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New to Astronomy, curious about GoTo mounts.

beginner equipment Meade mount
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#1 BGF


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Posted 24 May 2020 - 06:42 AM

Hi all.


I'm very new to astronomy, having bought my first scope (70mm Meade Refractor) within the last month or so. I've read a little about GoTo mounts and I definitely think it's something that I'd be interested in, particularly when observing with friends when Covid isn't such an issue. I guess I have a lot of beginners questions about which mounts are generally considered high-quality and what to look out for when thinking about purchasing.


If I was to seriously think about purchasing a GoTo mount then would I be better off getting just the tripod & mount and using my current refractor? Or is it more sensible (& cost effective?) to purchase a new OTA too? 

#2 Ranjit


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Posted 24 May 2020 - 07:09 AM

If you already are satisfied with your refractor, then I would just recommend a mount and tripod. I would recommended a basic go to mount that can carry your refractor for visual use. If at any time in the future you intend to do Astrophotography, my recommendation would be for a go to mount which can carry at least twice the payload capacity that you would have in mind at that point just because you can upgrade the OTA and still the mount would be usable. I made a mistake early on purchasing a Celestron 4SE Nexstar for visual thinking naively that Iā€™ll use it for Astrophotography as well.. Lesson learned! šŸ˜„

#3 eyeoftexas


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Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:48 AM

I agree with Ranjit, there's no need to go for a bundled package.  You didn't mention a budget, so I'll just throw out a couple of suggestions for easy to use GoTo mounts: iOptron CEM25P or AZ Mount Pro.  The AZ Mount would allow you avoid polar alignment.  I have the CEM25P and it is very easy to use, and works like a charm.  Your refractor will ride easily on either.

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#4 macdonjh


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Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:52 AM



Welcome to Cloudy Nights.


You can use your Meade refractor with many different mounts, provided is has a dovetail bar.  There are two basic styles of dovetails, the Vixen:


and Losmandy:



The Vixen-style dovetail is sometimes attached directly to a telescope with screws.  However, you can also use tube rings to hold the telescope and attach either a Vixen or Losmandy dovetail:



Once you have rings and dovetails sorted out you can choose a mount.  There are lots of choices, so you should do some searching and reading about German equatorial mounts, alt-az mounts and single-arm fork mounts.  A manufacturer like I-Optron offers go-to mounts which are German equatorial as well as alt-az.  Celestron and Meade offer German equatorial and single arm fork mounts with go-to.  There are lots of other manufacturers as well.


Good luck.

#5 MrRoberts


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Posted 24 May 2020 - 10:30 AM

I only have Ioptron mounts and really like them but for your current ota maybe the SW AZ-GTi would be a good fit for not a lot of $.

Now if you are planning for a larger ota in the future then yes the other Ioptron mounts would be worthy contenders for vis or ap.

#6 chrysalis



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Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:13 PM

If you don't envision astrophotography in your future, you can consider a PUSH-TO Dobsonian on a Alt-Az mount. Simple, rugged, inexpensive, you are paying mostly for aperture. Example - 12" Orion Intelliscope XTi is currently ~ $1300 complete with the Computerized Object Locator.



#7 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 12:17 PM

If you're just starting out in astronomy, you may want to for-go the classic German Equatorial Mount style go-to mount, and get one of the alt-azimuth variety.

#8 Ranjit


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Posted 24 May 2020 - 09:04 PM

Check out the Sky-Watcher EQM35... Nifty little mount... Planning on buying one to take to dark sites and pair it with a small refractor or canon lens...

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