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Which one of these mounts?

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#1 Blueox4

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 05:42 AM

I need a mount for my APM 130 f/9 refractor. I’ve got a AVX but I feel it’s best used with my 4” refractor. I just don’t trust it with the longer, heavier refractor. With eyepiece, diagonal and mounting plate it tips the scale around 27-28lbs and nose heavy. I contemplated getting the TPI spreader and battery tray for the AVX and giving it a try with the big refractor but decided to get a bigger mount for it and at which point I’d probably sell my AVX and use the bigger mount for both my refractors. I really am only a visual observer but like the ability to do AP if I want to. The mounts I’m considering are:

 

1) Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro

2) Celestron CGEM II

 

3) Vixen SXP2* ( much more expensive than the above and at the extreme top of what I can afford). The Starbook 10 comes with this mount.

 

I try and purchase things that will last and I’m going into retirement and will not be buying another mount so I want to make the right choice. Ideally, I would like to save some money and go with the Sky Watcher or Celestron but not if I’m likely to have issues or failure down the road. Any advice here is appreciated! 
 

 

 



#2 Hesiod

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 06:15 AM

The SXP2 had a big boon in being noticeably lighter than the others, a not so trivial feature if have to m9ve it often.
By the way, have looked at Losmandy's models? US pricing is really interesting
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#3 John Huntley

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 07:28 AM

I've tried my TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 on an AVX, an HEQ5 and a Vixen GPDX and none of those were really up to the job. I would be surpised if an EQ6 could not tame the scope.

 

I'm staying with alt-az for my 130 now though. I have a chance to try it on a new heavy duty alt-az that will be hitting the market soon. That should be interesting.

 

My 130 F/9.2 weighs in at around 22lbs all up so it's a little lighter than yours but the same tube length of course, which is the real challenge.

 

The tripod is tested heavily by this type of scope so the choice of that matters as much as the mount head. I currently use a Berlebach Uni 28 but I strongly suspect that a Berlebach Planet is what is really required.


Edited by John Huntley, 08 October 2019 - 07:30 AM.

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#4 petert913

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 08:52 AM

 

TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 on an AVX

The thought of that just makes me nervous.  shocked.gif


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#5 John Huntley

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 12:04 PM

The thought of that just makes me nervous.  shocked.gif

Actually the AVX did a little better than the Vixen GP DX or the HEQ5 in terms of stability. Not good enough to make the most of the scopes ability though.



#6 EFT

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 01:18 PM

EQ6-R = better mount mechanically

CGEM II = better hand controller

Performance is about the same for both.


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#7 ScottW

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 05:22 PM

John,

 

What's the scoop on the heavy duty ALT/AZ mount you mentioned?

 

Scott



#8 YAOG

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 05:39 PM

I need a mount for my APM 130 f/9 refractor. I’ve got a AVX but I feel it’s best used with my 4” refractor. I just don’t trust it with the longer, heavier refractor. With eyepiece, diagonal and mounting plate it tips the scale around 27-28lbs and nose heavy. I contemplated getting the TPI spreader and battery tray for the AVX and giving it a try with the big refractor but decided to get a bigger mount for it and at which point I’d probably sell my AVX and use the bigger mount for both my refractors. I really am only a visual observer but like the ability to do AP if I want to. The mounts I’m considering are:

 

1) Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro

2) Celestron CGEM II

 

3) Vixen SXP2* ( much more expensive than the above and at the extreme top of what I can afford). The Starbook 10 comes with this mount.

 

I try and purchase things that will last and I’m going into retirement and will not be buying another mount so I want to make the right choice. Ideally, I would like to save some money and go with the Sky Watcher or Celestron but not if I’m likely to have issues or failure down the road. Any advice here is appreciated! 
 

Buleox4,

 

Consider buying a used Losmandy GM8 EQ mount. There are no clutches to lock and unlock, just smooth balanced movement from the Porter Slip-Clutch design when used in PUSH-TO mode. If you need a GOTO system with a Gemini you also have GOTO capability and if you add Astro Devices encoders you will have the best of both worlds with an older Gemini 1.

 

With minor upgrades (Berlebach Planet, ADM D/V saddle and M. Herman high friction clutch discs) it carries up to a TEC140 EDT and C11 for visual work very solidly. If using the standard Losmandy Light Weight Tripod the GM8 is still capable but the lightweight tripod occasionally needs a second to settle.   


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#9 John Huntley

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 10:41 AM

John,

 

What's the scoop on the heavy duty ALT/AZ mount you mentioned?

 

Scott

https://stargazerslo...0-alt-az-mount/



#10 Wildetelescope

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 11:51 AM

I need a mount for my APM 130 f/9 refractor. I’ve got a AVX but I feel it’s best used with my 4” refractor. I just don’t trust it with the longer, heavier refractor. With eyepiece, diagonal and mounting plate it tips the scale around 27-28lbs and nose heavy. I contemplated getting the TPI spreader and battery tray for the AVX and giving it a try with the big refractor but decided to get a bigger mount for it and at which point I’d probably sell my AVX and use the bigger mount for both my refractors. I really am only a visual observer but like the ability to do AP if I want to. The mounts I’m considering are:

 

1) Sky Watcher EQ6-R Pro

2) Celestron CGEM II

 

3) Vixen SXP2* ( much more expensive than the above and at the extreme top of what I can afford). The Starbook 10 comes with this mount.

 

I try and purchase things that will last and I’m going into retirement and will not be buying another mount so I want to make the right choice. Ideally, I would like to save some money and go with the Sky Watcher or Celestron but not if I’m likely to have issues or failure down the road. Any advice here is appreciated! 
 

BlueOx,

     How sensitive are you to vibration when focusing? That will really determine what works for you. I personally HATE vibration when I try to focus, so I am VERY conservative when considering what I put on a given mount. With that stipulation, this is my experience with my F8 127 mm AP Triplet and my Atlas EQ Pro(not the belt version).  I used this combination for ~8 years for visual, planet imaging, and short duration DSO imaging.   In my opinion, I believe the weak spot of the EQ6 is the tripod.  I used my mount on a pier.  Visually, I found the F8 AP and Atlas combination to be not perfect ( by my slightly extreme standards), but acceptable.  If I took care, the wiggle at the EP during focusing was minimal and damped out in under a second.   Planet imaging was fine and I could do unguided exposures of bright DSO's at up to 60 second duration while keeping ~80% of the images.  Personally , I think that is actually pretty dog gone good for a mount in that price range.

 

I eventually upgraded to a G11 GT that has the Titan RA.  It is, of course steady as a rock, on my pier, even with my 6 inch F9 AP.:-) Which is as it should be given the cost.  For me, the improvement in the stability for visual use alone, was worth the price tag.  But that is me. 

 

That said, I still use my Atlas EQ6 as my portable mount.  I have an adapter that allows me put it on a Losmandy HD tripod. With that configuration, I have even put my 6 inch F9 on it, finding it acceptable for planetary imaging and visual, although there is SIGNIFICANTLY more wiggle, with longer damping, (~1-2 seconds). 

 

I have never used the EQ6 R, but most of what I have read suggests it is an incremental improvement over the standard EQ6 pro, so likely you will find it works just fine with your 130 mm F9.  A steady hand, and a longer Dovetail plate, on a solid tripod/pier should make for very pleasant viewing.  I would also note that others have posted a number of fixes, etc. to significantly stiffen up the tripods that come with these mounts, so you do not have to necessarily go to the expense of a pier or adapter, etc... that I have to get improved performance. 

 

Anyway, that is my experience, with a set up similar to the one you are considering.  Hope you find it helpful.

 

Cheers!

 

JMD


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#11 Tofuu

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 01:21 PM

That looks very nice.  Any updates on when it will be available?



#12 John Huntley

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 06:12 PM

That looks very nice.  Any updates on when it will be available?

November I believe.



#13 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 04:28 AM

There is a reason why the Vixen is more expensive and if you are looking for a mount that will be a good long term proposition, you should seriously consider the Vixen.  I have a 32 year old Vixen Super Polaris GEM that came with a RA motor which I still use and it has never had a malfunction.


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#14 Blueox4

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 01:12 PM

I am going with the Vixen and SB10. I see too many issues with the other mounts. 



#15 YAOG

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 06:32 PM

I am going with the Vixen and SB10. I see too many issues with the other mounts. 

The Vixen SXP2 mount is nice but may not be what you think it is. What issues do you see with other mounts that you think this mount doesn't have? 



#16 Blueox4

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 07:05 PM

The Vixen SXP2 mount is nice but may not be what you think it is. What issues do you see with other mounts that you think this mount doesn't have? 

https://www.cloudyni...p/#entry9696258

 

https://www.cloudyni...d/#entry9458689

 

https://www.cloudyni...s/#entry9689978

 

Sample of issues just from the first page. I don’t see too many Vixen issues. Also, if I had to choose Japanese or Chinese manufacturing I think Japanese craftsmanship is worlds better than Chinese. 



#17 YAOG

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:18 PM

All mounts where ever they are made have issues. Have a read  and study the issues that the Sphinx Yahoo.group talk about.   



#18 EFT

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 01:26 AM

One reason that you see so many more posts about the other mounts is that there are far more of them out there.  One reason for that is because at $4,300, the Vixen mount is more expensive than most people want to spend.



#19 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 03:22 AM

One reason that you see so many more posts about the other mounts is that there are far more of them out there.  One reason for that is because at $4,300, the Vixen mount is more expensive than most people want to spend.

Indeed, a good mount is expensive imo. Allthough the HEQ5-E6 series are afordable and seems quite reliable. But they come with a 'weight tag'.



#20 YAOG

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 09:28 AM

The HEQ5 and larger EQ6 family mounts are very heavy for their rated payload capacity. These mounts like the majority of the mounts under $3,000USD are limited to 50%-60% rated payload for okay imaging performance. For visual use they are fine mounts though.




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