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MakeItSo

Best high-ish end mount for permanent set up?

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Simple question for opinions.

Whats the best mount for under £5.5K?

Context:

Will sit in an observatory on a pier

Used for deep sky AP

Will need to carry a 14 inch SCT OR a 130mm refractor plus imaging kit.

(not both scopes at the same time)

Portability not important

Weight capacity is important

Accuracy critical

Ease of set up and use very important 

 

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I'd say there are only 4 mounts that are easily available that are within your price limit:
Celestron CGX-L
CEM120 (basic version)
Losmandy G11GT
Skywatcher EQ8

Your OTA is around 20kg and say another 8-10kg of toys. And from that list any one of them would do the job.

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Many thanks.

At this price I could get the CEM 120 EC or almost EC2

With another 1k I could stretch to a Paramount MyT. 

Does anyone have experience with these mounts? Would that open up a lot more possibility? I am keen to future proof myself as much as possible against wanting to upgrade and time soon (like the next decade :))

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Hi,

I do not know the CGX-L nor the Skywatcher EQ 8 but I know for sure the Losmandy G11 and the CEM 120EC2.

Do not touch the Losmandy G11GT as the backlash problem is not solved here. Believe. I did fight with that for the last 16 years 😎 I even invented a floating worm systen for the G11 15 years ago.

Now since Novemeber 2018 I installed two iOptron CEM 120EC2 mounts inmy observatory and I could not be happier. 

On one mount I have a Mewlon 250S side by side with a SKY 90 as well as a FSQ 85ED and the counterweight shaft carries 54 kg of counterweights.

I do not know how much your SCT 14 weighs and the 130mm + all other but I would bet that you can set it up all on a CEM 120. I would get the EC model and if you can afford it go up to the EC2 and you are done for the rest ? of your life ...

I do not recommend exchanging too often the telescopes ...

But as always I am stronlgy biased toward iOptron and is JMHO 🤔

regards Rainer

Two_CEM120EC2_OR14.jpg.c014fd9eccbb430e297206c5b6d541a7.jpg

IMG_4083_C1_ICE.jpg.e3ed16c08e0a10ecbe45df0805305b90.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Rainer said:

Hi,

I do not know the CGX-L nor the Skywatcher EQ 8 but I know for sure the Losmandy G11 and the CEM 120EC2.

Do not touch the Losmandy G11GT as the backlash problem is not solved here. Believe. I did fight with that for the last 16 years 😎 I even invented a floating worm systen for the G11 15 years ago.

Now since Novemeber 2018 I installed two iOptron CEM 120EC2 mounts inmy observatory and I could not be happier. 

On one mount I have a Mewlon 250S side by side with a SKY 90 as well as a FSQ 85ED and the counterweight shaft carries 54 kg of counterweights.

I do not know how much your SCT 14 weighs and the 130mm + all other but I would bet that you can set it up all on a CEM 120. I would get the EC model and if you can afford it go up to the EC2 and you are done for the rest ? of your life ...

I do not recommend exchanging too often the telescopes ...

But as always I am stronlgy biased toward iOptron and is JMHO 🤔

regards Rainer

Two_CEM120EC2_OR14.jpg.c014fd9eccbb430e297206c5b6d541a7.jpg

IMG_4083_C1_ICE.jpg.e3ed16c08e0a10ecbe45df0805305b90.jpg

Hi Rainer,

how easy are those mounts to set and use?

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40 minutes ago, MakeItSo said:

Hi Rainer,

how easy are those mounts to set and use?

Hi,

As easy or as difficult as any other Ecuatorial mount brand.

Do you have experience with an Ecuatorial mount ? If yes then you have nothing to be afraid of. I am 66 years old 168 cm short, not in good shape, and managed to lift up the mounts onto both of my piers and they are high, one is 1.65 meter and the other one 1.55 meter (measured to the top of the aluminum plate). The mount weighs without counterweight shaft about 26 kg. The CW shaft is about 4.5 kg.

You set it on your pier. Level it as best as you can. Adjust your North pointing by moving Azimuth and altitude hardware adjustements. They are quite precise. Azimuth has a 3' arc minute scale and Altitude has a 0.5' arc minute scale and once set up the position are very accurate for repetitiveness.

If you better post your specific doubt it is easier for me to answer.

I have both drift aligned with the Guiding software PHD2. I tetsed Polar ALignemtn with SHarpCap and aslo have a QSY PoleMaster. While they also align your mounts the best accuracy is with Drift Align. OK, you need to invest time for Drift Align but being permanent in an Observatory you perhaps will check Alignment every 4 or 6 months.

Having encoder on RA makes you guiding more comfortable as you do not deal with Periodic Error and just correct for Polar Aligment drift and Atmospheric refraction drift and NO encoders are not for unguided imaging 🤨 IMHO. OK you can make unguided images but after a session of 3-4 hours you will see drift in your images getting worse the nearer you approach the horizon.

Just ask and I will try to answer your questions.

JMHO and YMMV

Rainer

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On 07/07/2019 at 19:53, pete_l said:

I'd say there are only 4 mounts that are easily available that are within your price limit:
Celestron CGX-L

Good heavens, no. I have a CGX and it is anything but accurate. I don't have experience with the other mounts, but stay far away from the Celestron. 

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At this budget you have a lot of options but the best would be CEM120 and Mesu 200. Both have a wide user base here and if you get in trouble you will find help quickly. If you stretch the budget by 1000 or so you can get an AP 1100 or a Paramount MX or MX+ second hand. 

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On 15/07/2019 at 11:31, Datalord said:

Good heavens, no. I have a CGX and it is anything but accurate. I don't have experience with the other mounts, but stay far away from the Celestron. 

I'm not a big celestron fan but I'd assume the CGX  to be fairly decent surely??

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Just now, newbie alert said:

I'm not a big celestron fan but I'd assume the CGX  to be fairly decent surely??

Nope, not at long FL. The amount of issues I've had with that mount and the performance compared to the ASA is miles apart. You do not expect a linear correlation between performance and cost, but the ASA literally gives me 3 times better RMS than the CGX all other things being equal.

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Are you considering used mounts in your budget?

An £8K new price mount may well be in your budget.

You potentially get something tried and tested. Rather than the 2019 model with 2019 bugs/issues.

At some point buying used risks an old rusty and wobbly package. But people spending this amount of money on a mount tend to look after them.

My D6 mount was an excellent example of a used bargain. 10 years later I am still happy with it.

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On 07/07/2019 at 12:41, MakeItSo said:

Simple question for opinions.

Whats the best mount for under £5.5K?

Context:

Will sit in an observatory on a pier

Used for deep sky AP

Will need to carry a 14 inch SCT OR a 130mm refractor plus imaging kit.

(not both scopes at the same time)

Portability not important

Weight capacity is important

Accuracy critical

Ease of set up and use very important 

 

Hi MakeItSo,

Any updates ? 🤔

Rainer

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Still looking but probably going to go with a 10 Micron (and stretch the budget a it). 

Edited by MakeItSo

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I just wanted to bump this thread up rather than start a new one.  I figured since I'm moving my kit into a dome this year, and it might be easier just to set it all up around my long term mount plans.

I think these two fall into my price bracket: Mesu e2000 or CEM120EC2?

The Mesu has double the payload at 100kg, and the CEM120 at 52kg.  I could certainly see me wanting to go back to a double rig again, and would expect that to weigh in at around 30kg total.  I'm currently at about 13kg with a single scope.

 

Apart from CWs for the Mesu, are there any additional purchase costs?

Any recommendations for and against these two options?

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4 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Apart from CWs for the Mesu, are there any additional purchase costs?

You might need a pier adapter plate - https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/accessories/mesu-mount-accessories/mesu-pier-adapter-plate/

And you will need some muscle relaxant as your face will ache from constantly smiling when you see the guide graph and resulting images 😉 

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1 hour ago, Skipper Billy said:

You might need a pier adapter plate - https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/accessories/mesu-mount-accessories/mesu-pier-adapter-plate/

And you will need some muscle relaxant as your face will ache from constantly smiling when you see the guide graph and resulting images 😉 

lol I do Botox so that’s no problem. Just self inject as required. 
 

Ive a few more questions 🙈

Bent pier or wedge?

Can it be bought without either? as I can get one made locally

Can the bought bent pier be bolted directly to the floor or is it a bit over engineered / too large at the base and more suited as a tripod?

Could I just pour a deep base for the whole observatory and forget about a large block for the pier base if I’m going for a large bolted down design, since it’s not going to be centred if it’s bent?

 

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1 hour ago, tooth_dr said:

Ive a few more questions 🙈

Bent pier or wedge?

Can it be bought without either? as I can get one made locally

Can the bought bent pier be bolted directly to the floor or is it a bit over engineered / too large at the base and more suited as a tripod?

Could I just pour a deep base for the whole observatory and forget about a large block for the pier base if I’m going for a large bolted down design, since it’s not going to be centred if it’s bent?

I dont know the answers but Bernard at Modern Astronomy will.....

Modern Astronomy Ltd.
60 Purley Bury Avenue,
Purley,
Surrey,
CR8 1JD,
United Kingdom

e: bernard@modernastronomy.com
p: 020 8763 9953

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1 minute ago, Skipper Billy said:

I dont know the answers but Bernard at Modern Astronomy will.....

Modern Astronomy Ltd.
60 Purley Bury Avenue,
Purley,
Surrey,
CR8 1JD,
United Kingdom

e: bernard@modernastronomy.com
p: 020 8763 9953

Thanks David. I’ve bought plenty of stuff off him over the years so will drop him an email.

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