in the sky. This applies to all the popular goto scopes/mounts I'm aware of (Celestron, Meade, IOptron, etc.)

No need for setting circles, traditional RA and DEC control is readily available via the hand controllers.

#9 obin robinson

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:53 PM

I know the new digital alt/az mounts have RA and DEC info. I am saying that I think it's easier to maneuver when you are "aligned" with the sky. For example when I am looking at something along the celestial equator I know it's only a tap on the +RA or -RA and I am still on the equator. There's no "go left and then down" or "go right a bit and then up" involved. I find it easier to know that once I am aligned all the motions match up with the celestial dome rather than having to visualize converting alt/az motions into RA and DEC coordinates... digital coordinates or not.

obin :)

#10 gary-sue69

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:57 AM

Just for visual goto, Alt-Az is the way I would go.


So how do you find things if you don't have the RA and DEC coordinates? Do you spend most of your time just nudging the scope around trying to find what you are looking for? I find that if I have the RA and DEC of any object in the sky then I can at least see where it is supposed to be a lot quicker than guesswork. This is especially true in light polluted skies or when dealing with narrow fields of view.

obin :question:

Sorry. I meant goto alt az mounts.

#11 rgsalinger

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:20 PM

If you REALLY are just going to do visual then the answer is whatever is easiest to set up with accurate goto's assuming you have a goto mount. However, if you go with a GEM and you want to eventually do some photography you'll be much happier. I can set up my iOptron (shameless plug) in a very short time for visual - maybe 20 minutes from boxes to working and I'm sure that there are some other GEM's out there that are just as good. What looks really cool to me are the newest alt/az mounts that claim to actually align themselves.
Rgrds-Ross

#12 gary-sue69

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:07 PM

Hi Dan. If you want the best of both worlds. This might be worth looking at, If your budget will allow. http://store.meade.c...mount-only.html

#13 gaz-in

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 08:02 PM

Mann Gary if I could buy with confidence it would work, I would already own an LX80. I like the concept, specs, looks, etc. Just worried with all the bad press it got.

#14 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:06 PM

gaz-in,

Most of the bad press was related to early events noted on CN (and if I recall it was the user's fault on one of them and Meade replaced it at their cost anyways), and the rest is related to folks having issues with AP and guiding. Some were also having problems with the load limits, but I am not fully clear if it is an issue.

I saw an LX80 in person and played with it a little and it seemed like a fine mount for the price range which did not fully match up with all the high drama discussions by the anti-Meade folks and the few noted bad events on CN. I also found it disheartening to see the folks who enjoy their LX80s' getting mobbed and the general negative karma here on CN.

Currently I am shopping for a very high mount (>$10,000), and a lower end mount (<$1500), with the lower end mount for education outreach, promotional events, fun field use and basic astrophotography (Sun, Moon, Planets and bright DSOs). After another round of Meade/Meade user bashing I was convinced to purchase an LX80 - by golly, I wanted to find out about this mount for myself first hand vs. most everyone speaking from theory (including myself). The LX80 arrives at my location (frozen West Michigan) next week. (And yes, the event caused me to cancel plans to purchase the iOptron ZEQ25).

So gaz-in, if you are patient, wait for my reports on this mythical, emotion drawing mount. And if you are near Michigan or New Mexico you are welcome to stop by and see it and join the test runs in person. Gary-sue and others you are welcome to join in the fun too. I will try and post some videos on the mount including views from the MallinCam. Either way, I am VERY curious how this mount REALLY works - and in the end some school is going to get a mount to use!

For the curious I will load on it:
* 130mm APO
* 80mm APO
* SolarMax II 90mm AND Coronado PST

Key tests -
* does it work to all the specs noted by Meade?
* Does it work in Alt-Az mode easily? Perform as expected?
* GEM/EQ mode - does it work? Is it easy to use and perform per the specs?
* What is the longest unguided image I can take with it?
* Can this puppy even be guided?
* Is damping a problem?
And of course is this mount fun to use or is it frustrating?

BTW, I am not looking at taking "pro" images with the LX80. That is what my LX850 is for (which I am learning how to do).

This will be fun…again gaz-in, and others nearby, you are welcome to join in the tests and all that.






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