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  1. #1
    Carl_g's Avatar
    Carl_g is offline Bright Giants
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    Default Experiences with a GEM so far...

    I'm borrowing a skywatcher 4" refractor with an EQ-5 equatorial mount for a month, and here are my thoughts after using it for three nights. (i polar align it each time and have used setting circles successfully a couple times - other times they are way off)

    I like it but for a beginner like me I find it very hard to "star hop" since the mount doesn't allow straight up and down and sideways movements.

    So when I try to -for example- move down 10° and left 15° to link a star to a very dim globular cluster I find it extremely hard with the EQUATORIAL mount. I use "distant suns" iphone app and books to plan star hopping before i even go outside
    so i'd like my star hopping/learning time to be productive. The GEM is obviously better for tracking though.

    So I think as a beginner until I'm totally familiar with the sky, when i do decide to purchase, I may go for an altazimuth mount for a few years.

    Anyone think this is a sound approach?? Thanks.
    Nikon Action Extreme 10x50 and Bushnell 7x35 binoculars, Galileoscope.

  2. #2
    Bob327's Avatar
    Bob327 is offline HYPER GIANT
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    I too prefer Alt/Azm mounts for visual astronomy ...BUT I also own a couple of GEM mounts,that do get used even for visual use depending on my mood and what I want to look at on any given night ...

    BUT in all honesty it really does not take a lot of time to understand how a Equatorial mount functions and after a while pointing it becomes a natural no thinking on your part somewhat like riding a bicycle

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.



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