Quote:I've got some research to do! So far I really like the looks of the Teegul and the DM-4 in particular.
Quote:I feel like Goldilocks in trying to find an alt/az mount that works to my liking. I'll list the ones I've tried and list the reasons I got rid of them and moved on to another. Perhaps I'm just being too picky? I have no problem accepting the limitations of various scopes and designs... but I just find it hard to believe that I can't find an alt/az mount that does what I want it to do.1. William Optics EZ touch: I thought it was expensive for what I got. Movements were pretty smooth. I didn't like the lack of slo motion controls though. And I thought the tripod was exceptionally heavy/bulky for something that I wanted to have grab and go status. I also didn't like having to rebalance the tube when changing from something like a Tak LE to a Pentax XW.2. Televue Gibraltar: Nice mount, but again on the heavy side for grab and go. I ended up selling the tripod and getting a Telepod tripod for the Gibraltar mount. This solved the weight issues nicely for me. However, the thing I always disliked most about this mount was how sensitive it was to balance. Every EP change required tube adjustments. If I removed an EP while observing I had to take care or the objective end of my scope would come crashing down into the mount. And losing my target was a given with every single EP change. That was a total deal breaker for me.3. Astro-Tech Voyager: This is what I currently have. I found the motions to be unacceptably sticky thus far. Stiction to be precise. It seems the clutches hang on a little too tight when trying to move the scope.... particularly in azimuth and even with the slo-mo controls. I find it very difficult to center a target at med/high powers. In fact I can't even get a target in a RDF without using the slo-mo controls. Some have told me that the mount will break in with time. However, I don't think I can stand using this thing long enough to break it in. Other than that, I really like this mount. It seems stable enough and is reasonably light weight. Although not grab and go with a 102 attached. Not sure much will be though. The only other gripe I have with the AT voyager is how short the tripod is. With legs fully extended I was sitting on the surface of my deck last night while observing M3 in a 102mm refractor. Not so cool.4. Vixen Portamount: I've gone back to this one in the past and may end up with a third one. It's the mount I've found the least wrong with. Generally though, I find the fit/finish sub par to other offerings and is somewhat shaky with a scope larger than 80 or 90 mm.So what do you think? Do I need to just pick one and settle? Lay it on me.... I can take it! Or maybe one of you has had similar problems with these mounts and found one that's "just right"?
Celestron C4-R 102mm achromat Celeston Nexstar 6SE SCT Meade 80mm APO Triplet Televue NP-101 Televue TV-85 Vixen A70Lf Vixen A80Mf Vixen A80M William Optics 66mm Zenithstar Patriot Celestron CG4 EQ mount Explore Scientific Twilight 2 AZ mount Televue Gibraltar 5 Vixen Portamount
Quote:[I]t's not as easy to perfectly position a planet at the outer edge of the sweet spot on a high-power EP as it is with slow motion controls.
Quote:Hi Tom,From everything I've heard about the D4 it's a great mount. Never had the pleasure of using one. What I can say about the Teegul is that its nudging capabilities are also very nice and that it does not require using the slo-mo controls to track. A bump one way or the other on the scope's diagonal will keep you on target, while maintaining focus with the same hand is very easy. To maintain a more precise target only requires keeping your other hand on the two control knobs and very gently manipulating the two between your thumb and forefinger. Virtually no vibration is generated and you stay right on target. A lot depends on what you're mounting on them. I've found that mounting a long tube refractor (100ED or 120ED) tends to increase the damping time, but not unacceptably. An Intes 500 or 603 or an Orion 110ED is very acceptable and solid on this mount. The current 102EDs along with the 70 and 80mm scopes are like a rock on this mount. Of course MUCH depends upon the tripod as with any mount. This of course is just my experience although I've used and loved Teeguls for years.
Quote:...My favorite tripods have been a Berlebach (UNI-24), Gitzo 5530S (for ultra light weight high capacity), the Discmount tripods, and the AP/Baader wood tripod. My remaining (only) Alt/Az now is the Half-Hitch II used on the Gitzo 5530s. For my 3 and 4" scopes it offers an ideal mix of portability, smoothness, rigidity, quality, slo-mo controls, ability to reach zenith, and accurate DSCs.
Quote:Quote:It's not as easy to perfectly position a planet at the outer edge of the sweet spot on a high-power EP as it is with slow motion controls. Yes, it is. It just takes a little practice with the mount
Quote:It's not as easy to perfectly position a planet at the outer edge of the sweet spot on a high-power EP as it is with slow motion controls.
Nova Hitch alt-az mount
Quote:Quote:Quote:It's not as easy to perfectly position a planet at the outer edge of the sweet spot on a high-power EP as it is with slow motion controls. Yes, it is. It just takes a little practice with the mountWell I should have stated: "It's not as easy for me to perfectly position.... - this is not a practice issue as I've had my DM-6 for a couple of years and I don't think I need any more practice on it - it's a matter of personal preference. You can't have your cake and eat it with a mount like the DM-6 - you can adjust the friction so it's buttery smooth, but then you run into issues when swapping EP's (which I do rather frequently), so I need to crank up the friction enough so I'm not constantly taking out the wrench to adjust it (I would find the DM6- a lot more useful if there was just a knob on the outside to adjust the tension). The advantage of a mount with slow-motion controls for me is that I can have the friction high enough so I can swap even a 31Nagler with a small Ortho without having any re-balance issues, while still having micro-smooth adjustments via the slow motion controls.With the DM-6 tensioned to allow the same EP swap, I find when viewing at 250x+ that it is not easy at all to get an item perfectly positioned and I've had several other observers try as well with no more success - YMMV - but this is definitely something that each person should determine for themselves as you will find much disagreement on this issue. And only those people who have spent considerable time using both type of mounts are in a position to really judge the relative convenience of each style of mount.
Quote: I absolutely detest having the scope move when I pull the eyepiece out. So any alt-az mount I use must have enough friction to let me constantly switch ep's without having to adjust anything.
Quote:...my suggestion is don't skip the money by going for cheaper solutions. A good mount can be used on a few different scopes so it is worth the investment.I have tried cheap solutions in the past, but end up selling each one of them and gotten into more expensive mounts. Thinking back, I would have save more by going into a good mount at the start.Having said that, I like Half Hitch mount the best. Yes, it's expensive, but you probably don't need another azi-alt mount anymore. I like precision, so no matter how smooth a DM can be, the use of nudging can never be as precise as the use of slow-motion. That what finally leans me towards HH.