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Cool new Alt/ Az mount for a good price

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#1 davidpitre

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 10:01 AM

I'm looking for an Alt/Az mount for my 80mm refractor and saw this . What do ya' think?
http://www.astromart...ified_id=402361
If nothing else, it is certainly elegant.

#2 Erik D

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 10:42 AM

A VERY attractive mount! Excellent price too. I like the choice of finishes.

For comparison my Giro 2 DX is nearly twice the cost, Wt ~4.5 lbs but will carry 30 lb OTA on EACH side.....The DSV-1 looks like a very good mount for scopes up to the size of Orion 100mm ED.

Erik D

#3 CharlesStG

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 10:49 AM

Hi David,
I just ordered one of these with one dovetail clamp on each side so I can mount two scopes (a TMB 80/480 and a Wegat <Meade> 127mm Maksutov) at the same time. The design looks very promising and there is a full money-back guarantee if not satisfied. Speaking with the maker, it appears he did his research and engineering homework. The bearings are a triple combination of ball bearings, needle bearings and an UHMW polyethylene ring which he says was chosen as the drag affords smooth motion like teflon, but he said he tried teflon and it was too slippery to hold position without using excessive clamping force. If the function matches the aesthetics, it should work great. Like any mount head, the tripod you use will likely determine ultimate satisfaction as vibration is an even greater concern to smooth rotation. He tells me the design is perfectly smooth without backlash and that eyepieces can be changed without image shift or re-balance, in most cases. I was going to order a William Optics EZ-touch based on the highly-praised AYO-swiss mount head, but decided to buy this one instead as the price was cheaper and allows me to choose my own tripod. I am about as picky a customer as they come with no quibbles about returning what does not please, so I will follow-up this post with a review if it works out to my satisfaction. Should be here in a week or so. It does look great. Very hard to make an alt-az mount with superlative functionality, like I demand. I'm hoping to be wowed. We'll see.

#4 davidpitre

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 01:03 PM

Charles,
Great. Please give us a review ASAP when it comes. I almost ordered one for my new W.O 80mm FD, but chickened out last minute wanting to hear a review first. I'm on the verge of ordering a Helix single arm, but will await your opinion .
I emailed W.O. re: their new alt/az mount, and they said it would not be available by itself without the tripod.
Glad to see someone else is still using Brandons. IMHO they produce a darker background than any EP.

#5 CharlesStG

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 02:09 PM

David, Sure - happy to let all know how it goes. If well executed, as this design appears similar to the one used by the WO EZ Touch (AKA AYO mount), it may just be a wowser. If so, the price is a rare bargain. Mine is coming in the clear finish and I am getting two of his 6" dovetail adapters, as well. At only $25. ea. and machined out of aluminum, another good deal. Below is a pic of the custom tripod I will be using. The top plate is 1/4" stainless, 8" wide and the top legs are 2" schedule 80 aluminum. Do you think it will be stable enough? - lol. Another bargain in new condition off Astromart yesterday at only $200. including shipping. Yup, Brandons are about tops in my book for sharpness and contrast and I even use them in my Denk binoviewer which is another nice piece. One more thing on the new mount - one of the main reasons I bought mine with the twin dovetail heads is to interest my 3 boys in astronomy. The maker said he would collimate these heads so I can share the same views with one of my boys -- each of us looking through different scopes at the same thing at the same time. Astronomy is such a GREAT hobby and I really want my boys to take it up as everyone should have such a fine hobby, don't you think?

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#6 davidpitre

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 12:23 PM

Charles,
Are you concerned about the weight you will be putting on this mount? The add states it will support 15lbs.
What will your two scopes, diagonals, eyepieces.... weigh?

#7 CharlesStG

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 05:29 PM

Not really. In speaking with the maker, the 15 pound suggested weight limit refers to the amount of weight which one could hang off of one side without any counterweight on the other - the design can handle very much more weight if balanced, side to side. My 80mm APO weighs 6 pounds and 8 fully loaded. My 127mm Mak weighs 9 pounds and 11 fully loaded. Placing them on either side of the center support, using TWO dovetail binders, makes for a weight imbalance of only 3 pounds. As a weight imbalance of 15 pounds is OK on this mount, my arrangement should behave with far greater stability and stress to the mount than if I only had one scope mounted instead. Just found a really fine tripod for this mount at a great price, too. It looks like a standard surveyor tripod, except I much prefer the black and medium yellow of this one to the garish orange and bright yellow of surveyor models in wood. This one by CST/Berger is what they call a Robotics tripod and has a dual clamp per leg design for maximum stability, poly coated maple dowels on the outside of each leg for best vibration damping with a composite extender leg for no shrinkage/loosening over time. Heavy, but should work well and looks pretty nice.
Model 60-RT20WDF. Only $161.88 with free shipping from: http://www.southern-...cs_tripods.html

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#8 Tom L

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 09:16 PM

I'm going to order one of these myself. I keep looking for a decent, travel-worthy alt-az and the price and specs appear to be a steal. I will mount an achro 90mm f/11 (~7 pounds) and use my binoviewers on it for lunar/planetary use. I hope it works out.

#9 davidpitre

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:11 PM

Tom,
Great to hear someone else is investigating this one.
Will you give us a review?

#10 Tom L

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:43 PM

Most definitely. It should be here on the 27th. I think my setup will put it to a decent test, so we'll see...hopefully my weather will cooperate long enough to let me actually try it out when it shows up.

#11 CharlesStG

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 09:56 AM

Mine should also be here on the 27th - a pic just received of mine finished, but still on the workbench, before testing and then coating. He said it should go out to me on the 25th. Getting closer to being able to evaluate it here. My Berger tripod arrived two days ago.

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#12 AstroWheels

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 10:20 AM

I've ordered one of these in black, with the two adapters as well. I hope to see it the week after next :jump:.

Don

#13 ylin

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:39 PM

How much in total for the mount and the two adapter option? I am interesting in this one too...

Thanks,

Yusen

#14 CharlesStG

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 05:23 PM

Pricing per this ad: http://www.astromart...ified_id=402361

I think he charged me about $20. more for the second dovetail head.

#15 ylin

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 05:49 PM

I exchanged several e-mails with the marker. According to him, at first, the mount is designed for only one scope... I think with only 20 dollars more, able to mount two scopes is a great plus, expecially compare to other same price range mounts...

#16 Amalia

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 08:24 AM

I was going to order a William Optics EZ-touch based on the highly-praised AYO-swiss mount head, but... (snip)



Yesterday we e-mailed AOK about this mount.

Here AOK's translated answer:

"Thank you for the link.
This is one more competitor for the Giro, but not for the AYO/EzTouch.
This mount looks at the first moment kind of irritating.
{to him as the inventor of the AYO/EzTouch, as it seems a copy - A.}

But when I look at the details, this mount looks not as well made as mine.
I don't want to seem overweening, but when I take a look at these pictures
I see that the clamping screws put pressure directly to the axles. This is not
an optimal solution."



Amalia - only few days to get my AYO :jump:

#17 Tom T

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 09:24 AM

It certainly appears to have several items in common with the WO/AYO.

FWIW, looking at the photos, it looks like the diameter of the cylinders is smaller than on the AYO. IF that's the case, the motions may not be quite as smooth - as it may require more tension to lock down the axis and control movement of the mount - if it's not perfectly balanced. (I hope that the dovetail plate he's supplying is 6-8" long so it can be slid back and forth for balance.) This, however, won't be as much a factor with small scopes - 80mm and under, as it might with larger ones - 4" and up.

However, it may very well be lighter and smaller - perhaps better for travel. The price looks decent as well. Provided it stays there.

Plus, I'd agree with the assesment that direct pressure on the axis may not be the best way to control tension - this could put a lot of pressure directly on the axle which might have negative effects on the performance of the mount in the long term. However in a small shop, designs can be changed quickly.

It will be intersting to hear first reports on this one, but it may be more interesting to see how it performs in the long run.

For those looking to pair a tripod with it (and not looking for the surveyor yellow paint job) you might try this one

http://www.bigbinocu....com/obwtri.htm

Sold by BigBinoculars.com, it's only around $150 and finished (IMO) much nicer.

Does anyone know if the manufacturer has plans for a version with encoders?

Tom T.

#18 jclark2

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:44 AM

Hi Tom, Slightly off topic but are you still planning a review of the EZtouch? I am thinking about ordering one but would like to see your review first. -- Jim

#19 Tom T

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 01:49 PM

Hi Jim,

I wound up getting one for my own use, and it showed earlier this week. I'll be reviewing it when I review the WO105.

I have some photos of the WO105 and WO66SD mounted on the EZ touch over in the refractors forum if you are interested.

No comments on it as yet. The only thing I've used so far has been the 66sd. I was just mounting everything and thought - Dang this looks purty, I gotta post some pics. :)

If we're gonna continue the discussion on the EZT, let's do it in a different thread or via PM. I don't want to hijack this one any further.

Thanks

Tom T.

#20 jclark2

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 02:01 PM

As always Tom thanks for all the information. I am looking forward to your review and I agree with you that is sure does look purty. My ZS80FD would like really nice... Of course it would need to find a friend for the other side. Thanks for the pictures. Jim

#21 Tom L

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 02:22 PM

I would really like to know how the 2 compare. I recognize that this mount is a light-weight alternative to the WO, rated at twice the payload weight, but I still expect it to work well, especially as a travel mount.

#22 CharlesStG

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 02:51 PM

Amalia,

Thank you for this most interesting reply from the excellent Mr. Kohler of AYO. His analysis may be correct about the method of pressure application being less than optimal - but I will reserve judgement until I test the mount next week.

Regarding the AYO mount, I was irritated when I tried to buy just the mount-head from WO. Seems it is only for sale with their tripod which I do not need. Mr. Kohler told me his agreement with WO was that they sell the mount head alone, for those wanting to purchase it this way, but it appears his agreement is not presently being complied with.

Mr. Kohler says he does not export to USA. He would sell to someone is Europe who could forward it, but this requires imposing on someone. I do not feel comfortable asking someone to do this for me, though I do have a friend or two in Zurich and Fribourg.

His mount was my first choice. I hope he is not irritated that I did not buy what he would not sell to me.

If Raul's mount does not meet my needs, I will still look for a way to get an AYO. Amalia has excellent taste and she can buy it en Suisse - lucky Amalia.

Raul's mount arrives Friday and with a money-back guarantee if not satisfied or he is willing to work with me to perfect the mount. Also, it is not entirely correct that the tension screws press directly against the shaft. Hidden from view is a UHMW polyethylene ring which surrounds the shaft and this is what bears the tension. Speaking with Raul yesterday, in fact, we spoke of this very issue. When you tension the screw, he says pressure is distributed all around the stainless shaft which is pressing against the UHMW poly ring. I agree with Tom that this may present durability issues, but if all that wears is the ring it can be replaced for pocket change at any time. More later......... ;)

#23 Tom T

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 03:07 PM

Amalia,

Regarding the AYO mount, I was irritated when I tried to buy just the mount-head from WO. Seems it is only for sale with their tripod which I do not need. Mr. Kohler told me his agreement with WO was that they sell the mount head alone, for those wanting to purchase it this way, but it appears his agreement is not presently being complied with.


Huh? See post 750731.

In this thread.

That post says they will be selling them seperately.

I'm confused.

T

#24 Amalia

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 03:32 PM

Hi Charles!

Thank you for your answer!

I am sorry for the inconveniences you experienced.
Unfortunately I don't know anything more than the
things I already wrote - especially concerning the
technical details.

Maybe there is an agreement between Mr. Kohler
and WO concerning the export to the USA - but I
don't really know.

Maybe asking WO about the agreement told you
by AOK would be a help for your problem? I have
read everal times on CN how helpful and open WO is.


I am sorry I see no way to help you any further -
if you see one, feel free to ask me!


And while I hope AOK was clever enough to have his
invention patented, I sincerely hope "Desert Sky Astro
Products" is not just profiting from somebody else's
work.


Amalia

#25 davidpitre

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 04:25 PM

I e-mailed W.O. and they told me it would only be offered with the tripod.






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