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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6331286 - 01/23/14 07:10 PM

You can also buy a Takahashi NJP for $4500 used. Don't bother buying new, they are discontinued and the replacement (Takahashi EM400) costs more than an AP1100.

There is one on astromart right now. But they are rarer than Mach1's. They carry 70lb so a good deal more than the Mach1. But - they don't have an alphanumeric handpad, so to command GoTo's you need a computer (or tablet). Still, a small price to pay considering they go for less money than the Mach1 and carry a good deal more.

The NJP is quite heavy though, and unlike the 900 and 1100 does not split into two pieces for easier transport.

Overall - since the OP can afford a $12K lens, I'm in the camp that he should buy the best thing and avoid headaches and money loss down the road. And for me that's Astro-Physics or Takahashi (or even perhaps 10Micron). The Software Bisque mounts require a PC all the time. Not conducive to "casual" imaging sessions with just the DSLR and no computer.

EDIT: I thought of a funny analogy that encapsulates my experience with premium/non-premium mounts..

Mach1/Tak/SB/10Micron - Canon L glass
Losmandy - Tamron SP
iOptron CEM60 - Sigma
CGEM - no-name mirror lens

All of them will get that bird-in-flight shot. But you can figure out how many will be sharp (and how sharp)..

but even the CGEM will produce amazing images. You just don't see all the effort that happened before that image was captured.


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331533 - 01/23/14 09:45 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

if I recall correctly, you said you do not have a lot of time to do AP processing. Mallincam has 2 cameras you might be interested in. Mallincam extreme ex which takes live color video images that you can share online or at star parties. you can 'stack' those to create a photo. or Mallincam universe which is made for AP work but can be used for video as well.




Hmm, good point. I am honestly not sure whether to call the time I have a little, normal, or a lot. I figure I can spend a few hours a night once or twice a week on average doing astroimaging. Relative to the kind of time I used to have, that's a lot! However, relative to some of the astrophotographers I follow, who often seem to spend multiple nights imaging the same objects for grand total exposure times in the realm of 8, 12, 15 hours...on top of the travel time to get to and from their dark sky site, etc. It seems like I don't really have all that much time for astrophotography.

I suspect there will be a few times a year where I could spend several nights in a row imaging some selected DSO. I certainly hope so, at least, but in a weekly basis, maybe a few hours a night two nights a week.

Anyway, I'll check out Mallincam! Sounds a bit like planetary imaging with a webcam sensor? Does that work well for DSO imaging?





After a long day of work, I finally get a chance to respond! I have the Mallincam X2 and love it! It is the perfect complement to my Canon 60Da and future SBIG camera. It has NUMEROUS uses for me. One thing that is for certain - you can get by with a much cheaper mount if you go purely MallinCam Extreme or X2, lol.

Here are my key uses:

* When aligning my mount, I don't peak through a reticle - I just put the Mallicam where the eyepiece would be and I use the crosshairs on my MallinCam display on my laptop. Very easy to center things on a big, 17" laptop screen and my very light weight MacBook Air!
* When running dual OTAs (80mm and 14" ACF) the MallinCam is on one OTA and the Canon is on the other (depending on what I am taking a picture of). Between the live view on the Canon and the MallinCam view, it allows me to frame my pictures.
* The MallinCam is best for DSOs. I don't bother with it for planets or Solar views - I use the Canon for that. Does the MallinCam provide the ultimate in DSO images? Nope. Do you see a DSO in color in as little as 3 seconds? Yep! No faint fuzzes, averting vision or all that. I even had a nice view of the Horsehead Nebula in 60 secs! The Ring Nebula - 3 seconds! For most of the faint fuzzies I go purely Mallicam.
* BTW the live view on my Canon on the laptop shows excellent views of the planets, live, in a much higher resolution.
* NOTE - with the Mallincam, if things are aligned well you really will not need to guide. Just get the mount aligned very well. Hence I have seen some cool stuff even using my little ol' LXD75.
* The MallinCam also allows me to gauge how long my exposures will approximately be on my Canon, depending on the ISO. For example, I found if I was going 60 sec on the Horsehead with the MallinCam, my exposures were at least 10 min with the Canon 60Da at ISO800.
* For outreach the MallinCam is the only way to go. Looking through an eyepiece at the planets and M13 are really cool. Everything else - you will bore your audience, especially when asking them to advert their vision and to look real closely to get a hint of something. A cool, nearly live view of a DSO in color - you will always win your audience, and teach them something too.
* Bonus points - my video feed from the MallinCam is shared by single click to all the Macintoshes in my home and my AppleTV (heck across the internet even). No fuss, no muss.

Video astronomy is NOT to be confused with the spectacular detailed images you see astrophotographers can do and some of us aspire to do some day. BUT, cameras like the MallinCam will take you out of the faint fuzzy mode very quickly, and it is just cool to just kick back and scan the heavens and look at things.

Attached is a sample screen shot to give you an idea on video astronomy using M42. Here you will see the MallinCam Control view (f/4 on the 14" ACF), the Canon live view, and the prior image taken of M42 ( at f/6 on the 80mm APO) from the Canon. In the background is SkySafari from which I control the LX850 wirelessly. Yes, I am in the home, nice and warm remotely viewing the information from the LX850 which is outdoors (I believe the temps were in the low 20s outside). Oh, this image was taken in a suburban neighborhood of about 85,000 folks next to Albuquerque (big city). Yes, you can see cool DSOs IN THE CITY! Of course it helps being at over 5,000' and a dry climate. Needless to say, you won't always need to go up an 11,000' mountain with your mount.


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6331544 - 01/23/14 09:56 PM

Quote:

Cropping in Astrophotogaphy is from your system not being able to get more of the field. Typically, the problem is insufficient field and you are really trying to use the corners. Look at the sky. Look how big the moon looks. Imagine something 6 moon across as your subject (3°), and you'll see what I am getting at. This is why Astro Physics, TEC, and Tak astrographs are made to support detectors in the 90mm diagonal class- people are trying to get big, bright, fields of view.

Keep an open mind, and realize you will never, ever, feel like you have mastered astrophotography. Your only hope is to have photos you look at and realize what you should have done to get a better result, but other people will think look pretty nice.

-Rich





I 100% second Rich's comments.

Let me add - I am always experimenting and trying to learn taking the best photo. Mount, optics, weather conditions, how much sleep I got, hunger level and ALL the nuances of imaging software (an art form in it of itself) play a roll. I am improving, feeling good about my progress but there is the drive for doing better. I feel I have a looooong ways to go. On the other hand, all my friends, family, co-workers and even strangers totally love my pictures. When I put a picture onto instagram with its predefined filters? Everyone loves it even more, even though it looks a funky to me.

Moral of the story? The simple things can please people.


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guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6331709 - 01/24/14 12:02 AM

Quote:

Overall - since the OP can afford a $12K lens, I'm in the camp that he should buy the best thing and avoid headaches and money loss down the road.




And that tells me the OP already knows how the mount is important

Guylain


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Jon Rista
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6331780 - 01/24/14 01:08 AM

Thanks, everyone, for all your responses! This has been extremely helpful. I still look forward to more responses and discussion, but I do think I have a much more refined opinion of what kind of mount I NEED, WANT, and what will BEST SERVE ME for the PRICE.

Here is my short list:

1. AP Mach1GTO
2. iOptron CEM60 (w/ encoder?)
3. Paramount MX
4. iOptron ZEQ25GT w/ Case & Tripod

I'll have to check out the cost of the Mach1. I suspect that I'll buy one at some point regardless, there has been too many good things said about it on these forums by everyone.

I would like to know a bit more about the iOptron CEM60. They call it a center-balanced equatorial mount...I'm curious how that is different from a standard equatorial mount. I am also interested in understanding more about what the encoder version of the CEM60 offers. From what I read about the AP1100GTO-AE, it has "absolute encoders", and these allow at least 10 minutes of unguided tracking. The encoders theoretically could allow longer unguided tracking, however it seems they cannot compensate for flexure and mirror movements. Does the CEM60 with encoders offer something similar? Does the Mach1 have some kind of encoding...I couldn't tell based on AP's description page. If the CEM60 offers encoding which allows unguided tracking whereas the Mach1 does not, that still seems quite intriguing to me. Especially if the CEM60 is only $4000.

Regarding the ZQE25. The price of that is pretty sweet. I suspect it would need guiding for ideal performance? What autoguider and guide scope would on recommend? One thing about iOptron...their site is terrible. They don't tell you jack about their equipment...the specifications tabs are all empty, so I don't really know how to get accurate information about either the CEM60 or the ZEQ25. Anyway, it would kind of be nice to start much cheaper, with say a ZEQ25 with my 600mm f/4 and 5D III, and spend my time learning the nuances of astrophotography and astrophotography processing itself, before I really dumped a lot of money into the mount. At $900, the ZEQ25 allows me to save a LOT of money for later on, at which point I may well just get the AP1100GTO-AE, rather than taking a much more costly "baby step" with the Mach1.

Well, anyway...thanks for all the help, guys!


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Jon Rista
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6331783 - 01/24/14 01:12 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

if I recall correctly, you said you do not have a lot of time to do AP processing. Mallincam has 2 cameras you might be interested in. Mallincam extreme ex which takes live color video images that you can share online or at star parties. you can 'stack' those to create a photo. or Mallincam universe which is made for AP work but can be used for video as well.




Hmm, good point. I am honestly not sure whether to call the time I have a little, normal, or a lot. I figure I can spend a few hours a night once or twice a week on average doing astroimaging. Relative to the kind of time I used to have, that's a lot! However, relative to some of the astrophotographers I follow, who often seem to spend multiple nights imaging the same objects for grand total exposure times in the realm of 8, 12, 15 hours...on top of the travel time to get to and from their dark sky site, etc. It seems like I don't really have all that much time for astrophotography.

I suspect there will be a few times a year where I could spend several nights in a row imaging some selected DSO. I certainly hope so, at least, but in a weekly basis, maybe a few hours a night two nights a week.

Anyway, I'll check out Mallincam! Sounds a bit like planetary imaging with a webcam sensor? Does that work well for DSO imaging?





After a long day of work, I finally get a chance to respond! I have the Mallincam X2 and love it! It is the perfect complement to my Canon 60Da and future SBIG camera. It has NUMEROUS uses for me. One thing that is for certain - you can get by with a much cheaper mount if you go purely MallinCam Extreme or X2, lol.

Here are my key uses:

* When aligning my mount, I don't peak through a reticle - I just put the Mallicam where the eyepiece would be and I use the crosshairs on my MallinCam display on my laptop. Very easy to center things on a big, 17" laptop screen and my very light weight MacBook Air!
* When running dual OTAs (80mm and 14" ACF) the MallinCam is on one OTA and the Canon is on the other (depending on what I am taking a picture of). Between the live view on the Canon and the MallinCam view, it allows me to frame my pictures.
* The MallinCam is best for DSOs. I don't bother with it for planets or Solar views - I use the Canon for that. Does the MallinCam provide the ultimate in DSO images? Nope. Do you see a DSO in color in as little as 3 seconds? Yep! No faint fuzzes, averting vision or all that. I even had a nice view of the Horsehead Nebula in 60 secs! The Ring Nebula - 3 seconds! For most of the faint fuzzies I go purely Mallicam.
* BTW the live view on my Canon on the laptop shows excellent views of the planets, live, in a much higher resolution.
* NOTE - with the Mallincam, if things are aligned well you really will not need to guide. Just get the mount aligned very well. Hence I have seen some cool stuff even using my little ol' LXD75.
* The MallinCam also allows me to gauge how long my exposures will approximately be on my Canon, depending on the ISO. For example, I found if I was going 60 sec on the Horsehead with the MallinCam, my exposures were at least 10 min with the Canon 60Da at ISO800.
* For outreach the MallinCam is the only way to go. Looking through an eyepiece at the planets and M13 are really cool. Everything else - you will bore your audience, especially when asking them to advert their vision and to look real closely to get a hint of something. A cool, nearly live view of a DSO in color - you will always win your audience, and teach them something too.
* Bonus points - my video feed from the MallinCam is shared by single click to all the Macintoshes in my home and my AppleTV (heck across the internet even). No fuss, no muss.

Video astronomy is NOT to be confused with the spectacular detailed images you see astrophotographers can do and some of us aspire to do some day. BUT, cameras like the MallinCam will take you out of the faint fuzzy mode very quickly, and it is just cool to just kick back and scan the heavens and look at things.

Attached is a sample screen shot to give you an idea on video astronomy using M42. Here you will see the MallinCam Control view (f/4 on the 14" ACF), the Canon live view, and the prior image taken of M42 ( at f/6 on the 80mm APO) from the Canon. In the background is SkySafari from which I control the LX850 wirelessly. Yes, I am in the home, nice and warm remotely viewing the information from the LX850 which is outdoors (I believe the temps were in the low 20s outside). Oh, this image was taken in a suburban neighborhood of about 85,000 folks next to Albuquerque (big city). Yes, you can see cool DSOs IN THE CITY! Of course it helps being at over 5,000' and a dry climate. Needless to say, you won't always need to go up an 11,000' mountain with your mount.




So, from what I gather this is basically the pinnacle of visual observing? Sounds pretty sweet. Especially if I could wirelessly (or even wired) connect to a MallinCam from indoors or from within my vehicle if I'm out in the mountains. I already know that visual observing with smaller apertures doesn't really show you much, and that the majority of dimmer objects aren't even naked-eye visible with something even as large as a 150mm aperture. That was why I was thinking about an EdgeHD 14" before...to assist the naked-eye viewing. Even M42 looks like a big gray blob with 150mm's of aperture. MallinCam sounds like the solution, so it's definitely on my list!


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Jon Rista
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: guyroch]
      #6331788 - 01/24/14 01:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Overall - since the OP can afford a $12K lens, I'm in the camp that he should buy the best thing and avoid headaches and money loss down the road.




And that tells me the OP already knows how the mount is important

Guylain




I knew a mount was important, just wasn't quite sure exactly how important. Affording a $12,000 lens wasn't easy, either. It took saving for a number of years. ;P I couldn't afford a $12,000 mount right now either...I would say about $7000 is my realistic limit if I buy something by summer (assuming everything else in my life goes well up through that time.) It also seems that I could easily spend more than $15,000 on a good mount, such as the AP1100GTO-AE...mount sounds amazing, I still need to determine if I should be spending that kind of money before I have solid skill as an astrophotographer. (I suspect I'm actually going to be saving money in the short term by going with either a ZEQ25GT or a CEM60-EC, so I can bank more money towards a better mount down the road.)


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331798 - 01/24/14 01:29 AM

Quote:

Thanks, everyone, for all your responses! This has been extremely helpful. I still look forward to more responses and discussion, but I do think I have a much more refined opinion of what kind of mount I NEED, WANT, and what will BEST SERVE ME for the PRICE.

Here is my short list:

1. AP Mach1GTO
2. iOptron CEM60 (w/ encoder?)
3. Paramount MX
4. iOptron ZEQ25GT w/ Case & Tripod

I'll have to check out the cost of the Mach1. I suspect that I'll buy one at some point regardless, there has been too many good things said about it on these forums by everyone.

I would like to know a bit more about the iOptron CEM60. They call it a center-balanced equatorial mount...I'm curious how that is different from a standard equatorial mount. I am also interested in understanding more about what the encoder version of the CEM60 offers. From what I read about the AP1100GTO-AE, it has "absolute encoders", and these allow at least 10 minutes of unguided tracking. The encoders theoretically could allow longer unguided tracking, however it seems they cannot compensate for flexure and mirror movements. Does the CEM60 with encoders offer something similar? Does the Mach1 have some kind of encoding...I couldn't tell based on AP's description page. If the CEM60 offers encoding which allows unguided tracking whereas the Mach1 does not, that still seems quite intriguing to me. Especially if the CEM60 is only $4000.

Regarding the ZQE25. The price of that is pretty sweet. I suspect it would need guiding for ideal performance? What autoguider and guide scope would on recommend? One thing about iOptron...their site is terrible. They don't tell you jack about their equipment...the specifications tabs are all empty, so I don't really know how to get accurate information about either the CEM60 or the ZEQ25. Anyway, it would kind of be nice to start much cheaper, with say a ZEQ25 with my 600mm f/4 and 5D III, and spend my time learning the nuances of astrophotography and astrophotography processing itself, before I really dumped a lot of money into the mount. At $900, the ZEQ25 allows me to save a LOT of money for later on, at which point I may well just get the AP1100GTO-AE, rather than taking a much more costly "baby step" with the Mach1.

Well, anyway...thanks for all the help, guys!




I would easily put the Paramount MX ahead of the CEM60. CEM60 is brand new - so new it is not out there yet, and of course no objective user field reports are out there. It looks promising, but understand it is new - and in a very different league than the Mach1GTO and MX.

I did look at the ZEQ25 for my portable grab and go mount. I went back and forth on it. But since my primary AP mount is the LX850, I just needed a mount for primarily visual, portable, fun and light duty AP. I came across an excellent used LXD75 and I decided to go with that. It has traveled very well for many thousands of miles all over the United States including Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Michigan and Virginia to name a few spots in addition to New Mexico. In less than a year it has covered over 10,000 miles on the road and does remarkably well supporting my 80mm and 130mm APOs. And with average alignment I have gotten 90 sec unguided subs. It is a fun mount.

I could see going with the Mach1GTO AND maybe the ZEQ25, LXD75 (used only), or the SkyTracker. A good one two punch.


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Jon Rista
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331804 - 01/24/14 01:35 AM

Hmm, updating my list:

1a. AP Mach1 GTO
1b. 10Micron 1100 HPS
2. iOptron CEM60 w/ encoder
3. Paramount MX
4. iOptron ZEQ25GT w/ 'pod and case

I did not realize it before, that the 10Micron 1100 HPS also has encoders. It seems that it has absolute encoders built in for both RA and DEC, and it is cheaper than the AP1100GTO-AE (by a lot). I really like the idea of these high precision encoders and unguided tracking. Again, not sure that I should *start out* with such a high end mount. I think, as much as just want to buy ONE mount and leave it at that, I would be better served learning the nuances of astrophotography first. That basically makes my "realistic" list the following:

1. iOptron CEM60 w/ encoder
2. iOptron ZEQ25GT w/ 'pod and case

Regarding tripods, is there a recommendation there? It doesn't seem like the iOptron CEM60 comes with the pod, just the mount. It sounds like tripods may be as diverse as the mounts themselves. I understand that you want the pod to be as stable as possible...something like 2" steep tubing. Are there any recommendations as to what tripod one should pair with any of the above mounts?


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331806 - 01/24/14 01:40 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Quote:

...

So, from what I gather this is basically the pinnacle of visual observing? Sounds pretty sweet. Especially if I could wirelessly (or even wired) connect to a MallinCam from indoors or from within my vehicle if I'm out in the mountains. I already know that visual observing with smaller apertures doesn't really show you much, and that the majority of dimmer objects aren't even naked-eye visible with something even as large as a 150mm aperture. That was why I was thinking about an EdgeHD 14" before...to assist the naked-eye viewing. Even M42 looks like a big gray blob with 150mm's of aperture. MallinCam sounds like the solution, so it's definitely on my list!




To give you another idea on the MallinCam. Here is a picture of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, raw, no field flattener, taken in an urban, damp location in Michigan via a 130mm APO (think small aperture compared to the 14") on an LXD75 mount. Note, this is a 4 second exposure from a smaller OTA - and you can see detail and color in the object. I could have tweaked the image more, played with the settings more (which is the fun in owning a MallinCam), but at 92% humidity I was hitting my limit. Still, this was the image I saw streaming on my laptop.

No need to worry about guiding here with your mount, let alone PE, lol! ANY basic mount with accurate RA tracking will be sufficient. Yes Mach1GTO (and my LX850) are extreme overkill for the MallinCam, but whatever! The key is you can do observing in the mountains - or a fun night at home, local school, work, etc.

P.S. - I am very sure some folks have amazing MallinCam screen shots. This just gives you a taste what you can see quite quickly on your laptop or TV monitor. You and your guests will love it!


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Jon Rista
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6331816 - 01/24/14 01:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

...

So, from what I gather this is basically the pinnacle of visual observing? Sounds pretty sweet. Especially if I could wirelessly (or even wired) connect to a MallinCam from indoors or from within my vehicle if I'm out in the mountains. I already know that visual observing with smaller apertures doesn't really show you much, and that the majority of dimmer objects aren't even naked-eye visible with something even as large as a 150mm aperture. That was why I was thinking about an EdgeHD 14" before...to assist the naked-eye viewing. Even M42 looks like a big gray blob with 150mm's of aperture. MallinCam sounds like the solution, so it's definitely on my list!




To give you another idea on the MallinCam. Here is a picture of M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, raw, no field flattener, taken in an urban, damp location in Michigan via a 130mm APO (think small aperture compared to the 14") on an LXD75 mount. Note, this is a 4 second exposure from a smaller OTA - and you can see detail and color in the object. I could have tweaked the image more, played with the settings more (which is the fun in owning a MallinCam), but at 92% humidity I was hitting my limit. Still, this was the image I saw streaming on my laptop.

No need to worry about guiding here with your mount, let alone PE, lol! ANY basic mount with accurate RA tracking will be sufficient. Yes Mach1GTO (and my LX850) are extreme overkill for the MallinCam, but whatever! The key is you can do observing in the mountains - or a fun night at home, local school, work, etc.

P.S. - I am very sure some folks have amazing MallinCam screen shots. This just gives you a taste what you can see quite quickly on your laptop or TV monitor. You and your guests will love it!




Do you use some kind of LPR filter when you image from home? There is no way I'd be able to see Dumbbell Nebula from my home...LP is too high. Or is it that MallinCam's software is eliminating the LP for you?


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331818 - 01/24/14 01:49 AM

Losmandy Folding HD tripod. It was originally designed to mount a jumbo jet on display in a museum but they decided it was overkill for that purpose.

Joking aside, it is as solid as they get and it splits into 4 pieces for transportation. Down side is that it is very very heavy and is bulky to transport even when disassembled.


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Jon Rista
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/10/14

Loc: Colorado
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6331836 - 01/24/14 02:03 AM

Quote:

Losmandy Folding HD tripod. It was originally designed to mount a jumbo jet on display in a museum but they decided it was overkill for that purpose.

Joking aside, it is as solid as they get and it splits into 4 pieces for transportation. Down side is that it is very very heavy and is bulky to transport even when disassembled.




LOL. Yeah, that thing looks like a beast. It's on the list. I think for a starting setup, I'm going to try to find a more portable rig. For the next couple of years at least, my only source for dark skies will be a one to two hour trip away. Big, heavy duty mounts...well, as Starhawk's signature says: "I lost count of my scopes. Now I just want mobility." What's a sturdy but effectively mobile tripod that would handle being hauled out a couple/few times a week for a drive to a distant dark sky site, set up with a similarly mobile mount, without a lot of weight and hassle? It doesn't and really shouldn't be the lightest tripod out there...but also not the heaviest.


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331865 - 01/24/14 02:56 AM

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=DSLR&N...

Here is mobility. Wont handle you 600mm lens but will give amazing result with up to 200mm lens. You will be seriously impressed how much you can achieve with how little effort with this baby

Inthat discuaaion you willfind a sample picture I tookwith this setup at 150 mm

Edited by Hilmi (01/24/14 02:59 AM)


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orlyandico
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Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6331907 - 01/24/14 04:14 AM

The CEM60 has a relative encoder on RA only. Gives it allegedly sub 1" periodic error.

The Mach1 can get sub 1" periodic error with a good PEM training. In both cases low periodic error will not let you go unguided for >10 minutes due to flexure. I would say the 10micron 1000 is a good alternative as it has dual absolute encoders.


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Jon Rista
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Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6331927 - 01/24/14 04:42 AM

Quote:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=DSLR&N...

Here is mobility. Wont handle you 600mm lens but will give amazing result with up to 200mm lens. You will be seriously impressed how much you can achieve with how little effort with this baby

Inthat discuaaion you willfind a sample picture I tookwith this setup at 150 mm




Oh yeah, I've looked at Polari before. Seems very similar to iOptron SkyTracker as well, which I also considered. Decided against getting one, as I wanted to use a larger scope with a larger aperture.


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Jon Rista
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Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6331928 - 01/24/14 04:46 AM

Quote:

The CEM60 has a relative encoder on RA only. Gives it allegedly sub 1" periodic error.

The Mach1 can get sub 1" periodic error with a good PEM training. In both cases low periodic error will not let you go unguided for >10 minutes due to flexure. I would say the 10micron 1000 is a good alternative as it has dual absolute encoders.




Yeah, the 10Micron 1000 sounds pretty impressive, especially for the price. Now, quick question regarding tracking times. How often do you actually need to expose for more than 600 seconds? Wouldn't you normally take multiple 600 second (or even shorter) exposures and integrate, rather than trying to take longer exposures? So long as you aren't exposing consistently for more than 600 seconds, unguided performance with absolute encoding should support hours of photography over multiple 600-second frames, right? Or is the error involved in unguided tracking eventually enough to result in problems, even for separate integrated frames?


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Tonk
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Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Jon Rista]
      #6331948 - 01/24/14 05:18 AM

Quote:

10Micron 1000 sounds pretty impressive




I have one and yes its very very impressive.

Other things you could put here re its "impressive" list is it does dual axis unguided tracking (I've gone to 10 minutes and haven't dropped frames due to tracking issues in 6 months use) , its doesn't need PEC training (does it for itself - sub 1") and given it uses built in absolute encoders it doesn't loose its sky pointing position even when the mount is turned off and you have undone the clutches and moved the OTA. Oh and its completely standalone - can be run without additional computer/software. Setup only requires an astrometric eyepiece (+ barlow) to centre stars and pointing model and PA alignment is better than 20" with only 30 minutes work iterating the pointing model builder and PA adjustments. And its portable. 25Kg loading for imaging.

Yeah - I'm impressed

For AP reference: "First light" test image - 8 minute unguided subs http://astrob.in/full/67937/0/ of 10th mag comet (detail on Technical Card - link at top right). This unguided sample isn't a test so everything exposure wise was matched up for the specfic target http://astrob.in/full/65740/0/

Quote:

How often do you actually need to expose for more than 600 seconds?




Sometimes when you are doing narrow band imaging with not-so-fast optics - depends on target. Or shooting something that is incredibly dim.

Quote:

So long as you aren't exposing consistently for more than 600 seconds, unguided performance with absolute encoding should support hours of photography over multiple 600-second frames, right?




Right - I've not lost a frame to unguided tracking issues in 6 months use. That is up to 600s frames (my skies are too bright for longer so I've not tried, but I've heard that others are having success to 20 minutes). Also depends on OTA focal length of course. This is with dual axis tracking on.


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GIR
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Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: Tonk]
      #6331997 - 01/24/14 06:25 AM

Quote:



Quote:

How often do you actually need to expose for more than 600 seconds?




Sometimes when you are doing narrow band imaging with not-so-fast optics - depends on target. Or shooting something that is incredibly dim.

Quote:

So long as you aren't exposing consistently for more than 600 seconds, unguided performance with absolute encoding should support hours of photography over multiple 600-second frames, right?




Right - I've not lost a frame to unguided tracking issues in 6 months use. That is up to 600s frames (my skies are too bright for longer so I've not tried, but I've heard that others are having success to 20 minutes). Also depends on OTA focal length of course. This is with dual axis tracking on.




Most of my photos are narrow band and all exposures for them are 20 min unguided.


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Jon Rista
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Re: Buying a telescope...how important is the mount? new [Re: GIR]
      #6332008 - 01/24/14 06:46 AM

Ah, yeah, for narrow band exposures it makes sense they would be longer. I assume it is still possible to plug an autoguider into the 10Micron 1000 if you needed it?

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