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Mount Recommendation for 10" Reflector

EAA equipment mount
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#1 OhioKraken

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 01:37 PM

Hello! 

 

I currently own an Orion 10" Intelliscope reflector (FL=1200 mm).  What I would like to do is the following:

  • Install a concrete pier in my backyard. 
  • Install a motorized/goto mount on to the pier.
  • Install my current 10" reflector on the mount. This backyard is in Northeast Ohio so aperture is important with the light pollution present.
  • Leave the scope mounted outside under a shed that can be rolled away.

I plan to use the telescope for both visual and EAA, but not any sophisticated imaging.  The benefit of the pier will be super-fast setups - walk out, power-up, quick alignment, and observe.  I'd like to be able to perform EAA in the winter  from inside my house (probably using the ZWO-ASI cameras) as well using the INDI mount support.

 

As a result, I'm looking for recommendations on mounts.  Right now I am thinking an alt-az mount for ease of use and not having to fiddle with the reflector's positioning.  Preferably, the mount's specification would include:

  • Hold a scope around 28 lbs (the intelliscope optical tube is 27 lbs plus the camera)
  • Motorized and goto
  • Good tracking is enough - visual and EAA
  • INDI compatible
  • Ability to buy the head only (no tripod needed)

 

Some mounts I've found:

  • iOptron AZ Mount Pro - can hold 33 lbs; is my scope too close to the limit?
  • Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G
  • Sirius Pro AZ/German Eq
  • Skywatcher AZ-EQ5

 

The iOptron is the only one I've been able to find available to purchase as just a head.

 

Thanks for any and all advice or recommendations!


Edited by OhioKraken, 02 April 2019 - 01:50 PM.


#2 StephenW

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 02:27 PM

I'd say the only one on your list that might come close to handling it is the Atlas. 

 

If you're tube weight is 27 lbs, then after you add rings, dovetails, camera gear I'd say you'll easily be approaching 40lbs. 

 

Also, a 10" F5 is a big, long scope, so that OTA is going to stress most mounts, even if just being used for visual and EAA (nothing worse than a scope that bounces all over the place while trying to focus...)



#3 sg6

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 02:32 PM

I would not expect an AZ-EQ5 to be up to it. I know someone with a 10" reflector on a pier in an observatory with the EQ6 and that is considered to be in need of upgrading to something that can take more weight.

 

Based on this then if the EQ6 is insufficent then the AZ-EQ5 is well under specified. Although I agree it does state 15Kg = 33 lb. Hwere it is AZ-EQ5-GT, never used to be "GT". Know someone with the AZ-EQ5 and from what I distanty recall he never ran at or towards the max, and he didn't image. He didn't think it was suited to the claimed max.

 

Not sure as I have not looked recently - last few years not months - but TS used to sell just the heads of some.



#4 photoracer18

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 02:36 PM

Too close to the limit. In your case I would more likely go for something with a 50-60 lb. weight limit simply because that tube will be like a gigantic sail in even a small breeze. You will need a big Losmandy plate and tube rings to hold it. Also get something with a "D" size saddle plate-holder (Vixen size rail will not do). You will also need either a steel or concrete pier and pier adapter for whatever mount you choose. Only choose an AZ mount if you think field rotation will not bother you for EAA.  I would choose at a minimum a mount with a 45 lb. payload, nothing less, because if you ever decide to do a little imaging you are going to have to add a guidescope and guide camera to the payload most likely.

 

If it was me I would likely do a Losmandy G11 Gemini (for one because I already have one). and in fact I am likely to put exactly that in my back yard similarly to you. Except I am likely to dumb it down to a non-goto so that the amount of electronics that is out under a cover/clamshell/etc. is kept to a minimum due to weather and bugs. Mine has encoders so I could easily do push-to.


Edited by photoracer18, 02 April 2019 - 02:41 PM.


#5 OhioKraken

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 02:41 PM

Thanks for the feedback StephenW. 

 

In regards to weight, Orion does not list weights for the rings and dovetail.  I was estimating 3-4 pounds total?

 

And the ZWI camera I was interested in weighs only 4 oz.  So I was thinking a max weight of 31-32 lbs was realistic.  Thoughts?

 

I hadn't considered the length - would accurate balancing of the scope in the rings help?

 

Or perhaps I need to abandon using the 10" reflector in this setup.

 

Thanks again...



#6 OhioKraken

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 02:59 PM

Looking at Orion's website...they actually sell my optical tube with an Atlas equatorial mount and tripod (link).  Review are all positive.

 

The Atlas Pro seems to hold more weight and also has the option to go alt-az.



#7 gotak

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 04:18 PM

EQ5 with 10" Quattro:

 

http://www.astrobin....6872/C/?nc=user

 

The guy's using that combo for lots of stuff. It is in a ROR. But you are doing EAA and visual so maybe just fine without wind blocking walls.

 

That said there's no harm in getting more mount.



#8 rkaufmann87

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 04:28 PM

I am a +1 on the Losmandy G11 solution, you should consider the GM811G or the G11G. The build quality and longevity over the Chinese made mounts is well worth the cost. 



#9 Wildetelescope

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 10:21 PM

Hello! 

 

I currently own an Orion 10" Intelliscope reflector (FL=1200 mm).  What I would like to do is the following:

  • Install a concrete pier in my backyard. 
  • Install a motorized/goto mount on to the pier.
  • Install my current 10" reflector on the mount. This backyard is in Northeast Ohio so aperture is important with the light pollution present.
  • Leave the scope mounted outside under a shed that can be rolled away.

I plan to use the telescope for both visual and EAA, but not any sophisticated imaging.  The benefit of the pier will be super-fast setups - walk out, power-up, quick alignment, and observe.  I'd like to be able to perform EAA in the winter  from inside my house (probably using the ZWO-ASI cameras) as well using the INDI mount support.

 

As a result, I'm looking for recommendations on mounts.  Right now I am thinking an alt-az mount for ease of use and not having to fiddle with the reflector's positioning.  Preferably, the mount's specification would include:

  • Hold a scope around 28 lbs (the intelliscope optical tube is 27 lbs plus the camera)
  • Motorized and goto
  • Good tracking is enough - visual and EAA
  • INDI compatible
  • Ability to buy the head only (no tripod needed)

 

Some mounts I've found:

  • iOptron AZ Mount Pro - can hold 33 lbs; is my scope too close to the limit?
  • Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G
  • Sirius Pro AZ/German Eq
  • Skywatcher AZ-EQ5

 

The iOptron is the only one I've been able to find available to purchase as just a head.

 

Thanks for any and all advice or recommendations!

Of the mounts listed the atlas will work for visual, EAA and planet imaging.  I have done exactly what you describe,  the intelescope tube with rings and gear is closer to 35 lbs.   More important is the length.   You will need ~ 40 lbs of counter weights.  I would go with the straight atlas pro, not the az combo.  This combination is BIG.  Do not underestimate what you are getting into.  It is impressive to see it slew.  Just do not get clocked in the head.  Anguler momentum is unforgiving:-)

 

cheers 

 

jmd 

 

PS GO BUCKS!



#10 orlyandico

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:20 AM

Atlas/EQ6 should be enough for visual/EAA with 10" reflector, particularly if in a windbreak/observatory.



#11 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 06:15 AM

What if you sell your dobson and purchase instead a lighter 10" OTA? I'm not even sure you have enough backfocus for imaging on a dobsonian.


Edited by Riccardo_italy, 03 April 2019 - 06:15 AM.


#12 macdonjh

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:57 AM

My thoughts:

 

A Losmandy G11 will work fine.  I have an antique Parks 10" f/4 on a G11 and it is acceptable to me for visual only.  It's really over loaded a bit (the scope weighs more than fifty pounds, but Parks scopes are all really heavy).  

 

I would not recommend a Losmandy G811.  Newtonians are always somewhat out of balance because the focuser isn't centered on the optical axis (unless you've installed a counterweight opposite the focuser).  So you'll need even a beefy declination axis and drive.

 

The I-Optron would be too close to it's weight limit, I think.  Maybe the IEQ-45 or one of their xx-60 mounts?

 

I wouldn't use either the Sirius, AZ-EQ5, CG-5 or HEQ-5.  They are all rated at thirty pounds or so and that rating is accurate in my experience.

 

The Atlas/ EQ-6 is a surprisingly capable mount and may be able to handle such a large OTA.  I briefly used an Atlas with a 6" f/12 refractor and it was OK.  But then I sold the Atlas and used my G11 for the refractor.

 

As others have said, with a 10" f/5 weight is only part of the problem.  It's a big scope.  The center of mass will be a long way from the RA axis, there is a lot of surface area for wind to catch, and the OTA is fairly long which increases rotational inertia (making the mount work harder to move the scope).  And then there's that Newtonian focuser placement, making balancing hard.  All that is "against" you.  Going your way is a permanent installation, which you will love.  With that permanent installation, once you get it right, even if you buy "less mount" than conventional wisdom says you should, it will stay right and you'll enjoy observing.

 

Good luck with your project.  You will love having a permanently installed scope.



#13 OhioKraken

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 09:59 PM

Thanks to all for the suggestions and explanations.  

 

You've helped me avoid a potentially way undersized mount.  It appears that I will have to spend at least $2000 on a mount adequate for a 10" f/5 reflector.

 

It's making me think I should consider selling off the intelliscope per Riccardo's suggestion and purchasing a scope and mount combo that is a better fit for what I want to do.  Perhaps a Meade LX90.

 

Thanks again!



#14 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 01:51 AM

Well, an LX90 is a completely different animal (slower speed, smaller diameter if it is the 8" version).

 

I think you should not give up on the idea of a 10" reflector, just buy a smaller one.

 

https://www.teleskop...Q6-Synscan.html



#15 CHASLX200

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 05:38 AM

Thanks to all for the suggestions and explanations.  

 

You've helped me avoid a potentially way undersized mount.  It appears that I will have to spend at least $2000 on a mount adequate for a 10" f/5 reflector.

 

It's making me think I should consider selling off the intelliscope per Riccardo's suggestion and purchasing a scope and mount combo that is a better fit for what I want to do.  Perhaps a Meade LX90.

 

Thanks again!

There is a great mount that will hold it fine here for sale. A Meade RG mount for $300.



#16 Phil Cowell

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 05:58 PM

Atlas/EQ6 should be enough for visual/EAA with 10" reflector, particularly if in a windbreak/observatory.

CEM60 would work well.



#17 KLWalsh

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 07:50 PM

I’d recommend a mount in the CGEM class. And the CGEM is on sale right now.
You might not need the tripod now, if you have a pier; but you might want to get one and keep it. I’m glad I kept my tripod. When I built my obs I had no plans to move; but life had other plans. Where I moved to, I have much better skies, but no obs, yet. So the tripod comes in handy.

#18 cloudswimmer

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:43 PM

My thoughts:

 

A Losmandy G11 will work fine.  I have an antique Parks 10" f/4 on a G11 and it is acceptable to me for visual only.  It's really over loaded a bit (the scope weighs more than fifty pounds, but Parks scopes are all really heavy).  

 

I would not recommend a Losmandy G811.  Newtonians are always somewhat out of balance because the focuser isn't centered on the optical axis (unless you've installed a counterweight opposite the focuser).  So you'll need even a beefy declination axis and drive.

 

The I-Optron would be too close to it's weight limit, I think.  Maybe the IEQ-45 or one of their xx-60 mounts?

 

I wouldn't use either the Sirius, AZ-EQ5, CG-5 or HEQ-5.  They are all rated at thirty pounds or so and that rating is accurate in my experience.

 

The Atlas/ EQ-6 is a surprisingly capable mount and may be able to handle such a large OTA.  I briefly used an Atlas with a 6" f/12 refractor and it was OK.  But then I sold the Atlas and used my G11 for the refractor.

 

As others have said, with a 10" f/5 weight is only part of the problem.  It's a big scope.  The center of mass will be a long way from the RA axis, there is a lot of surface area for wind to catch, and the OTA is fairly long which increases rotational inertia (making the mount work harder to move the scope).  And then there's that Newtonian focuser placement, making balancing hard.  All that is "against" you.  Going your way is a permanent installation, which you will love.  With that permanent installation, once you get it right, even if you buy "less mount" than conventional wisdom says you should, it will stay right and you'll enjoy observing.

 

Good luck with your project.  You will love having a permanently installed scope.

Parks 10" f/4 ..... cool! I have a Parks 10" f/5 (replaced the stock mirrors with Alika Herring mirror though) I run mine on the Schaefer mount below that spins with an 8.75" Buyers gear. Yeah Parks tubes are heavy .. especially with the rotating rings, but its rewarding using such a solid OTA .. especially in wind gust. Personally even if I switched that tube to an aluminum or carbon tube there is no way I'd stick it on my Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro, heck I wouldn't even run it on a Losmandy G11. I use to be the manufacturer of Schaefer Equatorial Mounts (after Bill and Mark), and for a while back then Scott Losmandy would call the shop every couple weeks and we'd shoot the breeze, compare notes, etc., super nice and interesting guy .. even got an offer at one point to work in the machine shop, but from experience and an engineering background I would not rate his G11 at 60lbs. I have however been pondering a G11 for a Takshashi TSA-120 .. that would be a great match imho. I've always enjoyed looking at Losmandy mounts with all the black anodizing .. even had the parts in my mount below grained and anodized by the same shop that does his grin.gif But my question is how is the reliability of these these days? I've heard rumors they can be fiddly and need tweeking .. just rumors? Back in the day they just ran off a-sync motors like ours .. not much to go wrong .. but these later day mounts are a whole different ball park .. I need something that is just going to work great outta the box with very low periodic error .. like our old Schaefer mounts (at least the ones I built grin.gif )

 

C

 

47398727711_c75631d748_z_d.jpg

 

32371802388_44c82b5b61_z_d.jpg



#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:04 AM

Parks 10" f/4 ..... cool! I have a Parks 10" f/5 (replaced the stock mirrors with Alika Herring mirror though) I run mine on the Schaefer mount below that spins with an 8.75" Buyers gear. Yeah Parks tubes are heavy .. especially with the rotating rings, but its rewarding using such a solid OTA .. especially in wind gust. Personally even if I switched that tube to an aluminum or carbon tube there is no way I'd stick it on my Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro, heck I wouldn't even run it on a Losmandy G11. I use to be the manufacturer of Schaefer Equatorial Mounts (after Bill and Mark), and for a while back then Scott Losmandy would call the shop every couple weeks and we'd shoot the breeze, compare notes, etc., super nice and interesting guy .. even got an offer at one point to work in the machine shop, but from experience and an engineering background I would not rate his G11 at 60lbs. I have however been pondering a G11 for a Takshashi TSA-120 .. that would be a great match imho. I've always enjoyed looking at Losmandy mounts with all the black anodizing .. even had the parts in my mount below grained and anodized by the same shop that does his grin.gif But my question is how is the reliability of these these days? I've heard rumors they can be fiddly and need tweeking .. just rumors? Back in the day they just ran off a-sync motors like ours .. not much to go wrong .. but these later day mounts are a whole different ball park .. I need something that is just going to work great outta the box with very low periodic error .. like our old Schaefer mounts (at least the ones I built grin.gif )

 

C

 

47398727711_c75631d748_z_d.jpg

 

32371802388_44c82b5b61_z_d.jpg

I would love a Schaefer mount. None ever pop up for sale in FL and no one wants to ship them.  Someone has a monster Schaefer for sale or trade for $2k and i would have bought it on the spot. But he was looking to trade for a smaller version.



#20 Deitsch2

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:25 PM

I have a 10" Orion astrograph and was using it on an Atlas-EQG.  Visually it worked..I was trying to take pictures.  Most of the time it worked but it was challenging.  I have since moved on to a CEM120.




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