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Astrotrac TH3010 head

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#1 Jarno

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:55 PM

Hi all, I have question about the Astrotrac TH3010 head but I'll start with some background information.

I'm just getting started in astrophotography and I'm using the Astrotrac TT320X-AG with the TW3100 wedge on a very sturdy CF photo tripod. So far I've only used my 300mm f/2.8 telelens because my 500mm lens unbalances the system enough that the TT320 starts trailing, I haven't even tried my 4" refractor because that'll be even worse so I'll need to counterbalance the weight somehow.

And now for the question part: Astrotracs own TH3010 is the most obvious solution but I've read that loosening the azimuth knob too far separates the top half, possibily sending more than $10K of photo-gear towards ungentle contact with terra firma. Has Astrotrac solved this design flaw yet?

The alternative is the Giro-Ercole which is both stronger and presumably safer but also bigger, heavier and more expensive. The "bigger" part bothers me most, I want the mount to be as low as possible to keep the center of gravity close to the tripod centerline. Which of these mounts would the more experienced imagers recommend and why? Or are there other mounts that will work just as well?

#2 PGW Steve

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:26 PM

I have the TH3010 and it works great. I agree that the thing can separate due to poor design. Had they cut a groove like an EP barrel it would have served as a mechanical lock if only slightly loose. While you can balance in RA, you would need to have some method of obtaining balance in declination.

#3 Jarno

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:16 AM

OK that pretty much rules out the Astrotrac head then, I'm not going to take such a risk with my gear. Too bad nobody makes a Giro-type mount with slow motion controls, that would have been perfect.






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