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An idiots mount history.


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So, I bought a skywatcher 130p loved the images but hated the wobbly mount. Cashed it in for an st80 on a tripod, same issue and less "good" image (qualifier: me, my eyes, my preferences)

Decided I needed a rock of a mount and found a bargain heq5, bought it, never used it due to the faff of storing it, setting it up and hoiking it to the garden.

 

Moral of the story for me is I'm an occasional astronomer with a buying fetish.  big heavy gear is a no-no. Still have the st80 which is perfect for my needs.

I'm going to build a portable pier from plywood for stability and then geek out on a small head/mount, maybe a star adventurer, cos you know, why not.

 

Have a think guys, sometimes all you will need is a small "toy" scope to sate your astro desires.

 

Nick

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Hi, Nick, and welcome to SGL.

When you settle on the gear that is right for you, don't let anyone talk you into the idea that you need something bigger (been there, done that, ...). I went through 4 scopes before I found the first one that actually got me motivated to be outside on cold nights (an ETX80). OK, I have "upgraded" a couple of times since then, but each time I have known WHY I want to upgrade and what I intend to achieve as a result.

BTW: I think the ST80 is a bit more than a "toy" scope.

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Having owned around sixty of the things, I know a bit about buying fetishes although I have had good use out of many of them.

Finances being tight I am down to one main scope, a little 4" 'toy', albeit a very nice one. ;) 

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Cheers all.

 

Demonperformer, I only meant toy from the view of it not being a 1500 quid light bucket or triplet superquantumglass monster.

I was just trying to put a view across that sometimes the basic solution will be enough, I enjoy my time outside but have no desire to spend more time or money on bigger, heavier, "better"equipment. It just doesn't fit with my life or desires.

Although my kids have shown an interest so I'm sure I will end up spending money for them.

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58 minutes ago, Grumpy_Git said:

I was just trying to put a view across that sometimes the basic solution will be enough

I think that is absolutely right, and a good reminder that for not much investment you can really still enjoy the skies.

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If you think lugging a heavy mount (an HEQ5 is not that heavy) into the garden is faff, don't ever be tempted to think about imaging.  You'd find out what faff is then, but I guess it will feed your spending habit.  

Lol :happy6:

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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The lesson here is never, ever buy an EQ mount unless you are into imaging. As the original poster notes the “faff” is simply not worth it. I have had an EQ5 for almost 2 years now and after many frustrating attempts, early on, now never think of using it.

 

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Im an engineer so the clever technical theory of the equipment type mount really appealed. I should have just bought the 130p heritage dob as I suggested to my brother.

Definitely don't want a cg5, now if someone offered me a nice cheap star adventurer... 

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On ‎22‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 07:42, Grumpy_Git said:

triplet superquantumglass monster

So this ^^^^^ is what I should be aiming for?  Wow!  sounds awesome, I bet if you have one of those even the clouds run scared!!!  LOL

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18 hours ago, Donkeiller said:

The lesson here is never, ever buy an EQ mount unless you are into imaging. As the original poster notes the “faff” is simply not worth it. I have had an EQ5 for almost 2 years now and after many frustrating attempts, early on, now never think of using it.

 

A simple EQ5 with single or preferably dual axis motors is actually ideal for planetary, lunar or solar viewing. No need for complex alignment, simple level and point North and you are away, a few minutes max. Having the mount Tracking the target smoothly at high power makes for very relaxing viewing.

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14 minutes ago, Stu said:

A simple EQ5 with single or preferably dual axis motors is actually ideal for planetary, lunar or solar viewing. No need for complex alignment, simple level and point North and you are away, a few minutes max. Having the mount Tracking the target smoothly at high power makes for very relaxing viewing.

Agree 100%. My "setup" time for visual from plopping it on the ground to looking through the eyepiece is about 2-3 minutes. That's not an exaggeration. Once you have the alt set right (first time setup takes maybe 10 minutes to get this right) then it's easy. If you hold the mount with the North leg facing away from you, point it towards Polaris and put the mount on the ground - that's it. The mount is aligned. Attach the scope and counterweights and it's ready to go.

(With hindsight, I am glossing over a few frustrating and "faffy" sessions early on - I think there genuinely is a bit of learning curve, but once it's done it's done and they become second nature.)

As to whether it's an advantage or not, I'd say not so much for low magnification DSOs - unless you like sketching, in which case it can be a big help, especially if you are as slow as I am. For planets - I guess for visual use an EQ mount is not that much better (if any) than a goto alt-az that can track (I don't have much experience with those so can't say).

If it's driven EQ vs manual alt az then (for me, YMMV) there is absolutely no comparison. The ability to put and keep the object dead centre of the ep (which unless you are spending a lot of money on ep's is important on planets - it's all very well having a 68 degree FOV but for most ep's you want the object in the middle 10) and relax, waiting for those minute gaps in the seeing conditions, is worth a fair bit of aperture. I'd think I'd take my 130 mm PDS over my 200mm manual dob on this if push came to shove - the 200mm image would be brighter and better, but over an extended session of a few hours I might well see more in the smaller, equatorially mounted scope. With the seeing here in the UK I can think of sessions where I've viewed (say) Jupiter for 2 hours or so and had maybe a total of 30 seconds of optimal seeing (spread over a handfull of short periods). If I'm adjusting the scope during those periods they may as well not have happened.

Then again, perhaps if I'd invested my time in getting used to "steering" a manual Dob better I'd be reading this thinking "what's he on about?" Different strokes for different folks, but there is definately a place for EQ mounts in visual astronomy.

Billy.

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