View Full Version here: : Mount Advice
25-04-2012, 04:20 PM
I have a Lunt 60 for which my eq6 is a bit of overkill, so I'm looking at a smaller mount, probably an alt/az set up. I've narrowed my internet investigations down to two choices either the iOptron Smartstar-E Goto or the Vixen Porta II Mount.
I'd value ease of set-up over automatic tracking.
I'd appreciate any advice from anyone with experience with either unit, or who have recommendations of other mounts.
Thanks in advance.
07-09-2012, 10:46 PM
Just noticed you post re advice on a smaller alt az mount.
I have had the original Vixen Porta Mount nearly 2 years, yes the Porta II is better - only as regards quick & easy stowage - otherwise no diff.
Today I installed a JMI Micro slew motor kit courtesy of Daniel (IIS Dannat) thanks Dan.
These are a sinch to rig and work on similar system to Celestron / JMI Motofocus - 2-3 sec ultra slow (or blip then full rate for selected speed. Simple but effective fine control & no vibs. I have had Motofocus on the CPC8 for 3 years - love it:thumbsup:
With the Porta Mount axis adjusted just so, you just push to near your chosen object and the Micro slew does the rest - nice & smooth. Make sure you use rubber pads under the tripod.
Motors seem more than adequate for my WO M80II EDT with 2" diag, extension tube & Naglers, so a Lunt 60 won't even be noticed.
Hope that may be of help :)
08-09-2012, 11:41 AM
I spent about 6 months trying to figure out which of three portable mounts to buy: Vixen portamount with HAL130 tripod, Bintel/GSO Skyview alt az and the Skywatcher Skytee 2.
The Skyview has a stronger head than the Vixen and the arm can be mounted at different angles and on either side of the mount. The HAL130 tripod is stronger than the one supplied with the Skyview.
Here's a link to the porta with hal130: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vixen-Portamount-PRO-HD-legs-Limited-Availablity-FREE-SHIP-/390458745551?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae927a2cf
However I ended buying the Skytee because it's more solid and can carry a greater range of telescopes. I bought the Canadian Telescope Duo T version because Andrews is having trouble getting the Skytee in stock, though they're saying it will be in by November. The head fits straight onto the tripod supplied with HEQ5 mounts.
08-09-2012, 02:19 PM
Here's a pic of the Skytee - it comes with two Vixen style saddles, one of which I've replaced with a Losmandy style saddle. I use a pst on the vertical mount and larger scopes on the side mount.
10-09-2012, 11:04 PM
If you want Goto and aren't fussy about the tracking accuracy, or tripod stability etc...
I bought a Celestron Nexstar 80 GLT scope from eBay for under $200. I used the scope itself for the transit of Venus. It came with a white light solar film, which worked surprisingly well. The collar that holds the scope is the perfect size for a Lunt 60 scope, though the balance of the mount is terrible unless you have the DS filter on it.
Still it worked great for the ToV. It now resides at a friend's place as his kid is slightly interested in Astro, but they can't afford a huge setup, so I "gave" it to them unless I want it for some weird Solar stuff (like the partial solar eclipse).
Hunt around, you'll get one for next to nothing, they work, not fantastically well, but what can you expect for under $200?
Setup couldn't be easier for solar, turn it on, sync on the sun, done, it tracks the sun.
10-09-2012, 11:12 PM
I have an ioptron cube mount attached to my Lunt-60 and it works a treat. Very portable and quick to setup.
I'm upgrading my lunt 60 to a 150(!!) so the cube won't quite cut the mustard. I'd be willing to sell it cheap, and would be happy to loan it to you if you want to try it out. I loved it for solar work, I just got a little aperture crazy...
13-09-2012, 02:13 PM
Oh yeah baby! Now you're talkin'! Ha with optional white light and CaK options available. I walked by one on sale at PATS three years ago and my wife said, "don't even think about it!" If she hadn't been there, I would have. I ended up with a several month wait and an LS80+DSII instead.
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