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Considering a small alt-az mount

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#26 Midnight Dan

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

Hi Tom:

I've always been a fan of slo-mo controls, but now that I have the DSV-1 I'm rethinking that. I still prefer them over a pan-handle but for me they are not a strict requirement.

I just got my DSV-1 and we've had nothing but cloudy weather so I haven't had a lot of time to evaluate it. But I have used it with my WO 90mm refractor and found it pretty easy to aim at Jupiter and keep it in the view at 155x. Reports from other users say it gets tricky to aim at 175-200x and above. Wider field eyepieces help here. But if your plan is to use it frequently at 200-300x, you're probably better off with the slo-mo controls of the DSV-2.

-Dan

#27 mattyfatz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

Hi Thomas

I Own a Stellarvue m2 with losmandy saddle and extension column. I mounted it on an old Polaris aluminum tripod. I have a William optics 98mm flt refractor that weighs a bit and I was concerned about the weight distribution over the tripod. The M2 hangs the scope off the side. I added to the spreaders on the tripod legs making it lower and wider and filled the lower legs with sand (epoxy sealed). It is now solid as a rock.

My concerns for you is that you are looking for an inexpensive tripod, but want to put more weight on it than is practical. Pushing the limit of the weight capability of the mount and tripod is asking for an expensive accident. The m2 is approaching $350-370 (with column) and you have to add a tripod. I actually bought a travel tripod from stellarvue to use with this mount. It arrived the other day (waited 8 months) and it is not acceptable for the upper rating of the tripod. I will stay with what I built.

Look for a stable tripod with the mount you choose. You're not running motors here, but pushing your scope around and worse, tripping around in the dark. Don't forget the weight and size of diagonals and eyepieces and cameras also. You also, like I did, have the choice of adding the right tripod that is stable to some of these mounts. I also went to Neaf last year to search for a mount. You will find many choices and be able to make the best choice for you.


... :waytogo: You are absolutely right Turk. I remember reading someplace that the tripod weight should be at least 1/2 the weight of the OTA and mount combined. A skimpy lightweight tripod will ruin the setup. Of course a big heavy tripod is not convenient for grab and go...
A UA Microstar or dwarf star on a Bogen Tripod would suit the needs of the OP fine in my opinion. Good luck and please post your decision :)

#28 mattyfatz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

Okay, so if slow motion controls are a strict requirement (which seems quite reasonable to me, especially if viewing at 200-300x), then I'm back to...
Desert Sky DSV-2,
Explore Scientific Twilight,
Astro-Tech Voyager, and
Orion Versa GO III.

Sounds like the DSV-2 is still in the lead, since it can handle two scopes!


My SV70 has never been above 100X. The sweet thing about this scope is the wide FOV for big deep sky objects. Maybe that 6" can do it but I doubt the slow-mo capabilities of these mounts at 200-300x.
If high magnification is a big deal.. And since we are already talking about a big tripod and all... You might just want to buy the NEXTAR GoTo mount and tripod.. You will be able to mount either scope.. And track at high magnification. Apples and oranges IMHO. Sounds like you need both a lightweight grab and go setup, and also a heavier field mount with tracking capability.
:grin: .. And this is why I have a house full of Astro- gear :lol:

#29 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

You are absolutely right Turk. I remember reading someplace that the tripod weight should be at least 1/2 the weight of the OTA and mount combined. A skimpy lightweight tripod will ruin the setup. Of course a big heavy tripod is not convenient for grab and go...
A UA Microstar or dwarf star on a Bogen Tripod would suit the needs of the OP fine in my opinion. Good luck and please post your decision :)


Neither the Microstar nor the Dwarfstar are rated to carry the AT6RC (12 lbs before diagonal, finder, and eyepiece).

I already have a VERY sturdy surveyors tripod (capacity: lots) and a Benro A2190T folding tripod (capacity 26 lbs), so I'm in pretty good shape whether I want very portable grab-and-go or something more stable for a bigger scope.

A decision probably won't be made until NEAF (April 20-21) at the earliest, when I plan to look at Universal Astronomics' options. I'd love to look at a DSV-1 or DSV-2 before then, but I don't know anyone in the Northeast who owns either.

#30 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

My SV70 has never been above 100X. The sweet thing about this scope is the wide FOV for big deep sky objects. Maybe that 6" can do it but I doubt the slow-mo capabilities of these mounts at 200-300x.



I have a Portamount on a Hands on Optics Wooden Tripod and Stellarvue MG-2. The Stellarvue is fine with the NP-101 at 300x, the Portamount is adequate but a little shaky. It's fine with a 80mm apo at any usable magnification...

My caution here is to make sure the mount for the little guy does not get in the way of getting the scope out for a quick look. A mount sturdy enough for a 6 inch will be bigger than necessary and represent something of a hindrance.. The nights I use my 80mm instead of the 101mm its because the 80mm is just easier to manage and it's not the scope that is easier to manage but the mount required for the scope.

Jon

#31 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

If high magnification is a big deal.. And since we are already talking about a big tripod and all... You might just want to buy the NEXTAR GoTo mount and tripod.. You will be able to mount either scope.. And track at high magnification. Apples and oranges IMHO. Sounds like you need both a lightweight grab and go setup, and also a heavier field mount with tracking capability.
[/color] :lol:


You mean this one?
http://www.astronomi...terized-moun...

The Celestron mount was already being considered. That having been said, I like the idea of NOT having to spend time aligning the mount or dealing with 12v batteries (or piles of disposables, for that matter).

#32 mattyfatz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

Yup that the one. Thats why I don't own it either. Folks at the club have it, and its nice for outreach and all that. But the batteries are an extra element of hassle.

#33 mattyfatz

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

Yup that the one. Thats why I don't own it either. Folks at the club have it, and its nice for outreach and all that. But the batteries are an extra element of hassle.

#34 Midnight Dan

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

I'd love to look at a DSV-1 or DSV-2 before then, but I don't know anyone in the Northeast who owns either


:lol: Well, I live in the Northeast, but I doubt you're willing to drive to the Rochester area, NY to take a look at a DSV-1.

I think your contractor tripod will be fine with the DSV-1 or 2. I went with a "shorty" Nedo contractor tripod for mine:
http://www.lascolase...-Tripod-with...

My goal was to try to keep things lightweight and small. I can pickup the tripod, mount and scope in one hand and take it outside. Plus, it folds up pretty small for travel.

When It's fully extended, it's about the right height for me to use while seated with my 90mm or my C5 or ATRC6. If I had a longer refractor, I would not want to use it on this short tripod. And when fully extended it is pretty solid at 155x with the WO 90mm. I haven't yet tried it with the other scopes.

For me it was a decision between the lightweight tripod offered by Desert Skies (with the spreader), and this one. They weighed about the same so the tradeoff was a taller, thinner tripod from desert skies, or the shorter, more stout one from Nedo. I wasn't sure which would be more stable. As it is, I'm happy with my decision and with the performance of this tripod.

I suspect the tripod you have is more like the heavy duty Desert Skies model, but without the spreader. I don't think you'll have any trouble with that at all with any of the scopes you mentioned.

-Dan

#35 coopman

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

The small moment/lever arm is a problem that I am encountering with my C6. I have it on a Unistar Deluxe, and as such it is plenty stable, but tracking the object is kind of difficult since physically grabbing the OTA is necessary. It is even more difficult to make the very small movements necessary to follow the object.

#36 stevew

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Try using wide field eyepieces. The extra FOV makes manually tracking an object much easier. That's what I have found with my E.Z.Touch mount and a C8.
Even using almost 300X [6.7mm UWA]the E.Z.Touch is smooth enough to easily nudge the scope along to track Jupiter.

Steve

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#37 stevew

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

I'm planning on buying a small alt-az mount at NEAF this year for . It will typically be used with my little StellarVue SVR70ED (4.5 lbs plus diagonal, red dot finder, eyepiece, etc.), but might also be used with my AT6RC (12lbs plus diagonal, finder, eyepiece, etc.).

I'm considering the Astro-Tech Voyager, Versa Go III, Vixen Porta II Mount, and the Explore Scientific Twilight. They all retail for about $300, give or take $20.

Any suggestions one way or the other would be appreciated.

But all this talk of heavier Discmounts and EZ Touch mounts are not what the O.P. asked for.
The O.P. stated he wanted a small mount for a small refractor that he can easily take out with little effort.
I also found my self in the same situation, and I went back and forth for a few months between the Voyager, the Porta mount and the Orion Versa Go 111/ ES Twilight 1.
I'm sure any of them would be very suitable for the requirements the O.P. is looking for.
In the end I went with the Explore Scientific Twilight 1 as I perferd the stainless steel legs.
But I'm sure there is not a huge difference in performance.
I'd say go for the model with the best price.

Steve

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