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Portable mount for visual and video astronomy

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#1 RafaelP

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:48 PM

Hello!
I am looking for a portable mount for visual and video astronomy in my super light polluted environment of midtown Manhattan. It will be for a Celestron C5, so it won't need to be particularly burly. Something with goto, and since I can't see Polaris, with other methods of aligning. Any ideas? I do have a nice tripod, so that won't be a necessity.
Thanks!
Rafael

#2 Mkofski

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:59 PM

Rafael,

If portability is important, I'd look into iOptron's zEQ25 or move up to the CEM60 if budget allows. Obviously, portability means different things for different people. For me, the zEQ25 at 10 pounds and $900 price tag was just what I was looking for. If I had a perminant location and $3000, I'd love to have a CEM60.

What is your budget and what kind of equipment will you be using?

#3 RafaelP

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:32 PM

Yes, the iOptron zEQ25 looks great, maybe a little more than I was hoping to spend. Anyone have experience with the iOptron SmartEQ Pro?

#4 andysea

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:08 PM

I have used the smarteq pro for a couple of months for imaging.
Here are a couple of results.
http://www.flickr.co...sea/9737305042/
http://www.flickr.co...sea/9752710054/
it worked well but I had to tune it up when I received it.

#5 plav1959

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:36 PM

For video astronomy, a GEM is not really required. The idea is to keep integration times at 30 seconds or less. An alt-az mount would work just fine for this. Since you wouldn't need to polar align, seeing Polaris would not be an issue. I would think a used Nexstar 5SE mount would work fine. If you check, you'll find most people using Mallincams are running alt-az. For visual, an alt-az mount is easier to use than an equatorial mount.

#6 RafaelP

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 09:46 PM

Thanks for all the input everybody.
So an iOptron Cube Pro would be a good option then also? Perhaps I can find a used one. It seems pretty portable, and the short exposure of the Mallincam would work with it...

andysea- Lovely pictures!

#7 RafaelP

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:50 AM

Still undecided about a mount...
Anyone still use and iOptron SmartEQ Pro or Smart Cube? Can I mount them on a standard photo tripod?

#8 RafaelP

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

Anyone opinions on the iOptron SmartEQ Pro or Smart Cube/Cube-A? I was hoping not to spend more than $500. I will be using it with a Celestron C5 and a solar scope in the future.

#9 neotesla

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:35 PM

I run a Lunt 60mm on a Cube A mount. I have to say though I did remount onto an Oberwerks tripod, as the Ioptron tripod was very shaky, and also quite short. For solar viewing it tracks for hours without issue. I have only used it in Alt/Az mode, the equatorial platform cannot be moved onto my Oberwerks tripod.






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