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Considering new mount. Preferably with encoders.


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So, my RASA has been sitting idle in my shed for 8 months mostly because I've dreaded my battle with the Celestron CGX garbage. And I kinda miss the simplicity of an OSC compared to my setup in Spain. So, new mount must be had.

Requirements: RASA11 plus extras ~22kg. Tripod. Prefer encoders. Direct drive is a dream at this budget. 

Budget: £6000ish. plus minus a few £k.

Contenders:

Mesu 200. No encoders. No stock to be found.

CEM120EC2. Seems like there has been a lot of issues with this one.

CGX-L. lol, no.

CEM60. Not enough load capacity.

Paramount My-T. £8k including tripod and no encoders. That's a bit steep. The payload is quoted at 22.6kg, so it is also very borderline for the RASA.

EQ-8Rh. RA encoders.

10Micron GM1000HPS. encoders on both axis, a safe bet from pure performance point of view. But £7.6k and a ridiculous extra £2k for the tripod. £2,000 for a tripod. Had to repeat that one.

 

I'd very much welcome comments and personal experience from anyone owning one of these. Or if you think there is something out there I have missed and should consider.

EDIT:

Fornax 52. Formidable contender!

Used Mesu 200. Sounds like a very possible option.

TTS-160. Atl-Az with a rotator. I don't want that complication.

Vixen AXJ. 22kg payload is too little for my liking.

iOptron in general. I was woo'ed by them previously, but I worry a lot about the software side. They seem to have quite a few issues all around.

GM1000HPS. Can use my existing tripod? Puts it back in the budget range.

Crux 200HD. £8k, but serious reviews and performance.

Edited by Datalord
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Are you sure that's not just a picture of the cloudy sky last night? Only joking - looks great, i'm very sure you will enjoy the setup!

To finalize this thread, here's the mount mounted. And here is first light with a 42 min stack of 3 min subs with an Ha filter.

Hmm, in my end of the country too. Thanks for the heads up, I'll consider that one. 

Posted Images

Just for the sake of it, I tried to set up my system tonight. Without fail, this mount is worst pile of dog excrement I have ever tried. I am quitting in rage after this happened 15 minutes into an already atrocious run.

image.png.ed36f96d15b42a76e8dee497dd0a5d37.png

Yes, I know all about USB cables etc. No need to try to help with the problem. I'm done. If anyone is looking to buy a second hand excellent Celestron CGX in prime condition and working order, ping me. 

Apart from that, I'm very much looking for comments to the original topic.

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It seems that you're already narrowed it down to the EQ8 RH ?

I'm also interested in the EQ8R (maybe H), pity there's not a lot of reviews yet.

Certainly someone here on SGL must have one by now, so speak up please 🙂

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I am in the same position - i don't think i will go for cem120 or eq8 as there are very strange problems all around the globe - but you could chance it"1!!??..... i amlooking into - friction drive 30kg....Mesu or Gemini E.fric - 6-8weeks waiting time...no maintenance...but GTD is brand new mount.... MESU looks ugly solid PE- but there is something that keeps me from ordering one...i am not so sure - yet....

Greg

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TS started to sell the fornax mounts. They are on the market for several years.  The Fonax 52 seems to be a nice alternative to a EQ8 or CEM120. The design is more traditional but the finishing looks really great. 

 

Edited by Astrobug
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Another option would be the Vixen AXJ.  That has a quoted payload of 22kg and can be bought with encoders (or a can be upgraded later if needed) if you decide it's necessary.  Should just about fit into the budget. 

Note I think the distributer has recently changed and there can be discrepancies I think between 'old' and 'new' prices because of this.

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The Vixen AXJ should be an excellent mount. I have no experience with it but the current models from Vixen seem to have excellent finish and quality in general. I have had a SP-DX since the 80s from new and it still performs like on the first day - okay, I had to have it re-greased once.

Also the AXJ encoders are fully build in, even if retrofitted...

Frank

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37 minutes ago, Space Hopper said:

TTS-160 Panther......?

I'm not going into the additional complexity of an altaz mount trying to be an eq. It's a very interesting mount, but I don't think it is well suited for remote operation. 

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2 hours ago, Whirlwind said:

Another option would be the Vixen AXJ.  That has a quoted payload of 22kg and can be bought with encoders (or a can be upgraded later if needed) if you decide it's necessary.  Should just about fit into the budget. 

Note I think the distributer has recently changed and there can be discrepancies I think between 'old' and 'new' prices because of this.

22kg is too borderline for me. With 23kg of gear, I'll never get help if it doesn't work well. 

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3 hours ago, Astrobug said:

TS started to sell the fornax mounts. They are on the market for several years.  The Fonax 52 seems to be a nice alternative to a EQ8 or CEM120. The design is more traditional but the finishing looks really great. 

 

This looks super interesting! 40kg payload for £4k. Serious contender! Thanks! 

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16 hours ago, Datalord said:

10Micron GM1000HPS. encoders on both axis, a safe bet from pure performance point of view. But £7.6k and a ridiculous extra £2k for the tripod. £2,000 for a tripod. Had to repeat that one.

I have a 10Micron 1000HPS, 22kg is a bit close to carrying capacity and sky modelling with moving mirrors can be a bit fraught.

I use mine on a second hand Meade tripod and the supplied adapter screws straight onto it.

Setup pretty much plug and play, unlike some other contenders and built in WiFi.

Dave

Edited by Davey-T
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54 minutes ago, wornish said:

Apparently iOptron are about to release a CEM70. see post on here

I think I'm going to shy away from iOptron for now. Not in the mood for beta testing.

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9 minutes ago, Datalord said:

I think I'm going to shy away from iOptron for now. Not in the mood for beta testing.

I know what you mean having read some of the posts on here.

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Not going to suggest you get an iOptron because support in the end for me wasn't so great but maybe different in Europe.

However, I am running right about 22 kg at 1000mm and 0.7" scale on a cem60ec. It seems to work fine and my images are dominated by my collimation or optics issues. 

I don't know if you need encoders for an RASA thought. It's not going to be a small image scale system is it?

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28 minutes ago, cotak said:

I don't know if you need encoders for an RASA thought. It's not going to be a small image scale system is it?

No, you're right about that, but since getting my ASA mount on the RC12, my patience for guide error has drastically diminished to the point where I refuse to compromise. I love the hobby for the results, not for the anger at things that don't work as well as they are supposed to.

The other thing is that I might, some day, want to have a 6" refractor. And I could easily see myself pairing it with a QHY367C...

Edited by Datalord
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I too would like to here some reviews of the new Skywatcher EQ8-r Mount, and whether it’s much better than the original, ie, less backlash...I know they are supposed to have a better designed clutch fitted, which is good as the old ones are diabolical, holding wise and the fact they cause radial  movement on the DEC shaft when tightened due to the bad design...which In turn does not help with the backlash....

Not sure the move to belt drive on the DEC axis was a good idea or not, as the direct driver seemed to work well, but it was done to make the mount easier to balance... hmmmm did not really need that... as bad me on the EQ8 is not an issue as it’s such a beast of a mount, it can handle slight offset very well....

So if there are any EQ8-r owners out there....pipe up... 😀😀

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1 hour ago, Datalord said:

I have to add myself the Crux 200HD mount is looking extremely interesting to me. At £8k it is very top end for me, but what I have read of reviews, it is impressive.

The rainbow one however, especially the smallest one seem to have quite bad PE. So I'd becareful and hopefully buy with a good return policy.

 

 

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Mmmm. 10 Micron, or ASA. Have that as one of my dream mounts. Just a tad expensive. I think if one gets that kind of quality mounts. Its hard to use anything less. 

Oh, did you try the CPWI software for Celestron mounts? My avx upped its performance with this! 

Oh, I can make a even trade with my avx! LOL

 

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3 minutes ago, Rocket Stars said:

Mmmm. 10 Micron, or ASA. Have that as one of my dream mounts. Just a tad expensive. I think if one gets that kind of quality mounts. Its hard to use anything less. 

Oh, did you try the CPWI software for Celestron mounts? My avx upped its performance with this! 

Oh, I can make a even trade with my avx! LOL

 

yeah, the CPWI software is really, really good. I love it, actually. Just as much as I dislike the ASA software. But it means nothing when the guide error makes even 180s at 620mm fl shots unusable. Meanwhile, 1200s is working perfectly at 2400mm fl on the ASA. You get what you pay for.

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