Author Topic: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less  (Read 150 times)

plethenofin

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« on: December 30, 2017, 11:21:40 AM »
Okay folks!!!!

I am at it again. I am looking to get a portable mount and am willing to spend up to $8k. I am planning on doing imaging mostly. I do like using a hand controller.

So what are the recommendations???

Thanks,

Tim



erexgila

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 02:24:05 AM »
What's *portable* to you?

I think there are three real options (in the US): Mach1 GTO, MyT and Avalon Linear (also the other Avalons *if* you have an SCT or short-length scope).

You can see which I picked from my signature, although it would have been truly agonizing if the MyT had been a little lighter.

I bought the Mach1 *without* the hand-controller. You don't need the HC if you have a smartphone--just enable the Mach1's WiFi and connect to it with the Luminos app. You have a great handcontrol with big arrow buttons, plus ability to park, unpark, slew and sync anyone to a star database.

And it's $20 instead of $1,100. With the AP hand control the Mach1 will break 8K. I truly don't think you'll miss it, and you can always order it later if you do. Sky Safari also has a HC emulator, but it's not, IMO, as nice as Luminos.

Marlon Hilzer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 09:14:24 AM »
I should add that if you would consider used, the AP900 is a possibility. It's heavy, but breaks up into two components (easily) the heavier of which is 28lbs.

xenjavabve

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 01:29:19 PM »
Quote
Okay folks!!!!

I am at it again. I am looking to get a portable mount and am willing to spend up to $8k. I am planning on doing imaging mostly. I do like using a hand controller.

So what are the recommendations???

Thanks,

Tim

I see from your sig that you already have an ES G-11 mount, and your largest scope is a 130mm APO. Why do you need another mount beyond the ES G-11? Or are you planning on a larger scope and heavy camera?

Several friends have Losmandy G-11's that perform well - but those mounts don't meet my definition of a "portable" mount (altho I have used my massiveMI-250 in the field for years before installing it in my observatory). My personal goal is going as light-weight as possible, while having good imaging performance with a 5-inch size APO, or maybe even my 10-inch RC. I was thinking of Celestron's CGX (a friend is having good success with the CGX-L), but at 44 lb, I would not consider it "portable" by my standards. I really liked the quality of the Losmandy mounts on display at NEAF earlier this year - they appear to be a step up in quality even from the usual Losmandy standard. All of this is making me consider the GM811G "hybrid".

I should add that "portable" means to me, something easy to take along to dark sky locations, like my Adirondack Camp, Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park, and similar at the same time I'm also bringing a 20-inch F/5 Dob. Therefore, performance at light-weight and ease of set-up are perhaps more important to me than most people. Also, the ability to run everything for several nights in a remote wilderness with no AC power while not hauling massive batteries is important.

Chuck Klem

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 12:11:45 AM »
With hand controller? Astro Physics Mach1 GTO. If you are willing to consider using a tablet or smartphone to control it then the Paramount MYT becomes an option as well.

Grant Buchanan

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 06:11:48 AM »
Quote
I should add that if you would consider used, the AP900 is a possibility. It's heavy, but breaks up into two components (easily) the heavier of which is 28lbs.

A big +1 on that and if you want to go wild and crazy, a good use AP1200 GTO CPO3 can be fetched for about $6000-6500 USD depending on included stuff.

I always like to include this image to help people judge comparative sizes.

Jeff

Attached Thumbnails




tmasnilypho

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 12:38:33 PM »
The Meade LX850 is superb and fits within the constraints of your budget. I've used it successfully with a 14" SCT at 2900mm and with a 5" refractor it's simply outstanding.

The best thing about the Meade is that it's a turnkey imaging platform. You get everything you need included with the mount. No need for a guide scope, guide camera, tripod, counter weights etc.

It also integrates seemlessly with The Sky, ASCOM and MaximDL. I can't speak for other software packages as I've not tested other configurations but I'm more than happy with the performance of mine.

vichanettgrif

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 12:18:13 AM »
Yes, I think Tim that you might need to better define what portable means to you. While the LX850 may be a fine mount with high load capacity, I would hardly call it portable by most people's definition. It seems like a monster compared to other premium mounts that I would consider portable: Mach1, MyT and Avalons. Do you mean, roll out of the garage portable, take to a remote dark site portable, take on an airplane portable? Of these, the Avalon M's may may be the most portable from a total weight standpoint due to their lack of major counterweight requirement, especially when paired with a super light Tpod. And the M Uno, wile best suited to SCTs up to 11" and shorter refractors, can be used with your 130mm refractor, but depending on the the target you may lose the no-flip advantage (but still be able to track further beyond the meridian than GEMs).

Derek

Edward Johnston

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 08:28:56 PM »
That's a fair point Derek and one that I often overlook. There aren't many things in this hobby I would consider not portable but I'm definitley an exception to the rule and often don't take that into consideraion when offering advice to others. The 850 is easily portable for me (in fact I've carted it around several times) but possibly wouldn't be for others depending on their physical stature.

Most times I simply wheel mine out from the garage and I'm ready to image in about 5 minutes time. That said, the 850 is significantly less than 8k so meets the price point objective rather nicely.

halespbourvi

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 12:20:06 AM »
Hello again!!! Wow lots of responses!!

Wow, sorry I guess I need to define portable more. Portable for me is light enough to carry out to a dark site which is in my front yard(I live in rural area and see the Milky Way year round). I don't have the means of rolling a tripod out of a garage(no garage). Definition of portable would be a mount similar to the Mach 1, AP 900, GM8G11, and etc.

Hopefully that helps on my definition of portable!!

Clear skies,

Tim

tiodiacontti

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2018, 03:33:55 AM »
Find a used MX+. Put their Wifi board in and you can run it from your iPad.

cludertypos

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 07:33:35 AM »
(I live in rural area and see the Milky Way year round)

Why not build anobservatory with a pier and then not worry about it anymore?

Always there, push button open, never carry your mount back and forth again, always Polar Aligned, add here...

Cesar Lawhorn

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2018, 09:40:13 AM »
Yes, I would love to have an observatory! At this time, I can't build one. In another year or two, I will be at a point where I can start building one.

Stelios and Dr. who have nice recommendations. George is correct on the GM811G on being a nice lite mount.

Jeff's photo gets me going on mount envy every time!!! lol (If I could find a used late model AP900 that probably would be the way to go for me. The AP900 could then become a pier mount later for me.)

I do agree with others that the Meade LX850 is a nice platform, just waayy to heavy for me to use for a portable system.

Any other thoughts???

Charles Marin

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Best portable mount to get for 8k or less
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2018, 02:41:37 PM »
Mach1 or AP900. Can’t beat either. Have both and from experience they are real performers.