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Old 15-01-2019, 01:46 AM
darkage (Gareth)
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Location: Melbourne
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Future AP interest - Next Step up from a Tasco 60mm

My Childhood refractor (Tasco 60mm) has a busted crude az alt mount.

Was thinking if it would be worth grabbing a 2nd hand well known brand 6" f5 reflector on a manual EQ3 mount if I can get one cheap enough as a interim solution, so I can go outside and start learning the sky for visually again. Im guessing it would be an upgrade from my refractor with a bonus EQ mount that I can use for both scopes which would probably save me from attempting to 3d print my own

My ultimate plan would be to get a EQ6 mount for AP (DSO interest), but still in forever research mode. I had always thought I would grab a 8" f4 or f5 gso newt, but a recent trip to my parents holiday house in the country changed my mind on a big 8". Later on I would need something more transportable for AP with family in tow which actually made me think more about smaller foot print RC astrographs or ED/APO refractors.

Currently 3d printing a barn door tracker for my DSLR to get a start simple in AP, which I will end up needing to buy a tripod anyways.

Does the above sound like a sensible plan.
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Old 15-01-2019, 02:41 AM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Why is your "ultimate plan" to get an EQ mount. The EQ6 is a nice well proven mount.

I have been into Astronomy since I as 14, I am now 60, my personal friend was Patrick Moore and I spent many a week at farthings with his scopes and mine, in fact it was Patrick and I who did the reviews you see on OVL (and Skywatcher sales sites), so I am no beginner.

I say this because years back I made the mistake of thinking that EQ was the standard.

I hate EQ mounts, they look great in the shop but if you have to take them out and in again every time they are the worst thing to set up in the dark and cold and after an evening a pain to put away.

OK, of imaging long exposure they are needed but remember AltAz mounts can also be used for imaging.

Last year I retired at 60 and bought three scopes NO EQ, see images.

The one I use all the time takes NO setting up, a 120mm Refractor on AltAz mount, for imaging I use my Celestron Evolution AltAz, and for solar a 72mm ED on Gitzo tripod, I will be adding to this Ha scope next month an AltAz Skywatcher SolarQuest mount.

No one can say "buy this or that" only offer personal experience, seriously look at AltAz mounts such as


Finally I would consider that most astro photography is done NOT with a reflecting scope, and as for cheaper new or used, the mount will be flimsy and balancing a DSLR on an already flimsy mount won't help

You can image on an AltAz

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Last edited by Ukastronomer; 15-01-2019 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 15-01-2019, 10:59 PM
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Wavytone is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Killara, Sydney
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Gareth you need to decide what you’re doing, and why, the right gear for the job will be self evident. Otherwise you’re likely to waste a lot of effort assembling several rigs and selling them before settling on one you like.

As one who built several scopes long ago, it’s admirable to see someone attempting a DIY barn-door tracker - but please understand that this is unlikely to be much more than a learning exercise and ultimately a waste of time and effort - you will appreciate why many skip that and buy a decent mount.
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Old 15-01-2019, 11:58 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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to start AP you only need a camera and a chair anyway
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Old 22-01-2019, 10:50 AM
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sil (Steve)
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starting in AP you can use your camera on a regular camera tripod. job done. Its how I do most of my work. no barn doors or tracking. Learn and understand what those things give you and you can work well to the limits of not having them or there hassles.

A manual cheap EQ is more likely to deter you from continuing than get you started. They are so flimsy and such a hassle to set up and use successfully for AP many chuck it in at that point. Tasco isnt exactly quality optics either, I'd suggest a 6 or 8" dosonian setup to get back into astronomy, they are cheap with great light gathering power and even possible for AP and later when you do get an EQ6 (good choice) you'll continue to use the dob for visual as its just so easy for looking around the sky and great to share an outing with friends.
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