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Thread: What mount to acquire?

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    richardflyfisher's Avatar
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    Default What mount to acquire?



    Having spent a bit of time checking out this and other forums, I have begun to define what I would like to do as I go into retirement and get back into astronomy. I would like to do some variable star observing and some amateur spectroscopy. I am considering either a Skytracker AZ EQ5 or an AZ EQ 6 as my mount and possibly an 8" Astrograph f3.9 for the scope. I have a Canon T5i DSLR for the camera. As I have been out of the field for quite some time, the technological advances are presenting a significant learning curve. Any advice ?
    Thanks,
    Rick

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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    The AZ EQ6 has a bigger payload capacity, that is what I would pick between those two. Good luck in your choice.
    Testgear likes this.
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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    Your opening 2 sentences are nearly exactly identical to my situation. Still 9 years from retirement but enjoying dreaming....For me its solar and planet observing/AP and spectroscopy.
    I've been all over the map for mounts but I think I might start with a hyper tuned AVX from DeepSpaceProducts. It seems to me most people spend lots of time and energy on a new mount evaluating it, hoping it works well, testing its accuracy. Buying a pre hyper tuned mount cuts the service cost in half and you eliminate the surprises (in theory) and misery of getting a poorly quality controlled product.
    The AVX seems to be enough for a good sized refractor (and a small orion 80) and for me an ASI174 but I fear not strong enough for spectroscopy-but I have no idea about that side.

    To start my journey I will take my first steps at NEAF this year-plan on focusing (pun intended) on mounts and refractors and hope to luck into some spectroscopy too.

    Will love hearing the others chime in on this.
    Last edited by stubeeef; 01-04-2017 at 02:12 AM.
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    Default What mount to acquire?

    For spectroscopy, you can get a diffraction grating filter (around £100 or so)(plus appropriate extension tubes to make the spectrum come out at a sensible size) and shareware software. I think it'll work with a webcam style camera, though I'm not 100% certain.
    You can get more advanced spectroscopes, but you can do a lot with just the basic filter and software.

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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    Thanks for the replies. A few follow up questions, if I may:
    For Stubeeef ( or anyone else): I have seen references to the term "hyper tuned" with regard to mounts. I see references to HEQ5 mounts. Is this implying the mount has been hypertuned? (Thanks for the reference to Deepspace Products. I now know what it means to hypertune.

    For JerryTheC: Are you refering to a Star Analyzer 100. I just got one, but haven't tried it yet. What software might you recommend? Is the mount in your avatar the EQ6?

    For Hondo: I checked out your gallery. Fantastic! I especially liked your Horsehead/Flame Nebula shot. I am inspired.
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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    Hypertuning is simply 'tweaking' the mount. Adjusting gear mesh, maybe some new 'better' worm gear bearings, re-greasing things etc. That's about it.

    Here is my blog where I hypertuned an Atlas Pro AZ/EQ (HEQ6) style mount. Astronomy Forums | Telescope Forums & Reviews | Astronomy Community - UlteriorModem - Blogs

    HEQ5 is a 'class' of mount re-branded my many manufactuer's.

    If it was me I would consider a HEQ6 and forgo that AZ/EQ but that's your call.
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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    Like UM says above-hypertuning is better bearings in some cases, lapped worms, better grease, but important to me is the checking out of the drive before I get it. In the case of the AVX and some others deepspaceproducts is the seller as well and has discounted his service when buying the mount from him because he can retail those-what a better way to get an AVX. I just hate reading threads about folks getting their new mount and having to return it-what a let down.

    I'm also considering up to a CEM60/AZ-EQ6 or going nuts and getting a MyT from SB. The AZ-EQ6 looks like a fun product, wish I could get it from another source in the USA but it is what it is.

    I joined the yahoo spectroscopy group but to be honest I get their emails but haven't spent the time to "get in to it" yet. I know they sell a unit to group members only and i think it takes awhile to get one.

    Again, I'm going to hang out at NEAF and keep my ears open and ensure I'm not buying a mount with builtin obsolescence.
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    Default

    Yes, the star analyser 100 was the one I was thinking of. There was a thread on here a year or two back about spectroscopy including some posts by a shareware author - the software looked very interesting, but I don't remember the name at the moment - I'll have to see if I've got it bookmarked.
    The mount in my avatar pic is a nonstandard Giro-II manual alt az mount - it goes on a photo tripod head 3/8" thread rather than a standard astro tripod, on a manfrotto 075b tripod that I originally got for a large format monorail camera. It's basically very similar to the ES twilight-II mount; massive carrying capacity and dob-like pushto convenience - far easier to use than faffing about with slow motions, even at high magnifications. Like the difference between a pencil and an etch-a-sketch .

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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    Couldn't find the bookmark, but I think the software was RSPEC (RSpec / Real-time Spectroscopy). Haven't tried it myself but it sounds fascinating.
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    Default Re: What mount to acquire?

    Testgear likes this.
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