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Affordable Tripod Mounts for Onstep Steps

debojyoti.pal.007@...
 

Hi all,
I request you all to suggest the various affordable tripod mounts that can can be configured with OnStep. Please provide links to shop or images. My objective here is to create a compiled list of affordable tripods or mounts. Thanks.

Howard Dutton
 

George Cushing
 

Really not enough specificity in your inquiry to form an answer. Affordability is in the eyes and ability of the beholder.

It is my impression that the great majority of OnStep implementations are on mounts already owned by their users. These mounts are being adapted to OnStep to replace dead control systems or add goto functionally. I am starting to see want ads for used mounts that have dead electronics. I suspect folks want to bring them back to life with OnStep.

I have been buying dead mounts for years mainly to break them up for parts that are otherwise unobtainable. Not a lot of money in it but I like to help folks in the hobby keep there old mounts working. You'd be surprised how many colleges and universities still use equipment from the '80s & 90s. I just sent a Super C8 drive motor to the Rutgers Dept. of Physics & Astronomy for $10. However, I wouldn't bother to implement Onstep on the majority of the mounts I've broken up. It's not that it couldn't be done. It's simply the time and effort are not worth it to ME. If I was some kid in Brazil and did have the choices I have, it may be worth the effort. Particularly when he's looking a 65% tariff on any imported mount. I'm building a STM32 now for such a person who machined most of his mount.



So the short answer to your question is anything from a pile of parts, metal plate and grit to a pre goto AP 1200 and $3500..


debojyoti.pal.007@...
 

Thanks for the replies. I am willing to convert a normal tripod mount "SIROI SH-15 tripod" to a goto system with OnStep. Any suggestions are welcome.

debojyoti.pal.007@...
 

Also, I am willing to use Canon 6D Mark ii with Vivitar 650-1300mm with multiple(3) 2x tele-converters giving me 2600mm, 5200mm and 10400mm focal lengths. Am I in the right path? Can I get high end telescope level photographs? 

Howard Dutton
 

The camera is quite decent for astrophotography.

The lens FL is too long for a beginner and would required a good tracking mount to get decent results, assuming optically it's ok for astro imaging, which I seriously doubt.

Converting the tripod into a goto mount would be a dubious exercise, I already linked to the section with mounts typically converted to goto with OnStep, I will say no more.

A kit lens on the DSLR at 50mm or so can take nice wide field shots sitting on the tripod.  Taking those shots, stacking and processing them would be a valuable learning experience applicable to imaging with a telescope later.  Building a barn-door tracker that sits on that tripod should help take things to another level while spending very little.  Perhaps the zoom kit lens at longer FL would be ok then.  You will then learn about basic polar alignment, tracking, and the how and why of exposure times, ISO settings, RAW image format, etc.

If still serious you can start looking at mounts/telescopes at which point OnStep might be useful to you.

Khalid Baheyeldin
 

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 04:13 AM, <debojyoti.pal.007@...> wrote:
I am willing to convert a normal tripod mount "SIROI SH-15 tripod" to a goto system with OnStep. Any suggestions are welcome.

First, the term "tripod mount" is not used within the amateur astronomy community, and does not mean anything.

A mount, as far as OnStep is concerned, is the part that sits on top of the tripod and has at least two axis with two motors to a) cancel the apparent motion of the sky and b) provide Goto functionality, among other things.

The tripod is just something sturdy that the mounts sits on top of.

If you mean the Sirui SH-15, this is not a mount at all. It has no motors or gears that can be moved by motors.

Khalid Baheyeldin
 

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 04:16 AM, <debojyoti.pal.007@...> wrote:
Vivitar 650-1300mm with multiple(3) 2x tele-converters giving me 2600mm, 5200mm and 10400mm focal lengths. Am I in the right path? Can I get high end telescope level photographs?
The longer the focal length, the harder things become. Even with a 1300 mm 8 inch Celestron SCT, things are hard.
So, 2600mm is out of the question, and of course the higher focal length.
Stay below 1000mm or 800mm, and you can get good results.
Most amateurs use 500mm or 600mm, and get great shots.

Another thing is that a tele converter increases the F-stop.

So, if your zoom is originally F/5.6, it will be F/11, and requires double the exposure time (assuming everything else remains the same, aperture, ISO, ...etc.)

Usually no one attempts astrophotography with anything that dimmer than F/8. And for serious work, it has to be F/6 or F/4.

Howard Dutton
 

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 07:59 AM, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:
The longer the focal length, the harder things become. Even with a 1300 mm 8 inch Celestron SCT, things are hard.
So, 2600mm is out of the question, and of course the higher focal length.
Stay below 1000mm or 800mm, and you can get good results.
Most amateurs use 500mm or 600mm, and get great shots.

Another thing is that a tele converter increases the F-stop.

So, if your zoom is originally F/5.6, it will be F/11, and requires double the exposure time (assuming everything else remains the same, aperture, ISO, ...etc.)
Remember planetary imaging too where some longer FL's are necessary.

debojyoti.pal.007@...
 

Hi all,
I got my new telescope Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ with Motor Drive. I would like to control it with OnStep. Can anyone guide me the write path?
Thank you

debojyoti.pal.007@...
 

Hi all, I purchased Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ with Motor drive. I would like to control it with OnStep. Would you please guide me in tge right path? I would use the same mount for my dslr and lens assembly.
Thank you

Howard Dutton
 
Edited

That isn't a mount I would bother converting to goto it's just too low-end.  I suggest using it as-is.

If I were a beginner (on a budget) and wanted a *new* mount for goto conversion I'd probably take a shot at adding OnStep to one of these:

https://www.highpointscientific.com/meade-lx70-german-equatorial-mount-41-7100-00?gclid=CjwKCAiA8K7uBRBBEiwACOm4dx5lM8KRCWY7v3BxVcxhw--zrfN-fB-v8r0uEUTNN3aW6Ic1yI0TVxoCvwEQAvD_BwE

Howard Dutton
 
Edited

If I wanted a budget starter 'scope, for DSO imaging and visual use, I might consider one of these (or similar used noting the "ED" designation f7.5 80mm and positive reviews):
https://www.telescope.com/Orion-ED80-80mm-f75-Apochromatic-Refractor-Telescope/p/9895.uts

For visual use or planetary imaging adding an 8" SCT would be nice, and that's about as much 'scope as the LX70 can carry well, they can be bought used for about $200 or so.

Peter Dulowsky
 

IMHO EQ5 mount is the best budget option. It is sold under various names like Mon2, EXOS2 e.t.c. There are plenty of them in the second hand market. These are sturdy enough and there are 3d printed motor brackets designs available so they are easily OnStep-able.

Howard Dutton
 
Edited

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 06:04 AM, Peter Dulowsky wrote:
IMHO EQ5 mount is the best budget option. It is sold under various names like Mon2, EXOS2 e.t.c. There are plenty of them in the second hand market. These are sturdy enough and there are 3d printed motor brackets designs available so they are easily OnStep-able.
Exactly, the LX70 I linked is an EQ5 class mount and at $200 new, delivered (here in the us,) a good option I think (for those who can get a hold of it.)  Good starter mounts, economical and sturdy enough to do some imaging with, used are ok provided it has not been abused too much.  Especially nice if you can get your hands on a used Vixen GP or SP but you might very well spend > $200 for it. :)

George Cushing
 

I have a bin of CG-5s, I generally try to get $85 for the average mount. Without a tripod or counter weight. Sell about 3 a year, mostly to Eastern Europe. Even with the 11# weight I can ship them in a Large Flat Rate box. A basic tripod like the Vixen AL130 runs $35.  So I can sell one for $50 less than the close out LX70. BTW the LX70 is the mount formally known as the CG-5. The LX70 has a tripod that sells used for $125-150. Buy one, sell the tripod, get a AL130 and have a mount that will deal with a compact 20# payload for under a hundred.

simingx@...
 

Not to be raining on anyone's parade, but for a beginner I suggest getting something like an iOptron CEM25. It's not that much more expensive than converting a mount after you factor in the time and heartache, plus it's guaranteed to work. 

Howard Dutton
 

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 03:35 PM, <simingx@...> wrote:
Not to be raining on anyone's parade, but for a beginner I suggest getting something like an iOptron CEM25. It's not that much more expensive than converting a mount after you factor in the time and heartache, plus it's guaranteed to work. 
So about $200, give or take, vs.. $950?  Unless there's a cheaper CEM25 I really don't see your point.

https://www.highpointscientific.com/ioptron-cem25p-equatorial-mount-with-1-5-tripod-hard-case-7100p-hc?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=IOP-7100P-HC&gclid=CjwKCAiA8K7uBRBBEiwACOm4dwUiL0Xji2ooe5CrJrqJY1Xu2SLro4pIN2fn4tO2vhcF9W8lwn6DQhoCy1oQAvD_BwE

Khalid Baheyeldin
 

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 07:34 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:
So about $200, give or take, vs.. $950?  Unless there's a cheaper CEM25 I really don't see your point.
The way I read simingx's point is: something that works out of the box, and does not involve the DIY effort.
That is all good when someone has the budget, and does not want to invest time and effort in DiY.

So, in this case, I agree with Howard, as it looks like overall cost is the main factor for Debjyoti, even if it involves DIY.

Anything less than the LX70 is a waste of effort, since they will not be able to carry a load and perform with acceptable precision.

Now, whether the LX70 is available in Debjyoti's country, or will incurr exorbitant shipping and custom, is another factor entirely.

simingx@...
 

Ah, I actually was thinking along the lines of having one less item to worry about for a beginner in astrophotography :)
If one is willing to invest the time and effort to build an Onstep-ed mount, it's well worth it in the end...plus the satisfaction is something money can't buy.

Sorry if it seemed like I was suggesting throwing money at the problem, I do apologize for that.