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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5385176 - 08/24/12 08:01 PM

Hi Andrew,
when I slewed to Arcturus it wasnt centered so I centered it and I sync to hold it there. It had a hard time staying. I got it to stay for 20 seconds once. It was trying. When it stayed and I barely slewed away it went right back ,but when i barely slewed against the direction of the sky movement it was not able to get back to the star and after a while it slowly moved away further. if I try to slew it back at lower speeds it would not move. I had to pick handbox button 5 to get it to move back. I was using a 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece and a barlow so I could see slow movements easily. I wanted to do more testing but after just over an hour the clouds came. I dont know how much it is able to ramp up but it would need to ramp up more than a little.
neilson


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5385209 - 08/24/12 08:32 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

I dont know how much it is able to ramp up but it would need to ramp up more than a little.




I understand better now.
I read your original reference as ramping up to "tracking", which in motor speak is glacial.
When slewing via the Hbx, a whole new set of possibilities now come in.
As i mentioned earlier, there is an "existing" bug that has been there for ages, where a scope may not restart tracking in RA in Polar after a manual slew.
It can stay stopped for 10 to 15 seconds at times.
I had patched this for the older A1F7 and 5CE1 firmwares.
I also see it with A3S2 on my testbench, but cant confirm if it is in the LX80s
( I suspect it is )
This would show up as you do a move, ( and it does move ), but on stopping, the motors wont restart tracking.
The slew keys always work in this bug, its just the tracking restart may not work immediately.
It normally shows up if you do short west slews with a speed of 6 or greater.
Maybe that's part of what you are seeing.????

As a simple test, can you let it slew to the 45deg target region and then just leave it to track, dont use the slew keys to centre ther target.
If it tracks happily, then do a centring slew.
If it then misbehaves, it points more to a backlash or manual slew related problem.

Andrew


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5385246 - 08/24/12 08:52 PM

Ok Andrew I will give it a try. As for the 45deg thing that was a mistake on my part since I only tried at that one star and I ran out of time cause of weather. Its probably all stars, I was making a bad assumption before.
neilson


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5385597 - 08/25/12 12:53 AM

Hi Guys,
I decided to tweak it so the amps were just a little lower. I got it down to 0.45 amps with ota and I also put a couple drops of 3 n 1 oil on the RA bearings because I couldn't see any kind of grease and I wanted to make sure there was some kind of lubrication. I'm going to try some super-lube but I have to order it in the morning. When I was using it tonight it was down to 0.43 amps with ota.
I polar aligned it and was less than 5' from the pole the first try. I slewed to Arcturus and left it there for about 5 minutes and it never moved. Then I tried slewing in all directions on handbox speed button 2. They worked good. Even against the skies movement it was slower but that's normal. Then I centered it and it stayed centered. I left it there for about 5 minutes and it never moved. I was using a 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece. I tried it on Antares, Mars, Saturn and Kochab and it stayed centered in all of them.
I was so happy but I cant remember if I slewed away slightly then checked if it could slew back to the star by itself and then stay tracking on it. I never sync. on a star tonight so I don't think I did. But if I did then it worked or I wouldn't be this happy. But I will have to try again tomorrow. The reason I want to see if its able to get back by itself is so I will know if PHD guiding will be able to correct when guiding. If the mount wasn't able to move it self against the movement of the sky to correct tracking then PHD might not be able to due to the mounts inability to handle this big ota.
There were times it had trouble keeping it centered and times I thought it would never move when slewing against the skys movement.
There is one other little thing. The winds were gusting pretty good at 11 mph in the direction the mount was moving. I did try many times to slew on the slowest speed in between gusts and it appears it was moving but the gusts helped speed it up. The gusts were very often.
I don't really want to jump the gun and say its going to handle the 10"ota yet but It is looking better.
I couldn't believe how well it did tonight but It was pushing it. I wish it had just a little bit more power because the slightest imbalance like a camera or added weight might be too much for it. And the constant winds of 5mph with 11mph gusts in the direct the mount moves probably helped these results as sensitive as it is at this weight load.
But then again it just might work. With these results I bet it would work real good with a Celestron 9.25" ota with a guidescope and cameras. I wish this Meade 10"ota didn't weight twice as much, then I wouldn't be here trying to tweak this mount to reach its advertised 40lbs payload in polar mode.
neilson


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5385719 - 08/25/12 02:49 AM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

I wish it had just a little bit more power because the slightest imbalance like a camera or added weight might be too much for it.




Not so sure motor "power" is the problem here, more the control/feedback system.
The motor is driving a low pitch worm via an approx 54:1 reduction gearbox.
It can "easily" accelerate the scope up to 8deg/sec.
I suspect that it has more than enough power to track properly.

Just to test this if you want, deliberately unbalance the mount in RA, and then see if it tracks without you playing with the slew keys.
It may misbehave on first arriving at a position after a slew, but it should settle down within say 30secs max.
If it tracks OK, it points back to the control loop, not the power.

Note! Any tests you do at speeds 2 or above in RA will invoke backlash and this is getting into more complicated regions as a lot more factors come into play.
Standard Guiding will not reverse your RA drive, hence avoids any of these lash effects, so unless you test at speed 1, you arent comparing apples with apples.

Andrew


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5386136 - 08/25/12 11:14 AM

Time out: there's no way this is going to perform well with a C9.25 loaded with a camera, guide scope, and guide camera if it isn't working at all with the Meade 10" in visual.

"Perform well" for astrophotography means less than one pixel of drift during an integration with the camera. Astronomics has a neat little utility in their CCD area where you can put in your parameters to find out what that means in angular size.

From all the data I've seen on this mount so far, if you're determined to do deep space astrophotography with it, you need to be thinking of optics with a focal length under 500mm and the lowest f/# available.

-Rich


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5386184 - 08/25/12 11:50 AM

Hi Andrew,
Isn't handbox button #2, speed one. Its the lowest slew speed you can pick besides sidereal unless I'm mistaken. And I guess what I really mean by more power is the ability for the scope to compensate for heavier weight. And I have tried a little off balance and it wouldn't work good at all, Thats what I was meaning when I was always telling about being balanced, because it doesnt work well unless your dead on, If I put my camera on my diagonal its too much out of balance but if I remove my 2" diagonal and eyepiece and put my camera on then it will compensate for that slight difference. My camera is a Canon T1i, light weight plastic composite body. I know because thats what it did last night. I removed the diagonal and mounted the camera and the weight of the camera moved the ota down and by the time I got back from putting my diagonal away the mount had recentered the star. But when I switched it back and I returned from putting my camera away it hadn't recentered it. I should of waited longer to see if it was going to, it might of, but I just slewed it back with my handbox. I haven't tried your specific test but I will tonight.
I know this motor has plenty of power at higher speeds but at the lowest speed it cant push it. That little bit of extra drag it had before I reduced it yesterday shows that. I am guessing that if the firmware or motor card could be adjusted to give the motor a little bit more juice to handle this weight and a camera and small guidescope then I would be happy. If this were the old days there would probably be a potentiometer to adjust this. In fact my LX3 2120 10" is adjustable. That thing can handle more weight because you could just turn up the speed but that things sitting in its box retired because its too hard to polar align and is a bit wobbly. But I did like being able to adjust the speed until the star stayed centered.
neilson


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5386745 - 08/25/12 05:36 PM

Quote:

"Perform well" for astrophotography means less than one pixel of drift during an integration with the camera.




That's a crazy definition. I can arrange my cameras from 125 arc second per pixel down to 0.006 arc second per pixel. None of that affects the performance of the mount. The mount's performance shouldn't be related to the pixels of camera attached, it should be in arc seconds, and a mount in this class shouldn't be expected to beat about 2 arc seconds even guided.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5386865 - 08/25/12 06:45 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

Isn't handbox button #2, speed one.




No, speed 2 is 2x sidereal, ie its use will invoke backlash in RA.
Basically, when you are below speed 5 the system uses the method
slew speed = current tracking rate +/-Slew rate

Speed 1 slew rate is +/-10arcsec/sec ie we get +5 or +25
Speed 2 slew rate is +/-30arcsec/sec ie we get -15 or +45

For RA guiding without triggering backlash, you MUST use speed 1/sidereal at the Hbx.
Pulseguiding always sets the motors to speed 1 to do its moves.

Quote:

I am guessing that if the firmware or motor card could be adjusted to give the motor a little bit more juice to handle this weight and a camera and small guidescope then I would be happy. If this were the old days there would probably be a potentiometer to adjust this.




There are no potentiometers, its all done via PWM and the speed feedback loop, which increases PWM as required to get things moving, then drops back.
I am wondering if it is the restart bug after slewing biting you.
The "leave it for a while" test will show that.
I have patched A3S2 ( for other reasons ) to cover the restarting bug
so if you want to try it,you can. ( It cant hurt )
And it will either disprove or possibly confirm the cause.
If it is the cause, others should see it also, as the bug is weight independent, ie i see it on a bench test with no load whatsoever.
Also, you cant use "it works in AltAz" as a comparison here, as the motor restart mechanism for AltAz is different to polar.

Lastly, you have been tweaking the gears.
Have you retrained the RA drive??? and if so what sort of numbers are you getting.
ie if your drive train vars are way different to reality, the scope may think its tracking when in fact its still reversing etc.



Andrew


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5386948 - 08/25/12 07:44 PM

Think it through, Lee. Post again when you've figured it out. Hint- he's talking about using a C9.25.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

"Perform well" for astrophotography means less than one pixel of drift during an integration with the camera.




That's a crazy definition. I can arrange my cameras from 125 arc second per pixel down to 0.006 arc second per pixel. None of that affects the performance of the mount. The mount's performance shouldn't be related to the pixels of camera attached, it should be in arc seconds, and a mount in this class shouldn't be expected to beat about 2 arc seconds even guided.




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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5386951 - 08/25/12 07:45 PM

I think he means that if the guiding is not within one pixel then the image quality will suffer.
It is true, at this price point one can not expect performance that will meet this criteria. But it is true, if the pixel wanders much more than one pixel, the stars will not be very pretty.
So, I guess it all comes down to what you expect and want from your images?
Blueman
Quote:

Quote:

"Perform well" for astrophotography means less than one pixel of drift during an integration with the camera.




That's a crazy definition. I can arrange my cameras from 125 arc second per pixel down to 0.006 arc second per pixel. None of that affects the performance of the mount. The mount's performance shouldn't be related to the pixels of camera attached, it should be in arc seconds, and a mount in this class shouldn't be expected to beat about 2 arc seconds even guided.




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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5387000 - 08/25/12 08:32 PM

Hi Andrew,
Actually the whole issue I am having is why would I want to use polar for visual when I have Alt/Az. Unless there is some way this mount can work for imaging with this 10" ota with focal reducer and my 15mgp DSLR, the mount or Ota or both will have to go. I expected this mount to handle 40lbs in polar like they advertised. In the same way the LXD75 was rated at 30lbs max and it actually was unless you tweaked it and got more like a few people did. I didn't tweak mine, I just put good grease and adjusted the worm correctly.
If the LX80's max would have been 40lbs then I could of put better grease and tweaked it a little. I am sure I could of put a light guide scope and under the best conditions been able to image.
But instead I have had to tweak and tweak and change mounts and tweak and tweak again and maybe pushed what was a 20lb or 25lb max to 29lb under good conditions. Good conditions meaning perfect balance and level and calm winds.
I think my 23lb refractor might be able to image the way the mount is now but a 20lb sct would be better.
I am just looking to get 3 to 5 minute guided single images. or maybe 1.5 to 2 or even 3 minute subs with maybe 40 to 50% good images for stacking. 10 to 20 subs stacked.
I don't see that happening with this mount and ota. I had been hoping that maybe there was something wrong or that Meade would step up and decide the wormblock/motor setup was too weak and that they really expected and wanted it to handle 40lbs. And then would switch out the motor setup or whatever part or motor card or firmware or whatever is needed so this mount could actually handle 40lbs without everyone having to tweak it. So far Meade has been stepping up for every problem this mount has had. But I don't see them spending the money to fix this if it needs new wormblock/motors.
On my new tripod they adjusted the 2 little stop screws at the top of each leg out more to help keep the leg from breaking off. What this does is prevents the legs from opening as wide thus reducing the leverage and reducing the pressure on the top of each leg joint. They didn't change it alot but It was noticeable to me. At first I thought, oh great now its going to be less stable with the legs closer together but after using it I was impressed. Its solid as a rock. No one at Meade told me this, I just noticed it when I set it up the first time.
As far as the 40lbs payload in polar, If I was Meade and my product was only meeting half its ability in polar I would fix it. I don't really believe they purposely made this to only max out at 20lbs then say hay lets double the rating it might boost sales. Carlos told me he was going to get with the engineers to figure this out. He didn't return my call Friday so maybe they are working on a fix. I will find out Monday. If Meade doesn't have something figured out on Monday
I trained drives and had to set percent for RA to 50%
neilson


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5387065 - 08/25/12 09:23 PM

Quote:

Think it through, Lee. Post again when you've figured it out. Hint- he's talking about using a C9.25.





I have cameras with pixel sizes from 8.2 microns to 1.5 microns. Regardless of which camera I use, the blur caused by tracking error is the same.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5387100 - 08/25/12 09:53 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

Unless there is some way this mount can work for imaging with this 10" ota with focal reducer and my 15mgp DSLR, the mount or Ota or both will have to go.




Agreed. However, all i was exploring is ( based on your observations ),
is it a mechanical problem? or is it a firmware problem on restarting?.
If it doesnt occur in polar at lower loads, it sorta says mechanical, but if the mount is well balanced, the weight really shouldnt come into it, unless something is flexing.
It looks like the mount is pretty solid and has some good sized bearings on the RA axis, so i cant currently imagine what would cause stiction or prevent it restarting tracking, just because of loading.

Quote:

On my new tripod they adjusted the 2 little stop screws at the top of each leg out more to help keep the leg from breaking off. What this does is prevents the legs from opening as wide thus reducing the leverage and reducing the pressure on the top of each leg joint.




That may actually allow you to increase the moment at the top, not reduce it.
I suspect those screws are simply used to adjust each leg so they all go out at the same angle, ie they are used to adjust for manufacturing tolerances.
However, if they end up digging into the casting under load ( like Davids did ), then thats creating a stress amplification point.
I reckon a lower spreader is the safest means if the mount is going to be run with any sort of load.

Andrew


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5387317 - 08/26/12 12:36 AM

No. The blur is a function of the image scale. Here are two examples which should make the effect easy to visualize:

(A) 8.2 micron camera with a 2350mm FL telescope:

Pixel instantaneous field of view: 0.72 arcseconds/pixel

(B) 8.2 micron camera with a 500 mm FL telescope:

Pixel instantaneous field of view: 3.38 arcseconds/pixel

In case B, the camera / telescope combination can withstand four and a half times the drive error of case A without turning the stars into ovals. This is how cameras and telescopes drive mount performance.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Think it through, Lee. Post again when you've figured it out. Hint- he's talking about using a C9.25.





I have cameras with pixel sizes from 8.2 microns to 1.5 microns. Regardless of which camera I use, the blur caused by tracking error is the same.




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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5387355 - 08/26/12 01:24 AM

Hi Andrew,
The more weight you add, the more friction in the bearings, the harder it is to turn. And the increased friction also makes it harder to start it moving.
With a balanced load you are no so much turning the added weight but the increased friction on the bearing caused by the added weight.
Its harder to get a small electric motor to move very slow with increased loads
I think that if we had some higher quality bearings with reduced friction we could increase the load capacity. Maybe


Its easier to explain the tripod thing if its in front of you. On page 24 of this thread the pics show the screws and when they are unscrewed the leg can't spread out as far. The entire bracket broke off, Here is an exaggerated example of my point. If you were able to spread the legs really far out then jump on the tripod top all the leverage of the leg farther out would increase the chances of it breaking like that one. But if you point the legs straight down there is no leverage added to your weight if you jumped on the top. But like you said, they can help make the legs stick out the same amount. I do agree they should put spreaders on the bottom. And I think they should get rid of those stops on the top of the legs.

If I wanted to shoot 500mm widefield I would just buy a cheap mount and mount my camera with my telephoto lense.

neilson


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5387423 - 08/26/12 02:53 AM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

The more weight you add, the more friction in the bearings




I thought that the RA axle was on ball/roller bearings???
If so, loading ( of the amounts we are discussing ) is ( should be ) irrelevant.

Quote:

The entire bracket broke off, Here is an exaggerated example of my point. If you were able to spread the legs really far out then jump on the tripod top all the leverage of the leg farther out would increase the chances of it breaking like that one. But if you point the legs straight down there is no leverage added to your weight if you jumped on the top.




Yep, but thats not what i think the problem is.
I reckon 99% of the the problem comes from the outward force provided by the spreader as you pull it upwards with the screw tensioner.
This acts like a wedge, so for a given tension in the central rod,
the narrower the angle of the tripod legs,
the greater the twisting force at the top of the leg.
Its easier with a piccy, i will make one up tomorrow to show the forces involved.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5387429 - 08/26/12 03:07 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

Quote:

Speed 1 slew rate is +/-10arcsec/sec ie we get +5 or +25
Speed 2 slew rate is +/-30arcsec/sec ie we get -15 or +45

For RA guiding without triggering backlash, you MUST use speed 1/sidereal at the Hbx.
Pulseguiding always sets the motors to speed 1 to do its moves.




Have attached a picture of what happens in polar at speeds 1 and 2.
The orange traces are the encoder pulsetrains and the blue is the motor PWM.
The black line is the calculated slew rate, based on encoder transition rates.

In this case, i deliberately used a large backlash value to show what happens. Also the percentage is set to zero, so no high speed application of lash gets done.

You will note that when the speed 1 slews are done, we get the expected +25 or +5 slew rates with no motor stops or lash application.
With the speed 2 slews, you can see the effect of lash application lingering long after the slew key was released on the last slew.
Note, even though the plot shows the motor running at -15 arcsec/sec for the second speed 2 slew, the OTA isnt actually moving yet, as the gears are still reversing through their slop region.
With the numbers i used, ie 350arcsec of slop and zero percentage, it would take 350/15 = 23seconds of reverse slewing before the OTA itself started to move.
ie all movement seen in the EP whilst reversing here would be due to sky drifting relative to a stopped OTA.
Ref next post for what happens when lash applies fast

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5387434 - 08/26/12 03:22 AM Attachment (5 downloads)

This plot is identical in process to plot 1, but this time i upped the percentage to 50%.
The behaviour at speed 1 is identical so i havent shown it.
You will now note that when i used a forwards slew at speed 2, it is essentially the same as prior.
However, on starting the reverse slew, you can see a region of about 1.2secs where it slewed at -150 arcsec/sec, before reverting to the required -15 arcsec/sec
The -150 * 1.2 secs = 180arcsec, ie 50% of the 350arcsec slop.
Thus, on reversing, we get a high speed burst to get us through the nominated amount backlash slop, before reverting to the required rate.
Again, in this case, we are still in the slop region, ( as i would have needed to slew for 12 seconds at -15arcsec/sec to take up all the residual slop ) so the OTA will still not have started to physically move.
The end result of this is we have now got a lot more float to remove when going forwards again before we start "physically" tracking.

On releasing the slew key, backlash once more cuts in, ie you can see about 420arcsec/sec for about 1/4 of a second, then a stepped ramping down in speed as it blends the residual backlash into the tracking rate. Even 10 seconds after releasing the slew key, it hasnt fully stabilised.
This is partly why drive training is so critical, and when using speed 2 or above, whats seen in the EP may appear odd, until everything settles down.
The simplest way to beat it "manually" is to slew well past target if your target is "east".
Then catch up by slewing west, thus removing any lash effects.
Again, in RA at speed1, none of this comes into play, ie it should guide smoothly and correctly, with no stopping or jerking.

Andrew


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Why me? [Re: neilson]
      #5387565 - 08/26/12 08:41 AM

Neilson

The manufacturers built mounts that can handle a certain weight pretty well for AP. Say 25#. Then the engineers say it can handle a50# weight without failures but will be preety jittery and generally unstable. They will sell the mount with ota loads all the way up mto that load.

Every one told me to cut down the weight loading especially with long FL. Like you I didn't listen. I thought these people don't know better than those that designed the mount and must not know what they are talking about. They are correct, don't believe they hype, most mounts (especially under $2000) will take a lot to work, and be frustrating at max loads and FLs. I wish it were different.


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