Purchasing telescope mounts or tripods is often overlooked. Often, this is because telescopes are bundled with a mount. However, the importance of a good telescope mount should not be overlooked.
There are different kinds of mounts to choose from. To learn more about mounts, see our guides section for relevant articles. Also remember that if you purchase a motorized telescope mount, you may want to invest in a portable power supply.
Altazimuth Telescope Mounts and Tripods
Altazimuth mounts are simple in design. They hold a telescope parallel to the ground. They allow to pivot the telescope left to right, and up or down. In essence they have two axis – horizontal and vertical.
Unlike equatorial telescope mounts, they have no polar alignment. This means that they cannot by in synch with the earth’s rotational axis. As such these mounts must constantly be adjusted on both axis (horizontal and vertical) in order to stay on a target.
Another option is motorized Altazimuth mounts. In this case, a computer takes care of making adjustments for you. For the non motorized versions, they require a bit more work. Their simple design does makes the more affordable however. They are also a good option for using with binoculars.
|Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount||Paragon-Plus Binocular Mount
|Orion VersaGo II HD Altazimuth Mount|
Equatorial Telescope Mounts and Tripods
Equatorial mounts are more complex in design. They require an initial setup for a polar alignment. This process aligns the mount with the earth’s rotational axis. The benefit is that you only have to adjust one axis to stay on target in comparison with two axis adjustments required to operate altazimuth mounts.
Since motorized equatorial mounts only need to work on one axis, they use a single motor which make them a better option for GoTo applications. In other words, the need for a single motor helps to keep the cost down.
|Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial Telescope Mount||AstroView Equatorial Telescope Mount||Orion EQ-1 Equatorial Telescope Mount|
GoTo Telescope Mounts and Tripods
These are computer controlled motorized telescope mounts. These include both Equatorial and Altazimuth mounts designs. These are suitable for astrophotography and allow for long term exposure shots. However, they are not exclusive to astrophotography applications. Therefore they are a suitable solution for regular viewing with a computer keeping you on target.
|Orion SkyView Pro Equatorial GoTo Telescope Mount||Atlas EQ-G Computerized GoTo Telescope Mount|
Mounts and Tripods Accessories
Here are some popular accessories that are used in conjuction with telescope mounts and tripods.
|Orion StarSeek Wireless Telescope Controller||Orion RockStable Anti-Vibration Pads|
See more articles on mounts.