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Askar FRA500 vs FRA300 - GTi Weight Issue

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#1 kczachow

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 07:25 PM

Need guidance on a decision. I currently have both the Askar FRA500 w/ reducer and the Askar FRA300. The reducer for the 500 brings it down to 350mm. I have the 500 on an AM5 and I planned on running the 300 on my GTi, but I am pushing the 11lb capacity with the GTi. With all attachments, I am at 10.8lbs and I need to order another counterweight.

 

I like the idea of having two rigs with the limited clear skies I get in the Pacific NW, but I don't want for fork out the money for yet another mount and I am wondering if having two rigs essentially so close in focal length 300 vs 350 (500 with reducer) is worth it.

 

Should I look to go back to the Redcats length of 250mm and something in that realm or should I sell the GTi mount and just fork the money over for something more stable and keep the FRA300?


Edited by kczachow, 14 April 2024 - 07:25 PM.


#2 afd33

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Posted 14 April 2024 - 07:48 PM

Personally I would upgrade the mount and either sell the reducer for the FRA500 or sell the FRA300 depending on what you prefer. If it was me, I'd prefer the two scopes both having  a bit more tolerance in backfocus at the two focal lengths. A lot of people might prefer having the 500 with reducer because you get two different focal lengths, and with the reducer you get the faster f ratio.

 

Like I said though, I would upgrade the mount. The GTI is great for starting out with small (mainly light doublet) refractors. Once you get in to heavier scopes with more glass and/or longer focal lengths you do need a mount with more capacity. In my opinion another counterweight is a band-aid, because if and when you want to get something 1000mm+ you'll need a better mount anyway.



#3 Bashe

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 09:51 AM

As an owner of the GTi, I think the AM5 largely nixes its niche. The GTi is a really good little mount, and great for grab and go, but the AM5 can carry 4x more and weighs about the same. The only thing going for the GTi (as compared to the AM5), is its price.

 

In truth, I would probably retire the GTi. But then, I'm personally not really interested in running two rigs at the same time.

 

As for having one 300 mm, and one 350 mm scope imaging at the same time; it seems a bit redundant. I'm sure someone will build a case for it, but I don't really see the point. A redcat on the GTi is proven recipe of course, so if that appeals to you, give it a shot. But 250 or 350 still is hardly miles apart.



#4 Andros246

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:25 AM

Need guidance on a decision. I currently have both the Askar FRA500 w/ reducer and the Askar FRA300. The reducer for the 500 brings it down to 350mm. I have the 500 on an AM5 and I planned on running the 300 on my GTi, but I am pushing the 11lb capacity with the GTi. With all attachments, I am at 10.8lbs and I need to order another counterweight.

 

I like the idea of having two rigs with the limited clear skies I get in the Pacific NW, but I don't want for fork out the money for yet another mount and I am wondering if having two rigs essentially so close in focal length 300 vs 350 (500 with reducer) is worth it.

 

Should I look to go back to the Redcats length of 250mm and something in that realm or should I sell the GTi mount and just fork the money over for something more stable and keep the FRA300?

hows your guiding right now? In terms of GTI performance you may have a little room to squeeze out maybe not.

 

But the second part I would only have two setups that is either half or double the focal length of the other.


Edited by Andros246, 15 April 2024 - 10:28 AM.


#5 iantaylor2uk

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 10:33 AM

I have the FRA300 and it's a great scope. I don't like the idea of using a reducer on the FRA 500 because you then have to get the spacing to the camera right. The whole purpose of these scopes is that you don't need to worry about spacers.
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#6 AndyKWH

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 12:37 PM

I am currently loading my GTi with roughly 3.3kg, a bit more i think would be ok, but from a "feeling" of using it i am already close to what the thing can handle.

So depending in your weight of the system, till 3.3kg you should be fine or at least i am.



#7 PhotonHunter1

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 08:27 PM

I am taking a similar approach with two rigs to double my capture capabilities - given the skies here in northwest IL!  I have a Stellarvue SVX 102T at f/7 and just purchased the Gear 60 which is a nice wide field scope, 300mm @ f/5. I run both scopes at native focal lengths. Unfortunately, the last few items to be purchased to run to complete rigs are the most costly; mount (AM3 or similar), ASI2600mm-Pro, filter wheel and filters. My goal will be to purchase one more scope, a long focal length refractor 130mm to 150mm or an Edge 8” SCT. This trio of scopes will cover the gamut of objects I like to image from planetary nebula to wide field/multiple DSO’s.



#8 Meies

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 10:36 PM

If you have the FRA500 and FRA300, why are you using the reducer at all? Just run the both at native FL for 2 different FOVs.

 

I have the FRA500 on an AM5, and while I bought the reducer, I have only used it a few times.

 

If the FRA300 is too heavy for your Gti, think about the FMA180. Keeping the focal reducer would then give you a choice of 180, 350, and 500.




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