Is an EQM-35 a good choice?

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Tailspin45
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Is an EQM-35 a good choice?

#1

Post by Tailspin45 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:08 am

I'm back into astronomy, for the third time around, actually.

First time was with a homemade 10" bought for $100 in 1973 from the guy that made it.

Second entry, years later, was a Meade ETX-90 and then an LX-90 8" with CCD camera, etc etc, etc (meaning $, $, $). Sold everything for a pittance 15 years ago when my eyes failed.

But eyes are fixed and I headed down the rabbit hole for the third time determined to spend the absolute minimum. See my One Day At Time series here.

But, as someone else pointed out, buying cheap equipment is buying frustration.

My 4.5" Orion StarBlast isn't bad, I have a cheap SV305 camera (although I haven't admitted it yet), and I've solved my red-dot finder problem with an affordable right angle finder. But the mount is driving me f'ing NUTS! So much so that I've endured SWMBO's wrath and said I want to buy a used Skywatcher EQM-35 for $550.

Ignoring my connubial issues, what do you think of the EQM-35 mount and price? (Don't tell me I need a better scope, that's another issue. Or wife, she's a keeper for many other reasons.)
Tailspin Tommy (aka Clever Clogs)
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Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night.
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#2

Post by JayTee » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:47 am

What role do you foresee for this amount? AP only, or visual only, or a mix of AP and visual. At 22 lb payload capacity you should realistically only load it up to 11-12lbs for AP.

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Main: C-stron CPC1100 #2 Scope: 8" f/7.5 Dob mounted Newt AP Scopes: TPO 6" f/9 RC, ES 80mm f/6 APO G&G Scope: Meade 102mm f/7.8, Bresser 102mm f/4.5 Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs Mounts: C-stron AVX CGEM & GT Alt-Az, Meade DS2000 Cameras: Canon T3i (x2), ASI120MC Binos: 10X50,10.5X70,15X70 (x2), 25X100 EPs: ES: 21 100°, 30 82° X-Cels: 9, 12, 18, 25 Clubs: RCA & HAS
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#3

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:33 am

A better visual mount than for any serious AP.
It would work well if you just want to mount a DSLR/ telephoto on it for nightscapes or wide field.
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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#4

Post by Tailspin45 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:12 pm

JayTee wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:47 am
What role do you foresee for this mount? AP only, or visual only, or a mix of AP and visual.
Primarily AP since I like to share and know a camera can see much more than my eyes. But large, bright Messier objects always attract me and the 4º wide-field view and f/4 focal ratio of the StarBlast lends itself to that with my CMOS camera, I believe. Or does it?

JayTee wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:47 am
At 22 lb payload capacity you should realistically only load it up to 11-12lbs for AP.
My scope's OTA only weighs 3.7 pounds, so with rings, dovetail, and a camera it shouldn't challenge the mount's weight capacity. Even if I upgrade someday to a refractor, it should still be around your recommended 11-12 pounds, yes?

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:33 am
A better visual mount than for any serious AP.
Yike, maybe I need to rethink this choice. Why?

One review I read said it only began to drift off a star after 25 minutes, and planetary and lunar tracking were just as good. With my camera and local light pollution I'll probably be stacking a lot of short (~2 second) captures or even .AVI frames.
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Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night.
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#5

Post by Lady Fraktor » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:50 pm

The mount has a small capacity (20lb) for doing anything more than casual AP, most people find that a EQ-5 is a good starting point (30lb) once you start adding all of the gear on.
Visually you can run the mount up to their full capacity and still expect reasonably stable views as long as the telescope is not to long for the mount to deal with the extra moment arm.
Proper Telescopes: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNGDX 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen ED115s f/7.7
Mounts: Celestron AS-GT, Celestron CG-5 w/ Argo Navis & tracking motor, SLT w/ pier & tripod mods, Manfrotto 028b w/ SV M2C, Mantrotto 055Pro w/ 128RC, TAL MT1C, Vixen SXP w/ HAL-130 & half pier
Diagonal: 2" A-P Maxbright, 2" Baader Herschel Wedge (P), 2" Zeiss/ Baader Amici Prism (DX2), 2" Orion Amici Prism, 2" Stellarvue DX, 2" TeleVue EverBrite
Eyepieces: Antares to Zeiss
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