Jump to content


Photo

Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101

  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1 chaoscosmos

chaoscosmos

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Mission Viejo CA

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

Hey all...

I'm pretty settled on picking up either the TV85 or NP101 Televue scope, mostly for viewing on my patio. The scope will be used just for viewing, not imaging. Which Alt/azimuth mount is most practical and solid for either one of these scopes? Is it the Televue Gibraltor set-up?

Also, is $1600 a reasonable price for a 12 year old TV85? Not sure if it has the same focuser as current models.

Thanks...

#2 snommisbor

snommisbor

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 962
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Cedar Park, TX

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

For 1600 you could find a TV101. It is the version just before the NP101 and is a great scope. I had one, the focuser isnt that great but I put a FT retro fit on mine and it was awesome. I had the Gibraltar mount as well and it came with the computer I forget what that was called. But it worked great. Used it as a GnG all the time.

#3 johnnyha

johnnyha

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6500
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:35 PM

Yeh $1600 is a horrible price, not even close to reasonable. You could find a used FS102 for that price and it will literally wipe the floor with the TV85. And as the previous poster pointed out you can almost get an NP101. DO NOT pay $1600 for that scope there are many better alternatives and I have seen many used TV85s go for around $1K. This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.

#4 PhilCo126

PhilCo126

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3280
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2005
  • Loc: coastline of Belgium

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

Best mount... plain or GoTo ?

#5 chaoscosmos

chaoscosmos

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Mission Viejo CA

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

Not a GoTo I don't think.

The price is actually $1575, and it comes with a TV Starbeam Sight. But yeah, I think thats' still too high. I'll wait.

#6 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44804
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:17 PM

Not a GoTo I don't think.

The price is actually $1575, and it comes with a TV Starbeam Sight. But yeah, I think thats' still too high. I'll wait.


You could buy an 80mm Lomo Triplet for less than that... A Vixen Portamount class mount should be fine for the 85, marginal even with beefed up legs for the NP-101.

I have a StellarVue MG2 for my NP-101, I have strict requirement for slow-motion controls, it's plenty solid but I prefer the viewing position of the Portamount.

Jon

#7 FirstSight

FirstSight

    Duke of Deneb

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9980
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

I'd suggest a Unistar Deluxe (by Universal Astronomics in Massachusetts, a different outfit than CN's host Astronomics out of Oklahoma). Larry (the proprietor) is wonderfully helpful to discuss the best match for your needs. The "deluxe" model has improved clamping/dovetail mechanisms over the vanilla model.

I have an NP-101, and have found that I can get by with the lightweight version of the Unistar Deluxe (which I originally bought for a smaller, lighter WO Megrez 90 refractor and lightweight portability of the mount). However, at 10 lbs the NP-101 is near the rated performance limits of the light version, whereas the regular version of the Unistar is rated for carrying at least 30 lbs, and yet itself weighs only 7 lbs. I'm planning on upgrading to the regular deluxe version this spring.

In addition to the Unistar's high build quality and ease of use, it mounts the scope at an offset to the mount axis on which it attaches to the tripod, which means that you can set the scope to high near-vertical altitudes without the mount itself getting in the way.

As to tripods, the UA lightweight aluminum surveyor's tripod has proved very capable for visual use for the NP-101 (again, I originally got it for the Megrez 90) lighter. However, if I was choosing over with the NP-101 specifically in mind, I'd choose the medium-weight version.

#8 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44804
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

However, at 10 lbs the NP-101 is near the rated performance limits of the light version, whereas the regular version of the Unistar is rated for carrying at least 30 lbs, and yet itself weighs only 7 lbs


When I put my NP-101 on the scales with the diagonal and clamshell, it's about 12lbs if I remember correctly.

Does the Unistar have slow motion controls? I am looking to find a better mount for the NP-101 but it's got to have slow motion controls.

Jon

#9 t.r.

t.r.

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4519
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2008
  • Loc: 1123,6536,5321

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

TV 85's average $1K on Amart as Johnnyha points out!

#10 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44804
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

TV 85's average $1K on Amart as Johnnyha points out!



Probably about right for an OTA only, maybe a little low.

Jon

#11 FirstSight

FirstSight

    Duke of Deneb

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9980
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

However, at 10 lbs the NP-101 is near the rated performance limits of the light version, whereas the regular version of the Unistar is rated for carrying at least 30 lbs, and yet itself weighs only 7 lbs


When I put my NP-101 on the scales with the diagonal and clamshell, it's about 12lbs if I remember correctly.

Does the Unistar have slow motion controls? I am looking to find a better mount for the NP-101 but it's got to have slow motion controls.

Jon


No, they ordinarily don't, and I don't see that as an optional upgrade accessory on UA's website. However, I would call Larry (UA's principal) at their listed phone # and check whether this might be available or not. You can, however optionally have your mount equipped with encoders for at least push-to DSCs.

#12 russell23

russell23

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4537
  • Joined: 31 May 2009
  • Loc: Upstate NY

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:59 PM

Hey all...

I'm pretty settled on picking up either the TV85 or NP101 Televue scope, mostly for viewing on my patio. The scope will be used just for viewing, not imaging. Which Alt/azimuth mount is most practical and solid for either one of these scopes? Is it the Televue Gibraltor set-up?

Also, is $1600 a reasonable price for a 12 year old TV85? Not sure if it has the same focuser as current models.

Thanks...


I have a Vixen 140mm Neo-achro refractor mounted on a Vixen SuperPolaris mount set into alt-azimuth mode. There is an article that shows how you can do this. It is really easy and someone such as myself that lacks mechanical skills can do it very quickly. The Vixen superpolaris mount set up this way should be extremely stable for a scope of the size you are considering. The 140NA pushes it a bit, but with vibration pads it is not bad.

So another option would be to find a used Superpolaris mount. They are really rugged.

Dave

#13 John Rhodes

John Rhodes

    Vendor (Televue Rep)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 789
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Torrance, CA.

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.


Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.

#14 Erik Bakker

Erik Bakker

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3200
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2006
  • Loc: The Netherlands, Europe

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.


Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.


Hi John,

Is that a new/improved formulation for the TV85 optics?

#15 coopman

coopman

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3478
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2006
  • Loc: South Louisiana

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:01 PM

The Unistar Deluxe is a very good alt-az mount, but it does not have slo-mo controls.

#16 Stephen S

Stephen S

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 645
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Carmel, IN

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

The Unistar Deluxe is a very good alt-az mount, but it does not have slo-mo controls.


+1. Great mount for my NP101. Had it set up with a binoviewer last night. Worked like a charm. Very smooth but no slow motion controls. I have a TV SkyTour connected to mine. Works well at the zenith. Not always the case with all mounts. Sleek, simple and reasonably priced.

#17 KerryR

KerryR

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3068
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2007
  • Loc: SW Michigan

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

I have a Megrez 90, and had a Televue Genesis. I had great success mounting either on a Bogen heavy duty camera tripod with a crank elevator, with a PortaII head. The PortaII's slow motion controls are useful, as is the crank elevator-- the ep is easy to place exactly at a comfortable height. Well executed crank elevators are the next best thing to ball-mounts (Think Astroscan).

I also have a Unistar on a heavy duty wooden surveyor tripod. The motions are smooth enough that I don't miss slow motion controls.

Additionally, I have a Tech2000 pier and a GiroII head. This is a sleek setup, but, for smoothest motions, needs a counterweight. I prefer the un-counterweighted mounts mentioned above.

#18 John Rhodes

John Rhodes

    Vendor (Televue Rep)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 789
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Torrance, CA.

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:53 AM

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.


Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.


Hi John,

Is that a new/improved formulation for the TV85 optics?


As far as I know this has always been the design.

#19 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44804
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:39 AM

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.


Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.


Historically, the TV-85 has always been considered an apochromat. Not all apochroamts are created equally. Roland Christen can probably find signs of chromatic aberration in any refractor...

Among the rest of us, it varies.

Jon

#20 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44804
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:52 AM

The Unistar Deluxe is a very good alt-az mount, but it does not have slo-mo controls.


+1. Great mount for my NP101. Had it set up with a binoviewer last night. Worked like a charm. Very smooth but no slow motion controls. I have a TV SkyTour connected to mine. Works well at the zenith. Not always the case with all mounts. Sleek, simple and reasonably priced.


For short scopes, I really like slow-motion controls. It's about leverage and mechanical advantage. With an NP-101, I have a lever about a foot long. Tracking at 200x-300x is doable but not so easy.

In comparison, a Dobsonian has a long lever which means for a given angular motion, you move it much more which means you have finer control. I figured this out one night when a friend of a friend came over. He had never looked through a telescope, probably never seen one, and yet with in minutes was tracking the 25 inch Obsession at 400x, I couldn't believe it.

But then I realized that the 10 foot long OTA with it's super smooth motions makes a very long lever, the lever is about 8 feet long... That's a factor of about 8 over a short refractor. Tracking at 400x with that scope is not quite like tracking a refractor at 50x but it is surprisingly close.

Jon

#21 Randal

Randal

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Upstate New York, USA

Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:11 AM

My 2 cents-

1. Consider the Quarter Hitch mount currently on A-Mart for $450.
2. Search for a 6-7 year old TV85 pkg for <$1,200.
3. Place scope and mount on good quality photo tripod.
4. Enjoy viewing from your patio.

Since I'm spending your money, don't forget the Nagler 3-6mm, Nagler 9 or 13mm, and Panoptic 35mm eyepieces.

I currently use a variation of this simple setup, and am very happy with it.

My 3rd cent-
Regarding TV scopes - I offer an automotive analogy.
I have a friend that owns a really nice Lexus.
He always boasts to his friends that it's almost a Mercedes.

There is more than specifications at play in this hobby.

#22 BCNGreyCat

BCNGreyCat

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 82
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Virginia, USA

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

My 2 cent. Here is my setup:

TV-85, diagonal, Nagler 16mm, 3-6 zoom
Takahashi Teegul Alt-Az mount
DM-4 wood tripod

The Teegul has slow motion controls. And the DM-4 tripod is rock solid. You can go upto 200x and the damp time is below 1sec on my deck.

My TV102 works on this mount tripod combo as well. NP101 probably is okay. (Teegul probably can handle 15lb OTA)

Only issue, the tripod is not height adjustable and not easily foldable. So transporting from my living room to my deck is a little bit clumsy. But the height of the tripod matches my height (5'9). So not height adjustable is not a big issue to me.

Sometimes, I use an Induro AT-413 photo tripod. Damping on this one is not so well under high power. But if on solid ground, it still acceptable. The AT-413 is light, foldable, height adjustable, yet sturdy enough for quick G-n-G.

#23 la200o

la200o

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1520
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2008
  • Loc: SE Michigan, USA

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:16 AM

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.


Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.


+1

The TV doublets are as "apo" as any doublets out there. But $1600 is waaaay too much!

Bill

#24 Eddgie

Eddgie

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13301
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

I'll wait.



Right call. Too much for the scope in question.

As for the mount when the time comes, I personally found the Gibrater to be the least enjoyable mount I have ever used. It will have its defenders, but I found the nose dive risk to be a huge frustration. Just about every eyeppeice change meant having to fuss with the altitude friction, and going from a heavy eyepiece to a light one and forgetting to tighten the tension on the altitude setting can cause a huge nose dive on the scope.

But if you have your target centerd (Jupiter for esample) and change from a 22mm Nagler T4 to a Nagler zoom, it is almost impossible to keep the target in the field unless you tighten the friction locks, but the you have to loosen them to make fine adjustments, then rememeber to tighten them, then remember to loosen them, then remeber to tighten them..................

I used it three times. Tried tried tired to love love love it for simplicty and beauty, but as a working mount for anything but fixed low power sweepting, found it miserable.

Just me though. I prefer a light gear driving Alt-Az. It eliinates the fussing with balance during eyepeice changes.

You only really need it in altitude, but some of the mounts now come with slow motion in both axises.

Good luck whith your search.

#25 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 44804
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Just me though. I prefer a light gear driving Alt-Az. It eliinates the fussing with balance during eyepeice changes.



:waytogo:

An added note:

For about 2 years, I used my NP-101 with a Portamount with the HandsonOptics wooden legs. I really like everything about that mount except that it is on the small side and I had switched to another mount which is solid, has all the features but I just don't like it.

This morning I was looking at the Portamount and realized that the azimuth axis had some slop. I dismounted the mount, adjusted the center bolt tension (actually a nut), reassembled it and gave it a try. My Portamount is back to it's old self, I am enjoying the NP-101 again and I will probably find a new home for the other mount.

Jon






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics