DSV-3 First Impressions
Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:46 PM
I am using it on a Stellarvue heavy duty surveyor's tripod with a 5/8-11 mounting bolt. The mount attached solidly to the top plate and the whole assembly seems very sturdy. I am using the mount primarily with an EON 120 refractor, 900 mm FL and about 15 lbs. loaded up. I plan to add an AT72 refractor or a C8 SCT to the other side occasionally.
I did a quick set up of the QBS balancing system with my range of eyepieces from an ES 14 mm 100 deg to an ES 34mm 68 deg to an WO 4 mm UWAN. The setup was pretty straight forward. I need to spend more time with it since the largest eyepieces were slightly out of balance when pointing the scope vertically. The mount can also be used without the QBS, you just need to balance the tube back and forth as usual. I found that to change eyepieces without having the mount move in altitude requires you lock down the altitude lock pretty tight.
When the scope is balanced, moving it in both axes is very smooth either by pushing on the scope or using the panning handle. The slow motion controls work with a clutch mechanism so there is no lock to engage when you switch from panning to using the slow motion controls. I adjusted the axial tension slightly on the altitude control because the tension when turning the knob was a little more than I liked. When the scope is balanced there is no stutter in the altitude axis.
This is a very solid mount that I think has been well thought out. The proof of course, will be how it works under the stars. But from the look and feel of it I think it will be a keeper for me. Also, Raul has been great to work with. He has patiently and promptly answered all my questions. When I can get it outside, I'll write up my thoughts about how it performs.
Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:58 AM
Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:28 PM
I found the mount to be solid with very little or no vibration when focusing or tracking with the slow motion controls. Panning when using the finder was very smooth. There is a handle included with the mount, but I panned by pushing on the scope. I had adjusted the tension on both axes so that there is just a tiny bit of play when changing direction in the az axis and none in the alt axis. The tension is adjusted by turning a knob at the end of the work gear and then locking the knob in place with the set screw. The slow motion knobs are positioned so i can reach them easily and I found that after a while, I was putting my fingers right on them when reaching for them.
There is no stutter in the alt axis. The pier is tall enough and the arms are long enough so that there was no issue with the scope bumping into the tripod when turning on the az axis. The mount has stops on the alt axis the prevent the scope from going much below horizontal or much beyond vertical.
The QBS works as advertised, although you need to be careful to engage the alt axis lock when changing eyepieces or else the scope will take a nose dive. All my eyepieces balanced without needing to engage the alt clutch, except my ES 14mm 100 deg. When near vertical I need to engage the clutch for that eyepiece. Raul says I may need to add another weight to the QBS (the DSV-3 comes with two weights). Leveling the mount is important for the QBS to work at its best. There is a bubble supplied on the top of the mount.
I tried the mount without the QBS and had no real problems, I needed to slide the scope back and forth to balance it when changing eyepieces and need to engage the alt clutch when most eyepieces were pointing near vertical.
Overall I am very satisfied with the mount. I really want to get it out more and get to where it fades into the background and its use becomes second nature. I'm sure that will come with time.
- Very solid, well thought out design and attention to detail in the build.
- Slow motion controls are precise with no backlash, the knobs are large and easy to grip.
- Lockless panning is very smooth
- There are stops on the altitude axis to keep the scope from going much below horizontal and much past vertical.
-Plenty of clearance provided by the column. My scope does not come close to the tripod legs.
- Axial adjustment of the worm gear is very simple, if you need to adjust the slow-motion tension.
- Hardly any vibration when tracking with the slow-motion or focusing.
- You need to remember to lock the alt axis when changing eyepieces. This is more of a learned process.
- Setting up the QBS can be tricky, you need to carefully balance the scope and make sure the mount is level.
The attached photo shows the scope balanced near vertical with an ES 14mm 100 deg eyepiece.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:32 PM
Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:38 PM
BTW, the mount sits on a Stellarvue heavy duty surveyors tripod with a 5/8-ll mounting bolt. I have the legs extended a little less than half way.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:46 PM
Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:49 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:27 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:07 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:17 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:07 PM
I have never had any concern of the setup tipping over, it is very stable in that regard. The QBS is fairly heavy, but even without it attached, I didn't notice any tendency to tip.
My scope weighs a bit under 18 lbs with the 11 mm eyepiece and Barlow that I used last night. It has a 900 mm FL and is 950 mm tip to tail with the dew shield extended. Depending on the tripod you will use I think your scope is doable IMHO. Raul at Desert Sky Astro could tell you for sure.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:14 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:09 PM
The vibration at 191x was not enough to bother me and I probably wouldn't have payed any attention to it if I wasn't looking for it. I have a longer knob I picked up from focusknobs.com a while ago. It's five or six inches long. If it fits on the shaft, I'll give it a try some time.
As far as slow motion cables go I don't know if Raul sells any. I think Agena sells some and they may work. I am 5'10 and the knobs are in easy reach for me when seated, but I'm sure your scope is longer than mine.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:31 PM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:24 AM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:16 PM
Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:57 AM
Thanks again, Kevin!
Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:53 AM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:43 PM
Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:24 AM