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6K mount envy

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15 replies to this topic

#1 khursh

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 11:19 PM

I apologize in advance for my meandering way of communicating, but try to stay with me. I have a budget of 6K more or less. I presently have what is in my signature and will be acquiring a galaxy imaging rig (a C11?) next year-ish. At this dollar amount, obviously I can't afford encoders (even used), so that is moot. I need to be able to guide relatively easily at 35-50 lbs. I would like to not go over 50# for the mount. I am not particularly mobile, but I won't rule it out. I want premium.

 

Assumptions: I will use a guide scope and whatever software is necessary or will acquire an OAG if/when that becomes necessary

 

Here's the meandering part. Right now on classifieds (here and elsewhere) one can get a Paramount MyT with tripod OR a Paramount MX (not Mx+) or even an ME (also original flavor) for 6K! Crazy right? If I was going to go down the Paramount/Bisque route, I am leaning toward getting a new MyT due some of the 'issues' reported by some as WELL as getting TheSkyX whole enchilada without the obligatory $300 transfer fee. OTOH, getting an MX for a SUBSTANTIALLY reduced price is pretty tempting. I am kind of intrigued by ProTrack.

 

Are the older used Paramounts a crazy idea? Too risky? Is ProTrack all that and a bag of chips?

 

There aren't many choices now that the Mach1 is off the market. There is Avalon, but the capacity is limiting. Am I missing something?



#2 petert913

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 11:41 PM

Check out ASA mounts.  To further enhance/ confuse your selection. 



#3 SimonIRE

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:28 AM

Check out ASA mounts.  To further enhance/ confuse your selection. 

 

With a budget of 6k (assuming this is dollars)? No chance. These don't come up used very often as far as I know. 

 

At this price and keeping in mind the capacity you are looking for I would also consider the EQ8 (meh). Better still, you may be able to pick up a used AP 1100 if you could stretch your budget just a little. These come up reasonably frequently. 

 

The used MyT is the best option of those you have listed and can afford. 

 

I know it can be frustrating when someone suggests something that is off-piste, but looking at what you have said, I would consider taking whatever funds you have for the C11 and putting them towards the mount. First, secure the best mount you can afford - then work from there. You already have an Esprit 120 which, while not the ideal galaxy scope, is a very good scope.

 

Someone previously referred to the "mount merry-go-round". What happens (and has happened to me) is that you budget for the mount and scope together, you end up compromising on the mount and then find yourself wanting to upgrade it much sooner than you originally planned. You go around in circles trying to work out what to do. Before you know it, you've bought twice. If you can add the 2-3k for the C11 to your 6k budget, your options open up dramatically.


Edited by SimonIRE, 04 August 2020 - 12:46 AM.

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#4 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 01:07 AM

Are the older used Paramounts a crazy idea? Too risky?


They are nice mounts but they have more miles & hours on them. Just like buying any used piece of equipment. There are risks. I have no idea where you're located, but if you have issues then, for a fee and shipping, SB can rework the mount. On the other hand, assuming the seller is reputable, you've already had somebody test it out for you. The Paramounts are also fairly easy to work on yourself if necessary. There is a fee for SB to transfer the software license (along with the usual subscription fee) if you want updates & upgrades.

 

I actually bought my MyT used, but it was checked over at SB.

 

Is ProTrack all that and a bag of chips?


Protrack is neat technology but, in my opinion, its value depends on what you're doing. Want to go unguided and already have the rest of your system optimized? Shooting guided at long focal lengths? Then Protrack is the icing on the cake by adjusting tracking to compensate for alignment issues as identified by your Tpoint model. Don't care about unguided and/or have other issues with your gear? In that case, Protrack certainly doesn't hurt but it's not a big deal. In other words, Protrack is another nice thing about Paramounts but is probably not a deciding factor to buy one.


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#5 orlyandico

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 03:16 AM

AP900 or AP1200 can be had under $6K sometimes. If you get a 900 you will have money left over for a CP4.


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#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 07:21 AM

Mach1s with a CP4 controller come up on the used market for under $6K fairly often, but they usually go quickly. So you have to be quick on the draw.smile.gif


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#7 bobhen

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:21 AM

Don't wait for a mount to come up on the used market. Place a wanted ad for the mount you want. State that you are serious and ready to buy and that you have the cash at hand.

 

Bob


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#8 khursh

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:33 AM

The AP900GTO is kind of the sweet spot for me (at least in my mind). I do like the idea of the 900 with a CP4. I like that it comes apart. I could use it soon and maybe save for APCC Pro. I really like the idea of creating a model and improving tracking to a near error-less state. I would still guide because I dither and also because it is pretty simple and automated especially with sequencing software.



#9 khursh

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:47 AM

In regards to the ASA mounts, their website says contact for price. An old axiom states, "if you need to know the price, you can't afford it." In this case, I believe that is true.


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#10 yzhzhang

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:04 PM

Just curious, is your CEM60 not be able to do what you want (guide at 35-50lbs)?

 

With this budget you can get whole setup of MyT / Mach1 (which 50lb is at the limit), or maybe partial with MX (probably need to get pier/tripod, CW, etc. separately?). I feel CEM60/70 is a good candidate given your budget and needs.



#11 khursh

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:42 PM

My CEM60 is good. 

 

Maybe I read these fora too much, but my experience is that on nights of good seeing I have good guiding. On nights of bad seeing I have bad guiding. Makes sense right? Then I read about people who get a premium mount and suddenly their seeing isn't so bad. Is this hyperbole? Also, when SGP or NINA parks my mount, it doesn't always put the scope in the expected park position. It says PARK on the handset, but sometimes it's pointing somewhere else. Its weird. Meridian flip handled fine, images after the flip are fine, then PARK is weird. Maybe its user error. Also, maybe it's like my headline says, mount envy.



#12 jambi99

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 05:11 PM

Check this ad on astrobuy (canada). A guy is selling is ap900. The price(in Canadian $) is really good assuming the mount is in good condition:

 

 

https://www.astrobuy....php?view=53497


Edited by jambi99, 04 August 2020 - 05:12 PM.


#13 khursh

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 05:22 PM

Thanks Jambi - checking it out. How do you like your MX?



#14 jambi99

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 07:43 AM

Thanks Jambi - checking it out. How do you like your MX?


Haven't had the the chance to use it yet. I bought the mount last year but it was in storage until 3 weeks ago when I moved to my new place. Also, I must finish my observatory. Should be able to start imaging end of August.

#15 t-ara-fan

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 05:31 PM

My  I read about people who get a premium mount and suddenly their seeing isn't so bad. Is this hyperbole?.

With a premium mount you almost don't have to guide. 

 

I just tuned up my Mach1GTO that has an RA error of +/-1.3 arc-seconds peak-to-peak with PEC turned off and no guiding.  With a new PEC curve that I just put in it says +/-0.3 arc-seconds peak to peak RA error unguided.  At my imaging scale of 1"/pixel I can ignore that error. As a test I did shoot 300" and 360" subs at 1,000mm FL (0.96 arc-sec/pixel) unguided with nice round stars.

 

So if the guiding is very slow to react i.e.  5 second exposures and not very aggressive, then you won't get caught up in oscillations chasing bad seeing.

 

 
 



#16 mmalik

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Posted 06 August 2020 - 10:47 PM

Plan for 10K mount (envy) and hold back for encoded Mach 2 (...not available yet). Get a tracker in the meantime. Regards

 

 

post-205769-0-40755100-1571449362.jpg


Edited by mmalik, 07 August 2020 - 12:41 AM.



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