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Modified Lapides Teegul Mount

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#26 DennisF

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 11:48 PM

Well, I took delivery and only had about 60 seconds before I had to go with the kids Trick/Treating. And tomorrow's a Cub Scout campout. But I was surprised (unpleasantly) how stiff the alt/az movements are even with the clutch totally loose. This can't be normal, is it? Unfortunately, no manual with it. Anyone ever take it apart and re-lube?

#27 Phil Frederick

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 11:42 AM

Hi Dennis,

The movement on the Teegul seems a bit stiff without a scope, but is just fine once you get a scope mounted on it.

That said: I bought a new Teegul this summer from Anacortes and when I got it the Azimuth motion, both panning and using the slo-mo controls, was VERY stiff. I contacted Anacortes re the problem and they referred me to Texas Nautical who seems to be both a repair facility for Tak and also a distributor. I called them and discussed the issue and they immediately shipped me a new mount (he checked it out before shipping--worked just fine) and a return shipping label so I could send back the other mount. Very easy deal and great customer service by both Anacortes and Texas Nautical. I guess even Tak has a slip up once in awhile with their QC.

I guess I'd just contact your dealer and see what they recommend--they might even have another one in stock and might just swap it out for you.

Sorry about your problem :(

Phil

#28 Mike Holland

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 10:07 AM

Rich N,

That's a fabulous setup. Quite beautiful!

Mike

#29 Rich N

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 03:31 PM

Thanks very much Mike!

All the best,
Rich

#30 Mark Jenkins

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:38 PM

I loved my LTM. I just am not a huge fan of manual goto and tracking.

But it was very stable and smooth.

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#31 BarrySimon615

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:01 AM

Over the past 2 weeks (almost) I have had the opportunity to "test" the new Half-Hitch mount from Charles Riddell. This mount was sent to me for the express purpose of a magazine article/review. I have to say that I like it very much and I am now scheming as to just how I can afford to purchase it.

That being said, here are some of my impressions, keeping in mind that this is not intended as a full review, just some basic comments. I will also post some photos.

Packaging - unbelievable!, Charles packages this mount (head only), I supplied the tripod, in a very nice zipper camera bag type case. It is compact and this mount along with a folding tripod, and 3 to 4" f/8 or shorter refractor or up to a 6" Mak or SC is a "Miata ready" set-up.

The tripod I used was a modified Davis and Sanford tripod with a solid bar stock aluminum pier cut to my specifications by Ken Dauzat. The aluminum "pier" attaches to the tripod hub via a "5/16" or is it "3/8" allen screw after first going thru a modified "Martha Stewart" pie pan used as an accessory tray. Gotta love Martha Stewart, she might be an ex-con, but she makes some good astronomy accessories!

Anyway the first scope I mounted up was my built like a tank StellarVue 80/9D refractor (750 mm focal length). That looked good. I then mounted my Takahashi TSA 102, and again the mount held it well, but I have done no field testing with this combo yet. I finally settled on my University Optics 80 mm f/6.25 as a good size match for this mount. This scope is highly modified with a FeatherTouch focuser and interface as well as a brass counterbalance and weights mounted to Unitron Uni-Clamps (brass counterbalance made by Ken Dauzat). This is a fairly heavy little tube assembly the way I have it outfitted, but still lighter than both the StellarVue and the TAK TSA.

One thing I have to say about the Half Hitch is I like the way the payload sits (centered) above the azimuth axis of rotation, unlike many of the other alt-azimuth mounts I have seen. If for no other reason, this eliminates some balance issues that I believe could be a potential problem with other mounts. Not so much in function, but potentially a problem if someone stumbles into the mount/telescope at night as I believe too much weight is off to the side as opposed to being balanced over three legs. I do like the counterweight solution in the photo above for the Lapides Teegul Mount. That mount (the Lapides) is on a consideration list for possible use with my TSA, but having an expensive tube assembly off to the side of the azimuth axis is something that concerns me.

Anyway, back to the Half Hitch....you will have to wait for the full review, but I did have the opportunity to use this mount along with the University 80 and even with an AstroTech AT66 (red tube iteration) at the recently concluded Deep South Regional StarGaze. We had 5 perfect days and nights with skies consistently reading 6.3 mag and flirting with 6.4 mag before midnight and improving further to about 6.5 mag after 2 AM (verified with a Sky Quality Meter). With the attached Sky Commander (which tucks up and out of the way very nicely when the mount is stored)moving from object to object was a breeze. Unlike my earlier "Light Speed Wagon" dual fork mount, also by Charles Riddell, the Half Hitch is silent. Pushing or pulling it into position and there is dead silence, where the noise the larger Wagon makes can best be described as "Meade like".

The Sky Commander setup was easy and always dead on. I was using fairly low powers, but the combo of Half Hitch and Sky Commander works great. Considering the price of the Half Hitch, you may as well go for broke and add the encoders and Sky Commander to the package.

Another nice feature is the counterweight bar which helps balance your payload fore and aft. You can shift it's position with a twist and it also serves as a great grab handle in moving the mount in either altitude or azimuth.

As with most mounts, balance is critical, when I had a misbalance the altitude slow motion control would slip and the only way around this would be a better adjustment of balance. I foresee that this will be more of an issue with heavier payloads such as with my TSA 102, however as said, careful balance should take care of this.

As with all of Charles Riddell's work, the Half Hitch is a work of art as well as a very functional piece of hardware. A lot of work went into making this mount something that works well.

I'll post a few photos now.

Barry Simon

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#32 BarrySimon615

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:25 AM

Here is another image showing the Martha Stewart accessory tray.

Barry Simon

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#33 BarrySimon615

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:36 AM

This last photo shows the Half Hitch in comparison to the larger "Wagon" mount. The Wagon mount is closer so the size difference is not as large as what it appears to be in the photo.

Barry Simon

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#34 Doug D.

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:51 AM

Barry - this is the first time I've seen or heard of the "wagon" mount. Is Charles just testing the waters at this point or is it actually in the works?

#35 MikeCatfin

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 04:05 PM

I've been following this thread and it just so happens that I got my Teegul (used, new to me) today! :D But now that i just about depleted my astro-funds I still need to get a tripod.
I was looking at the Oberwork wooden surveyor tripod which is about $150. Does anyone have an opinion on this one? It claims the capicity is ~35lbs. I plan on using it with an FC-76. Thanks!

#36 BarrySimon615

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 07:19 PM

Barry - this is the first time I've seen or heard of the "wagon" mount. Is Charles just testing the waters at this point or is it actually in the works?


The Wagon mount, a double-arm alt-azimuth mount with encoders and optional motor drive was produced roughly between about 2000 and 2002. I believe only 50 were made. The chief appeal for me was for use with my Jaegers 6" f/5 refractor, and for use with my Miyauchi 20x100 binoculars as pictured. The mounting shelf (with dovetail) can be shifted up and down in addition to forward and aft movement of the attachment plate on the dovetail so that perfect balance can be obtained in respect to altitude motion. The other nice thing about this mount is it's 60 lb. payload limit.

The grab handle pictured on my "Wagon" is not stock, I did that to facilitate moving the mount without having to grab either binoculars or telescope. It is a further aid in balancing and allows one to move the mount quite quickly if needed. No additional holes were drilled, everything was done using existing threaded holes.

Great mount and likely to become a hard to find collectable. When I got mine, the price as outfitted (mount only, no tripod) was about $2200.00. Charles estimates that a current day upgrade and rerelease of the Wagon would dictate a price close to $4000.00.

Barry Simon

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#37 Phil Frederick

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 08:25 PM

I was looking at the Oberwork wooden surveyor tripod which is about $150. Does anyone have an opinion on this one?



I haven't used the Oberwerk Surveyors Tripod but I have used their other one with the Jarrah wood legs. Very nice, lightweight tripod and matches up very well with the Teegul IMO. It would be a good combo with the FC76. I've used this tripod/mount combo with my AT80LE and also my M500 Mak. Easy to haul around.

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#38 DennisF

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 12:51 AM

...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...


Phil,

If you're still monitoring this thread, can you post a pic or two of the top part of your tripod mod, the area around the clamping knob and two restraining locking collars. Will save me time trying to figure it out. It appears in your pic that the adapter base of the Teegul fits right into the circular indentation on the top of the tripod. On mine it's just a fraction too large so it looks like I may have to make some type of adapter. Thinking of a flat aluminum plate that spans the circular indentation or a wooden adapter that snugs fits inside the indentation. Hope you can follow my description. I'll post of pic or two if you don't.

#39 Phil Frederick

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 02:18 PM

Hi Dennis,

Well, I'm heading for our place in Mexico tomorrow morning and taking my Oberwerk tripod with me to its new home down south. Right now it's all packed up along with my camera and I don't have any photos that actually show the bolt mod. When I get everything unpacked down there I'll take a couple of pics and post them.

The Oberwerk came with a threaded (3/8") flat disc that is held down by the locking ring on the tripod hub. I just removed the 3/8" bolt that came with the tripod and replaced it with with the long all-thread rod. I put one 3/8" locking collar above the clamping knob and another below the clamping knob to keep it from rotating on the rod. It's just a matter then of threading the rod up into the tripod hub and tightening with the clamping knob. The Teegul is then just screwed down from the top onto the 3/8" rod that protrudes about 1/2". In the case of the Oberwerk the top of the hub is flat and the Teegul just sits on top.

Just for info, the tripod hubs on the Astroview, SVP and CG5 have the circular indentation that very precisely accepts the the base of the Teegul. On my Stellervue Stablelock tripod, the tripod hub looks identical to the others noted above, but the hole in the hub is a hair smaller and will not accept the Teegul. On mine I have a machined aluminum disc that fills the hole and the Teegul sits on top of it. Your idea of a flat plate also sounds like it will work. A wood plug as you suggested should also work just fine.

I'll try post some pics for you probably Tuesday or Wednesday.

Cheers!

#40 M3Pilot

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:03 PM

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.


Hey Doug,

Was wondering if you've gotten your HH yet and if you've had a chance to give it a go on the 5530. I'm pretty-much sold on the HH but not sure what to do about a tripod. The "stock" tripod looks very nice but would like to have something more portable if it's not a great sacrifice in performance. Plus I can buy the mount without the legs to spread out the costs while in the throes of an Iowa winter when I'm probably not going to be doing much observing anyway (I have other mounting options that would do in a pinch).

Let us know how you like the mount.

Stuart

#41 Waduino

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:46 PM

Jim, I'd be interested in knowing what you decided, if anything. Looks like I'm where you were last October.
Wad.






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