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4" f/9 refractor - What are my goto alt-az mount options?

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#1 lphilpot

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 05:49 PM

Just idly thinking here and it may well go no further, but I'm curious if I'm overlooking anything.

 

I have a Sky-Watcher Pro ED 100 currently paired with a Meade LXD75. I'm familiar with GEMs in that I've used them off and on over a thirty year span, but they're at best a pain for visual observing. Combine that, the -- IMO -- hassle of getting the LXD75 to deliver repeatably good goto (it can and has, but not every time), the 'chainsaw-meets-stump-grinder' motor noise and the end result is the scope stays in the case most of the time. Which is a shame... (e.g., it's not been out in over year)

 

From what I've seen, newer goto mounts are, not surprisingly, easier to align and deliver more consistent performance - Just generally much better. A goto alt-az might be nice. But for the 12 pound OTA, that means probably an iOptron AZ Pro, Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5 or more $.

 

Are there other viable options in that price range (or lower lol.gif)?

 

I know I'm dreaming, but given how relatively little I'm able to observe -- regardless of scope -- it's difficult to justify $1k+ for an upgrade, much less anything more expensive. Considering how little I could probably get for the LXD75, I might be better served keeping the tripod (which is decent enough) assuming a replacement mount could be made to work on it. Actually I wonder if the primary resale value of the LXD mount might be to existing owners looking for spare parts, anyway...?

 

Just wondering on a cloudy December afternoon...

 

Thanks.



#2 M11Mike

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:05 PM

If your bare-bones OTA weighs in at 12#'s - you're looking at 14-15#'s with a 2" diagonal, finder, and better WF EP's, rings, rail, etc.  

 

If you're looking for something good in Alt-Az "go-to" for a 15# loaded refractor --- I'm not aware of anything new for under $1,000 (with tripod, extension pier, etc.).

 

Orion Sky-Watcher-IV can do 13#'s (they say) --- but I don't believe that would work for you.  And it has a real flimsy tripod.  Not stable.  

 

M11Mike

 

PS: Len - get a GOOD mount - like a GOOD scope it's worth the $$$. 

 

iOptron Pro

Orion Atlas Alt/Az/EQ  



#3 lphilpot

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:15 PM

12 pounds is loaded, +/- half a pound depending on eyepiece.

 

The Meade tripod has 2" legs and has proven to be more than sufficient for this scope. I could keep it and sell the LXD mount (only), so I don't necessary need a new tripod. Plus, I'm no Scott Losmandy, but I can make an adapter if necessary. I bought the LXD mount and tripod from an estate sale for $250, so I'm not heavily into it. Plus I have a pier with it, as well.

 

Yeah, I don't want to cheap-out if I do anything... Just trying to get the lay of the land.

 

Thanks.


Edited by lphilpot, 07 December 2019 - 06:17 PM.


#4 Astro-Master

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:19 PM

I use a Celestron CG5 GoTo mount with my Stellarvue 105 Triplet it works great on this mount, and the 5 or 6 star alignment  puts the object in the field, but the motors are loud.

 

I'm thinking of upgrading to the Celestron  AVX mount it runs quiet, and is even sturdier, you might want to take a look at one for your scope.



#5 lphilpot

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:33 PM

I'd like an alt-az, not a GEM. If I kept a GEM, I'd rather have manual slo-mos and just RA tracking, not goto. For me, goto just adds insult to injury with a GEM. Too many neck angles and *everything* has to be done via the hand controller. At least with an alt-az goto, my neck is happier.  :) 

 

Actually, if it were available, a tracking-only alt-az mount would probably be OK, but I don't recall seeing one of those. The hunt is part of the fun for me, but with an alt-az mount, tracking means goto from what I've seen.



#6 MrRoberts

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:40 PM

I know your reluctant to spend the extra $. But if you change your mind please consider the Ioptron AZMPro. I had at one time even had an Orion 115 refractor and an ES 102/FCD100. The 115 needed the riser to clear the legs the 102 did not.

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#7 Illinois

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 07:09 AM

Mine is Orion and I like it! Use for about 8 years! Great for low up to medium power. Very little shaking at 200 power. I use it with my Orion 80ED F7.5  and 100ED F9. 



#8 vkhastro1

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 07:43 AM

I have a Starwave 102 f/11 ED OTA.

It is 8” longer in length than your Sky-Watcher 100mm f/9 OTA.

 

I use a Stellarvue M2C with an extension column on an Oberwerk heavy wooden tripod.

Great combination.

Your scope will work even better due the shorter length OTA (shorter momentum arm).



#9 lphilpot

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 08:02 AM

The M2C is totally manual, though, right? No goto nor tracking?

#10 lphilpot

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 08:51 PM

Well, if I had any notion to pursue this, it'll wait a bit. Looks like we're getting for Christmas.... a new electric water heater! Yay... oh well. So are the joys of home ownership, I guess. Water heater instead of mount. wink.gif  I guess I'll remind myself of that when I'm enjoying a warm shower! Thanks for the input, anyway.


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#11 tmaestro

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 10:09 AM

I'm in the same boat.  I'm saving for the iOptron AZ Mount Pro.  

 

I have an SLT mount on an improved tripod, and it would probably hold the scope, but the wiggles would be ridiculous.  I agree, it would be nice if there was a big brother to the SLT or something that could competently hold an ED100 but wouldn't cost $1000+



#12 PJ Anway

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 10:11 PM

I really like the Giro-Ercole, but it is also completely manual - No goto nor tracking.

 

Zeiss_TEC 2.jpg

 

 

Zeiss_Giro.jpg


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#13 Paul Hooper

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 05:47 PM

I really like the Giro-Ercole, but it is also completely manual - No goto nor tracking.

 

PJ, is that a Tele Pod eyepiece caddy on the side of your tripod?



#14 PJ Anway

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 08:56 PM

Yes, from the set of two, you can see one on the tripod and the other on the pier.

 

I made the pier and legs from scratch. Here is a pic just after I completed it, but before I added the eyepiece caddy.

 

 

Pier.jpg


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