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First Mount: Money Not Very Important

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#1 Hyperspaced

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:48 PM

I first posted this in the beginners section along with what telescope. My thinking has become more refined, in large part thanks to responses here and other threads. I am leaning towards a nice refractor if I can find one. Else, I will likely get a Celestron 11 inch EDGE.

But the more I have thought about things, the more I have realized that the mount is the harder question. I want something that's high quality and can work with AP. But viewing will not be good from my house, so it needs to be portable. Of course, the more portable, the more it will be used. But maybe then it can't be used for AP. If there's nothing that fulfills all these goals, so be it. Portable must win for now.

Also, the more I look at the Celestron mounts, the more I think they will not cut it.

So what's an excellent portable mount that isn't so hard to use and that can actually be purchased? It probably should have a capacity a bit north of 30 pounds. I'd like goto capability. Also, I cannot see Polaris from home, so some other method of polar alignment is needed.

Finally, I don't want the trouble or risk of buying used. That makes some options that seem great impossible.

Thanks for your advice over the last weeks in response to my previous thread and all the other threads. This is a wonderful community!

#2 Raginar

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:51 PM

AP1100. Plenty of capacity for whatever you decide you want to do. Price isn't a concern so you might as well just buy the best and go to town! Don't forget the encoders too.

Good luck,

#3 Hyperspaced

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:56 PM

Portability isn't great though. Yes it is portable, but my concern is that it is heavy enough that too many nights I will think it isn't worth it. Also, are there any to be had new? I thought I'm like a year late for this. Thanks

#4 Mr Greybush

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:57 PM

IMHO you can't go wrong with AP mounts period but IMHO a used mount kept well is just as good as a new one and most of the time people do take care of their equipment my :penny: :penny:

#5 Don Taylor

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:29 PM

Well I'm considering a new mount right now as well - albeit for slightly different scopes and purposes.

But from your description perhaps a Losmandy G-11? Excellent support and parts availability, nicely made. A lot of folks use them for A-P.

Maybe some current G-11 owners can comment whether polar alignment is straightforward or difficult in your situation.
I've not had to drift align my equatorial mounts so I really can't help with that aspect.

And yes, I'm lusting after the regular (not GoTo) G-11 to handle the refractors and VMC200L.

#6 Bob D

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:50 PM

The AP website is currently taking orders for delivery of the 1100 this September.

#7 Raginar

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:26 PM

There ya go. Don't get cheap on us, you said unlimited budget.

#8 B. Hebert

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:56 PM

You could buy an entire Orion package - just to get started at AP, then move in whatever other direction you choose.

I can't advise on any mounts above that as it is my $$ limit.

BH

#9 frolinmod

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:09 PM

If money not tight, I'd get a Paramount MX+ and a tripod to go with it.

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:11 PM

Portability isn't great though. Yes it is portable, but my concern is that it is heavy enough that too many nights I will think it isn't worth it.


You are considering a C-11.. That's a relatively large scope and requires a relatively robust mount. With a G-11, it's still something that can be intimidating.

Honestly, with a C-11 there will be many nights when you will think it's just isn't worth it.. It takes time to setup, time to cool down.

Most have more than one scope, one that's nice and handy, one that's a whole lot bigger.

Jon

#11 Dom543

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:48 PM

If you want to get started in AP, then you will want to do it with an 80mm APO. There are many nice portable and high precision mounts for an 80mm refractor. The new ioptron mounts get good reviews. The C11 is not a good way to get started in AP, not even on an A-P mount.
--Dom

#12 BKBrown

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:25 AM

I like AP too, but I'll recommend the Mach One GTO. I had a long discussion with the folks at AP vis-a-vis my C11 Edge and they explicitly said the Mach One would handle that scope with gear for imaging up to the full load capacity. That's a 28 lb scope so you have a lot of latitude with your imaging kit. The Mach One is considerably lighter and more portable, and remember, counterweights don't count against your load capacity...

Clear Skies,
Brian

#13 sdakotaastro

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:10 AM

If encoders are involved,

10Micron or Astro-Physics(AP).. in that order!

Only because no APCC.. Then you can change the order to whatever you like. :p

#14 David Pavlich

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:53 AM

AP Mach 1 with a good tripod. Great performance and good portability.

David

#15 Tim Giles

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:59 AM

Track the Stars TTS160 Panther

http://trackthestars.com/

Encoded, lighter than other suggestions, extremely quick set up. Great for AP although you would want the rOTAter for it for long subs. Scandinavian design and made.

#16 Footbag

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:29 AM

Either the Mach 1 or AP1100. Since you are starting with the C11, I'd lean towards the 1100.

And since you are spending so much, buy a small refractor to get your feet wet. If you struggle with the C11, then the refractor will be your practice scope. It'll probably give you your best images at first.

#17 Bob D

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:58 AM

I also thought hard about the Mach 1 vs. 1100 choice. The main thing that convinced me toward the 1100 was watching the NEAF 2013 video interview of George Whitney (AP) by Dennis di Cicco (Sky and Telescope). In particular, the ease of separating the 1100 head into two pieces was noteworthy. The heaviest of the two weighs no more than the C11 and is, of course, much less bulky and only needs to be lifted as high as the top of the tripod. It's much, much lighter and less bulky than lifting my CPC 925 onto the top of its tripod!

The video is on the Sky and Telescope website.

Bob

#18 WadeH237

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

You've pretty much described a Mach 1 exactly.

They're not shipping right now, but after doing this for many years, I can state that you should get used to being patient for great equipment. Missing out on the current season is soon forgotten, once the wait is over and you take delivery.

If you absolutely cannot wait, you should take a look at the Takahashi EM-200, which is also a decent fit for your requirements.

#19 Per Frejvall

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:54 PM

I have the 10Micron GM2000HPS UP, where UP means "Ultra Portable". It splits in two parts for easy transport, has absolute encoders and does not require guiding for astro-photography.

/per

#20 jzeiders

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:51 PM

With the AP mounts, Mach 1 and 1100 you don't need an auxiliary computer to run them. They are self contained. From what I understand if the computer dies the paramount does not work. Also get the RAPAs, it makes alignment fast and easy.

I have a AP 900 which also would be adequate for your needs if you can find one. Splitting the RA and Deg assemblies leaves you with two easily manageable pieces around 25# each.

I use a IOptron IEQ45 for my small portable light l;pad work horse. The equatorial head on that is 25# and easily carried with one hand. It also fits in the trunk of my Miata where larger mounts require a larger vehicle.

If you are serious regarding astrophotography, I suggest you do not start with a SCT. Long focal length, and narrow field are limiting also moving optics bring their own issues. COnsider a optic designed for photography.
You will be happier and more successful in the long run.

You really want the best mount you can get that will work for your needs, Your budget and back are usually the limiting factors if portable is part of the equation.

YMMV

Jack

#21 mattw

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 05:58 PM

AP Mach 1. Do not even consider a Losmandy.

#22 Hyperspaced

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:55 PM

There ya go. Don't get cheap on us, you said unlimited budget.


You all are incredibly helpful, if at times a little harsh! I think I'll go for the AP 1100. Now, that means I'll need something less expensive and much more portable while I wait. Any thoughts here? Need not be AP-capable.

Also, to be fair, I simply said that money wasn't very important, not that it was wholly irrelevant. With that in mind, can I get away without getting the absolute encoders?

Thanks all.

#23 Phil Cowell

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:11 PM

AP just works out of the box. No tweaking and you don't need to be a mechanic.

#24 Raginar

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:06 PM

Wrong. He wants the best. Encoders are the best and give you a better product.

Don't cheap out for him.

#25 Mkofski

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:33 PM

You all are incredibly helpful, if at times a little harsh! I think I'll go for the AP 1100. Now, that means I'll need something less expensive and much more portable while I wait. Any thoughts here? Need not be AP-capable.


An iOptron CEM60 or an iEQ45 would hold you over nicely. Either should sell easily on the used market after your AP mount arrives.






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