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Suitable mount for Skymax 127 with DMK21?

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Hi all,

I'm considering getting some kit to help me take some planetary images.

I think I will probably go for one of the DMK cameras as the price seems reasonable and people have had some good results. This leaves me wondering about a suitable mount - I have the standard alt-az mount that comes with the Skymax 127 which is not particularly sturdy and the tracking is not great at high powers, as such I assume I would need to switch to an equatorial mount, something I've no experience of.

As I'd like to spend as little as possible I have been looking at the EQ3 with RA drive - would this provide a stable enough platform for imaging with a Skymax 127? Is accurate tracking so important with webcam imaging (60 fps) or can image processing software deal with the drift? Could I get away with using my existing alt-az mount, at least to begin with?

So many questions, as usual :D

Thanks for any help :D

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Your mount should be fine. With 60 fps you will only need to track for about 30 seconds to get 2000 frames, about half that for 1000 frames. Registax or Avistack will take care of any drift in stacking, a little bit of drift can be a good thing is there is any dust on the sensor as this gets averaged out during processing. If you plan on upgrading to an equatorial mount in the future it might be worth keeping an eye out for a used EQ5, you should be able to get one of those cheaper than a new EQ3-2 and it might already be equipped with dual axis motors. These become useful when imaging because it is easier to control the mount whilst looking at the laptop screen rather than trying to adjust the DEC axis manually and crooking your neck to see the laptop at the same time. You can improve the stability of your mount by making sure all the bolts are tightened up and hanging a weight off the centre brace using bungee straps.


Edited by Cornelius Varley
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I have a SkyMax 127 on an EQ3-2 Synscan with a DMK camera. Basically the scope and the camera are sound, but the mount is causing me all sorts of problems. It's not a very precision device, it's VERY wobbly, and the slightest touch sends vibrations through the whole setup.

It's so bad, I will soon be selling it and buying a HEQ5. I'm just fed up with it.


Edited by OzDave
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Note: you usually can't use max speed mode in D*K cameras as it may cause circular artifacts (you will get them for 99% on planets). So 30 FPS is the safest.

Alt/az with drive should be ok for planetary/lunary/solar. I used EQ 3-2 and this one required motofocus to focus the object easily and without super shakes.

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