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.