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What More Will I Need?

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#1 Cor Caroli

Cor Caroli


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Posted 15 June 2019 - 03:37 PM

I want to migrate to EAA from visual observing. I have a Celestron ED80, F/R 7.5; a 127mm Mak-Cass, F/R 12.1; a Canon 600D; AstroToaster and EOS Utliity; and an Atlas mount, which is far too big (at 76#, the Atlas doesn't lend itself well to the portability I want for traveling). Will what I have let me get my feet wet? I don't want to spend a lot until I better know what I'm doing.  Any suggestions on what would be a more suitable mount? Thanks!

#2 MrRoberts



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Posted 15 June 2019 - 05:52 PM

Well, how about the Ioptron CEM25P.

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#3 bdyer22


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Posted 15 June 2019 - 10:46 PM

Equatorial mounts aren't required but might be a preference for you.  Many use Alt/Az mounts for EAA.


If cheap is the goal, I'd look at the Nexstar SE (6 or 8 version) 12lb payload.

Orion Starseeker IV 13lb payload. 


or if that's too limiting the Evolution mount (25lbs). But that's pushing $1K

The refractor might not clear the mount near the zenith.


At that price, you could look at the Celestron AVX or iOptron AZ Pro.


With a LodeStarX2.  I used a Celestron SLT and an Orion Starseeker III with an Orion 127 mak (8-9lbs loads).  So you can start relatively cheap and it'll work.

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#4 Rickster


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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:06 AM

You definitely have enough to get your feet wet.  And I think you are being wise to experiment before spending more money. 

And you are in luck.  You will have many nice wide field targets to practice on during the upcoming summer and fall.


I am guessing that a light pollution filter will probably be first on your shopping list (Since you have mentioned traveling, and your sig says S.E. Wisconsin.)    Many folks here have experience with LP filters (but not me) and can help you pick the right one.


I would also recommend getting Sharpcap Pro to help with polar alignment.  In addition, you may find that you like it better than Astrotoaster/DeepSkyStacker for live processing your exposures (Or maybe not.  I still prefer AT/DSS to SC.)  AT/DSS has more image processing options and lets you manually cull out bad exposures on the fly.  On the other hand, SC has the histogram feature which helps in setting exposures and the dark point.  And SC is much faster (and less of a computer load).


Whether using AT or SC, I prefer setting the camera to small/fine jpg images.  I typically use ISO 3200 for 30sec.  This generally gives images that are decent straight out of the camera and therefore don't require much adjusting.  (But I am shooting from dark skies, so YMMV)  Use EOSU to take the exposures and drop them into a "monitor" folder.  Have AT/DSS or SC automatically pick up the exposures from the monitor folder and stack them.  If you need any help figuring it out, just ask.


As you get in to the winter, you will probably find remote shooting from a warm spot becomes appealing.  This is another reason to not jump the gun on any major purchases quite yet. 

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