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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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tclehman1969
sage
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Reged: 05/18/10

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Advice Requested -- What type mount to get
      #5744335 - 03/20/13 01:39 AM

Good evening all!

I have currently a Super C8 Plus stil in its original fork. I want to get into astro photography pretty extensively and the current mount just seems to have a bit of a jiggle that I think is in part due to its mount. Even a very slight breeze can ge the scope bouncing noticeable in an eyiece and in photos that would be devastating. So, I am looking at taking the plunge to a German equatorial mount, but there are a lot of manufacturers out there and I have questions, too. So, here we go!

Equipment I have is a C8 with a 8x50 finder. For photography I often go piggyback with wide field lenses up to my Celestron Onyx 80mm mounted in rings. The camera I use is a DSLR. Max equipment load from this I would guess would be about 30 lbs. so a mount that can support at least 30 lbs would be good.

I don't observe from a fixed location, so portability is a requirement. I like to get my current scope up to the mountains whenever possible, and it can be a bit bulky, but doable.

Auto guiding options. I know Orion has a system, but looks like it requires a laptop to drive it. Is there an option that is standalone? In other words, "talks" to the mount directly? I saw the Celestron guider which does this, but does it work with mounts from other manufacturers?

My initial uneducated instincts tell me either the Orion Atlas EQ-G or the Celestron CGEM could be the way to go. But, from what I have read so far, the Orion mount wins for the drive, but Celestron wins for guiding.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

Thanks!


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #5744496 - 03/20/13 04:35 AM

Hello tclehman,
I don't know about guiding and CGEM.I mean if it actually wins or not over Atlas.
most probably the two mounts are virtually equivalent.
I guess till Celestron comes out with a fix for the cogging issue reported by many users on the CGEM..the Orion option, at least psycologically is the safest one.

Edited by Mike X. (03/20/13 04:37 AM)


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5744542 - 03/20/13 06:23 AM

the Atlas also doesn't have the 8/3 gearbox harmonic of the CGEM.

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RogerRZ
Whatta you lookin' at?
*****

Reged: 01/09/06

Loc: West Collette, NB, Canada
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5744551 - 03/20/13 06:43 AM

Quote:

the Atlas also doesn't have the 8/3 gearbox harmonic of the CGEM.




It also works very well with eqmod, if you don't mind being tethered to a PC...


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tclehman1969
sage
*****

Reged: 05/18/10

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5744762 - 03/20/13 09:49 AM

Forgive me, 8/3 harmonics?

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tclehman1969
sage
*****

Reged: 05/18/10

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: RogerRZ]
      #5744777 - 03/20/13 09:56 AM

I read about EQMod, but when out in the field, I don't want to be tethered to a laptop. Looks like Celestron has a guider that runs without a laptop, curious if there are others that can, too. And if there are, what mounts will they work on?

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #5744784 - 03/20/13 10:01 AM

If portability is a requirement you May want to look at the ioptron's iEQ45 or maybe the 30.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #5744788 - 03/20/13 10:03 AM

Quote:

Looks like Celestron has a guider that runs without a laptop, curious if there are others that can, too. And if there are, what mounts will they work on?




There are others currently available (SBIG SG-4 is an example), and quite a few available only second hand (Meade 201XT, 208XT, 216XT, SBIG ST-4, STV). All are compatible with any mount having an autoguide port. That includes most available mounts.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5744792 - 03/20/13 10:06 AM

the celestron nexguide can't do subpixel guiding though. you need an SBIG SG-4, Lacerta MGEN, or similar.

the 8/3 harmonic is an irrational (8/3 = 2.66666667) periodic error that can't be removed by periodic error correction.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5744797 - 03/20/13 10:11 AM

Quote:

the celestron nexguide can't do subpixel guiding though. you need an SBIG SG-4, Lacerta MGEN, or similar.




That's an important issue if guiding with a separate guidescope of short focal length. It's not, if using an off-axis guider. Personally, I wouldn't consider imaging through an SCT without an OAG for many reasons.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5744811 - 03/20/13 10:22 AM

John, i know someone with a nexguide and OAG. the sensitivity of the chip is poor, it has trouble getting guide stars. with a CGEM or EQ6 class mount it might not be possible to use 4+ second guide exposures.

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Ed Wiley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5744853 - 03/20/13 10:49 AM

Losmandy G11 works well for me. Transportable, stable, good tracking.
Ed


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5744892 - 03/20/13 11:11 AM

Quote:

John, i know someone with a nexguide and OAG. the sensitivity of the chip is poor, it has trouble getting guide stars.




That would be a real problem with an OAG!


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5744927 - 03/20/13 11:33 AM

My advice?

For astrophotography, I would recommend the Atlas EQ6. If your looking for better, and have more funds, the next mount you should consider is the AP Mach One. That's a big jump, but my current thinking eliminates all Mid range mounts as viable options. Anything more expensive than the EQ6 is to much risk unless getting AP quality.

Therefore -

Start with a EQ-6

Then

Start saving for a Mach One!


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: Wmacky]
      #5745039 - 03/20/13 12:22 PM

+1 ^

I could have saved a lot of cash if I had followed the above advice.

There is a bit of upgrading you can do to an EQ6 - buy an Aeroquest worm for it, or if you are feeling flush, buy a matched Aeroquest worm and ring gear for the RA. Still under $500 additional.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5745058 - 03/20/13 12:33 PM

Why does your ota weigh so much?

I'd go cheap. Get a focal reducer for you OTA. Get a orion mini autoguider package (doesn't weigh much at all) and get the Celestron advanced VX mount.


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5745941 - 03/20/13 06:50 PM

Here is what a Hypertuned Atlas can do.

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shams42
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 01/05/09

Loc: Kingsport, TN
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: Lane]
      #5746408 - 03/20/13 10:06 PM

Good advice but I would also add the Takahashi EM-200 or NJP if you can find either of those used. They are equal to the Mach 1 in quality, with the EM-200 having less capacity and the NJP having substantially more.

So yeah, I totally agree that your options are:

1) Atlas

or

2) Mach 1 / EM-200 / NJP


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: shams42]
      #5746444 - 03/20/13 10:16 PM

+1 G11.

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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Advice Requested -- What type mount to get new [Re: shams42]
      #5746467 - 03/20/13 10:24 PM

I can't say bad things about my NJP, however it seems that Takahashi mounts are a little outdated when compared to what the more modern mounts can do. Of course there is something to be said about the simplicity and top notch craftsmanship of Takahashi products.

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