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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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foste1cc
super member


Reged: 01/06/13

Loc: Armada, MI
First equatorial mount questions new
      #5652887 - 01/30/13 06:01 PM

hey everyone, i'm looking into buying my first equatorial mount for AP. I'm not looking into getting anything extremely fancy or pricey yet, just something that can polar align and track well for AP. As of now, i have a SCT 8SE on an Alt/Az mount and i know trying this setup for AP would be a headache and a half with the field rotation and poor gear design. would the celestron CG5-GT be a decent mount to start out with? I don't have anything over a $1,000, preferably i'd like to spend more like $700-ish range. I noticed Meade makes a similar mount, and i've seen more for under a grand. I was thinking of possibly buying used for nicer mounts if they're not too much $ if you guys think that'd be the way to go. but all input and advice is welcome! i'm a newbie with AP and equatorial mounts. So what do you guys think?? thanks in advance!

Carl


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5652951 - 01/30/13 06:23 PM

Used may well be the best way for you to go!
Iv seen many Atlas/EQ6 mounts used that are around
$900.I would highly recomend this because there
is alot of info and parts for this mount.It would do
a good job with your C8.Just keep your eye out and try
to find a newer one.There will be less to work on,if
needed with one just a few years old or less.The Atlas
come up alot on this site and am.The mount is built heavy duty and alot can be done with mods if you like.It will handle a bigger scope if you decide to get one latter.
Also EQmod software is free and works with this mount.

Edited by mega256 (01/30/13 06:25 PM)


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: mega256]
      #5653166 - 01/30/13 08:37 PM

Used Atlas is a good idea. You can also get Atlas's scaled down version - sirius (heq5 pro) for 1119$ but this will maybe be too much for your budget. I have HEQ5 Pro mount and am happy with it. It has the same software like the Atlas but the capacity is lower (20 kg for atlas and 14 for sirius).

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5653265 - 01/30/13 09:46 PM

I would look into the new Celestron Advanced VX mount.

You can buy the mount by itself from Astronomics:
https://www.astronomics.com/celestron-advanced-vx-german-equatorial-telescope...
Be sure to mention your Cloudy Nights account name for a possible discount.

This YouTube video shows you the mount.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiKDoxjmtmU


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foste1cc
super member


Reged: 01/06/13

Loc: Armada, MI
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5653678 - 01/31/13 06:36 AM

thanks guys! this is helping a bunch! i'll only have my 8SCT and a T2i attached to the mount for now, but plan on getting a guiding scope and orions autoguider. Would the sirius hold this weight?? i'm going to start looking at used deals now.

Carl


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5653716 - 01/31/13 07:18 AM

You'd be getting close to the maximum rated weight for the Sirius/HEQ5 Pro with your OTA alone. If I were you, I'd be looking for a used Atlas instead -- for AP, it's always better to have too much mount than too little.

-- Chris


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neptun2
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/04/07

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: CJK]
      #5653731 - 01/31/13 07:32 AM

Sirius is rated for 14 kg payload but this is for visual. My experience shows that you should not go over 10kg for photography. For 8" SCT together with dslr and guide scope it will be ok but if you manage to get used Atlas for the same price of course it will be better.

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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: neptun2]
      #5653739 - 01/31/13 07:36 AM

FWIW, the OP's 8SE is listed at 24 lbs (10.8 kg) on the Celestron web site.

-- Chris


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5653908 - 01/31/13 09:31 AM

If you are just starting out, the new Celestron VX would be OK but there are a few things that you should do. Get a small refactor (70-80mm) to mount on top of the C8. Start imaging using the refractor for imaging and the C8 for guilding. When you get that down, then switch to using the refractor for guiding and image with a focal reducer on the C8. Once you get that down, then try prime focus imaging on the C8.

Starting out at prime focus on the C8 will likely be very frustrating because it will push the mount very far towards it limits. SCT imaging is just plain difficult. Also, do not plan on imaging without guiding, it's just a waste of time.

The downside of starting with this mount is that you are really at the max with the C8 so if you want to move up in apature you will need a larger mount. However, the mount should do very well with lighter scopes like refractors and there is a lot that can be done that way.

A used CGEM or Atlas would be better but will cost you around $1000 plus shipping.

Meade has nothing to offer at this point.


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foste1cc
super member


Reged: 01/06/13

Loc: Armada, MI
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: EFT]
      #5654604 - 01/31/13 04:07 PM

awesome info guys! thanks again! do any of you know if the Atlas or CGEM would be a better investment?? both seem to be pretty similar..

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5654661 - 01/31/13 04:44 PM

You will find that you're always overloading your mount. The C8 will only be half of the weight, or less. You need a guide scope. If you want to take images at 2000mm then your guide scope probably should be long too. I use a C5 to guide my C8. That adds weight. Then you need to connect the two. I use a side-by-side bar that weighs 6 pounds. My camera weighs 2 pounds. There are dew shields and heat strips. All that combined pretty much maxes out my CGEM.

So to answer your question, yes, I think the Atlas or CGEM would be a better investment. The VX should be good for mounting a pair of 3 to 4 inch refractors. There are plenty of targets that require such scopes so you don't really need to be imaging at 2000mm. But, if you get the VX and decide that you want to image a small galaxy then you'll wish you had a heavier mount.

This book

The 100 Best Astrophotography Targets
http://www.amazon.com/The-100-Best-Astrophotography-Targets/dp/1441906029

will give you an idea of what scope is used for what targets.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5654673 - 01/31/13 04:49 PM

Quote:

awesome info guys! thanks again! do any of you know if the Atlas or CGEM would be a better investment?? both seem to be pretty similar..




It is very much a toss up. There are some improvement on the CGEM that I think are important including the counterwieght bar and latitude adjustment, but those are the main thing. My personal preference is for the CGEM, but I am a visual person, not an imager, and some imagers prefer the Atlas because of EQMOD. Perhaps the biggest advantage to the CGEM is if you are looking to buy a scope as well since Celestron offers some excellent deals on combinations. If you are looking at used, be aware that Orion will not service used equipment whereas Celestron will.


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: EFT]
      #5654683 - 01/31/13 04:55 PM

Quote:

If you are looking at used, be aware that Orion will not service used equipment whereas Celestron will.




Which is incredibly bizarre, since both are owned by Synta.

-- Chris


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: First equatorial mount questions [Re: CJK]
      #5654769 - 01/31/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If you are looking at used, be aware that Orion will not service used equipment whereas Celestron will.




Which is incredibly bizarre, since both are owned by Synta.

-- Chris




Synta owns Celestron but no Orion. Orion simply sells equipment that is manufactured by Synta.


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ourobouros2k2
sage


Reged: 11/10/11

Loc: okc area, oklahoma
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: EFT]
      #5656252 - 02/01/13 12:15 PM

I don't know why celestron.com lists "telescope weight" as 24lbs. Must be including the mount because my 8SE OTA is aroudn 12 pounds. Well it was before the telrad, los-d rail, and 80mm guidescope/cam. Now it clocks in at about 18.5

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foste1cc
super member


Reged: 01/06/13

Loc: Armada, MI
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: ourobouros2k2]
      #5656736 - 02/01/13 04:47 PM

I agree about the weight. there's no way my OTA weighs that much by itself. Being about 12lbs, do you guys think i could get away with getting a celestron VX for my first mount? i'd get orions autoguiding package soon after, but i feel like that only add a couple pounds max. What can't the VX do that others like the Atlas and CGEM do besides the weight difference??

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ourobouros2k2
sage


Reged: 11/10/11

Loc: okc area, oklahoma
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: foste1cc]
      #5657061 - 02/01/13 08:03 PM

VX is new so not sure how it stacks up yet, but since it has cg-5 heritage in it's design balancing slightly east heavy it should do ok. I am having balance issues with sirius eq-g and c8/guidescope combo, but that will be remedied with a counterweight extension bar.

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aberrs
member


Reged: 08/23/11

Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: ourobouros2k2]
      #5662759 - 02/05/13 12:34 AM

You might save some weight by using an OAG rather than a guide scope. But in either case I agree with Ed that starting through a smallish refractor is a good way to go.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: aberrs]
      #5662783 - 02/05/13 12:51 AM

One issue with OAG is that it places much more stress on your focuser.

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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: First equatorial mount questions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5662815 - 02/05/13 01:25 AM

Starting out I would say buy a used Atlas and put a used 80mm ED scope on it. You will find that a 600mm focal length scope is much less frustrating than starting out at 2000mm using your F10 SCT with a shifting mirror. Longer focal length means everything has to be much more precise to keep your stars looking round.

Once you master drift aligning for polar alignment, balancing your mount and auto-guiding you will be ready to try imaging with your 8 inch SCT. Because SCT mirrors can shift as the scope follows the stars through the sky an off axis guider is a good way to improve the benefits of auto-guiding.


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