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Advice on Mesu mounts; do they belong among the very best of mounts?

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#1 SimonIRE

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 04:16 AM

Dear All,

 

I am wary about starting another topic on a related thread but my search for the best possible mount option for my observatory has taken an interesting turn. 

 

(https://www.cloudyni...-please-advise/)

 

I have budgeted for a premium mount and was looking at the AP 1100, 10 Micron 2000 HPS and the Paramount MX+

 

My feedback has pointed me to the 10 Micron 2000 HPS based on quality and locality (easier to service as I am in the UK). 

 

Clearly the AP 1100 and Paramount MX+ tick the boxes on quality but being from the US, I will have more difficulties sending it back if there are problems. (I should add though that actually there is quite a lot of marginally negative to outright negative feedback on SB...this concerned me a lot)

 

Now I seem to have another option unexpectedly - the Mesu 200. 

 

On the face of it, I have found no negative feedback on these mounts and they are built locally. The capacity is overkill for me, but at several thousand pounds less than a 10 Micron, one can't help but be intrigued. The biggest draw for the 10 Micron over the others are the absolute encoders, but so many people have said the same thing to me: "auto-guiding really isn't a big deal and it solves many problems". 

 

So my question to the fair minded CN crowd is....have you experience with Mesu mounts and if so, could you provide me with some feedback please. 

 

Many thanks for reading,

 

Simon


Edited by SimonIRE, 19 July 2019 - 04:18 AM.


#2 Tapio

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 04:43 AM

I have only experience with 10Micron mount and I can only say good things about then mount.

Have read mostly good things also of Mesu mounts.

Sara Wager apparently have used one but didn't find review of it:
https://www.swagastr...-adventure.html

 

Just to add more confusion I suggest more choices:

https://www.swagastr...-adventure.html
https://www.365astro...g-capacity.html

Then there's also iOptron CEM60/120 (if can call them premium)



#3 hungerford

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 04:47 AM

The Mesu 200 in a nice mount. The only thing is that it is made from 4 different suppliers which would worry me if something goes adrift. (motors, electronics, mount)



#4 billdan

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 04:50 AM

The original Mesu 200 is not available anymore, Lucas Mesu has gone down the ASA type of design, where you need a bended knee pier or a wedge to use the latest version.

 

There is a discussion about the new design here:-

https://stargazerslo...ew-mesu200-mk2/

 

I have the original Mesu 200 and it is fantastic, unguided RMS ( average over 25 minutes) at the meridian and DEC 0 is 0.7 arcsec, and guided is 0.35 arcsec. As it uses friction feed technology there is no periodic error to worry about.

 

So look out for a second hand unit if you have a conventional pier or tripod.


Edited by billdan, 19 July 2019 - 04:53 AM.


#5 Jarno

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:20 AM



So look out for a second hand unit if you have a conventional pier or tripod.

There's a Mesu for sale on the Dutch site te-les-koop. It's equipped with StellarCat drive and Argo Navis but seller is not willing to ship due to weight.

 

Note: I have no affiliation with the seller, I just noticed the ad.

 

Jarno


Edited by Jarno, 19 July 2019 - 05:21 AM.


#6 gotak

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 07:18 AM

The Mesu is an awesome mount from all reports. The key is to have skills to tune the guiding. People have gone down to 0.2X RMS on RA repeatedly. 

 

I wouldn't worry about support from what it's been said, it's basically the same sort of personal attention from Mr. Mesu you'd expect at this price level. It is also pretty much two friction wheels with a sidereal tech drive system. If  you think about it as long as there are 3rd party drive systems this mount can live for a long long time. There's no grease, which is a big plus from a maintenance point of view. Yes I know some people have never had to regrease, and it's not a big deal in reality, but depending on the manufacturer it could either be a very smooth process or feel like you are taking apart a puzzle. 

 

As said again and again, there are people who claims to have never dropped a sub using a mesu. That is one heck of an achievement.



#7 SimonIRE

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 07:59 AM

Hi All, 

 

I see that the new design for MK II will have a bended knee pier design or possibly a custom wedge for your latitude. 

 

This will be my first observatory and therefore my first permanent pier. I have no intention of moving so thats not an issue. What I am wondering about (and forgive my ignorance) is if this is a bit of a departure from the norm and therefore, perhaps 'experimental' which may suit someone with huge experience but may be a step too far for a newcomer to permanent mount set ups.

 

I have no doubt that the engineering of a bended knee pier design is sound (I know there are others that also make this type of pier/mount), but it seems like it may add complications to the design of the observatory? Perhaps I am at an advantage in that I haven't installed my pier yet and so can design around the mount...?

 

Thoughts on this particular issue are most welcome. 

 

Best, 

 

Simon



#8 billdan

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:25 AM

Simon,

The electronics will be the same as the version I have, so nothing changes there.

Where it gets complicated is doing a polar alignment, as the new mount does not appear to have any Altitude or Azimuth adjusters. So it relies on the user getting the bended knee pier installed pointing exactly at the pole and the correct tilt to fine tune the latitude adjustment. ( Though I believe Lucas sets the latitude of the pier for you when you order the pier from him.)

The other disadvantage.  is if you move to a different latitude you need a new pier.

 

As its a new model, I would not rush in and buy one until at least a few are in field and you can learn from their experience.

 

There is usually a 6 to 8 week lead time from date of order, so they are not an off the shelf item like mass produced mounts.

If you are in a rush to get a mount, you may have to look elsewhere.

Cheers

Bill


Edited by billdan, 19 July 2019 - 09:30 AM.


#9 RaulTheRat

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:30 AM

If someone can comment how the polar alignment is now done I'd be interested - I don't think even in an observatory setting that having no other means of doing it than moving the mount on the pier with the mounting bolts is particularly ergonomic. I see that Lucas created some wedges which look very basic and again, I'm not sure how sensible that is as a way to adjust PA even if it only has to be done occasionally. We will see, based on earlier Mesu mounts one has to expect excellent engineering so perhaps I'm being too cautious but I am a little concerned about how alignment is supposed to work.

#10 billdan

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:46 AM

Yes, I agree with you Raul, making left/right and up/down adjustments at the base of the pier is not very ergonomic.

He should have offered both models. The new version for those who dislike doing meridian flips and the old model for conventional piers.



#11 SimonIRE

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:06 AM

This is the concern. Far be it for me to have doubts, given the respect Mesu mounts seem to have from an engineering perspective, but I can sort of see the frustrations as a new comer to a permanent set up, emerging. It would probably be a no brainer for me if I could get the Mk I model. But the new design...it creates a sort of unease (at least for me). 



#12 555aaa

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:16 AM

Simon, if you are looking for "the best of mounts" it seems like you are neglecting some options which are available now

 

Gemini friction drive

Planewave direct drive

ASA direct drive

Alcor Nova direct drive

Mathis conventional drive

 

The bent pier approach to me is good and all my designs are no meridian flip designs. ASA also uses a bent pier. Frankly  I would custom fabricate the pier locally based on the geometry of your observatory to make the obs easier to build, also you will not be paying transport for the pier. You won't be adjusting it more than annually.  Let me post a link to a pic of my mount  on a welded steel frame no-flip "pier"....

[ eta]

 https://www.cloudyni...74#entry9427224

 

The Mesu or the other mounts would fit on something like that. You don't build a conventional concrete pillar in your observatory, you build a square foundation about 1m x 1 m and build that up with hollow concrete masonry blocks (we call them CMUs or "cinder blocks" here in the states), you grout in the four corners, and put in a bolt plate at each corner. The bolt plate carries the adjuster which is a couple threaded bolts. Since these bolts are about a half meter from the center of the system, they don't need very fine motion to make a fine adjustment. Since you are not making a skinny little pillar in the ground, the base of support is much simpler to build and more resistant to toppling over than a pier. You don't see very many piers in professional observatories any more. 


Edited by 555aaa, 19 July 2019 - 11:24 AM.

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#13 solarGain

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:08 AM

I have used my owned from new Mesu 200 for two years now.

It is reliable, the driving software is basically bullet proof. I'm set up for solar only and I needed 

a mount that would see me out. This will achieve it.

I'm in central London if you care to see it/ get involved then let me know.

John


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