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High quality Alt Az mounts

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#26 John Huntley

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 03:58 PM

The T-Rex does it nicely but is out of production, sadly.

 

The Rowan AZ100 will do similarly.

 

My TMB/LZOS 130 F/9.2 on the T-Rex:

 

lzostrexA.JPG

 

 

 


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#27 mogur

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 08:30 PM

My AZ-8 does admirably with my APM 100's on one side and 15# of counterweight on the other. It sits on a sturdy fiberglass surveyors tripod.


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#28 Mark Lovik

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 09:11 PM

Completely different AzEq5 ....lightweight...fits weight range for visual.  Can do much more.



#29 GOLGO13

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 09:19 PM

I've decided to go with the Stellarvue MC2 mount with the nice wooden tripod and Nexus computer setup.

 

But this thread is very good with all of the ideas and possibilities out there. I had not heard of many of these options.

 

Hopefully this helps people in the same situation. Especially if they have larger scopes.


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#30 gwlee

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 10:51 PM

I was thinking about what high quality Alt Az mounts are available today that can handle a 20 to 25 pound load.

I currently have a very nice Unistar that does well, but I don't have encoders and would like to have some.

I used to have an FTX which would do well, but they don't come up often anymore.

I know discmounts is still around, but the DM-6 seems unappealing to me because it's heavy. And the DM-4 would not handle the weight good enough. Wish they had a DM-5.

Any other thoughts on what is out there that can have encoders? Or is it possible to install encoders on an old Unistar Basic?

The DM4 that I have now works well for 4” scopes. My previously owned DM6 worked well with much heavier scopes, so it would be my first choice for what you are describing.


Edited by gwlee, 16 October 2021 - 10:55 PM.

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#31 GOLGO13

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 11:23 PM

The DM4 that I have now works well for 4” scopes. My previously owned DM6 worked well with much heavier scopes, so it would be my first choice for what you are describing.

Thanks!

 

I didn't realize my scope fully setup is 18-19 pounds. So not quite as heavy as I was expecting (a few website had the weight of the bare OTA wrong).

 

The DM-4 would be a sweet mount for my Vixen 103s. 

 

I feel like the DM-6 would be a bit of overkill for 18-19 pounds. Why I wish they had one in-between the two.

 

I don't have any OTAs heavier than this, and my goal is to not have any heavier ones in the future. Well, technically I'm not sure how heavy my 10 inch newt is, but it stays on the Dob mount.

 

I think the MC2 should handle it OK with the solid tripod. 


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#32 donald41

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 12:56 PM

for the price the stellarvue mc2  is hard to beat!! i have one and happy, happy, happy with it. its very well built and made in the usa calif, its smooth as glass and the adjustments are perfect for tension control. its got my vote. don


Edited by donald41, 17 October 2021 - 12:57 PM.

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#33 JoshH

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 06:50 PM

I've decided to go with the Stellarvue MC2 mount with the nice wooden tripod and Nexus computer setup.

 

But this thread is very good with all of the ideas and possibilities out there. I had not heard of many of these options.

 

Hopefully this helps people in the same situation. Especially if they have larger scopes.

Please post how it performs and if you can compare stability against the Unistar I would be interested in that as well. 

 

You will love the Nexus, it is awesome. I still haven't touched all the capability that it has, only thing I miss about my Sky Commander is the built in dew heater. 


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#34 donald41

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 07:29 PM

here is a photo 

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Edited by donald41, 17 October 2021 - 07:30 PM.

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#35 GOLGO13

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Posted 17 October 2021 - 08:56 PM

Please post how it performs and if you can compare stability against the Unistar I would be interested in that as well. 

 

You will love the Nexus, it is awesome. I still haven't touched all the capability that it has, only thing I miss about my Sky Commander is the built in dew heater. 

Will do. Looking forward to it!

 

It will be interesting to see if either one wins on stability. But in light pollution I think I will really like the encoders and Nexus.


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#36 Mark9473

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 05:47 AM

I feel like the DM-6 would be a bit of overkill for 18-19 pounds.

You'd only think that until you experience vibrations dying out in just a fraction of a second and the scope remaining balanced when switching eyepieces.
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#37 gwlee

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:02 PM

Thanks!

 

I didn't realize my scope fully setup is 18-19 pounds. So not quite as heavy as I was expecting (a few website had the weight of the bare OTA wrong).

 

The DM-4 would be a sweet mount for my Vixen 103s. 

 

I feel like the DM-6 would be a bit of overkill for 18-19 pounds. Why I wish they had one in-between the two.

 

I don't have any OTAs heavier than this, and my goal is to not have any heavier ones in the future. Well, technically I'm not sure how heavy my 10 inch newt is, but it stays on the Dob mount.

 

I think the MC2 should handle it OK with the solid tripod. 

I haven’t used the MC2, but researched it carefully before buying the DM4. Its actual weight (measured, not specified) is about the same as the DM4. Haven’t put more than about 10# (Stowaway with 2” accessories) on the DM4 yet, but I am not confident that it would handle 18-19# pounds as well as I would want.  Any chance you could try someone’s MC2 before ordering one? 

 

 



#38 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:04 PM

You'd only think that until you experience vibrations dying out in just a fraction of a second and the scope remaining balanced when switching eyepieces.


If that's a goal I can see that. I use the TeleVue equalizer which helps. My heaviest eyepiece is the 35mm Panoptic.

But if someone was going from a Nagler 31mm to an Ortho, some more stiction would be helpful.

Still, I prefer going as lightweight as possible. The DM6 seems like quite a heavy setup.

#39 gwlee

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:26 PM

If that's a goal I can see that. I use the TeleVue equalizer which helps. My heaviest eyepiece is the 35mm Panoptic.

But if someone was going from a Nagler 31mm to an Ortho, some more stiction would be helpful.

Still, I prefer going as lightweight as possible. The DM6 seems like quite a heavy setup.

No doubt about it, the DM6 is a heavy mount, but it easily handled my Mewlon 210 with 35mm Panoptic, which weighs about the same as the load your thinking about putting on an MC2. 



#40 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:35 PM

No doubt about it, the DM6 is a heavy mount, but it easily handled my Mewlon 210 with 35mm Panoptic, which weighs about the same as the load your thinking about putting on an MC2.


No doubt it would work well. Just seems a bit much.

The Unistar I have handles 19 pounds very well and is quite light on my Oberwerk tall tripod. But no encoders is my main consideration here. I can't easily add encoders to it and they are out of business.

#41 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:39 PM

For the Unistar I usually lock it down when switching eyepieces.

Of course with encoders losing the object isn't a problem.

Looking forward to having encoders again. Just not worth star hopping in light pollution.

#42 gwlee

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 01:44 PM

No doubt it would work well. Just seems a bit much.

The Unistar I have handles 19 pounds very well and is quite light on my Oberwerk tall tripod. But no encoders is my main consideration here. I can't easily add encoders to it and they are out of business.

Although, I haven’t used one, I doubt there’s a better buy than the MC2 if it meets your expectations for adequate stability. Expect you will also need an extension column to prevent your scope from hitting the legs of Oberwerk tall wooden tripod, which I am using with my DM4. 

 

If the MC2 is in stock, I plan to order one today for a friend’s 80mm f7. If so, I will try it under my 92mm f6.7 before I give it to her. 
 



#43 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 02:17 PM

Although, I haven’t used one, I doubt there’s a better buy than the MC2 if it meets your expectations for adequate stability. Expect you will also need an extension column to prevent your scope from hitting the legs of Oberwerk tall wooden tripod, which I am using with my DM4.

If the MC2 is in stock, I plan to order one today for a friend’s 80mm f7. If so, I will try it under my 92mm f6.7 before I give it to her.


The one I'm getting has the wooden tripod and extention. Should be interesting to see how the stability is and compare with the unistar. I believe from my research it should be ok.
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#44 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 02:21 PM

For a 80mm F7, there are likely many options. Depending on the weight of that 80mm F7.

I use a Unistar light for my 76mm F7.5. It's got a 10 pound capacity. A Vixen Porta mount would be a good fit also.

#45 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 02:25 PM

Of course the M2C would be future proof for some larger OTAs
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#46 gwlee

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 03:24 PM

For a 80mm F7, there are likely many options. Depending on the weight of that 80mm F7.

I use a Unistar light for my 76mm F7.5. It's got a 10 pound capacity. A Vixen Porta mount would be a good fit also.

The M2C is in stock at SV, so I ordered one for my friend’s AT80ED. Mounts, like telescopes, only seem to come in two sizes, too large and too small. For a given weight budget, I would much rather have a too small telescope on a too large mount than a too large telescope on a too small mount. 

 

Ideally, I like to have two mounts/tripods for one refractor, one too large and another too small. I use the too large mount most of the time and use the too small mount when I need to maximize its portability and can accept less stability. When I receive the M2C, I am going put it on my Manfrotto 475B and see if the combination will provide enough stability to work as a “too small” mount for my 92mm f6.7 refractor. 

 


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#47 GOLGO13

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 05:43 PM

The M2C is in stock at SV, so I ordered one for my friend’s AT80ED. Mounts, like telescopes, only seem to come in two sizes, too large and too small. For a given weight budget, I would much rather have a too small telescope on a too large mount than a too large telescope on a too small mount. 

 

Ideally, I like to have two mounts/tripods for one refractor, one too large and another too small. I use the too large mount most of the time and use the too small mount when I need to maximize its portability and can accept less stability. When I receive the M2C, I am going put it on my Manfrotto 475B and see if the combination will provide enough stability to work as a “too small” mount for my 92mm f6.7 refractor. 

Should be wonderful. 



#48 gwlee

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 06:29 PM

The M2C that I ordered for my friend’s 80mm f7 was delivered to me this PM. Here’s a photo of the M2C on a Manfrotto 475B with my AT72ED2. Haven’t had an opportunity to test it yet, but it looks like it might work as a light mount for a TSA 120 with  a heavier wooden tripod. Measured weight of the M2C is 6#, about the same as my DM4. 
 

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Edited by gwlee, 19 October 2021 - 06:37 PM.

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#49 GOLGO13

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 08:17 PM

Man...that was fast! Looks nice



#50 gwlee

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 08:59 PM

Man...that was fast! Looks nice

SV is about 100 miles from my home and the M2C was in stock, so took less than 24 hours to get here. Everything in the photo weighs 22.5#. My “too light” mount for this scope is a Bogen 3021 with a UA DwarfStar mount. It weighs 14# with the same scope, enough mount for low power/wide field astronomy, eclipse chasing, terrestrial spotting, etc..

 

I am hoping the M2C/Manfrotto 475B combo will also work adequately as a light mount for my 92mm f6.7. SV recommends this mount/tripod combo for SV scopes up to 4”, so maybe it will work ok. I need to order a D plate for the 92mm scope before I can start testing. At the moment, the heavy mount for the 92mm scope is a DM4 with DSCs on an older Oberwerk Tall wooden tripod. 
 

For a larger scope up to 5”, Tom Peters of DiscMounts recommended a much heavier Berlebach UNI 18 to be used with the DM4, but Tom and I prefer what many would consider to be over mounted scopes. Because the M2C and the DM4 are both  ~ 6# mounts, I would expect whatever works for one will work for the other. 


Edited by gwlee, 19 October 2021 - 11:26 PM.

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