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Half Hitch - Free Turn Q / Nova Hitch

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#26 Cheats

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 06:42 PM

I'm going with the FTQ1. I won't be using anything larger than my C6 and 90mm refractor. Just need to decide which tripod to order.....

Chris

#27 HurricaneWhisper

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:25 PM

Does anyone know what's the difference between the FTQ1 and 2? When are the 2's suppossed to ship?

Thanks.

#28 Fred1

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:58 AM

There's an explanaiotn on the Yahoo Group from Charles Riddel, the manufacture. The FTQ2 is only a "very slight tweaking of the FTQ1." The FTQ1 is designed to support 80mm, 90mm, some of the shorter 4" refractors and the C-6. The FTQ2 is designed for similar scopes but with heavier payloads like binoviewers and triplets. There is much more information in Mr. Riddel's various posts on the Yahoo Group outlining his personal use and recommendations of the FTQ1 and anticipated shipping. I think it's best that I leave all to read it for themselves. I changed my order to the FTQ2 as I have a triplet and binoviewers that I plan to use on the mount sometimes, as well as a long 4" refractor with heavy 2" eyepieces.

#29 Boki

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:06 AM

I have ordered the FTQ1 today for my 80mm ED doublet. Can't wait to test it. I am planning to use it on Sirui M3204 carbon fiber tripod. I think this is going to be a super light and precision system.

#30 SJTill

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:41 PM

Mine has been shipped.
Any reviews or comments from those who have received theirs?

#31 Jdillon

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 12:30 PM

I just received my FTQ. It took a while to unpack, it was rigorously bubble wrapped. What a nice piece of machinery! Clean, crisp, sturdy and smooth. It is a much more refined piece of gear than you’d expect for $279. (+ $25 handle). [Note: the introductory price is being raised in the next production run]. I mounted my TV85 with binoviewer for a test drive last night even though Charles said he wanted to promote this as a grab-and-go mount only, NOT for binoviewers. But I didn’t see any problem with the extra off-axis weight. So I grabbed it and went. Looked for the SN in M82. Found it!

Like its bigger brother the Nova Hitch (which I have on order and anxiously await) the FTQ offers 2 axis balancing. Fore&aft balance is simple by sliding the dovetail plate in the saddle or the OTA in its clamshell. But balancing up/down involves removing the scope and loosening 4 bolts to raise or lower the saddle. You need to remount the scope to check balance. If you use other scopes and need to readjust the saddle there is an engraved scale that allows you to note and reset any position changes. But I don’t think there will be much need for resetting the saddle position for most small scopes. The default setting worked surprisingly well for my TV85 even with the binoviewer but I lowered the saddle position anyhow to compensate for the off center weight distribution. Total weight must be near 11 lbs and damping took 1-2 secs. But I can live with that and it damps much quicker without the BV. I look forward to mounting my 13 lb Kowa Highlander binocs when the Binobracket is available and see how they ride in the saddle.

Rotation smoothness on the 2 axes is adjusted by the black long-handled clamps that vary brake pressure on the shafts. Fully closed they kept the scope in place while I changed eyepieces, even if I took off the binoviewer with EPs! I’ve never been able to do that with any other light weight mount I’ve used. I could do that with the DM4 I had, and damping time was lower, but It was 3x as expensive, nearly 2x as heavy and didn’t move any smoother. Not an apt comparison.

Seeing the FTQ makes waiting for my big Nova Hitch (with slo-motion and tracking) that much harder. Till it arrives, I’m very pleased with it’s little brother, FTQ.

#32 Boki

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:45 PM

Congratulations for your new mount. I hope it will perform well for your refracor. Just a short question:
What type of dovetail plate do you have (Hitch or Vixen)? I intend to use Vixen on mine, but I am worried it may slip if the clamp is too loose or just not very tight when adjusting for balance. What do you think? Do i have to be extra carefull about that? Thanks, CS Boki

#33 Jdillon

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:36 PM

My FTQ came with a Hitch dovetail. I doubt a Vixen plate would slip but haven't tried it.

#34 davebuechler

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 09:22 PM

Nice report Jdillon, thanks

#35 bdg

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:34 PM

My FTQ came with a Hitch dovetail. I doubt a Vixen plate would slip but haven't tried it.


did you order the hitch dovetail separately?

#36 Jdillon

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:07 PM

Yes, I ordered the dovetail as an extra. Here's a photo of the TV85 & BV mounted on the FTQ with Nova dovetail.

#37 Jdillon

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:10 PM

Oops! here's the photo:

Attached Files



#38 bdg

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:10 PM

Yes, I ordered the dovetail as an extra. Here's a photo of the TV85 & BV mounted on the FTQ with Nova dovetail.


where is the photo?

#39 davebuechler

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:14 PM

Nice pic Jdillon! I bet it is nicer looking through it than at it!

What mount is it on and how much clearance do you get? Have you tried some high magnifications yet and if so how is damping time?

#40 bdg

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:16 PM

Oops! here's the photo:


did the dovetail come with that clamp which holds the scope.

#41 Jdillon

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 01:55 PM

Dave, I assume by mount you meant the tripod since the FTQ mount is the subject of this thread. I photographed it on my Berlebach Uni14 tripod which has a wide top plate. Here's a photo of the scope pointed up but still with some space before hitting the tripod. It looks like it would make it to within 10 deg or so of the zenith. (see attached photo) I rarely see a need to use a scope pointed straight up. I'd rather just wait a bit till the object rotates lower. I also have a Manfrotto 475 camera tripod which will let it get even more vertical. You can also use vertical spacers under the FTQ to get more clearance.
As I said in my first post, damping time with the BV was 1-2 secs. Much less with it off. But the rains have finally arrived here in N. Cal. and I haven't been able to spend more time with it. John

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#42 davebuechler

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:04 PM

Hi John,

Yes, sorry I meant tripod and well noted you are using the Berlebach Uni. Sounds like it is an excellent fit for the TV85 even with binoviewers. Soory the clouds have rolled in but glad you got it out for a trail run or two






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