Jump to content


Photo

Gibraltar - older version vs. newer?

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 nanjason

nanjason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 136
  • Joined: 23 Mar 2010
  • Loc: Southeastern PA, USA

Posted 07 April 2011 - 09:31 AM

Hi,

I've got an opportunity to buy a TV Gibraltar mount and tripod (ash legs) which will go with the TV NP-101 I'll soon be buying. The seller says it's an older version that is not drilled for the eyepiece caddy. Is there anything I should be worried about when getting an older version? Are they made as well as the current version? Bearings all the same, mechanical strength, etc? If I choose to add skytour DSC's, can the older versions accept that? I have no problem taking a drill and making holes for the caddies - I already have a telepod for my TV76, which has the eyepiece caddies, and they are very useful, so I'd definitely want them on the Gilbraltar.

Thanks for your insight!

#2 Eddgie

Eddgie

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12497
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:46 AM

My first word on the topic is to get some other opinions. I had a Gibralter and as much as I tried to love it, after using if for a few months, I came to not even LIKE it.

The problem was the balance in altitude. I was always fussing with the friction lock, and had several noze dives of my Genesis.

If you use mostly 1.25" eyepieces of consisent weight, it is not as much of an issue, but if you use heavy eyepeices like the Nagler T4s or longer T5s, it can be a maddening experience changing eyepeices.

That being said, there was (as far as I am aware) one change to the Gibralter azimuth bearing a very long time ago. I don't know the nature of the change, but when I had mine, I remember that Televue used to sell an update kit to correct it.

I didn't have any problems with azimuth motion though, so I guess I didn't feel the need to update.

But the Altitude issue was very frustrating.

If you only do low power sweeps and don't change eyepeices much, I can see the appeal of the Gibralter, but if you do change eyepeices a lot, you may want to seek some other opinions as to the desireability of this particular mount.

Regards.

#3 7331Peg

7331Peg

    Sirius Observer

  • *****
  • Posts: 1930
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2008
  • Loc: North coast of Oregon

Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:16 AM

Yep, the azimuth motion was fantastic on the one I had a couple of years ago.

On the other hand, everything Eddgie said about the vertical times 100. Without a doubt, the most frustrating mount I've ever used.

I had a TV102 on it by the way - too long, too heavy. The tension on the vertical axis simply wasn't capable of handling it.


John :refractor:

#4 JumboFlex

JumboFlex

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 411
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2009

Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:31 AM

I got a Gib about 5 years ago, dont know if that makes it an old or new version. I found it to be passable but had similar issues like Eddgie and John. I also found it overly sensitive to vibrations. If its a choice between the Gib and not having a mount for the NP then get the Gib, just be prepared for what you are getting. As an FYI, I had an NP101 mounted to the Gib.

#5 genethethird

genethethird

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 435
  • Joined: 05 Jan 2010
  • Loc: NC

Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:51 AM

I found a way to keep the scope from nosediving and it works like a charm- nosedive knob (it's the 14th post down.) As long as you tighten before changing eyepieces it locks down and you don't have to readjust the brass tension screws. I've also got a Gibraltar that doesn't have the encoder attachment hole and I guess I am just going to stitch a thick rectangular beanbag to set on the top of the mount's baseplate. That way at least I won't ever have to hear the *clink!* of the scope when it goes down.

#6 Lt 26

Lt 26

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Northwest Illinois

Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:45 AM

I have the Gib5 and love it with my TV 102. I have the nose dive lock on mine and it works very well, but I bring the scope down to level and put the lock in front of the cradle. I also added a large tapered rubber puck to the top of the yoke just in case, no smack down here.

Add a set of rings and an 18" straight handle and you are set. Settle time is a second and half or less. The Gibraltar is simple, light, and easy to use. I use no tension on any of the knobs and it moves around with almost zero effort and stays in place at any angle.

I have a balanced set of only 5 eyepieces and never have to mess with rebalancing. I use mine at 175x and lower. The 10 second set up time is nice too. It looks like a work of art and not a robot so the boss lets me leave it set up.

For visual the only thing better would be a DM6, but by the time you put one of those together you are at or near $2500. The Gibraltar is the bomb, the other stuff is overpriced and to complicated. Would love to get something simple with tracking someday but from all reports here that is not possible.

Dereck

#7 Nippon

Nippon

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 969
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:16 PM

The old Gibraltar head used larger altitude bearings than the new one and the azimuth bearing was a shaft that went into the tripod head very much like the old Tasco 60 mm alt/az refractors only well engineered and machined. I don't believe you can use Skytour on the old Gibraltar without a lot of modification and even then it might not be possible or worth it compared to a new Skytour ready version. I have had a Telepod head on a heavy photo tripod for years that I use with my TV 85 and have never had the issues described by others here but then again the 85 is shorter and lighter. It does not matter if you get a new Telepod, Panoramic or Gibraltar the head is the same just the tripods differ. Hope this helps

#8 nanjason

nanjason

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 136
  • Joined: 23 Mar 2010
  • Loc: Southeastern PA, USA

Posted 08 April 2011 - 04:48 PM

Ahh, that is another question I had. I have a telepod mount and tripod. Works wonderfully with my TV76. Would an NP101 work on the same mount and tripod? I know it isn't ideal because it won't be as stable as a Gibraltar, but would it work as a temporary solution? I just bit the bullet on an NP101, so my wallet is a little shocked by all the movement. Might want to wait a little while before a bigger mount. Thoughts?

#9 jmiele

jmiele

    Patron Saint?

  • *****
  • Posts: 4331
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2010

Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

The 76 is about 5-6 lbs the 101 9-11. Given the nature of the telepod mount with most of the weight directly of the center of the tripod - I say yes would be fine with a well balanced tube. imho Joe

#10 Jim7728

Jim7728

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7835
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Stoop Landing Observatory, NYC

Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:48 PM

I got by fine with a Genesis SDF mounted on a Telepod head and Oberwerk wooden tripod. A focus-mate and Celestron anti-vibe pads helped. I did find a TV-102 too much for the Telepod.

If you go with the old-Gibralter I think TeleVue still sells the Sky Tour, least it's listed here:

http://www.highpoint...s-SKN-3001.html

That said, save up for the Gibralter(5) with Sky-Tour encoders and Sky Commander DSC computer.

Attached Files



#11 Nippon

Nippon

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 969
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Central Florida

Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:47 PM

The biggest concern from something I read about the telepod with the TV 4 inch scopes is the tripod footprint is too small. My Telepod is on a Bogen 3036 tripod that has leg braces that allow the leg angle to be adjusted. The rig is very solid. If you have a Telepod you can buy just the Gibraltar tripod from Tele Vue and put your Telepod head on it and presto you have a Gibraltar. And if your Telepod is new enough to be Skytour ready you're all set.

#12 PlanetMan

PlanetMan

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 628
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Upland, Ca.

Posted 08 April 2011 - 11:44 PM

Not sure about changes to the head. At some point TV went from one clamp to two on each leg. Having used both it seems to be a small but noticeable improvement. Have not had a problem changing eyepieces with my TV-85. I use the right knob to set the friction for regular use and the left for locking it down when changing EPs.

#13 Paul G

Paul G

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4947
  • Joined: 08 May 2003
  • Loc: Freedonia

Posted 09 April 2011 - 05:28 AM

Hi,

I've got an opportunity to buy a TV Gibraltar mount and tripod (ash legs) which will go with the TV NP-101 I'll soon be buying. The seller says it's an older version that is not drilled for the eyepiece caddy. Is there anything I should be worried about when getting an older version? Are they made as well as the current version? Bearings all the same, mechanical strength, etc? If I choose to add skytour DSC's, can the older versions accept that? I have no problem taking a drill and making holes for the caddies - I already have a telepod for my TV76, which has the eyepiece caddies, and they are very useful, so I'd definitely want them on the Gilbraltar.

Thanks for your insight!


I have an older Gibraltar. The head is different from the current Telepod head used. The older head has larger alt bearings and the scope sits lower in the saddle so it has a lower center of gravity. I prefer it to the Telepod head used now on the Gibraltar.

It carries the 4" Traveler very well and is good up to about 200x. Above that the motion is not smooth enough and it can be frustrating to use.

#14 JayKSC

JayKSC

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2093
  • Joined: 01 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:10 PM

I've used a TV102 on a newer Gibraltar for years and haven't had much issue. The scope balances well on it and the movements are fantastically smooth. I can see where the "nose dive" problem could become annoying if you like to fidget with eyepieces, but if you prefer to use only one or two oculars (like I do), then this is a non-issue. To me, the Gibraltar makes sense if you want to observe with primarily low to moderate powers and have only a couple of choice eyepieces you regularly use. For those who have many eyepieces of varying weights, a different mount makes sense - or perhaps a nice turret.

:question: For the mechanically skilled - I wonder if a bar that could attach to the OTA with some sliding brass weights would be able to correct for any re-balancing issues?

- Jay
South Florida

#15 jmiele

jmiele

    Patron Saint?

  • *****
  • Posts: 4331
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2010

Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:14 PM

For that matter one could use an old/spare or even new single tube ring no? Losen and move it forward and back an inch or two depending - then re-tighten.. Similar the the ring weight on my tak toa.... Joe

#16 la200o

la200o

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1518
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2008
  • Loc: SE Michigan, USA

Posted 11 April 2011 - 11:30 AM

Yep, the azimuth motion was fantastic on the one I had a couple of years ago.

On the other hand, everything Eddgie said about the vertical times 100. Without a doubt, the most frustrating mount I've ever used.

I had a TV102 on it by the way - too long, too heavy. The tension on the vertical axis simply wasn't capable of handling it.


John :refractor:


I completely agree. I bought a Half-Hitch MK III for my TV 102 and much prefer it. I would have to tighten my Gibraltar so much in the altitude axis that it was hard to move. I now use the Gibraltar (old model) as a grab-n-lug with my TV 76. It handles this little scope better--stable as a rock of course, and better in the alt. axis. But a rather primitive mount compared to some out there.

Bill






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics