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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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northernontario
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Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Help selecting a mount
      #4401174 - 02/21/11 09:36 AM

Hello.

After surfing the web for countless hours, I am at a loss.

I recently purchased this telescope

http://www.canadiantelescopes.com/Shop-By-Brand/Canadian-Telescopes/Canadian-Telescopes-152mm-Air-Spaced-Achromat-Refractor-OTA

I am at a total loss as to what type of mount to buy. I do not want a computerized mount, I have never used an equatorial mount, and I like to go all over the place with my telescope.

I need something stable enough to hold this scope (about 25 pounds) yet allow me the freedom to slew anywhere with out difficulty.

Weight, size and portabilty are a factor. I purchased this because my lx200 and 16 inch dob are too big to bring on vacation with me.

As mentioned, I am at a total loss. The CG4 was recommended, but it is over 50 lbs and appears to be difficult to use and I have never used an equatorial mount and do not see myself attempting astrophotography ever.

Once again, thank you for helping out an old guy with a new hobby.

Jake


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Newfie Ninja
sage


Reged: 06/27/08

Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4401250 - 02/21/11 10:23 AM

Universal Astronomics have the Doublestar mount which is rated for 40 lbs on one side and 30 on the other. I have the UA Microstar for my TMB 80ss and it works like a charm. Well built with glassy smooth movements.
Discmounts have the DM 4 and DM 6 which are very highly rated mounts as well but I do not have any experience with them. Hope this helps you out.

Cheers


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4401343 - 02/21/11 11:14 AM

Hello Jake,
Congrats on scoring the new scope

I'd like to second the Discmounts DM-6 - more than enough mount for your scope.

As for the Universal Astronomics option, I'd like to suggest the UA UniStar Deluxe - rated for 40lbs and is very well and effectively put together. Both are DSC compatible, if you feel the need for some digital assistance when you're off observing from unfamiliar locations.

I got my DSC-enabled UA UniStar Deluxe that I take with me on trips abroad and its a fantastic, simple system that packs a huge punch for its travel-friendliness.

Best wishes.

Regards,

skybsd


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4401428 - 02/21/11 11:53 AM

Discmounts DM-6 is a very beautiful set up. You guys are lucky to own one. Wooden tripods convey an aura of class and old school that a older guy like me really appreciates.

But wow...are they expensive. My budget is about 400 dollars.

jake


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4401448 - 02/21/11 12:07 PM

You know what they say - Quality® isn't cheap - certainly not in this hobby

Based on your budget though:

UniStar Basic (40 lb capacity, 3x8 plate for mounting tube rings): $299+15 sh

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Newfie Ninja
sage


Reged: 06/27/08

Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4401556 - 02/21/11 01:04 PM

Larry from Universal Astronomics is great to deal with as well. Top notch customer service which is an added bonus. No problem shipping to Canada, I have ordered the mount and a couple of accessories over the last year and each time it was very smooth.
Cheers


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: Newfie Ninja]
      #4401786 - 02/21/11 02:54 PM

I looked at a few mounts mentioned...wow..there are so many flavours out there.

Is there any value in using an equatorial mount, or is this a matter of preference?

Thanks again

Jake


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4402033 - 02/21/11 04:54 PM

Hi Jake,
That's a good question - and one that has answers as differing as there is variety in the different ways that people approach the hobby.

My primary mounts are (GoTo) GEMs. I do have the NexStar6SE-XLT as well, which is a GoTo Alt-Az.

The single-most thing I like about motorized GEMs is the native tracking. Once you polar align the mount, and acquire (either via GoTo slewing or manual star-hop), the target, you can then leave the mount alone and it will continue to track the object as it transits.

None of the Alt-Az mounts put forward previously in your thread will track objects - they're not motorized ,, you see. In order to accomplish this, you have to manually "push" either the scope, or use the handle to adjust the scope's alt and RA aiming to keep the object in view as it transits.

My NexSdtar6SE-XLT does track objects, but its rather "jumpy" - If you can imagine the transit of any give object - it actually follows an line through an arc in the sky. Because the Alt-Az mount can only move up / down; left / right, in order to follow an object as it transits, the mount needs to "step" its way across the sky.

That is as the object rises in the eastern sky, the mount moves the scope up, then right, then wait..., up, then right, then wait.., until you get to the Meridian. Once past the Meridian the mount then needs to "step down" the scope's pointing towards the western horizon - Right, then down,, then wait.., right, then down, then wait.., and so on..,

The measure of Quality® of a manual Alt-Az mount is the smoothness of the axes when moving the scope in RA / Alt x payload capacity.

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd


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Newfie Ninja
sage


Reged: 06/27/08

Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4402091 - 02/21/11 05:25 PM

To add to Skybsd's post, for me it comes down to ease of use. If we are talking manual (not motorized) mounts and you have no asperations of astro photography. I find my alt az mounts allow me to forget they are there. My preference for eyepieces are wide fields and this allows me to keep an object in the field of view longer which means less manual tracking.
I find that Gems require lot more in terms of setting up such as polar aligning etc.
I have never used an alt az mount with encoders that allow you to easily find a target. It may be something that I look into in the future but for now I am happy with the basic manual mounts.

there are alot of quality mounts out there and I think you would be happy with any of the mounts listed. But as I have found, the best way to make sure that you will be happy with your purchase is to hang around Cloudy Nights and post questions. There is an enormous amount of knowledge within these walls.

Good luck with your quest and let us know what you decide.
Cheers


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: Newfie Ninja]
      #4402103 - 02/21/11 05:35 PM

Here are some reviews that might help you get started:

CN Enquiry into Discmount DM4

CN Review UniStar Basic

CN Review UniStar Deluxe

Interesting CN Thread DM vs UniStar

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4412746 - 02/26/11 11:43 AM

Hello

Well...the waiting is indeed the hardert part. My new refractor was shipped on tueday...so depending on the dog sled team...it should arrive next week some time.

In my quest for a mount, I have opened a dialog with the people at Unistar. I am liking what I am seeing with these mounts. It is a bit tough to go out on a limb and buy one with out trying it, but alas, life in the boonies.

Based on what I have read, and the people on cloudynights, this seems like a good choice. Light weight, sturdy, durable and portable.

That is the direction I am going in.....today. I am always open to suggestions and advice.

Thanks

Jake


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4413692 - 02/26/11 08:08 PM

Hi Jake,
Good to hear from you..,

Yeah - I know exactly what you're going through with the wait - I too am anxiously (but patiently, of course ) awaiting new gear that's incoming..,

Larry at UA is indeed one of the most meticulously caring of equipment suppliers out there.., He thought nothing of working with me all the way over here in the UK to resolve a minor issue (tripod adapter replacement) I had with my UniStar Deluxe, and he's flawlessly come through for me.

What did you have in mind for the tripod?

Regards,

skybsd


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4414882 - 02/27/11 01:17 PM

Hello again...

I currently have a heavy duty Meade field tripod that I use for my 8" LX200...it is a beast and not exactly portable..so I must decide if I want to get set up to use that for now...or just go all out and get a light weight surveyors style tripod.

I am hoping the people that sell the Unistar mount will be able to get me set up with everything I need.

What is a bit of a bummer is how much I am going to get gouged on duties, taxes and tarrifs. Perhaps I should get ahold of my federal M.P and get the forms for "educational goods". But that probabbly takes months of paper work and phonecalls.

So when I set my budget for this purchase, a good portion has to be set aside for this added expense. ggrr..

Jake


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4414927 - 02/27/11 01:38 PM

Hi Jake,
Larry does indeed also supply surveyors' tripods for his mounts - have a word with him to determine what option is best for what you need.

If looking at getting an after-market tripod for your mount, you need to make sure that the central locking bolt matches the mount's thread and size, okay?

I myself, use Berlebach UNI wooden tripods for my Alt-Az mounts, and I made sure to speak with Larry and Vic Maris (Stellarvue) about what thread bolts I need to specify to the folks at Berlebach when ordering the tripods.

Luckily, both SV and Larry are both flexible, and their respective mounts have options to use either 3/8-16 as well as 5/8-11 threaded central locking bolts - which are standard for Berlebachs.

Best wishes..,

Regards,

skybsd


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4424456 - 03/03/11 06:19 PM

Little update.

I have been in contact with Larry. He has advised me that the best tripod I could use is indeed the Meade Heavy Duty field tripod that I currently use with my SCT. It has a 1/2 inch threaded center mounting bolt. So I will have to make sure the adapter has the same. Since I will be saving money on the tripod, I have decided to "pimp my mount"

I received my scope the other night. It is much bigger than I had envisioned, and weighs over 25 pounds. My first thought when I opened the box was...ooops...it don't look so grab and go....but it is still a bit more grab and go than my 16 inch Dob.


More to come

Jake


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skybsd
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Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: northernontario]
      #4424560 - 03/03/11 07:08 PM

Hi Jake,
Good to hear from you..,

Quote:

Little update.

I have been in contact with Larry. He has advised me that the best tripod I could use is indeed the Meade Heavy Duty field tripod that I currently use with my SCT. It has a 1/2 inch threaded center mounting bolt. So I will have to make sure the adapter has the same. Since I will be saving money on the tripod, I have decided to "pimp my mount".





Heeheeheeee!!! Be careful - "Pimping" can get expensive rather quickly

As long as you confirm the threaded bolt size you need that's on your tripod with Larry, I'm sure he'll sort you out..,


Quote:

I received my scope the other night. It is much bigger than I had envisioned, and weighs over 25 pounds. My first thought when I opened the box was...ooops...it don't look so grab and go....but it is still a bit more grab and go than my 16 inch Dob.





Well., that's certainly less cumbersome than the dob The mount will cope with that scope quite well though - so you're safe.

What saddle assembly option did you go with?

Regards,

skybsd


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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Help selecting a mount new [Re: skybsd]
      #4425467 - 03/04/11 07:18 AM

hello.

It was suggested to go with a wider mounting plate. The one supplied with the scope is a vixen style. (this is very unfamiliar territory with me).

A wider losmandy style was recommended. From what I know, the mounting bar bolts to the rings one the scope and a clamping system secures it to the mount.

Because I have this carrying handle mounted to the rings opposite the bar, the distance between the rings is 9 and 1/2 inches.

SO I assume the bar has to be at least that or maybe I can do some modifications to the handle. If I could get a ten inch long bar and 3 inches wide, that would be great. Larry has offered me a dual clamp system at a very decent price.

I hope to have all of this finalized by early next week.

Larry has been an absolutely patient,polite and knowledgeable man to correspond with.
Because of my location, he understands the need for me to get this done in one shot and get that brand new scope out there.

more to come.

ps: I shall endeavor to post some pictures of my new scope this evening...it's a mini-monster.

Jake


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