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Astrophotography forum => Mounts Questions & Expirience => Topic started by: zajusima on December 27, 2017, 10:04:52 AM

Title: Mount Upgrade
Post by: zajusima on December 27, 2017, 10:04:52 AM
Hi Everyone,

I've been considering a mount upgrade for some time now to use for DSO AP.  I'd finally decided to go with an Avalon Linear mount.  It's in the very top of my budget and could price #4000 (approx.  $5000) in the UK.

One of the essential things I initially liked about the mount is it's reported slow and smooth periodic mistake, which from what I know is easy to steer out for extended exposures.

However I have recently acquired an ASI1600mm cooled CMOS camera, so that I can do shorter exposure AP, state 30 to 120s.

So my question is would it be worth me considering cheaper choices as I am unlikely to require 20-30 minute exposures.  Or is a slow and smooth PE still desired even for shorter exposures?

Regards,
Andy.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: piatimascomp on December 31, 2017, 06:06:14 AM
A higher-quality mount will always make your life easier.

Tracking accuracy is only one data point. There is also rigidity, especially during wind. And periodic error smoothness and integral PEC features. Not to mention overall reliability and many more details.

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Aaron Romano on January 08, 2018, 04:00:30 PM
I agree with the first poster. You can't beat a good mount. And, you are going to find that most of the time you will be going longer than 30 seconds with the 1600, more like 3 to 5 minutes.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Trendsetters Branch on January 09, 2018, 12:59:08 AM
I can attest to to the superb guidability of the Avalon belt/pulley driven mounts. But this is a really good question, and with the advent of at least the possibility of shorter exposures for DSO imaging with the newer sensors, will it lessen the drive for premium mounts? What OTA (s) are you planning to use and what type of objects are you most interested in?

Derek
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: tranasrixpans on January 10, 2018, 06:37:43 AM
I'll be using the Esprit 100 that I've recently ordered and an ST80 guide scope. With the camera, wheel, rings, bars etc its about 13kg in weight I think.

So I'm going to need an upgrade from my HEQ5 pro. To be honest I've really struggled with guiding my mount despite a full service and belt mod, tweaking of balance etc. I get sudden jumps in PE and my RMS in PHD is almost always well over 1" .

I'm interested in globs, nebulae and larger galaxies with both Narrowband and LRGB.

Regards,
Andrew.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Nathan Roberts on January 10, 2018, 07:17:06 AM
Well, if you hate your mount, you hate your mount.

However, the real issue is whether there are financial tradeoffs involved for you.

For example, I'm facing a similar consideration. In addition to a (better) mount I also need CCD or CMOS camera + filters (LRGB/Narrowband) + EFW + OAG + Lodestar + auto focuser + Moonlite or FT for my SCT + other things I forget...

The question is, will all those (which put together cost as much a a premium mount) improve my acquisition/range of available imaging opportunities more than will improving my mount? For example, shooting narrowband will let me image from home--something currently a pain with my light pollution + DSLR.

If you can afford everything you wish, definitely get the mount. If not, then figure out whether a different allocation of funds might address your priorities better for now.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: chionewssesu on January 11, 2018, 12:03:02 AM
Many books an astrophotography, usually on page one, say something like "start out by getting the best mount you can afford..."
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Ryan Wilton on January 12, 2018, 02:54:49 AM
Agree 100% with Chris and just about every AstroPhotography Book out there... Invest in the BEST mount you can afford. Everything else will work for now and/or be upgraded later.
You get what you pay for. And in the world of mounts, that means the lesser expensive mounts come with horrible PE, Cast Aluminum, Low Quality Bearings (making it difficult to balance), etc. while the top shelf mounts exude quality in their build and more importantly, their performance.

A good mount makes every aspect of imaging easier and more productive, regardless if you want to take 20 minute subs or 2 minute subs.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: trimarnado on January 12, 2018, 01:40:43 PM
Actually if you want to do narrowband, you need a good mount. 2 minutes won't cut it. In my experience you really want to do 20 minute subs unless your OTA is very fast (Hyperstar, RH200, or Epsilon). 20 minutes is no fun with a non-premium mount. Not saying it's not doable, just a hassle.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Alex Strouth on January 12, 2018, 01:46:30 PM
After some further consideration and research I finally ordered the Avalon Linear mount. Should get it in a couple of weeks.

Andy.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: facwindpsychco on January 13, 2018, 02:15:38 AM
Congrats.
(https://s10.postimg.org/sxmdqg65h/10_attachment_00.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/sxmdqg65h/)

(https://s10.postimg.org/sxmdqg65h/10_attachment_00.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/sxmdqg65h/)
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: mosretouless on January 14, 2018, 01:23:29 AM
Please let us know how it works out. There's relatively little information about this mount, and it seems like a potential competitor to the MyT and Mach1 GTO at a somewhat lower price point.
(https://s10.postimg.org/b6p00kwed/11_attachment_00.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/b6p00kwed/)
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Nick Nisianakis on January 15, 2018, 11:42:23 AM
Andy,

Before I went with SB / Paramount, I almost pulled the pin on an Avalon Linear.
For me it came down to readily available parts, service and support from a manufacturer in N. America.

Seeing as how you are UK based, Italy is reasonably close in the event you have technical issues.
I'm sure you are going to like that Avalon. Typical Italian craftsmanship.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: firorectve on January 16, 2018, 01:42:53 AM
You're going to love that mount. Very smooth curves on it; easy to guide. Superb workmanship. And, you can talk to the head guy if you need to! Nice choice!

Oh, and it's red!

Paul
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Maurice Deuschle on January 16, 2018, 02:37:53 AM
Since i am in the same situation, i can tell some things

- Luciano is supporting customers far beyond his duty
- pec is nonsense with this kind of tec. It is a guide only mount that correct very often (and very well)
- the next jump is called 10micron more than mach1, twice the cost.

i will go to see an m-uno soon, but i am pretty sure that linear is the only choice balancing price/Quality. Competitors are losmandy only, i don't see a real fight

Please drop some lines about your first tests
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Joel Russell on January 18, 2018, 08:41:12 AM
First post for me here. Getting back into the hobby after getting sucked into the 80s Halley craze. Take it from a beginner, I started my research with the mount 48 hrs. ago. Not the scope, not the camera, not the software...

If all goes as planned, should place an order for the Linear and a 130 T-Pod soon.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Ronnie Walsh on January 18, 2018, 10:00:03 AM
Andy, I agree with all the other opinions that the mount is the most important part of our equipment when talking about AP. I am also in the upgrade moment, changing my moded neq6pro for a Mesu200. I also build a new pier, more solid and wider to provide the enough stability to the system. One of the strongest points of the Mesu is the stiffness. Others are the low PE and the accuracy.

Also an owner of an ASI1600 with EFW, OAG and broadband filters (the narrow band ones are coming soon). Now just testing it with the FSQ85 on the Neq6. Comparisions with the Mesu will be provided soon.

Congrats on your purchase!!
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: blasbunmena on January 21, 2018, 01:00:46 AM
Andy, this'll make you chuckle a bit as I know we both talked about the linear on the stargazers lounge forum. We must be twinned at birth as I to have just ordered the linear with a t110 tripod! I'm intending to do a review for cloudy nights folk which I'll update every now and again. I've been told I've got a 2-3 week wait. Did you order from Ian King?
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Timothy Moody on January 25, 2018, 12:16:26 PM
Oh, I should also say that there will be a new Polemaster adaptor for the linear going live in a few weeks. The current one produced means removing the carry handle so I believe they are redesigning it.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Tawakal Stahlberg on January 25, 2018, 02:21:14 PM
I undervalued polemaster. day by day i am learning that is SCARY!

However.. i am more about getting Hercules Tripod by Geoptik with the minitower from avalon.

1) wood has a different response from steel (vibrations)
2) steel will become ice in no time.
3) future flexibility

Mesu would be my 1st option if i had a fixed observatory
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: tingperbeachfnar on January 30, 2018, 06:00:50 AM
Quote
Please let us know how it works out.

Will certainly do that.

Quote

You're going to love that mount. Very smooth curves on it; easy to guide. Superb workmanship. And, you can talk to the head guy if you need to!

The reported ease of guiding does appeal to me. Also the portability of the mount is important for me as I plan to travel to a dark site with it. At home I setup and tear down each session and I'll be able to lift the mount without any problem.

<p class="citation">CrzHrs, on 10 Jan 2017 - 10:54 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7639953" rel="citation">(https://www.cloudynights.com//public/style_images/master/snapback.png)[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="CrzHrs" data-cid="7639953" data-time="1484081652">

Luciano is supporting customers far beyond his duty

[/quote]
I emailed Avalon with some questions and got a quick response. My last email was sent on a Saturday and I received a response on Sunday :-)

<p class="citation">Becomart, on 11 Jan 2017 - 12:58 AM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7640168" rel="citation">(https://www.cloudynights.com//public/style_images/master/snapback.png)[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="Becomart" data-cid="7640168" data-time="1484089114">

Andy, this'll make you chuckle a bit as I know we both talked about the linear on the stargazers lounge forum. We must be twinned at birth as I to have just ordered the linear with a t110 tripod! I'm intending to do a review for cloudy nights folk which I'll update every now and again. I've been told I've got a 2-3 week wait. Did you order from Ian King?

[/quote]
Must be a case of great minds thinking alike :-) Yes I ordered from Ian King. I ordered the wifi version did you go with that one or the Bluetooth? I'll also wait for the updated polemaster adapter.

I've started using SGPro and Avalon have said it will work with the Stargo control system. There is an ASCOM driver.

I'm also going to check with Avalon if there are any recommended settings for PHD2.

Whilst researching the mount I found this video which shows a close up view of one of the belts at 3:40. It's good to get a look under the cover:
https://www.youtube....h?v=62BmtgxLXrI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62BmtgxLXrI)

Andy
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Robert Laygo on January 31, 2018, 10:03:22 AM
I am going to talk with a reseller becouse i wish to see stargo myself. Very often i dont see polaris, nor i can use the polemaster. I wish to understand how polar alignment routine works.

i wish also qhy would make a polemaster routine with no north visible.. :/
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Brandon Garrido on February 02, 2018, 10:21:26 PM
Hi Andy, yes I ordered the wifi version as I want to be able to control using sky safari on my iPhone for visual (which I don't do often but my society does a fair bit of out reach). I've also ordered a couple of losmandy plates as it's time to convert - would appear a little more stable than Vixen but not sure if there is any fact behind that. There is a video of the stargo working with pretty much everything and simultaneously so I think you'll be good to go with SGP. I was going to wait until Astrofest to buy but since I've had my eye on the mount (last Sept), the price has gone up 3 times because of Brexit by an eye watering £450-500 so I decide to jump before it went up again. For PHD2 settings, do a google search for Sara Wager as she has some settings she recommends. I believe Avalon also provide recommended settings with the mount.

Martin
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: spicomgeovio on February 03, 2018, 07:05:50 AM
Quote
I was going to wait until Astrofest to buy but since I've had my eye on the mount (last Sept), the price has gone up 3 times because of Brexit by an eye watering £450-500 so I decide to jump before it went up again. For PHD2 settings, do a google search for Sara Wager as she has some settings she recommends.

Same with me. I didn't want to risk further price increases so decided to go for it. I'll have a look at the guide settings. I'll also run the guiding assistant to see what it recommends.

Andy.
(https://s18.postimg.org/3na53aarp/23_attachment_00.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/3na53aarp/)
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: Tony Patton on February 04, 2018, 10:50:45 AM
Well I went with the 10 Micron GM 1000 HPS. I was told it could do 30 minute unguided images with a C11 and have perfect stars.
Well I never ended up doing any unguided imaging worth a flip.
But when I turned on the Off Axis Guiding.....Hang On Man!!!!!!!


That is fantastic, but at nearly $10k I would be cooking my own goose.

Michael
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: John Jefner on February 09, 2018, 06:09:45 AM
That is some incredible guiding above, for sure. I'd probably be doing 20 or 30 min. sub's with that.
Title: Re: Mount Upgrade
Post by: David Allen on February 09, 2018, 10:36:36 AM
For a budget look at the Cem 60 I have had one for years I run the Standard model its carrying a C11 with loads of gear weight about another 6kg or so never miss a beat carrying 18kg plus or minus . in fact its a little better with more weight on it.
Below in the PHD2 graphs this was a quick capture tonight so I wasn't waiting to look good. They are just great value , I was looking around for some time took the plunge never regretted it. Yes there are mounts that do a lot better but not many for the money.
(https://s10.postimg.org/wx7o0mbtx/26_attachment_00.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/wx7o0mbtx/)