Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Recommendation for GoTo Mount

mount observing astrophotography
  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Big Bad Moon

Big Bad Moon

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Maryland

Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:10 AM

I apologize if that is a rehashing of prior questions but I've only seen posts a couple of years old that kind of deal with this topic. Seeing the Celestron AVX mount on sale this month (February) got me thinking about replacing my old LXD55. I'm looking for something a little easier to set up, maybe a little lighter and something I could eventually use for some basic astrophotography. I have heard mixed reviews on the AVX but some people seem really happy with it. I plan to use an ES ED102 or a Celestron C8 (I currently own both) with whatever mount I get. Judging by posts I've read, I should be looking for a mount capacity of 30-40 lbs. for best stability. Does that sound right? Also I want something that is easy to set up without a lot of having to train the drive (like the LXD). The Orion and SkyWatcher AZ/EQ mounts look like a possibility too, along with the iOptron CEM mount. Pricewise I'd like to stay under $1,300 or so. 

 

There are so many choices and I'm looking for some recommendations from members that have experience with different setups. Reliability and customer service for questions and problems is important too. Thanks!



#2 MrRoberts

MrRoberts

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 260
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Barrington, Illinois

Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:31 AM

I have had both of your size scopes on my CEM25P successfully (visually and ap). But felt the mount was a little over-taxed. I think their IEQ30P would be a better pick. Especially if you are planning on some in AP. Their IEQ45P would be the best for you scopes with AP, but of course more $.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_0228-2.jpg
  • IMG_0204-2.jpg

  • Starman27 likes this

#3 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15467
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:59 AM

I like the $1200 mounts significantly more than the AVX.  Sirius/HEQ5, iOptron 30PRO.  The AVX has a simple bushing on DEC, they have real bearings everywhere.  You're on a very steep part of the price performance curve.

 

Per the moderators, I'm not mentioning the "A" word.  You might want to see what the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging forum recommends.  Or the Mount forum.


Edited by bobzeq25, 16 February 2019 - 11:01 AM.


#4 MalVeauX

MalVeauX

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5015
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:07 AM

I apologize if that is a rehashing of prior questions but I've only seen posts a couple of years old that kind of deal with this topic. Seeing the Celestron AVX mount on sale this month (February) got me thinking about replacing my old LXD55. I'm looking for something a little easier to set up, maybe a little lighter and something I could eventually use for some basic astrophotography. I have heard mixed reviews on the AVX but some people seem really happy with it. I plan to use an ES ED102 or a Celestron C8 (I currently own both) with whatever mount I get. Judging by posts I've read, I should be looking for a mount capacity of 30-40 lbs. for best stability. Does that sound right? Also I want something that is easy to set up without a lot of having to train the drive (like the LXD). The Orion and SkyWatcher AZ/EQ mounts look like a possibility too, along with the iOptron CEM mount. Pricewise I'd like to stay under $1,300 or so. 

 

There are so many choices and I'm looking for some recommendations from members that have experience with different setups. Reliability and customer service for questions and problems is important too. Thanks!

If your budget is $1300, go ahead and spend $100 more for the EQ6 and call it a year. You'll be glad you did when it comes to the 2nd part of what you're planning to do.

 

If you absolutely cannot get an EQ6 class mount, go for the HEQ5, SW AZ EQ5 or Sirius Pro AZ.

 

Really though, you should ask to have this thread moved to Mounts forum.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 16 February 2019 - 11:12 AM.

  • bobzeq25 likes this

#5 ShortLobster

ShortLobster

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 42
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2016
  • Loc: Stamford, CT, USA

Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:09 AM

I have had both of those scopes on an iOptron Alt Az Pro mount. It handles them easily and is what I use for visual. It is really easy to set up and tracks very well. 

 

Re: AP, it depends on what you mean by "basic." If you mean unguided lucky imaging for planets, moon or solar, than it works well. If you are thinking of long exposure, you'll need more mount, probably 45lbs capacity for either of those scopes + gear. 



#6 baron555

baron555

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2609
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Lockport, IL

Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:16 AM

GM-811



#7 Big Bad Moon

Big Bad Moon

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Maryland

Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:11 PM

Yes I apologize I’m new here... my main interest right now is visual. 


  • SeaBee1 likes this

#8 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3591
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:21 PM

Yes I apologize I’m new here... my main interest right now is visual. 

 

Welcome aboard, Moon!

 

Even if visual NOW, if the plan is to eventually do AP, get what you need to do AP NOW... it will work just fine for visual until you take the AP leap. I think an AVX will be a little light for your end game. The SW EQ6-R Pro is probably a better choice and has a heavier payload. Keep in mind neither is grab-n-go...

 

Good hunting!

 

CB



#9 SeattleScott

SeattleScott

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4823
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2011

Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:41 PM

An AVX is 10lbs heavier than your LXD55 and no easier to set up. If you feel like your 55 is at end of life the AVX makes sense, but it is really the same class of mount as what you already have.

#10 sg6

sg6

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4941
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 16 February 2019 - 12:55 PM

Locate a club and have a look at the mounts in question.

It is the bit saying:

I'm looking for something a little easier to set up, maybe a little lighter and something I could eventually use for some basic astrophotography.

 

That concerns me, especially "the little lighter" bit. The EQ6 and variants are not light, I would question the HEQ5 as being "light", I have one and light it is not.

 

Seeing them in the flesh and if possible getting an idea of weight and size is really useful.

 

https://www.go-astro...te.php?State=MD


  • bobzeq25 likes this

#11 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2802
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 16 February 2019 - 04:09 PM

To me heavy mount=less stargazing.

Both your optical tubes are reasonably small, so even light mounts in the GP-size class can be employed succesfully.

However, if add also long-exposure astrophotography, this will make things much more complex.

I have both a C8 and a similar sized 4" refractor: visually can use them with the Astrotrac (which is a sort of light-weighted and a bit awkward eq5), but to take pictures with the least effort I prefer an eq6-sized mount.

The Heq5 is a sensible compromise, but a compromise still, as it would be the cem25 or AVX; depending on how much importance give to weight and easiness of use any of them can satisfy you: take note that both heq5 and avx (the latter especially due to its heavy tripod) are not exactly lighter than your current model, and the eq6 is noticeably heavier.

There are light-weighted mount capable of 15kg payloads, but are much more expensive

I do not know if AVX sales are a signal that its "industrial life" is closing to its end, but were the case, I would wait because in a few months there could be a flood of them in the aftermarket


  • bobzeq25 likes this

#12 jgraham

jgraham

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 19884
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 16 February 2019 - 04:27 PM

My workhorse mounts for many years were a pair of LXD75s. My present mounts are a pair of EQ6 (Atlas) mounts. Most mounts in the same weight class as the LXD55 will be a step sideways and maybe a tad better in performance. A nice step upwards would be something in the EQ5 (Sirius) class. I do luvs my EQ6s, but they are heavy mounts. However, if you see yourself moving up to something like a 10" scope then making to jump to an EQ6 would be worth it. If you plan on staying with the 8", then the EQ5 class is a good choice.

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

-John

 

P.S.

 

Although the Atlas is a heavy mount, I can easily carry it outside my house, I just had to learn how the lift it. For longer hauls I modified a hand truck to lift it...

 

Atlas Hand Cart-1b.jpg

 

I call it my Atlas back-saver. :)

 

 

 


Edited by jgraham, 16 February 2019 - 04:33 PM.

  • Scott123 likes this

#13 dr.who

dr.who

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 13037
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2012

Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:24 PM

Losmandy GM8G or Skywatcher EQ6-R would be your best bet in the price range you have. Both are easy to carry and both have very good performance for their price. The AVX will also work but will be a bit light for the SCT and imaging. People do it but there can be a great deal of frustration with trying it.
 
Of the two the Losmandy is the higher quality build but the hand controller is a lot different than what you are used to. There are simulators online that can teach you about it. The EQ6-R is the more ergonomically easy to work with because of the handle. People think the handle is a little thing when in reality it is a really big thing. Also the EQ6 works with EQMOD which is a really good bit  of software.

#14 Ken Sturrock

Ken Sturrock

    Cardinal Ximénez - NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 7398
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:58 PM

 and something I could eventually use for some basic astrophotography.

 

For the purposes of the audience in the Beginners' Forum, an AVX is a terrific mount. If you're not genuinely new to astronomy or you are serious about imaging (as the forum title would indicate) you're probably asking in the wrong forum.



#15 Dreams4000

Dreams4000

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 57
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2018
  • Loc: San Marcos, CA

Posted 17 February 2019 - 12:16 AM

Agree with the comments.  If you've got a budget for it, get the best quality you can to fit in that budget.  Also as has been mentioned, thinking about where you'll be a few years from now- looking for something larger or fine with what you are targeting now? OR just willing to get another mount at that time?  I use the AVX currently and am very happy with it for AP and visual.  I physically move it in and out of the house fully set up with my wo gt71 and all the cams etc.  It's a little heavy but not out of whack... a heavier mount may kill my back haha!  I have seen mixed reviews of the AVX on here but I've had no problems personally, could just be good luck, I don't know.  I do use a guide cam with it and have had no problem getting multi-min exposures.  I still need to push it to see how far I can get it though. :)  Keep in mind the rule of thumb if you get into AP, especially with something like the avx, to keep your load about half the rated amount... ~15lbs for the avx.  For visual, no problems taking it up to the 30lbs limit.  If that will work for where you plan to be, the sale going on is a great deal for the avx and not much higher than many of the used classifieds as of late.  


  • SeaBee1 likes this

#16 spaceoddity

spaceoddity

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1997
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Cloudsylvania

Posted 17 February 2019 - 06:40 PM

Little lighter and little easier to set up does not equate to AP. For that purpose I think you will need a lot heavier and more difficult to set up. For visual though, I think the AVX would easily handle your scopes. Might be able to do some basic AP with the 102 but an 80mm apo would probably be better. I don't do AP, just going by the 50% rule. 


  • SeaBee1 likes this

#17 Scott123

Scott123

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 106
  • Joined: 18 Jun 2018
  • Loc: Maine

Posted 17 February 2019 - 08:09 PM

...My present mounts are a pair of EQ6 (Atlas) mounts...

 

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

-John

 

P.S.

 

Although the Atlas is a heavy mount, I can easily carry it outside my house, I just had to learn how the lift it. For longer hauls I modified a hand truck to lift it...

 

attachicon.gif Atlas Hand Cart-1b.jpg

 

I call it my Atlas back-saver. smile.gif

John, I just bought an Atlas EQ-G mount, I think I'm the third owner. I am getting an adapter plate milled out, and am going to set it in a concrete pier come Spring. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, as you say, it's very heavy. I like your backsaver, very clever!

 

I have a SynScan hand controller for it, still trying to find an update cable.

 

Any tips, hints, etc. for the Atlas? So far, the only tip I can pass on is 'Lift with your knees, not your back'.smile.gif

 

I want to get into AP, but know this isn't the place to mention that. Or guiding.

 

Scott




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: mount, observing, astrophotography



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics