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EQ Questions - newbie :D


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I made certain many years ago that I was to have an alt-azimuth mount, large enough to support a wide range of telescopes, and up to a 150mm aperture in my case...

290011450_mountingoptions.jpg.7edf7931fe8cc3985230ddc29b2fb720.jpg

That mount is the same as this one, but my own came with a pier-extension and an integrated eyepiece-tray as options...

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1753_TS-Optics-Altazimuth-Mount-GSAZ-with-fine-adjustment-and-tripod.html

Said options are no longer available for that mount.

I'm of the belief that most should have at least one tripod-type alt-azimuth, one that will, again, support a wide range of telescopes, for you never know what you might acquire over the years, and decades.  I have over twelve telescopes myself.  In addition, it is imperative that the mount comes with slow-motion controls, as objects fly through the field-of-view of most eyepieces rather quickly.  Said controls allow you to "capture" an object, then to keep it in view for as long as you'd like.  This is especially important at the higher powers.

On the side, for more serious pursuits, you might then get an equatorial.

Granted, this does not take into account go-to mounts or excessive light-pollution.

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21 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I have it on a tiny compact AZ6 from Telescop-Express in Germany, it's pushing the mount's capacity rather, but I'm happy to put up with that to get light weight and portability . It's all on a manfrotto 190 tripod

Sounds like a nice set up and fun too. Do you find it more “comfortable” to use than the 150? The only thing that really puts me off longer observing sessions with the Heritage (apart from clouds!) is the eyepiece position compared to the Mak or an SCT say. Stooping over is not that comfortable after a while but that’s probably due to table height/ chair/stool combo. Small price to pay for such a compact six incher though. 

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As a visual astronomer I'm now 100% committed to the alt-azimuth mount in one form or another.

I have owned a number of equatorial mounts over the years, some very good, but for my, simple, observing preferences with setups that are quick and easy to put out and take in, I've found alt-azimuth mounts tick the boxes for me.

 

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st2wood.jpg

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Just now, Astro_Dad said:

Sounds like a nice set up and fun too. Do you find it more “comfortable” to use than the 150? The only thing that really puts me off longer observing sessions with the Heritage (apart from clouds!) is the eyepiece position compared to the Mak or an SCT say. Stooping over is not that comfortable after a while but that’s probably due to table height/ chair/stool combo. Small price to pay for such a compact six incher though. 

Not more comfortable, no. It's the instant set up and portablility I like the 102s for, and it helps that a nice photo tripod raises the viewpoint when fences round a small garden interfere .

If I'm using the dob , I have it on a custom made low table tailored for it, and use the adjustable observing chair I made to sit very comfortably at a seat height exactly right , it helps enormously , both in keeping my eye in the right spot over the EP, and, after a solid half hour gazing at Jupiter or whatever, I no longer get the feeling I may never stand up straight again :evil4:

Heather

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5 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Not more comfortable, no. It's the instant set up and portablility I like the 102s for, and it helps that a nice photo tripod raises the viewpoint when fences round a small garden interfere .

If I'm using the dob , I have it on a custom made low table tailored for it, and use the adjustable observing chair I made to sit very comfortably at a seat height exactly right , it helps enormously , both in keeping my eye in the right spot over the EP, and, after a solid half hour gazing at Jupiter or whatever, I no longer get the feeling I may never stand up straight again :evil4:

Heather

Where did you source the custom table if you don’t mind me asking? I find the Mak so much more comfortable at present…

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I had a further chat with Alex at FLO (such good customer support!) and he confirmed that the SW AZ5 on a steel tripod can support 9kg which is the same as the EQ5. Definitely love the look of the Skytee 2 but it is expensive so having a cheaper option is better so basically will be between that and the EQ5 if I get the refractor or just get the Dob :)

Thanks for answering my EQ questions and discussions on mounts its nice to hear lots of opinions!

Edited by wibblefish
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1 hour ago, Astro_Dad said:

Where did you source the custom table if you don’t mind me asking? I find the Mak so much more comfortable at present…

I made a 3 legged, equilateral triangle table  it from bits of a broken down Ikea sofa. you can see it in some of the photos in my thread about the chair I made from the same reclaimed wood later:

 

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2 hours ago, wibblefish said:

I had a further chat with Alex at FLO (such good customer support!) and he confirmed that the SW AZ5 on a steel tripod can support 9kg which is the same as the EQ5. Definitely love the look of the Skytee 2 but it is expensive so having a cheaper option is better so basically will be between that and the EQ5 if I get the refractor or just get the Dob :)

Thanks for answering my EQ questions and discussions on mounts its nice to hear lots of opinions!

If we match the numerals, EQ-5 vs AZ5, the Sky-Watcher AZ5 is not actually the alt-azimuthal equivalent of an EQ-5; more like to that of an EQ-3 rather.

My own alt-azimuth, previously illustrated, is the alt-azimuthal equivalent of an EQ-4, but not quite to that of an EQ-5.  

The SkyTee-2 is fully the alt-azimuthal equivalent to an EQ-5, but not an EQ-6. 

The Chinese numeric codes for these mounts can be a bit perplexing, I'm afraid.

Then, this is the Bresser "Twilight I", and fully the alt-azimuthal equivalent of an EQ-3.  It seems to have been available at some point in the UK, but no longer.  I don't know if that has to do with the pandemic, or customs/marketing hiccoughs...

https://www.bresseruk.com/Astronomy/BRESSER-Twilight-I-telescope-mount-with-tripod.html

Now we come to this comparison, and from Australia...

ClndEr6.jpg

That's the Saxon "Twilight I", same as the Bresser, and the Explore Scientific "Twilight I" sold in America I might add.  Note that the Saxon is described as an AZ5 as well.  But both of those are by no means alt-azimuthal equivalents of an EQ-5.  My own alt-azimuth is more supportive than both of those, and it's not the alt-azimuthal equivalent of an EQ-5 either.

It has been said, "Buy once, cry once".

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@Alan64 perhaps I am using the wrong term here :) I was purely thinking equivalent in terms of matching payload capability in this case 9kg unless I am completely missing something? Maybe I need to ask in the mounts section if anyone is using heavier OTAs on one and their experiences as I was surprised when I read about it and the skytee might be a more stable option as it can take 10kg loads.

From what I can see Bresser normally sell it bundled with an Exos-2 not sure what that translates into though it is an EQ class. I have also seen it with an Exos-1 option to which is a lighter weight mount so I am totally confused about mounts at this point! 

-- Edit I did indeed ask about the AZ5 and the 9kg capacity and got a good response that while possible not a good idea so back we go +2 for SGL ❤️

Edited by wibblefish
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12 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I have it on a tiny compact AZ6 from Telescop-Express in Germany, it's pushing the mount's capacity rather, but I'm happy to put up with that to get light weight and portability . It's all on a manfrotto 190 tripod

I've got the Altair Astro branded version on a Manfrotto 190c and I'm surprised it copes with a 102s. How long do vibrations take to settle?

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On 13/10/2021 at 10:21, wibblefish said:

I honestly can't see myself doing more than playing with AP at the moment just to see what it might be able to do, I certainly don't have the pennies to invest right now!

Never say never until you find out what your scope is capable of :) You dont need too many additional pennies once you have invested in a decent OTA and solid mount (thats more critical). You will need a camera, laptop and cable to connect the two. Most folk own a DSLR and a laptop, so job is half done already. I was told my OTA is rubbish but I am surprised at the images I have managed to get out of it (see my signature for link).

Good luck!

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22 hours ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I made a 3 legged, equilateral triangle table  it from bits of a broken down Ikea sofa. you can see it in some of the photos in my thread about the chair I made from the same reclaimed wood later:

 

Super stuff, thanks for sharing @Tiny Clangerand linking back to earlier posts. Clearly you are very handy indeed- impressive. 😀

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On 15/10/2021 at 01:51, wibblefish said:

@Alan64 perhaps I am using the wrong term here :) I was purely thinking equivalent in terms of matching payload capability in this case 9kg unless I am completely missing something? Maybe I need to ask in the mounts section if anyone is using heavier OTAs on one and their experiences as I was surprised when I read about it and the skytee might be a more stable option as it can take 10kg loads.

From what I can see Bresser normally sell it bundled with an Exos-2 not sure what that translates into though it is an EQ class. I have also seen it with an Exos-1 option to which is a lighter weight mount so I am totally confused about mounts at this point! 

-- Edit I did indeed ask about the AZ5 and the 9kg capacity and got a good response that while possible not a good idea so back we go +2 for SGL ❤️

Comparing alt az mounts to EQ ones is like comparing apples and oranges, apart from the fruit's weight (or for the mounts. the weight capacity) there's no equivalence , the numbers are just labels, although within the skywatcher ranges the numbers do denote ascending cost and capacity. The Pronto doesn't get a number, wonder where it would be , altaz 3.5 ?  🙂

I spent a lot of time looking for a reasonably priced , smaller and lighter alternative to the AZ5 for my 102 'frac. The skytee is heavier than I wanted, takes two 'scopes (which I didn't need it to do) and has a poor reputation for the quality of the clamps , and the metal the thing is made of has been known to shear ... all for double the cost of an AZ5. Nope, the skytee was not for me. There's the scopetech mount zero which ticks all the boxes for me apart from the price at £380 ...

I rather liked the look of the Berlebach castor , but they seem as rare as rocking horse droppings in the UK, and importing a 200 euro one from TS would attract VAT and import duty and carrier's charges ... similar problem with the very nice looking 250 euro giro ercole mini. (which would also require buying a saddle plate) Again, both of those take two 'scopes. Then there was the Berlebach spica , which I couldn't find much info on , and £180 is a lot to shell out to find out if something's any good ...

Then I saw the TS optics AZ6 , noted it was below the threshold at which VAT , import duty etc are levied by UK customs & excise (£135 last time I checked ) so the 100 euro ish price would be all I'd have to pay. It appears to be the less red & shiny,  extension and counterbalance bar free, version of this offering from Altair  which is priced at £180. Given my choices seemed to be either waiting an eternity for a second hand spica, castor or ercole to come up at a sensible price, or go for the TS AZ6 I took a punt on the little TS AZ6. It copes OK with the 102mm, but it's at the edge of what it can comfortably manage, which TS claim is 4kg without a counterweight ( and Altair say is a lot more).

What I conclude from hours of research on altaz mounts for middling size 'scopes , is that anything bigger, heavier and longer than my fairly modest 102s would need a serious mount, the very cheapest of which is the skytee, but if I was shopping for such I'd prefer one of the more refined bits of engineering like the berlebachs or giro ercole mini .

Just buy a dob ! :evil4:

Heather

 

 

 

Edited by Tiny Clanger
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On 14/10/2021 at 19:51, wibblefish said:

@Alan64 perhaps I am using the wrong term here :) I was purely thinking equivalent in terms of matching payload capability in this case 9kg unless I am completely missing something? Maybe I need to ask in the mounts section if anyone is using heavier OTAs on one and their experiences as I was surprised when I read about it and the skytee might be a more stable option as it can take 10kg loads.

From what I can see Bresser normally sell it bundled with an Exos-2 not sure what that translates into though it is an EQ class. I have also seen it with an Exos-1 option to which is a lighter weight mount so I am totally confused about mounts at this point! 

-- Edit I did indeed ask about the AZ5 and the 9kg capacity and got a good response that while possible not a good idea so back we go +2 for SGL ❤️

The Exos-2 is an EQ5-class equatorial mount.  The Exos-1 smacks of an EQ3-class, similar in appearance, but it's actually in between an EQ-2 and an EQ-3 in so far as load-capacity, an EQ-2.5 if you will. 

This is an EQ-1, on the left, which is the smallest equatorial mount on the planet...

SC12d.jpg.ab40abe530a25cca199103ce64f14f41.jpg

On the right is a Bresser "Twilight Nano" alt-azimuth mount, an AZ1-class mount.  Both are supporting a 70mm f/12.9 achromat which is actually a bit too large for either one of those mounts.

This is an EQ-2, and a bit more supportive than an EQ-1...

kit4.jpg.02f1e9c226791abb1271462444b5000e.jpg

Although that Meade 114/900 Newtonian is too large for it, as well.  But in both cases, that's how the industry pairs an entry-level mount and telescope together, and oft ill-fittingly.

My Celestron CG-4(EQ3-class) and Meade LX70(EQ5-class) mount-heads...

842936317_LX70vsCG-4c.jpg.da56f8d15c7a2174e015c683ce8c282b.jpg

Incidentally, the Vixen Porta II alt-azimuth is in between an AZ2 and an AZ3, an AZ2.5 rather, but not the AZ3 of "renown" which is actually an AZ2-class alt-azimuth, and the alt-azimuthal equivalent to an EQ-2.

I do hope that that clears things up a bit.

Know that refractors differ from all other types of telescopes in different ways.  One of those is that a refractor requires a sturdier mount, per inch of aperture, over the rest.  You can cheat a little with a somewhat shorter tube, but in the end you cannot escape the inevitable. 

Then, nor can a sensible and serious refractor be placed onto, within, a Dobson alt-azimuth base.

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3 hours ago, wibblefish said:

Thank you for all the info @Alan64 most enlightening! Bewildering amounts of options out there :)

@Tiny Clanger Yes the dob is going ti be the easier and cheaper choice but I have some weird refractor lust going on atm! 

Indeed there are.

Recently, I received a totally unexpected windfall, an insurance rebate-check.  Just prior, for quite some time, I had been toying with the idea of getting a 76/700 Newtonian on a yoke-style alt-azimuth, an AZ1-class...

aALXSJe.jpg

Just a li'l grab 'n' go kit to kick, knock round and about the lay of the land.  But once that rebate arrived, and combined with a bit of birthday-cash, my horizons expanded, albeit only somewhat.  I then ran across this, a 102mm f/6 achromat, and it, too, on a yoke-style mount...

kit3c.jpg.fbb43f7e1c4865c5c91ac62a9c9a49d5.jpg

It was offered by a Meade liquidator out in Arizona.  The seller still has them in stock, as of this writing...

https://telescope-warehouse.com/shop/ols/products/meade-708010-s102-102mm-refracting-telescope-complete-kit-excellent-condition

O, the possibilities with that one, as a daytime spotter, for leisure(birds and ships); and surveillance even(the delinquent and nefarious), at night as well.  An unobstructed 102mm aperture is simply luxurious, and bright...

objective2b.jpg.a349f525d3a6d3c08ea4de1a8f42d9ee.jpg

You can't use a Newtonian for that sort of thing, not easily in any event.

Its short tube a pleasure to handle and stow away...

OTA.jpg.da4ba4fc51622dc2a48cdf97f7bc1b4f.jpg

At present, I'm about to place it into tube-rings, but first I must fill, seal, the six holes left behind...

867643864_fittingsremoval5.jpg.70f84a6422cc66906b732b19869b4d3e.jpg

Once that's done, I may then attach the refractor onto any of my other mounts, at last.  Indeed, that has been my goal all along, as I knew that the mount included was just to get the telescope up off of the ground, and little else.

At night, what a fine sweeper of the skies it will be, and with the odd higher-powered view on occasion.

Now, just imagine how much more exciting, and riveting, a 120mm or 127mm would be. 

Edited by Alan64
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