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G.e. mount v fork mounts.

mark skelton

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I know some manufactures like celestron use equartorial mount with a polar scope for easy polar alinement / star tracking. Others like meade use fork mounts/ wedges to aline the forks with the earths polar axces. Both types I know can be used with go-to computers. What I want to know is how easy is it to polar aline a fork mount in comparison to eq. mount, witch do you think is best for something like astrophotography?:):icon_scratch:

Edited by mark skelton
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Even though I don't have any astrophoto experience worth mentioning, you may find that polar alignment may be easier with a GEM with a polarscope, than with a fork on a wedge. You can get polarscopes with an adapter that fits onto a wedge and that can make it a bit easier.

I find it very easy to polar align my Meade GEM (lxd75) and I usually get results that bean no drifting in the eyepiece for over an hour at a time.

I don't have a fork mount with a wedge as I got the GEM at a bargain price and I have other telescopes that will attach to it. I've read pointers on quick routes to accurate polar alignment, such as the "Kochab Clock", and these appear to work.

In general, if going down the astrophoto route, I'd suggest a good GEM and then pick your OTA of choice for your targets.

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I've been using fork mounted SCT's on and off for the last twenty years.

No issue with polar alignment.

Providing the scope is balanced properly and the wedge is SOLIDLY built and rigid there no real problems.

I can guide my 12" Lx200 on a HD wedge and HD tripod to keep a star on a 20 micron spectroscope slit for as long as needed.

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However for AP a wedged fork will never be as accurate on dso's as an eq unless it's solid pier mounted and tuned.

Interested in why you say that?? I don't think there is any fundamental difference between GEMs and Fork mounts... (though I do think it is easier to buy a good GEM than a good Fork...)

A fork has a huge advantage that you can observe smoothly through the meridian (when the target is at the best position), and don't have to bother with pier flips...

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Hi TeaDwarf - It's only my opinion but most people are after portable setups, and a wedge mounted forked scope is allways going to present challenges in alignment and tracking in the field.

I think it's more difficult to achieve accuracy with wedge and forks unless they're permanently bolted down - I find eq's much more accurate when travelling with your kit. For observing though - no probs sure! (or maybe it's just me or my kit lol) :)

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