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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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paul
sage
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Reged: 04/14/05

Loc: pa
Re: Travel Mount Options for CCD/widefield lens Photog new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5742203 - 03/19/13 02:33 AM

Have you looked at the astrotrac system.
they go used for under 500.
It's a great setup ,easy to use and lightweight.


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Patrick
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Travel Mount Options for CCD/widefield lens Photog new [Re: buckeyestargazer]
      #5742419 - 03/19/13 08:24 AM

Quote:

Just to update this thread I've decided to go with a CG-5 ASGT mount. I custom built a side by side dovetail bar and modified a 8x50 finderscope to act as a guidescope.





There are a number of advantages in your choice, but of course there are also always tradeoffs. The advantages are that you have a goto mount and you can autoguide so if you decide to go with longer lens then you should still have tracking that is accurage enough for that. It's nice to have goto so that you can just punch in your target and know it's there. That's especially important for regions of the sky that you may not be able to see with your naked eye, like the North American nebula for instance.

On the downside, you have more things to carry and setup so you lose some of the spontaneity of the moment. And you don't need autoguided tracking with a 50mm lens. A decent polar alignment should be sufficient for 5 minute exposures. But, since you're using a CCD camera, you're already tied to a computer, so it's just a short step to a full goto setup.

If you said you were using a DSLR, then the easy setup of a Polarie or Sky Tracker makes sense as you can go ultralight. A tripod, remote timer, and camera/lens combo are all that's needed for widefield shots. I'm in the process of putting together a Sky Tracker setup myself with a modded Canon 60D. I'm planning on adding a Rigel Quikfinder to the camera's flash holder which will greatly enhance it's pointing ability. It would be nice to have some clear skies to check it out!

Patrick


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buckeyestargazer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/12/08

Loc: IN, USA
Re: Travel Mount Options for CCD/widefield lens Photog new [Re: Patrick]
      #5742453 - 03/19/13 08:55 AM

Quote:

Have you looked at the astrotrac system.
they go used for under 500.
It's a great setup ,easy to use and lightweight.



I did briefly look into an Astrotrac, but felt like it was expensive and there are some other advantages that I want with a traditional GEM (see below).

Quote:

There are a number of advantages in your choice, but of course there are also always tradeoffs. The advantages are that you have a goto mount and you can autoguide so if you decide to go with longer lens then you should still have tracking that is accurage enough for that. It's nice to have goto so that you can just punch in your target and know it's there. That's especially important for regions of the sky that you may not be able to see with your naked eye, like the North American nebula for instance.

On the downside, you have more things to carry and setup so you lose some of the spontaneity of the moment. And you don't need autoguided tracking with a 50mm lens. A decent polar alignment should be sufficient for 5 minute exposures. But, since you're using a CCD camera, you're already tied to a computer, so it's just a short step to a full goto setup.

If you said you were using a DSLR, then the easy setup of a Polarie or Sky Tracker makes sense as you can go ultralight with that setup. A tripod, remote timer, and camera/lens combo are all that's needed for widefield shots. I'm in the process of putting together a Sky Tracker setup myself with a modded Canon 60D. I'm planning on adding a Rigel Quikfinder to the camera's flash holder which will greatly enhance it's pointing ability. It would be nice to have some clear skies to check it out!

Patrick




Yes Patrick, in addition to the 55mm lens I also have a 135mm f/2.8 lens that I'm planning to use. Having a goto mount gives me several advantages, and I don't mind carrying around the equipment. I'm not planning on hiking anywhere with the equipment; it will all just be out the the back of my car.

I use Sequence Generator Pro for image capture, and having a goto mount that is autoguiding allows me to plate solve, auto meridian flip etc with ease. So I can get everything set up and let it run all night with very little attention from me...while I sleep!


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Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Travel Mount Options for CCD/widefield lens Photog new [Re: buckeyestargazer]
      #5743031 - 03/19/13 01:55 PM

As a way of saying "Thank you" for the 50MM Finder conversion, I recently heard about this program in the DSLR group

Astro Tortilla

Perhaps it would supplement or simplify your setup procedure. The cost is right.

With the current Luna cycle, this would be a good time to check it out.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Travel Mount Options for CCD/widefield lens Photog new [Re: Raginar]
      #5743966 - 03/19/13 08:43 PM

Quote:

I'm looking at getting a SmartEQ Pro. Still want to see some results before I pull the trigger. Goal is a portable mount that can handle a small scope/CCD/filterwheel. The SmartEQ Pro says it can hold about 15#... that's my ST-10 and a 80mm refractor.




This might help you pull that trigger, it's a 10 minute sub of Orion taken with a 66mm/CCD setup:


Dave Woods M42 by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

And if that one doesn't do it for you, here's a better one taken by the same person (David Wood) and posted on another forum:

http://www.astronomyforum.net/attachments/astrophotography-forum/48874d136049...

That image was 12, 15 minute subs on the SmartEQ Pro.

Amazing what this mount can do in the hands of some people.
And this was accomplished with a $499 mount...sigh. And I was saving up for the Paramount MX...:(

Clear skies,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (03/19/13 08:45 PM)


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