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Tripod/mount advice for 90mm Mak-Cas

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#26 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:00 AM

This is the kind of product that slays me.

http://www.optcorp.c...px?pid=277-8054

Essentially $900 for a 5 lb limit alt/az mount. But hey, you'll look like someone special amongst the proletariat. :lol:


Quality costs money. There is more to a mount than just the fact that it has slow motion controls and can carry a certain load. Just the quality of the gears and bearings...

This mount is specifically designed for the FC-60. When one is thinking smaller is better, then a different mindset is required.

Personally, it's too rich for my blood but I do understand that it's also of significantly higher quality than alt-az mounts I own.

jon

#27 Tony Flanders

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:40 AM

I just got in from looking for some doubles and watching Jupiter through the 11mm, and am now pretty much convinced that micro controls will be a significant enhancement to usability. Man, the Earth spins fast!


It does -- but remember that you will end up twiddling two controls, not one. If you really want smooth tracking on a manual mount with slo-mos, equatorial is the way to go.

An entirely different idea would be one of iOptron's low-end Go To mounts.

In any case, my prediction is that you will either get a mount that's stabler and smoother than your current rig or one that's more portable, but not both at once.

#28 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:41 AM

It does -- but remember that you will end up twiddling two controls, not one. If you really want smooth tracking on a manual mount with slo-mos, equatorial is the way to go.



It the mount is reasonable stable, it's not difficult to track using both hands. And too, in many parts of the sky, the motion is predominately only one axis.

Jon

#29 Paco_Grande

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

This is the kind of product that slays me.

http://www.optcorp.c...px?pid=277-8054

Essentially $900 for a 5 lb limit alt/az mount. But hey, you'll look like someone special amongst the proletariat. :lol:


Quality costs money. There is more to a mount than just the fact that it has slow motion controls and can carry a certain load. Just the quality of the gears and bearings...


Quality is in the eye of the beholder.

Unless that Takahashi mount is made of a rare metal... Sure, the bearings and gears might be made with a tighter tolerance, and perhaps the metal is a bit better. But the real reason it's priced so high is because the Takahashi buyer expects it to be higher. If that mount cost $399, no one would believe a Takahashi mount could be so cheap. And, that mount probably really is only worth $399 from a strict product comparison.

I know you discount status as part of the buying equation, but the fact is, owning a Takahashi telescope is as much about status as it is about a well made product. Nothing wrong with that. It's just the way it is.

#30 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:52 PM

Quality is in the eye of the beholder.

Unless that Takahashi mount is made of a rare metal... Sure, the bearings and gears might be made with a tighter tolerance, and perhaps the metal is a bit better. But the real reason it's priced so high is because the Takahashi buyer expects it to be higher. If that mount cost $399, no one would believe a Takahashi mount could be so cheap. And, that mount probably really is only worth $399 from a strict product comparison.

I know you discount status as part of the buying equation, but the fact is, owning a Takahashi telescope is as much about status as it is about a well made product. Nothing wrong with that. It's just the way it is.



Do you really think you can evaluate the cost of manufacturing the mount without actually having seen it? Seen the fit, the feel? Have you discussed with Takahashi owners why they chose a Takahashi. Do you have an idea why someone would choose an 106 FSQ over an NP-101? There are good reasons.

I am sure there are people that buy telescopes on the basis of status. But that is neither here nor there, people buy cars, bicycles, boats because of status. But that does not make the car, bicycle, boat or whatever any less of a tool...

Do you buy things because of status?

Jon

#31 nikdangr

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

This is the kind of product that slays me.

http://www.optcorp.c...px?pid=277-8054

Essentially $900 for a 5 lb limit alt/az mount. But hey, you'll look like someone special amongst the proletariat. :lol:


No specs, even on the Takahashi America website. No picture in Google Images except for the stock thumbnail, and you can find a picture of almost ANYTHING there. No discussion found on Google, though I guess this one will show up eventually. One retail site said it was added to its catalog in 2005. I don't think the folks at Vixen have much to worry about.

#32 John Kuraoka

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:20 PM

Speaking of specs, can anyone tell me what the measurements are for the Porta II mount head (only) and for the tripod (only) when the legs are fully retracted? Also, how much does the head alone weigh?

I'm trying to get a sense of how it compares to my current setup. If it's huge, then I might just downsize instead to the Dwarf Star which will likely be as stable as what I have now (or maybe more so because it's lighter) and considerably more compact.

#33 nikdangr

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:57 PM

Speaking of specs, can anyone tell me what the measurements are for the Porta II mount head (only) and for the tripod (only) when the legs are fully retracted? Also, how much does the head alone weigh?

I'm trying to get a sense of how it compares to my current setup. If it's huge, then I might just downsize instead to the Dwarf Star which will likely be as stable as what I have now (or maybe more so because it's lighter) and considerably more compact.


The tripod sold with the mount is 29" retracted. The head with Manny mods is 10"x8" wide and 10" tall. Those are within 1/2" and exclude the removable slow-mo and pan handles. WAG on the weight (mount only) is 12 lb. with mods. Here's a pic with my C90 Mak so you can eyeball it.

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#34 Paco_Grande

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:23 PM


Do you really think you can evaluate the cost of manufacturing the mount without actually having seen it? Seen the fit, the feel?


Yes, up to a point. I won't bore you as to why, but it's not hard if you've had a similar experience in manufacturing as I've had. There are only a few ways to make such an item. Cast or injection mold it, or machine it from billet. I know enough about both methods to make a judgement. I could go on about this, but you'll fall asleep. Bottom line is, send the item to Vietnam or China instead of making it in Japan and you can cut the cost to a very large degree and still have the same fit and feel. But then, oh my, it's not made in Japan anymore! It used to be we thought of Japanese-made products as junk. Now we think it's something special if it's made in Japan. Why is that? Is it because we know the cost to make anything in Japan is huge? (which it is - their demographics are a nightmare.) More costly than Germany in some cases? More costly than the US for sure! Or is there some other intangible at work here?

Have you discussed with Takahashi owners why they chose a Takahashi. Do you have an idea why someone would choose an 106 FSQ over an NP-101? There are good reasons.


I'm sure there are good reasons. We're talking about that one alt/az mount, not those two telescopes. If you think the vast majority of Takahashi buyers are immune or unaware of this status energy, you're sorely mistaken. Of course they know. If they tell you otherwise, they're lying.

I am sure there are people that buy telescopes on the basis of status. But that is neither here nor there, people buy cars, bicycles, boats because of status. But that does not make the car, bicycle, boat or whatever any less of a tool...

Do you buy things because of status?

Jon


No, I don't. Most of us have out-grown that impulse. But I am aware of the perception. Even if the buyer doesn't highly weigh status, others do. And if the buyer is not aware of how others perceive his status based on what he owns/buys, he's brain dead.

Again, this is not a right or wrong thing. It's just human nature. It's OK! If you're going to enter the game at this level, be prepared to pay the piper.

#35 Ellicott

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:00 AM

How about this one

Desert Sky Astro DSV-M

#36 John Kuraoka

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:40 AM

Thanks, nikdangr, for the info and photos - that really helps me!

The Porta II is actually smaller than I thought - heavier but more compact than the particle board Dobsonian-style tabletop mount my scope currently rides on. Also, if that's the standard tripod, it looks like it's one size up from my Bogen 3221 while not being that much longer when packed up.

The Desert Sky DSV-M is a beautiful thing. It looks like it's a size up from the Dwarf Star. Thanks!

Right now I'm thinking it's either that demo Porta II or the Dwarf Star on my current 3221. But I also just got around to adjusting my scope's stock mount, so I'll see if that improves it enough that I can overlook its bulk. I just need these clouds to clear off so I can get out and try it out! :)

#37 nikdangr

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:03 AM

I should mention that the Porta Mount II design allows adjustment of the piece to which the altitude slo-mo handle is attached to be independently rotated in 45* increments simply by removing the two allen head bolts that attach the Manny mod. Since I took those pics I have done just that to raise the handle to the 11 o'clock position so there's more room for my hand between it and the panning handle, allowing easier access to the focus knob. Takes about three minutes once you remove the scope. Oh, yeah...when you peel back the black rubber piece below the scope there's two allen wrenchs. One fits all of the allen head bolts on the mount and mod and one that fits the keyholes for adjusting the tension on both axis. No tools to carry!

#38 Paco_Grande

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:37 PM

Danger Will Robinson! :)

I just put my C90 on the Porta II and I'd forgotten about the finder scope position. You might want to get a Manny bracket, or mount a second finder bracket to the OTA.

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Here are more OTAs on the mount. The other one is the AZ4. It's bigger and heavier with the stainless steel legs.

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#39 John Kuraoka

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:17 PM

I just tried to pull the trigger on that demo Porta II, thinking that way I'd have a second tripod and mount when I get a second scope (probably something like an ST-80 which would complement the 90mm Mak and still be highly portable for camping with the crew). But the sales rep was out when I called, and I was told to send him an email. So I sent that off. Probably won't hear back until Monday.

That may be just as well (for me, not Mr. Star Guy), because that Dwarf Star looks really sweet too. The question, which I alone can answer, is whether I want slo-mo controls or the smallest rig. If I was concerned about packing the stock Dobsonian-style mount, the Porta II is smaller but very nearly as awkwardly shaped when it comes to fitting it like a puzzle piece into the fully packed trunk of a compact sedan.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if, whichever one I get now, I get the other one later, which would also neatly fulfill Tony's prediction! ;)

#40 John Kuraoka

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for the heads-up Paco_Grande!

I just double-checked, and my Orion 90mm has the dovetail on the side; if it's at 3:00, the finder is at 11:00. So it'll work, whew!

Looking at your photos, I think that tripod, if it's the stock tripod, is heftier than my Bogen 3221, making the whole system a marked upgrade to what I have, for not many more cubic inches to pack (if any). And that would actually confound Tony's prediction! ;)

#41 Paco_Grande

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:04 PM

YEah, those are the stock tripods. The other diff you might notice is, most aluminum telescope tripods are built like suveyor tripods with a spreader to make it more solid, unlike a photo tripod, which has other features that a telescope doesn't need.

Tony's right, though. You'll end up with more than one. :D

Here's my 055 and 701HDV head. I use this a lot for photo work and for my C90 and the ST80.

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#42 John Kuraoka

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 03:10 PM

OK, done! I pulled the trigger on that demo Porta II mount - thanks everyone for your help!

Using nikdangr's measurements (roughly 10x8x10"), the Porta II should take up a little less room than my Orion's stock particle-board mount (about 8x8x12" but with more bulk). The retracted tripod at 29" is just an inch longer than my 3221, and probably a good bit wider.

According to my scale, my stock particle board mount weighs 2.5 pounds and the 3221 legs weigh 5.5, for 8 pounds total. The Porta II mount and tripod weigh nearly twice that, so the whole thing should be a lot more stable in exchange for taking up a bit more space in the trunk.

Ken, I'll probably get that Dwarf Star next, as something even more packable in combination with the 3221, when I get the ST-80 (which might really be the better system for camping anyway). :)






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