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Good quality mount for 16 lb F/5.5 refractor used for visual.

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#1 jkevn

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Posted 28 September 2022 - 07:58 PM

I have a Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 mm, mounted on a heavy SW EQ6-R. The Esprit is designed for astrophotography, F/5.5, but I also want to use it for visual, on a good quality, light, alt-az or eq., Vixen mount and not necessarily motor driven. At 68 yrs. old, I need to be able to easily pick it up and carry it outside. The refractor weighs 16 lbs., and I will use it with heavy 2" eyepieces. Any suggestions?


Edited by jkevn, 28 September 2022 - 08:00 PM.


#2 Sacred Heart

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Posted 28 September 2022 - 08:12 PM

I have a Sky-Watcher Esprit 100 mm, mounted on a heavy SW EQ6-R. The Esprit is designed for astrophotography, F/5.5, but I also want to use it for visual, on a good quality, light, alt-az or eq., Vixen mount and not necessarily motor driven. At 68 yrs. old, I need to be able to easily pick it up and carry it outside. The refractor weighs 16 lbs., and I will use it with heavy 2" eyepieces. Any suggestions?

I'm not sure of the weight, but I'd say a Losmandy GM8, Ioptron 40 CEM / GEM,  alt az is probably the easiest way to go but I have no experience in alt az mounts.    Strain wave mounts are light weight but pricey.  Rainbow, Ioptron and ZWO.

 

Joe


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#3 Spikey131

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Posted 28 September 2022 - 08:14 PM

iOptron AZ Mount Pro.

 

Stellarvue M2C


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#4 WadeH237

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 08:16 AM

I've just gone through deciding on a similar purchase.

 

The other day, my wife asked me if I could get her a telescope.  Given the current set of gear that I have, it was a bit difficult to not chuckle out loud.  Anyway, I asked her what she wanted.  She's looking for a light weight setup that can be permanently set up near our back door.  We live in a very rural area at the base of a mountain.  We have sweeping views down into the valley where town is.  My wife wants a spotting scope for views into the valley, and also to watch wildlife in the distance.  She also wants something that can provide decent views of brighter objects in the sky.  She's been reading about the Jupiter opposition and would like to take a look.  I have lots of telescopes suitable for Jupiter, but I don't keep one set up all the time for quick views.

 

I already own a telescope that will work for what she wants:  An Explore Scientific 80mm, F/6 refractor with a carbon fiber tube.  I can set it up with an erect image diagonal for use as a spotting scope, or with a star diagonal for astronomy.  I wanted to find a mount that would work for this, but also be sturdy enough to handle my AT102ED, or EdgeHD 8, while being still being light enough (with the 80mm) for her to just grab and carry out the door.

 

I settled on the Stellarvue M2C mount.  I noticed that they offer this mount in a kit with a tripod and extension, but was concerned about the weight.  With the tripod that they use, it comes out to 25 lb - without the scope.  That's more than I want my wife to deal with, so I called Stellarvue and spoke with Vic.  He suggested that most camera tripods would be lighter, but would not be suitable for astronomy use at higher powers.  He suggested a Manfrotto 028b.  The Manfrotto comes in at just over 9 lb, for a weight of about 13 lb with the mount, and it should be sturdy enough for even the EdgeHD.

 

I just ordered it yesterday, so I can't give a first hand account for how it works yet.  But on paper, it seems to be a good match for our needs - which seem similar to yours.


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#5 Space_Race_T.J.

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 10:31 AM

I've just gone through deciding on a similar purchase.

 

The other day, my wife asked me if I could get her a telescope.  Given the current set of gear that I have, it was a bit difficult to not chuckle out loud.  Anyway, I asked her what she wanted.  She's looking for a light weight setup that can be permanently set up near our back door.  We live in a very rural area at the base of a mountain.  We have sweeping views down into the valley where town is.  My wife wants a spotting scope for views into the valley, and also to watch wildlife in the distance.  She also wants something that can provide decent views of brighter objects in the sky.  She's been reading about the Jupiter opposition and would like to take a look.  I have lots of telescopes suitable for Jupiter, but I don't keep one set up all the time for quick views.

 

I already own a telescope that will work for what she wants:  An Explore Scientific 80mm, F/6 refractor with a carbon fiber tube.  I can set it up with an erect image diagonal for use as a spotting scope, or with a star diagonal for astronomy.  I wanted to find a mount that would work for this, but also be sturdy enough to handle my AT102ED, or EdgeHD 8, while being still being light enough (with the 80mm) for her to just grab and carry out the door.

 

I settled on the Stellarvue M2C mount.  I noticed that they offer this mount in a kit with a tripod and extension, but was concerned about the weight.  With the tripod that they use, it comes out to 25 lb - without the scope.  That's more than I want my wife to deal with, so I called Stellarvue and spoke with Vic.  He suggested that most camera tripods would be lighter, but would not be suitable for astronomy use at higher powers.  He suggested a Manfrotto 028b.  The Manfrotto comes in at just over 9 lb, for a weight of about 13 lb with the mount, and it should be sturdy enough for even the EdgeHD.

 

I just ordered it yesterday, so I can't give a first hand account for how it works yet.  But on paper, it seems to be a good match for our needs - which seem similar to yours.

https://www.cloudyni...pod-experience/

 

I hope you don't end up with 3-5 second dampening times with the Manfrotto 028b that has a load capacity of 30.86 lbs.

 

The gentleman in the thread above had dampening/vibration trouble and his tripod supported 35 lbs. Granted he is using a longer 120mm refractor.

 

I would highly recommend an Innorel RT90C for $325 on amazon that has a 88 lbs. load capacity and the much stronger Stellarvue MEC003 column to go with you M2C mount over the Manfrotto 028b.

 

https://www.amazon.c...B091CS41ZB?th=1

 

T.J.


Edited by Space_Race_T.J., 29 September 2022 - 10:32 AM.

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#6 WadeH237

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 11:04 AM

I hope you don't end up with 3-5 second dampening times with the Manfrotto 028b that has a load capacity of 30.86 lbs.

I think that there is more to it than just capacity.

 

When I spoke with Vic at Stellarvue, we discussed stability of the tripod for high power astronomy use.  If you take a look at the Manfrotto 028B, you can see that the legs are not just single poles.  The suggestion for this specific tripod came from user experiences specifically using it with the M2C for astronomy.

 

As I mentioned, I've not received any of the parts yet, so your feedback is appreciated, and I can look at your suggestions if I have problems.  I'll update this thread with my experience after trying it out for myself.


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#7 Space_Race_T.J.

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 11:12 AM

I think that there is more to it than just capacity.

 

When I spoke with Vic at Stellarvue, we discussed stability of the tripod for high power astronomy use.  If you take a look at the Manfrotto 028B, you can see that the legs are not just single poles.  The suggestion for this specific tripod came from user experiences specifically using it with the M2C for astronomy.

 

As I mentioned, I've not received any of the parts yet, so your feedback is appreciated, and I can look at your suggestions if I have problems.  I'll update this thread with my experience after trying it out for myself.

 I'm sure with the Explore Scientific 80mm F/6, that tripod will be fine, but with your AT102ED or EdgeHD 8 I'm a bit less certain.

 

Looking forward to your update when you get everything put together. 

 

Good luck and clear skies,

 

T.J.


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#8 jkevn

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 10:03 PM

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions for an alt-az mount for my 100 mm APO ED refractor. I looked at all of the suggested models. I finally decided to buy the Stellarvue M002CW Complete Mount System - Wooden tripod https://www.stellarv...-wooden-tripod/ $999

 

The wooden tripod material was appealing, because I remember reading that wood is very good at dampening vibrations in a tripod. The wooden tripod is more expensive than stainless steel and carbon fiber, but is there a significant difference worth the higher price? I have no way of knowing. Stellarvue's selling point was that they use Denali wood. I had no idea what this was, so I looked it up, and it is used in pretty high-end wood applications for expensive furniture and weather resistant applications like decking. There are also wooden tripod models from other manufacturers, including Televue, also quite expensive. It is hard to know what is best.

 

The great reviews on Stellarvue's web site for this combination of tripod, pier and mount looked pretty authentic, so I ordered their complete mount system. I hope that I made the right choice.

 

My 4 telescopes with their mounts are all heavy, so I have them carried on Far Point JML telescope dollies, kept in a Tuff Shed in our back yard. The shed has an elevated floor and a ramp, so I have to pull the dollies up and down the ramp, at night. Both the 100 mm Sky-Watcher Esprit refractor and 250 mm Sky-Watcher Newtonian F/4 go on a heavy EQ6-R mount, on a JML telescope dolly. I wanted to be able to put the 100 mm Esprit (16 lbs.) on a light weight mount that I could just pick up and carry out and use without setting anything up, like at 2:00 am.


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#9 luxo II

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 09:38 PM

is there a significant difference worth the higher price?

Congratulations, its an excellent mount - wooden tripods damp vibrations very well. Steel ones tend to "ring like a bell".

 

M2C with encoders on a Berlebach UNI 8... https://www.cloudyni...60324-p1150020/


Edited by luxo II, 30 September 2022 - 09:38 PM.

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