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I'm thinking of purchasing my first telescope in many years. It used to be that an equatorial mount was required for a clock drive that would track a celestial object. Are there now clock drives for altazimuth mounts? If so, how do the two systems compare?
A telescope on an alt-az mount can be adapted to track with the use of a Poncet platform. This is also known as an equatorial platform. books.google.com/books?id=qIpq3oIzCfEC&pg=PA129&dq=poncet+platform&hl=en&ei=UmqDTYzDHc33gAeohfS9CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=poncet%20platform&f=false They may be purchased used on Astromart or Cloudynights. However, for visual observing it is not necessary to have tracking but it is nice for high power views of the planets. The main advantages of a Alt-az mount on Poncet platform is that it is possible to mount a large telescope inexpensively and without a lot of weight. This makes for a very portable scope that be transported to dark sky sites. For a great deal on a telescope I would recommend checking out Craigslist Chicago. About once or twice a month I have seen some amazing deals. They don’t last long and since you would be buying a used scope it will be important to test it. If you are patient then a good deal on a used telescope is unavoidable. I just purchased a used 16”f/4.5 for about $600.00. Regards, Tony
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2013 13:27:20 GMT -6 by atmtony