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Sirius Bizness

Grab and go mount for Lunt LS60

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Hi all,

I am after some advice of people's experience on a grab and go mount for a Lunt LS60 (or other small refractors at lowish mag). So far considering vixen porta II, AZ3, AZ4 with aluminium legs (I already have steel ones from my HEQ5). Not sure what will work best in terms of lightness for set up speed, slo mo controls, etc. I was set on a mini porta until I read some reviews about lack of quality. AZ4 seems a safe bet?

Any advice greatly appreciated!

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I used an AZ4 for a while with my Lunt 60. It was "adequate" and supported the scope well. But it's a heavy scope despite it's size and I wasn't really happy with the balance and level of stiffness in the axes. Because it's heavy you have to do it up quite tight so movement is "jerky" - too loose and it nosedives - it was hard to get a point of equilibrium. I went for the HEQ5 Pro eventually and put it side by side with a Meg72 and white light baader filter - all told it's much firmer. A CG5 would do the job - and probably an EQ5 as well. Hth :)

(The Skytee-2 is a good one too if you consider that as a grab and go like I do.)

Edited by brantuk

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The Porta II has the necessary slo-mo controls for tracking, and be sure to get the HAL130 tripod with it.

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My grab and go for my Solar Max 60 is a Manfrotto 475B tripod and a Giro Mini mount head. I have to be a little bit careful with the Giro Mini in terms of balance, it's much more sensitive to correct balance than its bigger brother the Giro III, but then it's much more compact :)

What I love about this setup is that the tripod has a huge height adjustment range, from close to the floor to head height. That's been really handy for viewing out of windows or trying to clear hedges etc. to get a view of the Sun. Or putting it low to help shield it from the wind when imaging, if the Sun is high enough.

The downside is it's a little more prone to wind than a heavy mount, especially on a surface like decking. There are no slow-mo controls but then I am only doing low power viewing with a 60mm scope at around 45x mag most of the time, I just nudge the scope slightly to move it.

I can also use my ED80 and Herschel wedge on the mount, and imaging is possible as well with my webcam camera sensor being large enough to allow the Sun to drift over the sensor. This does mean that for imaging there is some drift away from the sweetest spot, but it seems to work for me.

The tripod itself is superb, made for those on the go photographers. It looks like it will last at least a decade. It's not even mine, it's on the loan from the missus and I will have to buy one if she needs it back!

That's just me and it suits my setup especially as I can do solar at lunchtime at work - I can't really be lugging my HEQ5 in :D

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I just use a manfrotto tripod with a standard camera head for my Lunt 60.

It's not ideal, but easy to carry around and works adequately for visual use imo.

/callump

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I have recently upgraded to an Induro AT413 tripod which I use with my mini giro head. It's still quite light but is more rigid than any other photo tripods I've tried. It copes with two scopes side by side and has a great range of height adjustment, easy for observing at the zenith at night too

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Stu

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They are some nice setups there so plenty of options for me to consider. What I am most confused about is the mount. I was originally thinking az4 but now looking at a giro II deluxe. I can't find what a giro III is. Do you think the giro II / III would be better than a giro mini considering I only have to lug it out the back door. Also the altair sabre looks nice but not sure how that performs. And then there is slo mo controls on the Skytee 2. This is all very confusing....

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I found a s/h AZ3 for $50 - works well with the PST - should work with the Lunt.

I see there are no slo-mo handles on the AZ4 -"for that reason-I'm out"

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I used to have a Vixen Porta mount which had slo mo controls but found I rarely used them, I naturally found I just moved the scope itself which works fine for me.

Given that it's not for travelling then a giro II/III would be more stable than a mini.

Stu

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I use a Vixen Porta II with mine and it seems to do the job perfectly.

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Andrew

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