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Small lightweight mount for Celestron C90 Maksutov

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#1 skyaddict

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 02:54 PM

Hi everyone,
Back on Cloudynights after a long absence. First post in Cats and Casses. For many years, I have exclusively used refractors. I recently went on holiday and left my usual grab and go telescope at home because I had a lot of hopping on and off planes and trains to do. Looking at yet another clear night from my balcony in Spain prompted me to buy a used Mak - a Celestron C90, thinking that I could always sling it in my bag in future for a spot of moon gazing or casual planet observing. My previous travel scope, a 90 mm Tak refractor, clearly requires more commitment in terms of weight, bulk and volume than I am now prepared to make...... of course, I now lug cases for a couple of children in addition to any telescope, makes you pause before adding extra weight
I'm now thinking of mounting the tube. Had a good look around this forum and others. Most of the options discussed are too heavy. What I want is something like a small alt azimuth table top mount. I am quite happy  to hang a couple of rocks off it to increase its steadiness when I go on holiday, laugh, then try it, it works!!  or some other botch!! But I don't fancy severely compromising the portability of my system with a heavy mount. Ideally, it would be nice to go to maybe 150-200X.
If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears. Thanks very much in advance for your input. Enjoy your weekend.
clear skies
Kevin



#2 Sarkikos

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:50 PM

I mount my C90 on a 501HDV head on 055XB Bogen tripod. The head has a handle for aiming the scope.  This setup is very light and portable. No need for slo-mo controls. Of course, stay away from GEMs if you want the setup to be portable.  A UA DwarfStar would probably be nice, especially if you can order one with a handle.

 

Mike



#3 skyaddict

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:45 AM

Thanks Mike for getting back to me. The DwarfStar looks like a nice option. you say no need for slo-mo controls. Is this the case even when looking at the Moon and planets at say, 100X? Perhaps you could let me know what your experience is and I will take it from there. 

     clear skies 

 Kevin 



#4 oliverschurer

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 12:33 PM

I originally used my newer model C90 on a Bogen 3011 tripod with a Bogen 3126 fluid head.  I found the mount difficult to balance and use at higher altitudes, despite having rigged up a counterweight system.  I have since switched to a UA Dwarfstar mount and couldn't be happier with this setup for travelling.  Magnifications of 150x with the C90 are no trouble at all.  It also works very well with my AT72ED, so I usually take both scopes with me when going to a dark sky location.  The tripod and mount gets rolled up in a yoga mat and fits nicely in the bag from a folding camping chair.



#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 12:50 PM

Thanks Mike for getting back to me. The DwarfStar looks like a nice option. you say no need for slo-mo controls. Is this the case even when looking at the Moon and planets at say, 100X? Perhaps you could let me know what your experience is and I will take it from there. 

     clear skies 

 Kevin 

 

My experience is with the 501HDV and Bogen tripod.  The 501HDV has a panhandle and a fluid head.  It is quite a bit beefier than the 3126.  I have used the 501HDV for observing planets and double stars with the C90 and C80ED at 200-300x. I prefer a panhandle rather than slo-mo controls, as long as the mount has smooth movement. IME, slo-mo's are a way to get around poor movement in a mount. If the mount has smooth movement and a panhandle, I don't need slo-mo controls. In fact, I find a panhandle much easier to use. Ideally, the mount should have a panhandle AND slo-mo's.

 

True, since the 501HDV mounts the OTA directly above the tripod, there is the tendency for the OTA to slip backwards when pointed toward zenith. But the detents are sufficient to compensate for that when used with small OTAs.  I only began to have real difficulty moving the 501HDV around zenith when I mounted the C5, which is a more cumbersome and heavier OTA than the C90 or C80ED.  However, IME the 501HDV was - and is - completely acceptable for my C90 and C80ED.

 

Personally, I would only get a DwarfStar if it included a panhandle.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 24 August 2014 - 12:54 PM.


#6 Hesiod

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 01:03 PM

I use a SLT (less than 5kg including tripod), thanks to its autotracking features you can push the scope to its very limit.

 

There is also a tabletop AZ auotracking mount sold by Skywatcher (Merlin Synscan or something similar)

Both works with 8 AAs or 12V DC



#7 skyaddict

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:10 PM

Hi everyone,

   Thanks for getting back to me. After reading all these posts I am leaning towards the dwarfstar plus handle. Goto is probably unnecessary for my purposes right now. I will give it some thought and buy in the near future. Of course, I will put a review of the mount/ scope up on cloudynights in a few weeks once I get it up and running. 

    Thanks again for your input and clear skies to all you good people!

 Kevin



#8 skyaddict

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:30 AM

Hi all, 

 Have got the C90 now, but no mount. Pulled the trigger on the mount today but went for the slightly heavier Microstar plus handle, rather than the Dwarfstar. I might put encoders on it in the future and the Microstar might be more versatile for 'future' telescopes as yet undreamed of !! 

Will place a review on CN once everything arrives. Thanks to everyone. 

 Kevin 



#9 DocFinance

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 09:36 PM

I've been using my Orangetube C90 on a Bogen 3126 head with an eq1 counterweight in the handle slot pointing forward.  Seems to be all the mount I'll need (I can't remember the number on the tripod, but it has a center column) but I'll figure out how to put it on something with slo-mo when I have time.







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