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Thread: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

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    Default Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor



    I'm interesting in getting an alt az mount to use with a 4" f/11 refractor. I'd like to hear your opinions. Another option would be just a alt az head that I could use on a solid steel tripod with a large top plate or on an old Celestron tripod minus the wedge.
    Meade 16" f/4.5 Light Bridge, Celestron 8" f/10 schmidt cass, 8" Orion dob, Astro 102mm f/11 refractor, LOMO 95mm f/12.5 mak, Celestron 80mm f/5 refractor. Orion 16x80 binocs & smaller binos. EP's from 55mm to 5mm & 2x barlow, plus other goodies.

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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    What's the scope, with all the toys, weigh?
    John (Urban Astronomer)
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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    John, that's the former Canadian Telescopes CT-102 I think he's got. It's still available from Hands On Optics. I once seriously considered getting one. It weighs about 12 lbs with no diagonal. So I'd say around 15 or so lbs "with all the toys"
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    Celestron Omni XLT 120, Explore Scientific AR102,
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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    Spot on, gentlemen. That's the scope & I got it from Hands On, the store only a little more than 1/2 hour away. Weight would be in the range mentioned, especially if I use the 2" diagonal & eps plus finders.
    Meade 16" f/4.5 Light Bridge, Celestron 8" f/10 schmidt cass, 8" Orion dob, Astro 102mm f/11 refractor, LOMO 95mm f/12.5 mak, Celestron 80mm f/5 refractor. Orion 16x80 binocs & smaller binos. EP's from 55mm to 5mm & 2x barlow, plus other goodies.

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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    If you don't want to spend too much $$, you might consider an Explore Scientific TwiLight I (John has one) or Vixen PORTA II Mount both of which are rated for about 15lbs). I've also read that the Skywatcher AZ4 will handle much more than it's rated 15 lbs
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    Default

    Or you could look at the twilight II - huge weight capacity, very nice to use - the mount is my avatar pic is very similar (and my 4" scope is a similar weight to yours).

    I'd be a bit wary of using a heavy long tube scope on the portra II mount - depending on where you look you'll see different load capacities listed. US web sites seem to list 15lbs, while the UK Vixen catalog has consistently listed it at 11lbs, IIRC. Since a long scope has more rotational inertia (is that the correct term?) than a shorter scope, you might find you're pushing things a bit.
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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    I think the Twilight I would hold it, but as Jerry said, it would be "pushing" it with that particular scope.

    The Twilight II, on the other hand, with its 60 lb capacity, will handle it like it isn't even there. I've had a few scopes in my day, and the Twilight II is the best AZ/ALT mount I've ever owned.

    Below are a couple of pics. Note: Get the pier extension to prevent strikes near zenith... see second picture.

    The first two pics show the TWII with a 25lb AR152 and a 12lb XLT 120mm. The last pic shows the AR152 beside a tricked out ST-80. (Smooth as warm butter.)

    (BTW: You can run one scope without having to add counter weights if the other side is empty.)

    Clear, Dark Skies
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lowjiber; 12-07-2014 at 02:58 PM. Reason: spellung
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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    Walk in the door, pet Gary and Sherries' dogs and ask what they recommend or that scope...then ask them to explain WHY
    They have never tried to over sell me...just the opposite..

    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...
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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    I absolutely agree with the advice that Bob327 gave you. My experience with Gary, Sherry and the dogs is the same as Bob's. I live 90 miles from their store but for me it's worth the drive.

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    kozmik frakture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alt Az Mount for 4" Refractor

    Martian Tripod Offspring 1.JPGI modified a alt-az head (that came from Hands On Optics some years back) and fitted it to this gangly tripod I have. The top of the tripod is a flat round plate 3/16" thick of appreciably hard steel, some fun drilling thru that. Put the mount head on the tripod plate and it works very well. I will need to determine an optimum length for the legs then cut them. I will probably add some bracing and an accessory tray. It will certainly handle the 80mm f/5 refractor, the 60mm f/13.3 refractor & the 95mm Mak. The tripod might be up to handling the 4" f/11 refractor but I will need to buy or make a new mount head. With the little 80mm OTA level it is above my head which is about 6'. Attached is a photo.
    Meade 16" f/4.5 Light Bridge, Celestron 8" f/10 schmidt cass, 8" Orion dob, Astro 102mm f/11 refractor, LOMO 95mm f/12.5 mak, Celestron 80mm f/5 refractor. Orion 16x80 binocs & smaller binos. EP's from 55mm to 5mm & 2x barlow, plus other goodies.

 

 

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