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New (used) DM4!!

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#1 MikeFitz

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 12:26 AM

I just picked up a DM4 from a local astronomer. He had the DM4 with encoders, tripod, tilt in saddle plate, dovetail, tripod extension, tripod tray kit and a small pelican case that fits the DM4 and saddle plate as well as the extension. It is in mint condition.

About the time I got it put together and put on my scope (NP101 that I bought from the same astronomer a little over a year ago), the biggest thunderstorm of the year with tornado and flash flood warnings came through. No damage to our area, but no clear skies either! It may clear later tonight, but if not, it looks like clouds tomorrow night. I guess since this rig holds a 4" scope I will have 4 days of clouds.

This is to replace my Telepod head with encoders.

Initial impressions are that this is a quality piece of work. The knobs for the tripod spreader are above average quality, the screw inserts are brass, the DM4 head is solid. It seems to hold the NP101 very well. I assume it is more solid than the Telepod on my Bogen 3068, but that will have to wait for another night to test out. I like the clean lines with minimal wires showing for the Sky Commander. In general, the mount is just quality throughout!

(By the way, the gentleman who sold this to me now has a carbon fiber SV Raptor, Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, and a Half Hitch on the way. I can be happy with his cast offs!!)

I am looking forward to clear skies.

Michael

#2 Ron B

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 12:15 PM

Congratulations Michael on your acquisition of the DM4, they have recieved great reports here on CN. I recently was in the market for a quality mount and ordered a Half Hitch; the DM4 was second on my list as I was looking for a mount with slow motion controls. All reports have given the DM4 outstanding marks for quality; everyone owning them reports being very happy with them!

I was wondering if you know what size the carbon fiber SV Raptor the gentleman who sold you the DM4 had and what model Gitzo CF tripod he was planning to use with the Half Hitch; I was looking to acquire a CF tripod for a grab and go setup for my SV90.

Also would love to hear your impressions of the Sky Commander when the clouds clear.

Ron

#3 MikeFitz

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:33 PM

Ron,

The seller has the SV 105 Raptor. He says it is about 8 lbs. He likes the Gitzo tripod, but when he put the DM4 and a Astrotech 4" scope on it, he felt it was too shakey. He feels that the lighter Half Hitch and CF SV scope should work just fine. He wants the absolute lightest setup he could come up with and still have good stability.

As far as the Sky Commander, it works great on my Telepod head. It is always accurate. It seems I have read that the DM4 will be even more so, due to the way the encoders are setup. I am not sure where I read that or if it was a reliable statement however.

I am not sure which Gitzo he has. He said it was $800. It had no center column. I believe there were 2 leg locks on the legs. I think it might have been the Gitzo GT5531S Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs.

As for me, we have clouds again tonight. Oh well. I think I will spin the telescope around the living room a few times.

Mike
We have clouds again tonight.

#4 7331Peg

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:24 PM

You'll like the DM-4, Mike. I've got the DM-6. What I really like about it is not having to worry about the scope shifting positions when changing eyepieces. And on the DM tripod, it is very stable. I have a TV102 on mine and can run the magnification up to 300x with very little image vibration when focusing. You may get a bit more with the DM-4, since it's a bit smaller, but it shouldn't be much. The DM tripods don't get a lot of attention, but they are very solid. I picked up two more on CN that were used and have a Teegul-Lapides and a Giro on them - again, very solid and very little vibration. Hope your weather cooperates soon!

John

#5 Ron B

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:46 PM

Thanks for the info Mike.

By the way, I had a chance to spend some time in Fort Collins, beautiful part of the country!

Ron






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