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Picking my first mount

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#1 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:57 AM

right now I am using an iOptron sky tracker mount on a manfrotto tripod

I am using a Canon 100-400L lens hooked up to an ASI1600MM Pro

 

 

So I am looking at my options to get a proper mount.

I've been looking at the EQ6-R Pro (watching the price fluctuate on Amazon Prime) 

 

This should be a good mount for my existing kit and also allow me to upgrade to a dedicated refractor at some point later this year

 

I just noticed that the EQ6_R is now out of stock on amazon :( so am wondering if now is a good time to look at alternatives?

 

 

As well as needing to be capable for my kit above, I have the following considerations:

1) I live near a major city and I will be travelling up to my cottage in a dark zone every so often. So I want something I can throw in the back of my truck and setup at my remote site without too much hassle (or back pain) as well as setting up in my back yard

 

2) I am a little flexible around the price of the EQ6-R Pro but not much more

 

3) I will be wanting to add auto guiding at some point in the future too.



#2 terry59

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 07:58 AM

right now I am using an iOptron sky tracker mount on a manfrotto tripod

I am using a Canon 100-400L lens hooked up to an ASI1600MM Pro

 

 

So I am looking at my options to get a proper mount.

I've been looking at the EQ6-R Pro (watching the price fluctuate on Amazon Prime) 

 

This should be a good mount for my existing kit and also allow me to upgrade to a dedicated refractor at some point later this year

 

I just noticed that the EQ6_R is now out of stock on amazon frown.gif so am wondering if now is a good time to look at alternatives?

 

 

As well as needing to be capable for my kit above, I have the following considerations:

1) I live near a major city and I will be travelling up to my cottage in a dark zone every so often. So I want something I can throw in the back of my truck and setup at my remote site without too much hassle (or back pain) as well as setting up in my back yard

 

2) I am a little flexible around the price of the EQ6-R Pro but not much more

 

3) I will be wanting to add auto guiding at some point in the future too.

Have you looked at Losmandy mounts?



#3 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 08:02 AM

I haven't seen any Losmandy mounts for sale here online or in local stores



#4 Jeff Struve

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 08:20 AM

I think the EQr is a great choice... It is a notch up from my Atlas mounts that I feel were the biggest bang for the buck.

 

With my two Atlas I get the following unguided subs:

 

80mm f6 triplet - 300 seconds

127mm f7.5 triplet - 180 seconds

11" f10 Edge SCT - 45 seconds

 

One Atlas is 12 yrs old, the other is about 8 years old and other than replacing the Bendy Bolts, they have never been down, in for repair or service, or had a glitch... they also (as with the SkyWatcherrs) work seamlessly with EQMOD.

 

Losmandy is a much more polished product, but I very much dislike the Gemini system... but at twice the price... I like the Orion/SkyWatcher as a great starting point before taking the next step which IMO would be Paramount or AstroPhysics or 10 Micron.



#5 Ed Wiley

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 10:27 AM

Look for used Losmandy mounts. For example a good 80 mm Apo on a Losmandy G8 might make a match. A G11 for larger refractors. Losmandy mounts are solid and good performers. I have bought (and sold) several used Losmandys and never been disappointed.

 

Ed



#6 rgsalinger

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 10:28 AM

The lightweight alternative is the iEQ45 Pro or a bit more money the CEM60. From reading reports here, those two plus the EQ6R seem to be mounts that will work directly out of the box without a lot of trouble. Be careful not to put too much weight or focal length (tube length) on whichever you buy.

Rgrds-Ross



#7 Gary Z

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 10:48 AM

Sure, the Losmandy mounts would be a great choice, but if you are not willing to budge much beyond the price of the EQ6R, which is also a good choice, then this is a good mount to go with.  Coupled with EQmod, it is said to be an even better imaging solution. 

 

Just don't be throwing any mounts  in the back of your truck...lol. 

 

Gary



#8 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 02:07 PM

Just when I finally decide, and go to buy the EQ6R - it seems there is a shortage

 

Amazon are saying out of stock and unknown when/if they're going to be back in stock

 

B&H are saying end of March

 

grrr



#9 f300v10

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 02:30 PM

Just when I finally decide, and go to buy the EQ6R - it seems there is a shortage

 

Amazon are saying out of stock and unknown when/if they're going to be back in stock

 

B&H are saying end of March

 

grrr

astronomics.com, the owner of cloudynights has them in stock.


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#10 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:49 AM

the budget creep in this game is crazy :)

 

I've looked, seriously, at the CEM60 - but I just don't think I can justify the price over the EQ6R (mount + tripod is getting close to double that of the EQ6R)

 

I will be giving it some more thought, as I know I am going to want to be getting something reasonably portable and dependable



#11 the Elf

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 12:14 PM

You might find some helpful information here as well:

https://www.cloudyni...las-pro-azeq-g/

 

I am very happy with the EQ6-R.



#12 terry59

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 12:52 PM

the budget creep in this game is crazy smile.gif

 

I've looked, seriously, at the CEM60 - but I just don't think I can justify the price over the EQ6R (mount + tripod is getting close to double that of the EQ6R)

 

I will be giving it some more thought, as I know I am going to want to be getting something reasonably portable and dependable

Used is good for budget restoration



#13 Eddie_42

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 01:05 PM

I picked up my EQ6-R Pro from Optics Planet just after Thanksgiving. The mount was on a manufacturer sale anyhow ($1350 vs $1600 same price all around the web), but OpticsPlanet had a 10% entire website sale going too (cyber monday week).    Sadly, the site is full price right now, but they dont claim it to be out of stock. Its probably drop shipped from the manufacturer anyhow. 

 

Deals can be found if you search. 

 

There is a site called   camelcamelcamel.com  They track item prices by URL, you can copy paste in the Amazon listing, and it will give you a history of its prices, both in amazon, and some 3rd parties.  Useful to determin is a current offering is a decent deal, or just par-for-the-course.



#14 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 01:14 PM

Used is good for budget restoration

I'll be happy going for a used scope, or tripod etc. but really want to have the security (such that is it) of buying new for the mount.

Plus, having to faff around with shipping is a PITA especially when doing privately across the US/Canada border.



#15 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 01:40 PM

You might find some helpful information here as well:

https://www.cloudyni...las-pro-azeq-g/

 

I am very happy with the EQ6-R.

thanks

I was reading that thread.

 

For me here, the CEM60 is $1000 more expensive than the EQ6-R. (when you buy the mount and a 2" tripod)

The CEM60 is lighter yet has a higher payload

 

I would obviously prefer a CEM60 for the above weight reason, but really dont think I can stretch to the cost for one.

That $1000 will cover other bits of kit, such as an autoguider and new shoes for the kids.



#16 Stelios

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:04 PM

thanks

I was reading that thread.

 

For me here, the CEM60 is $1000 more expensive than the EQ6-R. (when you buy the mount and a 2" tripod)

The CEM60 is lighter yet has a higher payload

 

I would obviously prefer a CEM60 for the above weight reason, but really dont think I can stretch to the cost for one.

That $1000 will cover other bits of kit, such as an autoguider and new shoes for the kids.

You mentioned a back issue. If you have one, don't buy the EQ6R-Pro. I've seen young men grimace and curse trying to handle this. 

 

The iOptron iEQ45 is a very decent alternative if your budget can't stretch higher. 



#17 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:22 PM

You mentioned a back issue. If you have one, don't buy the EQ6R-Pro. I've seen young men grimace and curse trying to handle this. 

 

The iOptron iEQ45 is a very decent alternative if your budget can't stretch higher. 

ah I'm fine, no back issues as yet (I guess I was saying I dont want to introduce one)

 

I'm pretty fit and dont intend on dragging the kit up a mountain. Just out to my backyard, to the truck and 100 feet to my cottage shooting spot.



#18 Eddie_42

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:31 PM

You mentioned a back issue. If you have one, don't buy the EQ6R-Pro. I've seen young men grimace and curse trying to handle this. 

 

The iOptron iEQ45 is a very decent alternative if your budget can't stretch higher. 

TRUTH - I am one of those "young(er) men" (34). It is a beast. I have no comparisions as this is my first mount.  Comes with a nicely handle, but it is every ounce of its advertised 38lbs plus counterweights and tripod. But you can break down those components in transfer


Edited by Eddie_42, 28 January 2019 - 02:31 PM.


#19 ArkabPriorSol

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 02:56 PM

Get a used Losmandy G-11. Solid mount, built like a tank, has tons of potential, great mount to learn and build on. You can find them on the used market for ~$1000 with the excellent Losmandy tripod. 



#20 HMS_Endeavour

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 03:09 PM

Get a used Losmandy G-11. Solid mount, built like a tank, has tons of potential, great mount to learn and build on. You can find them on the used market for ~$1000 with the excellent Losmandy tripod. 

where are you finding those for $1000?

 

$2100

https://www.cloudyni...dy-g11-wg1-vs3/

$2500

https://www.cloudyni...-sitec-upgrade/



#21 the Elf

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 03:11 PM

I am 48. I never do any sports and work in the office. I don't have any trouble handling that thing. Secret one is to set the tripod to a reasonable hight. For stability this is as low as possible. As I do polar alignment with the polar scope that is high enough to look into the polar scope when kneeing on the ground. Secret two is to think first and know from which side to approach the tripod so that it is in the right direction and no long rotating and fumbling to get it onto the mount. One way is to carry it close to the body, one hand at the handle, one hand at the az knob. I also carry it with the handle only in one hand, my 3 counterweights in a bag in the other hand to be balanced. The biggest trouble is woolen gloves are slippery and one has to grab the handle very tightly. Without gloves or with leather gloves it is not a problem. I have to carry the mount for about 30m into my garden.

 

 

During my mount search I found a few images of losmandy mounts with rubber bands attached to it. This is discussed now and then:

https://www.cloudyni...unts/?p=8833746 They are just kidding, I hope. In the next post the AVX is praised. Either there are very different copies out there of Celestron and Losmandy products or people have very different needs. On a how-many-"HELP-I-HAVE-PROBLEMS"-threads-at-CN-scale Celestron and Losmandy are seen often. This may be the case because they are so widely spread but it pushed my towards skywatcher.


Edited by the Elf, 28 January 2019 - 03:27 PM.


#22 ArkabPriorSol

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 03:30 PM

where are you finding those for $1000?

 

$2100

https://www.cloudyni...dy-g11-wg1-vs3/

$2500

https://www.cloudyni...-sitec-upgrade/

Search for the Digital Drive version. You really don't need the Gemini system with GOTO. I bought my Digital Drive G-11 for $900 with the Losmandy Tripod. I then bought a used Gemini I system for $400 and upgraded the system myself. But I kind of regretted it, because the Digital Drive worked perfectly already for my needs, and GOTO isn't really needed for a backyard rig. 

 

Here are some examples for around $1k:

https://www.cloudyni...celestron-g-11/

https://www.cloudyni...mount-relisted/

https://astromart.co...ow/losmandy-c11

 

and here's a GM-8 for sale right now with Gemini I: https://astromart.co...ndy-gm-8-446163



#23 rgsalinger

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:00 PM

I think that whether or not the EQ6-R is "too heavy" depends more on your use case than on you back or age. I had an AZ/EQ6. I used it in my back yard. I am 72 years old and not at all athletic. I never had any problem carrying it 50 feet  from the garage to the tripod. Same when I used it at a dark sky site. It was 50 feet from the car. It was no worse than carrying my old Mach1 which was just a bit lighter. Now, if you are going to have to carry a mount 250 feet, then it's an issue. And, bear in mind that the closer to the ground you keep it (low tripod or pier) the better it will work. So, unless you have some peculiar use case, the 10 (?) pounds difference is really immaterial. 

 

The last thing that you want is a used G-11. Go to a star party and seek out the G11 users and see how they fare. Let me know if you see the same struggles with that mount that I always see. I have no idea why anyone would think that "GOTO isn't really needed for a backyard" imaging system. I can't even remember that last time I saw someone imaging without a goto mount, maybe the poster means a mount with a hand controller.

 

 

Rgrds-ross



#24 17.5Dob

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:40 PM

 

 

 I am looking at my options to get a proper mount.

 

I've been looking at the EQ6-R Pro (watching the price fluctuate on Amazon Prime) 

 

This should be a good mount for my existing kit and also allow me to upgrade to a dedicated refractor at some point later this year

 

As well as needing to be capable for my kit above, I have the following considerations:

1) I live near a major city and I will be traveling up to my cottage in a dark zone every so often. So I want something I can throw in the back of my truck and setup at my remote site without too much hassle (or back pain)

That is the ideal way to deal with the weight of an Atlas.

I can roll up to my darksite and not have to move anything more than 15 feet.

Broken down into the 3 main components (tripod, head, counterweights) it is not as bad as some people make it out to be.

37712207274_601d08a248_b.jpg

 

37150932013_25e70dc761_b.jpg


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#25 ArkabPriorSol

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 04:50 PM

I think that whether or not the EQ6-R is "too heavy" depends more on your use case than on you back or age. I had an AZ/EQ6. I used it in my back yard. I am 72 years old and not at all athletic. I never had any problem carrying it 50 feet  from the garage to the tripod. Same when I used it at a dark sky site. It was 50 feet from the car. It was no worse than carrying my old Mach1 which was just a bit lighter. Now, if you are going to have to carry a mount 250 feet, then it's an issue. And, bear in mind that the closer to the ground you keep it (low tripod or pier) the better it will work. So, unless you have some peculiar use case, the 10 (?) pounds difference is really immaterial. 

 

The last thing that you want is a used G-11. Go to a star party and seek out the G11 users and see how they fare. Let me know if you see the same struggles with that mount that I always see. I have no idea why anyone would think that "GOTO isn't really needed for a backyard" imaging system. I can't even remember that last time I saw someone imaging without a goto mount, maybe the poster means a mount with a hand controller.

 

 

Rgrds-ross

Ross, I respectfully disagree with you. My used G-11 has been a rock solid performer for the field. It's an incredibly simple and easy to maintenance mount. You can tweak it to a track/guide close to the "premium mounts". There are guides online that detail how to get the guiding close to AP level! 

 

I do not think GOTO is necessary for backyard imaging. I used push-to pointing in the field for over a year with my G-11. Even after I upgraded to Gemini, I still found myself just push-to pointing because it was so much quicker than navigating through hand controller menus. 

 

I also believe that learning to locate deep sky objects through star maps and star hopping gives you a special appreciation for the night sky that's lost when it's simply "select object from menu, press GOTO". 

 

I've since upgrade to using a AP1200GTO mount because I needed a mount capable of remote site imaging. But I still use my G-11 with a 50lbs 12" Meade SCT from my backyard, and it's solid and reliable.


Edited by ArkabPriorSol, 28 January 2019 - 04:51 PM.



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