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Old Beast of a Mount - Looking for Ideas

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#1 brianc99


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Posted 21 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

A friend of mine at work gave me an old mount that he had, because he sold the scope long ago. I expected something along the lines of a mount that would hold a "small reflector" because that's what he said he had. It turns out that the mount is a beast of a setup made by Davis and Sanford. The head looks more like a video head, not an astronomy alt-az. Here's the mount:

Posted Image

Well I was thinking about eventually getting a sturdier tripod for my 5 pound scope, and this is a sturdier tripod. I'm not sure about the mount itself, though. It's missing the 1/4-20 screw, which is no big deal, but I've sort of had my heart set on something like either Porta II or even a Dwarfstar, which is plenty for my old scope (Celestron version of the ST80).

The mount won't be easy to get off the tube. The tripod itself is the Davis & Sanford Mark II, but there's a post that is pressed into the top of the tube which is integral to the alt-az mount. Here's what it looks like:

Posted Image

I talked to Tiffen's tech support (they purchased Davis & Sanford a long time ago) and the person I spoke to, Harry, had never seen anything like this. Has anyone ever owned one of these? And, has anyone ever replaced the mount?

I'm going to try to use it as is, but I'm not too enthused about the mount. The tripod, however, is terrific; it's lightweight and it's rated for 50 lbs. It just needs a little cleaning up. For my astronomical needs, it might just last a lifetime.

Looking for suggestions and input on this one. I don't want to hack it and destroy it, but I would like the flexibility to use a different mount. If I can't, I may just sell it, as the last thing I need in my cluttered house is another large dust-gathering item. My friend doesn't want it back - I told him he could easily get $75-100 off Craigslist for it, but he just doesn't want to deal with it.



#2 Pat at home

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

Is the black central tube removable from the tripod assembly? If it is then it might be a simple matter to adapt another mount to the tripod.

#3 brianc99


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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

No, it's captive. The crank assembly works really well, and I don't want to try to take it apart - it's pressed together, and not meant to be disassembled.

The tech I spoke to thought it might be reasonable to try to knock the post out with a dowel, provided I secure the black tube so I'm not hammering against the elevation gears. Otherwise, it might be possible to just cut it off, assuming that enough of the black tube remains to be useful. It extends so the whole thing can get about 7 feet high, so I think I could afford to lose a couple of inches. I'm going to take my time with it. It's a nice, solid piece. I don't want to ruin it if someone else could use it if I can't.

#4 MacScope


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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

It looks similar to a Samson Tripod, if the diameter of the post is the same there are Samsom adapters available.

#5 Hikari


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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

Why not simply mount whatever you want on top of the head itself. You could even attach a quick-release system. It you did not want to deal with the long handle, I am sure you could get a long bolt and permanently fix the head position.

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