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 Advice on motorised mount 
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Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:17 am
Posts: 2
Location: Southampton, UK
Post Advice on motorised mount
Hi! I am looking to add motion to my time lapses, and am looking for some advice on the options.

I am into time lapsing natural landscapes, and often make time lapses which involve stars. (This is my first time lapse, I'd like to do very similar scenes with motion: https://vimeo.com/75079515)

For this reason I think I have to rule out the MILAPSE head, as the constant movement while doing 30 second exposures would add too much blur.

What is the best (and affordable) option that has a stepper function. I am unsure if the Merlin can be set-up in a way that allows for start stop photography, and if so, what are the peripherals that it requires? What is the smallest amount it can turn each time?

Also, how slow can some of these heads turn?


Thanks for any help, it is very appreciated.


Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:48 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 1685
Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: Advice on motorised mount
Telescope heads will all do continuous motion. They are designed so people can do time exposures of the moving stars. Their movement will be very steady so it can track the stars perfectly so your star pictures have no motion blur. You are correct in assuming this will blur stationary things on the ground if your exposures are long enough.

I have made perfectly good timelapse at night using the Milapse head, but my exposures were just a few seconds. That is enough to get a decent exposure by moonlight with high ISO and a good lens.

The best thing would be an eMotimo. They are funny looking, top heavy, don't tilt around the lens nodal point, but the next cheapest P/T head is twice as much money to buy. Its a bargain for what you get.

If you have, or plan to purchase a Dynamic Perception dolly, or one of their dolly controllers such as the MX-2 or MX-3, You could drive an inexpensive Bescor pan tilt unit with 12 v relays driven by the MX-2 or 3. I have one here that I haven't gotten around to making the relay board for. I can make you a one-off relay controller for Bescor for $150, the bescor will cost about $130 to 150 extra depending on where you buy it, then you have to buy the MX-2 or 3, so by that time you've spent over half the cost of the eMotimo, which is a much nicer setup. The Bescor plan works out if you already have or plan to get a DP dolly or if you already own a bescor P/T head, or if you want to make the relay board yourself.

Timescapes member BlueGene is in the process of designing a P/T head and controller which might be a little cheaper, especially for buyers in Europe. You could PM him and ask if he's ready to accept a pre-order.


Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:59 am
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Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:17 am
Posts: 2
Location: Southampton, UK
Post Re: Advice on motorised mount
Thanks very much for the reply! It's a lot to take in, and lots of options. After further research, I think I like the look of the SkyWatcher Allview. It's a little more expensive than I would have originally wanted to spend, but it does the stop-shoot-move for (star) time lapses as well as continuous panning.


Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:13 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 1685
Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: Advice on motorised mount
Thank you for mentioning the Allview. That is a nice head for the money. I didn't know they started making telescope heads with timelapse in mind. Awesome it can control the shutter while doing shoot move shoot timelapse with its own controller.

If you get one, post some timelapse shot with it and a review of its features.


Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:56 am
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:48 am
Posts: 57
Location: victoria australia
Post Re: Advice on motorised mount
I have the Allview Bluetooth if you want to use the mount with PapyWizard !


Fri May 30, 2014 11:01 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:48 am
Posts: 57
Location: victoria australia
Post Re: Advice on motorised mount
sciencelookers wrote:
Thank you for mentioning the Allview. That is a nice head for the money. I didn't know they started making telescope heads with timelapse in mind. Awesome it can control the shutter while doing shoot move shoot timelapse with its own controller.

If you get one, post some timelapse shot with it and a review of its features.


If you have a Merlin head buy a synscan hand controller and put the Allview firmware on it .....
It works I put it on our Orion Teletrack .,

Also see link below.


viewtopic.php?f=27&t=11925


Fri May 30, 2014 11:06 pm
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