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Equatorial mounts..WooHoo!!


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First off , I have to say I have never used a Dosonian mount.

On the other hand, I do own a Equatorial mount. But which one is better? There is only one way to find out....

FIGHT!!!

Sorry `bout that, anyways, I cant help noticing that when newcomers ask about which scope people recommend the answer nearly always include ` get a dob`. I would just like to stick up for the good old EQ.

Sure they look quite complicated, but once assembled they compliment the tube wonderfully, making it look like a smart bit of kit, unlike the dob which turns your scope into something that resembles a roll of carpet stuck in a milk crate.

Performance wise, with the Eq is levelled and aligned, once a target has been found all that it required to keep the object in view is a twiddle on the RA slow-mo cable, or turn on the tracking motor if your posh.

Dobs however, to keep the object in the field of view, need to be `nudged`( :D ) . I mean, c`mon!!

Dont let the thought of aligning the mount with the celestial pole put you off either. I`m no way shape or form an expert, only had a telescope for two months, but i have found aligning really quite simple.

Level the top of the mount with the bubble level fitted and set your latitude for your viewing position (google will tell you) on the latitude scale on the side of the mount, you should not need to alter this, unless you are moving around the country.

Now, I cant see Polaris from the back of my house so this is what I do to line with the celestial pole. I use a hiking compass, the rectangular type, and I hold the rear edge of the compass flat against the base of the mount. The advantage of the hiking compass is that the dial can be rotated. This allows me to offset north on the compass by 4 degrees to the west, which is the difference between magetic north and celestial north. This works well for me.

26062010001.jpg

So if anybody wants my humble opion on which one to get, I say get an Ecky...

Edited by onmehedson
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Well, I use both. (By the way, if I hold my compass anywhere near my mount it swings off by about ten degrees. Probably the motor magnets I guess.)

The raison d'etre of the Dob mount was to carry large reflectors easily. You wouldn't want to be equatorially mounting our twenty inch... ''Ready, both rugby teams? Now lift!!'

Its other feature is low cost, focusing the money onto the glass. It is a very stable mount and one free from vibration. It does not require contortion or tube rotating as you move around the sky but, yes, you have to hand track. The Dob is intended to be a deep sky mount, so you probably wont't often want to go over 150x, in which case tracking is really a non issue in WA EPs. By default our Dob has a 35 Panoptic in it. Sometimes we move up to a 19mm and on M13 and in goes a 10mm ( about 200x). This is rare and of course is harder work.

But I would always get an EQ out for the planets and, obviously, for imaging. The advice given is often (half jokingy) have both. Now you're talking...

Olly

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I must admit I started out with a Dob but I didn't really take off so to speak until I got a 10" reflector on an equatorial mount. In return for just a few minutes effort at the beginning of a session I could then find anything I wanted at the press of a button or two... contrary to some expectations it hasn't hampered me learning where things are or stopped me finding things with a Dob.

There are downsides of course and I must admit to getting a little tired of climbing up on steps to get to the eyepiece occasionally so just as soon as I can get a good Dob with Goto I will. :D

I guess on balance, advising newcomers to astronomy to get a Dob is probably the best advice. It's not always going to be the right thing but it will be more often than not but I agree with the OP that we should be willing to stick up for EQ mounts too...

James

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I'm a Dob fan. But if you try one with "sticky" movements, you won't be impressed.

It's why I made a DIY mount for my S.W. 8". With smooth movements, after a while

it becomes automatic, like steering a car.

But if I ever get into astrophotography, I'll be getting an EQ, horses for courses.

Regards, Ed.

Edit: I will admit, that for "public outreach" a dob is not ideal, best done at lower powers with wide angle eyepiece.

Edited by NGC 1502
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I also have both and tend to use my dob more than my refractor. As a result, I found the EQ mount extremely awkward to use when finding objects but that was just a lack of practice.

As a result of this I converted my EQ mount to an altaz mount by pretending I live at the north pole and pointed the axis vertically. it now works more like a camera tripod/dob and is more to my liking. I can still track fine but it just needs a tweak here and there when at high mags.

I covered some of this in another thread when I was considering a Giro mount.

there's a pic at the end of the thread http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-discussion/106456-eq-alt-azimuth-giro.html

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Fairly ordinary 80mm scope on equatorial, around £300, ordinary 8" Dob, around £300! What do you want to see?

My 150mm PL eq3-2 cost me £249..:D:D:D

(thanx to the mod for re-sizing the piccy.. i couldnt do it..)

Edited by onmehedson
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I have both an equatorial and alt-azimuth types and tend to prefer the simplity of the latter 90% of the time. It is occasionally nice to put my 6" refractor on the equatorial and have the drives running but on the whole I'm a happy nudger.

If I had to settle for just one it would be an alt-az / dob type mount.

I agree with you that an EQ is not that complex to operate for just visual use and tracking just the single axis is nice but when you get larger scopes on them the eyepiece / finder ends up in all sorts of awkward positions which don't always make for comfortable observing.

Edited by John
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Dobs are usually recommended to people on a tight budget cos they are cheaper and give more aperture for the money - they are also quick and easy to set up (no polar alignment required) Plus push to is more intuitive to a newbie than one plane tracking.

An EQ is usually recommended if a person intends to do photography at some stage and has a more flexible budget. EQ's are also recommended for easier tracking in one plane which is a more natural movement relative to the movement of the heavens and Earth.

Advice all depends on various criteria - portability, aperture, intended use, budget, desired viewing, wether goto is required, and current knowedge level. I'd advise someone spending only £100-£200 totally differently to someone spending £1000 to £2000. Neither eq nor dob is neccessarily better - it's more a case of "horses for courses" :D

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First off , I have to say I have never used a Dosonian mount....

Why not try one, and then post a comparison based on your experiences of both ?.

Just a thought ..... :D

Edited by John
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abumuhannadh if you are looking for sympathy because you live in the Maldives I cannot see much of it coming from here in the UK.

I could however see a queue of people wanting to swap.

Which island are you on?

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abumuhannadh if you are looking for sympathy because you live in the Maldives I cannot see much of it coming from here in the UK.

I could however see a queue of people wanting to swap.

Which island are you on?

hahaha, i wouldn't want to swap.

right now i am in the capital, Male'

will move to my hometown hopefully within a week.

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I have the EQ5 that came with my 200p and a home built dob mount. It is fair to say that the dob gets far more use that the EQ probably because it takes no setting up also rotating the tube to avoid advanced yoga position observing with the EQ is annoying. Having said that, given a permanent setup, I'd have the tracking of an EQ mount every time.

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