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New Mount for Observatory - which one?

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#1 astronut17

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 08:29 AM

Hello,

 

I enjoy all of the discussions about mounts.  I am building a ROR observatory this summer in my yard and trying to decide what mount to put in it.  I currently have a modest setup (AVX/ 6" f/4 newt) which I have taken some great images with and will keep the AVX for my portable mount.  

 

The new mount will be 99% used for AP.  My plan is to eventually get a 10" RC (~35 lbs) and possibly add my DSLR as a piggyback for widefield.  So, While I would love to go USA and go with an MX, or AP, I am not sure my financial advisor grin.gif  would approve.  Therefore I am thinking of the iOptron CEM120 (no encoders). 

 

I have read a lot about the trials and tribulations of these mounts (especially the encoder versions,), but as someone so eloquently stated (paraphrasing) "...most of what is on these forums are only people that have issues".   I really like the cable management and I am not expecting to go unguided (especially with the 10" RC which I will be operating ay f/8 or with a reducer at ~ f/5-6).

 

I was considering the Myt but I am afraid I will be close to the mount's capacity at 50LBs.  Going any larger that the Myt with a "premium" mount (AP, 10M, SB) puts me at ~10K.  

 

Would love some feedback!

 

Carl



#2 Supernova74

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 08:36 AM

Well the sky watcher EQ8 would be a very worthwhile contender especially at that price point nothing else on the market comes close with over 100Ib payload capacity 


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#3 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 08:58 AM

I think the EQ8 or the CEM120 would be your best options based on your criteria (with the cost limits you are looking at). iOptron has their US office in Woburn if that matters to you. wink.gif

 

Every mount, no matter the cost, will have periodic maintenance requirements (regreasing, etc.) so I would get a feel for that sort of thing as well. I've seen posts that the regreasing of the CEM120 is a bit cumbersome but haven't seen much on the EQ8. I would ask those questions so you know what you are getting yourself into in terms of long term ownership efforts.


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#4 dhaval

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:16 AM

I would look at a used AP900 or a used AP1200. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those and it will fit your budget nicely and give you the capacity that you need. 

 

CS!


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#5 Stellar1

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:25 AM

The Eq8 might be the mount you’re looking for, recently watched a vid online where Dylan Odonell installed one, it’s a monster.

 

https://youtu.be/E8B1TzKo47w


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#6 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 09:42 AM

I would look at a used AP900 or a used AP1200. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those and it will fit your budget nicely and give you the capacity that you need. 

 

CS!

The 900 should definitely fall in his budget but the 1200 might be a bit high out of his budget...that being said, it would be an outstanding choice to stretch your budget a bit. waytogo.gif


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#7 dhaval

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:08 AM

The 900 should definitely fall in his budget but the 1200 might be a bit high out of his budget...that being said, it would be an outstanding choice to stretch your budget a bit. waytogo.gif

I bought my last AP1200 for $5500. Admittedly, it was an outlier (from a price standpoint), but the point is, keep looking. I typically see good AP1200 mounts listed for around $6500-$6800 fully equipped. Some are listed for as high as $8000, but they are on the other side of the outlier realm. 


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#8 EricCCD

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 10:49 AM

+1 to the used AP900/1200 suggestions.



#9 SonnyE

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:27 PM

I haven't seen it mentioned here, but you might consider a Losmandy Titan, or even a G11G.

 

Comparison Chart

 

Built in America.

 

I do DSO Nebula imaging with a GM811GHD. And I'm really happy with my results.

 

Alberio Post Processed Lagoon Nebula 13000 stack filtered W
Album: Long Exposure Images
10 images
0 comments

 
I leaped from an AVX, By The Way.
 
I can only dream of what I could do with a RC or other telescopes.
So I do the best I can with what I've got.
 
But food for thought.

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#10 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:35 PM

 

I haven't seen it mentioned here, but you might consider a Losmandy Titan, or even a G11G.

 

Comparison Chart

 

Built in America.

 

I do DSO Nebula imaging with a GM811GHD. And I'm really happy with my results.

 

 
 
I leaped from an AVX, By The Way.
 
I can only dream of what I could do with a RC or other telescopes.
So I do the best I can with what I've got.
 
But food for thought.

 

Good point! I always forget about Losmandy even though I had one years ago. The G11G or T should work for you. Good product and great support (at least that has been my experience).


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#11 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:38 PM

The one caveat about the Losmandy though is no through the mount anything...just something to keep in mind.


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#12 durak

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:16 PM

If you are planning on ever going larger than the 10" RC then definitely go with a mount with a higher capacity. However, if you don't foresee going larger than that scope, a MyT would be an excellent choice!

I was in a similar situation. I decided that a 10" RC or an edge 925 was the largest scope I would use in the foreseeable future so i opted for the 55 lb. capacity 10 micron.

#13 Sacred Heart

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 08:33 AM

Me, the choice is simple,   premium or Losmandy.   I'm not sure, about the MyT  handling a 50lb load.  You may want to call Bisque on that,  sign up, it is free, Bisque support and ask about real life examples.   I would think, but it is always best to verify, that the premium brands rate their mounts conservatively. I know Losmandy rates theirs on photographic weight.

 

Both are GREAT mounts, I have a paramount ME and a Losmandy G11T,   both have EXCELLENT customer support.  Both have answered my questions,  if not within hours of posting - the next day I had my answer.  All software related questions,  no mechanical issues with either mount  period.

 

                 Joe



#14 EFT

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:36 AM

If you are reasonably sure that you will only go up to around 35 lbs. then don't worry about any of the premium mounts not being able to handle that.  Premium mounts are rated for imaging capacity and at 35 lbs. you are well below that with any of the premium mounts.  You will be best served by one of those, even a used one.


Edited by EFT, 04 March 2021 - 09:39 PM.

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#15 SonnyE

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 11:31 AM

The one caveat about the Losmandy though is no through the mount anything...just something to keep in mind.

Not sold on the idea. Never really liked worrying and fretting wiring through moving equipment. Too many possibilities for problems to crop up.

But then, I'm a retired Industrial and Utility electrician, so wiring has never been a problem for me.

 

6 Setting Up RA On tripod W
 
I harness my wiring and bring 1-USB3 cable, and 2- Power supply cables off to my computer and power supply box.
Makes a nice hand coil that travels with the riser/extension.
Lots of ways to skin a cat. cool.gif
 
Chunks W
 
Telescope Imaging 1w

 

 

 

 

borg
Album: Mount Images
20 images
0 comments


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#16 astronut17

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:15 PM

 

Not sold on the idea. Never really liked worrying and fretting wiring through moving equipment. Too many possibilities for problems to crop up.

But then, I'm a retired Industrial and Utility electrician, so wiring has never been a problem for me.

 

 
 
I harness my wiring and bring 1-USB3 cable, and 2- Power supply cables off to my computer and power supply box.
Makes a nice hand coil that travels with the riser/extension.
Lots of ways to skin a cat. cool.gif
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Sonny,

 

I am an engineer and a do it yourselfer (even have done some home wiring shhhh).  I think I am sold on the Losmandy.  I really like the company and Scott's approach to building mounts.  One concern I have heard from others is that "What happens if Scott retires?".  But IMO that is a small thing to worry about.  I can get around the wiring issue, especially since it will be on a pier.

 

Clear Skies,
Carl


Edited by astronut17, 04 March 2021 - 12:16 PM.


#17 astronut17

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:17 PM

Me, the choice is simple,   premium or Losmandy.   I'm not sure, about the MyT  handling a 50lb load.  You may want to call Bisque on that,  sign up, it is free, Bisque support and ask about real life examples.   I would think, but it is always best to verify, that the premium brands rate their mounts conservatively. I know Losmandy rates theirs on photographic weight.

 

Both are GREAT mounts, I have a paramount ME and a Losmandy G11T,   both have EXCELLENT customer support.  Both have answered my questions,  if not within hours of posting - the next day I had my answer.  All software related questions,  no mechanical issues with either mount  period.

 

                 Joe

I think I am leaning toward a G11.  

 

Thanks!



#18 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:21 PM

Sonny,

 

I am an engineer and a do it yourselfer (even have done some home wiring shhhh).  I think I am sold on the Losmandy.  I really like the company and Scott's approach to building mounts.  One concern I have heard from others is that "What happens if Scott retires?".  But IMO that is a small thing to worry about.  I can get around the wiring issue, especially since it will be on a pier.

 

Clear Skies,
Carl

The G11 is a good choice (I would get the "T" version if I were you). I would have no concerns about Scott retiring...even if he closed up shop his mounts are pretty easy to work on with a very simple design (and that is not a knock in any way shape or form). 


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#19 DuncanM

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:27 PM

Hello,

 

I enjoy all of the discussions about mounts.  I am building a ROR observatory this summer in my yard and trying to decide what mount to put in it.  I currently have a modest setup (AVX/ 6" f/4 newt) which I have taken some great images with and will keep the AVX for my portable mount.  

 

The new mount will be 99% used for AP.  My plan is to eventually get a 10" RC (~35 lbs) and possibly add my DSLR as a piggyback for widefield.  So, While I would love to go USA and go with an MX, or AP, I am not sure my financial advisor grin.gif  would approve.  Therefore I am thinking of the iOptron CEM120 (no encoders). 

 

I have read a lot about the trials and tribulations of these mounts (especially the encoder versions,), but as someone so eloquently stated (paraphrasing) "...most of what is on these forums are only people that have issues".   I really like the cable management and I am not expecting to go unguided (especially with the 10" RC which I will be operating ay f/8 or with a reducer at ~ f/5-6).

 

I was considering the Myt but I am afraid I will be close to the mount's capacity at 50LBs.  Going any larger that the Myt with a "premium" mount (AP, 10M, SB) puts me at ~10K.  

 

Would love some feedback!

 

Carl

My non-EC CEM120 has been rock solid. I run it semi-remotely via Astroart 7 and Google's Chrome Remote Desktop. 


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#20 ToneLoc

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 04:44 PM

 

I think I am sold on the Losmandy.

FWIW, I ordered a G11G on Tuesday Jan. 19, 2021, and just received notification earlier today it is ready. They were pretty much right on the money with initial 6 weeks estimated delivery timeframe. 

 

I also asked about the TRA_AXIS, which upgrades the G11G with TITAN RA axis, that's approx. 3 months wait as of today.

 

Heading down there Friday to grab it, excited to get started.

Good luck with your project. 


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#21 Sacred Heart

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 01:34 AM

I think I am leaning toward a G11.  

 

Thanks!

I got the G11T.   I was going to put my C14 on it, that did not happen.   I had the C14 boxed and ready to be shipped for recoating, till I found out it was $400 to ship.  If I was 3" smaller on girth it would have been around $200.  I was going to put my 7" Mak on  my paramount, that did not happen.  I had been away from astronomy for about 15 years, the Paramount was sitting in my garage the whole time.  I decided to regrease the mount and change out the old usb cords running through the mount. The G11T got delivered about that time all of that was happening.  So the 7 is on the G11T and the 14 is on the paramount.  Right now going crazy learning the Sky X and Gemini 2 throw in clouds and rain, every two weeks you get a clear night all adds up to a steep learning curve.  My goal is to have the Sky X control everything.

 

Enough of me,  I think the G11, G or T will serve you well.  You being in a permanent setting, you should be able to dial in a polar alignment to within  + or -  5 arcseconds in both directions.  When you get this thing, it comes in like 5 boxes.  Took me close to two hours to put together,  not hard I was just going slow.

 

Once you have a pointing model, being in a observatory, you will be doing warm starts.  It remembers where you left off. You will appreciate  running it 10-15 years down the road.  With just regreasing.

 

   You are going to love it,   Joe


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#22 SimonIRE

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 02:28 AM

For a permanent set up I would certainly look hard for a used premium mount as suggested.



#23 EXT64

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:53 AM

G11 (G in my case) will certainly serve you well. I did a full disassembly and regrease at the 1 year outdoors point (it didn't need it, I just did it to get to know the mount) and it is wonderful how easily it comes apart and goes back together. Once you get though the initial gemini learning curve, you just stop thinking about it (a clear sign on an excellent mount!).
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#24 Gregory

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 10:18 AM

Hello Carl,

 

Now that the rush of "standard" recommendations is perhaps over smile.gif,

when faced with a similar partially financially-based decision, I

elected to try the Gemini Telescope Design E.Fric.  It's a mid-priced

German equatorial that uses a friction drive.  Here is a link to the

GTD site:

 

http://www.geminitel...man-equatorial/

 

and a link to the thread here on Cloudy Nights that seems to have gotten

the ball rolling:

 

https://www.cloudyni...c-new-mount-or/

 

There are several reviews and pictures in the above CN thread, as well as

a couple of other threads on the mount.

 

I have had quite a good operational experience with the mount now for

about six months, using it with an approximately 25kg (55lb) payload

at 1570mm focal length.  The mount is rated at 30kg (66lb) photographic.

 

However, if this is for a permanent installation that will be operated

remotely, there is nothing wrong with the above suggestions to look

for a (perhaps used) mount in the 10 Micron/Astro-Physics class of

"premium" mounts.  If it is not for remote operation, the E.fric is at

least fun to read about!  grin.gif

 

Gregory

 



#25 Guido

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Posted 14 March 2021 - 12:52 PM

Hi,
you are discussing an interesting topic. I've been using a Losmandy G-11 for six years. Two years ago I fitted it with a Gemini II and new engines. It can be controlled very well with The Sky. No problem with MaximDL either. I prefer MaximDL in connection with the control of my Moravian ccd and the autoguider. A motor focus will be added soon.
I'm still excited about Scott's mounts. But I also have experience with ASA-DDM 85 mounts (Astrosysteme Austria). This mount works in our observatory in Namibia https://www.tivoli-a...-drebach-south/.

These mounts are now extremely expensive and AP and Software Bisque can do what the ASA can do.

 

cs Guido




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