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  #1  
Old 28-02-2006, 05:21 PM
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g__day (Matthew)
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* * * Some Data re Goto Mounts

I thought I'd do this for folk considering their next telescope and pondering how much to spend and how to check their gear assumptions all makes sense when combined.

So attached is a table of data I've found that may be used to check your assumptions, and corrected by folk with more practical knowledge.

The summary insights given to me here by many helpful folk should be listed before we begin:

1. Spend as much on your mount as on your scope if you're considering astrophotography at some point
2. German Equatorial mounts offer far better astro imaging platforms than fork mounts dollar for dollar
3. Piers are far more stable than tripods if mobility isn't a concern (e.g. portable piers! http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1365 )
4. Long exposure means rock solid stability + astro-guiding to keep your scope pointing with enough accuracy
5. Lower (potentially halve) your mounts maximum rated carring capacity to know what it can handle with a full load of CCDs, guiders, de-rotators, and/or other imaging gear

So with that said, lets just check the typical weight (and cost) of common SCTs to give you a feel.

Celestron http://www.celestron.com/advanced_series/index.htm

Aperature (inches) ----- OTA Weight (Kg) ----- Cost ($ RRP)
Code:
         8                      6                 $ 2,118 
         9.25                   9                 $ 2,841 
        11                     13                 $ 4,504 
        14                     20                 $ 9,979
Meade

Aperature (inches) ----- OTA Weight (Kg) ----- Cost ($ RRP)
Code:
 
          7                                         $ 2,300 
          8                      9                  $ 1,579 
         10                     14                  $ 2,085 
         12                     18                  $ 3,740 
         14                                         $ 4,865
So onto the meat - various mounts and their costs for common models, else a import shipping USD/AUD conversions (without adding $150 Fedex + warranties + duties) guestimate for foreign exotics

Brand ----- Model ----- RRP $ ----- Max Load (Kg) ----- Periodic error (arc sec)
Code:
 
Synta       EQ 2         $   199   
            EQ 3         $   299                          +/- 10
            EQ 5         $   500          7               +/- 12
           HEQ 5 GoTo    $ 1,799         10               +/- 15
            EQ 6 GoTo    $ 2,199         25               +/- 20
            EQ 6 Pro     $ 2,499         25 
 
Meade       LX75         $ 1,500         10 
 
Vixen       Skypod 110  $ 2,100           5           http://www.orionoptics.co.uk/acatalog/skypod.html
            SP                                            +/- 30
            SP/DX                                         +/-  8
            GP                            7               +/- 17
            GPD2                         10 
            GP/DX        $ 3,090         10               +/- 14
            Spinx        $ 2,695         11               +/-  8
            Atlux        $ 7,549         22               +/-  8
 
Takahashi  http://www.telescopes.com/specialty_...s--Mounts.html
            EM-1s                         9               +/-  7
            EM-10        $ 2,900          9               +/-  7
            EM-11        $ 6,500         10 
            EM-200       $ 6,700+        18               +/-  5
            NJP          $ 9,170         30               +/-  3.5
            EM-400      $ 11,286         39 
            EM-500      $ 17,627         45               +/-  3.5
            EM-3500     $118,000        160               +/-  ? awesome I suppose!
 
Losmandy (With Gemini GoTo)  http://www.atscope.com.au/losmandy.html
            GM  8        $ 4,000         13               +/-  8
            GM 11        $ 5,650         27               +/-  7
            Titan       $ 11,000         45               +/-  4
 
Valmecha
            VMA150                       35               +/-  5 
            VMA200                       70               +/-  5
            VMA300                                        +/-  2
 
Trassud     ZX4                          45               +/-  3
            ZX7                          75               +/-  5
 
Arcane      A40                                           +/-  6
 
Celestron   CG-5       $ 1,399           13 
            CGE        $ 5,750                            +/- 11
 
Astrophysics  (Plus Digital SkyVoice) http://www.astro-physics.com/
            400 GTO    $  5,130           8.2             Superceded by Mach1
            600E GTO   $  6,430          11.4             Superceded by Mach 1
            Mach1 GTO  $  8,500          20               +/-  7  (in 1 worm rotation per 6.4 minutes)
            900 GTO    $ 11,357          35               +/-  3
           1200 GTO    $ 13,429                           +/-  2
 
Mountain Instruments (+ Losmandy Gemini Go To)  http://www.mathis-instruments.com/
             MI 250    $ 10,000          30 - 36          +/-    ? assume pretty good!
             MI 500    $ 16,700          82
             MI 750    $ 25,500         127
             MI 1000   $ 52,000         205
 
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount http://www.bisque.com/Products/Paramount/
             ME        $ 18,000          68               +/-  1  
http://www.bisque.com/help/paramount...ifications.htm
So lets say I want a decent size scope and mount, say a 9.25" or 11" Celestron which has a bit of weight too it, placing it just beyond what a Vixen Sphinx should be loaded with (sigh). Well I could start with an LD-75 or CG-5 mount or do better by getting a EQ6-Pro mount + skyscan for Go To (Andrews do these) about $2,100. The Pro EQ6 is really just the EQ 6 painted white (to look Japanese) and costing $300 more. Better still would be a Losmandy G-11 plus Gemini $5,000 and maybe up from this is an Celestron CGE (or is that the other way round)? Reviews make it abit hard to tell at the moment!

If I step up to the CGE mounts I fork out another $2,000 for an unknown gain (help out guys!).

PS

High end Vixen tripods cost $900 - $1,200 above those dollars. Mount Instruments don't include tripods (or more realistically piers) either.

PPS

Piers start around $550 (astro online), check compatability with your mount.


Work in progress!

Last edited by g__day; 13-03-2006 at 04:38 PM.
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  #2  
Old 28-02-2006, 05:54 PM
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Starkler (Geoff)
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A great idea might be if such information was written up into an article and submitted on the site for the sake of newbie imagers
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  #3  
Old 28-02-2006, 05:56 PM
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Miaplacidus (Brian)
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G'day g_day,

Excellent tables, excellent idea, much appreciated. (May I suggest that you include a column for the actual weight of each mount.) I agree with Geoff, should be available in the articles section.

Keep up the good work.

Brian.
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  #4  
Old 28-02-2006, 06:31 PM
Dennis
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Are you certain the GPDX is $4,200?

Mine cost A$1450 from AEC in Cleve, S Australia. Unless of course, you are including the Skysensor 2000, although that too cost me A$1450 at Version 1.7, with an A$190 upgrade to V2.5, giving a total of A$3090. I may have been lucky? Or, have prices gone up that much?

Cheers

Dennis
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  #5  
Old 28-02-2006, 06:42 PM
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Thanks G'day, can see this becoming an essential reference for that common question about what mount is for me...
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  #6  
Old 28-02-2006, 08:27 PM
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g__day (Matthew)
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That's the intent! There can easily be some errors, oversights or over simplifications - but lets catch these and make this an increasingly value adding list over time.

The prices could easily be out, so I'll check any you spot are more than marginally (+/- 5%) incorrect.

BTW Periodic error came from my limited understadning in French of

http://www.astrosurf.com/demeautis/ep/pe.htm

and prices for uncommon mounts from here converted straight to Aussie dollars!

http://www.buytelescopes.com/product...nts+%26+Drives
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2006, 01:29 AM
Jonathan
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The prices for the Celestron OTA's look about right for the Australian RRP, but if anyone's looking at getting one you'd better ring Andrews Communications first. I paid $3000 for my C11 OTA, not $4504 which was about the going price from Celestron dealers at the time.
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2006, 07:46 AM
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Vermin (Tom)
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The Losmandy GM8 is available for $2600 AUD with dual axis stepper motor drives but no Gemini goto.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2006, 07:51 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Great table, I am sure a lot of people will get a lot of benefit from it.

Check your prices on the Vixen gear, you can get it a lot lot cheaper than those quoted RRP's. 1/2 in fact. You also need to check the PE figures because the table shows the Losmandy GM-8 and G11 as having 1/2 the PE of the Vixen GP/DX and I know the Vixen in practice to have lower PE than either of the Losmandy mounts. You also have the Synta EQ5 having lower PE than the Vixen GP/DX and it's not in the same class.

Very nicely done, just need to check a couple of figures and you have provided a great reference piece.

CS-John B
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2006, 07:53 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g__day
That's the intent! There can easily be some errors, oversights or over simplifications - but lets catch these and make this an increasingly value adding list over time.
I agree, you have got the ball rolling and everyone can make contributions to improve the accuracy of the information. Again, a great job.

CS-John B
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2006, 07:54 AM
Dennis
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At $6713, the EM200 looks like it is the price for the USD-3 (non-Temma) model. The EM200 Temma-2 (GoTo) model is over $9000.

Cheers

Dennis
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2006, 07:58 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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FWIW, another mount that should be included is the Celestron Advanced Series GOTO (ASGT) . Or is that the same as the Synta EQ5/HEQ5 Goto, I know the Celestron ASGT mount is made by Synta ?

CS-John B
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2006, 01:49 PM
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ving (David)
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funny, i was told the cg5 which here say load cap of 13kg was supposed to be the same load cap as a eq5 (9kg)...
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2006, 02:08 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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David,

The Celestron CG5 was cloned from the Synta EQ4 which is no longer available. Then 1/2 way through the life cycle of the CG5, they upgraded the tripod on it which made an enormous improvement.

CS-John B
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2006, 02:09 PM
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GrampianStars (Rob)
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Cool

G'day Y'all
I'm using a Vixen GPDX wth SS 2K (thanks Chris)
loaded with the ED80 & WO ZS80 both scopes work together great
one views with the toucam and the other the DSI Pro
the mount could easily handle 22lb.
The mount is steady as with PE measured at < 7 arcsec.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2006, 03:08 PM
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Excelent Tables, other mounts to consider are the GSO (Guan Sheng Optical) mounts Skyview series, SV1, SV2, Skyview Delux, Skyview Pro etc etc.. I belive these are what Andrew's sells with his Equatorial mounted reflectors. I have not seen any clear indication of specifications for the SV1 and SV2 mounts but i am guessong they are equivalents of CG5 etc.

Also there are the localy made mounts from http://www.anssentechnologies.com.au/ they have there new Elessa mount liste on there website but no pricing, I spoke with them and they indicated it would be launched Feb 06, with a base price of 6-7k. But there website has not been updated yet so maybe the launch is delayed.

Regards
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2006, 03:18 PM
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ving (David)
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hi netwolf, i have looked into the skyview pro and it seems to be a slitghly better made eq5.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2006, 04:33 PM
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g__day (Matthew)
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Guys thanks for the support, corrections and encouragement. Correcting it as I get the data. I have alot of the mount weight details so will add that later tonight if I get home at a sane hour.

Netwolf - I'll look up the mounts you mentioned tonight, plus I've heard of a company called something like Mountain Designs (USA) which must be worth a mention.

Yep The PEC for the Vixen's should be brilliant within their weight range - but getting data is a challenge; I was luck to find that French website, even if its second hand data.

The RRP vs best prices I have minimal experience - so love to here more on this. Suggest a seperate thread or a new column to show best prices and merchant as the next critical piece of information for mounts, scopes and CCDs.

Please help out and maybe eventually this thread could be sticky if it adds sufficient value! So far so good
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2006, 04:45 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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The company you are referring to is Mountain Instruments. I don't know that you really need to go there. Likewise companies like Software Bisque who produce the Paramount ME

http://www.mountaininstruments.com/

http://www.bisque.com/Products/Paramount/

These are high end mounts costing well in excess of $AUS 10,000 without the electronics and the people likely to consider buying them will have done all their homework anyway as they are obviously very serious, very wealthy or both.

CS-John B
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2006, 04:53 PM
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Cool

Ron Wodaski has all the details required for the Vixen GPDX
http://www.wodaski.com/wodaski/review_GP_DX.htm
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