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In the market for a new alt-az mount...

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#26 EFT

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

I've used the Teegul for a long time also, if I was going to "ramp up" I'd go with the Discmount or T-Rex.

But I've found with my larger scope I'm using higher magnifications and get frustrated without tracking, and the larger alt-az mounts are almost as much hassle as setting up an equatorial.


Which Alt/Az mounts are you referring to? My experience is that the larger ones with encoders are pretty much drop it on the ground, attach the scope and go.

#27 Scott99

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

I've used the Teegul for a long time also, if I was going to "ramp up" I'd go with the Discmount or T-Rex.

But I've found with my larger scope I'm using higher magnifications and get frustrated without tracking, and the larger alt-az mounts are almost as much hassle as setting up an equatorial.


Which Alt/Az mounts are you referring to? My experience is that the larger ones with encoders are pretty much drop it on the ground, attach the scope and go.


I would say that my equatorial mount is also drop on the ground and go, after you lift several heavy components. When I look at any alt-az setup that can handle my 30 pound refractor, most of them save me only 1 heavy component that has to be set up.

When I say "set up" that means carry everything from my house to the car, then out of the car to observe, then back home again, etc. When I look at larger alt-az mounts, I'm generally saving 1 trip to the car on both ends, and maybe a minute or two in the field. Not enough time and energy saved to justify giving up tracking. I don't use encoders or goto on any of the mounts, so the equatorial is ready very quickly also.

#28 jrbarnett

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

The hitch mounts look fussy to me. Maybe they aren't, but they look (and read) complicated compared to others. :shrug: If I want complicated, I'll go full GOTO and tracking. In an alt-az, I want braindead-simple, point and shoot.

On the other hand they are the most beautiful (in an architectural sense) alt-az mounts I've ever seen.

Regards,

Jim

#29 jrbarnett

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

Beautiful. I love the Scandinavian design ethic. On the other hand, the Danes aren't known for their software engineering. How much cooler would that mount be if, instead of their own hand controller, they'd developed iOS and Android apps to allow control of the mount with a smartphone or tablet?

I just picked up two iPad Minis. One for my sister and another for my father, for Christmas. I think the Mini is the ultimate telescope mount control pad. I use an iPad 2, but the Mini is sized better and the retina display is simply jaw dropping. Heck, skip the software development altogether and do a deal with Southern Stars to support the mount in Sky Safari.

But I digress. For my alt-az mount, I specifically do NOT want the hassles of heavy power requirements and tracking. I want it to be akin to the low overhead experience of a push-to Dob. That said, I will keep an eye on the new Danish entry. It's lovely and would be a wonderful GOTO mount replacement.

- Jim

#30 Bowmoreman

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:53 PM

Beautiful. I love the Scandinavian design ethic. On the other hand, the Danes aren't known for their software engineering. How much cooler would that mount be if, instead of their own hand controller, they'd developed iOS and Android apps to allow control of the mount with a smartphone or tablet?

I just picked up two iPad Minis. One for my sister and another for my father, for Christmas. I think the Mini is the ultimate telescope mount control pad. I use an iPad 2, but the Mini is sized better and the retina display is simply jaw dropping. Heck, skip the software development altogether and do a deal with Southern Stars to support the mount in Sky Safari.

But I digress. For my alt-az mount, I specifically do NOT want the hassles of heavy power requirements and tracking. I want it to be akin to the low overhead experience of a push-to Dob. That said, I will keep an eye on the new Danish entry. It's lovely and would be a wonderful GOTO mount replacement.

- Jim


Perhaps get a DM 6 and be done?

Just a thought?

#31 Midnight Dan

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

I just put in an order for a DesertSky Astro DSV-1. Obviously much smaller/lighter than what you're looking for, but in my research all the DSV mounts have gotten nothing but glowing reviews and seem to be able to handle much more than their rated loads.

The DSV3 looks remarkably similar in design to the AYO units, is less expensive, and is supported directly by its creator in this country. An advantage if you need service, or parts.

-Dan

#32 tomcody

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

Beautiful. I love the Scandinavian design ethic. On the other hand, the Danes aren't known for their software engineering. How much cooler would that mount be if, instead of their own hand controller, they'd developed iOS and Android apps to allow control of the mount with a smartphone or tablet?

I just picked up two iPad Minis. One for my sister and another for my father, for Christmas. I think the Mini is the ultimate telescope mount control pad. I use an iPad 2, but the Mini is sized better and the retina display is simply jaw dropping. Heck, skip the software development altogether and do a deal with Southern Stars to support the mount in Sky Safari.

But I digress. For my alt-az mount, I specifically do NOT want the hassles of heavy power requirements and tracking. I want it to be akin to the low overhead experience of a push-to Dob. That said, I will keep an eye on the new Danish entry. It's lovely and would be a wonderful GOTO mount replacement.

- Jim


Perhaps get a DM 6 and be done?

Just a thought?

+1
You won't find better than a DM6 with an Ipad/Sky safari connection to the Sky Commander.
I recommend getting two tripods, the stock wooden tripod for lighter scopes (grab and go), and a Losmandy HD tripod with 12" Losmandy extension for the 140 up.
Rex

#33 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

There's something about the DM aesthetic I just don't like. :shrug: That coupled with a lack of slo mo controls kinda turns me off of 'em. How easy is it to put a DM head on a tripod other than the ones DM offers? I find their "fence board" tripods ghastly.

Also, has anyone put any of these higher end alt-az heads on a Rob Miller tripod?

- Jim

#34 M44

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:17 PM


DM6 can be attached to any tripod with a 3/8" stud. Berlebach / Rob miller can make custom made this to attach any alt/az that are available today.

Atleast one set up I saw on CN is with DM6 and Rob miller tripod.

I had considered Rob miller tripod, though it is light weight tripod, it can not be retracted for portability. Basic version come with 36", not enough for any size of the refractor. You need extensions (extra $$$) or go for a taller tripod (extra $$$).

Losmandy tripod with extension sounds good otherwise I suggest Berlebach planet for portability.

#35 tomcody

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

There's something about the DM aesthetic I just don't like. :shrug: That coupled with a lack of slo mo controls kinda turns me off of 'em. How easy is it to put a DM head on a tripod other than the ones DM offers? I find their "fence board" tripods ghastly.

Also, has anyone put any of these higher end alt-az heads on a Rob Miller tripod?

- Jim

See this thread for Rob Miller tripod & DM6:
http://www.cloudynig...Board=refrac...,

As for liking the aesthetic? When I go from a Meade 7mm RG to a Ethos 13mm eyepiece and don't have to rebalance, I love the way it looks!
Rex

#36 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:26 PM

I have a few tripods that I use with DM-6 (T-REX, and Half Hitch, Vixen SXD, and G11) interchangeably. I made G11 mount base as standard way to attach mount to tripod.

FLT 152 on DM-6/12" extension/Losmandy FHD:
Posted Image

MN-86 on DM-6/8" extension/Losmandy FHD:
Posted Image

TMB 130SS on DM-6/8" extesion/Planet on left, FLT 152 on T-REX/12" extension tube/Binoscope Tall Tripod on right:
Posted Image

TMB 130SS on HH, DM-4 8" extension/Losmandy FHD:
Posted Image

TMB 130SS on HH, 12" extension/Losmandy FHD:
Posted Image

TMB 130SS on DM-6/8" extension/Planet on left:
Posted Image

If you aim for simplicity, I would go with DM-6, potentially go with larger scope in the future (say, TEC 180FL).

I am supposed to have Super Half Hitch delivery next week. I am planning to replace T-REX with SHH for TMB 130SS use. T-REX is for FLT 152, DM-6 is for MN-86.

Tammy

#37 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

Tammy:

How would you rate the T-Rex versus the DM-6?

Regards,

Jim

#38 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:38 PM

Tammy:

How would you rate the T-Rex versus the DM-6?

Regards,

Jim


Hi Jim,

I would say that T-REX functions as good as DM-6 with 45lb 6" f/8 refractor on Losmandy FHD tripod.

If you go beyond that, I feel a little more comfortable going with DM-6.

Tammy

#39 Jim7728

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:41 AM

As for liking the aesthetic? When I go from a Meade 7mm RG to a Ethos 13mm eyepiece and don't have to rebalance, I love the way it looks!
Rex



Tammy's DM-6 on top of the Berlebach Planet tripod looks very aesthetically pleasing to me, as well as functional and is why I have one on order for my DM-6. ;)

#40 tomcody

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:19 PM

As for liking the aesthetic? When I go from a Meade 7mm RG to a Ethos 13mm eyepiece and don't have to rebalance, I love the way it looks!
Rex



Tammy's DM-6 on top of the Berlebach Planet tripod looks very aesthetically pleasing to me, as well as functional and is why I have one on order for my DM-6. ;)

You don't have to tell me, I like the way it looks, JBarnett the OP, is the one who said he disliked the looks, I was trying to make a point that the function of it matters more than how it looks.
Rex
PS I don't understand the value of the BerleBach over the Losmandy tripod? especially if one uses the Losmandy 12" extension. The Losmandy is strong and light, costs less, I think? when one considers shipping, and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car. and is made in the USA.
Rex

#41 Patrik Iver

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

I have some experience with the Unistar and the MG2, using a FS-102 or a 120ED OTA. With both mounts, the imbalance caused by a 2" diagonal, a fairly heavy eyepiece and the finderscope (all with a CG above that of the tube itself), tend to make the OTA rotate when it is pointed nearly vertical.


The DiscMounts tilt-in saddle is offset about half an inch downwards in order to balance better. The altitude axis centerpoint thus lies a bit above the tube centerline.

Further regarding the DM6 (and the Berlebach Planet), some points I've noted and experienced, in no particular order:

The extension really is necessary for use with an even moderately long refractor. The DM extension (to me and to my engineers eyes) looks like a design that would not be particularly stiff torsionally, but in reality is is quite stiff. I can't note any difference in mount damping time with or without the extension (loaded with a pretty heavy 130 mm f/6.3 triplet).

The handle is nice to have. I got the angled version to avoid it being too close to the focuser, but in retrospect the straight version would have been better because it does not interfere as easily when viewing targets with higher altitudes. I've seen pictures where people have tried to avoid this problem by turning the saddle upside down, but then the saddle offset is wrong vs the scope center of gravity.

If you plan to use the DM mount with a tripod other than a DM, remember to order the "interface disc" (round spacer) to go between the tripod metal top and the mount metal base. I fastened the disc with double sided tape to the Planet top plate.

The leg angle of the standard Planet is much too narrow for my liking (with an offset load such as on any " side-mount head". I have had a Berlebach UNI 18 L for about ten years now, and I particularly like the wide stance of that tripod, when used with the largest tray available. The Planet comes with a fixed spreader, but I ordered mine to be delivered unattached, so I could choose the leg angle I wanted before fastening the spreader. I fastened it as high as possible, while still allowing decently easy removal of the tray.

Double leg clamps are nice to have, as wooden tripods swell and contract with humidity changes.

As are the rubber feet, if using the tripod on concrete or a wooden deck. Or storing it on a wooden floor...

The Nexus WiFi telescope interface can be highly recommended, and it sits very nicely with velcro (or with its own mounting plate) on the rear plate (opposite the scope) of the DM6. Works flawlessly with Sky Safari. I still use the Argo Navis when the temperaure is too low for iPad use or the site is too dark to risk ruining my night vision with the iPad, but other that that, Sky Safari and Nexus really are a great combination.

I chose the DM6 over the T-Rex and various AYO-models because it felt like the mechanically least complicated, and thus probably most rugged alternative. I fully beilive I would have been happy with any of the above mounts (when the Giro I had, and still use with ligher scoped, proved too weak for the inteded use).

I haven't had my GEM out for almost a year now - the whole time since getting the DM.

#42 kevint1

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:52 PM

I placed an order today for a DSV-2 for use with my two relatively small refractors. It's not as substantial as the DSV-3, but after talking to and e-mailing Raul at Desert Sky Astro, I think it will suit my needs for portability and stability. I like slo mo controls and the fact that this mount has lockless controls along with a handle and being able to mount two scopes at the same time made this a good choice for me. I should receive it right after the first of the year.

#43 t.r.

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:02 AM

Kevin, what is the delivery time for the mount?

#44 kevint1

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:55 AM

t.r.
Raul said he could ship the DSV-2 right after Christmas and I expect it will take a week to get to me.

#45 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

I think you inadvertently identified what folks don't like about the Losmandy tripod: "...and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car...". Many folks prefer a folding tripod that doesn't break down into as many pieces. In fact, Losmandy now offers a (ridiculously bulky, IMO) folding tripod due to demand from such folks. Lots of pieces is great for packing a full vehicle but adds steps in the setup and take down process.

Also for many, Made in USA is just above Made in Taiwan or China, and below Made in Japan or Made in Germany (which is where the Berlebach comes from).

But the Losmandy mount with an extension makes sense to me. If I went that route, though, I'd go ahead and also get a G-11 EQ head (non-Gemini) for versatility (i.e., being able to take one tripod and two heads, one tracking and one not, on trips).

Regards,

Jim

#46 EFT

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

I think you inadvertently identified what folks don't like about the Losmandy tripod: "...and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car...". Many folks prefer a folding tripod that doesn't break down into as many pieces. In fact, Losmandy now offers a (ridiculously bulky, IMO) folding tripod due to demand from such folks. Lots of pieces is great for packing a full vehicle but adds steps in the setup and take down process.

Also for many, Made in USA is just above Made in Taiwan or China, and below Made in Japan or Made in Germany (which is where the Berlebach comes from).

But the Losmandy mount with an extension makes sense to me. If I went that route, though, I'd go ahead and also get a G-11 EQ head (non-Gemini) for versatility (i.e., being able to take one tripod and two heads, one tracking and one not, on trips).

Regards,

Jim


I just noticed something very similar with a new (to me) mount that I just bought for dissection. As soon as I went to set it up, I realized that, instead of one central attachment bolt like I am use to with most mounts in this size range, I had to use three relatively small, non-captive, thumb bolts to attach the head to the tripod. I then had to dig around to find the the bag that the thumb bolts had been placed in for shipping. It immediately occurred to me how easy (and likely) it will be to loose these. I have the same problem with my CGE which requires six bolts to put together.

When it comes to transportable equipment, small is nice, but fewer pieces is even nicer.

#47 tomcody

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:20 PM

I think you inadvertently identified what folks don't like about the Losmandy tripod: "...and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car...". Many folks prefer a folding tripod that doesn't break down into as many pieces. In fact, Losmandy now offers a (ridiculously bulky, IMO) folding tripod due to demand from such folks. Lots of pieces is great for packing a full vehicle but adds steps in the setup and take down process.

Each to their own, but I think carrying and loading four parts, each of which is less than about 9 pounds, is better than doing the same with one bulky object about weighing 30 pounds (tripod and adapter plate).

Also for many, Made in USA is just above Made in Taiwan or China, and below Made in Japan or Made in Germany (which is where the Berlebach comes from).

I was referring to the fact that the Losmandy being made in the USA should cost less to ship than coming from Germany, but if you want to make this about quality? I find Losmandy's to be first class especially for the price and you probably do also to make the statement below about buying a G11.

But the Losmandy mount with an extension makes sense to me. If I went that route, though, I'd go ahead and also get a G-11 EQ head (non-Gemini) for versatility (i.e., being able to take one tripod and two heads, one tracking and one not, on trips).

Regards,

Jim

One thing to consider, with a DM6 the adapter plate will live on the bottom of the head (no need to ever remove it) and with a Losmandy HD tripod, the extender can live on the central section, so assembling everything amounts to clamping on the legs and setting the head on top.
Rex

#48 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:14 PM

Jim,

You might consider Losmandy F (Foldable) HD tripod or FHD tripod if you were going for Losmandy tripod.
It is one piece, I mean heavy one piece. I feel FHD is more solid than HD.

When I go to star party, I take FHD. It is easy to transport in the car.
When I use G11 at home, I use HD tripod.
DM-6 is on FHD at home.

Leg folded FHD on left, one leg removed from HD on right:
Posted Image

Tammy

#49 dedo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:02 AM

Hi Jim and all, it happens that just yesterday I've pulled the trigger on a TEC140 on a T-REX and a Baader tripod.
The only thing I can say about the T-REX is marvellous: while looking Jupiter at 130x the vendor screwed in on the focuser a new finder base and in the image in the ep remained perfectly still and all the movements are just as perfect as it could be, at least for my taste.
To my particular sample has been also been applied (not by me) two motors for altitude and azimuth movements and, in case any owner of this mount could be interested, just drop me a line and I'll be glad to send you as much informations as I can on the mod.
Clear Skies

#50 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

Finally Super HalfHitch arrived just before Christmas. Thanks, Charles :)

From left to right:
TSA102S on SHH, APM 100ED bino on HH, Kowa Highlander on HH MarkII upgrade:
Posted Image

Closeup on SHH:
Posted Image

Looking forward to trainable tracking option.

Tammy






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