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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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mamamia
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EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP
      #6159012 - 10/26/13 11:48 AM

I'm putting together a AP setup, my ES 102mm ED triplet is on the way, this is the new essential series which comes with barebones with upgraded focuser.

I am looking at a EQ mount and considering AVX, LX80, IOptron IEQ30.
However it seems like iOptron has various issues and hard to work with mount, I don't want to be running to ACE hardware buying nuts and screws to become a mount mechanic.

I'm planning to use
1. CCD Camera
2. Filters
3. SSAG Mini Autoguider
4. Focal Reducers

Appreciate if anyone can provide their thoughts to make a decision between AVX and LX80. While I am considering iOPtron but hesitant due to their quality control issues.


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6159028 - 10/26/13 12:01 PM

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?


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CounterWeight
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159053 - 10/26/13 12:14 PM

I agree, get a better mount than you think you need. Imaging is all about keeping things pointed as precisely as possible (and what is possible is amazing) over the imaging run. Also look at the ways of setting the mount up and their ways of polar aligning for imaging.

Auto-guiding will reign in some small variances but it's the mount setup that lays the groundwork.


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159059 - 10/26/13 12:16 PM

Quote:

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?




Thanks Terry.
AP11 etc are out of my budget and Atlas/CGEM series are way too heavy for me to move from 4th floor apartment. I'm not not sure about the filter setup yet but will get one of those Baader/Astradon filter setup. ES says focuser is R&P type ans is better than the old Crayford focuser they used with their old gen scopes.


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6159088 - 10/26/13 12:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?




Thanks Terry.
AP11 etc are out of my budget and Atlas/CGEM series are way too heavy for me to move from 4th floor apartment. I'm not not sure about the filter setup yet but will get one of those Baader/Astradon filter setup. ES says focuser is R&P type ans is better than the old Crayford focuser they used with their old gen scopes.




How about a smaller mount, smaller scope and camera with a smaller chip? A Sirius (for example)can easily handle an 80ED class scope. Match that with a chip that gives the FOV you want.


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159124 - 10/26/13 12:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Short answer to me is none of the above. I think you would want to be looking at an Atlas, G11 or Mach 1 type.

Longer answer is the scope is only part of the equation. What camera? What size filters? What filter wheel? Will the stock focuser handle the weight or will you need a beefier focuser?




Thanks Terry.
AP11 etc are out of my budget and Atlas/CGEM series are way too heavy for me to move from 4th floor apartment. I'm not not sure about the filter setup yet but will get one of those Baader/Astradon filter setup. ES says focuser is R&P type ans is better than the old Crayford focuser they used with their old gen scopes.




How about a smaller mount, smaller scope and camera with a smaller chip? A Sirius (for example)can easily handle an 80ED class scope. Match that with a chip that gives the FOV you want.




My Scope is already on the way but camera/filters etc is something I can control. Sirius Mount looks good but how does it compare to AVX and LX80?


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6159133 - 10/26/13 12:51 PM

The Sirius has the same reputation as the Atlas. They just work. Also, for imaging, EQMOD is hard to beat.

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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159210 - 10/26/13 01:40 PM

Quote:

The Sirius has the same reputation as the Atlas. They just work. Also, for imaging, EQMOD is hard to beat.




Terry, Does Sirius comes with PEC and other features similar to AVX? its also $400 more.


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Gary Minder
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159268 - 10/26/13 02:14 PM

Moving a mount to/from a 4th floor apartment is a tough constraint. I can give you some insight regarding the AVX.

I keep mine in my garage, fully assembled, ready to pick up and move. I move it about 50' to my front porch area when I image. I can easily pick it up and move it without the two 11-pound counterweights. If I had to try to get it into an elevator or down a stairwell I might have to take the mount head off to collapse the tripod. I think that would adversely impact my polar alignments. I marked the concrete after a good polar alignment so I am able to place my tripod very precisely session to session. My polar alignments rarely take more than a 1/2 turn on the Alt/Az knobs.

My C8 starts off about 2 pounds heavier than your ES 102. I have an Orion 50mm guide scope/SSAG, a Celestron 50mm RACI finder, a 6.3 reducer and a Canon 450D. I haven't crunched the numbers but I probably image at about 60%-65% of the AVX's 30 lb rated load.

I'm a noob so if I am overloading my mount, my acquisition and processing skills aren't good enough yet for it to matter. There may be a beefier mount in my future, but while I'm learning it's great having the AVX that I can set up quickly and accurately.


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Jeff2011
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Gary Minder]
      #6159351 - 10/26/13 03:14 PM

It amazes me how much stuff I need for AP. I can't imagine hauling it all down from a 4th floor apartment. The main reason I went with the AVX over a heavier mount is portability. After learning how to image in my light polluted backyard I have only recently started traveling to a dark site to image. I have it where I can now fit everything into two good size storage tubs except for the OTA and tripod legs of the AVX.

The AVX is not a bad mount, but like most low end mounts will require autoguiding even for shorter duration imaging. I have two issues with it. The periodic error seems to be pretty high and it has a backlash issue with the declination. Guiding and PEC will keep periodic error under control. The dec backlash becomes an issue with guiding. My workaround has been to guide dec only in one direction, but that limits automatic dithering to RA only.

If I remember correctly, I chose the AVX over the Sirius because the AVX was a new scope that just came out, had thicker tripod legs and cost less. I have not used a Sirius, but I hear it does not suffer from the same backlash issue and probably has less periodic error. If I were to start again with the knowledge I have learned, I would probably go with the Sirius.

I do not regret my purchase of the AVX however. My plan was such that I would buy lower end equipment to see if AP was for me and then go on from there. I have found out that it is and have enjoyed it immensely.

I would listen to the guys on this site. Terry, Jim, and Madratter call themselves beginners, but they have acquired a lot of knowledge between them and many of them have learned the hard way. They are trying to help beginners by not making the same mistakes they did.

This is a very fun but addictive hobby and can be very expensive. It is best to take it slowly and learn the fundamentals before trying to get into too much advanced stuff. I typically learn much more from my mistakes than if I luck into it.

Hope your AP adventure will be as enjoyable as it has been for me.


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DrDispatch
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Jeff2011]
      #6159472 - 10/26/13 04:35 PM

I have the sirus EQ. for $1100 it has NEVER let me down, guides all night long with orion mini guider. was doing all 20 and min subs last 2 nights. I have issues with weight and this was my choice.

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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: DrDispatch]
      #6159488 - 10/26/13 04:46 PM

Quote:

I have the sirus EQ. for $1100 it has NEVER let me down, guides all night long with orion mini guider. was doing all 20 and min subs last 2 nights. I have issues with weight and this was my choice.




You mean your each sub was 20 min long exposure?


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DrDispatch
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6159579 - 10/26/13 05:54 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)

Edited by DrDispatch (10/26/13 05:57 PM)


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DrDispatch
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: DrDispatch]
      #6159594 - 10/26/13 06:04 PM

I have never even ran PEC
got mount 5pm last fall, put together, new scope & all
went on deck, got it guiding with PHD. does good every night. did rough balance. I do have a 5.5 lb carbon fiber scope, weight is EVRYTHING on these mounts. never go much past 1/2 capacity.


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: DrDispatch]
      #6159641 - 10/26/13 06:41 PM

Quote:

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)




Very nice, can you post Color Pictures, As I understand the only thing Sirius EG-G is missing compared to AVX is the PEC feature correct?


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6159649 - 10/26/13 06:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)




Very nice, can you post Color Pictures, As I understand the only thing Sirius EG-G is missing compared to AVX is the PEC feature correct?




If you are going to do long exposures you will need to autoguide. If you guide you don't need PEC. If you use EQMOD instead of the SynScan hand controller you can do PEC if you wish.


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159699 - 10/26/13 07:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

yes sir.
with the mini guider, see my signature.

using an HA filter, so long is required. medium light pollution. I can see 3 street lights from where scope sits.

here is 1200sec sub from last night, only got THREE, then camera went whacky:)




Very nice, can you post Color Pictures, As I understand the only thing Sirius EG-G is missing compared to AVX is the PEC feature correct?




If you are going to do long exposures you will need to autoguide. If you guide you don't need PEC. If you use EQMOD instead of the SynScan hand controller you can do PEC if you wish.




Sirius $1200 vs. AVX $800
Mini Auto Guider $400

+ Sirius=EQMOD
+ AVX = $1200 gets me an AutoGuider+Mount

Decisions--Decisions


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6159721 - 10/26/13 07:48 PM

Based on comments from Jeff2011 in other threads (he has the AVX) I gather the AVX has problems similar to the CG-5. If'n it wuz me Id stay away and spend a little more. Good luck....

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Madratter
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159772 - 10/26/13 08:23 PM

I own the Atlas and for portability reasons, I would not go there. Mine is great but I have an observatory so it doesn't get moved around. I also own and imaged with a CG-5 (now retired because of the Atlas). The CG-5 was the predecessor to the AVX. The AVX is clearly an upgrade on the CG-5. However, the declination axis, while improved over the CG-5 still does not have roller bearings.

I totally agree with Terry here about the Sirius vs AVX. I would definitely go with the Sirius if you can come up with the money. Weight wise, they are very similar (the Sirius might be slightly less if I'm reading the specs correctly).

You'll get much better bearings on the declination axis with the Sirius. That in turn will lead to much fewer hassles when guiding.

Edited by Madratter (10/26/13 08:25 PM)


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nodalpoint
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6159858 - 10/26/13 09:44 PM

Quote:

Based on comments from Jeff2011 in other threads (he has the AVX) I gather the AVX has problems similar to the CG-5. If'n it wuz me Id stay away and spend a little more. Good luck....




Kind of hard to make that determination based on one person's experience.


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Madratter
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6159905 - 10/26/13 10:21 PM

I heartily recommend going to the mount forum and reading the various threads on the AVX. You might need an afternoon to do it. But the bottom line is that although the bearings in the AVX are improved over the CG-5, they still suffer from some of the same problems. Some people do love them. For visual work I loved my CG-5. You'll see that reading the threads too. Hey, I was able to make my CG-5 work imaging with my C8. It was a constant source of frustration, but I did make it work.

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Jeff2011
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Madratter]
      #6160014 - 10/27/13 12:07 AM

The dec issue is not just with the CG5 and AVX, the CGEM also appears to have or have had this issue. See the following CN article.

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2702


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6160481 - 10/27/13 10:35 AM

Ok, I'll chime in. Either get a smaller scope or get a bigger mount. Terry speaks from years of experience. He isn't just trying to spend your money. We all have been through having cheap mounts that can't quite make the cut. It's frustrating and your 800 bucks is wasted.

Go over to astrobin and do some equipment searches. You'll see what size telescope you can fit on what mount.

You bought too big of a scope for a portable mount.


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6160510 - 10/27/13 10:51 AM

Quote:

Ok, I'll chime in. Either get a smaller scope or get a bigger mount. Terry speaks from years of experience. He isn't just trying to spend your money. We all have been through having cheap mounts that can't quite make the cut. It's frustrating and your 800 bucks is wasted.

Go over to astrobin and do some equipment searches. You'll see what size telescope you can fit on what mount.

You bought too big of a scope for a portable mount.




Smaller scope that 102mm Triplet? My initial thought was 127mm then I decided go smaller and got an 102mm its already on its way. I thought AVX would probably handle 102mm if it handles heavier 9.25 SCT like Celestron sells as AP package.


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Wmacky
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6160537 - 10/27/13 11:05 AM

Celestron is wrong.

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Jeff2011
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6160568 - 10/27/13 11:21 AM

That setup may work for visual and planetary AP, but not DSO AP. Most mount sellers try to overstate things a bit. The rule of thumb is that the scope plus accessories (camera, adapters, flatteners, guiding equipment, etc) should not exceed half the mount payload. Counterweights not included generally. But there are also other factors like balance and length of scope. Newts are hard to balance and refractors can be long.

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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6160579 - 10/27/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

Celestron is wrong.




ahha! can you please elaborate


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Wmacky
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6160694 - 10/27/13 12:45 PM

I believe that package being sold as an AP rig, has more to do with marketing than reality. The worst place to go for advice on how to spend your money is a mass market manufacturer.

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Stelios
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6160732 - 10/27/13 01:08 PM

Quote:

I believe that package being sold as an AP rig, has more to do with marketing than reality. The worst place to go for advice on how to spend your money is a mass market manufacturer.




Some of us can only afford a "mass-market manufacturer." I'd love to get an AP (Astro-Physics) mount, but it just won't happen, like I'll never have a Bentley or my wife a Birkin bag.

The CG-5 (and therefore the AVX) *will* happily carry a well-balanced 9.25" for visual with dead-on GoTo's (and an 11" although not quite so happily).

AP is another story, of course. I accept the common wisdom of 1/2 the rated capacity of the mount (and the CG-5 has other AP issues as I'm learning).

But are mount capacities rated equally? Or is marketing at work again? The Sirius is rated 30 lbs, but it looks more massive than the 35-lb rated CG-5. One of *my* big questions is whether the Sirius will support 20-22 lb for AP, especially if one upgrades the tripod. And then there's the ieq45 that supposedly can carry 45lbs--but "doesn't look it."

My situation is near-identical to the OP's. The Atlas/CGEM/G11 are simply too heavy for me. If I ever get a permanent observatory, I'd consider them (the G11 would have to be used), but that would require relocating which is not in the cards for several years.

Edited by Stelios (10/27/13 01:09 PM)


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Stelios]
      #6160776 - 10/27/13 01:52 PM

Stelios, no they're not. That's why you get a pretty cynical response in the imaging forums about what equipment to buy. Trust me, we've all been there and bought the cheap hoping it would work out. But, we loved the hobby and have continued onwards... And spent quite a bit more than if we'd just bought the 'good stuff'.

The question really is, what's your patience threshold? My Mi-250 takes pictures all night long and I quite literally just turn it on and it works. My CGEM? I spent hours tinkering. Oops, NexRemote crashed! Restart. Oops, had to reset the HC and forgot to reset backlash to 0... Oh, and that 8/3 harmonic thing? Don't worry about that, we'll make a software fix for that... some day. If we don't need the engineers to work on our new products.

I guess if I could have done it all over, I would've either bought a CG-5, a ED80 of some type, a mini-guider setup, and a Canon DSLR. That's about as basic as it gets with good results. If you're thinking about anything bigger than that initially, you might as well spend the money. Quality is everything.

Mamamia, Wmacky isn't trying to sound harsh. He, like most of us, has seen the common mistakes 'noobs' make. Yes, Celestron greatly over-estimates the capabilities of their mounts. Yes, you *can* take pictures with a C8 on an AVX. I'm willing to bet most people are throwing away 69% of their images on that setup. If you're gonna buy a mount on the cheap, find a used CG-5 and get a slightly smaller scope (ED80) that is more forgiving from a weight/moment arm/focal length standpoint.

But, an AVX is just a fancy CG-5. If you search 'beginner and AP' you'll find about 1000 of these (including mine from 2 years ago) and it'll say the same thing .


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6161499 - 10/27/13 09:08 PM

I spent a lot of time today afternoon on Astrobin looking at images taken by Sirius EQ-G, CG, AVX. I have to say I was impressed with Pictures from Sirius EQ-G. I am mostly leaning towards Sirius right now but still have one concern.

I noticed most the Sirius EQ-G pictures were taken with a 80mm or smaller scopes. My new ES 102 ED Weighs more than an 80mm scope. Now I can't change the scope is there any other ways to compensate it with low weight accessories so that the payload is kept within the optimal mount tracking range.


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Madratter
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6161514 - 10/27/13 09:18 PM

The most important thing you can do if you are overweight is be careful about balancing the scope. Careful balance is NOT exactly balanced. You want to be slightly east heavy on the RA axis. The key word is slightly. Also, you need to be balanced in both RA and declination. That is important.

Also, having more weight and the longer moment arm of the 102 ED will mean less tolerance for things like wind.

All that said, the carbon fiber 102 ED isn't all that heavy at around 7 pounds. I don't know what the steel tube version will weigh but it probably isn't prohibitively heavy.


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Madratter]
      #6161532 - 10/27/13 09:30 PM

Quote:

The most important thing you can do if you are overweight is be careful about balancing the scope. Careful balance is NOT exactly balanced. You want to be slightly east heavy on the RA axis. The key word is slightly. Also, you need to be balanced in both RA and declination. That is important.

Also, having more weight and the longer moment arm of the 102 ED will mean less tolerance for things like wind.

All that said, the carbon fiber 102 ED isn't all that heavy at around 7 pounds. I don't know what the steel tube version will weigh but it probably isn't prohibitively heavy.




Its 11 Lbs without accessories.


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Madratter
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6161567 - 10/27/13 10:00 PM

So around a pound for the 50mm guider and guide camera and then another couple pounds for your camera and your Ok. Not great but Ok. A 50mm guider is all you need. Actually a CCD camera and filter wheel can be 4 or 5 pounds so you could be a little over. There isn't anything magic about 1/2 the rating, but it is a good rule of thumb.

Edited by Madratter (10/27/13 10:02 PM)


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Madratter]
      #6161612 - 10/27/13 10:35 PM

Quote:

So around a pound for the 50mm guider and guide camera and then another couple pounds for your camera and your Ok. Not great but Ok. A 50mm guider is all you need. Actually a CCD camera and filter wheel can be 4 or 5 pounds so you could be a little over. There isn't anything magic about 1/2 the rating, but it is a good rule of thumb.




Thanks, also a field flatenner. BTW can I add extra counter weight to compensate for overweight.


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6161678 - 10/28/13 12:08 AM

It doesn't really matter. Weight is weight. It should come with enough counter balance. Btw, one mount not on your list is an ieq25. There are some amazing reviews on it.

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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6161698 - 10/28/13 12:31 AM

Quote:

It doesn't really matter. Weight is weight. It should come with enough counter balance. Btw, one mount not on your list is an ieq25. There are some amazing reviews on it.




I am extremely skeptical about iOptron offerrings, they are pretty much an CHinese Buffet approach more features and poor quality.


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6161724 - 10/28/13 12:51 AM

Quote:

Quote:

It doesn't really matter. Weight is weight. It should come with enough counter balance. Btw, one mount not on your list is an ieq25. There are some amazing reviews on it.




I am extremely skeptical about iOptron offerrings, they are pretty much an CHinese Buffet approach more features and poor quality.




How about a Losmandy GM-8?


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orlyandico
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6161737 - 10/28/13 01:06 AM

hahaha. funny. and in the other thread they are saying 8 arc-seconds peak-to-peak periodic error on the ZEQ25. That's (almost) Astro-Physics level and way better than any Losmandy GM8 or Sirius or Atlas. If true.. I have yet to see a proper PECPrep screenshot.

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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6161841 - 10/28/13 04:10 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

It doesn't really matter. Weight is weight. It should come with enough counter balance. Btw, one mount not on your list is an ieq25. There are some amazing reviews on it.




I am extremely skeptical about iOptron offerrings, they are pretty much an CHinese Buffet approach more features and poor quality.




How about a Losmandy GM-8?




Out of my budget range.


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dr.who
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6162612 - 10/28/13 02:07 PM

A 102mm ES all up (filter wheel, ccd, guider, etc) will do fine on a AVX with good balance. It will not give you what a AP, Paramount, or even a Losmandy will but it will still do fine for where you are.

What it will not do is give you perfection. That only comes with the high end gear ala Paramount etc AND years of practice and skill honing. Accept it for the limitations it has which are that it is a mass produced Chinese made mount not a hand crafted one and move forward.

As to transport... Consider a fold up hand trolly like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Mac-Sports-Folding-Utility-Wagon/dp/B005CMHNUQ

I use it to move all of my gear in one fell swoop. I can get the Edge 1100, AVX, EP's, battery, and everything else in there.


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: dr.who]
      #6162957 - 10/28/13 04:56 PM

Quote:

A 102mm ES all up (filter wheel, ccd, guider, etc) will do fine on a AVX with good balance. It will not give you what a AP, Paramount, or even a Losmandy will but it will still do fine for where you are.

What it will not do is give you perfection. That only comes with the high end gear ala Paramount etc AND years of practice and skill honing. Accept it for the limitations it has which are that it is a mass produced Chinese made mount not a hand crafted one and move forward.

As to transport... Consider a fold up hand trolly like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Mac-Sports-Folding-Utility-Wagon/dp/B005CMHNUQ

I use it to move all of my gear in one fell swoop. I can get the Edge 1100, AVX, EP's, battery, and everything else in there.




You dispense very bad advise my friend


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6162973 - 10/28/13 05:03 PM

The Pictures from this user were taken using a Sirius-EQ-G mount, 120mm Scope, and DSLR. I think these are some of the best AP pictures I have come across with bare minimum basic gear.

http://www.astrobin.com/users/TimN/


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bseltzer
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6163051 - 10/28/13 05:49 PM

Quote:

The Pictures from this user were taken using a Sirius-EQ-G mount, 120mm Scope, and DSLR. I think these are some of the best AP pictures I have come across with bare minimum basic gear.

http://www.astrobin.com/users/TimN/




Beautiful work, no question about that. However, it is questionable that it represents what the average user of such a rig can expect, especially early on in their AP experience.


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bseltzer
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Reged: 10/28/07

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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6163090 - 10/28/13 06:18 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Quote:

hahaha. funny. and in the other thread they are saying 8 arc-seconds peak-to-peak periodic error on the ZEQ25. That's (almost) Astro-Physics level and way better than any Losmandy GM8 or Sirius or Atlas. If true.. I have yet to see a proper PECPrep screenshot.




With all due respect, what are you basing your assertions on? Of the two box stock Losmandy GM8's I've personally tested using PemPro, both were < 5" Peak to Peak. A G11 I tested with the Ovision worm upgrade showed < 3" P2P. My current A-P Mach1 GTO tested out at 2.4" P2P without PEC and just under 2" with PEC engaged. No way is 8" anywhere near "almost" any of the above. I can't speak to Sirius or Atlas periodic error performance, but I have no doubts about the examples I've mentioned.

Here's the trace from the better of the 2 GM8's carrying a 21 pound payload. Unfortunately this one belonged to a friend, not me.

Edited by bseltzer (10/28/13 06:25 PM)


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mamamia
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6163352 - 10/28/13 09:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The Pictures from this user were taken using a Sirius-EQ-G mount, 120mm Scope, and DSLR. I think these are some of the best AP pictures I have come across with bare minimum basic gear.

http://www.astrobin.com/users/TimN/




Beautiful work, no question about that. However, it is questionable that it represents what the average user of such a rig can expect, especially early on in their AP experience.




I completely agree with your comment on how long does it take an average user to reach the kind of AP expertise the above use has demonstrated with those beautiful pictures.

But it certainly helped me to make a call on which mount I should get.


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6163360 - 10/28/13 09:08 PM

I've seen used GM8s go for 700-900 bucks. I think they're a valid option if you're willing to give up GOTO at that price point.

I dunno, Astronewb seems to have good luck with his. I also understand he's done some significant modifications since he got it. If you wanted a cheaper higher end mount, the iEQ45 does Ok.

Also, Pm some of those guys at astrobin... They can tell you hinges like how many subs they're throwing away, ease of use, that you want to know before you buy.

I always do that. It convinced me I'd be happy with my st10 and my mi250.

Chris


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orlyandico
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6163423 - 10/28/13 09:46 PM

Hello,
I know that many AP's do sub 3" p-p, but the rated PE is "under 7" p-p" hence my assertion.

As for the GM8 and G11.. some of them have very good PE. Others not so much.


Quote:

With all due respect, what are you basing your assertions on? Of the two box stock Losmandy GM8's I've personally tested using PemPro, both were < 5" Peak to Peak. A G11 I tested with the Ovision worm upgrade showed < 3" P2P. My current A-P Mach1 GTO tested out at 2.4" P2P without PEC and just under 2" with PEC engaged. No way is 8" anywhere near "almost" any of the above. I can't speak to Sirius or Atlas periodic error performance, but I have no doubts about the examples I've mentioned.

Here's the trace from the better of the 2 GM8's carrying a 21 pound payload. Unfortunately this one belonged to a friend, not me.




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bseltzer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6163548 - 10/28/13 10:44 PM

Quote:

Hello,
I know that many AP's do sub 3" p-p, but the rated PE is "under 7" p-p" hence my assertion.

As for the GM8 and G11.. some of them have very good PE. Others not so much.





I learned a long time ago not to make assertions without verifiable data to back them up. Manufacturer's " ratings are never to be taken too seriously either way. In the case of Astro-Physics, the 7" is not a "rating" it is a guarantee, that is they won't let a mount out the door that doesn't do that well or better. Like many such statements by A-P, it's a gross understatement of their products' capabilities. They also give the Mach1 a payload 'rating' of 45 lbs., and many people are working 10% over that with excellent results. That's just A-P.

On the other hand. most other vendor grossly OVERstate their spec's in any number of ways. So like I said, I've learned not to put too much stock in what I can't or haven't measured.

Now, about those 2 G8's... Way, way to small a sample to judge the whole "breed", and I'm sure those two mounts were better than your average example of that make/model But it does say something about what Losmandy is capable of.

More pertinent to this discussion, I think, is my opinion that there is NO such thing as a cheap mount for AP. You either pay with the time, effort, and cost of parts you sink into it to get it to perform well enough to practice AP without a lifetime supply of Prevacid and Rogaine, or you bite the bullet at the front end. Having reached that stage of life where I can now buy light bulbs with a greater life expectancy than the actuary tables give me, I just don't have the patience for the former approach. As luck would have it, I came into a bit of a windfall after years of limping along with a G11, and that allowed me to buy a mount that virtually disappears. And to me, my friend, that is priceless.


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mamamia
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Reged: 10/11/13

Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6163772 - 10/29/13 12:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Hello,
I know that many AP's do sub 3" p-p, but the rated PE is "under 7" p-p" hence my assertion.

As for the GM8 and G11.. some of them have very good PE. Others not so much.





I learned a long time ago not to make assertions without verifiable data to back them up. Manufacturer's " ratings are never to be taken too seriously either way. In the case of Astro-Physics, the 7" is not a "rating" it is a guarantee, that is they won't let a mount out the door that doesn't do that well or better. Like many such statements by A-P, it's a gross understatement of their products' capabilities. They also give the Mach1 a payload 'rating' of 45 lbs., and many people are working 10% over that with excellent results. That's just A-P.

On the other hand. most other vendor grossly OVERstate their spec's in any number of ways. So like I said, I've learned not to put too much stock in what I can't or haven't measured.

Now, about those 2 G8's... Way, way to small a sample to judge the whole "breed", and I'm sure those two mounts were better than your average example of that make/model But it does say something about what Losmandy is capable of.

More pertinent to this discussion, I think, is my opinion that there is NO such thing as a cheap mount for AP. You either pay with the time, effort, and cost of parts you sink into it to get it to perform well enough to practice AP without a lifetime supply of Prevacid and Rogaine, or you bite the bullet at the front end. Having reached that stage of life where I can now buy light bulbs with a greater life expectancy than the actuary tables give me, I just don't have the patience for the former approach. As luck would have it, I came into a bit of a windfall after years of limping along with a G11, and that allowed me to buy a mount that virtually disappears. And to me, my friend, that is priceless.




I agree with you, if their is a working solution for a problem and is monetarily affordable one a person, there is nothing wrong in go with the solution.

It's like I want to go to New York, walking in the norm but flying is faster, easier and expensive. But driving half way between. I took the road with Sirius EQ-G and you took the Airplane with your AP Mach 1


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orlyandico
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6163830 - 10/29/13 01:06 AM

I agree with your statements. However... my own Mach1 is "only" about 6" p-p when balanced badly, e.g. west-heavy. It's about 4" when properly balanced. PEM cuts the 4" down to about 0.5" p-p.

For that reason, I am not willing to make any further assertion about AP mounts other than "they are guaranteed less than 7" p-p."

That said, having had my own tortuous mount journey, I can unreservedly say that my Mach1 is the best astro purchase I've ever made, and the only one where I have not a single, solitary regret (except mashing my fingers on those motor housings).



Quote:

Quote:

Hello,
I know that many AP's do sub 3" p-p, but the rated PE is "under 7" p-p" hence my assertion.

As for the GM8 and G11.. some of them have very good PE. Others not so much.





I learned a long time ago not to make assertions without verifiable data to back them up. Manufacturer's " ratings are never to be taken too seriously either way. In the case of Astro-Physics, the 7" is not a "rating" it is a guarantee, that is they won't let a mount out the door that doesn't do that well or better. Like many such statements by A-P, it's a gross understatement of their products' capabilities. They also give the Mach1 a payload 'rating' of 45 lbs., and many people are working 10% over that with excellent results. That's just A-P.

On the other hand. most other vendor grossly OVERstate their spec's in any number of ways. So like I said, I've learned not to put too much stock in what I can't or haven't measured.

Now, about those 2 G8's... Way, way to small a sample to judge the whole "breed", and I'm sure those two mounts were better than your average example of that make/model But it does say something about what Losmandy is capable of.

More pertinent to this discussion, I think, is my opinion that there is NO such thing as a cheap mount for AP. You either pay with the time, effort, and cost of parts you sink into it to get it to perform well enough to practice AP without a lifetime supply of Prevacid and Rogaine, or you bite the bullet at the front end. Having reached that stage of life where I can now buy light bulbs with a greater life expectancy than the actuary tables give me, I just don't have the patience for the former approach. As luck would have it, I came into a bit of a windfall after years of limping along with a G11, and that allowed me to buy a mount that virtually disappears. And to me, my friend, that is priceless.




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bseltzer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6163863 - 10/29/13 02:05 AM

Quote:

I agree with your statements. However... my own Mach1 is "only" about 6" p-p when balanced badly, e.g. west-heavy. It's about 4" when properly balanced. PEM cuts the 4" down to about 0.5" p-p.

For that reason, I am not willing to make any further assertion about AP mounts other than "they are guaranteed less than 7" p-p."

That said, having had my own tortuous mount journey, I can unreservedly say that my Mach1 is the best astro purchase I've ever made, and the only one where I have not a single, solitary regret (except mashing my fingers on those motor housings).





Clearly you've been there, done that. Congratulations! My only regret is not realizing soon that the "bite the bullet at the front end" was, in the final analysis, the far more economical approach. 'Course way back when the financial calculus of my life was quite different, I too opted for the "car ride to New York"


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orlyandico
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6163948 - 10/29/13 04:44 AM

Yeah, that's the problem. I've spent the equivalent of two Mach1's on mounts. And I don't have two of them.

Trouble is when you don't have Mach1 budget, you are condemned to less-than-satisfactory solutions, and when you solve your other issues the mount will make you lose your hair.

That said, it's amazing how many little things will cause un-round stars, other than the mount:

1. focuser sag
2. collimation
3. CCD tilt
4. the mount!

and solving all of the above problems is a $$$-draining proposition (check out the $400 focuser you'll need to fix 1 and 3.. that's half the cost of an AVX!!!)

It's just that the mount, particularly when not well-tuned, well-guided, and well-aligned, will cause the majority of the problems. But once that's fixed, the rest will show their ugly heads.


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bseltzer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/07

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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6164586 - 10/29/13 01:22 PM

I agree it's a "process", and a sometimes painful one at that. But then if it were 'easy' it wouldn't be near as much fun or as satisfying. (He said knowing full well that such statements are the stock in trade of masochists and OCD sufferers )

None the less, I do have a couple of the items on your list under acceptable control, and for the others, at least I have an idea of what's needed to do the same for them.

Now, if there were only a solution to the one most vexing issue of them all... blinkety-blank light pollution! Yeah, I know, NB filters. Wonder how I'm going to get that idea past SWMBO.


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6166418 - 10/30/13 01:29 PM

I am going to go against the grain a bit here. I agree that if you have the funds you should never exceed half of your mounts rated weight. However, most of us donít have that kind of money.

I use an AT8IN(8 inch 800mm F4.0) scope on my little CG-5 mount and it works perfectly when guided with the SSAG. That is a 22+ pound scope and an equal amount of counter weight. A little 11 pound scope simply doesnít require a bigger more expensive mount. Especially when the focal length of that scope is so short.

You can totally do AP with your scope and the CG-5. You will need to balance it properly but you really need to do that with any mount you get.

Your biggest hurdles with any mount will be learning how to get a precise polar align and getting the balance spot on in every direction. Aligning may also be an issue depending on how you do it.

You can buy a CG-5 for next to nothing now. Why donít you buy that and try it? If it doesnít do what you want then you can sell it for pretty much what you paid for it. There is a reason they hold their value quite well.

The AVX is better than the CG-5 but it is also a lot more expensive now. I still think the CG-5 is the better value.

I have seen all too often that someone recommends way more mount than the person is actually going to use. Then that person never uses any of the equipment because the mount is just too big and heavy to move around.

Probably your best bet it to borrow a lower end mount and see how it does. There is no sense in spending 3 times as much as you have to.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (10/30/13 01:30 PM)


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terry59
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Reged: 07/18/11

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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6166434 - 10/30/13 01:37 PM

Quote:

I am going to go against the grain a bit here. I agree that if you have the funds you should never exceed half of your mounts rated weight. However, most of us donít have that kind of money.

I use an AT8IN(8 inch 800mm F4.0) scope on my little CG-5 mount and it works perfectly when guided with the SSAG. That is a 22+ pound scope and an equal amount of counter weight. A little 11 pound scope simply doesnít require a bigger more expensive mount. Especially when the focal length of that scope is so short.

You can totally do AP with your scope and the CG-5. You will need to balance it properly but you really need to do that with any mount you get.

Your biggest hurdles will be learning how to get a precise polar align and getting the balance spot on in every direction. Aligning may also be an issue depending on how you do it.

You can buy a CG-5 for next to nothing now. Why donít you buy that and try it? If it doesnít do what you want then you can sell it for pretty much what you paid for it. There is a reason they hold their value quite well.

The AVX is better than the CG-5 but it is also a lot more expensive now. I still think the CG-5 is the better value.

I have seen all too often that someone recommends way more mount than the person is actually going to use. Then that person never uses any of the equipment because the mount is just too big and heavy to move around.

Probably your best bet it to borrow a lower end mount and see how it does. There is no sense in spending 3 times as much as you have to.




On the surface this post sounds great but it is very misleading.

What kind of imaging are you talking about? What percentage of good subs?

Do you think these low end mounts, especially those without a DEC bearing can do 10 or 15 minute narrowband imaging?

I know that what I'm saying won't apply to everyone and that one of those may be all someone can afford. I'd just like to see less "sound bite" advise and a better job of helping set expectations.


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6166456 - 10/30/13 01:46 PM

I had the CG-5 and I totally agree with Terry here. The CG-5 is woeful in the declination axis for AP work (I like it for visual use). The only way to get satisfactory results with it at longer focal lengths is to get your polar alignment very good (within 1 or 2 arc-minutes of the pole) or take short exposures. Even then, its problems show. I found it quite frustrating, and ended up upgrading to an Orion Atlas, which is far less frustrating.

While I took 10 minute subs with the CG-5, it was difficult to do it with any repeatability.

Edited by Madratter (10/30/13 01:47 PM)


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6166601 - 10/30/13 02:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I am going to go against the grain a bit here. I agree that if you have the funds you should never exceed half of your mounts rated weight. However, most of us donít have that kind of money.

I use an AT8IN(8 inch 800mm F4.0) scope on my little CG-5 mount and it works perfectly when guided with the SSAG. That is a 22+ pound scope and an equal amount of counter weight. A little 11 pound scope simply doesnít require a bigger more expensive mount. Especially when the focal length of that scope is so short.

You can totally do AP with your scope and the CG-5. You will need to balance it properly but you really need to do that with any mount you get.

Your biggest hurdles will be learning how to get a precise polar align and getting the balance spot on in every direction. Aligning may also be an issue depending on how you do it.

You can buy a CG-5 for next to nothing now. Why donít you buy that and try it? If it doesnít do what you want then you can sell it for pretty much what you paid for it. There is a reason they hold their value quite well.

The AVX is better than the CG-5 but it is also a lot more expensive now. I still think the CG-5 is the better value.

I have seen all too often that someone recommends way more mount than the person is actually going to use. Then that person never uses any of the equipment because the mount is just too big and heavy to move around.

Probably your best bet it to borrow a lower end mount and see how it does. There is no sense in spending 3 times as much as you have to.




On the surface this post sounds great but it is very misleading.

What kind of imaging are you talking about? What percentage of good subs?

Do you think these low end mounts, especially those without a DEC bearing can do 10 or 15 minute narrowband imaging?

I know that what I'm saying won't apply to everyone and that one of those may be all someone can afford. I'd just like to see less "sound bite" advise and a better job of helping set expectations.




It completely depends on what scope and focal length you are talking about. If you are talking about 400mm-800mm and F4.0-F7.0 then yes I believe that you could easily achieve excellent results for those focal lengths with 1-8 minute subs even on a CG-5.

It really comes down to everything matters and not just the mount. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. If he doesnít plan on using a narrowband filter with a really slow focal ratio scope then he doesnít need those kind of exposure times.

In addition Polar alignment is going to affect long exposures more than mount capacity will if he is adequately guiding. Field rotation will become an issue long before mount capacity will in that case. Achieving good Polar alignment will be the same with any of these scopes.

It sounds like your gut reaction is to always over recommend on the mount to cover every scenario that could possibly happen. My gut reaction is to examine what equipment he plans to use and then recommend a mount that is suitable for all of the conditions he is likely to encounter.

He simply said that he plans to use filters and focal reducers with his setup. That doesnít tell us everything about what focal reducers and what filters he plans to use. If he uses enough of a focal reducer it might not matter what filters he plans to use.

I still contend that if he stays within the focal ratios and focal lengths that I listed above then he wonít have any trouble with using one of the lesser expensive mounts.

Yes the higher end mounts might be more forgiving. However, he simply can't afford most of them. He has stated that. In the end he will have to put more effort in to make the less expensive mount work or he will simply have to forget the whole thing and eat the cost of everything he has already purchased. I am simply trying to convince him that it can be done with the lower cost mounts.

However, he will have to plan ahead in order for that to work. He will have to get the focal reducer to work and work well. He will have to also choose his filters carefully. In addition he will have to figure out how to get a near perfect alignment. All of which can be done but it will take work. Basically he is paying himself for the time he will spend getting everything right. If he had enough money he wouldn't have to do that but it doesn't sound like that is the case for him.

I am in the same boat as him. I made my setup work for under $2500 for everything. He can too.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (10/30/13 03:00 PM)


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6166618 - 10/30/13 03:06 PM

Quote:

Yeah, that's the problem. I've spent the equivalent of two Mach1's on mounts. And I don't have two of them.

Trouble is when you don't have Mach1 budget, you are condemned to less-than-satisfactory solutions, and when you solve your other issues the mount will make you lose your hair.

That said, it's amazing how many little things will cause un-round stars, other than the mount:

1. focuser sag
2. collimation
3. CCD tilt
4. the mount!

and solving all of the above problems is a $$$-draining proposition (check out the $400 focuser you'll need to fix 1 and 3.. that's half the cost of an AVX!!!)

It's just that the mount, particularly when not well-tuned, well-guided, and well-aligned, will cause the majority of the problems. But once that's fixed, the rest will show their ugly heads.




Best Post Ever!


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6166629 - 10/30/13 03:15 PM

I agree that it depends on what one wants/expects to achieve. Beyond that, we diverge in our view. To me, a mount with bearings on both axis is a minimum requisite. If that's over recommending so be it.

I'm done here


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nine44
sage
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Reged: 01/19/13

Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6168014 - 10/31/13 09:28 AM

I would recommend going to Astrobin and looking at images categorized by mount. The OP is trying to decide between a couple of affordable mounts to get started.

The AVX has a good AP reputation and is a great place to start. If one has a recently dead uncle and only has one opportunity in life to buy a mount, then by all means--buy the very best. If you are growing into this hobby like I am, the AVX will serve you just fine.

When you come to a place where the AVX feels constraining, then it will sell for 80% of its purchase price and you can put that toward something nicer.

To the OPs original question (before the purists crashed the party)--I would prefer the AVX to the LX80 as Meade is at an uncertain point in their history, and I would be concerned about support going forward. The AVX has a 2 year warranty and Celestron seems to be doing OK.


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Madratter
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nine44]
      #6168029 - 10/31/13 09:38 AM

I'm not surprised Casey is happy with his AVX since he appears to be using it with an AT65EDQ. That is a relatively short focal length scope.

On the other hand, try running it with a C8 at 1260mm (old C8 with f/6.3 reducer) or 1400 (Edge with f/7 reducer) and it is a different kettle of fish.

What you are going to use on the mount matters a great deal.


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Madratter]
      #6168150 - 10/31/13 10:36 AM

I agree. And selling your mount is a PITA, shipping tends to be nearly 150 bucks or more so your loss is nearly 50% by the time you make it happen.

I'd go with a used GM8. Terry has good success with his.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nine44]
      #6168250 - 10/31/13 11:20 AM

Quote:


To the OPs original question (before the purists crashed the party)--I would prefer the AVX to the LX80 as Meade is at an uncertain point in their history, and I would be concerned about support going forward. The AVX has a 2 year warranty and Celestron seems to be doing OK.




As much as I hate to say it. This is good advice.


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proteus5
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6168449 - 10/31/13 12:58 PM

I've never really found my Atlas all that heavy. More awkward to carry than heavy when the head is separate from the tripod. I found it much easier to carry if I leave it attached, put my shoulder under the polar scope end, grab two legs (tripod is at lowest setting) lift with my legs, lean the weight to my shoulder to balance and off I go. Of course this is with the scope and counterweights removed. I carry it through the house, out the back door, down three steps, then about 75 feet into the yard. I'm average size 5'9" 200 lbs 50 years old. All this aside I wouldn't want to carry it down from a 4th floor apartment. But just wanted to say that I've heard about the weight even before I bought it, but didn't find it all that bad at all.

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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: proteus5]
      #6168485 - 10/31/13 01:15 PM

Travis, unless the LX85 takes off... sounds like that upgrade might fix all the problems much as Meade has fixed the LX800 to the 850.

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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nine44]
      #6168495 - 10/31/13 01:20 PM

Nine,

Question for you. Where does the AVX get its great reputation for imaging? I see 5 images on Astrobin related to that mount.

It sounds like people tend to buy into the hope that it's good at imaging than actually doing any imaging with it.

Proof is in the pudding. On the flip side, Bob Long seems to have some luck with it (and with a C8), I'd send him a PM on Astrobin and see what he says.


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nodalpoint
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6168577 - 10/31/13 01:55 PM

Quote:


It sounds like people tend to buy into the hope that it's good at imaging than actually doing any imaging with it.





I use mine every chance I get when it's not raining or snowing, so I really have no idea what you are trying to say but it's statements like the above make it so I don't even feel I want to post anything on this forum because I'm not using the "right" equipment.


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shawnhar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mamamia]
      #6168774 - 10/31/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

I'm putting together a AP setup, my ES 102mm ED triplet is on the way, this is the new essential series which comes with barebones with upgraded focuser.

I am looking at a EQ mount and considering AVX, LX80, IOptron IEQ30.
However it seems like iOptron has various issues and hard to work with mount, I don't want to be running to ACE hardware buying nuts and screws to become a mount mechanic.

I'm planning to use
1. CCD Camera
2. Filters
3. SSAG Mini Autoguider
4. Focal Reducers

Appreciate if anyone can provide their thoughts to make a decision between AVX and LX80. While I am considering iOPtron but hesitant due to their quality control issues.



Atlas would be my vote hands down, you can get them used in the classifieds for a grand, same price as the LX80, new at 1500 and is a much better mount for what you want to do than the 3 you listed.
Atlas weighs in at 76 pounds for the head and tripod, LX80 is 66 lbs. The mount is more important than the camera, filters and scope you are going to put on it of you want to do astrophotoghraphy.
Not that it can't be done, I imaged for over a year with an unguided fork mount from 1987, but moving to the Atlas class mount was truly wonderful. The number of subs I had to throw away due to bad stars literally went to none. The mount just works, like a champ.


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nine44
sage
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6168909 - 10/31/13 05:07 PM

Quote:

Nine,

Question for you. Where does the AVX get its great reputation for imaging? I see 5 images on Astrobin related to that mount.

It sounds like people tend to buy into the hope that it's good at imaging than actually doing any imaging with it.

Proof is in the pudding. On the flip side, Bob Long seems to have some luck with it (and with a C8), I'd send him a PM on Astrobin and see what he says.




I've interacted with quite a few folks here on CN and elsewhere who have gotten some really nice results with the AVX. My own personal experience says that I can get PHD graphs that are quite good. Perhaps the AVX isn't as good without an autoguider. I don't know.

Now--let's define "nice results." As a newbie, I consider "nice results" to be something that blows my friends and family away, but probably not APOD quality.

The original OP (posting in "Beginning Imaging" forum) is clearly interested in entering the AP hobby, not yet mastering it. And from the mounts he mentions, it's clear he's not sitting on top of a pile of cash. Seems like some of the responses are clearly out of touch with this fact.

I'm so happy for those that can buy a Mach 1 out of the gate. For the rest of us, we have to grow into this hobby and manage making our mortgage payments in the process.


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Stelios
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nine44]
      #6168944 - 10/31/13 05:25 PM

Quote:

I'm so happy for those that can buy a Mach 1 out of the gate. For the rest of us, we have to grow into this hobby and manage making our mortgage payments in the process.




I'd like to add to this, that some of us are getting up there in years and are a bit creaky in the joints, so mounts like the Atlas and CGEM (41 lbs for the head) are impractical unless we get an observatory--which is even less practical. I would love more muscles or a place for an observatory, but neither is in the cards.

It would be nice if we could get people to answer the question in terms of *roughly equivalent* mounts to what is suggested. For example, if someone asks about an AVX, I'd think that a Sirius, a CG-5 or EQ-5, a ZEQ25, an iEQ30 or a GM-8 would be reasonable alternatives to talk about in the sense of *approximate* finances and weight class (though some might be too expensive and others not up to par). Ranking choices between those would be more helpful than knowing of greater mounts that are out of the competition class.

And yes, I accept that this limits me, perhaps severely. But it doesn't stop me from wanting to become very good *within* my limits.


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terry59
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nine44]
      #6169100 - 10/31/13 07:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Nine,

Question for you. Where does the AVX get its great reputation for imaging? I see 5 images on Astrobin related to that mount.

It sounds like people tend to buy into the hope that it's good at imaging than actually doing any imaging with it.

Proof is in the pudding. On the flip side, Bob Long seems to have some luck with it (and with a C8), I'd send him a PM on Astrobin and see what he says.




I've interacted with quite a few folks here on CN and elsewhere who have gotten some really nice results with the AVX. My own personal experience says that I can get PHD graphs that are quite good. Perhaps the AVX isn't as good without an autoguider. I don't know.

Now--let's define "nice results." As a newbie, I consider "nice results" to be something that blows my friends and family away, but probably not APOD quality.

The original OP (posting in "Beginning Imaging" forum) is clearly interested in entering the AP hobby, not yet mastering it. And from the mounts he mentions, it's clear he's not sitting on top of a pile of cash. Seems like some of the responses are clearly out of touch with this fact.

I'm so happy for those that can buy a Mach 1 out of the gate. For the rest of us, we have to grow into this hobby and manage making our mortgage payments in the process.




One problem is understanding intent. The title here is long exposure AP. What does the OP mean by that? Another problem is performance expectations. Also, there is way too much "sound bite" advise.

These threads always offend someone in some way. This is the internet and further complicates getting ones view taken as it was meant.

I strive ( and fail miserably) to discuss the physical aspects of mounts and potential limitations. My goal is to help people make informed decisions on their purchases because this stuff is expensive and depreciation hurts if a wrong choice is made.

I strongly believe that great AP can be done with smaller mounts and certainly a Mach 1 or better isn't necessary. This hobby requires trades no matter what gear and a new person probably won't know exactly where their main interest lies up front. I know I didn't.

Sometimes I get frustrated with all of this but watching someone gain understanding and make choices based on knowledge keeps me plugging along.



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Stelios
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: terry59]
      #6169208 - 10/31/13 08:37 PM

Terry, let me say that I am not in the slightest bit offended. I think you are extremely helpful, highly tolerant of ignorant newcomers, and I find your advice and cautions to have been extremely informative and helpful.

I just wanted to explain that in many cases 'the spirit is willing but the wallet and/or flesh is weak.'

Put another way, I don't mind hearing about the great things to be done with mounts I can't afford (physically or financially) as long as I also hear what's the best mount I *can* afford. I can admire Lamborghinis, but in the end I live in a Camry/Prius world...


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Stelios]
      #6169215 - 10/31/13 08:43 PM

Quote:

but in the end I live in a Camry/Prius world...




which is after all a long step up from a Pinto, Vega, or Gremlin.


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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


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Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6169926 - 11/01/13 10:05 AM

Quote:

Travis, unless the LX85 takes off... sounds like that upgrade might fix all the problems much as Meade has fixed the LX800 to the 850.




I hope that is true. However, I have gone out with an LX850 three times and struck out all three times. The issues were not always the mounts fault. However, two of them were completely the mounts fault. I am not convinced the LX850 is any better than the LX800.

You can have the biggest and best equipment in the world. If it wonít even startup then you are better off with something else. Throwing money at equipment will only get you so far. If you have a $10,000 mount and you are not able to align it properly then you are worse off than someone with a $500 mount who gets it dead on every time.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Stelios]
      #6169934 - 11/01/13 10:08 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm so happy for those that can buy a Mach 1 out of the gate. For the rest of us, we have to grow into this hobby and manage making our mortgage payments in the process.




I'd like to add to this, that some of us are getting up there in years and are a bit creaky in the joints, so mounts like the Atlas and CGEM (41 lbs for the head) are impractical unless we get an observatory--which is even less practical. I would love more muscles or a place for an observatory, but neither is in the cards.

It would be nice if we could get people to answer the question in terms of *roughly equivalent* mounts to what is suggested. For example, if someone asks about an AVX, I'd think that a Sirius, a CG-5 or EQ-5, a ZEQ25, an iEQ30 or a GM-8 would be reasonable alternatives to talk about in the sense of *approximate* finances and weight class (though some might be too expensive and others not up to par). Ranking choices between those would be more helpful than knowing of greater mounts that are out of the competition class.

And yes, I accept that this limits me, perhaps severely. But it doesn't stop me from wanting to become very good *within* my limits.




Well said.


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6170137 - 11/01/13 12:22 PM

I think folks should calm down a bit - don't know if I'm considered a 'purist' or any of the other acerbic tags but my 2 cents was at the start, so my 3rd cent here.

It is always more difficult to advise responsibly someone who bought a scope FIRST and then said I want to do long exposure imaging but can't necessarily buy what they might benefit from most with remaining disposable income.

What I find funny is the comment about IOptron, have you looked at where your other choices are made? Guess what. I'll add that maybe your scope was made there too.

As a general plea I'd ask folks not to 'bash' by country of origin. There are far too many people here that would be on the sidelines if you were to somehow cut out the offerings from China. And frankly all the lower end gear. So try being thankful they understand our expectation that we get it all for a song and dance if that, and they are trying in a market nobody else is, and IMO there is a LOT of really nice toys for us - THANKS TO THEM. Without them almost no-one would be here. And too I'd ask not to be acerbic about A-P and SB, ASA, 10 micron who are delivering fantastic products to us which are truly 'hands off' but they want to be paid for all that attention to detail.

In the lower end and mid range mount range if you want to do A-P you are going to become more intimate with the mount. Maybe a little more than you desire, but I do not see that as a bad thing if it will give the results you are after. Read up all you can in the mounts forum. It is these mounts that provide for most of the activity, and there is a lot of great information there. This post may have been better placed there?

But to responsibly from experience say something is or is not up to task is just being honest. I think and hope folks appreciate that anyone is willing outside the sales and marketing staff at so and so to take the time.

Imaging is largely about the mount and not the scope, or even the imaging device. Call it non intuitive or whatever else you like but think about it. The mount holds and points the scope and imager. Any, and I mean ANY issue a mount has will show up in the image - no way out of it. This is why I say it's backwards here. By and large once you get your imaging / optics 'set' you just focus and don't expect a lot of variance, and that is a somewhat safe assumption. The mount, possibly same can be said, polar align and invoke auto-guiding and then... well a lot can show up, and it can be very different seeming, though the cause(s) may be an invisible common denominator.

Sure you can hypertune and toss bad subs and get a good or even great image. But the fact remains that it is an imaging system and the mount is the most important part of that system. So the mounts forum is where I'd spend my time, and I'd read everything I could going back as far as possible.

Don't be fooled by all the pretty pictures. It takes a lot to make them or even one. We are lucky here to have the great folks (me included) that do give advice. Maybe there should be another forum for 'ADVICE I WANTED TO HEAR' but there isn't.

But there is a tremendous amount of experience and 'real world hands on' here and in the mounts forum that is free, from enthusiastic folks that love this hobby and desire to share from their often hard came by experience.

Heuristically there are a lot of mounts. First sieve 'cost' filters out some. Second sieve 'telescope type /weight' filers some. Third sieve 'long exposure imaging'... (I'm going to assume you don't mean that the way we do by long meaning over 10 minutes) a far more difficult sieve to pass. Fourth sieve 'easily portable' may further limit...

What makes even a bit more difficult is all the marketing and 'paper whipping' jargon and euphemistic specifications and as I mentioned expectations. No doubt there are folks that want your $$ and that should not come as a surprise.

To me that is where forums like this are worth their weight in photons. Much is possible, it just might be a little more effort than you thought, and you have a lot of well meaning help.


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Stelios
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Madratter]
      #6170252 - 11/01/13 01:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

but in the end I live in a Camry/Prius world...




which is after all a long step up from a Pinto, Vega, or Gremlin.




Yes. I don't really think you can do AP on a Gremlin budget. Not unless you exclude the cost of camera, laptop, adequate computer and processing software. People who *have* all those to begin with, are probably not Gremlin drivers unless it is by choice...


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #6170259 - 11/01/13 01:27 PM

Quote:


Imaging is largely about the mount and not the scope, or even the imaging device. Call it non intuitive or whatever else you like but think about it. The mount holds and points the scope and imager. Any, and I mean ANY issue a mount has will show up in the image - no way out of it. This is why I say it's backwards here. By and large once you get your imaging / optics 'set' you just focus and don't expect a lot of variance, and that is a somewhat safe assumption. The mount, possibly same can be said, polar align and invoke auto-guiding and then... well a lot can show up, and it can be very different seeming, though the cause(s) may be an invisible common denominator.

Sure you can hypertune and toss bad subs and get a good or even great image. But the fact remains that it is an imaging system and the mount is the most important part of that system. So the mounts forum is where I'd spend my time, and I'd read everything I could going back as far as possible.





This is the only part of your post that I disagree with. All of the components matter. The focal ratio of the scope affects your imaging duration and your focal length. Your focal length and imaging duration affect how visible tracking errors are.

Tracking errors are affected by the balance of your system, Periodic Error, Polar Alignment, temperature, humidity, and whether you guide or not.

Guiding is affected by the flexure in your system, the focal ratio of the guide scope, and how far the guide star is from your object of interest.

And that is a simplified version of what is really going on. I could never name absolutely everything that is a factor.

The mount really only affects your tracking motion and the Periodic Error. Those can be huge portions of your overall error if they are bad or they might be insignificant if they are good. If all of the other components can compensate for the Periodic Error then it might not be an issue at all.

For instance if you have a really fast scope with a super sensitive camera you might be taking very short subs that make periodic error insignificant. You also might have a guiding system or mount that is very accurate and means that your Periodic error can be corrected.

To say that the mount is all that matters and the more you spend on it the better your results will be is misleading. That is putting a band aide on a wound that might actually need stiches and antibiotics. Sure you can cover up the wound and pretend it is going away. However, in the end when you pull the Band-Aid off the wound will still be there.

The best thing is to analyze exactly what all of your issues are and attempt to correct each one of them. If your subs are really long then try to determine if you can make them shorter. If your periodic error is very high then attempt to alleviate it with guiding if that is less expensive than buying a new mount.

So many people go right for the most expensive mount and think their problems are all solved when in reality they may have only corrected one issue that really didnít need to be corrected. Then they forgot about everything else that really did need to be corrected.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Stelios]
      #6170262 - 11/01/13 01:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

but in the end I live in a Camry/Prius world...




which is after all a long step up from a Pinto, Vega, or Gremlin.




Yes. I don't really think you can do AP on a Gremlin budget. Not unless you exclude the cost of camera, laptop, adequate computer and processing software. People who *have* all those to begin with, are probably not Gremlin drivers unless it is by choice...




Forget a Gremlin budget. Too rich for my blood. I do it all on a mid-range bicycle budget.


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shawnhar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6170495 - 11/01/13 03:17 PM

Hey! I got some pretty good images from my Pinto!

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TimN
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Reged: 04/20/08

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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: shawnhar]
      #6170716 - 11/01/13 05:26 PM

Two years ago I was in the same position as the OP. I got a good deal on a Skywatcher 120ED and only after I bought it did I start looking at mounts etc. I did what Jim suggested and spent some time on the mount forum. I had 3 requirements: 1. it had to handle my scope 2. It had to be portable - I'm 66 years old so Atlas types were out of the question. 3. It had to meet my budget.

I found the best combination that met my 3 requirements was the HEQ5 - Sirius -. I really couldn't carry anything heavier and its price seemed reasonable. EQMOD was a nice bonus. I also contacted some members directly that used my scope on this mount and they all assured me it would be ok. Some were even using it with AT8RC's without a problem.

So, I bought one and I haven't had a problem using my 120mm scope, DSLR and 50mm guider. I have just moved it into an observatory but haven't felt the need to upgrade even though portability is no longer an issue.

I haven't tried other mounts to compare but based on initial research and 2 years of use, I'm very happy with my HEQ5.


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Stelios
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: TimN]
      #6170792 - 11/01/13 06:11 PM

You sound eerily like me, and I'm also reaching the conclusion that the Sirius will be my next mount when my skills are up to moving to longer focal lengths (hopefully next year).

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bmwbiker
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Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: SF Bay Area
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Stelios]
      #6170855 - 11/01/13 06:41 PM

As beginning imager I'm very happy with my AVX piloting a C80ED and now auto-guiding an ATRC6. Its the right size for quick setup on my small back deck. Go To is spot on provided my alignment is right. AS polar align is great. (Polaris is blocked from view) I was pushing >60sec subs unguided. And I'm at 5-6 minutes guided with the 1370mm AT6RC. Could I have purchased a better mount sure, but I've got north of $2k invested in this endeavor (at budget).

Starting out doesn't require buying the best and at least for my initial efforts the AVX (and the rest of the setup) is more than good enough. Even if money wasn't a consideration acquiring the absolute best equipment doesn't guarantee nor is it a prerequisite for success.

Edited by bmwbiker (11/01/13 08:44 PM)


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: bmwbiker]
      #6171123 - 11/01/13 09:54 PM

BMWbiker, you got some pictures? I'd love to see your astrobin account.

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nodalpoint
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/03/13

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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6171153 - 11/01/13 10:06 PM

Quote:

BMWbiker, you got some pictures? I'd love to see your astrobin account.




Hey Raginar, here's M31 I shot Monday night using mostly the same equipment as BMWbiker - AVX mount, C80ED and an old Nikon. Two hours of 300 sec. exposures made in below freezing temps. Threw out a couple subs due to satellite trails and a high cloud moving through.

Keep in mind I started in September, have only been out about ten times, and am very new to this kind of processing and easily see my flaws, but I'm happy to compare photos taken by fellow low-time beginners with other equipment.



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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6171160 - 11/01/13 10:10 PM

I would not have hesitated to put a 80 ED on my CG-5 let alone an AVX. I think it would have made a terrific match. I would have been beyond delighted getting an image that good my 10th time out.

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bmwbiker
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Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: SF Bay Area
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: Raginar]
      #6171204 - 11/01/13 10:42 PM

Quote:

BMWbiker, you got some pictures? I'd love to see your astrobin account.



I'm still struggling with post processing. My final images tend suffer from noise. I haven't bitten the bullet for PS or anything else yet.

This thread does have an image of M31 with C80ED on a AVX unguided.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=low&Nu...


Edited by bmwbiker (11/01/13 10:44 PM)


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: nodalpoint]
      #6171676 - 11/02/13 10:17 AM

MR hit it in the head. My favorite recommendation for a noob would be a CG5 and a ED80 with a DSLR and a finder guider rig. Simple enough to get good wide fields and cheap enough to figure out if you wanna go farther.

Nodal, pretty. You should make an astrobin account so I can follow you

BMX, your data is good. If you go to my astrobin you'll see my first pictures from about 2 years ago. They're... Horrendous

Edited by Raginar (11/02/13 10:20 AM)


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Raginar
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Re: EQ Mount for Long Exposure AP new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #6173658 - 11/03/13 12:24 PM

Trav, how did the mount fail you? Something that you did or firmware related?

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