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New Scope and new mount dilemma.


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Posted (edited)

Having recently sold my 12 inch SCT for reasons of downsizing, I am now looking for a suitable replacement. My plan is to go for one of the Vixen equatorial (SXP2) mounts with Starbook 10 and a Tak Mewlon 210. However, this is not set in stone and I was wondering what others thought about this because I have two slight doubts - one about the mount and the other concerning the telescope.

I am not into imaging so not sure if the benefits of the Vixen would be overkill and I would be paying for something I would never use.

With the telescope I am a little paranoid that going from a 12-inch to an 8-inch will be a bit of a shock and may result in me being dissatisfied with the Mewlon. Maybe a Celestron Edge 9.25 would alleviate such fears?

My preference is to go for a go-to mount unless I could be convinced that a mount fitted with DSC would be equally effective; Rowan AZ100 for example. I have seen one of these connected to a tablet using appropriate software but not sure how it all fits together and how accurate it all is.

Edited by Cleetus
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  • Cleetus changed the title to New Scope and new mount dilemma.

 Have you considered an 8" or 10" Classical Cassegrain by StellaLyra rather than a Mewlon? They do seem to have good reports, and if you found you didn't like it, you could sell it on to me cheap. Win win! :laugh2:

 The Sphynx doesn't have a manual slow motion option, but the Rowan does. That might be something worth considering in case of power failure.

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Tell you what I'll do Mike. I will get the Tak and if I'm not 100% happy with it you can have it for a quarter of what I paid. But I always thought you were a refractor guy so not sure you would be content with  the Mewlon.

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My thoughts on the current crop of Harmonic drive mounts is although they are a new exciting technology,

they are still an evolving technology. I was interested in one last year, but decided to wait a few more years yet and see how they develop.

 

If you are not an imager, I think a Rowan Astro AZ100 is the way to go especially with the motorisation upgrades just around the corner. And loads of scope options will be available to you.

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2 hours ago, Space Hopper said:

My thoughts on the current crop of Harmonic drive mounts is although they are a new exciting technology,

they are still an evolving technology. I was interested in one last year, but decided to wait a few more years yet and see how they develop.

 

If you are not an imager, I think a Rowan Astro AZ100 is the way to go especially with the motorisation upgrades just around the corner. And loads of scope options will be available to you.

For imaging I'd go with a belt driven mount.

For visual the AZ100 is very good, but the Pegasus is 6 kg, saving you 4 kg's over the AZ100. 

The AZ100 does have dual saddles, and a higher load capacity.

I'm waiting sometime before I'd jump in with the Pegasus however I know some people have lead ordered from RVO.

 

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What attracts you to the SXP2? It has made no friends of whom I'm aware in the imaging world and it is the imagers who are the most demanding in terms of tracking accuracy. When the Sphinx first appeared those imagers who bought it burned their fingers. It was poor. Is it now much better? Perhaps it is, I have no idea, but it has a payload comparable with an AZ EQ6, which can be configured in Alt-Az mode which is surely better for visual observers?  

With an 8 inch telescope in visual use we are asking very little of the mount. I cannot see why I would pay more than the price of an AZ EQ6 because I can't imagine what I'd be paying for. If I were to pay more, it would be for an Avalon Linear Fast Reverse for its outstanding build quality (I've had two in commercial use) but, for visual, I would simply use an AZ-EQ6. I once made the mistake of paying a fortune for a Takahashi EM200 mount. While it had some strong points it proved to be more trouble than my EQ sixes and I was glad to see the back of it.

As for the choice of telescope,  I would be disinclined to to go for a reduction in aperture that could not, at the same time, give me a big increase in field of view. A purely planetary observer might, of course, look at this differently.

Olly

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the replies. I already own a 4 inch Tak refractor so the narrow field of view of the Mewlon is a non-issue as I plan to use it for moon and planets and the refractor for wide-field views of the sky.

The telescope/mount will be housed in a dome so the weight and set-up time is not relevant. The SXP2 has had some very good reviews and favourable comments from users on CN. The reason why I was considering this mount was that if I did find the 8 inch telescope lacked aperture then it could easily handle a 10 inch instead - just leaving that option open. Of course for visual an al-taz is a lot simpler and I have been looking at the AZ 100 as an alternative. That would save me some money too but I can get the Vixen for 20% less than advertised price.

Also, the AZ 100 does offer the possibility of mounting the two telescopes side by side for the best of both worlds, assuming this can be accommodated by the dome.

I don't see myself ever going down the imaging route  but, if I did, the equatorial would be ideal. So again, options open.

Edited by Cleetus
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On 20/05/2022 at 20:35, ollypenrice said:

What attracts you to the SXP2? It has made no friends of whom I'm aware in the imaging world and it is the imagers who are the most demanding in terms of tracking accuracy. When the Sphinx first appeared those imagers who bought it burned their fingers. It was poor. Is it now much better? Perhaps it is, I have no idea, but it has a payload comparable with an AZ EQ6, which can be configured in Alt-Az mode which is surely better for visual observers?  

With an 8 inch telescope in visual use we are asking very little of the mount. I cannot see why I would pay more than the price of an AZ EQ6 because I can't imagine what I'd be paying for. If I were to pay more, it would be for an Avalon Linear Fast Reverse for its outstanding build quality (I've had two in commercial use) but, for visual, I would simply use an AZ-EQ6. I once made the mistake of paying a fortune for a Takahashi EM200 mount. While it had some strong points it proved to be more trouble than my EQ sixes and I was glad to see the back of it.

As for the choice of telescope,  I would be disinclined to to go for a reduction in aperture that could not, at the same time, give me a big increase in field of view. A purely planetary observer might, of course, look at this differently.

Olly

 

Hi Olly, I looked at the SXP2 before going for the SXD2. The SXP2 is highly regarded by imagers. Belt drive, well made, low PE, PPEC. Users seem to be very happy with them. You may be thinking of the Dec jump issues with some of the preceding models? 

My SXD2 with SB10 is turning out to be a great mount. Zero issues out of the box, the SB10 Go-to is spot on, and guiding/dithering/platesolving using an ASI Air Pro is excellent. There's now an SB10 dongle and WiFi app available too. 

For purely visual the SXP2 is overkill however SB10 is a good interface for same.

 

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