Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Vixen Portamount ll or something else

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Drew56

Drew56

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Hartford, Connecticut

Posted 24 July 2021 - 06:34 AM

I just received my Portamount. I purchased as a grab n go with a weight limit to ok to use my Megrez 90.
From my question you can tell I’m pretty new at this. Without setting circles, how do I locate objects? I am considering installing encoders and Nexus or maybe exchanging for a different mount such as AZ-GTI.
If I do keep the Portamount, how can I use it without installing encoders? I have searched for setting circles templates for the mount but no luck.
  • teashea likes this

#2 Robindonne

Robindonne

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 179
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020

Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:51 AM

these mounts let you move freely without too many pre-settings. Unfold the tripod, position the telescope approximately in the right direction and then adjust it constantly with the 2 knobs. each mount can in principle be equipped with encoders. The question is whether you really want to do that. Suitable alt-az mounts are available that are more focused on the ability to search and track. Just google "goto alt-az mount" or “tracking alt-az mount”. your mount is for convenience without electronics. within 30 seconds it is usable, where a goto mount is certainly a few minutes and many actions more work.

Edit: i forgot to mention that ive seen some users of manual alt-az mounts, like yours, use their phone to find the way through the sky. They have mounted their phone to their telescope or saddle or something else that will constant point in-and follow the direction of the scope. Skysafari is such an app that help you find objects when the phone is aimed at the sky. Final manual adjustments will always be needed to get the object in your eyepiece.

Edited by Robindonne, 24 July 2021 - 08:10 AM.

  • Terra Nova and teashea like this

#3 Jethro7

Jethro7

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,201
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2018
  • Loc: N.W. Florida

Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:52 AM

Hello Drew,

Setting circles are useful but not nessessary with a little practice and a star atlas or down load SkySafari to a Phone or better a tablet.  you can locate a multitude of celestial artifacts. You just locate the constellation and refer to the sky atlas then draw a road map in your mind to the celestial arifact that you wish to view. With practice you will get to know where many of these Celestial wonders are located. I would also recomend that you buy the book "Turn Left at Orion" by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis. This book will go a long way to help you learn to navigate the night skies and it is fun to use. Sometimes electronics can be finicky and it is really good to to know how to do things the old school way.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


  • Terra Nova and teashea like this

#4 swsantos

swsantos

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 470
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Rhode Island

Posted 24 July 2021 - 02:32 PM

I just received my Portamount. I purchased as a grab n go with a weight limit to ok to use my Megrez 90.
From my question you can tell I’m pretty new at this. Without setting circles, how do I locate objects? I am considering installing encoders and Nexus or maybe exchanging for a different mount such as AZ-GTI.
If I do keep the Portamount, how can I use it without installing encoders? I have searched for setting circles templates for the mount but no luck.

Using something like SkySafari to star hop is fun but in my opinion can get old and can be an impediment to efficiently stargazing. The AstroDevices encoders kit is very easy to install given it’s excellent instructions (which you can read online to be sure you are comfortable with it) and using the Nexus DSC with the encoders is easy and makes observing much more productive and satisfying. The encoders transform the experience.

 

I installed the encoders into my PortaMount II and it took about an hour but recommend you read the instructions before ordering them, then again before installing them, and following them step by step while installing them. They work very well as the mount is of quality and orthogonal providing accurate push-to with the Nexus. And you can still star hop anyway for those quick view grab and go nights, I still do that half the time I use them mount with the encoders available in case I need them.


  • jcj380 and teashea like this

#5 Drew56

Drew56

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Hartford, Connecticut

Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:04 PM

Thank you all for your helpful comments.
Swantos- I will likely install the Astrodevices encoders at some point. There are two versions- an 8000 and 20k step set-up. I think the 20k one is overkill. Which do you recommend?
  • teashea likes this

#6 Drew56

Drew56

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Hartford, Connecticut

Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:04 PM

Thank you all for your helpful comments.
Swantos- I will likely install the Astrodevices encoders at some point. There are two versions- an 8000 and 20k step set-up. I think the 20k one is overkill. Which do you recommend?

#7 Drew56

Drew56

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Hartford, Connecticut

Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:04 PM

Thank you all for your helpful comments.
Swantos- I will likely install the Astrodevices encoders at some point. There are two versions- an 8000 and 20k step set-up. I think the 20k one is overkill. Which do you recommend?

#8 teashea

teashea

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,732
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Posted 24 July 2021 - 08:14 PM

Using something like SkySafari to star hop is fun but in my opinion can get old and can be an impediment to efficiently stargazing. The AstroDevices encoders kit is very easy to install given it’s excellent instructions (which you can read online to be sure you are comfortable with it) and using the Nexus DSC with the encoders is easy and makes observing much more productive and satisfying. The encoders transform the experience.

 

I installed the encoders into my PortaMount II and it took about an hour but recommend you read the instructions before ordering them, then again before installing them, and following them step by step while installing them. They work very well as the mount is of quality and orthogonal providing accurate push-to with the Nexus. And you can still star hop anyway for those quick view grab and go nights, I still do that half the time I use them mount with the encoders available in case I need them.

Can you show us a photo of these encoders on your mount?  thanks



#9 teashea

teashea

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,732
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Posted 24 July 2021 - 08:15 PM

I just received my Portamount. I purchased as a grab n go with a weight limit to ok to use my Megrez 90.
From my question you can tell I’m pretty new at this. Without setting circles, how do I locate objects? I am considering installing encoders and Nexus or maybe exchanging for a different mount such as AZ-GTI.
If I do keep the Portamount, how can I use it without installing encoders? I have searched for setting circles templates for the mount but no luck.

First, and most importantly, that is a good mount.  



#10 swsantos

swsantos

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 470
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Rhode Island

Posted 24 July 2021 - 08:39 PM

Thank you all for your helpful comments.
Swantos- I will likely install the Astrodevices encoders at some point. There are two versions- an 8000 and 20k step set-up. I think the 20k one is overkill. Which do you recommend?

 

 

I got the 8K version and its fine. At the time I did not know about the 20K version so maybe its new but would have still gotten the 8K version.

 

PortaMount II encoders sm.jpg

 

Sorry for the background clutter, was trying to get a decent picture with both encoder ports clear and in focus. My PortaMount II has an aftermarket Manny Myles pan handle, ADM saddle and azimuth knob, nicer slow motion control stalk for altitude that uses a set screw and stays put, and I modified the azimuth and altitude locks so they would be tool free.


Edited by swsantos, 24 July 2021 - 08:48 PM.

  • teashea likes this

#11 jcj380

jcj380

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,468
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Hellinois

Posted 24 July 2021 - 09:01 PM

8K encoders work well for me on my Twilight I. 



#12 Brent Campbell

Brent Campbell

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 988
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Olympia, WA

Posted 24 July 2021 - 09:16 PM

No need for an expensive encoder setup.  Get a wIxi I digital angle gauge similar to this…https://www.amazon.c...,aps,234&sr=8-3

 

Sky Safari and Stellarium will show you the alt atz coordinates of the object.  Simply set the altitude with the digital angle gauge and sweep with the azimuth.  Ie up and down is fixed and right left is variable.  With a small refractor and it’s wide field view you should be able to pick up most objects this way.


  • teashea likes this

#13 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 94,540
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 24 July 2021 - 09:23 PM

I just received my Portamount. I purchased as a grab n go with a weight limit to ok to use my Megrez 90.
From my question you can tell I’m pretty new at this. Without setting circles, how do I locate objects? I am considering installing encoders and Nexus or maybe exchanging for a different mount such as AZ-GTI.
If I do keep the Portamount, how can I use it without installing encoders? I have searched for setting circles templates for the mount but no luck.

 

A Megrez 90 with a 2 inch wide field eyepiece is basically a giant finder scope.  Sky Safari, may be a red dot finder and you could be on your way.. 

 

Jon


  • russell23 likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics