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GoTo Alt-Az mount for a good 120mm APO?

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13 replies to this topic

#1 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:35 AM

My TSA-120 got delivered last week (alas, don't ask me about the views, it promptly got cloudy in the evenings ever since). I've done mostly EAA and light imaging in the last few years, but now I'd like to go back to visual as well. 

 

I spent yesterday a good time reading past threads when similar setups were discussed but those were at least two years old. I'd be grateful for suggestions and experiences. Main constraints:

  • [must] Go-To (ideally, a modern version that would interface with SkySafari over WiFi)
  • [must] ability to point the scope to/near the zenith (I used to have a Celestron Evo which was limited over 60deg altitude). This can be either by the mount's design or with an extension pier.
  • [must] portable (this is more of a clarification, I'd be using it with a tripod or portable pier which I'll need as well)
  • [nice to have] ability to use Losmandy plates (I already put the TSA-120 on one with rings, it'd be nicer not to have to take it out, but this is not a absolute requirement).

Thank you.

 

 

 

 


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#2 Nippon

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:14 AM

I have a desire for the same specifications for a goto Alt/Az. Seems the selection is limited to the models from iOptron or the Skywatcher AZEQ5. I'll be tagging along here to see what others suggest. 


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#3 Hesiod

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:44 AM

TTS 160 Panther, even will not come cheap... Even if, at that price, the are very nice eq mounts just as portable (e.g. the Avalon's or the Hobym's Crux range). EDIT the Crux are even more portable and can do well w/o counterweights (the small 170 can handle well a 6": such setup was on display at Saint Barthelemy star party fitted for solar observation and was truly impressive.There is even a smaller one, a tiny cube you could keep in the hand but capable of 10kg loads)


Edited by Hesiod, 13 July 2020 - 08:49 AM.


#4 laedco58

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:47 AM

Skywatcher AZ-EQ6


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#5 Xeroid

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:50 AM

You may wish to consider the iOptron AZ Mount Pro as it can easily handle that scope.


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#6 M11Mike

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 09:44 AM

FWIW - I recently purchased a iOptron AZ Pro - nothing but problems.  "Go-To" was not accurate no matter what alignment procedure I used and then like the 4th time I used it the tracking motors failed.  The iOptron customer service was IMHO (and I have been buying astro gear for over 50 years) "POOR" at best.  I know others have had good results with this mount - but I did not - so was just passing that along.

 

M11Mike



#7 MrRoberts

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 10:03 AM

My AZM Pro handled my EON 115 with ease (with riser).

My has performed perfectly for 4 years now.

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#8 MrRoberts

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 10:05 AM

woops wrong pic.

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#9 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:27 PM

 

My TSA-120 got delivered last week (alas, don't ask me about the views, it promptly got cloudy in the evenings ever since). I've done mostly EAA and light imaging in the last few years, but now I'd like to go back to visual as well. 

 

I spent yesterday a good time reading past threads when similar setups were discussed but those were at least two years old. I'd be grateful for suggestions and experiences. Main constraints:

  • [must] Go-To (ideally, a modern version that would interface with SkySafari over WiFi)
  • [must] ability to point the scope to/near the zenith (I used to have a Celestron Evo which was limited over 60deg altitude). This can be either by the mount's design or with an extension pier.
  • [must] portable (this is more of a clarification, I'd be using it with a tripod or portable pier which I'll need as well)
  • [nice to have] ability to use Losmandy plates (I already put the TSA-120 on one with rings, it'd be nicer not to have to take it out, but this is not a absolute requirement).

Thank you.

 

I love my TTS Panther. So fast an easy to set up, it almost qualifies as Grab-n-Go.

 

It would easily handle your Takahashi. There is a rotator available if you want to keep going in imaging. Shown below with and without optional pier extension. The scope is a 130 f/7 refractor, so it would be just a bit shorter than your Tak.

 

IMG_2140.jpg
 
IMG_2614.jpg
 
IMG_2535.jpg

Edited by Jeff Morgan, 13 July 2020 - 02:34 PM.

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#10 John Huntley

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 04:16 PM

Rowan AZ100 with the Nexus (or similar) DSC ?

 

That's push to rather than GOTO though.



#11 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 05:47 PM

Thanks for the suggestions so far. 

 

The Panther looks very nicely designed hardware-wise, but I'm concerned that it still appears to be using an RS-232 interface. There's no good excuse for a manufacturer not to have upgraded to a USB connection by now. Fast forward 10 years, the risk is that by then there won't be any adapters between RS-232 and whatever version of USB we'll be at. 

 

AZ-EQ6 is a contender. 

 

I had never heard of Hobym before. The price of even the 170HD is prohibitive, though, practically 10K CAD, in the same range with the more proven AP 1100GTO.  I do have concerns about the long-term viability of the company. I translated their About Us page from Korean via Google Translate and https://translate.go...ym.net/about-us contains this worrying, if honest, statement: "Everyone seems to have a lot of doubts about the continuity and trust of the business, while amazing and cheering on the achievements of the last year and six months of the one-man business." (I don't know if the translation is correct as I don't understand Korean). 

 

I've read mixed opinions about iOptron so at least I'm glad MrRoberts' AZM Pro works. 

 

Clear skies,

Razvan



#12 EFT

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 03:41 PM

I would not worry about the RS232 connection since it is better for distances than USB and is more robust.  Most industrial equipment uses RS232 interfaces and as a result will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  Industrial use computers and equipment continue to have RS-232/422/485 connections unlike the average PC and serial to USB adapters are likely to be around for a long time as a result.



#13 laedco58

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 11:43 AM

TTS 160 Panther, even will not come cheap... Even if, at that price, the are very nice eq mounts just as portable (e.g. the Avalon's or the Hobym's Crux range). EDIT the Crux are even more portable and can do well w/o counterweights (the small 170 can handle well a 6": such setup was on display at Saint Barthelemy star party fitted for solar observation and was truly impressive.There is even a smaller one, a tiny cube you could keep in the hand but capable of 10kg loads)

There is one in the classifieds right now. $6500.00



#14 Chesterguy1

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 12:53 PM

The Panther is about 4 times the price on the AZMP or say, a Sky-Watcher Alt-Az GOTO, so that has to be a part of any calculation. I have an SW 120 ED mounted to my AZMP and have had no issues to speak of, but fully loaded it comes in at around 16.9 pounds with accessories, but not the EP. A TSA is a heavier OTA than the SW and depending on how much stuff is loaded on you might be around 20#, which is within the specified limit for the mount, but I prefer to be well under, particularly with a long scope. You need to ensure that the mount and scope are both really well balanced and the closer you get to the mount's capability the more critical that becomes. 

 

Chesterguy




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