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AVX Mount or Hyperstar which should I get next

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#1 goldtr8

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 08:48 AM

My current equipment is a Celestron 8SE with the single fork ALTZ mount.    With all the stuff I have the 8in SCT, StarSense, plus ZWO294C I am at the mounts limits.

 

So I want to upgrade the mount and right now with the Celestron AVX sale going on till the end of the month I am strongly considering getting this mount as it would give me two things.   First more load capacity I would be under 50% of the mount rating and plus if I want to try some longer exposures I would have a mount capable of doing that. 

 

Or after researching posts on Hyperstar and using that on my SCT would provide a F1.9  which everyone here already knows what that means.   Plus that huge field of view.

 

I will say long term I am very confident that I will want to have both tools in the toolbox but with the sale going on I am really thinking get the mount now and the Hyperstar later as those prices seem very stable.

 

Some might ask what is it I want to do.   First I like doing visual and the ALTZ is fine for that.   Second I am just starting to play with EAA and I understand the limits with an ALTZ mount and long focal length but have really no practical experience (Michigan is in perpetual clouds and clear nights have been with work days so no go).    I have been exposed to EAA by some guys using Revolution imagers which is what got me started on my acquisitions.   So I should be holding back before spending any more money to get more experience but that sale is going on.

 

So simply if I am doing pure visual I see the ALTZ would be my goto mount, light, easy to set up and sync with StarSense.    If I get a Hyperstar then it becomes part of the setup for EAA but I have the limitations of the mount.

 

If I get the AVX its primary function is when I want to do EAA so I can get better tracking and eliminate rotation.   Its downside is longer setup for the polar alignment but its still light and portable.   If I add the hyperstar its still part of the EAA setup but now no mount limitations.    This also means if I save my Sharpcap image files I could process later for pictures if I want to.

 

I do not want to go bigger than my 8 SCT as I have been doing enough visual at remote locations and its at a comfortable level of portability that I can handle.   Anything heaver and I wont get used.   Plus once the spring rolls around I have have it mostly set up in my garage and be set up in my yard quickly.   Another reason why the AVX is a mount I like is the weight factor if its too heavy it wont get used.

 

Here is the real bottom line, if I knew 12 months ago what I know today I would have purchased the 8in SCT with the AVX mount.   But I did not know the ALTZ limits at the time so now I get to pay for my education.      The question is the Hyperstar that good, that I dont need a GEM if I want to save my images and dabble in AP.     

 

I am asking this in the EAA forum because I believe that others have upgraded to GEMS from ALTZ for their EAA efforts, or have experience with both setups for EAA.

 

I do not see this as an AP question but trying to sort out things that will cause frustration or create roadblocks in having fun with EAA.    Kinda like clouds cause frustration on my weekend nights.   

 

Thanks for listening to my rambling as its not an easy question to answer as this is a journey in a hobby.   I am already farther in using my equipment than I thought I would be and never even realized the world of EAA when I bought this setup.     

 

 

 

 



#2 tmaestro

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 09:03 AM

I happen to use my C6 on a GEM, but that's because it's what I had.  If my house were to burn down and I got a nice fat check to replace my telescopes, my EAA rig would be a Nexstar Evolution 8 with Starsense and Hyperstar.

 

The AVX might serve you if you decided to get into classic AP, but I bet this forum would recommend the Evolution for your OTA and EAA.  The speed of f/2 with the sensitivity of your 294 camera and the de-rotation/stacking in SharpCap should obviate the need for a GEM.


Edited by tmaestro, 23 February 2019 - 09:06 AM.

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#3 Gipht

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 09:45 AM

While many AVX's perform well for visual and entry EAA  and photography, they are often a step along the way to a  better quality mount.  iOptron is about to introduce a new mount, the CEM40,  which is attracting quite  a bit of interest.  May be a good time to wait on the mount, and save for one that would not need replacing.


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#4 zakry3323

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 09:51 AM

I know it's been done with success, so I'm not going to try to dissuade you, but for me, long-exposure imaging with an 8in SCT on an AVX isn't worth the headaches. My experience with a deforked Meade 8" on my AVX is that it's great for visual and would probably be ok for EAA. It's not just the weight of the OTA- if you're considering long exposure you'll need to guide, adding the weight of the guidescope or OAG, and your exposure will have to be comparably pretty long, even with a reducer. It's do-able, but with that weight and focal length, there are better mounting options. 

 

Of course, an AVX in addition to Hyperstar....that would be a lot more forgiving :)



#5 descott12

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 10:20 AM

With EAA, a GEM, in my opinion, is overkill and not worth the trouble. EAA is all about short exposures (5-20 seconds) and even when stacked you are talking a few minutes so polar alignment is not needed. ALT-AZ is the way to go if you are not planning on doing AP.

 

While I sometimes do stack for 15-20 minutes. SC can typically handle the rotation and in EAA we aren't expecting a perfect picture so it is more than adequate.

 

The HyperStar, by the way, is awesome.  Also, I had a 6SE and upgraded to an Evo 8. I did notice that the Evo's mount is way better (more stable, tracks better, etc) but I believe there are plenty of people on CN that have done just fine with the 8SE OTA and mount.


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#6 goldtr8

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 10:22 AM

So lets rephrase the question.   Will the AVX be sufficient with an 8in SCT when coupled with a Hyperstar for good EAA with occasional AP.  Keep in mind I want to have compatibility with the rest of my celestron accessories.   

 

Other accessories are StarSense, GPS module, and WIFI module.

 

My issue is cash flow, I can do either the mount or the Hyperstar now and the other later.   The driver for asking now is the sale on the AVX is 20% thru the end of Feb.


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#7 zakry3323

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 10:47 AM

With the addition of Hyperstar, you should be at a fast enough focal ratio and short enough focal length that AP shouldn't present much problem on an AVX. However, I'd want to talk with someone who's doing it already before making that investment. 

The thing about using an 8" SCT for AP is that it's just so darned versatile. You've got native focal length/ratio, shorter and faster with a reducer, and then quite short and fast with a Hyperstar, it's like 3 OTA's in one!

With an AVX you might not be making the most out of the versatility that your SCT can provide at slower/longer focal lengths for AP. Then again, there's really not much sense in trying to future-proof in this hobby. If you do end up really getting into AP, you'll probably eventually want to get a different mount on down the road anyway, and you'll still have your AVX for EAA/Outreach/Visual. They're decent light-weight mounts and usually do a good job for their weight class. Of the three that I've owned, all have benefitted from some tinkering and adjustment, and one did need to be replaced under warranty. For the price though, they're pretty hard to beat. 

And they are compatible with all of your accessories. I use mine with StarSense all the time. They only have one AUX port (the other is for your HC), so you may have to look into splitter options to use more than one accessory at a time. I'm not sure personally, I haven't done so. 


Edited by zakry3323, 23 February 2019 - 10:56 AM.

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#8 OleCuss

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 11:08 AM

So lets rephrase the question.   Will the AVX be sufficient with an 8in SCT when coupled with a Hyperstar for good EAA with occasional AP.  Keep in mind I want to have compatibility with the rest of my celestron accessories. 

.

.

.

 

 

My predisposition is that the better mount is usually the better idea.

 

But some do not consider the AVX to be truly adequate for the 8" SCT.  There are some who believe it is not adequate for anything. . .  Personally, I've no problem with the AVX even with a scope which can be argued to be perhaps a worse choice than the 8" SCT.  So I'd generally be in favor of the AVX.

 

But what would effectively kill the AVX idea for me if I were planning to use the 8SE OTA with it is where the focuser would end up. . .  I'd note that the focuser is on the opposite side of the OTA from the dovetail.  So you take the OTA off the NexStar mount and rotate it so that the dovetail is at the bottom in order to mount it on the AVX and that puts the focuser at the top - and I'd find that somewhat ergonomically undesirable.

 

Of course, with a camera rather than an eyepiece those ergonomics don't matter as much.  In any case, you could add another dovetail in order to get the focuser positioned where I would want it, but that should mean partially disassembling your OTA.

 

If you decide on the AVX upgrade I'm going to recommend considering the possibility of selling your NexStar 8SE.  I think you could probably get around $700 for it.  Then take the $700 you would be paying for the AVX mount alone along with the $700 you got from your 8SE and buy either an AVX with the included 8" SCT or kick in a little extra and get either the Evolution or the EdgeHD on the AVX.

 

The flip side is that I really like a wide FOV and a NexStar mount doesn't live too badly with a Hyperstarred 8SE.  The mounts will go on sale once again (it happens at least once or twice a year) and you can get immediate satisfaction with the Hyperstar.


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#9 Ptarmigan

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 11:55 AM

I have C9.25 on CGEM2 mount and it is works well for me. cool.gif



#10 Noah4x4

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 12:41 PM

Hyperstar + Evolution + Starsense + GPS = my personal Nirvana (albeit I am currently dabbling with CPWI and don't need GPS with that). However, I also have a 4SE and can understand the desire to get a better mount. But you know you will eventually buy both! 

 

Hyoetstar means no wedge, no polar alignment routine, no autoguiding, cuts through light pollution, no grief, more time doing rather than fiddling with equipment or travelling, sensational images on screen in seconds, NO contest!

 

I wasted a year of my life on wedge/polar alignment. To be fair, I am an EAA observer and I don't want to win Astrophotographer of the year, so eventually decided Hyperstar not AVX. Best astro purchase decision I have made. 

It has rekindled my interest after much frustration with poor skies, poor weather and infernal wedge. I can be set up and running in minutes, and still get to bed earlier having spent far more time observing. 


Edited by Noah4x4, 23 February 2019 - 12:47 PM.


#11 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 02:58 PM

Hyperstar + Evolution + Starsense + GPS = my personal Nirvana (albeit I am currently dabbling with CPWI and don't need GPS with that). However, I also have a 4SE and can understand the desire to get a better mount. But you know you will eventually buy both! 

 

Hyoetstar means no wedge, no polar alignment routine, no autoguiding, cuts through light pollution, no grief, more time doing rather than fiddling with equipment or travelling, sensational images on screen in seconds, NO contest!

 

I wasted a year of my life on wedge/polar alignment. To be fair, I am an EAA observer and I don't want to win Astrophotographer of the year, so eventually decided Hyperstar not AVX. Best astro purchase decision I have made. 

It has rekindled my interest after much frustration with poor skies, poor weather and infernal wedge. I can be set up and running in minutes, and still get to bed earlier having spent far more time observing. 

Good to hear this. I have always read that having a fast focal ratio of f/2 can be very limited when dealing with strong light pollution so is this not true then?

 

Steve



#12 Noah4x4

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 05:01 PM

Good to hear this. I have always read that having a fast focal ratio of f/2 can be very limited when dealing with strong light pollution so is this not true then?

 

Steve

My light pollution is appalling. To the north of my house, four floodlit rugby pitches. To the south, Colchester town centre. I am surrounded by 6,000 houses. Yet with Hyperstar I can observe almost any DSO on a full moon. 



#13 descott12

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 05:06 PM

 Yet with Hyperstar I can observe almost any DSO on a full moon. 

Yes, I agree. I do have an IDAS LPS filter and I think it helps in some cases but the HyperStar at f2 really does allow you to see some amazing stuff even with bad light pollution and/or a full moon


Edited by descott12, 23 February 2019 - 05:10 PM.


#14 Noah4x4

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 02:47 AM

Yes, I agree. I do have an IDAS LPS filter and I think it helps in some cases but the HyperStar at f2 really does allow you to see some amazing stuff even with bad light pollution and/or a full moon

+1 for the 2" IDAS filter.

 

However, it depends what you are looking at. Some faint galaxies can appear too dark through this filter. I guess other filters might assist but I never worked it out. When visual observing I couldn't see anything beyond the Orion Nebula from my awfully light polluted back yard so I never worked out what my assorted box of cheap 1.25" filters achieve (probably nothing if like the junk eyepieces in the Celestron kit). I bought expensive CLS and Oiii and neither helped with visual (just made stuff even darker), and neither fit my current rig. If anybody can append to this thread advice about filters for Hyperstar/camera that would be welcome.

 

But my tuppence worth is If you buy Hyperstar, ensure you buy it inclusive of the slide out filter tray. Because it replaces the standard spacer this route is cheaper and you don't need both.


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#15 cshine

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 09:08 AM

So lets rephrase the question.   Will the AVX be sufficient with an 8in SCT when coupled with a Hyperstar for good EAA with occasional AP.  Keep in mind I want to have compatibility with the rest of my celestron accessories.   

 

Other accessories are StarSense, GPS module, and WIFI module.

 

My issue is cash flow, I can do either the mount or the Hyperstar now and the other later.   The driver for asking now is the sale on the AVX is 20% thru the end of Feb.

If you plan to ultimately buy both then it makes sense to buy the AVX on sale (warranty is handy if you have issues with your example) and keep an eye on the Classifieds for a Hyperstar over the coming months as the funds replenish. It's a great combination for EAA and will allow you to try some basic AP (i.e. EAA with longer total exposure and then post processing the subs). If you want to get more serious about AP down the road (guiding etc.) then you'll likely need to move up to a CGEM to properly support the load or use the AVX with a lightweight widefield refractor instead of the heavy C8/HS combo. 



#16 OleCuss

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 09:39 AM

IIRC, some filters do not play well/nicely when your system is as fast as is the Hyperstar system.  I'd check on that before buying a filter meant for use with the Hyperstar.



#17 nic35

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 10:02 AM

FWIW, hyperstar for an 8” OTA rarely show up in the classifieds. I know from experience

If you are dead set on getting a hyperstar someday, I’d go there first. It will make your system less susceptible to mount errors.

Used CGEM do show up in the classifieds. Often at good discounts from retail.

John
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#18 GoFish

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 10:11 AM

I like the AVX option for its versatility. It allows using other OTA’s.

 

Someday you might want to put a small refractor on the mount for AP. Or a 6” f/5 Newt for EAA. 

 

I don’t think you can go wrong either way. 



#19 tmaestro

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 07:35 PM

IIRC, some filters do not play well/nicely when your system is as fast as is the Hyperstar system.  I'd check on that before buying a filter meant for use with the Hyperstar.

 

 

I fussed over this for a bit, I read that the fast light cone at f/2 blue shifts the pass-bands a little.  No effect in the center, with an increasing blue shift as you move toward the edge of the filter.  Based on the graphs I saw, there'd be little to no effect across the ASI224 and only a moderate effect as you get to the edge of a big APSC sensor.  

 

It looked like if you're using a super narrow band filter and a huge sensor, some percentage of the outside of your aperture would be looking through a filter that had slid off the desired pass band.  Using a CLS filter, the bands are wide and the effect doesn't look strong enough to impact the filtering too much, even with an ASI294.  

 

It would be cool to see an actual physical comparison done, but it looks like your filters would have to be super narrow and your sensor really wide for there to be an effect.


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#20 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:41 AM

I'm on my third year of eaa with my AVX. I usually run a 8" f4 Newt on it. But I also piggyback a small refractor or a camera lens for wide field objects. It's permanently mounted in my observatory and it works like a champ. It's got a "hibernate" mode so you don't have to do alignment everytime (assuming a permanent setup). It takes an autoguider easily as well.
Personally I'd get the mount, then save up $$$$ for a rasa 8" instead of a Hyperstar.

#21 OleCuss

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:44 PM

A member has let us know that Starizona will soon be selling an F/4 reducer for uncorrected SCTs and later for CSCTs (corrected SCTs).  Worked well for him with an IMX385 camera and is supposed to be a good fit for an IMX183 but we don't have any reports on use with the IMX183 as of yet.

 

I think he indicated the price might be in the $280 range?

 

That would make me think even more about getting the mount.  Then get the F/4 reducer and save up for the RASA.



#22 39.1N84.5W

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:42 PM

Worked well for +her+. ;)
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#23 goldtr8

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 07:30 PM

So at the end of the day, I decided to take advantage of the sale and get the AVX first.    Once I get comfortable using it then I can look into the next steps of a Hyperstar or maybe this new f4 reducer.     All I know as of tonight is that the brown truck make a stop at my house today and that is one heavy package.     I will unpack this weekend and look it all over.

 

Thanks everyone for the replies and additional ideas for different OTA's and so on.   Anyway the budget is blown until the next upgrade.  


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