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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #4323695 - 01/18/11 07:51 PM

Quote:

I am becoming less and less of a fan of the Software Bisque, but not because of their hardware but because of their business practice.



I am considering the Paramount MX. What are potential pitfalls in dealing with SB?


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: kolsen]
      #4323910 - 01/18/11 09:12 PM

Quote:

I'm interested in buying the G11. What are some of the things you've heard? Any big issues?



What I heard is that Losmandy is shipping mounts without testing them after assembly. I've also heard that the Gemini system has become somewhat of a nightmare for existing owners -- whether Gemini 2 will fix that or make it worse through initial growing pains is TBD.


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: skybsd]
      #4323941 - 01/18/11 09:29 PM

Quote:

So there's absolutely no chance that you might be tempted to head off onto another photography direction that requires the addition of other equipment later on?



Never say never. I forgot to mention a filter wheel. I might want to try the AO-8 autoguider. Maybe a Televue Powermate. But, a second scope or anything heavy like that is very unlikely.

Quote:

Does that budget apply only to the mount solution - and that you've budgeted for shipping, etc elsewhere?



That's scope + mount. I have shipping, tax, etc, figured separately.

Quote:

If a C11 is able to meet your needs for photometry and astrometry, what exactly are the reasons for considering the C14?



More aperture would allow me to see dimmer minor planets, so it's desirable, but subject to budget constraints.

The C14HD with CGE Pro is about $3K less than the C11HD with AP900GTO.... Using the rule of thumb that the mount comes first, I guess the C11HD setup would be better.

Damn, these trade-offs are never easy -- particularly when the wife is added to the equation!


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D. Perry
super member
*****

Reged: 09/28/07

Loc: Southern California, USA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4324044 - 01/18/11 10:21 PM

Quote:

I've also heard that the Gemini system has become somewhat of a nightmare for existing owners -- whether Gemini 2 will fix that or make it worse through initial growing pains is TBD.




The Gemini is not a nightmare. It works and works well. It just has a somewhat dated interface and hand controller. The Gemini 2 won't "fix" much of anything as the menu system is much the same only with a touchscreen hand controller.


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Alph]
      #4324087 - 01/18/11 10:41 PM

Quote:

I am considering the Paramount MX. What are potential pitfalls in dealing with SB?



One issue I've heard about is that the Paramounts require the use of TheSkyX -- so third-party mount controller software is apparently not an option.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: D. Perry]
      #4324092 - 01/18/11 10:42 PM

Another alternative?

David


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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4324367 - 01/19/11 01:56 AM

Quote:

Damn, these trade-offs are never easy -- particularly when the wife is added to the equation!




Fun, ain't it?

Regards,

skybsd


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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: wz2]
      #4324507 - 01/19/11 06:08 AM

I ll wait few more years for the CGE Pro or the MX.

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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
*****

Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4325856 - 01/19/11 06:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I am considering the Paramount MX. What are potential pitfalls in dealing with SB?



One issue I've heard about is that the Paramounts require the use of TheSkyX -- so third-party mount controller software is apparently not an option.




My problem with SB is their business model that now requires a yearly subscription fee to get bug fixes. If they don't fix a bug within a year it will cost approx $75 for another year's subscription if they ever decide to fit it. They claim the subscription is for upgrades and new features. If I was considering a new mount like a MX or ME and I had to spend spend $8500 or $14500 to get one I wouldn't expect to have to pay for updates to the software. Currently the ME doesn't come with TSX. It comes with TS6 which SB states on their website as deprecated. The other problem I has is TSX has features that were available in TS6 that are not there in TSX.

In any case I want to correct somethings that was posted. While the Paramount and the Paramount MX require TheSky to be running they can be controlled via 3rd party software if that software supports ASCOM drivers. You just need to select "TheSky controlled scope" from the ASCOM scope properties within the 3rd party software.

The other thing is the MX will use TheSkyX only, while the ME can use either TS6 or TSX. I would consider some mount other than a one from SB.


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lightyear44
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/29/09

Loc: Ontario
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #4326148 - 01/19/11 08:42 PM

I love my Gemini. Works very well, and at extremely low Canadian temperatures. I couldn't say that for my Atlas EQ-6. -David.

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Nocturnal
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/14/05

Loc: CT, USA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: lightyear44]
      #4326586 - 01/20/11 12:11 AM

If second hand is an option then you could simply make a short list of mounts you're interested in along with target prices. Then keep an eye on the various astro sites. You might even get one local or in Australia. That's how I ended up with a gem of an EM-400. Then thing is literally like new but getting it used saved me a bundle. Clearly there are some risks with getting used equipment but it may be worth it, depending on your situation.

I haven't had the EM-400 out under the stars yet but I was astonished by the build quality. I'm a detail oriented b@stard and haven't found anything wrong yet. Even simply things like set screws are done right. Properly deburred and greased so that they rotate with juuust the right amount of friction. Little things like that give me confidence the internals are done just as well, or better.

Anyway, keep an eye on your needs and the choices will present themselves. If your exposure times are going to be short an EQ6 will do fine for a C11. Note that long exposure times will work too (I used to do 20m or longer) but the image will be a bit blurry due to the mount wobbling as it's being guided. This may not be an issue with sub minute exposures. Decide if money spent on a mount had better be spent on optics or vice versa. Your needs may be very different from the average 'pretty picture' shooter like me.


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Nocturnal]
      #4326899 - 01/20/11 08:45 AM

What's a good height for a temporary pier for these mounts? I'm about 6 ft tall, and my back isn't great. I'd like to avoid too much bending over when I'm doing visual work (which won't be that often compared to photography). I've worked with wrong-sized pier/mount combos in the past that have been a disaster.

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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4327405 - 01/20/11 01:06 PM

Quote:

What's a good height for a temporary pier for these mounts? I'm about 6 ft tall, and my back isn't great. I'd like to avoid too much bending over when I'm doing visual work (which won't be that often compared to photography). I've worked with wrong-sized pier/mount combos in the past that have been a disaster.




Well., now I'm concerned.., What exactly is the problem with your back?

In your initial post, you were talking about a portable set up based on a C14 on seriously big iron mounting..,

Something's not adding up here..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: skybsd]
      #4328118 - 01/20/11 06:25 PM

I can lift 50 pounds or so without too much trouble, but I have arthritis in my back, so standing or bending for long periods gives me pain.

I'm trying to choose a system with components than can be broken down into manageable pieces. Currently leaning toward a 900GTO with an 11" EdgeHD OTA. The 900GTO is easily split into two pieces.

BTW, there are techniques for mounting large scopes without having to man-handle them into position.


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: Alph]
      #4328347 - 01/20/11 07:49 PM

Quote:

I question your decision of selecting the EdgeHD over the ACF or the AstroTech/GSO RC for photometry. Less refractive elements the better photometry.



The main reason I'm leaning toward the EdgeHD 11" instead of the LX200-ACF 12" is that I've heard Celestron is more reliable than Meade at the moment -- and reliability is a top priority for me.


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gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: zawijava]
      #4328790 - 01/20/11 11:22 PM

Quote:

Though I'm very fond of Takahashi, and the MX looks promising.....in your situation, with your criteria, I'd go for the AP 900 GTO

Tim







yeah


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: gnowellsct]
      #4328882 - 01/21/11 12:08 AM

Is anyone here using a 900GTO with an EdgeHD OTA? If so, which dovetail and saddle plates are you using? AP won't guarantee that their DOVELM162 saddle will fit the current Celestron dovetails.

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gillmj24
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: Sharkman]
      #4329088 - 01/21/11 05:13 AM

There is only one "Losmandy standard" so you can probably buy a DC11 dovetail plate from Losmandy if you had to.

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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: skybsd]
      #4330850 - 01/21/11 10:06 PM

Quote:


At first glance you see.., I have to wonder if you're really looking at the right models of these manufacturers' mount solutions here to begin with. For instance, at 46lbs (bare OTA dead weight) the C14 is already approaching 50% of the Titan's stated payload capacity, and already breaching 50% of the respective manufacturers' stated capacities for the AP900-GTO (75lbs), Tak EM400 (77lbs) and PMX (90lbs) - and you haven't even added dovetails / rings / imaging train, etc..,

skybsd




Yep that's the feeling I got too...


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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: gillmj24]
      #4331194 - 01/22/11 01:54 AM

Quote:

There is only one "Losmandy standard" so you can probably buy a DC11 dovetail plate from Losmandy if you had to.



I know it's compatible with the AP saddle, but is the DC11 known to fit the new EdgeHD scopes?


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