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dazza1639

New Mount Time - Help

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New mount time!

I need a little bit of help on deciding on a new mount for my observatory, I’m a bit stumped by the choice and conflicting reviews.

What is the mount for?

The mount will be permanently mounted in my observatory on a solid concrete pier. It will mainly be used for imaging using an Atik One with off axis Atik GP guider. So tracking accuracy will be key but EQmod isn’t necessary as the computer control I currently use, stellarium, PHD, Nebulosity & astro tortilla can all still work without EQmod.

What will the mount need to carry?

The mount will be loaded up with the following

  • De-forked Celestron Nexstar 8 GPS carbon fibre 8 inch SCT optical tube
  • Skywatcher Equinox 80mm scope
  • Dual mounting bar for side by side mounting of scopes (Vixen or Losmandy dovetails which would be best?)
  • Atik One with off axis GP guider
  • Televue 0.8 FR for Equinox
  • 6.3 focal reducer for SCT
  • Dew heater controller
  • USB hub

Total weight with dovetails etc around 17kg

Which Mount do I go for?

Budget Busting.

 For the budget busting option I wouldn’t be able to afford the side by side mounting hardware straight away but maybe for Christmas or my Birthday next year so I don’t want to discount it if it may be a better long term solution.

  1. Skywatcher EQ8 head only with hardware for mounting it to my pier plate (advice please?)
  2. iOptron CEM60 head only with hardware for mounting it to my pier plate (advice please?)

Within Budget.

This will allow me to finalise the setup with all of the required bits to mount both scopes straight away.

  1. Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT (I have discounted the NEQ6, no belt drive needs new bearings, latitude bolts etc)
  2. iOptron iEQ45 Pro (the new model)
  3. Celestron CGEM (only included because my current setup is Celestron and I quite like the Nexremote setup)

I hope you can help I keep going round in circles.

Thanks

Darren

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Not going to be much help here, but I have a CEM60 and have run this with my 80mm 80MM F6 APO 80/480 scope & Atik one and the set-up is almost too light to be balanced with the supplied weight, but it works perfectly :).  Sticking my 8SE scope on it and it is still bordering on being too light, I bet the mount would work better with both scopes attached at the same time (would need to work out how to do this?).  The CEM60 is a really nice mount, and very easy too set-up, but it is significantly heavier than my ZEQ25.  Can't comment on the other mounts.

NB.  Not tried the CEM60 with PHD, but it works fine with PHD2.

Edited by davedownsouth

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Nice to get a bit of feedback on the CEM60, which version std or EC I'm thinking that the EC would be overkill as I would be guiding anyway. How do you get on operating the scope from a pc, do you setup with the hand control then connect or can you just operate with the computer. This is one of the reasons I like my current setup the computer is the controller when using nexremote all off my other programs (astrotortilla, PhD, stellar I etc) connect to a generic virtual as on hub and send commands directly to the scope through nexremote.

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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It is the standard version I have got, I was tempted with the EC, but could not justify the extra cost as I knew that I would be using PHD2.  I connect via the rs232 port on the mount.  I have used stellarium, but that was more just to see if it would work (which it does), but I hate stellarium so do not really use it as a goto, I much prefer just using the hand controller, which is very good on the CEM60.  You are a distance from me, but if you are ever in the area, you are more than welcome to pop over and have a play with the CEM60.

Edited by davedownsouth

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Cheers much appreciated

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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Based on what I've read and comment, I'm thinking that I may have to try and break the budget, but how

EQ8 (HDX110) or CEM60

Which one? Make your case for your choice.

Thanks

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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I would cast my vote on the EQ8. It has more capasity and better PE. This would really future proof yourself unless you end up getting into really long FL imaging. Like what I'm wanting to do. With long FL imaging the max FL for the EQ8 is about 2000-2300ish mm. Any more than that and the PE starts to really shorten up your exposure limits. So this puts you at about a 10" SCT, give or take a bit depending on brand and F/ratio. What sucks is this scope size doesnt even come close to the capasity limit but the PE is limiting. SO if you are wanting to stick with the short to medium FL scopes the EQ8 will be more than enough and do the job splended. Look at Gina's setup. She has 4 scopes on hers and it still runs and tracks like a champ.

I'm not saying the CEM60 is bad, just that for similar price I think the EQ8 edges it out. If I was going to spend that kind of cash I would be looking for the max I can get so I dont have to worry as much about future purchases.

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Great info thanks

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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I would cast my vote on the EQ8. It has more capasity and better PE. This would really future proof yourself unless you end up getting into really long FL imaging. Like what I'm wanting to do. With long FL imaging the max FL for the EQ8 is about 2000-2300ish mm. Any more than that and the PE starts to really shorten up your exposure limits. So this puts you at about a 10" SCT, give or take a bit depending on brand and F/ratio. What sucks is this scope size doesnt even come close to the capasity limit but the PE is limiting. SO if you are wanting to stick with the short to medium FL scopes the EQ8 will be more than enough and do the job splended. Look at Gina's setup. She has 4 scopes on hers and it still runs and tracks like a champ.

I'm not saying the CEM60 is bad, just that for similar price I think the EQ8 edges it out. If I was going to spend that kind of cash I would be looking for the max I can get so I dont have to worry as much about future purchases.

Where are you getting your PE figures from?

Olly

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Where are you getting your PE figures from?

Olly

Memory....

I remember in my research the the EQ8 had better PE than the CEM60. If I am wrong I apolagise but thats what I remember researching. I do remember that there wasnt much difference though.

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I think with these things that it is worthwhile remembering that although these mounts are precision instruments, you will definitely get good ones and bad ones, and when I say bad ones, I do not mean they are necessarily faulty, but just are not quite as well set-up as they could / should be.  I am still at the very early stages with my CEM60, and so far things are going pretty well.  I was out last night and took a 5 minute unguided shot of M81/82 with my Atik One 6 on the 80mm refractor and I was really please, and quite surprised, to see nice round stars, all be it very washed out one because of the moon  :rolleyes:.  There is no way I would have got that with my ZEQ25; best I could get with that was a 90 second exposure unguided.  I am really looking forward to a weeks time when I can try these sorts of exposures again with my CEM60, without the moon about to see what I can get, but I also need to sort out my OAG Atik GP guide camera as last night it would just not work (no idea why, probably something which I did).  My point is that I am hoping that I have got a 'good' CEM60, as although I really liked, and still do like my ZEQ25, at the back of my mind was always the question that it was not really performing as well as it should have done, and I did spend a lot of time getting it perfectly balance / level & Polar Aligned and I was no where near pushing the limits of what the mount could carry.  The dealer claimed I should be getting 5 minute exposures easily with that mount / scope, so this just leads me to believe that there was something wrong with the mount  :confused:, that or he was lying about what the mount was capable of doing  :lipsrsealed:.  My comments on the CEM60 is it is a really well made mount which is light enough to transport (sounds like you do not have to worry about this, so a heavy mount could be the better option) and is very easy to set-up / dismantle.  I am not going to comment too much about how well it performs yet as as I said, it is too early for me to properly comment yet, but hopefully in a couple of months time when I have got to use it lots more in all of the cloudless nights we are going to see over the coming weeks ( :coffee:), I will write a proper review :).

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Good info thanks, it seems there are a lot of examples of both mounts that people are really getting good results from so it's just a lack of reviews and posts about the positives. Thanks everybody keep them coming.

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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I would stay away as far as possible from IOptron. I also not a big fan of any Celestron mount. So my choice would be AZ-EQ6. 45lbs capacity. Digital Encoder for manual slewing. Belt driven. Who could ask for more

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Memory....

I remember in my research the the EQ8 had better PE than the CEM60. If I am wrong I apolagise but thats what I remember researching. I do remember that there wasnt much difference though.

Did most of this information come from the manufacturers' websites, though? Here's a bit of information that doesn't come from the manufacturer, it comes only from me, and (to my disappointment!!) it hasn't brought me any discounts or privileges whatever. What the hell,  this mount...

FRICTION%20DRIVE-M.jpg

hasn't lost a sub to guiding error once in three years. For the first two years it carried a 14 inch cat with a focal length of 2.4 metres and ran 30 minute subs. It now carries a pair of Tak FSQ 106 scopes which present almost no challenge at all at 3.5 arcsecs per pixel - so I don't even recalibrate the guider as I move round the sky.

It's a Mesu Mount 200. You can't ask me not to like it...

Olly

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I'd have to say that if I was looking at a payload of 10-15kg, I'd go for an EQ6-GT (or an EQ6 and belt mod it myself).  

If I wanted to carry much more, I'm with Olly.  Save a bit longer and go for a Mesu.  

A one-man band is not without its risks in terms of support, but when he shipped a few with a new batch of motors/encoders which turned out to be duff, he drove around the UK himself, fixing or replacing them (I know because mine was one of them).

I just wish he'd put an engraved signature on it.

Spent many months wrestling with a GM1000, but still have an EQ6 and Mesu in service.

Do you really need both scopes on the rig at the same time?  Swapping out scopes and re-balancing really doesn't take that long.  Does anyone shoot a galaxy one night and a nebula the next?

JMHO,

Jack 

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Did most of this information come from the manufacturers' websites, though? Here's a bit of information that doesn't come from the manufacturer, it comes only from me, and (to my disappointment!!) it hasn't brought me any discounts or privileges whatever. What the hell,  this mount...

FRICTION%20DRIVE-M.jpg

hasn't lost a sub to guiding error once in three years. For the first two years it carried a 14 inch cat with a focal length of 2.4 metres and ran 30 minute subs. It now carries a pair of Tak FSQ 106 scopes which present almost no challenge at all at 3.5 arcsecs per pixel - so I don't even recalibrate the guider as I move round the sky.

It's a Mesu Mount 200. You can't ask me not to like it...

Olly

It came from a combination of the manufacturer and from the few examples of PE that where out at the time.(This was when both mounts where very new still) So Their could be a better average out there on these mounts now that could tip the scale on what I mentioned earlier.

And I would agree with you that a Mesu out does either of these mounts. But its also WAY over the price point of these two mounts. So not sure if its fair to compair these two apples to your orange.

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I'm about to order my new mount it's still a bit of a dead heat between the EQ8 and the CEM60. Last chance to pass on anything that you may feel useful from your experience. Any final thoughts would be appreciated

Thanks

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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I've finally done it, went for the EQ8 in the end. It's all installed in the Obs just waiting for some clear nights to tweak the PA then I can run it through its paces. Thanks for all the help an advice.

Darren

------------------------------------------------

Twitter: @SalAstroSoc @Astronut1639 www.salfordastro.org.uk

Nexstar 8 GPS ADM MDS Rings & Counter Weights, Skywatcher ST80 & Synguider, Canon EOS 1000d,

Dew Heaters & 4 Channel Controller, Orbit Wedge, Observatory and not enough clear nights

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