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WO Easy Touch / Orion Sky View questions

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#1 helpwanted

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 09:53 AM

i finaly ordered an Omni 150r, 6" f5 refractor for wide field use. if the optics work well, my plan was to buy an Orion Sky View tripod and mount to put it on.
i have compaired specs and photos of the SkyView tripod to the tripod that comes with the scope side by side... both have 1.75" legs, both describe the tray the same, and both look identical in photos, with the exception of white for the Omni, and black for the SkyView.

first question, are these tripods the same?

if so, i am now thinking i could just get the WO Easy-Touch head only (cheaper in price overall) and put it on the Omni tripod.

second question... will this fit? it looks like it will.

so then i come to the differences in ratings between the WO and Orion mounts. Orion rates theirs at 25lbs load, WO at 20lbs. The 150r OTA is 19lbs, not sure if that means with the 1.25" diag and finder... both of which i would remove and go with a very light weight Rigel finder, and a 2" diag. my heaviest ep is a 17T4, coming in under 2lbs... so my total load will be about 22lbs. also, i have read the Orion has metal knobs vs the WO plastic - yet the WO website now says they are metal.

third question, will the WO head hold this load and still work well?

and my final question, the WO doesn't have the captive screws that the Orion does... yet all Vixen dovetails (that i have seen) all have those 4 bolts, 2 top, 2 bottom, that extend out the bottom of the dovetail, which would stop any sliding, and if i play with the balance of the scope, i could even rest the dovetail on these bolts for added security.

oh... sorry, one more question! - counter balance... if needed, this adds to the overall load of the head, how does this come into play... and can someone point me in the direction of any counter balance solutions (maybe even ones that would let me use the counter wieghts that come with the scope)?

thank you all for any help,

david

#2 drshr

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:27 AM

I have essentially the same scope on the orion AZ mount. Works very well. It doesn't really need a counter balance but I use another scope. 80mm will do and acts as a finder.
The WO looks less well built to me. Less payload and plastic knobs. Also has one blank end which means more cost for double scope option. I am sure both will fit the tripod you mention. Standard HEQ5. The EQ6 is the 2" leg version with different head flange size. Adapters are available.

You will love this scope mount combo :cool:

#3 helpwanted

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 08:15 AM

thanks doc!! is balance much of an issue when changing eps?

#4 drshr

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 08:28 AM

Not a terrible problem. Balance with heaviest EP first, the others only require a tightening of Alt knob.
With two telescopes, 6" and 8", both set at different powers, I don't change EP's very much.
Just by another Omni and you get perfect balance and two different Mags at the same time! :jump:

#5 Jim7728

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:09 AM

One other thing you may like about the Orion SV is the ability to add on the SVP extension for more comfortable viewing and eliminating any collision with tripod legs when pointing near zenith. I also recommend a counterweight on the opposite side of the mount head(ADM had a cw system that could be attached to one of the vixen dovetail saddles.) for smoother azimuth motion and less wear and tear on the teflon bearing.

I'd still keep the Easy Touch in contention if you want to add on DSC's and it's also compatible with the SVP extension. I think the plastic vs metal knobs is a non-issue. I've been quite satisfied with the well built"plastic" knobs on my GIRO III.

Good luck and congrats on the new ST-150!

#6 helpwanted

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:23 AM

glad to hear it's compatible with the SVP extension, i'm 6'4", so when i sit down, i still need to lift the scope up! i think i can answer the tripod question myself... i get the scope on Tuesday, and know where an Orion tripod is on display, so i can see for myself if they are the same.

as for the counter balance issues, any way to use the weights that come with the scope on some kind of bar attached to the other side of the mount?

#7 russell23

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:35 AM

I picked up a WO EZ mount on astromart a few months ago. It works great with my 120mm f/8.3 achromat. The tube assembly with star diagonal and eyepiece weighs about 14 lbs. I think it would probably handle another 5lbs without trouble, but I've never used the Orion mount so I can't really compare.

#8 Jim7728

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 10:39 AM

as for the counter balance issues, any way to use the weights that come with the scope on some kind of bar attached to the other side of the mount?



FWIW

I quickly attached a Synta 7.5lb cw to a vixen saddle with parts I had laying around. Though I used a short dovetail bar with open back, a typical vixen/synta dovetail bar has 1/4" threaded hole in middle for bolt,washers and nuts to fasten to. ;)

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#9 Jim7728

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 10:49 AM

Another angle. :crazy:

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#10 helpwanted

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 11:26 AM

excellent!! thanks for the pics!

#11 drshr

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 06:11 PM

A direct comparison between the WO EZ and the Orion AZ would be interesting. My guess is they are very similar.
The read that the new Giro 3 is rated for a whopping 22kg, 50lb either side!

#12 Terrance

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:02 PM

I can add a few comments since I have the OMNI 6" f/5 refractor (but not the CG-4mount it comes with, which I promptly let the dealer sell). I have used the scope with both the Orion SVP GEM mount, and the WO EZ-touch and find them both acceptable to me as far as stability for visual observation goes. I prefer the SVP because of slo mo controls, and because mine has intelliscope setting circles. The WO EZ-touch is the easier to set up and transport however. I would distrust the Celestron CG-4 mount as being stable enough but have never tried it. Its legs seem comparable to the SVP, but the CG-4 mount head is a lower classification than the SVP. SVP is an EQ-4 which according to a the dealer I dealt with is roungly equivalent to a CG-5, with a CG-4 mount head being equivalent to a EQ-3. That is only related to the mount head itself, and the tripod and its legs itself on which the mount head is placed could make a major difference.

I put the WO EZ-Touch head on a Vixen Sphinx HAL 110 tripod and it fit like a glove. That was luck however, and I would check with WO or a dealer to see it you could put WO EZ-T head on the tripod for a Celestron C G-4 mount, and failing expert opinion get accurate dimensions.

The legs on the Celestron CG-4 are far superior to the more spindly legs on Orion's equivalent mount-the AstroView (EQ-3, so it could wind up being more stable the the Astroview eq-3, even though its mount heads are similarly rated.

The 6"f/5 refractor is a great scope for wider field dso viewing and surprisingly, no slouch on lunar and planetary observing either, provided you are not too sensitive to false color, and realizing that this scope is not designed as a lunar/planetary scope.

#13 Downward Bound

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:36 PM

I have a WO EZT (metal knobs, btw) and find it to be a very smooth and solid mount. I ditched the wobbly wooden "surveyors" tripod in favor of the much more stable EQ6 legs. Properly balanced, the mount carries my 8" f/4 with the 4" f/8 without any issues and with EPs, finders, etc. it has to be pushing 30 lbs. In a few days I'll have a ring set up that will allow me to piggy-back my AT66 on top as a finder so I'll be increasing the load even more.

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#14 helpwanted

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:27 PM

excellent info everyone, thank you. i recieved the scope today, posted pics in the refrators forum... plan on visiting a dealer tomorrow to compair the tripod that comes with the Orion Sky View to what i have... in pictures, they look the same, so my thought is just get the head only and put it on my tripod... only the Orion doesn't sell the head only, that's why i am asking about the WO head.

oh, and it looks like the newer version of the Easy Touch is what's for sale out there, the one with the metal knobs, and the same color as in the picture Downward Bound posted.

david

#15 GaryML

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:00 AM

oh, and it looks like the newer version of the Easy Touch is what's for sale out there, the one with the metal knobs, and the same color as in the picture Downward Bound posted.


Actually, that pictures shows the earlier version of the EZ Touch with the metal knobs and silver finish that was made in Switzerland. The new version has the plastic knobs (but with metal shafts) and a black finish, and is made in Taiwan.

I had one of the newer ones and it was very sturdy: no problem at all handling my 8" Vixen VMC200L f/10 modified Cassegrain that is close to 16 lbs. with accessories. The head will mount with either a M10 metric thread or a 3/8x16 English thread so you can use it on a lot of different tripods. The WO wood surveyor tripod is pretty study, but the fit and finish is a notch below the quality of the head. The head is rated at 22 lbs. per side and is very well made.

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#16 helpwanted

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:54 AM

jim7728 & Garyml... how did you decide how much weight to use as a counterweight?

#17 iluxo

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:07 AM

Hi, I have the Orion SkyView and I use it with either or both of my scopes - a 102mm ED f/7 refractor, and a Skywatcher BlackDiamond 180mm f/15 Mak.

My refractor is about the same length and my Mak is heavier than your scope so there's no question it will carry fine, this mount is exceptionally steady if you are used to a budget equatorial.

For a quick "grab & go" or general viewing where you can't be bothered setting up an equatorial, this is a great mount.

When new, the axes in mine were fairly stiff however they have loosened up with use - it's now as smooth as butter at magnifications up to about 100X. There is a little stiction in the bearings and at higher powers it becomes more difficult to use if you want to say watch Saturn at 200X - but then that is probably true of every altaz mount except the HalfHitch.

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#18 helpwanted

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:19 AM

thanks iluxo,
i plan on only wide field, low magn, DSOs only, so it soulds like i should be fine!

#19 iluxo

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:28 AM

Ah balance... you will need to stick to lightweight ones. On my refractor, the eyepieces are well away from the altitude axis so that when swapping eyepieces, you have to hang on to it or clamp it - or risk the tube swinging down. For this reason I have a lightweight set of Vixen LV's for use on the refractor alone.

Same will probably be true on yours.

My Mak is both short and heavy, allowing the much heavier LVW eyepieces without it moving when one of these is lifted out.

#20 Jim7728

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:55 AM

jim7728 & Garyml... how did you decide how much weight to use as a counterweight?


No set rule, just use something at least half the weight or more of the ota. In your case 7.5lb cw good, 11lb cw better. Also, the further away the cw is in relation to the ota, the less weight needed for balance on the azimuth axis.

BTW, maybe possible to use your Celestron mount in a alt/az configuration for easier star hopping. Seen other folks do it with the old CG-4 and I've done it with old Meade equatorial.

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#21 GaryML

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:47 PM

jim7728 & Garyml... how did you decide how much weight to use as a counterweight?


When I first bought the EZTouch I was using it with a 100mm refractor that was about 10-11 lbs. with accessories. That balanced fine, but it seems to be about the limit before the tripod felt lopsided. On soft or uneven ground, the tripod would tip just a slight amount due to the weight.

When I went with the 15-16 lbs. telescope, I wanted to counter-balance the weight to keep the tripod evenly loaded. I could not find the counterweight shaft to fit the M12 thread on the EZMount, so I had to bolt the weight directly to the mount. I noticed that the 10 lb. Meade counterweight was cheap and fairly compact so I gave it a try. I mounted it with an M12x70mm stainless bolt and two brass bushings from the super-hardware store in my area, which was a very secure attachment. This gave a very well balanced setup with the 15 lb. tube. The counter-weight also acted as a convenient handle for aiming the telescope, especially in altitude. The only issue was that the counter-weight was not removable without an allen wrench so I left it on while moving the mount/tripod. If you turned it the wrong way when moving the setup, then the off-balance CW would swing around with considerable force. I almost got whacked in the head with it a couple of times.

Performance was great, but it is very sensitive to weight distribution front to rear. When switching eyepieces, I found it best to never leave it without an eyepiece while switching. I would keep the new eyepiece in one hand and do the switch immediately without letting go of the telescope. If you have the tension set low (for easy panning) and leave it with no eyepiece, then the telescope can take a nose dive.

I recently replaced the EZTouch with a Celestron CG5-ASGT sinced I wanted goto. I actually miss the EZTouch and I'm thinking buying another one. The goto is nice but I miss the convenience of the EZTouch. And the Celestron goto malfunctioned three weeks after I bought the mount, so it is now sitting at the Celestron repair depot waiting for them to get around to repairing it. :mad: I might just get an EZTouch head and use it on the Celestron tripod, as I think the Celestron head attaches with an M10 bolt. That should be a very stable setup, as the CG5-ASGT tripod has the big 2" legs and is very stable.






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