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Quick Setup EQ Mount for Video?

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#1 brettisley

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 01:45 AM

Thanks in advance for your consideration and I am sorry for covering old ground. I am trying to get back into the hobby via video after a several year absence. I have a very demanding job with weekly travel and family commitments with active kids and so my only observing lately has been via small refractors on alt-az mount every month or two. Skies in my suburban So CA neighborhood have deteriorated significantly since I was more active and so observing is now not so satisfying. I miss using my AP155 at home and at dark sites, but it does not fit my current life situation. I am looking at video as a means of getting back into the hobby. My idea is to put my older Stellacam II to use again and if that works out upgrade to a newer Mallincam. I am looking for a quick setup and quality goto EQ mount to use with my C6, FC76, FC76DS or TV85 and perhaps later a C8 or C9.25. I want to emphasize that I do not have the time to tinker and I need something to work out of the box. I have larger AP and Tak equipment, but that is too big and cumbersome to use at the present time. I've considered a Celestron VX, but that also looks too big and cumbersome. The ZEQ25 looks promising, or perhaps a Vixen SXW with NexSXD or GPD2 with DSC or Orion goto. What would you recommend for me? Thanks very much.

#2 A. Viegas

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 12:22 PM

The reviews on the ZEQ25 are very good, I used to have a CG5-agst and it was easy to setup but if you think the VX is too unwieldy then maybe that would be too bothersome also. The new celestron evolution mount looks promising but it's alt-az and no sold without OTA... Then again maybe you can look at your problem another way... Like you I am busy and only get a few weekends a month maybe to play with my equipment.. I have found that leaving my stuff semi pemanent setup is a huge help. I have a scope covered with a telegizmo 365 cover always set up outside and when i want to just peek or have only 30mins or so I have another rig all setup in the garage and I just wheel it out 10ft onto the driveway and do a quick align and am in business. This latter approach is super convenient and if you have the option to observe from your driveway perhaps you can consider a beefier mount and just use a scope buggy or wheelbar to make the most of the time you have.

Good luck

Al

#3 jgraham

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:30 PM

I had the same problem with my Atlas when I first bought it. The Atlas is a great mount, but a bit of a beast to move. I solved the problem by making a small modification to the foot of a hand-truck. It's now a breeze to move in and out. I also store the counterweights on the foot of the hand-truck, so I take everything outside in one trip. I use this same hand-truck to move my Meade giant field tripod with a Meade Super Wedge mounted on top.

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#4 Relativist

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:38 PM

John can we get a few more pictures? I'd like to see how it's secured from the sides.

To the OP, do you have a space in your garage where you could store your setup, and then roll it out when your going to use it?

#5 jgraham

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:04 PM

It is nothing fancy, just a piece of angle zip-tied to the base of the hand-truck. The angle is long enough to fit under the feet of the tripod when they are retracted and narrow enough to easily fit through a doorway. What I don't show in these pictures is how the weights fit nicely on the foot. The pneumatic tires of this hand-truck makes it easy to move the mount over just about any kind of surface including grass.

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#6 brettisley

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the replies and nice idea on the Atlas. I get out about once a month now and sometimes not even that. I keep a small refractor set up on alt-az in the garage and would do the same with this setup. I used to keep the 155/600E on JMI Wheeley Bars. I had in mind something relatively light that I could just pick up and set down at end of the driveway that does not take up much space, which prompted the ZEQ25 idea. As has been said, it seems to get some good reviews - so maybe that's the way to go, as long as I don't have to adjust/tune/tweak. Just wondering if there is something else to consider or if that is the best fit for the situation. I guess most others are using bigger mounts/scopes for video?

#7 jgraham

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:46 PM

Before I bought my Atlas I used an LXD75 SN6 (similar to the CG-5). I used to keep it fully assembled and carried it outside all in one piece. The trick as learning how to pick it up. :)

There is no one golden formula. People converge to their own solutions for that works for them. There are many combinations that will work depending on your specific equipment and expectations. I started with smaller, lighter mounts and I got very good results. Since moving to an Atlas I'm getting far better results. However, better is the worst enemy of good enough. :)






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