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Eq Mount for a older 7 inch Meade Refractor

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John R Posted: 07-09-2018 1:19 PM

Hello:

I am doing some investigational work for the Prairie Grass Observatory here in Indiana.   http://www.indianastars.us/

PGO is looking for recommendations on what type of high quality equatorial mount is needed for a circa 1990’s Meade 178ED 7" Refractor.  The overall weight of the tube is estimated in the 40-50 pound range.

This is an f/9 long tube refractor that was originally mounted on the LX750 equatorial mount.  However, this old mount is now having drive problems.

Primary use of the refractor is visual with GOTO capability.  However, at times PGO would like to do long-exposure imaging and remote video feeds from the telescope.  Therefore, low periodic error is highly desirable.

Although PGO has not defined an exact budget, they realize this mount will be in the $5-$10K range and will be writing a local educational grant application in the future.

They asked me about a MyT mount, but I am skeptical this mount is adequate for this long-tube refractor.  I was going to recommend the MX+ mount instead.  The ME II mount may be better, but is most likely out of their budget range.

Any help you could offer on the best mount would be appreciated.

Thank you,

John

West Lafayette, IN

 

 

 

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Posts 26,762
Software Bisque Employee

John R:
The overall weight of the tube is estimated in the 40-50 pound range.
IMO, the Paramount MYT would be a suitable match for visual work with this large refractor (the Paramount MYT uses the same motors as the Paramount ME II, so slewing the payload is not an issue and PE of all Paramount mount's is at or below 7 arcseconds peak to peak before PEC is applied).

John R:
I was going to recommend the MX+ mount instead.
For long exposure imaging, you'll be adding a camera, focuser, perhaps a filter wheel?  In that case, the Paramount MX+ is an ideal match for both visual and digital imaging with this instrument.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the information.  
Last weekend, Prairie Grass Observatory had their annual Indiana star party.  By happy chance one of the participants had a Paramount MX+ mount for his TAK scope.  The PGO director and I had a nice opportunity to see and directly use this mount.  We were quite impressed by the slewing smoothness and overall quality of the mount.  We also had the chance to ask questions of the owner.
Therefore, I have recommended that PGO proceed with this mount and write a grant application.  Of course, PGO will make the final decision.
Thanks again for your help.
John
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,762
Software Bisque Employee

John,

Great news, thank you!  We appreciate the kind words, and hope that PGO chooses the Paramount mount.  As always, if you (or they) have questions, please let us know.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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