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Old 27-08-2020, 07:41 PM
synthguy2 (Malcolm)
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Location: Isaacs, ACT, Australia
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Mount Options for Visual and entry-level astro imaging

Hi, I'm doing some early planning on upgrading my telescope. At the moment I'm using an old Orion Telescope and Binocular ED-80 Apo on a Televue Gibraltar Mount, but have ordered a Skywatcher AZ-GTi to give me a basic and highly portable GOTO mount for visual use only. The ED-80 weighs in about 3.7kg, with a 1.25" diagonal and a 50mm finder, so that should work as a grab-and-go GOTO solution.

The real conundrum is a new telescope for 2021. I want something around 8" in aperture - either a Newtonian or an SCT, on a GOTO mount, with wifi capability, and it would initially be for visual use, but with the aim to get into astro-imaging. Having flexibility for other OTAs down the track would be good - it was one reason why I discounted the Celestron Evolution in the end.

I've looked at a bunch of different mounts - Celestron AVX looks a good all round solution, but at 13.6kg capacity, it limits my options in terms of OTA; Skywatcher EQ-6R Pro gives me loads of payload capacity but looks a much heavier mount to manage; and I've also considered the Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 GT-P, which looks a little more manageable than the EQ-6 Pro with about 5kg less capacity. Ideally, I'd like to add in Starsense for whichever mount I get, and WIFI either integrated or added-on so I can control everything from a mobile device, or a laptop.

I'm not wanting to be overly ambitious on astro-imaging. My observing location is suburban Canberra, and I have a street light shining into my patio, so its far from ideal, but looking anywhere but north is not too bad. I want a quick setup, so I don't spend all night dealing with gear problems.

I am not looking at spending anything more than about $3800 max. So I'd welcome any advice on my options. Right at the moment I'm stuck in 'analysis paralysis' mode so I felt it was time to hear what other people are thinking. I'd be purchasing in April.
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Old 27-08-2020, 07:56 PM
jahnpahwa (JP)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthguy2 View Post
Hi, I'm doing some early planning on upgrading my telescope. At the moment I'm using an old Orion Telescope and Binocular ED-80 Apo on a Televue Gibraltar Mount, but have ordered a Skywatcher AZ-GTi to give me a basic and highly portable GOTO mount for visual use only. The ED-80 weighs in about 3.7kg, with a 1.25" diagonal and a 50mm finder, so that should work as a grab-and-go GOTO solution.

The real conundrum is a new telescope for 2021. I want something around 8" in aperture - either a Newtonian or an SCT, on a GOTO mount, with wifi capability, and it would initially be for visual use, but with the aim to get into astro-imaging. Having flexibility for other OTAs down the track would be good - it was one reason why I discounted the Celestron Evolution in the end.

I've looked at a bunch of different mounts - Celestron AVX looks a good all round solution, but at 13.6kg capacity, it limits my options in terms of OTA; Skywatcher EQ-6R Pro gives me loads of payload capacity but looks a much heavier mount to manage; and I've also considered the Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 GT-P, which looks a little more manageable than the EQ-6 Pro with about 5kg less capacity. Ideally, I'd like to add in Starsense for whichever mount I get, and WIFI either integrated or added-on so I can control everything from a mobile device, or a laptop.

I'm not wanting to be overly ambitious on astro-imaging. My observing location is suburban Canberra, and I have a street light shining into my patio, so its far from ideal, but looking anywhere but north is not too bad. I want a quick setup, so I don't spend all night dealing with gear problems.

I am not looking at spending anything more than about $3800 max. So I'd welcome any advice on my options. Right at the moment I'm stuck in 'analysis paralysis' mode so I felt it was time to hear what other people are thinking. I'd be purchasing in April.

Malcom, I've an 8" newt on heq5pro that you're more thsn welcome to come and spend time with. If anything, it may end up ruling out a strictly eq mount for visual use with a newt that size... i dont have rotating rings and find it a bit of a pain compared to the alt az mounts.


Have you taken a look at the azeq6 gt from sky watcher and saxon. A fair bit lighter weight head than the eq6r, same payload, usable in alt az mode with both your 8" and 80mm and can be had from a tick under 3k, leaving 600 for an 8" newt and 200 for a coma corrector. Skywatcher wifi dongles are available for these mounts
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