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glennbech

Got a New hobby and thinking about a good Alt/Az Mount or other grab-and-go mount?

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Hi!

I'm starting av new hobby, or rather shifting the focus of my  fascination with astronomy .  I have been astro imaging since 2010, and have had a lot of fun. I am now selling off all my photo gear, will pursue visual astronomy.  My telescope will be a William Optics Megrez 90/621 that I have used for imaging and are very found of. 

I have a Vixen Portal Pro, that is kind of broken. One of the knobs broke off years ago as my son pushed it over. A part of the peg got stuck in the azimuth knob and it is more or less unusable. I have disassembled the mount and reversed the top's direction and glued the knob back onto the opposite peg with sugerglue. 

The Porta Pro is old and I used to have a bad habbit of not taking care of my stuff. A lot of parts are missing (eye piece holder, rubber covers etc). So, I was thinking to ask you guys what mount you use for visual. 

   

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I love the Tele-Optic giro mounts. I currently have the Ercole and Ercole Mini but have also had two Giro IIIs and all have been fantastic.

The Ercole Mini would suit your Megrez very well - I have an Altair Starwave 72 and it sits on it very nicely.

Welcome to the side without the Darks :wink:

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It has to be a steel legged AZ4. A very solid and utterly reliable mount. I would buy another in a heart beat. As affordable but decent quality grab and go a ED100 and a AZ4 is very, very hard to beat. With your scope it would be utterly rock solid

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The Ercole Mini would suit your Megrez very well - I have an Altair Starwave 72 and it sits on it very nicely.

I also have a Skywatcher Skymax 150 Mak that now might get some quality time. I bought it on combination of bad judgement and impulse back in 2012. But, there is now way I am letting that one go now that I am going into visual. Do you think the mine would Tele-Optic Mini could cope with the Megrez 90 and the Skymax?   

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Welcome to the side without the Darks

Thanks! I am very excited. I have access to a cabin with pretty nice skies 40 minutes from my house, I hope to view from there a lot this winter :)

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I have the US-version of the AZ4 - called the Orion VersaGo II here. It fits my Skywatcher 150mm Maksutov-Cassegrain like a glove. And I'm sure it would be happy to have your WO Megrez 90 on board. These mounts are much stronger than they may appear. Very smooth action - no bumps or lurches I've detected.

Happy viewing,

Dave

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11 hours ago, glennbech said:

I also have a Skywatcher Skymax 150 Mak that now might get some quality time. I bought it on combination of bad judgement and impulse back in 2012. But, there is now way I am letting that one go now that I am going into visual. Do you think the mine would Tele-Optic Mini could cope with the Megrez 90 and the Skymax?   

You can see the specs for the Ercole Mini and a picture of it side by side with its big brother in this thread. The spec claims it can take up to 9kg on each side but if I were you I would consider the Ercole as it will cope with almost anything bigger that you decide to buy in the future.

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Thanks for all the help. I am trying not to get carried away with the astro gear fever here as well. Ill probably should stick with my damaged and glued Vixen portal until I get tired of
it not working to my needs :-) 

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You can see the specs for the Ercole Mini and a picture of it side by side with its big brother in this thread. The spec claims it can take up to 9kg on each side but if I were you I would consider the Ercole as it will cope with almost anything bigger that you decide to buy in the future.

This is now on my wish list. I really like to dual scope feature.

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Giro is the way to go!!   :)

I've used many over the years.  Great as a dual mount option and now with a TMB92SS APO.

Good hunting!

Paul

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I would also recommend a Giro mount; either the Teleoptics Ercole or Ercole Mini.  It is very liberating being able to just surf around the sky with no go to controls or even fine control nobs to mess around with, you just point and view. 

 

The Tele-optic mounts are very, very smooth.  You can swing from one part of the sky to any other in roughly one second.  I am now able to view under part cloudy skies; I just swing from a cloudy area to a non-cloudy area and see what I can find.   Set up times are really short, 5-10 minutes depending on how many scopes you attach.

Which brings me to one of the biggest advantages of these Giro mounts; using multiple scopes at the same time.  The Tele-optic Giros hold two scopes side by side.  I tend to use my ES ED80 as a wonderful finderscope/wide field scope, side by side with my C9.25.  However, I have now found that I can mount 3 scopes together.  I put my ES ED127 on one side of the mount and my C9.25 on the other side.  Then I attach my ED80 to a Vixen dovetail clamp bolted on to the carry handle of the ED127. 

I now have 3 scopes and a finder in use all at once:

1) A Baader 40mm Sky Surfer V red dot to get a rough direction of the sky;

2) ES ED 80 with a 21mm 100 degree eyepiece giving 4.4 degrees TFOV - this is essentially the same field of view as a 9 x 50 finderscope (which gives 4.5 degrees).  However the field is delivered at x23 magnification and 80mm aperture through a triplet lens, for wonderful sharp bright wide images;

3) ES ED127 for medium power, medium-wide views of open clusters, nebulae and even galaxies and planets - beautiful, sharp views; and

4) C9.25 for high magnification views of dimmer objects, like small - medium galaxies, planets, globs and planetary nebulae.

 

So which mount should you get?  I think the Ercole Mini would hold your current scopes, but the Ercole will give you a lot of options in the future (up to 18Kgs per side).  Now that you are starting visual observation, you are likely to want a bigger scope at some point.  These are not particulartly expensive mounts, you can get them from Teleskop Service in Germany.  You will need a tripod too.  I used the tripod from my AVX, but many people use EQ5 tripods.

 

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Here's a pic of my Ercole.  It's breathed new life into my older scopes, as I now use everything at the same time! 

IMAG1158[2].jpg

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Those Giro jobbies really do look the business. Even the mini carries a fair old weight of scope on a remarkably  compact mount.

I've been fighting the temptation ever since SGLXI (you know who you are). But, obviously they ain't cheap.

In the end I beat the temptation by hitting "buy" on a second hand Sky Tee II. I know that these are good, if heavier. It arrives tomorrow and I've saved some cash.?

Paul

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Congratulations on a move to the visual clan!  Visual has its own frustrations but the grab and go business can yield immediate results. 

I must be stubborn but still use the EQ5 for all my needs.  The AZ4 just never sees action even for light work. The giros and ercoles mentioned above sound like great suggestions too.  Good luck either way and clear skies :)

 

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14 hours ago, Paul73 said:

I've been fighting the temptation ever since SGLXI (you know who you are).

:rolleyes2:

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