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Astrophotography mount recommendation (1000$ budget)

astrophotography equipment
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#1 Anonymous Astronomer

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 02:00 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I need some recommendations for a DSO Astrophotography mount. The budget is around 900$ - 1000$.

 

Bresser Messier EXOS-2 EQ GoTo (max load capacity = 12kg)  and Skywatcher EQ5 pro SynScan GoTo (max load capacity = 10kg) has caught my attention.

The total weight of my equipment that I intend to use is around 10kg

 

My questions are:

1. Do you think that one of these mounts would be capable to track the target accurately?

2. If so, which of the two mentioned above do you recommend?  (of course, I accept any other recommendations)

3. If you consider that a more performant mount is needed, I'm opened to any suggestion, even if the price is higher then 1000$ (would probably have to wait 3-4 months to reach a higher budget grin.gif )

 

Cheers,

Vlad



#2 photoracer18

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 02:23 PM

If those are the max capacity of the mounts then your 10 kilos are going to be an issue. Even if that is the rated AP capacity (which is generally 1/2-2/3 of the total capacity you may have issues). For a 10 kilo load you want a mount with a total capacity of 15-20 kilos to prevent weight related vibrations and drive issues.


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#3 Devonshire

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 02:58 PM

Vlad,

 

Bresser catalogs two very different EXOS-2 mounts on their website.
There's a gear-driven handset mount, and the belt-driven PMC8 mount.
Very little difference in price.

 

The handset mount is generally unloved, and I think Explore scientific on this side of the pond, has discontinued it in favor of an all-PMC8 goto lineup. 

The belt driven PMC8 mount is a much better performer for both guided AP and visual. The support has been very good, and weight capacity should be ok.  

 

One thing, though...  Bresser's catalog page does not really emphasize that these mounts need to be managed by a tablet, laptop, or mount computer, depending on the intended use.  A visual user should probably use a tablet (for the gui), and an AP user would use either a laptop hands-on, or perhaps a raspberry Pi or other compute appliance if remote.  Lots of different options.

 

If you want to do due diligence on it, the PMC8 support group is over on Groups.io.  

 

Hope this helps...


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#4 Rasfahan

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 03:17 PM

I think 10kg might be taxing it on the eq-5. I am having good experience with the Heq-5 Pro with up to 8 kg (guiding my Esprit 100 at 0.8“ RMS). With 12 kg guiding degraded to 1.2“ RMS and was improved considerably by a belt mod (to 0.6“-0.8“ RMS). The setup is an RC 8, which is a short tube, though. It is rather sensitive to balance and wind even so and needs a very careful setup.

 

What scope and camera do you plan to use and on what targets? If you were thinking about starting with your 1200mm achromat, I would advice to reconsider: Either use a much beefier mount (EQ-6R, for example, but beware, the color error of the achromat will be pronounced photographically), or go with the small mount and a nice 60mm triplet refractor.



#5 Anonymous Astronomer

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 03:18 PM

 For a 10 kilo load you want a mount with a total capacity of 15-20 kilos to prevent weight related vibrations and drive issues.

I'll keep that in mind. Thank you!

 

Hope this helps...

Helps a lot. Thank you for sharing all that info.



#6 nfotis

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 03:57 PM

For ten kg of equipment, the HEQ5 is suggested as the minimum for astrophotography (if I remember correctly, you are pushing it at 12 kg).
The NEQ6 is quite better (belt drive, somewhere around 16 kg limit for imaging).

N.F.
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#7 SonnyE

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:30 PM

I have a good friend in Britain who uses an EQ-5, and gets some fantastic images. He did a belt mod to his.

I'm not at all familiar with the Bresser Messier EXOS-2 EQ GoTo. tongue2.gif

 

Like Photoracer18 sez, you want to under-load your mount, rather than fully load it for AP.

 

For example, I have a payload of 15.4 pounds (6.98 kilos) on my mount rated for a 50 pound (22.67 kilo) photographic instrument load.

But even with my AVX (I DO NOT recommend) I was only putting 13.2 pounds (5.98 kilos) on it's 30 pound (13.68 kilos) rating.

The AVX did actually work well after years of learning with it. But the electronics were it's downfall.

But you see my thinking about under-loading my mount.

 

I tend to think of it as a fly on an elephants back. wink.gif  lol.gif

I like to image Nebula in deep space.


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#8 nfotis

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:42 PM

If you want to do a belt drive mod, better to get the NEQ6 instead, the price is almost the same as getting a HEQ5 and the belt mod installed.

The rough estimate is for imaging to budget almost 2/3 of the visual load. Long scopes like Newtonian are harder to keep steady compared to a Mak or an SCT.

N.F.
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#9 Anonymous Astronomer

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:45 PM

I think 10kg might be taxing it on the eq-5. I am having good experience with the Heq-5 Pro with up to 8 kg (guiding my Esprit 100 at 0.8“ RMS). With 12 kg guiding degraded to 1.2“ RMS and was improved considerably by a belt mod (to 0.6“-0.8“ RMS). The setup is an RC 8, which is a short tube, though. It is rather sensitive to balance and wind even so and needs a very careful setup.

Thanks ! Good to know.

 

What scope and camera do you plan to use and on what targets? 

I was thinking at a 107mm Triplet ED-Apochromat or an 8" reflector. I have a Canon 450D and the targets would be nebulas.



#10 Anonymous Astronomer

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:50 PM

 

I tend to think of it as a fly on an elephants back. wink.gif  lol.gif

I get the idea lol.gif .

Thanks !



#11 Rasfahan

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:18 PM

Thanks ! Good to know.

 

I was thinking at a 107mm Triplet ED-Apochromat or an 8" reflector. I have a Canon 450D and the targets would be nebulas.

Both would put you at around 700-800mm focal length, I think? I would not recommend a standard eq-5 for this. The reflector will be wind sensitive, and the apo has a large lever. I think a Heq-5 is the minimum. I like my mount, but in hindsight should have picked a larger one from the beginning, would‘ve made things easier.


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#12 Astrophotonics

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 09:19 PM

I run an Hypertuned Belt modded Heq-5 pro and 18lbs is as much as i'll push it, your better off with the Eq-6, it will give you some head room. Sonny is right avoid the AVX, nothing but headaches, 2 of my friends got burnt with that mount. 


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#13 Anonymous Astronomer

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 12:30 AM

If you want to do a belt drive mod, better to get the NEQ6 instead

I think a Heq-5 is the minimum.

Well, I guess I'll go for the NEQ6.

 

Thank  you all for your time. I really appreciate.




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