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Mesu200 vs EQ8 for mobile setup


Wieben
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Helle guys,

Hope for some advice or thoughts on the dilemma Mesu200 vs. EQ8. 

I'm planning upgrading from an EQ6, mainly to get better tracking, and reduce the dependency of no or very light breezes.

All imaging is done in the field using a 10" Newton. It will be a long while before I will get a stationary obs, so the load capacity is not the most important factor at this time.

The weight of the mounts doesn't scare me. If I go for the Mesu I will still choose the the "one piece" version.

 

The pros for the EQ8 is obviously the price, which is roughly half of the Mesu. Also EQMod is nice, and the handles might be a great help in the field.

What worries me is if I can expect much significantly better tracking and wind resistance from the EQ8 compared to my current EQ6. Also backlash issues and tuning nightmares, is something I prefer to put behind.

The Mesu is probably the safe, but also expensive choice. Besides from the cost the only thing which worries me is how cumbersome the Mesu is to use in the field. What tripod is recommended? I'm thinking Losmandy folding HD tripod.

 

Any  thoughts or comments appreciated.

Clear skies,

Heine

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One of my guests uses a Berelebach wooden tripod for his mobile Mesu. It seems to work superbly but I'm not sure which model it is.  https://www.berlebach.de/?bereich=firma&sprache=english

His website is here: https://pietervandevelde.smugmug.com/

In terms of quality of construction and performance the Mesu is in an entirely different class to the EQ8. Have you seen this video? (Sorry, the quotation system on the new forum still won't play nicely for me so you'll need to scroll up from here to the top of the thread.)

It gives a good insight into the EQ8. 

At the risk of repeating myself, the Mesu I share with Tom O'Donoghue has still to drop a sub to guiding error of its own. We have dropped a few due to faulty guide camera cables but you can't blame the mount for that. In terms of its fit and finish it looks like new, being made of first class materials throughout. I'm one of the few astrophotographers who can say that his mount is the most reliable bit of kit in his observatory.

Olly

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100% agree regarding the Mesu 200's reliable and accurate tracking performance. I set mine up and take down for each session, it is a robust piece of kit. Biggest scare to date was when l didn't secure it properly in the back of the car and it fell over, but survived intact. It is now transported in a (large) flight case.

I use a home made, very heavy pier style tripod, a cross between the one sold with the EQ8 and the Mesu one. You would not describe it as a grab and go but as you point out there is no point going to a dark site with a set up that trembles in the breeze. The new lattice style tripod on the Altair Astro website looks pretty sturdy but I have not seen any reviews.

Steve 

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Hello Heine,

 

If you want to have trouble free mount, I fully recommend the Mesu 200 mount. Backlash & gear tuning are a non-issue, simply because there are none in the Mesu frictiondrive. The build quality totally surpasses an EQ8, you will pay more for the Mesu, but it is a mount you will own for a very long time. The engineer of the mount is also very approachable and helpfull (in my case just a 2 hours drive away).

Like Olly says, I have it on a Berlebach Planet tripod, this is their flagship tripod model. This tripod is very well made from beautiful ash tree wood, which dampens vibrations very well. The tripod can carry 100 kg of payload. It can be ordered with a specific adapter for the most common mounts.

https://www.berlebach.de/?bereich=details&id=350&sprache=english

I have owned many mounts like: Vixen gp-dx, Losmandy gm-8 (biggest piece of crap ever), Takahashi EM-200. The Mesu blows them all away.

 

Best regards,

Pieter

 

Edited by pietervdv
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The Mesu 200 is a far better mount with no known vices apart from getting used to the quirky SiTech software but this is a quick process and there is plenty of good documentation to help you. The Mesu is more expensive but you are buying into true craftsmanship and that doesn't come cheaply.

I am a great fan of EQMod, it is a game changer for compatible equatorial mounts but in use, what you actually use is a planetarium program (I use Cartes du Ciel for both EQMod and SiTech) so your session GUI is the same, it is just what happens in the background that is different.

If you can find the extra money, the Mesu is the one, if the cost is too high then you will need to reconsider. With regard to the tripod, the one from an EQ6 can be easily modified to work and there are lots of these sitting unused by EQ6 owners using a pier so that is a possibility.

Both mounts still require auto-guiding.

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Thank you Olly, Steve, Pieter and Steve R, for your good advice.

The Mesu really sounds like the wise pick. My current EQ6 carries my Newton OK, but I feel it is the mount is preventing me from improving the FWHM results any further. I'm convinced the Mesu will be the best to battle the wind and have a more smooth tracking.

Not that the EQ6 haven't served me well, cause it has.

Steve, scary with the mount moving around in the back of the car. I have been thinking what's the best way to secure it in the car. In an event with a hard brake on the motorway, I wouldn't like to have almost 30 kg metal loose in the boot. 

Steve and Pieter, thanks for the inputs for the tripod. I'll probably sell the EQ6 with the old tripod, so will find a sturdy one for the new mount.

EQmod is not a must. I use Maxim, so as long as there is a driver for the Sitech it should be business as usual I guess.

usually I just do one star alignment and plate solving to save time, so haven't moved to sky modeling etc.

Guess I need to check the finances....the Mesu sure is tempting.

 

Cheers,

Heine

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You can always get the Mesu made so that it splits into two parts - I think it costs an extra 200 euros or so. That is an option you can specify when ordering.... That may make it easier to box up and keep safe the two smaller and lighter parts.

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  • 1 month later...

If I had the option again I would have paid the 200 euros to get the Mesu as a two section  bolt together unit. My single piece Mesu travels safe and secure in a hefty flightcase but it really is a two person job to lift it in and out of the car.

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Just a further comment on two posters above. Pieter was too modest to say that he is an expert mechanical engineer and Steve was too modest to say that he wrote yet another bible, this time on how to live happily with SiTech!

Olly

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Another very happy Mesu owner here.  My only concern about it for your situation is that I am not sure how "mobile" it can be - even in the two section form.  It is a substantial piece of kit.  Of course set-up/tear-down can be done and, as we have heard, there are people doing it.  It might be a good idea to try to see one in the flesh so that you know what you are letting yourself in for.  (The same goes for an EQ8 of course).  If I was looking for a mobile set up, I think I would be considering one of the Avalon mounts, but I have no idea how suitable these are for use with large Newtonians.

   

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the new comments. If I upgrade it will be the Mesu. I feel this will be the safe choise. Having a piece of kit where you just feel glad every time using it will soothe the initial pain from the hit on the bank account. I'll probably manage to persuade myself during this autumn.

 Regarding the split option. I am considering this version, but at the same time I like the rigidity/simplicity of a one piece kit.

Maybe the one piece version can make sense from a transport point of view. I've been thinking how to secure the gear in a safe way in the back of the car, and might have found a solution. I have a modified Mitsubishi Outlander with no back seats. The boot floor is basically extended all the way up to the front seats as one flat surface. This gives lots of available space. The height allows the 10" Newton OTA to stand upright. The idea is to build a kind of mounting frame consisting of a floor plate the width of the boot secured to the boot floor, and a smaller leveled top plate (leveled 10" or so) where the mount sits on top. The mount is then bolted on the top plate just as when it sits on a tripod or pier. Next to the leveled top plate a vertical rod mounted on the floor plate can clamp on the OTA dovetail and holds the OTA firmly upright.

As you can see I'm still in the  process of telling myself I absolutely need this mount . I'm sure I will succeed sooner or later.

I have a friend living up north in the country who upgraded to the Mesu. When I go visit and see the mount in real life, I bet it will be like back when the wife persuaded to get a dog. Once you go and see the puppy, you know you will bring the beast home ?

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  • 2 months later...

Thank for your advice.

A Mesu is on the way. So excited to get everything setup and dialed in.

LOL@Gnomus regarding the essential accessory. The training has begun. Maybe I can just workout dragging the mount and save the gym membership from now on :-)

Essential preparations for going mobile with the Mesu

Cheers,

Heine Wieben

 

 

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  • 3 years later...

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