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Need recommendation for alt-az mount for an AT72ED scope

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42 replies to this topic

#1 drabina

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:41 PM

What would be a good mount (including tripod) for AT72ED scope? I am looking for a manual alt-az mount with slow motion controls (unless there is one without that's easy to use and controls nicely). As far as budget, I would like to stay at or below $300. Actually, cheaper is better since I just spend most of my budget money on the scope and eyepieces.



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:46 PM

Do NOT get something like this below.  You will not be able to move the scope without turning the ALT/AZ knobs.  I have one and its a big pain to use.  You want to get a 'Clutch' type ALT/AZ mount.

 

https://optcorp.com/...-mount-5863tall

 

Ideally you would want something like this.

 

https://www.stellarv...e-mount-system/


Edited by Jim Waters, 17 September 2019 - 07:52 PM.


#3 dwmedic

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 08:34 PM

An explore scientific twilight 1 might work for you.


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#4 CDyer77

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 06:55 AM

The ES Twilight mount or the Vixen Porta II mount will work for you. I use the Vixen mount with my A70LF and it works great. Very stable with slo mo controls


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#5 drabina

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:16 AM

The Stellarvue mount at $600 is double my budget so it is out.

 

Between the Twilight I and Porta II, which one would be better? I do like the price of the Twilight I mount better but if the Porta II is worth the extra $80 then I may go with that.

 

Any other mounts that I should consider?



#6 Greyhaven

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:14 AM

The Twilight is quite nice. I've used one as my mobile mount for over a year and have no issues with its quality. The mount and tripod have enough weight to dampen vibrations quickly. Great buy!

Grey



#7 Hesiod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:53 AM

Porta or MobilePorta are also nice options

#8 MalVeauX

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:15 AM

The TW1 is what I use for my short fast scopes. Handles them great. The slow motion is great, though,really not needed with such a wide FOV. The TW1 handles my 80mm F5, 80mm F7.5 and 120mm F5 like they're not even there.

 

Take a look at the GSO Skyview Deluxe as well if you want to maximize the mount in your budget range.

 

Very best,



#9 drabina

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:22 AM

Thanks again for the recommendation.

 

So if I were to get a mount without the slow motion controls, would the Twilight Nano work for the AT72ED scope? I have 1.25" diagonal and eyepieces so the whole setup is not as heavy as with the 2" accessories. Also, no AP for me. Just visual.



#10 MalVeauX

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:42 AM

My ST80 rides a Twilight Nano with a 2" focuser & 2" eyepiece (38mm 70 degre). Handles it great! I don't need slow motion on something with 6 to 4 degree FOV personally. That's up to you. But the Nano handles these small tubes very well. I would want slow motion if I were pushing magnification over 100x probably, but really I don't use short small tubes like this for medium or high magnification, I use them for wide FOV at low power. So that depends on you. If your goal is to do doubles, planets, etc, with a short tube, you will likely want slow motion control. If you just want low power sweeping, slow motion is too slow and frankly I just unlock the clutch and freely sweep, so I like the Nano for my sweeper scopes like this.

 

39678154972_e036e050cf_z.jpg

 

39000094144_4227c4c5c4_z.jpg

 

Even handles a Quark & eyepiece no problem.

 

25397810627_e4d4920316_z.jpg

 

Very best,


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#11 treadmarks

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:50 AM

I'm a fan of the Orion VersaGo II ($180). It handles my C8 well, which is much heavier than your AT72ED. It does not have slow-mo but it has tension knobs and an arm for leverage that makes up for that. It also has alt-az setting circles. It might also be the cheapest and most lightweight option aside from the Nano.


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#12 Cajundaddy

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:04 AM

I use a Twilight 1 mount with my AT72ED and also my C90.  It is very smooth and stable with little vibration and works well for me.  I often use this for tracking aircraft and rocket launches for video and it does this well.

 

Some have reported having trouble with stability and there are a lot of very specific bolts, nuts, and washers that must be in exactly the right spot to eliminate the wiggles.  It is not intuitive to assemble so when in doubt, read the setup instructions carefully.  Also it is not very compact when folded so it is less than great as a travel tripod.  The Nano would have been better for travel.



#13 sg6

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:15 AM

Why manual?

Nice to use away from home as in out in the middle of nowhere with no power but still why manual?

 

Only ask as I received my 72ED (Skywatcher thingy) about 4 weeks back and promptly put it on my Skywatcher Az GTi. With a 12v Lithium battery suitably fixed (bit of wood work) I have a goto Alt/Az mount that is small and simple. Assumes a phone/tablet.

 

Very compact package.

 

Now cost, mine was £260 which is likely to come to about $300 area. Depends on several bits however like general trade state and currency exchange. But have to say could be worth considering.

 

Setup is easy with the app (I use the rather basic Level and North), control is made easier with Skysafari, basically connect, and in Skysafari tap the new target then tap "goto".



#14 vtornado

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:20 AM

I have the TW1 on aluminum legs and the vixen porta on wooden legs.

Either of these will easily handle your 72ED, both have slow motion.

Mine handles an 80 f/5 easy.  I would also think they could handle a short 100mm.

 

The TW1 has an arm that can have its position changed, nice.

I think the porta is just a little more rigid, but I would have to swap legs with the TW1 to be sure.

 

Another user here who has many small alt-az mounts ranks the small alt-az mounts for stability as follows

These are for the THE HEAD ONLY. 

TW1 < PORTA < VERSAGO II. 

 

The legs come into play as well.   I assume the

tubular legs of the TW1 are better than the aluminum leg of the other two.

 

Unless portability is very important for you, I would get one of these, not go down to the nano.  You may

decide to bet a larger tube some time down the road.

 

For very cheap, and I think it will work, you could get a celestron heavy-duty alt-az mount.

This used to be called the AZ3 mount.  They have range  limited slow motion controls.

I found I never had to use the az control, the scope could be bumped. The Alt  axis is a little

funky with long scopes, but I would think it would work with a short 72mm tube. 

Before you choose this, read up on it.  I just sold one of these for $20.00 New with tripod they are

$85.00.  Because of the low-information celestron web site, I can't tell how your scope attaches to

the mount, there is a standard photo bolt. I'm not sure if there are other attachement options.


Edited by vtornado, 18 September 2019 - 10:41 AM.


#15 Binojunky

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:04 AM

Had a few types over the years, still think the Porta is the best of the bunch, you may not think you need them but slow motions are a blessing when higher magnifications are used, the Versago is cheaper but not as good in my opinion,D.


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#16 Hesiod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:16 AM

By the way, if do not like Porta's slow motion knobs may just ignore them.

The mount has tension screws on both axes, once you set the tension right for your payload can slew the telescope freely by hand, or use the knobs



#17 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:46 AM

I like the idea of the Skywatcher AZ-GTi as well

 

I have a GSO Skyview Deluxe which is the same as the old version of the Astro Tech Voyager 1 mount (Voyager 1 is not available any longer)

The GSO was close to $300 and its nice and really smooth, but the tripod is very lightweight

 

I think for under $300 i'd go with the Twilight ES mount as the cost is great and the tripod is better than the light aluminum one from Vixen

Jon



#18 drabina

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:57 AM

I had a telescope with a GoTo mount before and I didn't really like it. There were no manual controls besides the electronic controller. Also, this time I have the 72mm scope which is more suitable for wide field than the old Mak I had.



#19 IMB

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:11 PM

An explore scientific twilight 1 might work for you.

Avoid this mount - it's cumbersome and shaky. When I got my 72 mm three years ago, for a couple of weeks I attempted to operate it on this mount and found the mount shaking badly at medium power and completely usable at high power. A good photo tripod, while not perfect, will do better with the 72 mm than the Twilight I. I use a Manfrotto 055 as a travel tripod and an Oberwerk wooden tripod for observations around the house.

 

Out of mounts mentioned in this thread, any mount will do better than the Twilight I.


Edited by IMB, 18 September 2019 - 02:29 PM.


#20 vtornado

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:16 PM

Avoid this mount - it's cumbersome and shaky. --- IMB

 

I have had no problems with my TW1.  It holds a 6 inch f/5 reflector (although this is a little shaky, but that is to

be expected with a scope this size 750mm fl and 10 lbs).

 

My 80 f/5 is rock steady.

2 days ago I mounted a 120mm f/5 refractor, on it.  focusing at 150x, was a bit tricky, but doable.

If the focuser was better on the 120, I think that would be easier. (it has the sticky synta focuser).

After focusing, the slow motion controls were smooth, and I had no problem tracking Jupiter.

 

Maybe the above poster got a defective TW1.  It could be possible that all fasteners external and internal on the

mount head were not properly adjusted at the factory before shipping.  If so, it might behoove you to

buy new with a return policy.


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#21 MalVeauX

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:27 PM

Avoid this mount - it's cumbersome and shaky. When I got my 72 mm three years ago, for a couple of weeks I attempted to operate it on this mount and found the mount shaking badly at medium power and completely usable at high power. A good photo tripod, while not perfect, will do better with the 72 mm than the Twilight I. I use a Manfrotto 055 as a travel tripod and an Oberwerk wooden tripod for observations around the house.

 

Out of mounts mentioned in this thread, any mount will do better than the Twilight I.

Maybe your sample was poor or defective or was loose or something.

 

My Twilight I is steady at medium to high power with my ED80, ST80 and ST120 no problem (all of mine have upgraded good focusers, as all refractors should have...).

 

The 72mm F6 on a Twilight I is quite appropriate for it. It's happy with almost all 80mm APO's. The only small refractors that give it fits are the really long ones (F10+).

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 18 September 2019 - 03:30 PM.

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#22 Jond105

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 03:28 PM

Another vote from me on the Orion Versago ii. It holds my 120ED reasonably well with stainless steel legs. I’m sure the aluminum legs with a 72ED should be no problem. 



#23 IMB

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:59 PM

Maybe your sample was poor or defective or was loose or something. <...>

My example of TW 1 didn't have any manufacturing defects. It worked exactly as designed - poorly. When its arm was pointed straight up, my 72 mm scope couldn't reach the zenith. But when the arm was tilted 60 degrees (and it couldn't be tilted less), there was so much play in the arm that no amount of tightening could eliminate it. The design of the leg spreader causes extra hassle when folding the tripod legs, so it was very inconvenient to move the mount in and out of the door. The slow-motion cables tended to fall off all the time.

 

There are threads in the Mounts Forum where posters have described their mods to improve stability of the TW 1.



#24 JOEinCO

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 06:00 PM

My example of TW 1 didn't have any manufacturing defects. It worked exactly as designed - poorly. When its arm was pointed straight up, my 72 mm scope couldn't reach the zenith. But when the arm was tilted 60 degrees (and it couldn't be tilted less), there was so much play in the arm that no amount of tightening could eliminate it. The design of the leg spreader causes extra hassle when folding the tripod legs, so it was very inconvenient to move the mount in and out of the door. The slow-motion cables tended to fall off all the time.

 

There are threads in the Mounts Forum where posters have described their mods to improve stability of the TW 1.

I'm with Vtornado and Marty on this one, IMB. I love my Twilight I for what it is, and I've steered a few friends toward one and they have all been happy as well. It is my most-used mount for grab and go at home with an 80mm f/5 or f/6 refractor, or my C6.

 

If the leg spreader setup is giving you headaches, you quite possibly have assembled it wrong. The Twilight I mounts I've gotten for friends were all used. And 2/3rds of them had been put together bass ackwards.

 

So it isn't design. Bad example or operator error (I'm not pointing fingers, just pointing out the only possibilities wink.gif), but not bad design.



#25 MalVeauX

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 06:05 PM



My example of TW 1 didn't have any manufacturing defects. It worked exactly as designed - poorly. When its arm was pointed straight up, my 72 mm scope couldn't reach the zenith. But when the arm was tilted 60 degrees (and it couldn't be tilted less), there was so much play in the arm that no amount of tightening could eliminate it. The design of the leg spreader causes extra hassle when folding the tripod legs, so it was very inconvenient to move the mount in and out of the door. The slow-motion cables tended to fall off all the time.

 

There are threads in the Mounts Forum where posters have described their mods to improve stability of the TW 1.

That's too bad you had that experience.

 

Many others have had nothing but positive experiences with this.

 

Can't agree with anything you've stated. Mine happily folds down to move around. My slow motion controls haven't come off once, in years.

 

Obviously we cannot explain your experience. And your experience in no way trumps everyone else's positive experience either. So, at least there's information both ways to be considered. Like all things.

 

+++++++++++++++++++

+++++++++++++++++++

 

To the O.P., here's some examples put through the TW1:

 

The C6 on the TW1 has been great, stable, wonderful, despite it's long focal length, it's the physical short compact nature that made this work great.

 

31685350670_fbf4418855_c.jpg

 

The ED80 on the TW1 has also been great, easy to use at any power, handles great.

 

32520981540_556e65349c_c.jpg

 

And here, the ST80, the TW1 bosses it around like its nothing. A 72mm F6 is literally the same size and everything. No different from this perspective. Handles wonderfully!

 

32307342985_75b4902294_c.jpg

 

All of them focus great at medium & high power. Settles fast.

The slow motion hasn't fallen off. They scope doesn't wobble or wiggle like crazy.

The legs fold straight down. I can one-hand carry two of these no problem.

 

Just one of many  manual mounts that I have and use. Not the best. Certainly not bad. It's a great mount. No regrets on it.

It's fantastic at low & medium power even with my ST120 with upgraded focuser and 2" eyepieces.

 

telescopeST120Twilight1_08232019.jpg

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 18 September 2019 - 06:15 PM.

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