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Recommendations for home observatory mount

astrophotography equipment mount observatory
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#1 ClownFish

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 02:34 PM

I am counting down seven months until retirement (again) and will be moving to my home in rural New Mexico.  I will be building an observatory and need to start thunking about which mount to install.  I will have $5,000 available for the mount, which needs to hold my astrophotography rig (an 11" Edge, RAS or perhaps a 150mm refractor.   Either way, heavy stuff. 



#2 Raginar

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:45 PM

G11? Maybe a used ap900?

#3 macdonjh

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 06:04 PM

+1 for a used AP900.  A friend of mine tried imaging with a G11 (which I love for visual), but he got really frustrated with it, even permanently mounted, and bought a Mesu 200.  He really likes that mount.



#4 MCinAZ

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 06:22 PM

Since you have some time before you relocate, I would also suggest watching the used equipment market. There are a lot of good candidates in/near your target price range. Examples would be A-P 900, 1100, 1200 or Paramount MX, perhaps even ME (there's one listed at the moment). Any of these, unless abused, should meet all of your needs and will perform well for years.


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#5 Xeroid

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 08:38 PM

You should touch bases with CN user: "Real14" who has extensive knowledge of the CEM 120EC



#6 orlyandico

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 10:22 PM

Used AP900, even a CP2 which can now be had complete under $5K.

But then an impressively resourceful imager like the OP can make almost any mount work wonders. You deserve an AP! 😇
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#7 glend

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 10:28 PM

A CGX will handle either easily. Pier mount of course. Won't need all of your budget and you get spring loaded worms, belt drive, limit sensors, homing, etc etc.



#8 gotak

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 11:16 PM

Since you already are familiar with the CEM25p why not keep to what you know and consider upgrade to the big brothers in the form of CEM120, CEM60 or CEM60EC all within your budget(ish?).

 

As you are in Uganda the fact that other than cases where people can't do their own work or is stuck with a problem, iOptron lets you do your own repair and warranty work by mailing parts. So that should be a plus for your location.



#9 ClownFish

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 01:10 AM


 

Since you already are familiar with the CEM25p why not keep to what you know and consider upgrade to the big brothers in the form of CEM120, CEM60 or CEM60EC all within your budget(ish?).

 

As you are in Uganda the fact that other than cases where people can't do their own work or is stuck with a problem, iOptron lets you do your own repair and warranty work by mailing parts. So that should be a plus for your location.

Thanks Gotak, that was my thinking too.
PS:  I think you skipped over the part where I said "will be moving to my home in rural New Mexico".



#10 ClownFish

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 01:17 AM

You should touch bases with CN user: "Real14" who has extensive knowledge of the CEM 120EC

I searched, and it says "Real14" is banned.



#11 skybsd

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 02:03 AM

Hello, 

 

I am counting down seven months until retirement (again) and will be moving to my home in rural New Mexico.  I will be building an observatory and need to start thunking about which mount to install.  I will have $5,000 available for the mount, which needs to hold my astrophotography rig (an 11" Edge, RAS or perhaps a 150mm refractor.   Either way, heavy stuff. 

Perhaps I can offer a suggestion before you get to far down the road in your search.., 

 

Have you determined the actual payload weight + moment you expect to be using? 

 

I only ask as I've seen (no doubt well-intentioned) recommendations by others, but even as a visual observer with experience using a Celestron C-14-XLT on an (both pier and Rob Miller tripod mounted) AP900-GTO, as much as I enjoy observing with it, I would hesitate to blindly suggest you consider this mount for photography with a 11" RASA. 

 

As shipped from Celestron, the out-of-the-box weigh is 43lbs, and my C-14-XLT's is 45lbs. For me, the 90lb-capacity AP900-GTO is at its limit for visual observing with my scope fully loaded with replacement Losmandy dovetails, DEC weights, aluminium dewshield, SV RACI finder, 2" diagonal and eyepieces.., etc..,

 

All told, its closer to 65lbs..,  and like i said, this works fine for me, but I'm at the eyepiece, not putting a RASA through its paces.., 

 

For what its worth, having also owned a Losmandy G11-GoTo, I'd also suggest you think hard about this as well. Fine mounts, but take your time to determine your requirements for payload before committing to anything., 

 

Hope this helps.., 

 

Best., 

 

skybsd



#12 gotak

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:21 AM


Thanks Gotak, that was my thinking too.
PS: I think you skipped over the part where I said "will be moving to my home in rural New Mexico".


You know what i did read it but it took a while before I could reply and it slipped my mind.

#13 starbob1

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:27 AM

With the AP mach 2 coming out' their will I bet be some great deals on used AP Mach 1's and other AP mounts.


Edited by starbob1, 14 April 2019 - 07:27 AM.


#14 gotak

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:37 AM

With the AP mach 2 coming out' their will I bet be some great deals on used AP Mach 1's and other AP mounts.


I think actually the opposite would be true. The 2 is a huge step in cost. It would just make the used 1 market that much more a seller's market.

#15 Skymind

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:08 AM

I searched, and it says "Real14" is banned.

Real14 replaced his two G11 with two CEM120EC2. He initiated a very active CEM120 user group in google. He is not far away from you in Mexico, not New Mexico though. 



#16 ClownFish

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 09:01 AM

Real14 replaced his two G11 with two CEM120EC2. He initiated a very active CEM120 user group in google. He is not far away from you in Mexico, not New Mexico though. 

If by "close", you mean the distance between St. Lois, Missouri  and Boston, Massachusetts.  Yes, then I guess he is close.  ;)



#17 BobT

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 09:01 AM

ClownFish,

 

Welcome to retirement, you'll be so busy you will wonder how you ever had time to "work".

 

I am quite satisfied with my CEM120-EC.  It is currently loaded with a 10" truss-tube RC and a heavy imaging equipment load.  I just purchased a Sky-Watcher Esprit 120 that I plan to piggyback on the RC this week.  I'm not the least bit concerned about the CEM120 handling the load.

 

I bought my iOptron mount in December of last year to replace a G11.  There were a few rough months while the firmware matured, but the latest release seems to be stable.  I have found iOptron customer service to be very available and responsive.  


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#18 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:32 AM

How about the G11T?  Titan RA axis and G11 Dec axis.



#19 ClownFish

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 05:13 AM

Thanks everyone!

 

Right now, I am leaning towards the CEM120EC2. I'll need to add $2K to the purchase, but I thunk this will be mount to handle anything I toss at it over the next 20 years.  

 

Is now the question is what so I want riding on it…. 

 

CF


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#20 gotak

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:50 AM

Good choice. You can put almost anything a single man can reasonably expect to lift on it so the choice of OTA must be hard :).
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#21 DuncanM

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 01:02 AM

I'm quite ha

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Right now, I am leaning towards the CEM120EC2. I'll need to add $2K to the purchase, but I thunk this will be mount to handle anything I toss at it over the next 20 years.  

 

Is now the question is what so I want riding on it…. 

 

CF

I'm quite happy with my CEM120. 

 

What part of NM will you be in?


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#22 ClownFish

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 03:52 AM

What part of NM will you be in?

I have 15 acres east of the Sandias, about 40 minutes from ABQ.  Lots of room to build, and no neighbor's lights to worry about.  


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#23 spokeshave

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 01:53 PM

Thanks everyone!

 

Right now, I am leaning towards the CEM120EC2. I'll need to add $2K to the purchase, but I thunk this will be mount to handle anything I toss at it over the next 20 years.  

 

Is now the question is what so I want riding on it…. 

 

CF

I think the CEM120XX platform is ideal for what you're wanting. I have a CEM120EC in my observatory and it swings a side-by-side arrangement of an EdgeHD 14 and a Tak FSQ106EDX4 plus dual imaging gear. In total, it is over 90 lbs. and the mount handles it all beautifully. You can also get closer to your budget target by considering the CEM120EC instead of the EC2. For me anyway, the DEC encoder brings little to the party unless you intend to do unguided imaging. In which case, you'll need some sort of multipoint modeling software. 

 

Tim



#24 ClownFish

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 01:59 PM

… You can also get closer to your budget target by considering the CEM120EC instead of the EC2. For me anyway, the DEC encoder brings little to the party unless you intend to do unguided imaging. In which case, you'll need some sort of multipoint modeling software. 

 

Tim

Thanks Tim, that's a question I had earlier (do I need DEC encoders). 

 

Anyone else care to him in on the benefits of the EC2 vs EC?

 

CF



#25 DuncanM

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 02:21 PM

AIUI, iOptron is working on adding multipoint modelling to their ASCOM interface. 




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