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Anyone have any suggestions on this mount???

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SmartStar-A Altazimuth/German Equatorial Dual "Cube" Mount

This looks to be good deal but I have tendncy to rush into purchases....will it work with my Celestron 130?? Will it greatly improve deep space astrophotography??? UGGhh. Thanks Everyone!!!


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In a word, no. It's an alt/az mount and they suffer from field rotation which is not good for long exposure astro imaging. You can get round this by buying a wedge which will align the mount to the celestial pole but they can be a) fiddly and :) expensive. I'm not even sure if one is available for that particular mount.

What you need is a German Equatorial Mount. These mounts have to be polar aligned to make them work properly and work much better than alt/az mounts for imaging. Take a look at the Skywatcher HEQ5 or EQ6's, they're very popular for a good reason. They're relatively cheap for what they are and you can get good results with one.


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It's an alt-az mount but does have the facility to act as an equatorial mount by means of its built in wedge - very like the larger Meade ETX tripod does - as can be seen in the following photo

Large Image Adorama Sku#ATISA.JPG

It doesn't look terribly easy to get an accuarate polar alignment though which would be key to long exposure AP. If its is like the Meade, fine adjustment is only available in altitude, not azimuth.

A GEM like a HEQ5 or EQ6 would be far better as Whippy suggests.


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I agree that the HEQ5 or EQ6 are excellent mounts and would have been my first choice if budget and mobility allowed - however, I opted for the Celestron CG5 mount which has so far proved to be very accurate and tracks extremely well. I know it doesn;t get quite as favourable reviews as the HEQ5 and EQ6 but for its price, it's got a good load capacity and is still light enough to carry out of the house complete with an 8" Newt and 80mm refractor loaded on it. Something I most definately couldn't manage with the EQ6 - that I think is most definately suited to a fixed mount set up.

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