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Alt-az mount question

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#1 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:27 PM

Hi all,

I'm getting close to purchasing a Tak FSQ-106ED refractor, primarily for astrophotography. I'd also like the ability to mount it on a lightweight alt-az mount/tripod as a "grab & go" for visual use.

I really like the Berlebach tripods (like the UNI 14), but I'm not sure if their alt-az mounts will support a Losmandy-compatible dovetail plate. I want to be able to use the scope on both my G-11 as well as the lightweight tripod/mount. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

#2 skybsd

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:37 PM

Hi,
I'm huge fan of Berlebach tripods for my travel Alt-Az mounts - they're awesome!

So, you're after an Alt-Az mount head that works with the Berlebach UNI tripods? I see you're after a head that supports Losmandy D saddles.

Did you have a budget in mind? Do you require DSC compatibility too?

Regards,

skybsd

#3 bykhed

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:42 PM

A quick look at the Berlebach website gives me the impression that the saddle is Vixen and is integral to the design.

I think a Tele-Optik Giro would be a better choice. You can buy one without a saddle and get a saddle from ADM for your Losmandy dovetail. Anthony will drill mounting holes to match the Giro at no extra charge. It's a beefy mount that will handle the 15# Tak, though getting a counterweight bar and a counterweight will make movements more smooth.

-Matt

#4 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:14 PM

Hi,
I'm huge fan of Berlebach tripods for my travel Alt-Az mounts - they're awesome!

So, you're after an Alt-Az mount head that works with the Berlebach UNI tripods? I see you're after a head that supports Losmandy D saddles.

Did you have a budget in mind? Do you require DSC compatibility too?

Regards,

skybsd


I've heard good things about them as well, and they look nice to boot. :)

I'd like to stay well under $1000 if possible; I really just need the minimum hardware to support the FSQ for quick peeks without a lot of setup time. In fact, I'll likely keep the FSQ mounted on the lightweight mount for convenience. I have my G-11 (with a Gemini 2 retrofit on the way) for heavy duty use and astrophotography, so I don't need DSCs or any GoTo functionality. Thanks!

#5 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:17 PM

A quick look at the Berlebach website gives me the impression that the saddle is Vixen and is integral to the design.

I think a Tele-Optik Giro would be a better choice. You can buy one without a saddle and get a saddle from ADM for your Losmandy dovetail. Anthony will drill mounting holes to match the Giro at no extra charge. It's a beefy mount that will handle the 15# Tak, though getting a counterweight bar and a counterweight will make movements more smooth.

-Matt


Thanks...I'll take a look at those as well.

#6 skybsd

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:46 PM

Hi,
Good to hear from you..,

Hi,
I'm huge fan of Berlebach tripods for my travel Alt-Az mounts - they're awesome!

So, you're after an Alt-Az mount head that works with the Berlebach UNI tripods? I see you're after a head that supports Losmandy D saddles.

Did you have a budget in mind? Do you require DSC compatibility too?

Regards,

skybsd


I've heard good things about them as well, and they look nice to boot. :)



That they do.., Indeed! :)


I'd like to stay well under $1000 if possible; I really just need the minimum hardware to support the FSQ for quick peeks without a lot of setup time. In fact, I'll likely keep the FSQ mounted on the lightweight mount for convenience. I have my G-11 (with a Gemini 2 retrofit on the way) for heavy duty use and astrophotography, so I don't need DSCs or any GoTo functionality. Thanks!


Well., for well under your budget, you can take a look at Larry's UniStar mount. Rated for 40lbs and with the reflex arm, balance is a breeze. I have the Deluxe model fully tricked out with DSCs on one of my UNI-14s that I even used my C9.25 SCT on for kicks, and you can see the Meade 14" on Larry's site as and example of its grunt.

I also have the SV-M2 Alt-Az (also well under your budget) on another UNI-14 for true back-to-basics Alt-Az operation - when just "take out, aim and go" that's required..,

Both of these are single arm mounts that require no counter-balancing and get you going extremely quickly.

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd

#7 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:59 PM

That is very helpful, skybsd. I will take a look at both of those mounts and give them careful consideration. Thank you very much!

#8 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:08 PM

One more question for skybsd: Do you use the MEC2 extension with your SV-M2? If so, did you request an adapter for use with the UNI-14? Looks like the MEC2 accepts a 5/8" bolt, whereas the UNI-14 uses a 3/8" bolt.

#9 skybsd

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:26 PM

HI,

One more question for skybsd: Do you use the MEC2 extension with your SV-M2? If so, did you request an adapter for use with the UNI-14? Looks like the MEC2 accepts a 5/8" bolt, whereas the UNI-14 uses a 3/8" bolt.


Yes - I use the MEC2 column - I had Vic supply a 3/8-16 compatible female adapter at the bottom of the column. One the other hand, you could simply ask Berlebach to use the M10 bolt that the SV column expects be default. You'll deal with Marion at Berlebach - very efficient and helpful.

I decided to have SV provide the custom column as most mount heads use either 3/8-16 or 5/8-11 bolts that are standard on Berlebachs. It also makes the SV-M2 portable across multiple tripods, and not just limited to SV tripods..,

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd

#10 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:35 PM

Excellent. Thanks again!

#11 skybsd

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:47 PM

No problem.

Just keep in mind that you can select which bolt size you want on your tripod from the drop-down menu when placing your order, or simply email them your bolt size requirements before placing your order.

Best of luck!

Regards,

skybsd

#12 Phil Frederick

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:50 PM

Skybsd's recommendations of the UA and the M2 are excellent choices. And you DO want the column extension with the M2 and as was noted SV will provide that with a 3/8"-16 tap which makes it much more versatile.

Another very nice alt-az mount is the Tak Teegul (Lapides)--a little more expensive new but can be found on the used market for $400-450. It'll take both Vixen and Losmandy style plates and the slo-mo controls are very nice.

And if you decide to stretch your budget a bit the DM4 is truly a super mount--very solid, very smooth and takes a 3/8" bolt as well.

Phil

#13 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:17 PM

Wow. The DM4 is a beautiful mount! Probably out of my budget right now, but something to think about (and drool over). :)

#14 Deinonych

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:27 PM

Am I correct in assuming that Berlebach's UNI series are only available directly from Berlebach? I can't seem to find a dealer in the US. Not a big deal if so, but I'd love to save the ~$100 international shipping. :)

#15 skybsd

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:12 AM

Hello,
Mark at Teton Telescope used to be a US distributor, but as he is between projects at the moment, the only other shop that I believe at least used to sell Berlebachs is Adorama in New York.

Perhaps you can contact them to see if they can help.

Regards,

skybsd

#16 Bill Possel

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:10 AM

I'm a huge fan of the Berlebach tripods also. I'm using a UNI 19C with a DM-4. It has a geared column which makes it very nice for public star parties and small children. You could email Berlebach and see if someone in the US carries the tripod you want.

Bill

#17 Deinonych

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:41 PM

So, I ordered the UNI 14 and the SV M2 (w/MEC2 extension). Does anyone know what the typical lead time is for orders from Berlebach? I've sent them an order status request, but haven't heard back just yet.

#18 Bill Possel

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:07 AM

I've always found Berlebach to be very responsive. When I ordered a tripod several years ago from them, it was about a week for the tripod and then an additional couple weeks for shipping. How is your tripod being shipped?

Bill

#19 Deinonych

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:56 AM

I heard back from them this morning. They said the tripod would ship out this week. I believe they ship via DHL.






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