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Do Yourself a Favor - Start with a Quality Mount

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#26 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 02:51 PM

Visually one might live with a bit of 'jiggle' . If it dies out after say 2-5 sec  well perhaps ok..

 

For AP , no..., let it be as stable as it can get..

 

As Bob said ( God i love this) : there are 3 important things in AP : there is the  mount..the mount  and ..the mount

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Edited by F.Meiresonne, 27 August 2020 - 02:51 PM.

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#27 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 02:54 PM

Visually one might live with a bit of 'jiggle' . If it dies out after say 2-5 sec  well perhaps ok..

It really depends on the individual and circumstances. Even for visual, when using a manual Alt-Az mount at high magnification, 2-5 seconds to wait for things to settle down is the difference between the object being in the eyepiece or completely out of view. shocked.gif


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#28 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 02:58 PM

It really depends on the individual and circumstances. Even for visual, when using a manual Alt-Az mount at high magnification, 2-5 seconds to wait for things to settle down is the difference between the object being in the eyepiece or completely out of view. shocked.gif

True, but it is an indivual thing, if you can cope with it.grin.gif, depens also from your magnification...if after 5 sec your object is out of view, you are really HIGH....

 

For AP, as i said,unacceptable


Edited by F.Meiresonne, 27 August 2020 - 03:00 PM.

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#29 Michaeljhogan

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:02 PM

Visually one might live with a bit of 'jiggle' . If it dies out after say 2-5 sec well perhaps ok..

For AP , no..., let it be as stable as it can get..

As Bob said ( God i love this) : there are 3 important things in AP : there is the mount..the mount and ..the mount


Nice little kit
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#30 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:10 PM

Nice little kit

Thanks..

 

For now it all works...



#31 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:16 PM

True, but it is an indivual thing, if you can cope with it.grin.gif, depens also from your magnification...if after 5 sec your object is out of view, you are really HIGH....

 

For AP, as i said,unacceptable

Well, you almost have to be using some higher mag' for the Moon and planets. Drift time is pretty fast for planetary observing. If I had to wait 5 seconds for things to settle down I'd never see anything. 


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#32 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:26 PM

Well, you almost have to be using some higher mag' for the Moon and planets. Drift time is pretty fast for planetary observing. If I had to wait 5 seconds for things to settle down I'd never see anything. 

Tracking mount in this case.

 

I had a HEQ5 once, early model, really loaded with a 10 inch newt  F/5, no goto , no fancy things, but tracked...

 

Planetary viewing is frustrating, meaning, seeing is causing Always trouble ,and as it is, you don't wanne  view 'on the egde' or move the handles to keep it in the eyepiece producing jittering. The HEQ5 did a fine job on that...

 

Personally if planetary viewing is your goal, i would consider a mount with tracking...


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#33 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:39 PM

Tracking mount in this case.

 

I had a HEQ5 once, early model, really loaded with a 10 inch newt  F/5, no goto , no fancy things, but tracked...

 

Planetary viewing is frustrating, meaning, seeing is causing Always trouble ,and as it is, you don't wanne  view 'on the egde' or move the handles to keep it in the eyepiece producing jittering. The HEQ5 did a fine job on that...

 

Personally if planetary viewing is your goal, i would consider a mount with tracking...

Been there, done that. I have no desire to move back to any mount with electronics. And I am perfectly happy observing with a manual mount, even for the Moon and planets at high power. I have zero damping time. My hand is almost always on the scope...absolutely zero vibrations. Of course I have a smaller scope on an M2C mount that is rock solid. I prefer the simplicity. I frequently move my mount around my yard to get views between and around the many trees so I have no desire for anything requiring even a crude alignment. 

 

My most used EP is an 8-24mm Zoom and I frequently zoom in and out as the seeing permits. If I need higher mag, I just Barlow it. 

 

Not to sidetrack my own thread, but this really addresses my point about a quality mount/tripod. Were it not for the fact that I can keep my hands on my scope and manually track at high power without vibration only speaks to the ease and simplicity when one has a solid platform. 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 27 August 2020 - 03:43 PM.

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#34 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:44 PM

Well, then you are ok..

 

Electronics are Always an issue. The HEQ5 at the time was simple, no issues there.

 

Nowadays be ready for surprises..grin.gif

 

Trouble is, with AP there is no way around...


Edited by F.Meiresonne, 27 August 2020 - 03:45 PM.

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#35 Winks

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 03:58 PM

Could not agree more about mount importance and even more about tripods. I recently divested myself of some mounts I was not using but I kept the iOptron Tri-pier. Mated my Evolution mount to it and have a fantastically stable platform for my SCT and Mak.  After many years of experience (and how true the adage that good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions), I rank equipment priorities as Tripod, Mount, Eyepieces, Scopes - in that order. Excellent original post on this topic and follow up from the rest of you.


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#36 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 04:40 PM

Even though I don't own one or have even seen one in person, I think the iOptron Tri-pier looks to be a fantastic, solid design.

#37 Wildetelescope

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 05:25 PM

. The reviews were favorable. I dont know how any one could give that mount good ratings.I found it totally unacceptable as is. After having to weld a solid support bar into the ALT arm it is still just barely usable. I needed to find a mount that will be more compact than my AZ8.  j

 

 

This is a good example of matching scope and mount.  I have both of those mounts. I love my AZ8.  Got the Twighlight I for my son to use with his 60 mm Sears achromat.   I had pretty low expectations for the twighlight I mount and was pleasantly surprised.  The one that I got(through Astronomics) was a good sample. It works quite nicely with the little achromat,  MUCH better than the mount the scope came with back in the 70's.    I think it would work fine with scopes up to my 80 mm EDT.  I would NOT exceed 10 lbs with it, and I would try to stay WELL under half a meter in length with it.  In that context, I would have NO problem recommending it, as long as you purchase from a dealer that handles returns well(to deal with possible QC issues).   Explore scientific does not do itself any favors by advertising a load capacity of 15 lbs.  

 

The AZ8 of course is in a different universe.  It is my most used mount.  I love the portability and simplicity.   But personally I would not put a refractor over 4 inches in aperture on it.  Because of the longer moment arm, It has proven to be too jiggly for me with larger refractors to enjoy, because I am VERY picky.  I like my damping time at high mag to be under a second.  I can tolerate 2 seconds if I have no other options.  It handles my C8 no problem.  Thinking of experimenting with my C11, just to satisfy my curiosity, although to my mind that is way to close to the mount limit to be practical.  Again, this is based on my OWN observing habits and preferences.  The mount will certainly handle mechanically the stated 35lbs of load on a side.  It is built like a tank.   Folks who do not mind up to 5 seconds for damping will very likely have a different opinion and that is fine.  Understanding what my own expectations are is often the hardest part about deciding on what to purchase.  

 

Cheers!

 

JMD


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#38 Jethro7

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Posted 27 August 2020 - 06:06 PM

This is a good example of matching scope and mount.  I have both of those mounts. I love my AZ8.  Got the Twighlight I for my son to use with his 60 mm Sears achromat.   I had pretty low expectations for the twighlight I mount and was pleasantly surprised.  The one that I got(through Astronomics) was a good sample. It works quite nicely with the little achromat,  MUCH better than the mount the scope came with back in the 70's.    I think it would work fine with scopes up to my 80 mm EDT.  I would NOT exceed 10 lbs with it, and I would try to stay WELL under half a meter in length with it.  In that context, I would have NO problem recommending it, as long as you purchase from a dealer that handles returns well(to deal with possible QC issues).   Explore scientific does not do itself any favors by advertising a load capacity of 15 lbs.  

 

 

JMD

Hello JMD,

I'm glad you like this mount, it was reviews like yours that I bought it. I found it inadequate  for even a 80mm guide scope. I have not thrown it away in the garbage yet but I probably will take the slow motion knobs (the slomo knobs are the only thing worth keeping) off and set on the curb for the scrapers. I could not in any conscience recommend this mount to anyone. The Engineering on this mount is nuts they went out of their way on most every part except the parts that matter, that offer stability. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

 

P.S. I not upset by the twighlight 1 mount  I got what I paid for it was cheap.

How ever I did find a task it can handle. I use it as a place to park my C6, until I want to use it.


Edited by Jethro7, 28 August 2020 - 10:38 AM.


#39 beanerds

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 04:21 AM

Cant agree more on the tripod .

 

Here is my 110mm f6 APO in the for ground  on its Vixen SP all sitting on a Meade heavy duty tripod and in the background is my ED100 on Mizar mount sitting on a Celestron 2 inch ss tripod .

 

Both are very sturdy .

 

Beanerds.

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#40 hudsonman

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Posted 28 August 2020 - 11:20 PM

I’ve had the SkyViewPro (CG5) mentioned above for 12 years or so. For most purposes it’s just fine, very solid as a high-mag viewing platform and largely well made. However the cheap little 2 axis controller (TrueTrack) drives me nuts, it has one bizarre bug where the dec motor will suddenly start to move the same direction whichever way you try to send it. Unplugging it from the motor then back in usually fixes it, but this can be painful to do repeatedly in the dark.

I mention this less because I think anyone can fix it and more because this is a very “cheap” mount (though my wife didn’t think it cheap when I bought it). Yet the only major irritation is a glitch in the electronics, which seem to affect pricier products too. Do these irritating glitches really go away when one buys a Losmandy or an Astro Physics mount? What platforms are “good enough” to make people with mid-size scopes happy (and how movable are they)?
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#41 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 12:28 AM

I’ve had the SkyViewPro (CG5) mentioned above for 12 years or so. For most purposes it’s just fine, very solid as a high-mag viewing platform and largely well made. However the cheap little 2 axis controller (TrueTrack) drives me nuts, it has one bizarre bug where the dec motor will suddenly start to move the same direction whichever way you try to send it. Unplugging it from the motor then back in usually fixes it, but this can be painful to do repeatedly in the dark.

I mention this less because I think anyone can fix it and more because this is a very “cheap” mount (though my wife didn’t think it cheap when I bought it). Yet the only major irritation is a glitch in the electronics, which seem to affect pricier products too. Do these irritating glitches really go away when one buys a Losmandy or an Astro Physics mount? What platforms are “good enough” to make people with mid-size scopes happy (and how movable are they)?

I got rid of all the electronic glitches and hassles by switching to a manual Alt-Az mount. grin.gif


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#42 junomike

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 08:03 AM

I got rid of all the electronic glitches and hassles by switching to a manual Alt-Az mount. grin.gif

Nice for G 'n' G but not so much fo high mag Planetary/Lunar.

 

I think the title applies to any mount as quality and more so reliability are key.


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#43 Rickycardo

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 08:35 AM

I did the same. Many years ago I bought an LX90. I then poured tons of money into the system trying to do decent astro work. I finally broke down, bought a huge Atlas GEM and an 80mm refractor and never looked back. Just as a great rifle is useless to a bad shooter so are great optics useless on a poor mount.


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#44 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 01:15 PM

Nice for G 'n' G but not so much fo high mag Planetary/Lunar.

 

I think the title applies to any mount as quality and more so reliability are key.

Yeah, but the manual Alt-Az M2C isn't all that bad for high mag planetary viewing. Captured these with my phone camera through my 8-24mm Zoom last night. Obviously I'm not using this setup for photography as much as just visual, but it does offer pleasing high mag views that are pretty easy to work with manually.

 

 

6f106c_032e46baa0bc427aae48282b709e52a3~

 

6f106c_4b513f19ed6249c2a003e5823b07a705~


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 29 August 2020 - 01:34 PM.

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#45 Buckee13

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 07:07 PM

Thank you everyone for the valuable information in this thread.  Very thought provoking.  Mark's comments about the bundles that manufacturers put together got me thinking or rather rethinking.  I am interested in the Orion 150mm mak-cas starseeker 4.  With that long of a focal length, would I better off just buying the ota and shopping for a more robust alt/az goto mount?  Or is the Orion starseeker a solid match?  Visual observing is nice but I am having a blast with planetary imaging, even with my current poopoo setup.



#46 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 08:03 PM

Thank you everyone for the valuable information in this thread.  Very thought provoking.  Mark's comments about the bundles that manufacturers put together got me thinking or rather rethinking.  I am interested in the Orion 150mm mak-cas starseeker 4.  With that long of a focal length, would I better off just buying the ota and shopping for a more robust alt/az goto mount?  Or is the Orion starseeker a solid match?  Visual observing is nice but I am having a blast with planetary imaging, even with my current poopoo setup.

I'm not familiar with the mount/tripod, but I will say this...

 

The narrower the FOV and the higher the magnification (like with a Mak, observing details on planets), the more solid and stable the mount/tripod needs to be, because not only is the object in the eyepiece magnified so are the vibrations. And with a narrower field of view (without auto-tracking) by the time the vibrations dampen out (settle down) the object may have moved out of your FOV. An electronic mount with tracking can easily counteract that of course.

 

A wider FOV and less magnification is more forgiving of bad mounts (to some degree). People talk a lot about "damping time" and everyone has their own tolerance for it. I have zero tolerance and don't wish to accept any vibration, but that's my personal preference. Of course, I use a manual Alt-Az mount, frequently at high magnification, so I can't really afford to wait for the view to settle down. But, then again, I never did have much patience for that anyway. wink.gif


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 29 August 2020 - 08:05 PM.


#47 brian32672

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 04:05 AM

Only replying to the 2 to 5 second post.

 

Agree with most of what both of you are saying, and see both points. Agree that for AP, that is not acceptable.

But do agree (with caveat) for visual, not as much.

However for the visual guy, that does want to help (and I am no salesman) these little gimmick items do actually work, for slightly spindly tripod.

Those little hockey pucks, will cut it down from 2 to 5 seconds, down to 1 to 2 seconds. (this will depend more on what ground you are on).

I have a set I do not use, but they actually do help even with AP.

 

Just a heads up (and yes I would be instituting a buy more attitude, but they are cheap and do work). (again, depends on ground you are on)

 

EDIT:: you ask why I do not use. It is called laziness. Or even better procrastination.

You can google those 2 words, (if needed)

That's a Jk.


Edited by brian32672, 30 August 2020 - 04:07 AM.

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#48 hypergolic

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 04:22 PM

My first real, medium capacity mount was/is a GP-DX Vixen. Never a complaint. 21 years ago and still kicking. Handles and 8" F/4 well as well as a DSLR.

 

Fleep


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#49 Nuages

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 05:24 AM

I have done just that! Bought a nice mount from a fellow member on Wednesday. In time, I plan to get a scope to put on it.


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#50 SonnyE

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 04:34 PM

After having made the mistake of buying affordable, having fought it into respectable performance, and suffered the disappointment of bitter quality and short life...

Those factors weighed very heavily when a new mount became a necessity.

Where that took me is quite obvious that I learned my lesson well.

My imaging rig is like a fly on an elephants back now.

Stability and steadfast performance was my goal.

It has paid off in spades.

 

Losmandy 1w
 
And its allowed me to custom configure to fit me exactly right.
 
Chunks W

 

Tripod can remain set and polar aligned, The "chunks" with all the electrics come back in at night when I stop. (By orders of the CFO)

 




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