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Old 30-06-2014, 01:37 PM
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GC - South Aus
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Here it is - my new (monster) mount!

G'day All,

Well I have been sat back for sometime now admiring the mount's of those around us who have the finances to afford the likes of Paramount Me/Mx and AP1200. I longed for a mount that could carry at least a 12" SCT or Newtonian.

I had also been admiring those that are a little more in my price range, which I also wouldn't be able to afford until after some several years of saving. I was still a long way off! These include the likes of Losmandy G11 and the new Skywatcher EQ8 (the EQ8 framing up as my more likely purchase).

I was starting to get a little depressed as I knew I would have many years of saving my pennies ahead of me. Until I stumbled on a heavy duty mount being sold online by a nice chap in the ACT (will remain unnamed, as I have not sought approval to disclose his name). I couldn't believe my luck when my wife said I could buy it (must have caught her on a good day!).

So the weekend just gone I woke early to drive from Adelaide to Nhill (Victoria) to meet the nice chap from the ACT who drove down to meet me (weather was atrocious). A deal was done and I returned home the same day, eventually got around to setting it up this morning.

This mount is custom built, from the 70's, in the style/patent of the legendary 'Bill Schaefer' mounts. It was imported from the US by this chap when he migrated to Australia. It is built like a tank, a real monster!

It came with the following:

  • Two stepper controller boxes (i.e. one spare)
  • Laptop with Mel Bartels Scope Software Installed
  • Meade CAT 2048 encoders and controller
  • Heavy duty tripod
  • 1.5" (1 5/8"= 42mm diameter) solid steel counterweight shaft
  • So many counterweights (that I might not ever use)
  • 2 x spare stepper motors
  • Homemade handpad
  • Best of all it has a gold anodized 10" across (30" in circumference) Ed Byer precision RA gear and worm drive
This mount has previously held a 16" Newtonian with no struggles and can hold 160+ lbs. .

I have attached some photos of the mount set-up today (excuse the mess - still renovating).

Whilst this mount might not have all the 'bell's & whistles' of the newer ones listed above, it does have super smooth stepper movement/control. The Ed Byer's worm drive and gear is a dream!

For $1800 (in short the best money I ever spent) this is all my dreams come true!

Cheers

Gav

P.S. I will attach some photo's of other people's OTA's on a Schaefer Mount in another entry
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Last edited by GC - South Aus; 01-07-2014 at 06:08 AM.
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  #2  
Old 30-06-2014, 01:51 PM
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graham.hobart (Graham stevens)
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monster mount

That Looks impressive Gav. Perhaps its a transformer?
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Old 30-06-2014, 01:54 PM
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Looks like a very capable mount. A pretty blue colour, too.
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Old 30-06-2014, 01:57 PM
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Here are some other peoples mounts with OTA's

Check these out.

Certainly can shift some weight!

Regards

Gav

P.S. The last pic is a C14 Classic painted white (looks quite small on the mount, and this is the model size below mine), I think this best puts the mount's capability into perspective!
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Old 30-06-2014, 02:06 PM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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Pretty Impressive ....looks the Part .....

Col.............

Last edited by FlashDrive; 30-06-2014 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 30-06-2014, 02:10 PM
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Thanks guy's,

Graham, a few weeks ago I would have said I'd be happy if it was a Transformer and maybe it could transform into a Paramount Me or Mx.

But, after now getting the mount in my hands, setting it up and seeing it operate. I am more than happy with this for the rest of my life.

It will certainly transform my astronomy capability, just need to convince the wife into letting me buy a new 12" to 14" SCT now. As my C9.25 will look tiny on this thing and won't even need a counterweight by the looks of it.

Nothing like owning a little bit of astronomical history!

Cheers

Gav
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Old 30-06-2014, 02:11 PM
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DavidU (Dave)
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Awesome deal !
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Old 30-06-2014, 04:58 PM
el_draco (Rom)
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I think I saw this mount elsewhere and thought it was an excellent option to a second mortgage. Well done!
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Old 30-06-2014, 04:58 PM
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A deal indeed! Love the tangent arm with electric motor too!

Matt
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Old 30-06-2014, 04:59 PM
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Could it even make balance with my ED80 on it?

What a beast!
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Old 30-06-2014, 05:19 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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Oh wow !
Beautiful.
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Old 30-06-2014, 05:21 PM
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Nice. Bit risky near your wooden floor, isn't it???
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Old 30-06-2014, 07:36 PM
icytailmark (Mark)
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love the blue c14 might do it to mine
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Old 30-06-2014, 07:46 PM
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alan meehan (Alan)
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A real good buy Gav ,yes the 9.25 will make a good guide scope

AL
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Old 30-06-2014, 08:13 PM
raymo
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Tell you what, Gav, see if Yerkes will sell you their refractor.
raymo
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2014, 05:37 AM
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G'day All

Thanks to everyone's comments.

Raymo, I contacted the ob's about Yerkes refractor. But they said it might not be capable, with account of the extra weight of my ed80 guidescope just pushing the mount over the edge of its capability!

I am glad everyone likes it, I know it's not as glamorous as some others, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My wife keeps telling me that I am just like the cat which caught the mouse.

In preparation for buying this mount I did a little research first and learned a lot about the mount design (originally based upon a R Porter sketch) and the manufacturer/modifying designer himself (B Schaefer). Bill was the person who made this Porter design a reality. He seemed an amazing man and even had an asteroid named after him in honour of his work and service to the astronomical community.

If your interested in learning more about some astro history of Bill, come on the journey with me and see some of the links below:

http://www.astronomersdoitinthedark....hp?c=155&p=483

http://www.txstars.org/sitebuilderco...billbiopdf.pdf

http://www.larryadkins.net/sitebuild...rtoduction.htm

There is even a 1990 article in the LA Times which discusses the local astronomical society, of which Bill was a member. It says the following about him:

"Among the club's members is 86-year-old Bill Schaefer, a near-legendary name in amateur astronomy circles, who designed the most sought-after telescope mount for amateurs and until a few years ago was still building complete top-of-the-line scopes. He continues to tinker away in a workshop at his Placentia apartment complex, designing and building components and accessories that can't be bought commercially."

Find it here: http://articles.latimes.com/1990-07-...astronomy-club

Everyone talks so highly of him, both his abilities and his generosity. Unfortunately Bill died in 1993, but was still ATM'ing up until a few months before the end.

There are many more websites out there of people still using Schaefer mounts, which can be revealed by a simple google search.

So I am now wondering, anyone else in Australia using a Schaefer or Schaefer style/design mount???

Clear Skies

Gav

Last edited by GC - South Aus; 01-07-2014 at 05:57 AM.
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