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New GEM Go To mount needed for existing scope

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#1 Marvin452

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 07:48 AM

I have an Orion Spaceprobe 130 ST telescope.

 Its a good scope for planets and wide angle views but the mount is very lightweight and prone to lots of vibration. I'd like to replace the mount with something more substantial and get Go To at the same time. The ability to do some causal astrophotography and upgrade the scope in the future are considerations, but not critical.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I'd like to keep the cost under $700.00

 

Thank you in advance!



#2 khursh

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:09 AM

A used AVX



#3 macdonjh

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:12 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, Marvin452. 

 

Perhaps look at one of the i-Optron Cubes, if you like the idea of an alt-az mount.  Though that won't support your future astrophotography endevours well.  i-Optron also makes small equatorial mounts which would be suitable for your 130.

 

The Orion SkyView Pro is available with a go-to module.  I owned one and it's light, compact and accurate.  It's more expensive than the Celestron AV-X, though.  The AV-X is very similar mechanically to the SVP.

 

If you want something a bit more robust, you can find Sirius/ HEQ-5 mounts used for less than $700.  Those are also used by many for astrophotography. 


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#4 Marvin452

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:19 AM

A used AVX

Thanks - I'll have to look for a used one though!



#5 Marvin452

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:24 AM

So far the Celestron AVX looks good although a bit out of my price range.

 

I'm also looking at the Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 ($500.00) but it has some mixed reviews. 

 

The SkyWatcher EQM-35 ($700.00) has better reviews...

 

The Orion Skyview Pro Go To has some poor reviews, most complain of the plastic gears



#6 macdonjh

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:30 AM

So far the Celestron AVX looks good although a bit out of my price range.

 

I'm also looking at the Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 ($500.00) but it has some mixed reviews. 

 

The SkyWatcher EQM-35 ($700.00) has better reviews...

 

The Orion Skyview Pro Go To has some poor reviews, most complain of the plastic gears

No plastic gears in the SVP I had.  Of course, that was several years ago.  As long as you keep your gear balanced well, plastic gears shouldn't be a problem, though.



#7 Marvin452

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:37 AM

No plastic gears in the SVP I had.  Of course, that was several years ago.  As long as you keep your gear balanced well, plastic gears shouldn't be a problem, though.

Thank you sir!



#8 MrRoberts

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 09:27 AM

A used CEM25P


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#9 Steve C.

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:16 PM

Thank you sir!

The gears aren't plastic, but the slow-motion knobs are. You can replace them with aluminum knobs from ADM.



#10 Hesiod

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:27 PM

Eq3
Eq35 (a sort of hybrid between the eq3 and eq5)
Eq5 (no plastic, Orion call it SkyView Pro. Overall a quite decent mount)
CG5 (ancestor of avx, discontinued but cheap. IMHO the Celestron software is better than Skywatcher/Orion, but basically is the same as eq5)
AVX (heir to cg5, heavier and a bit sturdier, but more pricey).
Ioptron mounts are more expensive, and good ones are quite recent so likely not many in the used market; the zeq25 is a bit agricultural but doable, at least if have good skill at fixing stuff or can really trust the seller

#11 airbleeder

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:29 PM

So far the Celestron AVX looks good although a bit out of my price range.

 

I'm also looking at the Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 ($500.00) but it has some mixed reviews. 

 

The SkyWatcher EQM-35 ($700.00) has better reviews...

 

The Orion Skyview Pro Go To has some poor reviews, most complain of the plastic gears

  Orion might have changed the gear, but I had one. The gears were brass. It handled the 8" f5 steel tubed reflector well. I sold the head and GOTO system, but I use the tripod on a ES Twilight I head for my refractors.



#12 macdonjh

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 01:37 PM

CG5 (ancestor of avx, discontinued but cheap. IMHO the Celestron software is better than Skywatcher/Orion, but basically is the same as eq5)
 

The only reason I'd recommend against the Celestron CG-5/ AS-GT is the age of the mounts.  Celestron eventually stops supporting the PC boards for their mounts and I'll bet they don't offer replacements for these two old mounts.  If anything ever went wrong you'd be stuck with a manual mount without manual controls.  Of course, you might be able to find replacement parts from other owners of dead Celestron mounts.  You'd have to be sure to get the right revision of the board you need, though.

 

Mechanically, they are pretty bullet proof.  Nothing fancy inside to go wrong.



#13 Marvin452

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:29 AM

Thank you for the responses, I'm getting quite an education.

 

Between the Skywatcher EQM 35, the Orion Skyview Pro and the Celestron VX mounts....

 

Which one has the better software? Better warranty/customer service?

 

I have Stellarium Pro and SkySafari 6 Pro on my Android phone, would they be able to control the mounts or is the handheld controller the way to go?



#14 khursh

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 08:42 AM

I know SkySafari works with the AVX, if you get the wifi dongle (SkyPortal).



#15 macdonjh

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 09:01 AM

One thing to keep in mind: Orion only provides warranty and customer support to the original purchaser.  If you buy used, and don't get the original receipt from the seller, you won't get any help from Orion.  

 

Orion's mounts are pretty simple, so there isn't much to go wrong.  I like to tinker and have fixed or improved the Orion mounts I have had or rebuilt for friends.  But perhaps you don't like to tinker... Besides, much of what you'd need for an Orion mount you can get from SkyWatcher.




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