Scopes: Celestron 9.25, Orion 80MM and 120MM EON Apo
Solar: Lunt LS60THa/PT/B1200/50DS
Binos: Canon 15X50 IS Mounts: CGEM and LXD75
Eyepieces: Explore Scientific, Meade & TeleVue
Camera: DMK 41, Canon 6D, SBIG STT-8300
Messier Certificate # 2508
My Images: http://www.astrophotogallery.org/u342-hfjacinto.html
Quote: Well you are starting AP. I use to just have 1 scope. Just wait, start looking at cooled CCD's, filter wheels, narrow band pass filters, imaging apos, guide scopes and the hours needed to get an image, but its all worth it.
Quote:I only use mine for public outreach sessions, and for that use I can say it's been bullet proof for me for over six years. That's packing and moving it four to ten times a month, setting up in a different location each time, plus the occasional three day weekends and 8 nights at the Grand Canyon Star Party each year.
Quote:I've used the awesome freeware package EQMOD for satellite tracking, and it is quite adept at nailing the International Space Station and many other passing bodies for me. I've also done some lunar video that's been very pleasing using an Orion solar system imager.
EQMOD/EQASCOM will make this mount sing opera. Awesome, as I said. And the Synta family (EQ6, Atlas EQ-G, HEQ5, EQ6 Pro, NEQ6, etc.) are really blessed with this tool.
Quote:For imaging uses, the quality control has improved markedly over the years. Before I bought mine, there was awful grease we called Synta Glue, and much inferior materials and workmanship on the internal bearings and worms. But the last few years, things seem to have improved. The delivered mounts still suffer from overtighening the shafts, and sloppy alignment an inferior material on the worm bearing supports, leading to higher than desired periodic error, but those are really cheap and easy fixes. These haven't affected my visual use, though, with a pretty heavy SCT.
Quote:That's good to know. On that note, I noticed quite a number of people getting their Atlas mounts "hypertuned" by Deep Space Products. This seems to be a wonderful set of upgrades, including the replacement of lower-quality bearings with high quality ceramic ones. I wonder how much of an improvement this upgrade makes? Any opinions on that?
Modded C9.25, Vixen SP retrofitted with DS motors and Autostar My pics Stars light the world without, to give us purpose They light us within to give us reason We live in a well-lit abyss.
Quote:hfjacinto,Your pics as well are impressive. I enjoy seeing things in a open starfield sometimes as well. Evenryone is allways in a hurry to zoom in. Sometimes it's nice to see these object just hanging in space. Joe
Quote:Ajay,You have done some awesome work there. I would not have thought they were DSLR if you had not listed it. Very nice stuff.. I found the C9.25 to be an excellent performer in the past.hfjacinto,Your pics as well are impressive. I enjoy seeing things in a open starfield sometimes as well. Evenryone is allways in a hurry to zoom in. Sometimes it's nice to see these object just hanging in space. Joe
Quote:I'd highly recommend the Atlas. I've used an Atlas for 3 years now and am very satisfied with it's performance. I shot images up to 2000mm. I mostly use it in the 800mm range. Look at my images at the link in my tagline.-Bill
Quote:I have an older Atlas with about 40" of periodic error (peak to peak). It works fine for me imaging at 800mm, but I doubt that autoguiding could completely tame those swings at longer focal lengths.The Atlas mount has continually improved over time; it may be worth buying a new one (or at least a new used one, if that makes sense). The newer ones seem to have better PE characteristics than the old ones, in the 15-25" range. The smaller the PE, the less work your guider has to do.Please understand that I'm not insinuating anything about the mount you're looking at, I don't know anything about it or how old it is. I got my Atlas used from a club member for a very good price knowing everything I needed to know about it and I have no regrets. It's been SO much better than my LXD75.Once I build my observatory, I plan to move up to a high-end mount. Until then, the Atlas is doing everything I need it to do. Just know that the newer ones are typically better than the older ones. Also, as far as I know, the newer Atlas and CGEM mounts are almost equivalent in terms of mechanical characteristics, PE, etc. The Atlas uses stepper motors; the CGEM servos. Functionally it makes no difference other than that the Atlas may be a little quieter. The main advantages of the Atlas is that it is very reliable and that it can be controlled using the EQMOD suite, which is excellent. (I don't even have a hand controller for my mount, I use EQMOD exclusively). The advantages of the CGEM are that is has better software, including the excellent All-Star Polar Alignment technique. It also has the capability of accepting permanent PEC. The Atlas can also use PEC, and with EQMOD, PEC is well-integrated with autoguiding (so they don't fight), but the Atlas worm gear is not indexed so its quite easy for the PEC curve to become unsynchronized. The CGEM accepts Losmandy dovetails, so you'd need to replace the dovetail that will accompany your SN6 to use it with the CGEM, but this is a worthy upgrade anyway that will minimize flexure and provide a very rigid and secure attachment.Whew! That's a lot to digest. I do think you will be well-served to consider the Atlas / CGEM caliber mounts rather than the CG5 / LXD75. The lesser mounts will probably be able to handle the weight of your imaging setup, but they tend to have substantially more PE and, more importantly, a certain "roughness" or stickiness in the tracking that can be hard to guide out.