The German Equatorial Mount
I have two telescopes with this type of mount: a four inch refractor and a six inch Cassegrainian. I like it mainly because I’m so used to using it. To be honest, however, this mount is probably the least “user-friendly” of all of the advanced mounts. It requires that you tilt the telescope at angles which some novice users consider to be somewhat strange. Figure 8 depicts a refractor with this type of mount.
Figure 8: Pivot axes of the German Equatorial
A counterweight is needed to balance the weight of the telescope; otherwise, the observer would not be able to keep the telescope in position against the force of gravity.
Because the declination axis is attached to the top of the polar axis, the declination axis tilts when you turn the telescope about the polar axis. It is this tilt that many novice users find so unnerving. However, after an object is acquired, the observer only has to turn the telescope on its polar axis to keep the object in sight. For that reason, this mount is as good for astrophotography as is the fork equatorial mount.
copyright 2004 Singularity Scientific