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Modified Lapides Teegul Mount

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#1 DennisF

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 02:27 PM

I've never seen a bad comment about the modified Teegual so for the last several months I've been looking for a used one and just managed to find it. I'm guessing it will be at least as good as my SV M1 with the addition of slo-mo controls.

Looking for advice from current/past owners about any enhancements/tweaking I can do.

For now I plan on using it with my SV scopes and a C6 and will probably go with the Vixen dovetail bracket since that's what all my scopes are fitted for. For the tripod I hope to adapt my EzTouch or M1 tripod.

Any comments/suggestions?

#2 highwood

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:56 PM

Dennis:

It's a great mount, but you already know that. The only enhancement that I've made is the anodized aluminum eyepiece tray that Richard used to have machined in small quantities. It was expensive--no I don't remember what I paid for it maybe 5 years ago--but it's very high quality.
You might want to send him an email to see whether they're still available.

Enjoy the Teegul!

Jim

#3 Doug D.

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:28 PM

Same comment as Jim, my primary "upgrade" was the eyepiece tray but it is crazy expensive at $395 (they are available from Anacortes). It is s substantial bit of quality machining and anodizing, however.

I also got a pair of slo-mo aluminum 6" long knobs from FocusKnobs. Reasonably priced (but what isn't compared to the eyepiece tray!). My Teegul is equipped with an AP saddle.

The best thing you can do IMHO is pair the head with a substantial tripod. I use either a Berlebcach UNI24 or a Gitzo 5530S (when travelling with it) but there are many other good choices.

It is a great mount and the only thing that touches it (i.e., in a slo-mo Alt-Az) in my opinion is the new HalfHitch but I think the Modified Teegul still has the edge capacity-wise.

enjoy your mount !

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#4 Phil Frederick

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:35 PM

Hi Dennis,

If you liked your M1, you're gonna love the Teegul. It's a much heavier duty mount and is extremely smooth.

I've been a fan of Teeguls for years and own several of them. I've added trays to all of them similar to the Lapides Tray, but made them myself and saved a whole lot of bucks! I've added the Focusknobs aluminum knobs to one (works very well), and have added flexible knobs to the others. I use one on an Oberwerk tripod (basically the same as the WO), use another on a SV Stablelock and another on a rebuilt Astroview with heavy duty walnut/oak legs.

These are great mounts--enjoy!

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#5 DennisF

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 08:36 PM

Thanks to everyone so far. I saw the EP tray available but am scared away by the price. L'm a fair to middlin woodworker so, like Phil, I intend to make one out of wood. Have plenty of scraps lying around.

I like the knobs and will look into that. I've already have a couple of flex ones.

#6 CESDewar

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:32 PM

I'm very impressed with the Teegul mount. I have it on a Gitzo 5530 (horribly expensive, but incredibly light-weight and stable) and it works great with my TMB 105/650 and TMB92SS.

I recently put my C8 OTA on it and while the settling time increases from 1s or so to 3s, it's still acceptable and works surprisingly well - and I figure the C8 fully loaded is just about 21 lbs - impressive that it can still handle that weight. It'll handle your C-6 without any difficulty...

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#7 Rich N

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 09:53 AM

Here is my "stock" Modified Lapides Teegul mount with my FS-78.

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#8 jrbarnett

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:29 AM

Dennis:

I have a Lapides modified Teegul mount that I use with a Takahashi FS-78. I like the mount, but it's not without issues. There's a fair amount of vibration when using the slo-mo knobs even with the FS-78. After moving the scope it takes a second or two to dampen. The FS-78 is not a particularly long or heavy scope.

I'd sum it up this way - while not perfect, it's one of the better alt-az solutions out there for smaller OTAs.

Regards,

Jim

#9 Phil Frederick

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:49 AM

I like the mount, but it's not without issues. There's a fair amount of vibration when using the slo-mo knobs even with the FS-78. After moving the scope it takes a second or two to dampen.



Hi Jim,

Just curious. What tripod are you using? My experience has been that if I use a relatively light tripod like my Bogen 475 with the Teegul for GnG, yes, the vibrations do take a second or two to dampen. On the other hand if I use my SV Stablelock or my modified Astroview (shown in the pic in my other post here) vibrations a very minimal, especially when using the flex slo-mo controls which tend to isolate your hand from the mount. This is true even with my M603 which is probably 16-18# when loaded with a Losmandy Saddle, 60mm finder, 2" diagonal and heavy EP.

Just my experience! :)

#10 DennisF

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 01:09 PM

Phil,

Since you've already been there/done that, any tips on building the EP tray? I like the spreader(s) as well. It looks like I may be able to do something similar with my EzTouch tripod and M1 tripod.

Although I've already modified the EzTouch, your's looks like it would improve stability even more.

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#11 Phil Frederick

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:52 PM

Since you've already been there/done that, any tips on building the EP tray. I like the spreader(s) as well. It looks like I may be able to do something similar with my EzTouch tripod and M1 tripod.

Although I've already modified the EzTouch, your's looks like it would improve stability even more.



Hi Dennis,

Whoa! Very cool! That Ep tray that you made looks like it's straight out of "Close Encounters"! Neat idea with the red light.

I made a spreader/leg locker for my Oberwerk (same as your WO) using the same principle as with my other tripods. I replaced the bolt that connects the mount to the tripod head with a piece of 3/8"-16 all-thread rod (BTW, the Teegul uses 3/8" and not M10 like the EZT, just in case you weren't aware of it) and used a clamping knob on the top restrained with a couple of locking collars. The rod extends down through the tray and is sucked back up and against the tripod legs with another clamping knob. The notches in the tray are cut to fit around the tripod legs very snugly when the tray is sucked up. What this does is to create a very rigid frame in the upper part of the tripod and eliminates leg twisting which is a common problem in many tripods. I found that this really improved the Oberwerk tripod and markedly reduced damping times.

As for the tray that attaches to the Teegul, you can really make it just about any shape with holes that fit your EP collection. I've used both 3/4" walnut ply and also 3/8" baltic birch--they both work just fine. I used a piece of 1" aluminum angle with holes drilled to match the Teegul bores and two more holes to attach the tray to the angle. Nothing very fancy but it works like a charm and it's really quite solid. Not as cool as the Lapides tray but you can save enough to by a really nice Nagler!

Hope this helps.

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#12 Phil Frederick

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:54 PM

And here's an EP tray pic.

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#13 Phil Frederick

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:56 PM

And here's on of the underside showing the aluminum angle attachment bracket.

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#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 05:27 PM

Phil:

I'm using a Bogen/Manfroto 3068 Tripod. The tripod is fairly robust with independently locking leg cross braces, but not as thick or heavy as an Atlas or CG5-GT mount.

I've toyed with the idea of trying a wooden tripod, but I really don't use the scope/mount for anything serious (quick look and grab and go), so haven't wanted to make the investment.

Regards,

Jim

#15 Doug D.

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:33 PM

Nice work Phil - looks real clean!

#16 DennisF

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:27 AM

...Whoa! Very cool! That Ep tray that you made looks like it's straight out of "Close Encounters"! Neat idea with the red light.


It is different. Don't have to worry about people bumping into the equipment. Not as bright as it looks, had to use a time exposure. I have thought about making a Mark II that has a variable light control so I can see star charts.

...As for the tray that attaches to the Teegul, you can really make it just about any shape with holes that fit your EP collection. I've used both 3/4" walnut ply and also 3/8" baltic birch--they both work just fine. I used a piece of 1" aluminum angle with holes drilled to match the Teegul bores and two more holes to attach the tray to the angle. Nothing very fancy but it works like a charm and it's really quite solid. Not as cool as the Lapides tray but you can save enough to by a really nice Nagler!

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of using some 1 by oak stock I have left but I like the multi-tone look of yours and the plywood would be more dimensionally stable.

It appears that you leave the bracket attached to the mount. I've read that Tak may use pure aluminum instead of an alloy because the threads can be easily stripped by too much tighting. Know anything about this? Also, any particular reason your bracket is so long?

I've got a few other ideas as well to make the EP tray a bit more functional. If they work out, I'll post it so others can get creative.

#17 Rich N

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:50 AM

Not only is the vibration damping time very good with my FS-78 and modified Teegul mount, it is very good with my Tak FC-100 on the Teegul. I'm sure supporting it on the Astro-Physics hardwood tripod helps quite a bit.

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#18 M3Pilot

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 10:10 AM

I've been waffling between the Lapides Teegul and the Half Hitch for my TMB 92SS. While that's the only scope I own at the moment I would like to choose something that could support a 4 - 5" refractor "just in case". It sounds like both mounts could handle scopes of that size.

Having never used or even seen either mount in person the major obvious advantage of the HH is the seamless integration of the "push-to" computer system. That said I did see that JMI makes a set of encoders for the Teegul. I'm curious if anyone here has had any experience with it. Admittedly, it looks a bit of a cobble-job where the HH implementation is a thing of beauty. Realistically though, I can get the Teegul for less than half the cost of the HH and add the push-to later if I want. I REALLY want to go the Gitzo tripod route with either mount (assuming they are as stable as everyone says) and the cost difference between the two mounts would go a long way toward such a tripod.

I would appreciate any input on the push-to question or any other factors (capacity, control smoothness, etc.) that I should be taking into account.

Thanks!
Stuart

#19 jrbarnett

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 10:26 AM

I would also add the Discmount DM-4 to my list of alt-az mounts to consider were I thinking of going with a 5" APO on an alt-az setup.

Regards,

Jim

#20 Phil Frederick

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 10:57 AM

It appears that you leave the bracket attached to the mount. I've read that Tak may use pure aluminum instead of an alloy because the threads can be easily stripped by too much tighting. Know anything about this? Also, any particular reason your bracket is so long?



It's easy to detach both the tray and bracket or just the tray when transporting. Although I usually just leave the whole assembly intact when heading for a dark site. The connection is really quite solid. Never had an issue with stripping the screws--just be moderate when tightening.

The length of the bracket was determined by "...maybe a little more bearing surface between the tray and the bracket would be more stable than a little less!" Engineering calcs weren't a contributor to the decision! :lol:

#21 Doug D.

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 01:35 PM

I've been waffling between the Lapides Teegul and the Half Hitch for my TMB 92SS.

Having never used or even seen either mount in person the major obvious advantage of the HH is the seamless integration of the "push-to" computer system. That said I did see that JMI makes a set of encoders for the Teegul. I'm curious if anyone here has had any experience with it. Admittedly, it looks a bit of a cobble-job where the HH implementation is a thing of beauty. Realistically though, I can get the Teegul for less than half the cost of the HH and add the push-to later if I want. I REALLY want to go the Gitzo tripod route with either mount (assuming they are as stable as everyone says) and the cost difference between the two mounts would go a long way toward such a tripod.

I would appreciate any input on the push-to question or any other factors (capacity, control smoothness, etc.) that I should be taking into account.

Thanks!
Stuart


Stuart, I have had the pleasure of owning a DM-6 (just sold a few weeks ago), a Tak Lapides Teegul and a HH. I still own the Teegul and the HH and, in fact, I have a second HH (Mark 2) version with encoders on its way. That should tell you something right there about how I feel about the HH.

But let me address a few of your questions and offer my 2 cents. The DM-6 is a great mount and I am quite certain so is the DM-4, which fits more in line with the capacity specs of the Teegul and the HH. The Teegul and HH work great with nearly all of the refractors I own (e.g., from 50mm through 105mm) as does the DM-6, but only the DM-6 can handle my 140.

So why don't I still own a DM-6? It really is a personal decision that was based on need, the way I like to view these days, and having been finally introduced to slo-mo controls (first via the Teegul and after that the HH). Even so, it still killed me to part with the DM-6. Originally, I was thinking I'd keep the DM-6 for the 140 specifically. But, the 140 and the DM-6 are hardly grab and go and I really ended up simply asking myself why not spend an extra few minutes setting up a GEM for the 140. So, in the end, I decided the 140 is more GEM worthy than Alt-Az worthy. YMMV, however - as I said, it is a personal decision.

The Teegul has been the mount of choice for my 105 Traveler and it also really got me to appreciate the presence of slo-mo controls. I know all the arguments for why nudge/nudge/push-to is all you really need but in fact, I simply now prefer slo-mo. The Teegul is a nice smooth mount and when paired to a quality tripod (I can't stress enough the importance of quality legs for all of these mounts - I've learned the hard way over several years and many $s) the damping characteristics are fantastic with a 4" refractor - and I would assume, pretty acceptable for 5" scopes like an NP127. My only criticisms of the Teegul is weight (still kind of beefy and heavy but light in comparison to the DM-6) and some backlash in the Slo-Mo, which is unavoidable given the design but certainly not a big problem.

I was curious about the HalfHitch the first time I saw photos of it posted on CN. This summer I had a chance to get a protype version of the mount from Charles Riddel, designer of the mount and owner of HH. It was a great deal for a mount with maybe 80% of the performance (guessing here) of the current Mark II version. I figure I could dedicate it to a fly weight set-up on a medium duty Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, primarily for H-alpha with my SV50. I was smitten with the design, quality of the materials and workmanship, the weight and most important - the performance. It is a rigid little mount and the "Slo-Mo" controls (not really fair to call them slo-mo) exhibit ZERO backlash. It is such a pleasure to keep Sol in the FOV with these controls even at high mag - and with surprisingly little jitter.

I was impressed enough to order a Mark II (expected next week) with the built-in DSCs. Charles has made a number of tweaks and improvements to this version, chief among them the mount is now capable of easily handling refractors like the 105. It can certainly handle anything below that and who knows, maybe even some 5" scopes. Add to that the fact that I believe Charles himself is "value added" here in the sense that he is responsive to his customers and clearly a perfectionist. No doubt, the price is off putting - and I really don't mean this in a negative way with regard to the Teegul - but compared to the HH, the Teegul seems almost crude by comparison. To see a HH up close is to appreciate the costs involved - I'd daresay it is a bit of a bargain given the volume of mounts that Charles produces.

If it works as well as I expect it will, I may even consider parting with the Teegul after testing out the Mark 2 HH. As it is, I am going to keep the prototype HH as a stripped down, lighter weight version for my small refractors. My hesitancy to part with the Teegul has more to do with knowing I'm very happy with how it performs with the 105 already - plus, I know I'll never get anything approaching what I paid for that eyepiece tray if I tried to sell (duh, I should have gone with the DIY option)!! I fully expect the Mark II to perform even better with the 105 so I might revisit the Teegul decision in future.

Finally, you simply can't go wrong with a Discmount, the Lapides Teegul or the HH in terms of raw performance - and I mean this sincerely. But on balance, when also considering features, weight to performance, and aesthetics - the HH just does it for me like no other in its class.

#22 M3Pilot

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:17 PM

Doug,

Thank you for the response! My impressions seems to align perfectly with your experiences. Especially . . .

. . . compared to the HH, the Teegul seems almost crude by comparison. To see a HH up close is to appreciate the costs involved - I'd daresay it is a bit of a bargain given the volume of mounts that Charles produces.


I didn't mean to imply that the HH was over-priced. To the contrary, given the R&D involved, the cost/difficulty of production and the relatively limited target market, I'm surprised that Mr. Riddel makes any money on them. It's more a question of "worth it" vs. "worth it to me" and I usually make decisions based on the former and forget about the latter. Case in point, there were probably many more cost-effective scopes I could have chosen over the TMB! :-)

The Discmount might be more compelling if I needed the capacity but I really don't want to give up controls.

So you're no help! ;-) But I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself: Do you think that a quality Gitzo cf tripod (e.g. 5530) would make a good match for the HH mount? Portablility is a big plus for me.

Thank you again,
Stuart

#23 Doug D.

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:32 PM

Stuart,

I do use a 5530 for the Teegul and at present, a 2530 for the HH but I plan to use the Mark II on the 5530 with the 105. I have to say though that I really need to do a critical side by side with each mount on the 5530 and the Berlebach UNI24 at very high mag. I can safely say though that the 5530 would make a fine set of travel legs if not all around legs. Of course, the 5530 is a lot of money and I think the argument for spending has most to do with a desire for lightweight and compact form factor. It is up there around the cost of the AP/Baader tripod for example, which (like my UNI24) I would consider "reference standards" for astro tripods of this class. I guess I'd be surprised if the 5530 was every bit as good as these two - on the other hand, if you factor in weight-to-performance I'm sure the 5530 would blow them away.

Yeah, the cost thing related to the HH is not immediately obvious and we are on the same wavelength here. There is no doubt that the HH (and the DM) are expensive mounts in bread and butter terms and, therefore, not for everyone. But I do think the HH in particular is not overpriced when you factor in materials, workmanship, and hand assembly of lots of parts. Then there is the design and research costs - no doubt countless hours that Charles (and Tom P.) spent designing, building prototypes, testing and further tweaking their mounts. My hat is off to him and I think it is is great we have people like him in the hobby who have to be doing this for more than just money, IMHO.

#24 Doug D.

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 02:40 PM

I should add that the KB-tripod that Charles recommends is also a very nice option. There is something I like about quality wooden tripods in terms of looks (and damping characteristics). I'm sure you've seen the pics on the HH site of the TMB 105 on the MarkII with a KB-tripod. Your TMB 92SS sure would look fine on there!

You state it well with regard to "worth it" and "worth it to me". At least with the HH, they kind of converge pretty well.

#25 M3Pilot

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:08 AM

I'm sure you've seen the pics on the HH site of the TMB 105 on the MarkII with a KB-tripod. Your TMB 92SS sure would look fine on there!


They have some photos with a 92SS as well and yes, it looks very fine!

I think I'm just about convinced. The wooden tripod is probably a wise choice in the beginning because as you say, it is sturdy and significantly cheaper than a 5530. I am really interested to hear the results of your direct comparisons to the cf Gitzo though.

Thank you again for the most valuable input!

Stuart






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