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Mount advice wanted

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a new mount for my 130pds. I've been using a ra motorised eq3-2 but I've never enjoyed it - the scope I love but the mount is just a bit of a pain. I don't plan on imaging beyond the odd phone snap, so I want something more convenient to get me out under the stars faster and more often. 

Recently I bought an az-gti, which was promising - I'd not had goto before and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it needed to be returned as it was faulty. I know lots of people get on well with that mount (and with my scope too, to boot) but I've also read lots of other people's frustrated reports with it and all-in the experience has put me off somewhat. So can anyone recommend an other alt-az mount that would suit a 130pds for predominantly visual use? Or is the az-gti the only game in town. 

I'm not wedded to getting a goto - so much of my working day is spent deep in software calibration menus and looking at screens, so it's not what I wanted from stargazing. But having tried it, the ease of actually finding targets was pretty intoxicating. Plus it'd open the door to EAA which looks like fun (though also marks total surrender to the screens!). 

So, I'm thinking about spinning the wheel again with the az-gti, waiting for stock of one of the new mounts in the same weight class from skywatcher or ioptron, or maybe forgoe the goto and just get a az5 or similar. There doesn't seem to be much else out there budget wise between those mounts and the next step up to a ~£1k mount. 

Any advice gratefully received! 




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Sticking with what you've got for a moment. You could convert your eq3-2 into altaz mode (set dec to 90). It would be a lot simpler to use with a newt. This will be better than an AZ5.

If this works and you're satisfied then, since you've already invested in the mount, upgrade the tripod with the eq5 version. It'll be rock solid. The ability to switch between EQ and AZ mode gives you options.

Regarding goto, you could use your mobile for push-to functionality. I attach my phone holder to one of those holes in the tube rings using a photographic screw-thingy. I've used this with relative success on SkySafari, but there's a new app in town called PS Align Pro, where the maker has focused on this functionality with the ability to offset the inaccuracy in your phone.

If you want to do EAA you need a goto mount. Again, you could convert your eq3, or keep as your manual and buy a dedicated goto mount. I find it useful to have both. It's nice to have options.



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If you've got a good one the azgti works well, I found with the 130pds I however needed to use a beefier tripod due to the size of the scope (rather than my usual AP lightweight and short carbon fibre tripod), the scope acted like a wind sail. I think I'm sort of at the very limit (over) at around 6kg payload with it atm. For a quicker setup and sturdy altaz I use a Technosky Cubo.

Edited by Elp
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