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Desert Sky Astro DSV-3 & DSV-2 Mounts

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#1 City Kid

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:03 PM

I would like to hear from anyone using these mounts. What are your overall thoughts? What do you especially like or dislike about them? What scopes are you using on them? Do they function as well with two scopes on them as they do with one? How are the motions? What tripods are you using? How are they with balance when changing eyepieces? How easy are they to lug around? Would you consider them grab and go mounts?

#2 kevint1

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:36 AM

I have the DSV-3 mount and am very satisfied with it. I am using it with Orion EON 120 and AT72ED refractors. The tripod is a Stellarvue heavy duty aluminum Surveyor's tripod, which is similar to the one Desert Sky Astro sells.

I have used both scopes on it simultaneously, but without the balancing system, because I don’t have a way to attach it when both scopes are used. I have the scopes aligned with each other and can achieve balance by moving the EON back and forth in its rings. The slow motion controls and panning work as well with both scope as they do with only one. Balancing the system is important.

The mount is very solid with very little or no vibration when focusing or tracking with the slow motion controls. Panning when using the finder was very smooth.

The QBS works as advertised, you need to be careful to engage the alt axis lock when changing eyepieces. All my eyepieces balance both horizontally and vertically without needing to engage the alt clutch. Leveling the mount is important for the QBS to work at its best.

My mount with the QBS and the tripod weigh about 25 lbs. I can easily carry them around assembled. But, I wouldn’t call it grab and go with a scope attached.

Likes
- Very solid, well thought out design and attention to detail in the build. I think this mount is a bargain for the price.
- Slow motion controls are precise and smooth 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 gears is very simple, if you need to adjust the slow-motion tension.
- Hardly any vibration when tracking with the slow-motion or focusing.

Dislikes
- None

Annoyances
- 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 a bit tricky at first, you need to carefully balance the scope and make sure the mount is level.

There are a couple of threads from a month or so ago about the DSV-3.

#3 Midnight Dan

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:14 AM

I have the DSV-1 with 2 saddles, which is the same as the DSV-2 except it doesn't have the counterweight system or slo-mo controls.

I have used it with two scopes, a 90mm ED refractor on one side and a C5 or C8 SCT. It is a MUCH higher quality mount that the similarly priced competition such as the Voyager, or Portamount II. Ball bearings on both axes makes the motion very smooth and easy to control, even without the slo-mo controls.

I use it on a "shorty" contractor's tripod and find it to be very stable. I definitely would categorize it as grab and go, and that's exactly what I bought it for. The counterweight system on the DSV-2 would, of course, add some weight so it depends on what your weight limit is for grab and go.

-Dan

#4 Pinbout

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:24 AM

Great for his and hers. She sits, I stand.

I've thought, if I could only have another tv genesis sdf, I could have a great pair of binos... :grin:

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#5 t.r.

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:29 AM

You'd need Marty's eyespan to view through it!!! :p

#6 delgado39

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:14 AM

Take a look at this thread on the DSV-3 . . .

http://www.cloudynig...5719283/page...

#7 City Kid

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

Thanks for the link. I just read all through that thread. This mount definitely has my interest.

#8 jrbarnett

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:43 PM

I'm still enjoying my DSV-3 and a DSV-1 is on its way to be now. The DSV-1 will be pretty much dedicated to H-Alpha and white light solar. While I don't have any strong criticisms of the mount, and for the money think that it is almost impossible to beat, there are little things I'd probably change if I could. I'd like a greater range of adjustability in the clutches. That is, I'd like them to get tighter and also go looser. I would also like a better, tool-less, more accurate way of mutually aligning the two saddles. I need to adjust my azimuth backlash a tiny bit. Now that I've used the mount for multiple sessions, there's a wee bit too much backlash for my tastes in the azimuth slo-mo control knob (similar to my Teegul alt-az.). Instructions are provided for backlash and saddle alignment adjustments. The QBS system works well, too.

Regards,

Jim

#9 cnahm

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:06 AM

The DSV-3 is an awesome looking mount. I'm thinking when I reach the point I want something more than my current Stellarvue MG2 that's what I'll upgrade to.

#10 Wave Vector

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:18 PM

The mount is well constructed. I use it for my ST80, although as you have read, it will take a larger payload. I'm waiting for them to offer a retrofit encoder mount bracket. :jump:

#11 City Kid

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:08 PM

Jim, how much scope would you say could be put on the DSV-3 and still be rock solid? You mentioned in the other thread that you like your scopes to be overmounted so I think we're on the same page when it comes to the meaning of rock solid. Right now my NP101 sits on a Gibralter mount. That is the only alt-az mount I've owned. It's a nice mount but I definitely wouldn't describe it as rock solid. I used to have a Losmandy G11 that I put the NP101 on and that was rock solid. I got rid of the G11 because it took up too much space when traveling. I'm looking for a rock solid mount for the NP101 that doesn't take up as much space as the G11 did. Would say the DSV-3 fits the bill? The rock solid part is really important to me because otherwise I might as well just save my money and keep using the Gibralter.

Phil

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:26 PM

I would say yes, the DSV-3 would be rock solid with an NP-101, though if you wanted to do it to the 9s, I'd opt for a heavier tripod than an aluminum or even wooden surveyor's tripod. Perhaps a Berlebach Planet (overkill) of the largest Berlebach Uni would put it over the top.

It has a better balancing system than the Gibraltar. With the Gib, you have two options. The heavy bronze 1.25" adapter and/or sliding the OTA forward and backward in the clamshell. The DSV-3 offers a proprietary QBS (for "Quick Balance System") that allows you to adjust balance for heavy eyepieces by sliding a set of counterweights forward on the opposite saddle to offset the extra mass of switching a large heavy eyepiece into the diagonal.

To me it's "sweet spot", given my overmounting tendencies, is a 120mm or smaller refractor or a C8. Either or both of those are fine, though it's not super easy to mutually align the two saddles or at least I'm not very good at it yet. I prefer using a single OTA with the QBS opposite.

It's really an awesome mount. I also took delivery this evening of my new DSV-1. It is everything I had hoped for. It will make a great mount for vintage refractors and terrestrial spotting scopes, as well as for my PST. I'll do a fresh thread featuring the DSV-1 once I have some pictures.

Regards,

Jim

#13 microstar

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:07 AM

I'll do a fresh thread featuring the DSV-1 once I have some pictures.

Regards,

Jim


Looking forward to your report on the DSV-1, Jim.

...Keith

#14 MortonH

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 09:45 PM

Jim, how much scope would you say could be put on the DSV-3 and still be rock solid? You mentioned in the other thread that you like your scopes to be overmounted so I think we're on the same page when it comes to the meaning of rock solid. Right now my NP101 sits on a Gibralter mount. That is the only alt-az mount I've owned. It's a nice mount but I definitely wouldn't describe it as rock solid. I used to have a Losmandy G11 that I put the NP101 on and that was rock solid. I got rid of the G11 because it took up too much space when traveling. I'm looking for a rock solid mount for the NP101 that doesn't take up as much space as the G11 did. Would say the DSV-3 fits the bill? The rock solid part is really important to me because otherwise I might as well just save my money and keep using the Gibralter.

Phil


I recently received my DSV-3 with an adapter to attach it to my LXD-75 tripod (10mm thread). It is just perfect for my Stellarvue 110ED f/7. Damping time is around one second (maybe less) and it's very smooth. The QBS works great.

I just love alt-az mounts, and it's great to have digital setting circles again (had a TV Panoramic with Sky Tour a few years ago). I would say the DSV-3 is considerably nicer to use than the TV mount, and of course you can reach the zenith.

I'd recommend this mount to anyone. Just be prepared to wait for it. Mine took close to three months to arrive, and a few times I wondered if I should have spent less money on a GOTO EQ mount, but the DSV-3 was worth the wait and gives me exactly what I was looking for.

Morton

#15 Wave Vector

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:02 AM

Pictures? :jump:

#16 keeyc

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:32 AM

How would you compare DSV-3 to a Giro III, which has glowing reviews and a lower price tag? Does anybody have an answer?

#17 WeltevredenKaroo

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:32 PM

Kee-Yang, I have a Giro III and the older, smaller DSV-2. Their relative smoothness of operation and stability are about on par. The Giro III will take a heavier load—I side-by-side a heavy 200mm f/12 Mak (about 17 kilos w.o eyepiece) with a 100mm f/6 refractor mounted with 125mm ADM rings on a rather heavy dovetail (about 10 kilos). The Giro tends to bind in that situation; it is nicely machined but doesn't tolerate unequal loads well. I use the DSV-2 with a 180mm Mak on one side paired with a MK66 on the other, overall load about 18 kg. Despite being overloaded, the DSV-2 performs faultlessly. Both mounts require the sturdiest tripod or pier you can afford. I replaced a Celestron 2" metal tube tripod with a wood surveyor's tripod that's about 2/3rd the size and leg length, and the settle-down times went from about 6 seconds to one second.

The above posts haven't mentioned that DSV's customer service is excellent—fast, informative, and from an owner who observes as much as he sells. A DSV-3 is item #1 on my upgrade budget.

#18 keeyc

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:17 AM

Thanks for the useful info, Dana.
I'm planning to put TEC 140 and APM 80 side by side so DSV-3 may be a better solution to handle the significantly unequal load. Plus the slow mo control seems like a very attractive option for high power tracking. Maybe I should email Raul for a quote.

By the way, you're living in a fantastic place for Southern sky gazing. I remember the night sky at the outskirts of Cape Town last year. It was still fantastic and your location seems like a perfect place for real dark skies.

Kee-Yang

#19 moynihan

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

I just got the DSV-3 mount

Initial thoughts:

Q: What are your overall thoughts?

Very good workmanship, very functional.

Q: What do you especially like or dislike about them?

Kinda turns an OTA into a really nice dob, but with slow-mo controls also.

Q: What scopes are you using on them?

First night with it, used only 1 OTA. A 6" f/5 newt. Intend to use it also with 4" class refractors.

Q: Do they function as well with two scopes on them as they do with one?

Do not know yet

Q: How are the motions?

Very smooth, and very easy to fine-tune. For deep sky, like a dob with completely smooth/consistent motion.
Saturn easily trackable at 250x last night, using slow-mo controls.

Q: What tripods are you using?

An Oberwerk surveyor tripod i already had. I think it would be called a heavy one...

Q: How are they with balance when changing eyepieces?

No problems at all, (only used 1.25" last night though.

Q: How easy are they to lug around?

OK. Kinda like a CG5 or SVP

Q: Would you consider them grab and go mounts?

I am not using it for that. but some may, hard to say right now.

#20 MortonH

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:17 AM

Been getting to know my DSV-3 over the last few weeks and am impressed. I've been using the mount on a Stellarvue travel tripod at home as I only have a balcony to observe from. In this setup I'd consider it grab and go. With my limited working space I'm using a 6" Mak or 80mm f/6 refractor.

A couple of weeks ago I took it to a dark site with my SV110ED and 6" Mak and mounted both scopes. This time the tripod was a Meade LXD75 (2" legs). I wasn't able to attach the QBS so balance wasn't perfect, but slightly tightening the altitude lock was sufficient on the night. It was very windy but the stability was good.

The only thing that bugs me so far is the lack of an azimuth lock. The earlier adverts for the mount mention locks on both axes, but this was when the saddles were slide-in rather than tilt-in, and no lock would have meant chasing the mount round while trying to attach the scope. But an azimuth lock would still be useful for occasions when I lift the whole assembly with scope attached. Depending on which parts I grip either the scope or the tripod can rotate. Not a deal breaker by any means but a little irritating when squeezing through my balcony door!

The huge benefit for me is the Sky Commander and the act that it's fully integrated into the mount, with the encoders protected within metal enclosures. I had been missing my Televue mount and Sky Tour but the DSV-3 is much, much better.

Something I haven't tried yet is mounting my 8" f/5 Newtonian. Raul says this will work if I reverse the QBS. It will be interesting to test the stability if this setup since the eyepiece position in the Newt will be much further away from the mount's axis than in refractors or Maks. I don't have any monster Naglers but the Delos 14mm isn't exactly lightweight either. A dark sky trip is planned for next new moon.






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