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Hi Guys

I am in the process of procuring my first little refractor. However, as a fully paid up member of the Junior Dob Mob (scope not big enough for the main club), I'm confused....

What is the difference between AZ, EQ, GEQ, etc etc. They also seem to have numbers after them which I assume equate to the higher the better?

Does the mount in question being German just mean that it is a better engineered version of the normal mount?

Paul

PS. Does painting it red increase the quality as well as the price?

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AZ denotes the alt-azimuth design and Skywatcher use it for their AZ-3 and AZ-4 mounts of that type though both are different alt-az designs. The AZ-4 is quite a bit sturdier and has a higher capacity.

EQ is the equatorial design mount or German Equatorial to be correct (there are other equatorial mount designs). Again Skywatcher use the designation followed by a number that indicates broadly how heavy duty the mount is. EQ-1 is a very light duty mount wheras EQ-8 is very much the opposite. There are no EQ-4 and EQ-7 mounts in the Skywatcher line up for some reason and I don't know why the EQ3-2 is so named but it is.

Celestron use CG for their equatorial mounts (made by the same people that make Skywatcher). The CG4 = a Skywatcher EQ3-2 but with a better (steel) tripod and the CG5 = a Skywatcher EQ5 but again with a sturdier tripod. Celestron have a heavier duty range too but I can't recall their name.

Other manufacturers have their own ranges and naming conventions.

Others you will see mentioned a lot are the Giro and Skytee alt-azimuth mounts with the former being of German manufacture and the latter Skywatcher. Both very good as it happens and having more capacity than the AZ-3 and AZ-4 mentioned above.

Vixen have some nice mounts with the Porta and Mini-Porta being alt-azimuth in design. I've lost track of the current naming of Vixen's equatorial offerings but I expect they are good products.

And there are many more that I can't recall right now !

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Here's an article describing the different kinds of mounts.

Yes, on mounts ending in a digit (EQ3, EQ4, etc.) the digit is a measure of the heavy-dutiness of the mount, with higher numbers being sturdier.

A GEQ (German Equatorial) is one kind of equatorial - the traditional kind with the sloped mounting platform and the counterweight.  A mount not designed like that can still be equatorial if it rotates around an axis pointed at the pole.  For example, a fork mount on an equatorial wedge is an Equatorial but not a German Equatorial.

- Richard

Edited by ottUp
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... and don't forget the CEM, or Chinese Equatorial such as the ZEQ25GT. :grin: 

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...  Does painting it red increase the quality as well as the price?

It certainly does increase the quality of the mount. :)   I'm going to paint all of mine red today. ROFL

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Thanks Guys

That clears that one up!

Paul

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