Back What's new

Equatorial Mount What would you buy

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


If you were looking for a nice EQ mount in the $2550-$3000 range right now, what would you select?
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Celestron CGX
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Celestron CGX
Does the interface with the mount require it to go through the hand controller, or can you directly interface with the mount from Stellarmate, not requiring a 2 or 3 point alignment like you do with the EQ35-Pro and the GoTo mount

Apparently some of the higher end SkyWatcher series mounts allow direct interface, without having to do alignments via the hand controller before turning over control to Stellarmate and the mount.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
I have no idea what Celestron has for a interface now. You said you needed capacity at "X" price range. You can buy a mount that uses no HC it uses WiFi. I haven't heard IF they had all the bugs worked out of that yet. But I know what one bug would be, RANGE.

You may want to find someone who runs a remote observatory 100's of mile from where they control it from. There is a guy on TSS that does it, it isn't cheap. he has partners in his obs in New Mexico, he lives on the SE coast of the US...
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


You may want to find someone who runs a remote observatory 100's of mile from where they control it from. There is a guy on TSS that does it, it isn't cheap. he has partners in his obs in New Mexico, he lives on the SE coast of the US...
Have a friend (Chris Davis) that runs an IT business in Arkansas that currently has an observatory in New Mexico... his system was down last time I talked to him because his ASI1600MM fan had gone out... and nobody was available to replace it with the spare fan he has in his observatory.
He recently got StarLink up and running for his internet connection since his observatory is sorta "in the boonies". We were laughing about how we cursed StarLink, but it was also useful.
He has a pier system setup and the observatory is fully automated.

What I'm going to be looking for is a mount that connects from the RPi to the mount via USB cable and does not have to go through the hand controller. Currently with my EQ-35 Pro I have to use the hand controller to do at least a 2 star alignment THEN the software will detect the mount. I know some of the better mounts don't require you to use the handset to do alignments then go through it again in the software - you simply use the software to do your alignments. I'm not interested in tying another WiFi device into the mix... mainly because that's just one more thing that draws power, and the RPi is already attached to the scope so running a short cable to the mount is not that much of an issue.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
LOL I switched to StarLink and no one can match the speed for price in rural SK. I have only done one Star alignment since I started using SM. I have done 1 Polar alignment in 3 years and that was to see how well the SM Polar alignment worked. A obs with a pier simplifies the Startup and shutdown.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Yes... but not all have a pier. My equipment is also set up to be taken with us when we go on our RV travels... which frequently take us out of the Bortle 5 area we are in and into Bortle 2 & 3 areas. Our next outing is targeted towards South Llano River State Park here in Texas, an IDS certified park.
South Llano River State Park (Texas)

IDS Site  South Llano River State Park (Texas)

South Llano River State Park provides refuge for wildlife and people on the southwestern edge of the Hill Country. Bring your hiking boots, water toys, camping gear, and sense of adventure! South Llano River State Park is an International Dark Sky Park.

For those of us who are blessed with dark skies and land to set up on, an observatory is almost a given.
Even down on my brothers land I would't set up down there because at the best it's a 3, and approaching 4 in many areas of his land.

To give you an idea of the area of sky I can shoot from my house, take your index finger and your adjacent "say high" finger and spread them apart as far as you can... that's about the FOV I have to view/shoot from.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
LOL There ya go, a remote obs at the Bros place! ;)
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


LOL There ya go, a remote obs at the Bros place! ;)
yeah... I can see it now..a bunch of drunk red-neck yahoos down hog hunting at night and shooting at anything that moves... and knowing my luck, every round would land in any structure I had built. 🦧
He uses the land to "entertain" contractors and sub-contractors on. He's in the construction industry and is a VP of the company..
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Oh!

Well the is a work-around. Put up a obs. Build a cider brick circular wall around it. The wall only needs to be high enough to protect the obs..... Anf in addition I already have a name for it.......
















"THE ALAMO"
:unsure:🙂
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Looking at a CEM70.... and if it may even end up being a "gift" from some folks I've done LOTS of free work for.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


We are including some fields for the first post in the Astrophotography area.
It will allow you to detail your gain/offset and exposure time. It will, if using a cooled camera, also allow you to detail the temp for those captures.
I don't want to get it too detailed, like number of exposures with what filters... that can be detailed in the post, but I figured getting the basics if possible may also help other budding astrophotographers to give them an idea of the settings that they may try.

This is an example of what the results look like.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 12.09.42 AM.png



These fields are NOT required, but are suggested to help out others.
 
Last edited:

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


We are currently testing the site set up under CloudFlare's CDN service. If you notice any issues (and you can) please leave a comment about them.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Yup it helps understand the basic issues. Each imaging train will have it's own unique set of issues. Now that I can't afford any different gear I have 4 possible imaging train combos. This will save me a lot of time typing out the particulars. Most forum frequenters contribute for one of three reasons, to ask for help, they want to help and finally they need their ego stroked by showing off! I like to hang and am part of the first two! :unsure: :ROFLMAO:

I frequently look at images that others have taken and check to see what setting they use. My ASI183MM P was drivin' me nuts when I used the suggested Unity defaults ZWO recommended. The retailer I bought it from is (was) a small retailer. BUT, he used what he sold, or at least was associated with someone who he sold the gear to. The 183 is a low budget camera with issues. Those issues include terrible Amp Glow and a really shallow well. He suggested I forget Unity for imaging and use a lower Gain, a LOT lower gain to keep the well from overflowing..... I went from Unity gain of 120 to 70 and don't hate the camera any more. Without his assistance I would have never found a solution to the problem.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


You still have to type it in on each post if you want it to show... you just don't have to find a place in the post to do it.

It shows up like this when entering a post located below the text box where you type... all it does is standardize where the information is displayed.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.04.40 PM.png


And one of the main reasons I implemented it was because I had the same questions I hope it helps answer for others when looking at images.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
:ROFLMAO: A least I didn't say it was a secret! :ROFLMAO:

You wouldn't believe how many people offer to help the new ones out. If the newbie pays attention and comes along quickly all of the sudden the Mentor disappears. It's not as if it is a competition sport, few ever sell a image they took. The one receiving the help should say thank-you frequently, as a sigh of appreciation is easier than going it alone.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


You wouldn't believe how many people offer to help the new ones out.
Yes, I would.... I've seen it here in action.
But I have had the opposite issue when I was first getting started in the telescopes over at another site... ergo one of the reasons I started this site.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Messages
327
Reaction score
136
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Added three new threads this AM and didn't see where it was hiding.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Added three new threads this AM and didn't see where it was hiding.
Should be below the text box where you put the data in if using the "Post Thread" button, but if you are entering directly from the topic list, you have to choose the More Options at the bottom of the area since they are not mandatory fields (although maybe they should be?).
This screen capture was from a test user I set up with the same group permissions that everybody has.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 5.24.37 PM.png


This is what it looks like when you use the Post Thread button, or More Options

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 5.24.21 PM.png
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


You may notice now that the fields for these inputs no longer automatically appear. I have also added them to the Beginner Astrophotography location and in that are the users may not have this information as they may simply have more questions to ask, so forcing them to put in that information would be useless.
You can still get to the options in the quick post area by choosing the More Options tab at the bottom of the text entry box. You will also notice that the formatting of the display has changed somewhat, as it is now more streamlined. Also added was the ability for our DSLR users to enter their ISO settings instead of gain/offset.

Screen Shot 2022-10-09 at 12.39.22 AM.png


If anyone can think of any additional fields (realizing that temp is already there as well as ISO) that would be beneficial, please let me know and I can add them.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Well, decided to try the EQ6-R Pro. Would have loved a Celestron CGX series, but it was slightly out of what the budget I had set for me. :oops:

Should be in by the middle of next week... so will have to learn how to work it, but it WILL be hooked directly to the RPi, bypassing the hand controller. Was hoping the EQMod cable for my current one would have arrived by now, but it's shipping out of the UK.... which reminds me, I need to contact them for a status update as it's a week past what they gave as a ship delay date.
 

Stan

Founding Member
Messages
38
Reaction score
27
Well, decided to try the EQ6-R Pro. Would have loved a Celestron CGX series, but it was slightly out of what the budget I had set for me. :oops:

Should be in by the middle of next week... so will have to learn how to work it, but it WILL be hooked directly to the RPi, bypassing the hand controller. Was hoping the EQMod cable for my current one would have arrived by now, but it's shipping out of the UK.... which reminds me, I need to contact them for a status update as it's a week past what they gave as a ship delay date.
I run a SkyWatcher AZ-EQ 6 mount & I ditched the hand controller and never looked back., Mine is a older mount & doesn't have the USB port like the new ones have.
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Well, the boxes arrived... and in typical fashion..... UPS gorillas must have been set loose to help packing the trucks.
Anybody see the irony in where the damage is located?
Luckily it was the tripod box, and unpacking it I did not see any damage.

IMG_1162.JPG
IMG_1159.JPG
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


And she's at work tonight grabbing more of M31


newmount.jpeg

This is what I'm REALLY liking though when compared to the EQ-35 Pro

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 8.43.45 PM.png
 

Tracy

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
Messages
415
Reaction score
62
Location
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Proof is in the pudding as they say. Over the last 2 uses (usually most of the night) of the new EQ6-R Pro, the Total RMS has never gotten above 0.96.
I'm LOVING this thing, even though it is a learning experience using the EQMOD driver compared to the SynScan.

But I have found, even with this mount, much wind WILL mess with your DEC.
 
Last edited:
Top