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Desert Sky Astro DSV-2 questions

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#1 kevint1

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:02 AM

Hi,

I have been looking for a good alt-az mount for my ES102ED for under $1000. I found the DSV-2 and like its slow motion controls and the balance system and have some questions...

I am wondering about the smoothness of the motion when not using the slow motion controls to pan to an object and when tracking an object in the eyepiece. How it compares to other mounts like the Unistar Deluxe or the ES Twilight II.

Also how smooth is the tracking using the slow motion controls? Is there backlash or jerkyness?

How will it handle a scope of this size: ~33 in long and 15 lbs when loaded with a large eyepiece? How fast would the settling time be when tracking with the slow motion controls?

I plan to use the mount on a Mead field tripod with 2" legs.

What is you impression of overall build and quality?

Thanks for your help.

#2 munchmeister

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

I don't have one but am interested in the DSV-1 and 2. But I don't think it has any slo mo controls. Push the handle, totally tracking by hand and eye and, if balanced, it stays put. You can adjust the axis friction to "taste" to get a certain level of firmness to the "hold" if I understand it correctly. But, again, I do not have one, just gathered this from reading at their site and the few reviews I could find on the web. Hope this helps.

#3 kevint1

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:52 PM

The web page says the DSV-2 has slo-mo controls... the DSV-2 web page describes them under "Geared lock-less slow motion controls"

#4 munchmeister

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

My bad.

#5 lakeorion

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

I can't talk to the DSV-2, but my DSV-1 is solid on a surveyors tripod. The build quality is first rate and there is no play to be found in the motion.



#6 munchmeister

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:07 PM

I don't have one but am interested in the DSV-1 and 2. But I don't think it has any slo mo controls. Push the handle, totally tracking by hand and eye and, if balanced, it stays put. You can adjust the axis friction to "taste" to get a certain level of firmness to the "hold" if I understand it correctly. But, again, I do not have one, just gathered this from reading at their site and the few reviews I could find on the web. Hope this helps.

Well I should have one in a few days. Bought a DSV-2 from the classified section, so I will be able to report back with "real life" experience, rather than my unfounded speculation. :o Gotta find a surveyor's tripod for it. You guys have any recommendations for the tripod?

#7 kevint1

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

Lakerion,

Are you using your DSV-1 with you Orion 127?

#8 munchmeister

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:23 PM

Just an FYI update. I got my DSV-2, only had a chance to use it with my Orion 120mm f/5 short tube. With my dovetail bar, Scopestuff GLP lexan finder and an Orion Q70 32mm 2" wide field eyepiece, the setup weighs in at about 13 lbs. From just a short test, it will be important to balance it. I have the balance bar setup for the other side of the mount but did not use that yet. Will try to report back here. The workmanship seems top notch, very solid. I got a Bosch aluminum surveyor's tripod for mounting it so it is a nice solid setup. I did add a plumbing flange to the tripod, to act as a giant washer as the top of the tripod has an opening that is just a teeny bit smaller than the base of the DSV-2 and I wanted a more solid interface between DSV and tripod. Can't answer all the other questions just yet, but it is buttery smooth but, again, haven't had much time with it.

#9 kevint1

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:44 AM

Thanks for the update, Munchmeister. I look forward to hearing how it works under the stars.

#10 munchmeister

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:17 AM

kevint1: I wanted to update my experiences with the DSV-2 mount with their QBS counterweight bar. I've had it out at a star party with the local astro club, public outreach event for the Venus transit and on a recent trip up in the Colorado mountains, as well as the back yard a few times. All in all I am very satisfied with this mount. I have modified it a teeny bit with a large fluted knob for the altitude lock just to get more purchase when locking it down. Locking is important for changing from my heavy Q70 2" eyepiece to a lightweight plossl. It is also important when at a public outreach event, so the folks who want to take a look don't knock it about and lose the viewed object. The small knurled knob was just too hard to get tight so a big fluted knob and another nylon washer lets me crank down on it a bit more easily.

The QBS system works quite well, you just have to remember to lock the altitude brake. The used one I bought only had two of the day glow dots to mark the velcro strip so I ordered 5 more from Desert Sky. These are placed on the top of the QBS bar to mark the setting for the counterweight, at lightest and heaviest. Works well to keep everything in balance. Once such balance is achieved with your set up, you can move your scope around very easily by hand, for sweeping the sky or if you need to nudge it quickly in one direction or the other. Let go and it holds very well, no vibrations. Use the slow motion friction controls to keep your subject in view as you're looking through the scope. No backlash but there is a small amount of play when going clockwise-counterclockwise with these controls, as is to be expected. These slo mo control knobs are placed close together and on the front so they are easy to grab and move between as you keep your eye on the eyepiece. That also makes it easy to show friends, family, public, how to use the controls to track, when they are looking at an object.

I recently acquired a Celestron C6 SCT which weighs fairly close to my 120mm refractor but I haven't really tried it out yet on this mount. I am still getting it set up with a RACI finder I got for it, etc., but it, too, should work well on the mount. As mentioned, I have the DSV-2 sitting on a Bosch surveyor's tripod. This DSV-2 had the 5/8 mounting hole which matched the attachment bolt on the tripod. I tighten the DSV-2 down and can just "grab 'n go" taking the tripod and DSV in one hand when putting it away or in the back of the Subaru. I usually leave the QBS installed. So it works great as a grab and go setup. The nylon strap that came with the Bosch tripod doesn't work very well since most of the weight is now on the end with the DSV-2 but I will try to address that with a nylon carrying case or something.

It is a keeper. Glad I bought it and find that I am using it most of the time. I'm just getting back into astronomy after years away and attempting to learn the sky.... when I can see it (lotsa smoke in my town lately) and this mount is definitely a great "grab 'n go" solution for my needs.

Hope this helps ! Good luck !

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#11 kevint1

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:59 AM

Munchmeister, thanks for your report on the DSV-2. It sounds like a quality mount. I was on their web site a few days ago, and saw their DS3-3. This may be an option for me long term, since it will carry a heavier payload, and has an option for encoders.






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