The Mount

As mentioned on the Equipment/Overview page, the GoTo mount that I selected is the iOptron CEM40. It was selected to be able to take a reasonable payload at a realistic price. I also reckoned that my pier was probably a bit low for this mount, as it is smaller than the wedge and 12 inch LX200 that it previously supported, so I also purchased the iOptron mini-pier to fit on the top. An additional reason for making this choice was that it would then match up perfectly with the mount as it would have the correct mounting holes/pattern/central pivot and azimuth adjustment post for when I needed to adjust for polar alignment.

The Refractor

My refractor is a 100mm F/6 Avian Starseeker doublet. This is essentially exactly the same as the Revelation 100mm F/6 doublet, but just re-branded for the UK market. I fitted it with a Vixen dovetail for mounting on the CEM40 and I've also fitted a 50mm finder scope (which used to double up as a guide scope, and still could of course). The finder scope will fit the reflector too..

The Reflector

So I needed something with a bit more focal length so that I can do planeraty observing, the refractor field of view is too large for this as planets will only present a small disc. This was alright with the 12 inch LX200 which had a focal length of 3048 mm. Again I was presented with a weight/cost issue so I compromised on a 200 mm aperture and went for a StellaLyra 8" f/8 M-LRS Ritchey-Chr├ętien OTA. The focal length is 1600 mm which will give me a good image scale for planetary work and also it will be suitable for some deep sky stuff as well. It is fitted with both Vixen and Losmandy style dovetail bars, either of which can be used with the CEM40 mount

Some thoughts...

Before the equipmant sale my telescope configuration had the refractor piggybacked onto the LX200, so both scopes were permanently mounted. I used the LX200 for visual observing and the refractor for imaging. I think now I'm going to have to swap the telescopes around depending on what I want to do. So here are a couple of shots of each configuration I'll be using. The refractor uses one 5kg counterweight, the reflector uses two.