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Tripod/mount for AR102

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#1 jhr1986

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:00 PM

Hello all! I'm currently observing with my first scope, a 6" newt on an EQ mount (from a fairly light polluted suburb). Honestly I'm getting tired of lugging the mount in and out to observe, and forget about taking the whole thing apart to drive to darker skies.

What I am considering currently is an AR102 with a simple alt az mount. One thing I hate about the tripod I have currently is that the spreader/tray is "fixed", it won't fold up with the tripod and I have to remove (and potentially lose) the screws/nuts securing it to the tripod if I want to pack it up.

Perhaps astronomy tripods are designed like this on purpose so it may be my ignorance speaking but I'd like to find a tripod that doesn't require any tools or fasteners in order to fold up and move.

Any suggestions for such a tripod & mount that would work well with a 4" refractor? I am mostly interested in viewing galaxies/nebulae/globulars if that matters.

#2 markdaleanderson

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:57 AM

I have the AR102 on the Twilight 1 mount which ES sells as a package.  At lower powers it works great.  It's not the best for high power planetary work because of its shorter focal length.  The spreader is not fixed on this mount.  You loosen the tensioning screw below the spreader until you can swing the spreader away from the legs and then fold it up.



#3 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 10:53 AM

I had my AR102 on a Twilight I mount. I reinforced the mount arm, but it was a very lightweight, stable mount for the AR102. I needed tracking and GoTo, so I got a Bresser EXOS-2GT (sold by ES).



#4 mikerepp

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:00 AM

jhr1986, I think the tripod you have is more the exception than the rule.  Most I have seen do not have the spreader "fixed" using fasteners, I could be wrong.

 

Twilight I is a nice mount for lighter duty, but could be a bit shaky with the AR102 at higher magnifications.  A more steady mount is the  Twilight II and it can handle 2 scopes.  Its heavier but it's not too bad.  I have a bad back, bad knees but I take my Twilight II out in one trip without any difficulty.  Then bring the scope out and mount it.

 

the AR102 is great scope I think you will like it a lot.



#5 jhr1986

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:06 PM

I had my AR102 on a Twilight I mount. I reinforced the mount arm, but it was a very lightweight, stable mount for the AR102. I needed tracking and GoTo, so I got a Bresser EXOS-2GT (sold by ES).

Can you tell me how you reinforced the mount?

 

Thanks for the feedback guys, sounds like there are probably plenty of options out there.

 

Anyone use an Oberwerk wooden tripod?  If so what type of mount/head would you recommend for a vixen style setup? Thoughts on this wooden tripod versus the tripods sold on the Twilight I & II?



#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:41 PM

I have a AR-102 and a Twilight 1 mount as a well as Vixen Portamount that I have upgraded with some wooden legs.  

 

I agree with what Mike and Mark Dale said, the Twilight 1 is adequate for low power observing but it's marginal for higher magnifications.  The scope itself is quite good for a 102mm F/6.5..  The Portamount is more robust and handles the AR-102 quite nicely.

 

Jon

ES AR-102 Backyard.jpg


#7 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:44 PM

 

I had my AR102 on a Twilight I mount. I reinforced the mount arm, but it was a very lightweight, stable mount for the AR102. I needed tracking and GoTo, so I got a Bresser EXOS-2GT (sold by ES).

Can you tell me how you reinforced the mount?

 

Thanks for the feedback guys, sounds like there are probably plenty of options out there.

 

Anyone use an Oberwerk wooden tripod?  If so what type of mount/head would you recommend for a vixen style setup? Thoughts on this wooden tripod versus the tripods sold on the Twilight I & II?

 

A block of wood and some PVC. I extended the Altitude connection out more, but you could easily just leave the stock Altitude attachment as is and just screw a block of hardwood to the mount arm because that is the weakest link of the mount. 

 

mounthead-done.jpg  arm-mod2.jpg


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 12 January 2017 - 06:47 PM.


#8 jhr1986

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:23 PM

Thanks for the pictures Mark!

 

So right now I'm considering two options:

 

1.  Oberwerk wooden tripod and Vixen Porta II head 

 

2.  Twilight II 

 

Seems like the Twilight II would hold more weight and have the option of mounting 2 scopes whereas option #1 is a little less expensive and has slow mo controls... :thinking:



#9 sewhite

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:02 AM

Jhr1986

I have the Porta-II on a Oberwerk wood tripod and it's very good with a 80mm refractor and fair with a 102mm refractor. The ergonomics on a Porta-II are well thought out. I wish they made a larger version that would hold twice the weight.

The Twilight-II should be very steady with a 102. There is a thread on here about improving it with an inexpensive bearing. 2 scopes at a time is nice.

Stan

#10 Eddgie

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:17 AM

You may want something like this (just an example, not saying this is the exact mount).

 

This mount is fitted with an eyepiece caddy that mounts on the head so it swivels with the scope.  Very nice touch.

 

This would allow you to fold the legs without removing the tray at the tripod.

Here is the downside though.  I think that the tripod tray offers a bump in rigidity.  The speader on these kinds of tripods is not all that robust and without the try, the tripod can wiggle a bit more, but while the tray does improve things you might not see the difference for low powers.

 

Anyway, here is a link that shows the eyepiece caddy I mentioned.  If you scroll to the bottom of the thread you will see a better picture of the eyepiece caddy.   (I call it a caddy because it moves the eyepieces for you). 

 

http://www.cloudynig...-azimuth-heads/


Edited by Eddgie, 13 January 2017 - 08:19 AM.



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