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Good (and available) Alt/Azimuth mount for 80mm refractor and other small scopes?

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#1 overland

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:00 PM

I know this question keeps coming up, but earlier answers often refer to products that are no longer available. What's a good alt/az mount--manual--for a small telescope today? What are the options?


Edited by overland, 24 January 2020 - 04:25 PM.


#2 vtornado

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:09 PM

Hello Overland and welcome to CN

 

I have a Orion ED 80. (bloated f7.5 80mm)

It runs acceptably on a Explore Scientific TW1 or a Vixen Porta II Mount.

Unfortunately … The Vixen is a slightly better mount head, but the TW1 has a better tripod.

 

Anectodally I have heard the Orion Versago mount head is better than both of the above,

but you lose slow motion controls, and it is on a lower strength tripod.

 

VT


Edited by vtornado, 24 January 2020 - 04:41 PM.


#3 Jim R

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:09 PM

Twilight I hard to beat.



#4 sg6

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:22 PM

Manual or Goto ?

If Goto then the Skywatcher Az GTi is a fair option.

Will take an 80 doublet, although I suggest no more. People here have tried a bigger scope and say it is OK but seems no point is getting greedy. If the mount fails then you have no mount.

 

I use a 72ED on it and a WO ZS61. No problems.

 

Suppose biggest problem would be reasonable power. Still haven't hooked up the Lithium and tried, and more relevantly tried at night in the cold. Keep taking the ETX 70 and that is supposed to be 9v so a 12v Lithium will generally always be OK. Always gives >9v, well until effectively dead.

 

Also need a tablet for the WiFi operation aspect.

 

With both the above restrictions I would suggest one is more usable for say 2 hours, may get more depending on the exact nature of the batteries involved, the batteries will drain and could introduce hiccups in operation. Will depend on the usage, lots of slewing around the sky would reduce time.



#5 msl615

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:25 PM

The Porta II head is very adaptable, and can be moved to heavier tripods, so if you could find just the head, that might work. Lots of aftermarket accessories (handles, bino mounts, etc) are made for this.  

I still use it for my 600mm and shorter refractors. It is stable enough for those. 

 

I had a Versago, and sold it because of no slo-mo controls. I had an adapter made for it that allowed me to place it on heavier tripods, too. 

 

Mike



#6 ShaulaB

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:36 PM

I like our Vixen Porta II a lot for our 80mm f6 refractor. Slo motion controls are very nice.

 

The tall tripod has a wonky center tray, but we have learned to live with that.



#7 petert913

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:37 PM

Love my Twilight One.


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#8 cookjaiii

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 04:57 PM

+1 for the Porta II head.  I have an adapter so I can use it on a photo tripod (any Manfrotto with a 26 pound capacity).  The center column height adjustment is awesome so the eyepiece is exactly at the right height while sitting.


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#9 cst4

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 06:07 PM

My vote is for the Stellarvue M1V mount on a good photo tripod if you want a manual alt-az.  No slow-mo controls but really not needed.

 

 

Manual or Goto ?

If Goto then the Skywatcher Az GTi is a fair option.

Will take an 80 doublet, although I suggest no more. People here have tried a bigger scope and say it is OK but seems no point is getting greedy. If the mount fails then you have no mount.

 

I use a 72ED on it and a WO ZS61. No problems.

 

Suppose biggest problem would be reasonable power. Still haven't hooked up the Lithium and tried, and more relevantly tried at night in the cold. Keep taking the ETX 70 and that is supposed to be 9v so a 12v Lithium will generally always be OK. Always gives >9v, well until effectively dead.

 

Also need a tablet for the WiFi operation aspect.

 

With both the above restrictions I would suggest one is more usable for say 2 hours, may get more depending on the exact nature of the batteries involved, the batteries will drain and could introduce hiccups in operation. Will depend on the usage, lots of slewing around the sky would reduce time.

 

If you want GoTo I definitely second the AZ-GTI recommendation.  I use one of these quite regularly now with my 102ED.  I have it on a Bogen 475 rated for 26lbs, but on that sturdy tripod it does very well with this scope.  Slews fine and just some shakes when focusing.  I got probably at least 20+ hours out of the last set of AA batteries I used but once those finally died I hooked it up to a Celestron lithium powertank and it worked great.  Once you go to a few stars around the sky and let it orient itself, tracking is quite accurate.  The pic below was a single sub of about 1 minute that I took the other night through this scope with my DSLR... as you can see it tracks quite well even with a heavier scope near the mount's stated capacity.

 

DSC07694.jpg

 

 


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#10 Haydon

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 10:49 PM

DiscMounts DM-4



#11 Hesiod

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 05:43 AM

Porta 2 is a nice option for sure.

Especially if are in EU may give a try to Tecnosky's eLLe mount ( http://shop.tecnosky...=TKelle&Score=1 ): I have the larger version eLLe2 and judge it a very good mount.

Skywatcher AZ4 (no slow-motion knobs, but built-in handle) or AZ5 (with slo-mo)

GSO sell their own interpretation of the Porta

TeleOptik miniGiro (there are also larger versions) or Berlebach Castor

Tele Vue's forks

 

Personally use a ball-head with double panoramic plates, as it is smaller and lighter than any other option at my disposal (here with the fl55, but can handle the FC100 as well)

gallery_215679_8115_285183.jpg


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#12 jmclaugh2001

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 09:44 AM

Hi, I use this.....

 

http://www.desertsky....com/DSV-M.html

 

John



#13 BDS316

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 10:00 AM

I was going to say Universal Astronomics but they're no longer in business.

 

I have a Stellarvue M1 alt az on their grab 'n go tripod which works well for my 80mm f/7. 



#14 divers

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 12:10 PM

30 year old Vixen Polaris.  About $150 of pure engineering bliss.  



#15 houndsbourgh

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 12:25 PM

Slow motion or push? I have a Mini Porta and Stellarvue M1. Both are very capable for a smaller refractor. Hard to go wrong either way. 

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#16 MalVeauX

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:02 PM

Heya,

 

Depends on budget and needs?

 

You can get an end-game Alt-Az that can dual mount for a good price in the SkyTee2 or the AZ8 or Twilight II, etc.

 

You can get less substantial mounts too, lighter, etc. The GSO SkyView Deluxe is quite good for its cost and abilities. The M2C is a nice light weight one for small scopes.

 

Very best,



#17 jessebear

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:38 PM

I've been pleased using the Twilight I with an Orion 80mm F6.25. I do wish the finish held up better though. Arrived chipped in many places and flakes off pretty easily.

#18 laedco58

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:15 PM

My SV80A is on a Vixen Porta II atop a Berlebach report. Slomo controls are nice, encoder kits are available if I decide to upgrade it to push to.



#19 Jond105

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:51 PM

I use an Orion Versago  ii with a 100ED. Again no slow motion controls, but easily can track with slight nudging. If it can hold the 100ED, I can only imagine how well an 80ED would rise on it. 

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#20 SonnyE

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:51 PM

When I was starting out, I used a tripod and a Geared head with my spotting scope.

It allowed me to visually track what I was observing. And how I first observed The Great Orion Nebula.

I originally got it for macro photography. But it is meant to be used with a photography tripod.

(Or in my case, a modified contractors tripod.)



#21 Don W

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 04:13 PM

I have two suggestions:

 

1. Celestron SLT (or SE)

 

IMG_0588 (2).JPG

 

2. Skywatcher Az GTi

 

70787205_2726799807332717_3767379268615536640_n.jpg



#22 lakeorion

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 09:46 AM

Desert Sky Astro.  There's some wait time but they have good craftsmanship and aren't expensive.



#23 k5apl

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 11:03 AM

I own the Desert Sky Astro DSV-1 and use it with my 92mm refractor.  It is very smooth so I can run high power with no difficulties.  A pier is available, and its easily detachable, so on some tripods I use it and on other tripods it is not necessary (Meade standard tripod and Manfrotto collapsible tripod for travel).  Several options are available but I chose the simple bare-bones version.  It is very similar to a GIRO Deluxe that I owned, and better than any Porta

Mount that I owned (IMO).  Bottom line is it works well and is not real expensive.

 

I have owned Ioptron Pro, DM6, GIRO, Unitron, PortaMount and now the DSV-1 for reference. I like Alt-Az. 




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