There are several types of telescope mounts that can be purchased today. Every type serves specific needs and purposes and suited for certain individuals depended on their level and ability to use the tool. All of the telescope mount tripods differ in price and have different features. There are four major types of mounts that can be found on the market today.
Each mount has its specific name, so that will be much easier to distinguish them among each other. The range of these types can be defined as follows:
- Equatorial Mount
- Dobsonian Mount (which is named after Mr. John Dobson)
- Computerized Mount
Telescope mount equatorial
This mount is unique in the way that it has two perpendicular axes. These axes are often defined as the right ascension as well as declination. When the axes can be aligned parallel with the axes of the earth, any object in the sky can easily be tracked. This is all due to the fact any object drift along with the skies. Additionally, some more expensive examples of the mount can be fitted with an electric motor that will make tracking even easier.
The advantages of an equatorial mount
There are several advantages that can be found whilst using an equatorial mount. The list of advantages can be seen as follows:
- Right ascension can be coupled with a motor.
- A motor can also be coupled with declination axes to enable automatic sky tracking.
- Polar axes are aligned with pinpoint accuracy.
- Perfect for amateur astronomers.
Telescope mount alt-azimuth
Alt-azimuth mount tripod is the most commonly used mount because of its price and simplicity. Indeed, this is probably one of the simplest types of tools that can be found on the market. It has to be beard in mind that it is ideal for only low magnification and due to two perpendicular axes of motion, perfect alignment could be complex.
The mount and the telescope have been created by an astronomer by the name John Dobson. This is an ideal mount for the beginners and all amateur users. It is very stable and the objects in the sky are very easy to be tracked. It has fitted in rotation point and can be aligned well. Its stand is solid and very stable, so the observation process is very pleasant and enjoyable.
GoTo telescope mount
GoTo telescope mounts can be defined as the tripod, which relates to preinstalled software that can automatically track astronomical objects in the sky and space. It has two axes that are moved by an electric motor and the motor is controlled by an external computer or a microprocessor. Consequentially, alignment is made perfectly and tracking the objects made very easy and simple. Every mount of this type, which can be found on the market is the most advanced tool that uses the most modern technology.
Computerized mounts are very popular among users. As has been mentioned above GoTo is the category of computerized mount tripods too. In addition, fork mounts can also be regarded as computerized tools for the telescopes. It is also either controlled or moved by an external computer system or by a built-in microprocessor. It all makes the alignment process relatively easy but such devices are not friendly to amateur astronomers and astrophotography lovers. Using such tools is complex at first but when you get used to it, the process may seem to be easy.
Telescope mount with GPS
Mounts with GPS are normally computerized and can also be related to all-inclusive types of camera to telescope mounts. When a mount is fitted with GPS it means that tracking the objects in the space can be made with ease. More importantly, it usually comes with a fitted celestial library that includes hundreds of thousands of astronomical objects. In combination with software that controls the mount, finding these objects will be very easy and the observation process will be more enjoyable. The performance of focus speed and ratio will be unparalleled.
Equatorial telescope mount vs. alt-azimuth
Both types of mounts will allow the telescope to be moved freely and pointed at the exact direction you want. Alt-azimuth is regarded as the simplest type. It allows the telescope to be easily moved to the right and left. It is ideal for terrestrial observing as well as making sky observation at lower power. It is not suited for deep-sky photography. An equatorial mount has declination axes that will enable you to incline it towards the south or north. Polar axes, on the other hand, will enable the user to move the scope from east to west and the other way around. It also must point exactly to the north celestial pole. The major problem with equatorial mount is that when it is moved to the left and right it also may move up and down, which is really awkward.
Types of telescope mounts for astrophotography
It is argued that Dobsonian and computerized mounts are probably the best tools for astrophotography. Computerized tools are undoubtedly more expensive but they certainly ensure quick and precise focusing and therefore picture quality. It is also stable and allows better tracking than any other mount. Dobsonian mount is not expensive and ideal for people with a lower budget. It is also stable and can be focused well manually.
How to mount a telescope?
If you purchase a telescope that comes together with a certain type mount then it should have a kit that will enable you to quickly assemble the whole construction. However, if you buy it separately please ensure that you request a kit that makes the mount and the telescope compatible between each other.
- When mounting a telescope you will first need to mounting rings to be attached to it.
- These circular clamps must hold the optical tube gently and with great precision.
- The mount head has to be attached to the rings and screwed.
- In some mounts, clamshell can be used instead of rings, so it has to be attached to the scope.
- Once it is attached, place the rings or clamshell on the plate or OTL of the mount and makes the clams tighten.