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DSV-3 Has Landed!

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:31 PM

I returned home from a business trip this afternoon to the pleasant surprise of boxes on the porch. Raul Medina, the craftsman behind Desert Sky Astro, not only knows machining but also packing items to resist the best destructive efforts of carriers. The packing was first rate with styrofoam panels cut to match the sizes of the sides, bottom and top of the box, he then placed a mid-layer separating the counter-balance system from the mount head. Each component was well-wrapped in bubble wrap and then surrounded with a dense layer of peanuts. First rate.

The mount itself is impressive. I'll get some pictures up this weekend, but it is a well-thought-out work of industrial art. Simple, logical, feature rich and sturdy, but not particularly heavy. The DS tripod is a conventional Chinese aluminum surveyor tripods modified to prevent the legs from spreading too wide. Not bad, and certainly serviceable, but definitely not up to the high quality of the mount head. This thing screams for a Berlebach Planet. It's that nice.

At some point in the not too distant future I'll load test it with a Mewlon 210 (which for the record is a very long 27" long) and TEC 140 mounted simultaneously (collectively a ~45# load) . We'll see if it's up to it. More often mine will carry a C8 and an AT111EDT for use in the bush, so a lighter load.

I opted for the optional encoders. Using Li 9V batteries, I figured that this would be a great, reliable, low maintenance system for backcountry camping and free me from the big batteries and solar panels that I normally pack for dark sky campouts. I'm hopeful that the clutches and slo-mo will be decent replacements for motor drives.

I also have a DSV-1 on the way, for terrestrial spotting use and quick looks.

Regards,

Jim

#2 rigel123

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:11 PM

Congrats! Looking forward to the pics of your setup.

#3 BKBrown

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:21 PM

Woo Hoo! Congratulations Jim; I look forward to hearing your feedback on the DSV-3. Let the party begin :band:

Clear Skies,
Brian

#4 Pinbout

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:18 PM

A 6inf5 newt would go real nice on his dsv1 as a gng

#5 t.r.

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:55 AM

Pics...or it didn't happen!!! :rules:

#6 jrbarnett

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. Soon.

Regards,

Jim

#7 Goodchild

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:17 PM

I recently picked up a used CG-4 mount from someone who had just bought a DSV-3 mount and I, too, was very impressed with it. I decided then that I'll probably have to get me one. Very nice mount.

#8 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:14 PM

Okay, I am setting up the mount for my club session tonight and need to know the resolution of the optical encoders. I can't find it on the DSA website. Anyone with one of these happen to know offhand? I can play trial and error, I suppose.

Thanks,

Jim

#9 mistyridge

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:13 PM

The ones on my DM-6 are 4000. I don't know if that helps.

#10 JoeM101

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:17 PM

do you know what brand they area?

#11 t.r.

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:31 PM

I believe I read that Raul put in the better 10000 encoders, but don't quote me!

#12 moynihan

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:29 AM

Just ordered a DSV-3. :jump: You better say really nice stuff about it jr, :flame:
:lol:

#13 kevint1

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:54 PM

Jay, I think you'll be really happy with the build quality and performance of the mount. Raul does a fantastic job.

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:14 PM

Okay, here's the details. The encoders are 7200 tic in both axes. That tidbit is in the DSV-3 manual section. 10k tic encoders are available as an option.

Last night was first light for the DSV-3, where it carried an SV80S (LOMO triplet) and a C5, and...

...

...

It worked really, really well. The push-to is accurate enough to put targets in a 1-degree field over an extended period with merely a 2-star alignment and no syncing during the session.

Downsides? I few minor quibbles. First, a clever way of aligning one arm relative to the other would be awesome in order to make sure both scopes are aimed at roughly the same point. As it stands, you'd need one of the two scopes to be held with tube rings that allow for adjustment in order to align both OTAs relative to one another. The surveyor tripod is functional but kind of light and I suspect that it represents the weak link for damping with a bigger load than I had last night. Besides, the workmanship of the mount is nice enough to warrant a Berelbach Planet. A slightly longer pan handle would be nice, too, as would the option of longer slow-mo knob shafts.

I only wish that there were a DSV-4 and DSV-5. I'd love to see a scaled up version capable of handling a C14 OTA, adapted to work on an Astro-Physics 10" diameter portable pier. Eventually I will work my way up to larger loads with the DSV-3, but I would be surprised if I were satisfied with the mount's stability with a C11 and TEC 140 up top. I may try a Mewlon 210 (22#) and TEC 140 (22# with rings) up top just to see how it goes.

I'd like to mess around with a single OTA and the counterweight system tonight if I have time.

So far, it's a splendid, easy to use mount.

- Jim

#15 kevint1

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:16 PM

Jim, I don't quite follow your comments about aligning two scopes. I haven't tried it yet, but I thought the manual talks about up - down and right - left adjustment screws on the right hand side dovetail mount. I don't have the manual in front of me right now, but I thought I remembered reading that.

I doubt the surveyors tripod will satisfactorily hold a C11 and TEC 140, but I think a Berlebach Planet might. I've seen photos of a TEC 140 on a Planet pointing straight up with an Ethos 13mm with no clutch engagement. I'm thinking of a Berlebach UNI for my set up. I like the aesthetics of dark wood with this mount and my scope.

#16 Midnight Dan

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

... a clever way of aligning one arm relative to the other would be awesome


Hi Jim:
On the Desert Sky website, it says:

"The dovetail clamps in the DSV-3 can be collimated so the 2 scopes point at the same object."
:shrug:

-Dan

#17 johnnyha

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:24 AM

Perhaps it's not clever enough? :lol:





...on second though, it's obviously too clever. :roflmao:

#18 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:54 PM

Actually there's a way to do it, but it's not clever. Rather it's inelegant and involved. 12 steps in the manual, and recommended to be done in daylight.

When I say clever, I mean no tools needed and doable in a moment in the field at night.

Regards,

Jim

#19 JoeM101

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 03:08 PM

sounds like you may have mixed feelings about the mount Jim.. would you say it's priced appropriately? I just picked up a CT Duo T and at 250 it's pretty darn awesome... now mind you, i'm making some mods to add encoders but apart from that, this thing is built like a tank... would you say the DSV-3 lives up to all of your expectations and would you recommend it?

one last thing, with the equipment you listed, money doesn't seem to be an issue (wish i could say the same), but for the average Joe, with limited finances, do you think 1000 is justified for this mount? I'm just curious to read your thoughts as i have read the entire OP but first impressions, (unboxing) inevitably prompt generous reviews, it;s only when using it a while do you start to love or dislike aspects that you didn't have a real chance to experience yet...

cheers,

#20 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

No mixed feelings at all, really. For the asking price, compared to other custom made alt-az mounts, it's an absolute steal. For not much more than a mass-produced alt-az, DSA offers precision, hand-crafted alternatives. If anything I think Raul's pricing is too low for what he delivers.

- Jim

#21 moynihan

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:16 PM

...For the asking price, compared to other custom made alt-az mounts, it's an absolute steal.
- Jim


Its going to be a long 6 weeks to wait :yay: :hamsterdance:

#22 ngc2289

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:11 PM

jr where are those pictures!!!!!! :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :flame: :rules: :rules: :rules: :rules: :rules: :rules: :rules: :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :4 :rofl2: :rofl2: :rofl2: :rofl2:

#23 jrbarnett

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:44 AM

I know, I know, I know...

I was so excited when I set it up Saturday that I forgot to take any pictures. I only realized this after it was dark. :foreheadslap:

This weekend I'll get some nice ones. Possibly the DVS-1 will be here, too, and if so, I'll do a "family shot". I plan on taking the DSV-1 with the AT60EDT and a C90 down to the local marsh where I walk my dogs and making the birders jealous. "My spotters may not be as nice as yours, Mr. Leica, but my *mount* crushes yours to dust." :grin:

- Jim

#24 ngc2289

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 04:26 PM

Oh sure you expect us to believe that you just happen to forget to take pictures!! You are just so cruel! :bawling: :bawling: :bawling: :bawling: :bawling: :tonofbricks: :tonofbricks: :tonofbricks: :tonofbricks: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

#25 moynihan

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:01 PM

the AT60EDT


A few months back, after you got it, you did not seem too enthusiastic about that one. Now that some time has passed, any other thoughts about it?






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