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Aperture and mount dilemma

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#1 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:39 AM

I purchased an ED ES80 FCD100 Apo along with an explore scientific IEXOS-100.  I have been having major issues with the mount, my Astronomy experience has been a major struggle. I initial was looking at the ES127apo fcd100 it is still  my dream scope, but I also wanted to possibly dabble in Astrophotography. So far, I have done neither visual or astrophotography. I have been fiddling around with this mount and software for three months.

 

Without question I need a new mount I don’t believe my current mount has done my refractor any justice, and I am planning on keeping it for the time being. I would like a mount with a great hand controller, something lightweight but sturdy and easy to use, keep in mind I am a complete novice. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions, on a new mount.

Best Regards,

Ben



#2 Hesiod

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:01 AM

Which are the main issues you have faced so far?



#3 GoFish

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:22 AM

Mounts with which I have personal experience and can recommend:

  • Orion Atlas (rebranded SkyWatcher NEQ-6)
  • Orion Sirius (rebranded SkyWatcher HEQ-5)
  • Celestron Advanced VX, aka AVX

Each of the above is more than adequate for visual with your 80mm refractor. The Celestron hand control firmware is a little better, but the Atlas and Sirius are more capable for astrophotography.

 

The Atlas is heavy, but could be a lifetime mount. It easily handles my ED80, 8” Newtonians, and 8” SCT. I believe it would handle an 11” SCT or a 6” refractor, too. 

 

If I were buying a new mount today, I would also investigate similar offerings from iOptron. But I can’t speak from personal experience about iOptron mounts. 


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#4 petert913

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:24 AM

I recommend an Orion Sirius or similar Skywatcher EQ-5.  Light weight.  Friendly hand controller.  Good accuracy for GoTo.


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#5 bobzeq25

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:46 AM

Your problems with a $400 mount are not at all surprising.  It's just not intuitive how good a mount you need for imaging, and how expensive it is to make a mount that good.  So beginners commonly skimp too much on the mount, which is more important than the scope for imaging.

 

If you want to do DSO astrophotography, I think the bottom tier of mounts is the Sirius/HEQ5 (essentially the same), or the Ioptron 30PRO.  All are $1200.

 

The good news about mounts is that you generally get what you pay for.  The bad news about mounts is that you generally get what you pay for.  <smile>

 

Note that while the 3 mounts could handle your 80 fairly easily, the 127 will require much more mount for DSOs (the $1200 mounts could work for planetary/lunar).  Heavier, longer focal length, means much more demanding.  You might get away with the $1600 EQ6-R.  The $2200 CEM-60 (what I use, sometimes with a 130) would be better.

 

Visual observers have aperture envy.  Imagers have mount envy.

 

Whatever your decision, this book will be extremely helpful.  Imaging is often unintuitive, the cure is knowledge.  While this site is useful, it just can't build your essential knowledge base.

 

https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/0999470906


Edited by bobzeq25, 26 May 2019 - 11:59 AM.

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#6 bobhen

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:24 PM

First, as a novice, I would consider forgetting astro-photgraphy – for a while anyway. Concentrate on visual and what it takes to become a competent visual astronomer.

 

For a tracking and or GOTO mount, I would consider a Celestron AVX or other such mount that “at the minimum” is rated at around 25 to 30-pound capacity. Most of the mounts in this price range are good for casual imaging. But even these might be too complicated (depending of course) for a complete novice.

 

So do consider forgoing astro-imaging (for now anyway) and getting something “simple” and “easy to use and set up” like a good, manual, push-to, alt/az mount. You will have zero frustrations and be observing “in minutes”.

After you have a few years of observing under your belt, then consider imaging, which is a somewhat different animal. More than just very casual imaging really requires a very good (read costly) mount. However, with a simple alt/az mount, you will be guaranteed to at least be observing for the next three months!

 

Here are a few very nice alt/az mounts …

 

The Stellarvue M002CS Complete Mount System
The Desert Sky Astro DSV-2 or DSV-3
Losmandy AZ8
Discmounts DM4
AYO II mount

 

The above will all hold (with the right tripod) an ES 127 or similar refractor.

 

Bob


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#7 Chuckwagon

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:33 PM

I purchased an ED ES80 FCD100 Apo along with an explore scientific IEXOS-100.  I have been having major issues with the mount, my Astronomy experience has been a major struggle. I initial was looking at the ES127apo fcd100 it is still  my dream scope, but I also wanted to possibly dabble in Astrophotography. So far, I have done neither visual or astrophotography. I have been fiddling around with this mount and software for three months.

 

Without question I need a new mount I don’t believe my current mount has done my refractor any justice, and I am planning on keeping it for the time being. I would like a mount with a great hand controller, something lightweight but sturdy and easy to use, keep in mind I am a complete novice. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions, on a new mount.

Best Regards,

Ben

Find a local astronomy club (shouldn't be hard in Penn.) and go out with them.  Actual hands on experience will be worth far more than anything else at this point.  And you will be able to work with experienced folks, ask questions, and use various types of equipment.  This will keep you from blindly buying more equipment in the hopes you'll have better luck.  In fact, you may find that what you have will work fine once you get some experienced help.  Much better option than trying to muddle through on your own.


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#8 scadvice

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:35 PM

HEQ-5-Pro (about $1200)

NEQ-6 (Not made anymore I understand)

iOptron CEM25P (about $900)

EQ6-R-Pro (about $1500)*

iOptron CEM60 (about $2600)*

iOptronCEM40 (about $2400)

 

I own or owned the bold typed iOptron mounts. I know people who have the underlined ones. IMO- All are safe bets. The iOptron cem25p is the least expensive and has a  maximum pay load of 27lbs. When I had mine I had the 2" TriPod. That adds about 100 bucks. I now have a CEM60.

 

I'm sure there are some others but I don't know enough about them to suggest. 

 

One thing to keep in mind when reading about mounts and especially about people having trouble with them... first, most sold have no problems. So you don't hear about 90% of them. Of the 10% you do hear about, it is operator error...not understanding how to use...or just plain unreasonable expectations. Maybe 10% of those have real problems.

 

Most of us have personal preferences. Mine are iOptron and Astro Physics. I can't afford Astro Physics so I have iOptron mounts. I have this thing about Celestron products so I don't buy them. It is my own hang up and doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the mounts. 

 

One last note in reference to your comment about the ES127 in your possible future. Consider only the ones I listed with a (*)

As Bobzeq25 said the others can carry the weight it's just they would most likely not be acceptable for astro photography in the long run.

 

That's all I got!


Edited by scadvice, 26 May 2019 - 01:03 PM.

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#9 MalVeauX

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:51 PM

I purchased an ED ES80 FCD100 Apo along with an explore scientific IEXOS-100.  I have been having major issues with the mount, my Astronomy experience has been a major struggle. I initial was looking at the ES127apo fcd100 it is still  my dream scope, but I also wanted to possibly dabble in Astrophotography. So far, I have done neither visual or astrophotography. I have been fiddling around with this mount and software for three months.

 

Without question I need a new mount I don’t believe my current mount has done my refractor any justice, and I am planning on keeping it for the time being. I would like a mount with a great hand controller, something lightweight but sturdy and easy to use, keep in mind I am a complete novice. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions, on a new mount.

Best Regards,

Ben

For such a small refractor, I would get a decent manual alt-az mount so that you can use it, on a whim, without any kind of significant setup period, no electronics, no motors, nothing to power, etc. A Twilight I, Porta II, Skyview Deluxe, etc, all come to mind and would be great on an 80mm APO like this. It'll get you looking visually at things with no down time and is very easy to use as alt-az is intuitive.

 

Getting an Equatorial mount has a learning curve, it's not as intuitive, they're heavy, require setup, etc. That said, a good one will let you image if you want to do that eventually. You could also look into getting a mount that does both Alt-Az for more intuitive observing/visual experience, and EQ for imaging purposes.

 

Alt-Az & EQ style mounts that would be great for the long run with this:

 

https://www.telescop...nt/p/114829.uts

 

https://www.bhphotov...ft=BI:514&smp=Y

 

Manual Alt-Az that would be great for quick looks:

 

https://agenaastro.c...ltaz-mount.html

 

Very best,


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#10 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 01:19 PM

A mount not often mentioned but very easy to operate and has outstanding build quality are those made by Vixen of Japan,  I purchased a Vixen Super Polaris GEM new in 1988 while stationed in Japan and have used it with no   problems since then.  Almost all the mounts you see coming out of China for the past 20 years has been some kind of clone of the Vixen Polaris series,  The only problem is that while Vixen mounts were very reasonably priced in the 1980s, they are now somewhat costly,  But as Bob said, when it comes to mounts, you generally get what you paid for. 


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#11 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:44 PM

Which are the main issues you have faced so far?

The Main issues I have had are software related. SQL Database errors when using an android Tablet, tricky polar alignment procedure. It Is also hard not having a hand controller, holding a 9” tablet in one hand and trying to polar align is a major undertaking. I have also used an Ipad and computer each have their own quirks. There are times the telescope points to the ground or the opposite direction of the object. When I do finally get on an object it tracks ok, just getting there is the problem. Also, the App crashes a lot and kills the link to the telescope. I consider myself tech savvy, I am Linux Admin by trade. However, I  really don’t want to solve any problems or be a beta tester, I just want to view the night sky.


Edited by Ben_gimbel32, 26 May 2019 - 03:11 PM.


#12 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:49 PM

First, as a novice, I would consider forgetting astro-photgraphy – for a while anyway. Concentrate on visual and what it takes to become a competent visual astronomer.

 

For a tracking and or GOTO mount, I would consider a Celestron AVX or other such mount that “at the minimum” is rated at around 25 to 30-pound capacity. Most of the mounts in this price range are good for casual imaging. But even these might be too complicated (depending of course) for a complete novice.

 

So do consider forgoing astro-imaging (for now anyway) and getting something “simple” and “easy to use and set up” like a good, manual, push-to, alt/az mount. You will have zero frustrations and be observing “in minutes”.

After you have a few years of observing under your belt, then consider imaging, which is a somewhat different animal. More than just very casual imaging really requires a very good (read costly) mount. However, with a simple alt/az mount, you will be guaranteed to at least be observing for the next three months!

 

Here are a few very nice alt/az mounts …

 

The Stellarvue M002CS Complete Mount System
The Desert Sky Astro DSV-2 or DSV-3
Losmandy AZ8
Discmounts DM4
AYO II mount

 

The above will all hold (with the right tripod) an ES 127 or similar refractor.

 

Bob

Bob,

 

I agree, starting off in AP first was a big mistake,  I should have bought a Visual scope first, like the 127 or a 8"SCT.

 

Regards,

Ben



#13 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:56 PM

Mounts with which I have personal experience and can recommend:

  • Orion Atlas (rebranded SkyWatcher NEQ-6)
  • Orion Sirius (rebranded SkyWatcher HEQ-5)
  • Celestron Advanced VX, aka AVX

Each of the above is more than adequate for visual with your 80mm refractor. The Celestron hand control firmware is a little better, but the Atlas and Sirius are more capable for astrophotography.

 

The Atlas is heavy, but could be a lifetime mount. It easily handles my ED80, 8” Newtonians, and 8” SCT. I believe it would handle an 11” SCT or a 6” refractor, too. 

 

If I were buying a new mount today, I would also investigate similar offerings from iOptron. But I can’t speak from personal experience about iOptron mounts. 

The Orion Atlas was the mount I was initially going to pick, but went with the IEXOS-100 for weight, portability and cost.



#14 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 03:01 PM

HEQ-5-Pro (about $1200)

NEQ-6 (Not made anymore I understand)

iOptron CEM25P (about $900)

EQ6-R-Pro (about $1500)*

iOptron CEM60 (about $2600)*

iOptronCEM40 (about $2400)

 

I own or owned the bold typed iOptron mounts. I know people who have the underlined ones. IMO- All are safe bets. The iOptron cem25p is the least expensive and has a  maximum pay load of 27lbs. When I had mine I had the 2" TriPod. That adds about 100 bucks. I now have a CEM60.

 

I'm sure there are some others but I don't know enough about them to suggest. 

 

One thing to keep in mind when reading about mounts and especially about people having trouble with them... first, most sold have no problems. So you don't hear about 90% of them. Of the 10% you do hear about, it is operator error...not understanding how to use...or just plain unreasonable expectations. Maybe 10% of those have real problems.

 

Most of us have personal preferences. Mine are iOptron and Astro Physics. I can't afford Astro Physics so I have iOptron mounts. I have this thing about Celestron products so I don't buy them. It is my own hang up and doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the mounts. 

 

One last note in reference to your comment about the ES127 in your possible future. Consider only the ones I listed with a (*)

As Bobzeq25 said the others can carry the weight it's just they would most likely not be acceptable for astro photography in the long run.

 

That's all I got!

The IOptron CEM25P looks really good, and lightweight, I also heard that IOptron support is very good.



#15 Hesiod

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 03:31 PM

The Main issues I have had are software related. SQL Database errors when using an android Tablet, tricky polar alignment procedure. Its also hard not having a hand controller, holding a 9” tablet in one hand and trying polar align is a major undertaking. I have also used an Ipad and computer each have their own quirks. There are times the telescope points to the ground or the opposite direction of the object. When I do finally get on an object it tracks ok, just getting there is the problem. Also, the App crashes a lot and kills the link to the telescope. I consider myself tech savvy, I am Linux Admin by trade. However, I  really don’t want to solve any problems or be a beta tester, I just want to view the night sky.

As I suspected, the issues were not from the desing of the mount, but from the boatload of crap entry-level ones are filled with.

Starting with equatorial mounts is not a bad plan, and dipping the toe into astrophotography is not the nightmare some post could you believe is, especially if have already some skills with landscape photography or post-processing (remember that you do not have to start with the refractor, the camera's own lens grants a lot of possibilities).

 

For visual, an eq3-sized mount should be fine: if equipped with the dual-axis drive can track the target (very nice, especially at high power) and allow basic astrophotography (unguided shots with very short lenses and, with a bit of luck and skill, could even attempt to use your own refractor).

If really want it, there is also the "goto" version (with a proper, albeit a tad rudimentary, hand-controller).

If have the funds, the cem25 can be a better mid-term purchase, as the Vixen Advanced Polaris; I am wary about suggesting larger mounts until have seen them by your own eye, and made your mind about your ability to manage themsince the risk you may incur by overdoing is to use less and less often your telescope due to its size, bulk and inconvenience.


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#16 bobzeq25

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 04:12 PM

The IOptron CEM25P looks really good, and lightweight, I also heard that IOptron support is very good.

It could work well with the 80 for DSO astrophotography.  Similar to what I started with.

 

But, as I was saying, knowledge is crucial, and this is one important case.  Read the owners manual cover to cover before even unpacking it fully.  Pay particular attention to cautions and warnings.  With that light weight comes a certain fragility.  Here's the big mistake to avoid.  Do not carry it around fully assembled.  Put the tripod where you're going.  Add the bare mount head, in zero position.  Then the countershaft and counterweight.  Finally the scope.

 

Carrying any mount around assembled is a risk.  With a 25 series iOptron (note my user name <smile>), it's unacceptable.

 

I'm not trying to put you off the mount, many people use them happily.   The $1200 mounts have similar performance, are more robust.

 

iOptrons support via email is outstanding, people often get responses after hours.  They'll walk you through any issues you have, sometimes send additional documentation.

 

The techs pretty much don't answer the phone.  That has pluses, they're not taking calls if (very unlikely) they're working on your mount.


Edited by bobzeq25, 26 May 2019 - 04:15 PM.

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#17 scadvice

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 05:28 PM

As I posted before I had a CEM25P ( the 'P" is important). I also had about 16 lbs on the mount for AP. This picture is that mount setup and I also included one picture take with that setup.  BTW-I wish I still had that mount as it is an excellent travel mount.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Rosette2sm.jpg
  • 25p.jpg
  • integration_DBEA_A_4final_gpa1small.jpg

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#18 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:42 PM

As I posted before I had a CEM25P ( the 'P" is important). I also had about 16 lbs on the mount for AP. This picture is that mount setup and I also included one picture take with that setup.  BTW-I wish I still had that mount as it is an excellent travel mount.

The Picture are pretty Amazing!!! Very sharp looking mount, it would be perfect for my 80 Apo, lightweight is important. I live on the edge of a red zone, once I get serious about AP finding a dark site will be a must. Thank you for sharing  the pictures, they are  really helping me  make a decision 

 

regards,

Ben



#19 bobhen

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 07:12 AM

Come on.

 

Is your post a joke or what.

 

Bad advice. Let him become an astrophotographer.

 

Btw: I am not into astrophotography but would never anyone deter from getting into it.

Read his original post...

 

He is a COMPLETE NOVICE.

 

He has been STRUGGLING for THREE MONTHS!

 

He has done NEITHER imaging nor visual because he can’t work, use or figure-out his mount.

 

IMO the poster needs to master visual astronomy, the sky and his equipment before he tackles imaging or it will be another lesson in frustration. Ken Fulton, the author of the Light Hearted Astronomer AGREES. 35-years ago in his book the Light-Hearted Astronomer Ken wrote…

 

"With an alt/az mount you can’t pursue astrophotography…GOOD! You will have to be content with observing for a while. That is the KEY to your survival: observe, observe, observe."

 

That advice is still relevant today.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 27 May 2019 - 07:13 AM.

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#20 dhaval

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 08:20 AM

Read his original post...

 

He is a COMPLETE NOVICE.

 

He has been STRUGGLING for THREE MONTHS!

 

He has done NEITHER imaging nor visual because he can’t work, use or figure-out his mount.

 

IMO the poster needs to master visual astronomy, the sky and his equipment before he tackles imaging or it will be another lesson in frustration. Ken Fulton, the author of the Light Hearted Astronomer AGREES. 35-years ago in his book the Light-Hearted Astronomer Ken wrote…

 

"With an alt/az mount you can’t pursue astrophotography…GOOD! You will have to be content with observing for a while. That is the KEY to your survival: observe, observe, observe."

 

That advice is still relevant today.

 

Bob

That is garbage advice. Just because the OP has not been able to do anything for 3 months does not mean that he should start doing visual (unless the OP wants to pursue visual). There are many that want to jump straight in to doing AP. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing AP right out the gate. And, what was relevant 35 years ago is definitely not relevant today. Technology has improved a great deal to make AP a lot more simpler than it was even 10 years ago. I remember having to polar align using the drift alignment method, which on a good night, would still take about 30 minutes. Today, there is PoleMaster, 5 minutes and  you're done polar aligning. I have spoken to many folks that used film cameras back in the day and used to guide manually. Phew! Can't imagine what that would do to you. Today, there are auto-guiders, OAGs, etc. 

 

No, the advice to the OP should have been to find someone to mentor him. Someone that can be with him when he's imaging and hold his hand for a couple nights (maybe even remotely if need be). That way, the OP can learn a lot faster. More importantly, the OP (and any newbie) should enjoy the process of learning. If you tend to get frustrated easily and want to give up because you can't "point and shoot", then this is not the hobby for you. There is a steep learning curve here and this hobby is expensive as well (both from a time and money stand point). 

 

To the OP, stick with AP (unless you want to be visual as well). It seems that the biggest issue that you have is the mount. If you can somehow overcome that (talk to the manufacturers, be part of their forums if there are any or simply choose to buy another mount), I am sure you will most likely make progress. I also think that using an Android tablet to run the mount may be a mistake. Most manufacturers in this hobby work with Windows OS, so using a Windows machine may be the right thing to do here. Lastly, polar alignment is a lot simpler with either a PoleMaster or SharpCap. Either solution requires some investment (no one said this is a cheap hobby) and depending on your existing set up, you may find SharpCap a lot cheaper solution. 

 

CS! 


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#21 bobhen

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 09:32 AM

That is garbage advice. Just because the OP has not been able to do anything for 3 months does not mean that he should start doing visual (unless the OP wants to pursue visual). There are many that want to jump straight in to doing AP. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing AP right out the gate. And, what was relevant 35 years ago is definitely not relevant today. Technology has improved a great deal to make AP a lot more simpler than it was even 10 years ago. I remember having to polar align using the drift alignment method, which on a good night, would still take about 30 minutes. Today, there is PoleMaster, 5 minutes and  you're done polar aligning. I have spoken to many folks that used film cameras back in the day and used to guide manually. Phew! Can't imagine what that would do to you. Today, there are auto-guiders, OAGs, etc. 

 

No, the advice to the OP should have been to find someone to mentor him. Someone that can be with him when he's imaging and hold his hand for a couple nights (maybe even remotely if need be). That way, the OP can learn a lot faster. More importantly, the OP (and any newbie) should enjoy the process of learning. If you tend to get frustrated easily and want to give up because you can't "point and shoot", then this is not the hobby for you. There is a steep learning curve here and this hobby is expensive as well (both from a time and money stand point). 

 

To the OP, stick with AP (unless you want to be visual as well). It seems that the biggest issue that you have is the mount. If you can somehow overcome that (talk to the manufacturers, be part of their forums if there are any or simply choose to buy another mount), I am sure you will most likely make progress. I also think that using an Android tablet to run the mount may be a mistake. Most manufacturers in this hobby work with Windows OS, so using a Windows machine may be the right thing to do here. Lastly, polar alignment is a lot simpler with either a PoleMaster or SharpCap. Either solution requires some investment (no one said this is a cheap hobby) and depending on your existing set up, you may find SharpCap a lot cheaper solution. 

 

CS! 

You might want to read the original poster’s reply to my original post. Here it is…

 

"Bob,

I agree, starting off in AP first was a BIG MISTAKE, I should have bought a Visual scope first…

Regards,
Ben"

 

The mount is not the issue it’s the poster’s knowledge base. If he can’t get the mount to work, doesn’t know the sky and doesn’t have an understanding of the complexities involved with imaging, what would adding the additional complexities of imaging bring except more frustrations. He is frustrated NOW! He is asking for a cure to his frustrations. Removing those frustrations is the cure, NOT adding more.

 

The universe isn’t going anywhere. A few years mastering equipment, learning the sky, spending time behind an eyepiece and doing some "book learning" will make imaging that much easier.

 

Learn to walk before you run.

 

Bob



#22 dhaval

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 09:40 AM

You might want to read the original poster’s reply to my original post. Here it is…

 

"Bob,

I agree, starting off in AP first was a BIG MISTAKE, I should have bought a Visual scope first…

Regards,
Ben"

 

The mount is not the issue it’s the poster’s knowledge base. If he can’t get the mount to work, doesn’t know the sky and doesn’t have an understanding of the complexities involved with imaging, what would adding the additional complexities of imaging bring except more frustrations. He is frustrated NOW! He is asking for a cure to his frustrations. Removing those frustrations is the cure, NOT adding more.

 

The universe isn’t going anywhere. A few years mastering equipment, learning the sky, spending time behind an eyepiece and doing some "book learning" will make imaging that much easier.

 

Learn to walk before you run.

 

Bob

Tell me how learning the sky is going to help? There is plate solving for that. Tell me how learning Alt/Az equipment is going to help when he is going to have to use a GEM for imaging? Yes, the OP did say that he should have done visual, but is that statement borne out of not knowing any better? Like you point out, the OP's challenges are because of his knowledge base. The only way to improve that knowledge base is to learn on the equipment (or similar equipment) that he's going to eventually use for AP. Nothing else helps.

 

And while the universe is not going anywhere, we all are. 

 

(BTW, this is not to say that the OP should not learn the sky, but the point is, it is no longer a requirement for AP).

 

CS! 


Edited by dhaval, 27 May 2019 - 09:44 AM.

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#23 AhBok

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 06:14 PM

Things have changed a lot in 35 years. I would have given similar advice in 1984. I’ve been enjoying visual astronomy continuously since 1960. I’ve been pursuing imaging seriously for about 3.5 years. I have lots of friends who only image and many do not own an eyepiece beyond what was packaged with their scope. Imaging is so software intensive today that many visual observers are simply not equipped or interested in dealing with its complexity. OTOH, visual observing skills such as starhopping, choosing eyepieces/magnification, etc., are simply irrelevant for imaging, given the technology available. I think at least 90% of the challenges facing the imager have little to nothing to do with visual observing. This wasn’t true in the film days, when one had to do drift alignment and star hopping to frame objects that were often invisible visually.

Software based polar alignment and platesolving are examples of technologies that render many visual skills unimportant to the imager. (Though I am glad I developed observing skills since I like to enjoy visual observing old-school!).
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#24 Ben_gimbel32

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 03:58 PM

I want to thank everyone for their advice and expertise, I very much appreciated the guidance. I plan on keeping my 80 Apo and pursue Astrophotography. I am looking strongly at the IOptron cem25p and  Celestron AVX mainly because of the hand controller & software, however I have not ruled out Orion Sirius. I do like the  IOptron CEM25P the best, just worried about some of the reviews I have read.  


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#25 bobzeq25

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 04:49 PM

I want to thank everyone for their advice and expertise, I very much appreciated the guidance. I plan on keeping my 80 Apo and pursue Astrophotography. I am looking strongly at the IOptron cem25p and  Celestron AVX mainly because of the hand controller & software, however I have not ruled out Orion Sirius. I do like the  IOptron CEM25P the best, just worried about some of the reviews I have read.  

There are always people who have difficulties with any piece of equipment.  Often it's operator error.  I've pointed out that the very lightweight CEM25P needs to be operated carefully.  However, with any equipment, some people just won't read the fine manual.

 

The AVX has a fundamental design issue.  The DEC axis pivots, not on a ball or roller bearing, but on a simple bushing.  Depending on how lucky you got when they pulled yours off the shelf, that can be no problem, or a big and intractable one.

 

The Sirius is a solid. classically designed mount.  Good bearings, robust construction.  If your goal is (mine would be) to avoid issues, that (or the very similar HEQ5 or the iOptron 30PRO) is your mount.


Edited by bobzeq25, 28 May 2019 - 04:50 PM.



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