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Whats the best kind of mount


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Hi i have just purchased a skywatcher explorer 200pds without a mount at a good price sub £150. I know it weighs 10kg and have to obviously get a eq5 or have heard i could put it on an AZ4. Budget is tight at the moment.

Any comments and sugesstions will be greatly appreciated over the past year my son and i have used elcheapo Celestron Travelscope bought for£40 just to make sure it was not a bit like the moon a passing phase.

He is now doing GCSE astronomy hence the dramatic upgrade from a small refractor to a mammoth reflector. We have also started astrography using a t adaptor directly onto the tube.

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The AZ4 will not be good with the 200P F/5 tube I'm afraid. The scope is too heavy and too wide for the mount head design.

When I did the same quite a few years back (same tube as yours) I made a simple plywood dobsonian mount for it which did fine for visual observing. The materials for that should be less expensive than any commercial mount I would think.

There are some plans for such a mount here:

http://www.scopemaking.net/dobson/dobson.htm

Might be a good project to do with your son :smiley:

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It is often said that the SW 200 is reaching the limit for the EQ5 mount but I've never had any problems with mine (a windy night would certainly affect it however), but the HEQ5 (a different mount entirely), EQ6 & etc are substantially more expensive and heavy. If you are not going into astro-photography, a home-made dobsonian mount would suffice, I'm thinking of making one myself just to be able to get outside and do some stargazing without having to spend time polar aligning the mount. If you are going to do astro-pics, an equatorial mount is the thing to go for, in which case the basic EQ5 can easily be modified to an EQ5 PRO (goto and tracking) for £300.

Btw, you do know Newtonian 'scopes need regular collimating? That is a whole new kettle of fish, and is covered in many, many threads on this site ;)

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Thank you for your sugestions i think i made the classic choice of going for the biggest aperture i could afford bot thinking about the mount. Box arrived this afternoon and son is in complete shock at its size. "It is bigger than sirs dad" was his comment. He just cant wait for the first night using it, still went out with his 70mm refractor to continue his lunau imaging project.

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The AZ4 will be inadequate for the 200PDS I'm afraid. For observing an EQ5 or CG5 will cope but will still be a little unsteady in the wind. Vibration damping will also take a while which could be frustrating. But for imaging it needs to be rock steady, so something like a Skywatcher NEQ6, or Celestron CGEM will be much more appropriate (mine is on an AZEQ6GT).

Also for imaging - get a copy of "Making Every Photon Count" - best £20 you'll ever spend if you're taking up astro photography. Hth :)

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If working to a restricted budget then it's too early to consider DSO photography. Budget and astrophotography  are at the opposite ends of the astronomical world. The suggestions to build or buy a secondhand Dob mount are the best alternatives, you can still image the Moon and planets mounted on one. Lots to look forward to before starting on the expensive track.  :smiley:

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I would agree that building your own dob mount would be a great way to get started... it could be a fun project for you and your son!  

|The stellafane website has a wealth of info on ATM (amateur telescope making):http://stellafane.org/tm/dob/mount/

You will have no trouble taking DSLR pics of the moon with a reflector on a dob mount since the exposure times are so short.

Failing that, a second hand EQ5 or CG5 could be had for £100-150 if you keep an eye out on the classifieds, one of those would be fine for visual observing (I've just aquired a 200p F6 which I have mounted on my CG5 and it works ok as long as it's not too windy).  Bear in mind you'll need two 5kg counterweights to balance it.  Again you'd be limited to DSLR photography of the moon and possibly some webcam video of the planets but that's pretty much it.  

The main advantage of the EQ mount over the dob mount is the ability to track smoothly using the slo mo controls at high magnifications for planetary/lunar viewing, add a motor to the RA axis and it becomes even easier though polar alignment is necessary for that.

Craig

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Hi 

A home made dobsonian mount is the way to go if you have the basic skills and time, how ever if you are interested in a CG5 I have one gathering dust in the back of the garage which used to mount  my 8" SCT.

PM me if you are interested.

Clear skies

Paul

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Thanks yet again for all the suggestions, for the moment I have gone down the road of getting an EQ5 mount as friend of my sons from his theatre class had one going spare as he has just built a pier mount in his observatoryhe has built with his dad. I will look at possibly making a dob mount as we could keep that for quick set up in the garden. Unfortunately our friendly council has placed the pesky white lights at the end of our garden in the latest street light improvement scheme. They are better for light pollution in the overall plan of things but its ruined my personal space lol.

I will reign in the son to keeping away from dso astrography but will encourage the moon and brighter planets, he was hoping to do constellations etc.

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Could contact your Council and ask if there are baffles they can have installed in the head unit to minimise direct flare into your space if it is intrusive. Your Council might be able to do something similar if it is effecting your hobby or sleep.

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Hi Kat,

thats not too bad an idea, I came home from gazing Friday night and the street opposite was in complete darkness we used to be but with the new light east sussex put in they decided to leave them on all night. I might accuse the council of wasting energy illuminating our street all night after all Rother is one of the worst offenders in the league of ungreen councils. Unfortunately it wont stop the lights on the otherside of the garden as its is an A road and it falls into the trap of being an accident blackspot so Highways England and Sussex insist on keeping the lights on.

Geoff

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My 2 cents: with a limited budget you can try the cg5 or eq5 with imaging as long as you dont add too much weight to it (like a guide scope) and windy days are cold anyway so avoid them :_)

Also, imaging with a 6 inch newton or 8 inch newton isn't that much different so maybe get a second hand 6 inch ota, you can pick them up fairly cheaply (should have a 2 inch focuser). It reduces weight bigtime! Or maybe get a ED 80mm which is also lighter than your 200pds....

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Thank Obi

I must admit I have read the thread regarding the 130pds but it only comes with a 1.25 focuser. I am very tempted to get a second scope and mount. My long suffering wife would have other ideas but I must admit a 150pds would be a good compromise and a lot easier to lug around our country lanes etc.

I am glad the wife does not lookat SGL.

Geoff

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Thank Obi

I must admit I have read the thread regarding the 130pds but it only comes with a 1.25 focuser. I am very tempted to get a second scope and mount. My long suffering wife would have other ideas but I must admit a 150pds would be a good compromise and a lot easier to lug around our country lanes etc.

I am glad the wife does not lookat SGL.

Geoff

It's got a 2" focuser with a 1.25" adapter. :)

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Hi

Thanks I must have misread the wrong scope reviews. I notice it has the same crayford 10:1 focuser. So it might be an object of desire for my wish list for transporting with ease espcially for Holiday kit. Off to the states next week but wont be able to pack a big telescope and mount due to weight restrictions. I will have to take my camera and baby refractor by getting the kids to carry a tripod with their cameras.

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