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  1. #1
    Steve Maddison's Avatar
    Steve Maddison Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    Hi all,

    I'm contemplating getting an Orion ED80 for wide field viewing and
    imaging. My original thought was to piggy back it on my Meade LX90, but
    it'd be nice to have a separate mount too, in order to increase the
    grab-and-go possibilities I'm somewhat lacking at the moment. The ED80
    and piggybacking seem to be very popular subjects at the moment, so I've
    already picked up a lot of info from other threads. I am however still
    wondering about that "extra" mount...

    I've seen what looks like a nice package deal with the SkyView Pro
    mount. I've read very favourable reviews and it certainly looks a nice
    stable piece of kit. Although I can see myself doing more imaging in the
    piggyback configuration, I was wondering if this mount is also sturdy
    enough to support a (consumer) digital camera set-up, a decent finder
    and possibly other things I've not thought of yet. Could be that I'm
    pushing it a little in terms of the stability and accuracy required for
    good imaging, but this is likely to be very occasional (e.g. on
    vacation, etc).

    Any other thoughts/comments/experiences on this kind of set-up are of
    course most welcome! Given the popularity of these scopes, I can imagine
    plenty of you have been though a similar selection process.



  2. #2
    Doink's Avatar
    Doink Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    Hi Steve,

    I have 2 SVP mounts----I use primaily my 8" F/5 reflector equiped with
    Telrad and whopper 2" eyepiece...VERY stable. I really like my SVPs...I too
    have an ED 80 and use it on a Meade Alt/AZ mount mostly---The SVP is pretty


    "Steve Maddison" <> wrote in message

  3. #3
    Steve Maddison's Avatar
    Steve Maddison Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    Doink wrote:

    Thanks for the info. If the SVP can support your 8-incher so well, I
    guess it's a bit bulkier than I thought! I'll have to find one and check
    it out in person, as weight is quite a deciding factor for me. I really
    want something you could easily walk around with.

    I'd much prefer a GEM to an Alt/Az, so maybe I'd be better off with an
    EQ-1 or EQ-2. Maybe I should be asking my previous questions for these
    mounts instead...?


  4. #4
    Stephen Paul's Avatar
    Stephen Paul Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    "Steve Maddison" <> wrote in message

    Check out the UniStar line. The Light Deluxe model is perfect for the ED80,
    and ultra-portable.

    I have the UniStar Light on the D&S Compact CS short tripod for my 100mm F5
    refractor. The entire setup (with scope) weighs just 15 pounds. Put
    anti-vibration pads under the tripod and it's good to go for as high power
    as you'd want to use in an undriven scope (160x?).

    I can't recommend this setup highly enough. I use mine out on the patio
    every clear night that I don't have time for the bigger scopes. Pick the
    whole thing up in one hand and step through the slider. Go back for the
    binoviewer and a cup of decaf coffee. Sit in a patio chair with beverage in
    hand, and contemplate Plato for a half hour at 100x (with the binoviewer I
    think I can see two of the larger craterlets come and go in flashes as the
    seeing varies). Very nice way to end (or start) an evening.

    With the short tripod fully collapsed, the binoviewer eyepiece position is
    low enough that I can sit in a patio chair and observe down to the horizon.
    It then has an adjustable center post which raises very easily as you aim
    higher toward the zenith, keeping the eyepiece position very comfortable.
    (Although raising the center post more than half it's full length can
    introduce more vibrations and cause the setup to be "tippy", so you might
    want to extend the legs a bit instead if you need that kind of height...
    also easy enough.)

    I like it so much, that I'm getting serious about shedding the fork mounted
    C8, and picking up a CG5/C8 with GoTo, and a UniStar Standard (which can
    handle 30 lbs). The UniStar can use the CG5 dovetail and the CG5 tripod, and
    I believe it takes just 5 minutes or so to swap out the heads.

    I will then be able to use the C8 as a grab-and-go for binoviewing. You
    simply haven't lived until you've seen M42 in 0.8 degrees with a 80x200
    binocular; or Saturn with two eyes at 145x (or more). I'm convinced that
    there's a _very_ noticeable increase in the visible low contrast detail, but
    part of that might just be an increase in experience at the eyepiece, mixed
    with some novelty of just getting into binoviewing. Either way, it's
    "wicked" cool, and the UniStar is my ticket to making it super easy to get
    out there. The tripod and fork and the GoTo are just too slow and
    restrictive. I like the freedom of just whooshing the objective wherever
    whim and fancy take me.

    So why the CG5? Same old reason... tracking. Why GoTo? Well, in my
    experience, EQ mounts are just better with an automated finding system.

    Stephen Paul
    Shirley, MA

  5. #5
    Mike Fitterman's Avatar
    Mike Fitterman Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    "Stephen Paul" <> wrote in message

    I have the UniversalAstronomics (real url: )Microstar and an ED80 and it's a nice
    little setup. I'm going to get the Light Deluxe myself because I want to
    add encoders and computer to the setup. I really like UA's stuff and would
    highly recommend it also.


  6. #6
    Steve Maddison's Avatar
    Steve Maddison Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    Mike Fitterman wrote:

    Although I was really after an EQ, the more I read about these alt/az
    mounts, the better they sound. The weight factor also makes them very
    tempting... I guess previous experiences with substandard alt/az mounts
    have put me off, but I can imagine a nice one would be a lot of fun.

    The only thing I'm worried about is the imaging possibilities, or more
    accurately, the potential lack thereof. In any case, it'd be nice to be
    able to track objects without needing to add a computer.


  7. #7
    Alan Charlesworth's Avatar
    Alan Charlesworth Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    In article <cj2aab$20h$>,
    Steve Maddison <> wrote:

    I mount my ED80 on an Orion AZ-3. I use the ED80 only for thye moon and
    planets, due to light pollution at home. I also have to dodge trees, so
    an EQ mount wouldn't work. I like the AZ-3 because it is the only
    alt-az available with slow motion cables, to keep the object in view.
    The mount is stable enough for the ED80 at 120x, and a Orion MAk 127 at

  8. #8
    Stephen Paul's Avatar
    Stephen Paul Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    "Steve Maddison" <> wrote in message

    The EQ-1 is not going to handle the ED80 well, and although the EQ-2
    certainly would be a lot more stable, it isn't going to provide the tracking
    you need for imaging. A Vixen GP with drives would be the way to go for
    imaging. It is a proven mount.

    If you're just going to do visual at high power, and want a drive or slow
    motion controls, the EQ-2 is adequate.

  9. #9
    Steve Maddison's Avatar
    Steve Maddison Guest

    Default Orion ED80 mount

    Stephen Paul wrote:

    The GP looks a sweet little mount... a bit price though, considering
    how often I'd use it for imaging. I think I've confirmed my suspision
    that good imaging capabilities and light, reasonably-priced mounts are
    probably incompatible concepts ;-)

    Given the above, this looks like the direction I may end up going in.
    Either that or back to the SVP... decisions, decisions!

    Thanks for the info,




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