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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Motokid600
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Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Eq mount load capacity.
      #5639878 - 01/24/13 12:50 AM

As of late ive been looking at EQ mounts for a 11" Edge HD and the Celestron CGEM is looking like its going to be the one. But i have a few questions. It says a load capacity of 40lbs. So the OTA is 28lbs and the counterweight is 17. Thats 45lbs so does that mean i will only have 5lbs to work with? Because I plan to do a side by side saddle setup with a refractor and that can get heavy. Plus imaging equipment. So 5lbs wont cut it.

Also. Is there a way to get these mount without the tripod at a cheaper price? I plan to mount all this on a pier.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5639918 - 01/24/13 01:31 AM

The rated weight is payload weight; the counterweights don't enter into it. On the other hand, mounts in that class are rated for visual use and folks usually derate them by about 1/3 for imaging use.

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CJK
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Reged: 12/05/12

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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5639919 - 01/24/13 01:32 AM

The load capacities specified by the manufacturers do not include counterweights. (I.e., all you have to worry about in your calculations is whatever equipment you are putting on top of the mount.)

That said, if you're planning on imaging, you probably ought to look at a mount with a higher capacity: generally, you want to keep the weight on the mount around 50% of the rated capacity. The 11" Edge HD would likely work okay, but adding a second scope (plus rings, plates, etc) is going to approach the rated capacity. Performance for imaging will likely suffer.

-- Chris


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Motokid600
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Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5639970 - 01/24/13 02:43 AM

Thanks for the info guys I appreciate it. But what about the OTA's weight? You say 50% so 28lbs would already put me over. So if thats the case would anyone be able to recommend a mount thats not much more money then the CGEM? Because ive been looking and after 50lbs prices really rise.


Edited by Motokid600 (01/24/13 02:50 AM)


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neptun2
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Reged: 03/04/07

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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: CJK]
      #5639972 - 01/24/13 02:47 AM

My experience shows that you can use around 75% of the rated payload of the mount for astrophotography without problem. At least this is with my HEQ5 Pro. In you current situation the tube will be ok on cgem but if you add the photographic accessories it will probably be just too much. Maybe the CGEM DX with the additional 10 lbs payload will do the job.

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Motokid600
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Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: neptun2]
      #5639974 - 01/24/13 02:52 AM

I was looking at the DX. Turns out the only difference is the tripod giving it the extra 10 pounds.

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RTLR 12
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5639983 - 01/24/13 03:15 AM

Tripod, Counterweight bar (larger diameter), and electronics (more voltage applied to the motors) are different on the DX.

Stan


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orlyandico
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5640009 - 01/24/13 04:41 AM

used CGE. there is one on the mart for $1950.

I don't think the C11EDGE with its 2800mm focal length can be reliably carried by the CGEM for imaging. I know of one person who does this.. but he has an AO (adaptive optics) unit. The CGEM gears are rough; even in the best case the fast (8/3) non-integer periodic error is 7 arc-seconds. On mine it is 22!

Even Celestron acknowledges that the non-integer gear error is an issue, because in the new AVX they are really talking up the integer-only gear ratios (that can be addressed with PEC). There is some - unconfirmed - talk that the AVX motors will be available for us CGEM owners with 8/3 gearbox problems... at some unknown cost of course. I'd guess $500 range for both motors and a new motor board.

Now if you put the 0.7X reducer on the C11EDGE that would take it down to 2000mm focal length which I think the CGEM can handle fine.

Sadly aside from the (used) CGE there are no other options above the CGEM, except the G11 at $3.6K (note the complaints on here as well..) and the CGE Pro at $5K.

You might want to look at the EQ6 / Atlas. At least it doesn't have the 8/3 gearbox problem, and uses stepper motors, but is otherwise very comparable to the CGEM. Made by the same (Chinese) company too..

As for the tripod.. you cannot buy it without the tripod. Just sell the tripod, you can probably get $200 for it. Or.. buy used and save a bundle.


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mmalik
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5640026 - 01/24/13 05:12 AM

My suggestions:

-Get Mach1GTO...
-Get an APO for imaging while salvaging your 11" if you are not so visually inclined. Thx


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Motokid600
super member


Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5640029 - 01/24/13 05:20 AM

Thanks for the advice I appreciate it. I really would like to stay with celestron so believe it or not I may actually bite the bullet and treat myself to a CGE Pro... Its a lot, but I want something future proof. So with that what kind of imaging performance would I see with about 15 - 20lbs of gear loaded on? ( mounting hardware, Astro Tech 80ed, DSLR ) What kind of exposure times could I achieve? Sorry for throwing the topic out the window, but I can never seem to make up my mind.

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orlyandico
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5640034 - 01/24/13 05:35 AM

15-20 lb? A CGEM will do fine for that. My CGEM does about 2" RMS guiding. Plenty for 500mm focal length. Other CGEMs can get under 1" RMS. The good ones.

Its only at really long focal lengths (>2000mm) where the CGEM struggles.


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orlyandico
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5640056 - 01/24/13 06:08 AM

Mmalik, IMHO if the guy is looking at a CGEM I don't think its relevant to suggest he pony up for a Mach1.

If he said CGE Pro right away then yes it would make sense. Since that's $5000.

OP, if you can spring for a CGE Pro, get the Mach1. Less capacity but far more accurate.

But if your payload is only 20lb and not a C11, both the CGE Pro and Mach1 are overkill...


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5640263 - 01/24/13 09:33 AM

Quote:

used CGE. there is one on the mart for $1950.




Yes. The CGE would be a major upgrade for the least cost increase. Better performance and build quality, and much beefier. I used to run a C11 and a 5" refractor side by side on one.


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bunyon
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5640281 - 01/24/13 09:46 AM

Above we have estimates of 33, 50 and 75% of rated capacity for imaging.

I think they're all far, far too precise. The rule of thumb I'd use is that as you get closer and closer to the rated capacity expect more and more trouble with tracking. But each mount (I mean every individual mount, not just make) will be different. There are people using CG5s with a fair amount of weight on them and 10 minute subs. I wouldn't bet heavily on that, but it can be done.


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terry59
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: bunyon]
      #5640327 - 01/24/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

Above we have estimates of 33, 50 and 75% of rated capacity for imaging.

I think they're all far, far too precise. The rule of thumb I'd use is that as you get closer and closer to the rated capacity expect more and more trouble with tracking. But each mount (I mean every individual mount, not just make) will be different. There are people using CG5s with a fair amount of weight on them and 10 minute subs. I wouldn't bet heavily on that, but it can be done.




I'd add that these soundbite numbers don't take into account the type of imaging being done. There is a huge difference between being able to generate quality 3-5 min LRGB type subs and 15-30 min narrowband subs.


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: terry59]
      #5640383 - 01/24/13 10:40 AM

I completely agree here that these rules are very general and in whole. The length of the scope should also be considered and not only the weight. It also depends on the balance (newtonians are more difficult to balance than the refractors for example due to the location of the focuser and photographic load). The length of the exposures and focal length of the scope are also important. These rules are more of the "don't expect good performance if you put more than that" type. Of course there are exceptions but in general they are true. I personally saw much improvement in tracking accuracy with 5 minute exposures when going from 85% to 75% of maximum load on my HEQ5.

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: neptun2]
      #5641054 - 01/24/13 04:57 PM

This may be a bit of a digression but what is the benefit of doing 15-30 minute subs over 5 minute subs? I can see that there may be less read noise but isn't that a small contribution to the total noise?

I'd rather loose 5 minutes of exposure because a plane flew through the shot than 20 minutes.

Chris


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Motokid600
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Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5641072 - 01/24/13 05:08 PM

Better signal-noise ratios with longer subs. But the thing is.. I live in yellow skies. I can just make out the milky way on the clearest of nights. So even with an LP filter would 20 minute subs even be worth it in such polluted skies?

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terry59
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5641098 - 01/24/13 05:22 PM

Quote:

Better signal-noise ratios with longer subs. But the thing is.. I live in yellow skies. I can just make out the milky way on the clearest of nights. So even with an LP filter would 20 minute subs even be worth it in such polluted skies?




Long subs (say more than 5 minutes but routinely 10 or more) are essential for narrowband (Ha, OII, SII) imaging. If in a light polluted area, narrowband could significantly enhance the AP experience. There is no free lunch though. Getting into narrowband is more expensive

Edited by terry59 (01/24/13 05:25 PM)


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Motokid600
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Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: terry59]
      #5641150 - 01/24/13 05:51 PM

Well for starters im just going to be using a a 2 inch LP filter for my Canon EoS Rebel. Not the best camera, but it could be alot better with the right hardware. Right now on my Cpc1100 i can do 2 minute guided subs if im lucky. And on top of that the vignetting is horrendous. Its time for me to get serious. I want a telescope/mount setup i can walk away from with confidence. I want something that will just WORK. And work WELL. So far my AP adventure is consisting of nothing, but trial and error... with alot more error then trial.

Idk its a tough call. If im moving up my price range into $6k for mounts then alot of doors open up choice wise. The Mach1GTO does seem really nice. Im just deterred by the amount of needed accessories and switching over to new software. ( Ive become very attuned to NexStar ) But i am confused. .. This GTO mount is $6,415. Yet it can only hold 45lbs of equipment? Yet the Losmandy Titan can hold up to 100lbs for $400 less... so what going on here? Is the GTO THAT much better at tracking? Sadly im not to savy with EQ mounts having never owned one. But i do understand them. Its just alot of these "features" are almost off-putting. As far as narrowband imaging goes... i dont have much ( if any ) interest in it. ( Although i said that about AP when i first bought my CPC1100 for visual use ) Ive also been considering a CCD camera, but... no. I want to stick with DSLR's. There just... easier. And cheaper.


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terry59
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5641174 - 01/24/13 06:05 PM

Quote:

Well for starters im just going to be using a a 2 inch LP filter for my Canon EoS Rebel. Not the best camera, but it could be alot better with the right hardware. Right now on my Cpc1100 i can do 2 minute guided subs if im lucky. And on top of that the vignetting is horrendous. Its time for me to get serious. I want a telescope/mount setup i can walk away from with confidence. I want something that will just WORK. And work WELL. So far my AP adventure is consisting of nothing, but trial and error... with alot more error then trial.

Idk its a tough call. If im moving up my price range into $6k for mounts then alot of doors open up choice wise. The Mach1GTO does seem really nice. Im just deterred by the amount of needed accessories and switching over to new software. ( Ive become very attuned to NexStar ) But i am confused. .. This GTO mount is $6,415. Yet it can only hold 45lbs of equipment? Yet the Losmandy Titan can hold up to 100lbs for $400 less... so what going on here? Is the GTO THAT much better at tracking? Sadly im not to savy with EQ mounts having never owned one. But i do understand them. Its just alot of these "features" are almost off-putting. As far as narrowband imaging goes... i dont have much ( if any ) interest in it. ( Although i said that about AP when i first bought my CPC1100 for visual use ) Ive also been considering a CCD camera, but... no. I want to stick with DSLR's. There just... easier. And cheaper.




Don't quote me but I believe that the Titan rating is for visual and the Mch 1 is for imaging. If I'm wrong, someone will correct me. As to DSLR or CCD, start with what makes you comfortable. Who knows where you will end up.

My heartburn is all of the soundbite advise that doesn't necessarily help someone just getting into this, especially when it comes to AP. One can certainly produce images with low budget equipment, but that will be an impediment if there comes a day when the desire to improve image quality arrives. If you can afford a Losmandy or AP mount, that's great. It should serve you for years (within it's weight class). Good luck!


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orlyandico
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: terry59]
      #5641195 - 01/24/13 06:21 PM

hi,
the Mach1 does look horrendously expensive for what it does. Yes! it costs more than a Losmandy Titan, or a CGE Pro!

and yes! it only carries 45lb!

but..

1) the periodic error is tiny. on mine, 3.5" p-p. 0.42" p-p with PEM turned on

2) no futzing with backlash, declination, etc. the thing just works. Adjusting the worm (I had to on mine, it got jammed in shipping) is a 2-minute operation

3) it weighs 30lb. The CGE Pro and Titan heads both weigh 75lb - that is a very considerable factor if you don't have a permanent installation

4) it is freakin' gorgeous!

5) AP tech support is fantastic


There is simply no mount in the $6K class that is better. I spent months considering my options, and that's what I concluded.

You can get a used Tak NJP for sub $5K. It's a great mount (better than the Titan or CGE Pro) with similar load capacity. Similarly heavy though.

There are other options, again like the CGE I mentioned earlier. IMHO a used CGE at $2000 is one of the better (if not the best) deals you can get bang-for-buck. And it has the great Nexstar software and handset (the AP GTO handset has a whopping one star alignment - so unless your polar alignment is dead-on, GoTo's will not be accurate).

Just don't expect a CGE (or CGE Pro, or Losmandy Titan, or G11) to achieve perfection. They won't. But they are very competent mounts that do require tweaking. Any AP mount will not require that. But you pay for that convenience..

A warning though - there's a vocal scare-tactic minority who will tell you that buying a Mach1 is not just the $6350 but you will "pay $9000 for accessories."

This isn't true - but you will definitely not pay $6350. That amount just gets you the mount head and counterweight shaft. At the very minimum you will need

- a tripod; Rob Miller makes some fantastic ones starting at $575; 200lb capacity and weighs 9lb; IMHO this is the best buy as the AP tripods start at $700+ and weigh more

- an ADATRI (flange to attach the Mach1 to the tripod); $60

- some counterweights ($115 each - you'll need 3 to balance a C11EDGE; or 1 for a refractor)

- a dovetail saddle; Robin Casady makes good ones, better than the AP ones IMHO since I have both an AP saddle and a Casady; about $150-ish

So no, it's not $6350.. but rather $7300+

You can buy used, I did. AP will still support you, heck they support my 20-odd year old AP600 that has had who knows how many owners.

And you can use a cheap tripod, like one off a Celestron CGEM or something (you'd need to fabricate a flat plate to adapt the Celestron tripod to the ADATRI). I used a $75 tripod from the 80s! works fine with my C9.25... round stars at 10 minutes guided, with no tweaking and badly out of balance.



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mmalik
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5643894 - 01/26/13 07:47 AM

Quote:

Well for starters im just going to be using a a 2 inch LP filter for my Canon EoS Rebel. Not the best camera, but it could be alot better with the right hardware. Right now on my Cpc1100 i can do 2 minute guided subs if im lucky. And on top of that the vignetting is horrendous. Its time for me to get serious. I want a telescope/mount setup i can walk away from with confidence. I want something that will just WORK. And work WELL. So far my AP adventure is consisting of nothing, but trial and error... with alot more error then trial.

Idk its a tough call. If im moving up my price range into $6k for mounts then alot of doors open up choice wise. The Mach1GTO does seem really nice. Im just deterred by the amount of needed accessories and switching over to new software. ( Ive become very attuned to NexStar ) But i am confused. .. This GTO mount is $6,415. Yet it can only hold 45lbs of equipment? Yet the Losmandy Titan can hold up to 100lbs for $400 less... so what going on here? Is the GTO THAT much better at tracking? Sadly im not to savy with EQ mounts having never owned one. But i do understand them. Its just alot of these "features" are almost off-putting. As far as narrowband imaging goes... i dont have much ( if any ) interest in it. ( Although i said that about AP when i first bought my CPC1100 for visual use ) Ive also been considering a CCD camera, but... no. I want to stick with DSLR's. There just... easier. And cheaper.




Lot of ground you covered in those two paragraphs; and your situation is quite understandable. Here are some thought in light of that:

1. If you decide to go with Mach1GTO..., do compare it against 900GTO before making the transaction. One thing you already mentioned is the total capacity of Mach1GTO; if you think you’ll be exceeding that limit then that’s where alternatives come into the picture.

2. Not sure if your Rebel is modified or not; either modify it or get this..., maybe from here.... [Some imaging results here...]

3. Your SCT will do in the meantime but for serious imaging you'll need to switch to an APO; two ways to go by, wide angle or narrow angle. A consideration regarding wide angle APO here....

4. DSLR imaging is simpler; if you wanted to dabble in CCD, a useful discussion here....


On a side note, some image processing instructions here....


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mmalik
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5644010 - 01/26/13 09:22 AM

Quote:

- a tripod; Rob Miller makes some fantastic ones starting at $575; 200lb capacity and weighs 9lb; IMHO this is the best buy as the AP tripods start at $700+ and weigh more

- an ADATRI (flange to attach the Mach1 to the tripod); $60

...

- a dovetail saddle; Robin Casady makes good ones, better than the AP ones IMHO since I have both an AP saddle and a Casady; about $150-ish




Could you please provide specific details (web links, specs, pics, part #s, where to buy/good vendors, etc.) for each of these (Miller/ADATRI/Casady) in terms of Mach1GTO?


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orlyandico
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: mmalik]
      #5644018 - 01/26/13 09:29 AM

google can point to all the information needed. the OP would need to do his homework anyway if he wanted to buy this stuff.

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andysea
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5644217 - 01/26/13 11:23 AM

You don't need the adatri if you get the RM tripod. Mine came with the right base to fit the Mach1. I think the cost of the tripod was around 700 bucks or so. You just need to tell Rob that you're going to use it for the Mach1.

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orlyandico
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: andysea]
      #5644278 - 01/26/13 11:59 AM

hi andy,
didn't know that. the quote to me was 985 including shipping to Singapore (about 150 i think). you can take off 195 if you don't get the levelers.


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Calypte
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Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5644461 - 01/26/13 02:03 PM

There is no standard for payload ratings. Roland's rating of 45 lbs for the A-P Mach1GTO is for imaging. For the others, who knows? My G11 is "rated" for 60 lbs, compared to 45 lbs for my Mach1GTO. But the Mach1GTO easily carries more (for my purposes) than the G11. If you have an observatory that shields the mount from wind, you can probably get away with more than you can with a portable set-up. But I suspect we wouldn't have this discussion if the OP had an observatory.

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mmalik
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5644919 - 01/26/13 07:00 PM

Quote:

Google can point to all the information needed




What are we doing at CN then , would help if you could please point to specific product/parts pages. Thx


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Motokid600
super member


Reged: 06/27/10

Loc: Berlin, New Jersey
Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: mmalik]
      #5647154 - 01/27/13 11:07 PM

Thanks mmalik for the info there. Some really good stuff i should consider. But.. as far as an OTA goes. Yea im looking at all types. My C11 will do for now, but yes eventually id like to get something REALLY nice. The thing is i do mainly narrow field imaging. Planetarys... planets and galaxies. Ive tried wide field imaging. ( I do have an AT72ED ) But living in a yellow zone my light pollution does take its toll. Granted ive yet to get myself an LP filter so id imagine that'd help some. I need a scope that can do it all and i imagine an APO with just as much focal length as my C11 will cost just as much as this Mach1 if not more. ( Although you do indeed get what you pay for )

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: Eq mount load capacity. new [Re: Motokid600]
      #5647190 - 01/27/13 11:38 PM

Quote:

i imagine an APO with just as much focal length as my C11 will cost just as much as this Mach1 if not more.




Much, much more. The only 11" F/10 apo refractor I can think of sells for over 100,000 Euros. At 130 pounds and, of course, being nearly 3 meters long it would require an impressive mount. I don't know if an AP-3600 would handle it. At those focal lengths you will want to stick with a Cass variant. Excellent Cass variants exist if you want to get away from an SCT, though.


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