Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount


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Brand and Model:Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
Price ($USD):$319.00
Type:Equatorial
Attributes:checkedMotorized un-checkedPEC un-checkedGoto
Electric Power:
Weight (lbs.):
Description:Our heavy-duty SkyView Pro EQ sets a new standard for stability, precision control, and affordability in a mount designed for the demanding amateur astronomer. A step up in rigidity and load capacity from the SkyView Deluxe mount, the "SVP" supports telescope tubes weighing up to 20 lbs. It is every bit the equal of venerable Japanese-made mounts but at less than half the price.


Its all-metal head features enclosed 360° worm gears plus large, 86mm-diameter setting circles for easy object location by celestial coordinates. Telescopes attach via a quick-release dovetail plate (included). The head glides effortlessly in right ascension and declination. Dual slow-motion knobs allow manual fine control, and an optional TrueTrack single- or dual-axis DC drive can be added for electronic tracking and photographic guiding. Other features include an azimuth fine adjustment and a latitude scale. The mount accepts an optional polar-alignment scope.

Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount Page

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Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
I have been using this mount for about a year, purchased as a package with the 127mm Mak from Orion. This is a clone of the CG-5 second edition (with ball bearings).

I like this mount for its simplicity and ease of use. I've been using it with the Mak as well as with a 4 inch Apo scope. For the Mak, it's overmounted - vibrations damp out very quickly and it's rock solid. For the apo, it's at my limit for visual use. I know that this mount is sold for use with the 8" newtonian scopes, but I can't imagine how it would fare in even a light breeze.

The mount sometimes comes with a polar alignment scope, I had to purchase it separately. This scope needs careful alignment before it becomes practical. That alignment can be frustrating and needed nearly 3 hours of work before I was satisfied. It's still not centered, but the error is not too bad. Additionally, I've noticed that I need to align it twice when putting heavy gear on it - once for the setup, then again after loading it down, as the alignment will shift under weight.

Note that this mount will ship with the heavy, sticky grease that will eventually need replacement. Go to astronomyboy.com and look at the instructions for replacing the grease. You'll need to polish the bearing journals as well. For me, the total time to do this messy job was about 8 hours. It's well worth the effort, as the mount moves quite smoothly.

The motors are good, but not great. Batteries last a long time - the battery pack holds 4 D cells and will last several months of casual viewing. I've noticed that on fresh batteries, the first two days will have the RA drive running too fast, then it'll settle down and run fine until the bitter end when the controller LED starts flashing.

The design of these mounts puts the DEC motor at risk of damage. Some people have noted how this could be broken, I've taken care to store the mount with the exposed motor protected and haven't had any problems. Still, the knobs and motors will bind when viewing the zenith in one or two ways. If it's binding, then move the mount around and it'll work just fine.

Portability of this mount is quite good once you break it down. When going out to the field, I usually take the head off to save trunk space.

It's a great mount for piggyback photography (for up to 200 mm lenses) and for visual work, but not for prime focus photography of long exposure (more than 1 minute).

Stephen

Overall Rating: 8
Performance:8 Ease of Use:7 Value:9
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: smigol
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=368534


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
I´ve owned this mount for over a year and a half and have used it with an Orion 80mmED and a Celestron 8" SCT. The mount and legs have been rock solid with either of these scopes. Backlash is non-existent.

It's on the heavy side, but not so cumbersome that it detracts from wanting to use it often. I mostly use it on my deck or backyard and it is very easy to carry out of the house once the legs are collapsed(which is a MUST, if you'd like to keep the paint and wood trimmings on your home looking respectable!)

I run the TrueTrack Dual-Axis Drive system, and although I have not done any precision testing of the tracking, it seems to track exceptionally well for visual applications. The other night, while viewing the moon through a 17mm Orion Lanthanum Super Wide, I was able to walk away from the scope, eat a sandwich, drink a beer, walk back to the scope and the moon was right where I left it! Keep in mind that I was using a wide angle ep. Nevertheless, it proved to me beyond any doubt that the tracking is up to par for serious visual applications. (I would suspect that anyone doing any serious astrophoto work would be using a much more refined mount such as the Astrophysics GEMs and not a $400 mount).

I have tried to find fault with this mount, falling prey to the reasoning that a Chinese product MUST have some obvious deficiencies. But I've yet to find anything wrong with this system that would make me not want to use it, or sell it.

The only thing that I would change is the exposed gears and connector on the DEC motor. That was a bit shocking to me when I first assembled it, but have since gotten over it after seeing all of the positive aspects of the system.

Highly recommended to anyone that needs precision tracking for visual astronomy and would like to stay under the $1k price tag. Actually, more like "under the $500" price tag!

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.125)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=412029


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
I´ve owned this mount for over a year and a half and have used it with an Orion 80mmED and a Celestron 8" SCT. The mount and legs have been rock solid with either of these scopes. Backlash is non-existent.

It's on the heavy side, but not so cumbersome that it detracts from wanting to use it often. I mostly use it on my deck or backyard and it is very easy to carry out of the house once the legs are collapsed(which is a MUST, if you'd like to keep the paint and wood trimmings on your home looking respectable!)

I run the TrueTrack Dual-Axis Drive system, and although I have not done any precision testing of the tracking, it seems to track exceptionally well for visual applications. The other night, while viewing the moon through a 17mm Orion Lanthanum Super Wide, I was able to walk away from the scope, eat a sandwich, drink a beer, walk back to the scope and the moon was right where I left it! Keep in mind that I was using a wide angle ep. Nevertheless, it proved to me beyond any doubt that the tracking is up to par for serious visual applications. (I would suspect that anyone doing any serious astrophoto work would be using a much more refined mount such as the Astrophysics GEMs and not a $400 mount).

I have tried to find fault with this mount, falling prey to the reasoning that a Chinese product MUST have some obvious deficiencies. But I've yet to find anything wrong with this system that would make me not want to use it, or sell it.

The only thing that I would change is the exposed gears and connector on the DEC motor. That was a bit shocking to me when I first assembled it, but have since gotten over it after seeing all of the positive aspects of the system.

Highly recommended to anyone that needs precision tracking for visual astronomy and would like to stay under the $1k price tag. Actually, more like "under the $500" price tag!

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:8 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.96.125)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=412012


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
very sturdy; a bit heavy, but easy to break down into separate parts (tripod, head, weights); tracking is good overall but some backlash & hesitation, mainly in dec. i like this setup alot w/ my 8" sct.

Overall Rating: 8
Performance:6 Ease of Use:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.31.26)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=396893


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
I received a unit with a very tight and sticky polar axis making it hard to turn and balance. However, Orion promptly sent me a replacement head and I must say as far as stability, this mount is much sturdier and more vibration free than a Vixen Super Polaris mount with wooden legs I once owned. I have the latest version with the 2" steel legs. The mount may be a little low for a long focus refractor without the optional pier extension. My single axis drive also works well with this scope.
A very good mount for the price. Its a bit heavy, for carrying in and out of the house..something to keep in mind, but can be broken down into tripod, head and counterweights easily.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.116.202)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=358470


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
for the money this is a great mount. i use it with the AT1010 and i love it. i do wish the legs extented a little more, and it would be nice if the legs folded in without removing the eyepiece holder. i plan on trying to use it with the tec 140, a 22 pound scope. for visual use its hard to beat at this price range.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.125.40)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=328060


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
I am using this mount with a homemade 8" f/6 reflector. Overall, I am very impressed. The mount/tripod are sturdy, with vibes damping in a couple seconds, and motions are smooth with very little backlash. The tracking motor works great. I wish the tripod legs were shorter, as the eyepiece is sometimes hard to get to, but I am able to compensate by rotating the scope withing the tube rings with little trouble. I almost bought a Vixen GP-DX, but am pleased with my decision to spend about a quarter of that price for this Orion mount. I really didn't expect the mount to be this good, and recommend it for visual applications. Although I haven't tried photography with it, I'm certain the precision will be lacking for anything other than visual or short exposure work.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.178.112)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=320960


Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount
This mount is a big improvement of the standard fare CG5. I have an Apex 127 and AT1010 mounted on it and it dampens line 1 second or less with a good rap on the legs. The motions are smooth with very little backlash, but there is some. Visually, not at all an issue, for tracking it could be. Overall I am very impressed with the mount. All is not bliss. There a few minor issues. 1. The legs are long retracted. 2. The legs only extend and extra 10-12". This could be an issue if you plan on using a long focus refractor. Balanced, the eyepiece you be very close to the ground. 3. The slo-mo knobs that came with the scope are worthless and broke just trying to install them. I replaced with a nice set from FocusKnobs.com. 4. The leg spreader must be removed to fully fold in the legs.

I highly recommend this mount if you are looking for an GEM to use visually and perhaps for very light duty imaging. I am sure this mount could hold an 8" SCT with no problems.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.134.131)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=277338

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