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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Fred1]
      #5748273 - 03/21/13 06:45 PM

Quote:

Some day the Nova Hitch Mount might be my Alt/Az mount to replace my LX/80 and Voyager mounts... but not for some time, yet. Basic mount is $1700+ but trick it out to the nines and your into $3k. I've had occasion to use a Half-Hitch in it's basic mode and I was sold. Smooth as melting butter to use, holds balance beautifully. Once I had my hands on it I knew I had to put it on my short list to have one. It's an enigmatic feat of engineering.




Man, there are a lot of parts in that sucker...yeah? As a designer myself, I can somewhat grasp the amount of work that went into that design. There are a lot of complicated parts interacting there.

I don't think I can afford that puppy either.

Patrick


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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: skullpin]
      #5748286 - 03/21/13 06:51 PM

Quote:

To me, the real issue regarding tracking, is the complete lack of. Sure, I can quite easily chase jupiter at 250x with my DM4 mounted refractor. Did it provide a comfortable experience? No. Did my old slo-mo enabled DSV-2 provide a more comfortable experience? No, it was equally uncomfortable. What I mean: it is not so much fun watching a planet or star zip across the eyepiece. No amount of smoothness or manual control will replace the user experience of a tracked mount.





Yep, I agree. I have a Vixen GP2 mount that will support it just fine in the field. But I'm not that crazy about polar aligning (guess I'm getting too lazy...), but no big deal. I've been wanting to add a TV 31 Nagler to my eyepiece collection. Maybe I should just live with the GP2 and get the Nag? Maybe I can add encoders to the GP2?

Patrick


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

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Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Patrick]
      #5749145 - 03/22/13 07:31 AM

Quote:

No amount of smoothness or manual control will replace the user experience of a tracked mount.



Quote:

Yep, I agree.




In your original post, you said you were looking for "grab and go". Grab and go is all about tradeoffs. If you want everything (stability, tracking, goto, 8"SCT-capable) it won't be grab and go. But if you're willing to accept some tradeoffs, the 6/8 SE does make a great pseudo-grab-and-go setup.

I say "pseudo" because with an 8" SCT, there's always the cooldown time and the requirement for power. But, I leave my 8SE completely set up on its tripod in the house, and at 33 pounds complete I can pick the whole thing up, take it outside, plop it on the ground, and I'm ready to go. Yes the mount is not the most stable, but that's the tradeoff for grab and go. I find that a set of anti-vibration pads go a long way towards making it useable at high mags and have observed planets at 400x without acceptable stability.

For power, I use a small NiMH battery pack that is velcroed onto the base. This eliminates the need for a dangling power cable and large jump starter power supply. The battery only adds 2 pounds to the weight of the setup and lasts for about 5 hours powering the scope and a couple of dew heaters.

And I agree - smooth manual tracking can't compete with a powered tracking mount. My true grab-and-go setup is the DSV-1 and a 90mm William Optigs Megrez. It is very smooth using the panhandle, but this setup is about lower powers and wider views. I do use it for planetary glimpses, but only up to around 100-150x.

While an 8" SCT can be a "kinda" manual alt/az grab and go, its long focal length puts it into more of a tracking-mount kind of scope and the SE mount, even with its tradeoffs, is about as close to grab and go as you'll get in that category.

-Dan


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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5749792 - 03/22/13 01:57 PM

Hi guys!

Thanks for all the comments and discussion! It was very helpful.

I just pulled the trigger on a T-REX from Deep Sky Products. It has pretty much everything I think I'll need. Since I already have a Vixen HAL 130 tripod I won't need to buy a tripod. The slow motion controls were the deciding factor over the other similar mounts. I'm going with Sky Commander after leaning towards NEXUS and iPad/Sky Safari, mainly because of the brightness of the iPad plus short battery life. The Sky Commander should be pretty bullet proof. I'll still use my iPad, just not to drive the mount.

Since my EdgeHD and HAL 130 tripod are white, I ordered the white T-Rex. I think it should be a pretty sharp looking mount (that's the most important thing, since it will sit in the living room 6 months out of the year, given our current weather pattern. ) It also has the capacity to carry both my C8HD and 6" Comet Hunter Mak Newt (plus more..! ).

Now, if we can just get some clear skies!

Thanks again!

Patrick


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Patrick]
      #5750053 - 03/22/13 04:07 PM

Congratulations.

I hope the HAL tripod will fit in the carrying case attached to the mount, that case is really nice for traveling.

Did you get the Sky Commander?


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Patrick]
      #5750125 - 03/22/13 04:36 PM

Patrick,

Congratulations on your decision. The T-Rex is fantastic. I also have the white one. It is absolutely beautiful.

Be sure to let us know when you receive it. Very exciting .

Best, Linda B.


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Seiko4169
sage


Reged: 07/04/09

Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Agatha]
      #5750148 - 03/22/13 04:48 PM

I'm also trying to decide on a mount for an Edge so can some please explain what this mount T-Rex gives? It's certainly an expensive item and I wonder what the advantages of this mount are?

Is it simply smooth and stable? What does sky commander do? It doesn't appear to be a goto mount so just what does 2.5K get you?



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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Seiko4169]
      #5750238 - 03/22/13 05:29 PM

whaat??....$2.5K?

Quote:

Is it simply smooth and stable? What does sky commander do? It doesn't appear to be a goto mount so just what does 2.5K get you?




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Seiko4169
sage


Reged: 07/04/09

Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: zawijava]
      #5750256 - 03/22/13 05:34 PM

I know, but the 4th point on their marketing blurb is that it comes in black or white? So I guess it must be good?

Just wonder what I'm missing?




Quote:

whaat??....$2.5K?

Quote:

Is it simply smooth and stable? What does sky commander do? It doesn't appear to be a goto mount so just what does 2.5K get you?







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Pinbout
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Patrick]
      #5750599 - 03/22/13 08:54 PM

Quote:

(plus more..! )




what, like motors on the slow control for tracking...coming soon?


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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Seiko4169]
      #5750649 - 03/22/13 09:17 PM

Quote:

whaat??....$2.5K?




Yes...darn right...that's a lot of money! What AM I doing??

Quote:

I'm also trying to decide on a mount for an Edge so can some please explain what this mount T-Rex gives?




1) Weight carry capacity. It can carry a C11, possible a C14. That means it will carry my C8 with no problems.

2) Slow motion controls. Since I'll be using a long focal length instrument, having slo mo controls is really a necessity for me. But you can also move the scope manually with the mount guide handle.

3) Built in encoders and Sky Commander object locator. That includes the mounting tray and bracket for the Sky Commander.

4) Dual ADM CGEM/Vixen Dovetail Receiver.

Quote:

It's certainly an expensive item and I wonder what the advantages of this mount are?





Well, when I compared feature to feature, this one had all the features I was looking for. The DM6 would be the closest rival to the T-Rex, but it doesn't have slo-motion controls. They say they don't need them because the unit is so smooth. However, I think the DM6 is suited more towards refractors rather than long focal length telescopes like the C8HD. Even a 6" f/8 refractor is only 1200mm f/l while the C8 is 2000mm.

None of the other contenders have slow motion controls (except the AstroTech mount, but that one is just too small IMO for the C8). So that ruled out the rest, too.

The Celestron SE mount was ruled out because it's shaky with the C8. Also, it's a totally hand controller driven mount and I want to be able to do some starhopping with no electronics involved.

Quote:

Is it simply smooth and stable? What does sky commander do? It doesn't appear to be a goto mount so just what does 2.5K get you?





I don't have it yet, but by all accounts it is smooth and stable. All I can say is it better be!

The Sky Commander is a digital setting circle device. After you do an initial 2 star alignment, you can locate thousands of other objects. It is a 'push-to' system, not goto. The lack of motors gives you the freedom to move the scope easily by hand and then let it rest where ever you stop it.

The DM6 priced out to be about the same as the T-Rex, except the T-Rex did not include a tripod. I have a Vixen HAL 130 tripod already. That was another reason I went with the T-Rex. The HAL 130 tripod is lightweight, portable, and sturdy, and the T-Rex has a specific model for that tripod.

In the end, it's a somewhat personal choice. I already have a larger goto GEM mount and a smaller manual GEM mount. This mount fills a gap in my mount arsenal, and it's a big one now that I have an 8" SCT. I want to be able to do star parties and night outings with this setup, so it will be my new grab and go setup. It should have enough horse power to handle the C8 and 6" Mak Newt with no problems.

Obviously it was worth it to me. (and it was a big decision, too)

Kind regards!

Patrick

ps: Correction...the DSV-3 has slow motion controls.

Edited by Patrick (03/23/13 11:58 AM)


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Patrick]
      #5750824 - 03/22/13 10:30 PM

I hope you don't regret not getting the tripod, those Atlas/CGEM style tripods are not sold separately by anybody so they are very hard to come by. For only $200 I got it even though I already have a CGEM with the same tripod, it never hurts to have a backup. I have heard of people breaking the cast aluminum top on these after over tightening the spreader and then finding it nearly impossible to get a replacement.

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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? new [Re: Lane]
      #5750906 - 03/22/13 11:08 PM

Hi Patrick,

I think Lane's suggestion is good one. I am not so sure HAL 130 gets you steady system with T-REX.

I didn't buy stock tripod with T-REX since I had steady Losmandy/Berlebach tripods. But if I were you, I would get stock tripod with T-REX.

Tammy


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5750923 - 03/22/13 11:17 PM

That was my concern too, the stock tripod holds the C11 and my AT152 rock steady. I have never used the HAL but I have seen it at the local telescope store, I think it might not be up to the task.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: Patrick]
      #5750984 - 03/23/13 12:06 AM

The Nexstar SE head will mount on your CPC tripod directly. They share n identical hole pattern. You'll get better results with the beefier tripod with an 8-inch OTA on that mount anyway. The 8" is right at the limit of the mount IMO.

Encoders are listed on the website for the DSV-3. Here's mine with the Sky Commander all hooked up and ready to go.

http://www.desertskyastro.com/DSV-3.html

"Upgrades Available
• Encoder system for use with (user supplied) Sky Commander DSC.
• Losmandy/CGE compatible saddles.
• Smartphone bracket
• White powdercoat finish instead of standard black"



They work well. The DSV-3 is a heck of a nice mount for the money. It has no problems with the C8. Heck, it can handle this whopper!



(6" f/5.9 achromat).

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5750997 - 03/23/13 12:11 AM

Which is what the panhandle on the mount is for.

I prefer using the panhandle and the clutches minimally engaged on the DSV-3 with the C8 than I do the slo-mo controls. With the OTA balanced properly the axial motions are "like buttah".

- Jim


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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: Lane]
      #5751035 - 03/23/13 12:47 AM

Quote:

I hope you don't regret not getting the tripod, those Atlas/CGEM style tripods are not sold separately by anybody so they are very hard to come by.




I think I have all the tripod bases covered. I have a CGEM tripod AND a CPC1100 tripod, plus the HAL-130. I've also got 2 of the aluminum top plates for the HAL-130.

Quote:

I think Lane's suggestion is good one. I am not so sure HAL 130 gets you steady system with T-REX.




Quote:

That was my concern too, the stock tripod holds the C11 and my AT152 rock steady. I have never used the HAL but I have seen it at the local telescope store, I think it might not be up to the task.




Man, you guys are ganging up on me! In all friendliness, I don't agree concerning the HAL 130. I know how it works with my GP2 GEM with the C8HD riding on it. It works just fine. So, I can't imagine the T-Rex mount itself being any less stable than the GP2 mount. And if I need to use the CPC tripod, then it's okay. I'll let you guys know how it works out once I get everything together. It will probably take several weeks.

Patrick


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Seiko4169
sage


Reged: 07/04/09

Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: Patrick]
      #5751254 - 03/23/13 07:08 AM

Hi Patrick, either way I'm sure you'll love it. Please keep us informed how you get on with it though.



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Patrick
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5751490 - 03/23/13 10:18 AM

Jim,

Yes, the DSV-3 is a nice looking mount also. I honestly didn't realize it had slo-mo controls, but I do like the look of the slo-mo handles on the T -Rex better. I'm starting to get tendonitis in my hands so turning knobs is becoming more painful for me. Ed is also starting to work on motorized controls for the slo-mo adjusters.

Regards,

Patrick


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Kunama
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/22/12

Re: Which Alt/Az Mount for EdgeHD 8" ? [Re: Patrick]
      #5752325 - 03/23/13 05:16 PM

I hope you made the right decision with the T-Rex, I just ordered one 2 days ago also in white. Like you Patrick, I am getting too lazy to worry about polar alignment for visual and then having to rotate the diagonal all the time.
I think my GP-D2 will be lonely from now on. I too have the HAL130 and have no complaints about its stability but have never liked the round knobs for leg adjustment.
I will be setting mine up with Argo Navis DTC using the T-Rex 4096 encoders. I am also making an aluminium portable pier for it from a drinking fountain I found at the rubbish dump (classy, eh?)

Post pics when you get it!


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