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Alt-Az mount recommendations for a Megrez 90

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#1 thomqos

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:44 PM

I'm toying with the idea of getting something like a Megrez 90 as a grab 'n go scope.  I want a complete setup that I can carry outside single handed in one go for wide-field use.

 

Can anyone recommend a good alt-az mount for this scope?  The Sky Watcher AZ3 seems like a candidate, though not sure how stable it would be with this scope on board; Does anyone have experience with this combo? 

 

 



#2 Auburn80

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:09 PM

Alt-az mounts that put the scope above the pivot point struggle when the scope is pointed toward the zenith. There is a very good reason that most astro alt-azs are side mounted. I'm not familiar with using the AZ3 so it might be beefy enough if your scope is very light.
Twilight I's + or Portas might be better choices.

Edited by Auburn80, 12 January 2018 - 09:12 PM.


#3 junomike

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:12 PM

The AZ3 might be ok If you're not using heavy Wide Field eyepieces (31T5, 20mm 100's, Etc).



#4 Brent Campbell

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:01 PM

Consider a vixen polaris mount with an adm saddle. I dont yet have the saddle (I do have one for my super polaris mount) but I can tell you that this mount gives my twilight i a run for its money and its far lighter andthe tripod is more ridgid.



#5 thomqos

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:50 PM

"Alt-az mounts that put the scope above the pivot point struggle when the scope is pointed toward the zenith".... "Twilight I's + or Portas might be better choices"

...Excellent point.... that rules the AZ3 out.... probably more suited to looking at ships on the horizon :-)

 

Zenith access is a key requirement of mine, since the richest regions of the milky way pass directly overhead at my latitude (Scorpius, Puppis, etc)

 

I'd still be a little concerned about access to the Zenith with the Twilight I's.  However, with their offset design, the Vixen Portas look like a great solution!!!  Thanks heaps!

 

The AZ3 might be ok If you're not using heavy Wide Field eyepieces (31T5, 20mm 100's, Etc).

..... as a matter of fact, I'd be using heavy 2" eyepieces, eg: 35mm Panoptic. 

 

Consider a vixen polaris mount with an adm saddle. I dont yet have the saddle (I do have one for my super polaris mount) but I can tell you that this mount gives my twilight i a run for its money and its far lighter andthe tripod is more ridgid.

.... the Vixen heads are quite expensive... If I went for an EQ, an EQ3/5 would be more cost effective way to go, though not sure how an EQ5 compares to the Vixen AP head?



#6 Brent Campbell

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:11 PM

Ive played with an eq3 a long time ago.  Its okay.  The polaris is somewhat expensive but less so than some of the premium mounts out there.  Although expensive I can say that a polaris mount feels more expensive than it is..



#7 Tropobob

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:02 AM

I have a Skywatcher AZ4 mount, which I have used with various scopes including my new Tak 100D.

It works well and the clutches are easy to use to increase or decrease the tension to hold the scope with EPs of different weights.

With the AZ4, I can point the scope to the zenith.

The mount has no slow motion controls, but U do not really need them with a small scope.

The build quality of the AZ4 looks ordinary, but in practice, this is an excellent mount for grab and go scopes.

#8 Kunama

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:39 AM

Russell, 

Have you looked the Skywatcher AZ-GTi waytogo.gif depending on how much other gear you want to carry on it.....

 

https://www.teleskop...ith-Tripod.html



#9 OneGear

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:25 AM

Consider a vixen polaris mount with an adm saddle. I dont yet have the saddle (I do have one for my super polaris mount) but I can tell you that this mount gives my twilight i a run for its money and its far lighter andthe tripod is more ridgid.

So you are saying the Twilight 1 is better than your Vixen Polaris mount.  I think I'll be looking for a Twilight myself now, thanks :)



#10 db2005

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:43 AM

If you don't mind paying a bit extra you could consider the Vixen Porta II & app-tl130 tripod combo for an extremely portable solution. I use this combo with my Vixen SD81S and I have found it to be fairly stable and extremely easy to move around. Your Megrez 90 has roughly the same dimensions as the SD81S, but is probably a bit heavier.

 

Ironically the app-tl130 tripod is slightly heavier than the standard aluminium tripod normally bundled with the Porta II, but it feels easier to move around.

 

- Daniel

 


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#11 Kon Dealer

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:57 AM

Get yourself a used Celestron SE mount.

Light, portable and will give you Goto and great tracking.

I use one for my TS Optics 90mm triplet and my Kson 102mm.



#12 IMB

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:54 AM

 

Consider a vixen polaris mount with an adm saddle. I dont yet have the saddle (I do have one for my super polaris mount) but I can tell you that this mount gives my twilight i a run for its money and its far lighter andthe tripod is more ridgid.

So you are saying the Twilight 1 is better than your Vixen Polaris mount.  I think I'll be looking for a Twilight myself now, thanks smile.gif

 

The Twilight I is a very shaky mount unsuitable for a 90 mm refractor.


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#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:24 AM

 

Consider a vixen polaris mount with an adm saddle. I dont yet have the saddle (I do have one for my super polaris mount) but I can tell you that this mount gives my twilight i a run for its money and its far lighter andthe tripod is more ridgid.

So you are saying the Twilight 1 is better than your Vixen Polaris mount.  I think I'll be looking for a Twilight myself now, thanks smile.gif

 

 

I have both..  The Portamount is definitely the better of the two.  

 

Jon


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#14 Cpk133

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:24 AM

It's hard to believe that a suitable simple alt az mount to carry a 4" refractor is so expensive and or hard to find.  



#15 Edwin

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:46 AM

I use an AT Voyager for my Megrez 88 and I really like it, but only after I changed the tripod for a wooden longer one. Very stable and nice slo-mo.



#16 db2005

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

It's hard to believe that a suitable simple alt az mount to carry a 4" refractor is so expensive and or hard to find.  

Yes it is remarkable. I have been searching for several years too. One should think there would be a larger market for simple alt-az mounts for 4-5 inch refractors, but I have only found only a few choices, and they are usually quite a lot more expensive than mounts in the Porta or Twilight class, or they usually don't offer slow-motion controls.

 

The so far best and least expensive option I have tried with my SW ED100 is the Skywatcher AZ4 with stainless steel tripod. It is quite workable: It is much more stable than the Porta mount, but a downside is the lack of low-motion controls (it uses friction clutches instead), making it more challenging to track objects a high power. I think it would be more than adequate for a Megrez 90, but also a bit heavier than some of the other options mentioned in this thread.

 

The shortage of really good options has me seriously considering taking a plunge into an equatorial mount simply because there seems to be so many more choices of equatorial mounts.


Edited by db2005, 13 January 2018 - 12:03 PM.

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#17 Loren Gibson

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:42 PM

I have Desert Sky Astro's DSV-1 and DSV-2 mounts for my Megrez 90FD, and use them on an aluminum surveyor tripod (5/8" by 11 tpi).

 

These mounts are a good match for the M90FD, but as I become more sensitive to issues involving mass and gravity as I age lol.gif , I never schlep this rig around as a one-trip grab-and-go. I'd hazard a guess that the scope (dressed up w/eyepiece, diagonal, finder, dovetail bar), the DSV-1, and tripod weigh something a little north of 20 top-heavy, free-swinging-scope pounds. Add a few more pounds if using the DSV-2 with its slow-motion controls and counterweight system. For me, this is too awkward to carry as a single assembled unit, and I fear having the scope collide with objects while carrying (door frames, my head, the ground, etc.).

 

For whatever you find that worth. smile.gif

 

Loren



#18 stevew

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:43 PM

For years now, I have been using a Williams Optics EZ Touch [by AOK] It is the best Alt Az mount I have owned and even handles my 130mm triplet.

My second choice for a 3 or 4 inch refractor is my TV Gibraltar. Neither of these mount have slow motion cables but the mounts are so smooth they are not needed.

 

Steve

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Edited by stevew, 13 January 2018 - 06:52 PM.

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#19 Brollen

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:40 PM

I have the Megrez 90 (early model, all white focuser body) that I bought from a CN'er. Mine is wonderfully light (7 lbs), very compact, so lovely to look at and an amazing performer - needless to say, I will always have it. 

 

It sits, more-or-less permanently, on a Vixen Porta II. In my opinion, the 2 were made for each other - aesthetically pleasing appearance as well. Its a very light combo to carry around and the Megrez works very well on mine (stock setup/saddle) - no shakes, or dampening time periods when used together.

 

Good luck and clear skies!


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#20 Brollen

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 05:20 PM

My Megrez 90 on the Porta II - as I said a great combo. That said, the Porta II, though marketed with a load of up to 20 lbs (I believe), is utterly useless with my 115mm APO. For the much lighter and shorter Megrez though, it works very well.

 

 

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#21 Auburn80

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:09 PM

My Megrez 90 on the Porta II - as I said a great combo. That said, the Porta II, though marketed with a load of up to 20 lbs (I believe), is utterly useless with my 115mm APO. For the much lighter and shorter Megrez though, it works very well.

Sounds like 20b is that mounts Breaking Strength.  Safe Working Load would be 10 lbs then? wink.gif

 

How much does your Meade weigh?  My AT115 comes in at 12.5lb w/o accessories and I'm trying to figure out what can carry my refractors and C6.


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#22 moshen

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:52 PM

Look into the Stellarvue M2.  You can equip it with DSC to run the Nexus DSC as well.


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#23 db2005

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 03:41 AM

Alt-az mounts that put the scope above the pivot point struggle when the scope is pointed toward the zenith. There is a very good reason that most astro alt-azs are side mounted. I'm not familiar with using the AZ3 so it might be beefy enough if your scope is very light.
Twilight I's + or Portas might be better choices.

For a few years I actually used an Orion 80ED with an AZ3 mount. Stability was never a problem, but reaching (and holding the scope at) zenith was a pain.

 

Another downside was that the tube rings had to be bolted directly to the mount's saddle plate using a spanner, making it time consuming and requiring a spanner tool to assemble and disassemble if I wanted to use another scope with the mount. Also the slow-motion controls, while working well, only had a very limited range. When the outer position was reached, I had to turn the slow-motion controls all the way back to initial position, then slew the scope manually to find the object again. I chose the AZ3 because it was inexpensive at the time, but I would not chose it again unless I were on a tight budget.



#24 Brent Campbell

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 05:05 AM

 

Consider a vixen polaris mount with an adm saddle. I dont yet have the saddle (I do have one for my super polaris mount) but I can tell you that this mount gives my twilight i a run for its money and its far lighter andthe tripod is more ridgid.

So you are saying the Twilight 1 is better than your Vixen Polaris mount.  I think I'll be looking for a Twilight myself now, thanks smile.gif

 

Didnt say that at all.  My reccomendation was to consider a vixen polaris mount.  I dont know what your implying with with the extra comments but but it does come across as condescending.  



#25 Brollen

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 09:59 AM

 

My Megrez 90 on the Porta II - as I said a great combo. That said, the Porta II, though marketed with a load of up to 20 lbs (I believe), is utterly useless with my 115mm APO. For the much lighter and shorter Megrez though, it works very well.

Sounds like 20b is that mounts Breaking Strength.  Safe Working Load would be 10 lbs then? wink.gif

 

How much does your Meade weigh?  My AT115 comes in at 12.5lb w/o accessories and I'm trying to figure out what can carry my refractors and C6.

 

My Meade 115mm APO weighs about 18 pounds with rings, vixen dovetail, a heavy 2” Antares diagonal (really nice kit but heavy... but it’s a good counterweight to the heavy objective-end especially when the dew shield is extended) and a very nice 60mm white RACI finder from Astronomics that sits in a 60mm dual ring setup and foot from SV - good quality kit as well.

 

Weight is an issue but maybe more so is the long momentum arm of the scope.

 

 


Edited by Brollen, 14 January 2018 - 10:15 AM.

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