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Thread: Best mount for low latitude?

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    Default Best mount for low latitude?



    I have been thinking of upgrading my mount and have been looking at AVX, EXOS2-GT (with or without PMC8) and recently also considering the iOptron CEM25P. It looks like the centrally balanced CEM25P might be better for lower latitudes just because of the design. It also seems to come with the option of moving the weight bar to a higher angle which allows it to be used in 0 deg as well. Any thoughts on this? (I am in Bangalore at 12.97)

    I also wanted to check if it might be a good idea to just go for a nexstar 6se and use the wedge. Considering the angle is low - it should ideally put lower pressure on the mount right at only 12-13deg?

    Considering that I want to try some DSO imaging, what do you think I should go for? If it is the CEM25P, I might just continue using my astromaster 130 scope for a while. With the 6se, would it be possible to use a focal reducer and use for DSO imaging?
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    I think the CEM25 would be a better option than a wedge. Not all wedges will adjust to low latitudes, whereas the CEM will. And A wedge at low latitudes puts a large strain on the RA/Az bearings. The SE mount is really only meant to be an Alt-az mount. While it has the option to wedge-mount it, the bearings were really not designed for it.

    Be careful about the weight limits for either mount. The CEM25 is designed for a 25 lb visual load. It is a well-engineered mount, and you can probably exceed the normal 50% rule for AP, you certainly want to keep the total payload under 25 lbs.

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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    I would not exceed 24 LBS imaging or visual with either the CEM25 or the ZEQ25GT. You run the risk of burning a motor out. Don't ask me how I know this...;-)
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    Maybe not in your price range but Celestron's CGX has a plate adjustment allowing for very high or low lattitudes.
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    Quote Originally Posted by KathyNS View Post
    I think the CEM25 would be a better option than a wedge. Not all wedges will adjust to low latitudes, whereas the CEM will. And A wedge at low latitudes puts a large strain on the RA/Az bearings. The SE mount is really only meant to be an Alt-az mount. While it has the option to wedge-mount it, the bearings were really not designed for it.

    Be careful about the weight limits for either mount. The CEM25 is designed for a 25 lb visual load. It is a well-engineered mount, and you can probably exceed the normal 50% rule for AP, you certainly want to keep the total payload under 25 lbs.
    Thanks Kathy - but wouldn't low latitudes (0-20deg near equator) put a lower strain on the bearings because of the lower angle from the balanced alt-az position? I agree that I will probably be better off with the CEM25 like you said.



    Quote Originally Posted by Leveye View Post
    I would not exceed 24 LBS imaging or visual with either the CEM25 or the ZEQ25GT. You run the risk of burning a motor out. Don't ask me how I know this...;-)
    Thanks I would need to be especially careful because there is no support network for iOptron in India. And shipping to repair 2 ways would probably end up being prohibitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
    Maybe not in your price range but Celestron's CGX has a plate adjustment allowing for very high or low lattitudes.
    I guess CGX is out of the price range. Importing these mounts is costly - around USD200-300 in shipping and 28% in import duties. So the CEM25 would itself end up around USD 1400.
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    Quote Originally Posted by virtualage View Post
    Thanks Kathy - but wouldn't low latitudes (0-20deg near equator) put a lower strain on the bearings because of the lower angle from the balanced alt-az position?
    At high latitudes, the wedge will be almost flat. In fact, at the pole an alt-az mount IS equatorial. On the other hand, at the equator, the wedge is at 90 degrees, so the mount is on its side. Low latitudes put more strain on the bearings.
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    Quote Originally Posted by KathyNS View Post
    At high latitudes, the wedge will be almost flat. In fact, at the pole an alt-az mount IS equatorial. On the other hand, at the equator, the wedge is at 90 degrees, so the mount is on its side. Low latitudes put more strain on the bearings.
    Thanks again Kathy. Looks like I had the wrong idea on the wedge! Definitely a no at low latitudes!
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    Should I get the AVX instead? It is advertised as 7 deg and up. But I still have my doubts. Anyone faced issues with the AVX is 8-14deg latitudes? It should work fine right?

    Celestron has a good offer going on right now and I might be able to get an 6inch Newt with the AVX for the same price as CEM25P. Maybe even the 8inch Newt putting in a bit more. Would imaging be an issue on the AVX with the 8inch newt?
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    You should ask BaboAfrica about the AVX, he is in Kenya. I believe he uses a pier extension, which adds to the cost. That CGX would not need it and if the cost is in the shipping then it sounds better already, doesn't it? Something to consider. Otherwise it's hard to go wrong with an AVX. Just don't expect miracles but it provides good value.

    If you are DIY-minded, at that latitude I would consider building an EQ platform - mechanically the equator would be a great place - and do AP with a 12" Dob. You would have to fabricate it yourself, including a DEC control, computers etcetera but it has a good chance of working fine.
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    Default Re: Best mount for low latitude?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamelHat View Post
    You should ask BaboAfrica about the AVX, he is in Kenya. I believe he uses a pier extension, which adds to the cost. That CGX would not need it and if the cost is in the shipping then it sounds better already, doesn't it? Something to consider. Otherwise it's hard to go wrong with an AVX. Just don't expect miracles but it provides good value.

    If you are DIY-minded, at that latitude I would consider building an EQ platform - mechanically the equator would be a great place - and do AP with a 12" Dob. You would have to fabricate it yourself, including a DEC control, computers etcetera but it has a good chance of working fine.
    Kenya is on the equator though and below advertised 7 deg. You have got me thinking on the EQ platform now
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