Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Equipment Discussions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 22-02-2019, 07:48 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 14,934
Which portable mount?

I am looking to upgrade my portable mount.

I have a 300mm Pentax 645 F4 ED lens which is like a mini telescope.
I intend to get the upcoming William Optics Redcat 51 pertsval F4.9 250mmm "lens".

I also intend to get my Sony A7r2 modified for Ha enhancement and use it for nightscapes as well as for deep sky widefield.

That means my Vixen Polarie won't cut the mustard.

Ideally that means a more accurate higher payload mini mount.

Skywatcher have one and Fornax Lightrack is another possibility.

What would you recommend? I am thinking it may need autoguiding but
exposures may be in the 30 second band so unguided may work out at 250mm focal length. The Polarie may be able to do it with a perfect polar alignment but its asking a bit too much. I have imaged with a 180mm before at 30 seconds and it trailed a bit but wasn't really what is needed.

I don't want a heavy GEM either as it'll be 2nd rig whilst my main rig is imaging and the dark field beckons for another rig imaging widefield.

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 22-02-2019, 07:53 PM
skysurfer's Avatar
skysurfer
Dark sky rules !

skysurfer is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: 52N 6E (EU)
Posts: 999
The Skywatcher Star Adventurer for $500.
5kg payload which will carry your Sony A7 DSLR + the Pentax lens. The package includes a polar scope to adjust to the 'trapezium' at the South Pole.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 22-02-2019, 07:56 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 14,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by skysurfer View Post
The Skywatcher Star Adventurer for $500.
5kg payload which will carry your Sony A7 DSLR + the Pentax lens. The package includes a polar scope to adjust to the 'trapezium' at the South Pole.
How is the polar scope? Is it accurate. The Vixen one is very good.

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 22-02-2019, 09:43 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,452
Greg, I’ve had some success at 200mm, it’s not that hard to get 2m unguided shots with the Star Adventurer. I recently started guiding and I rejected 2 out of 65 subs of the first guided target.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s not that hard to get the SA running nicely. I’d imagine at 30 second subs, you’d be rocking and rolling in minutes.

Regarding the polar scope, I’m not sure how you’d determine accuracy, but if you release the RA clutch and spin it around, you’d soon see whether the SCP trapezium is well positioned.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 22-02-2019, 11:34 PM
Sunfish (Ray)
Registered User

Sunfish is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 134
I have a star adventurer and have used it with a Nikkor 800mm ED which weights about 3.5kg. So with the camera, 4.5 kg. And then the one kilo weight It just works getting it all to stay balanced but tracks surprisingly well once aligned. Hard to to get enough tension on the lense foot mounting bolt and wedge until you get the hang of it. One minute would be the limit at that length or better at 45 sec or a lighter lense but I have seen much longer exposures with shorter lengths and it is great with wide field.

The polar scope is good if you donít mind getting down on your knees ( you can use a right angle finder from a camera but the tripod needs to be low ) but the light is not much use. I use a red light if required or set up earlier so there is enough backlight to see the finder scope markings after using the camera GPS to get close to South. There are a lot of discussions on CN about this mount. I did see however for a little more money there is a SW portable mount with ď freedom find ď star map pointing which looks very attractive if it has the weight capacity you require it would be good to be portable but also have pointing accuracy.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 22-02-2019, 11:36 PM
that_guy's Avatar
that_guy (Tony)
Local Korean Millennial

that_guy is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Gold Coast
Posts: 1,897
Have a look at the AZ GTi EQ mod. Same price range as the star adventurer but with goto, more stable tripod, same weight capacity and size.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23-02-2019, 06:45 AM
Atmos's Avatar
Atmos (Colin)
Ultimate Noob

Atmos is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 5,821
What about a HEQ5 Pro? It is on the larger side of light portable but it has a lot of stability.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23-02-2019, 07:06 AM
Wilso (Darren)
Registered User

Wilso is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Gawler
Posts: 234
Tak pm-1 mount or pm-sp very adaptable little mounts.
Both have built in polar scope and ra tracking. Payload 5kg and Tak quality
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23-02-2019, 07:53 AM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
Registered User

AstroApprentice is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 199
Hi Greg,
On the $$$ side like the Tak options:
Astrotrac 360 will be released soon...maybe!
Unitec Swat range - played with one briefly in Japan last year and the build quality is exceptional.
SS-One being discussed on a concurrent thread.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 23-02-2019, 08:31 AM
Peter Ward's Avatar
Peter Ward
Galaxy hitchhiking guide

Peter Ward is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Shire
Posts: 6,261
Might want to check Astromart for a used Losmandy Starlapse. I’ve hauled mine all over the planet. You can even option it up to use a G8 digital drive which allows autoguiding (in RA only)

It can be configured to hold multiple cameras or a short refractor, all with no counterweights. Sadly no longer in production, but they do come up from time to time.

Last edited by Peter Ward; 23-02-2019 at 05:39 PM. Reason: typo
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 23-02-2019, 11:03 AM
Sunfish (Ray)
Registered User

Sunfish is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 134
Ah yes. That would be the dream portable if you can find one, or Fornax if you can keep it dust free.

One Starlapse was sold here for quite a reasonable price and I still kick myself I do not have it .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ward View Post
Might want to check Astromart for a used Losmandy Starlapse. Iíve hauled mine all over the planet. You can even option it up to use a G8 digital drive which allows autoguiding (in RA only)

It can be configured to hold multiple cameras or a short refractor, all with no counterweights. Sadly not longer in production, but they do come up from time to time.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 23-02-2019, 12:59 PM
Wilso (Darren)
Registered User

Wilso is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Gawler
Posts: 234
One for sale now in the ice classified section!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 23-02-2019, 05:42 PM
Peter Ward's Avatar
Peter Ward
Galaxy hitchhiking guide

Peter Ward is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Shire
Posts: 6,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilso View Post
One for sale now in the ice classified section!
A bargain IMHO.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 23-02-2019, 11:23 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 14,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ward View Post
A bargain IMHO.
Any idea what the PE of these are?

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 25-02-2019, 10:41 AM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
Registered User

AstroApprentice is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 199
iOptron CEM40

Hi Greg,
Evidently iOptron are about to release a new small mount in their centre-balanced range:
http://bbs.imufu.cn/thread-779999-1-1.html
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Ioptron CEM40.jpg)
75.8 KB23 views

Last edited by AstroApprentice; 25-02-2019 at 10:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 25-02-2019, 04:39 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 14,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroApprentice View Post
Hi Greg,
Evidently iOptron are about to release a new small mount in their centre-balanced range:
http://bbs.imufu.cn/thread-779999-1-1.html
Interesting. I read up on the earlier model the CEM25. It sounds fairly good.

HEQ5 Pro sounds interesting and there is a belt upgrade you can get to improve it. I haven't been able to find out any PE figures for it though.

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 25-02-2019, 04:49 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,452
Small trackers like the Star Adventurer, Polarie, etc are small, very portable, have few requirements and consequently have limited payload.

Mounts like a HEQ5 are a different kettle of fish. Doesn't fit in a (small) backpack and is relatively heavy.

Different levels of performance and features AND versatility.

Currently, my interest is piqued by the SW AZ-GTI which, with the EQ firmware, is controlled wirelessly and is compatible with ASCOM/EQmod, so goto and plate solving are made available. Still, the payload will be limited, but it's still at the size/weight of a tracker that's easily picked up in the event of inclement weather or carried when travelling.

So really it depends on how you will use it. Your initial post suggested the former "small" trackers might be suitable, but I can appreciate how requirements and specs can shift with a little thought
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 25-02-2019, 09:32 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
gregbradley
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 14,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroApprentice View Post
Hi Greg,
Evidently iOptron are about to release a new small mount in their centre-balanced range:
http://bbs.imufu.cn/thread-779999-1-1.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camelopardalis View Post
Small trackers like the Star Adventurer, Polarie, etc are small, very portable, have few requirements and consequently have limited payload.

Mounts like a HEQ5 are a different kettle of fish. Doesn't fit in a (small) backpack and is relatively heavy.

Different levels of performance and features AND versatility.

Currently, my interest is piqued by the SW AZ-GTI which, with the EQ firmware, is controlled wirelessly and is compatible with ASCOM/EQmod, so goto and plate solving are made available. Still, the payload will be limited, but it's still at the size/weight of a tracker that's easily picked up in the event of inclement weather or carried when travelling.

So really it depends on how you will use it. Your initial post suggested the former "small" trackers might be suitable, but I can appreciate how requirements and specs can shift with a little thought
Certainly different types of mounts. The better portable mounts are up around the cost of the lower GEMs though. I am also looking at the possibility of using this mount with a small refractor at some point.

Initially it would be 250 and 300mm lenses perhaps smaller.

Later it may be a small 105mm F6 high end refractor.

Even then the HEQ 5 Pro may not be good enough for a high end refractor. Not sure, perhaps it is. I am sure it would be plenty good enough for a 250mm to 300mm lens and mirrorless camera setup.

Greg.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 26-02-2019, 09:50 AM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,452
For a reasonable focal length scope, you’ll be better off with a “proper” GEM from the point of view of mechanics, payload and computer control.

The HEQ5 has been around for years, so their behaviour we’ll documented. Overall I think it’s fairly positive, given the reasonable price.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 26-02-2019, 10:13 AM
Peter Ward's Avatar
Peter Ward
Galaxy hitchhiking guide

Peter Ward is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The Shire
Posts: 6,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
Any idea what the PE of these are?

Greg.
My Starlapse has around +/- 6 arc sec, but I have pimped up the ride quite a bit, it is also fitted with a OPWB (one piece worm block), clutch knob set, machined motor cover, G8 digital drive and tripod knob set. I use a Manfrotto tripod for simple camera lens shots, but I can also couple it to a G8 tripod for small refractor (eg FSQ85 or AP92mm )use.

It has been to Ayers Rock, Iceland, Norway and the USA all without breaking luggage weight limits....can't speak highly enough of it. They just work.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 07:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
SkyWatcher WiFi Adaptor
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
SkyWatcher 2018 Catalogue
Advertisement
Interest Free Finance
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement