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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Patrik Iver
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/29/03

Loc: Kaarina, Finland
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: coopman]
      #5564205 - 12/10/12 01:36 PM

Quote:

I have some experience with the Unistar and the MG2, using a FS-102 or a 120ED OTA. With both mounts, the imbalance caused by a 2" diagonal, a fairly heavy eyepiece and the finderscope (all with a CG above that of the tube itself), tend to make the OTA rotate when it is pointed nearly vertical.




The DiscMounts tilt-in saddle is offset about half an inch downwards in order to balance better. The altitude axis centerpoint thus lies a bit above the tube centerline.

Further regarding the DM6 (and the Berlebach Planet), some points I've noted and experienced, in no particular order:

The extension really is necessary for use with an even moderately long refractor. The DM extension (to me and to my engineers eyes) looks like a design that would not be particularly stiff torsionally, but in reality is is quite stiff. I can't note any difference in mount damping time with or without the extension (loaded with a pretty heavy 130 mm f/6.3 triplet).

The handle is nice to have. I got the angled version to avoid it being too close to the focuser, but in retrospect the straight version would have been better because it does not interfere as easily when viewing targets with higher altitudes. I've seen pictures where people have tried to avoid this problem by turning the saddle upside down, but then the saddle offset is wrong vs the scope center of gravity.

If you plan to use the DM mount with a tripod other than a DM, remember to order the "interface disc" (round spacer) to go between the tripod metal top and the mount metal base. I fastened the disc with double sided tape to the Planet top plate.

The leg angle of the standard Planet is much too narrow for my liking (with an offset load such as on any " side-mount head". I have had a Berlebach UNI 18 L for about ten years now, and I particularly like the wide stance of that tripod, when used with the largest tray available. The Planet comes with a fixed spreader, but I ordered mine to be delivered unattached, so I could choose the leg angle I wanted before fastening the spreader. I fastened it as high as possible, while still allowing decently easy removal of the tray.

Double leg clamps are nice to have, as wooden tripods swell and contract with humidity changes.

As are the rubber feet, if using the tripod on concrete or a wooden deck. Or storing it on a wooden floor...

The Nexus WiFi telescope interface can be highly recommended, and it sits very nicely with velcro (or with its own mounting plate) on the rear plate (opposite the scope) of the DM6. Works flawlessly with Sky Safari. I still use the Argo Navis when the temperaure is too low for iPad use or the site is too dark to risk ruining my night vision with the iPad, but other that that, Sky Safari and Nexus really are a great combination.

I chose the DM6 over the T-Rex and various AYO-models because it felt like the mechanically least complicated, and thus probably most rugged alternative. I fully beilive I would have been happy with any of the above mounts (when the Giro I had, and still use with ligher scoped, proved too weak for the inteded use).

I haven't had my GEM out for almost a year now - the whole time since getting the DM.


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kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Patrik Iver]
      #5564972 - 12/10/12 09:52 PM

I placed an order today for a DSV-2 for use with my two relatively small refractors. It's not as substantial as the DSV-3, but after talking to and e-mailing Raul at Desert Sky Astro, I think it will suit my needs for portability and stability. I like slo mo controls and the fact that this mount has lockless controls along with a handle and being able to mount two scopes at the same time made this a good choice for me. I should receive it right after the first of the year.

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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: kevint1]
      #5565496 - 12/11/12 08:02 AM

Kevin, what is the delivery time for the mount?

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kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5565803 - 12/11/12 11:55 AM

t.r.
Raul said he could ship the DSV-2 right after Christmas and I expect it will take a week to get to me.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: tomcody]
      #5565853 - 12/11/12 12:27 PM

I think you inadvertently identified what folks don't like about the Losmandy tripod: "...and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car...". Many folks prefer a folding tripod that doesn't break down into as many pieces. In fact, Losmandy now offers a (ridiculously bulky, IMO) folding tripod due to demand from such folks. Lots of pieces is great for packing a full vehicle but adds steps in the setup and take down process.

Also for many, Made in USA is just above Made in Taiwan or China, and below Made in Japan or Made in Germany (which is where the Berlebach comes from).

But the Losmandy mount with an extension makes sense to me. If I went that route, though, I'd go ahead and also get a G-11 EQ head (non-Gemini) for versatility (i.e., being able to take one tripod and two heads, one tracking and one not, on trips).

Regards,

Jim


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5565896 - 12/11/12 12:50 PM

Quote:

I think you inadvertently identified what folks don't like about the Losmandy tripod: "...and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car...". Many folks prefer a folding tripod that doesn't break down into as many pieces. In fact, Losmandy now offers a (ridiculously bulky, IMO) folding tripod due to demand from such folks. Lots of pieces is great for packing a full vehicle but adds steps in the setup and take down process.

Also for many, Made in USA is just above Made in Taiwan or China, and below Made in Japan or Made in Germany (which is where the Berlebach comes from).

But the Losmandy mount with an extension makes sense to me. If I went that route, though, I'd go ahead and also get a G-11 EQ head (non-Gemini) for versatility (i.e., being able to take one tripod and two heads, one tracking and one not, on trips).

Regards,

Jim




I just noticed something very similar with a new (to me) mount that I just bought for dissection. As soon as I went to set it up, I realized that, instead of one central attachment bolt like I am use to with most mounts in this size range, I had to use three relatively small, non-captive, thumb bolts to attach the head to the tripod. I then had to dig around to find the the bag that the thumb bolts had been placed in for shipping. It immediately occurred to me how easy (and likely) it will be to loose these. I have the same problem with my CGE which requires six bolts to put together.

When it comes to transportable equipment, small is nice, but fewer pieces is even nicer.


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tomcody
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5566037 - 12/11/12 02:20 PM

Quote:

I think you inadvertently identified what folks don't like about the Losmandy tripod: "...and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car...". Many folks prefer a folding tripod that doesn't break down into as many pieces. In fact, Losmandy now offers a (ridiculously bulky, IMO) folding tripod due to demand from such folks. Lots of pieces is great for packing a full vehicle but adds steps in the setup and take down process.




Each to their own, but I think carrying and loading four parts, each of which is less than about 9 pounds, is better than doing the same with one bulky object about weighing 30 pounds (tripod and adapter plate).
Quote:


Also for many, Made in USA is just above Made in Taiwan or China, and below Made in Japan or Made in Germany (which is where the Berlebach comes from).



I was referring to the fact that the Losmandy being made in the USA should cost less to ship than coming from Germany, but if you want to make this about quality? I find Losmandy's to be first class especially for the price and you probably do also to make the statement below about buying a G11.
Quote:


But the Losmandy mount with an extension makes sense to me. If I went that route, though, I'd go ahead and also get a G-11 EQ head (non-Gemini) for versatility (i.e., being able to take one tripod and two heads, one tracking and one not, on trips).

Regards,

Jim



One thing to consider, with a DM6 the adapter plate will live on the bottom of the head (no need to ever remove it) and with a Losmandy HD tripod, the extender can live on the central section, so assembling everything amounts to clamping on the legs and setting the head on top.
Rex


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5566125 - 12/11/12 03:14 PM

Jim,

You might consider Losmandy F (Foldable) HD tripod or FHD tripod if you were going for Losmandy tripod.
It is one piece, I mean heavy one piece. I feel FHD is more solid than HD.

When I go to star party, I take FHD. It is easy to transport in the car.
When I use G11 at home, I use HD tripod.
DM-6 is on FHD at home.

Leg folded FHD on left, one leg removed from HD on right:


Tammy


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dedo
member


Reged: 06/04/10

Loc: Italy, Rome
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Patrik Iver]
      #5566943 - 12/12/12 03:02 AM

Hi Jim and all, it happens that just yesterday I've pulled the trigger on a TEC140 on a T-REX and a Baader tripod.
The only thing I can say about the T-REX is marvellous: while looking Jupiter at 130x the vendor screwed in on the focuser a new finder base and in the image in the ep remained perfectly still and all the movements are just as perfect as it could be, at least for my taste.
To my particular sample has been also been applied (not by me) two motors for altitude and azimuth movements and, in case any owner of this mount could be interested, just drop me a line and I'll be glad to send you as much informations as I can on the mod.
Clear Skies


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5582350 - 12/21/12 11:43 AM

Finally Super HalfHitch arrived just before Christmas. Thanks, Charles

From left to right:
TSA102S on SHH, APM 100ED bino on HH, Kowa Highlander on HH MarkII upgrade:


Closeup on SHH:


Looking forward to trainable tracking option.

Tammy


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Jim7728
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/10/05

Loc: Stoop Landing Observatory, NYC
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5582489 - 12/21/12 01:08 PM

Sweet!

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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5582621 - 12/21/12 02:49 PM



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Mike W
sage


Reged: 04/30/06

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: EFT]
      #5584027 - 12/22/12 12:35 PM

You can order from Losmandy three Thunbscrews that STAY in the head, works great! Drop head on, rotate head and tighten, all of ten seconds and nothing to lose. I think they should come with it but like anything else keep the price down wherever possible.

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WolfTracks
member


Reged: 07/06/12

Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5584146 - 12/22/12 01:56 PM

I was going to get a Nova Hitch to mount my TAK TSA-102s on but I just could not want wait months to get it so I ordered a new DM-6 and I am very happy with it. I can put a Pentax 30MM XW in or pull it out with nothing in the diagonal and the telescope stays put. Plus it tracks smooth as butter and you can push it with one finger. I mounted it on a Takahashi SE-L tripod that is quite solid and everything just take minutes to set up. A 5mm eyepiece gives me 163X and tracking is so easy that I really don't need any knobs for that. The only complaint I have is that they are expensive, but no more so than any comparable mount and you can get them now.

If I were going to use a larger telescope and higher magnification, especially for the public to look through, I would just set up an equatorial mount with tracking. But if you just want to keep things simple, fast and fun--the DM-6 is pretty hard to beat.


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la200o
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/09/08

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5584420 - 12/22/12 05:44 PM

Quote:

The hitch mounts look fussy to me. . .
On the other hand they are the most beautiful (in an architectural sense) alt-az mounts I've ever seen.

Regards,

Jim




This impression is essentially correct.

Bill


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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: la200o]
      #5586031 - 12/23/12 05:53 PM

So what's it gonna be, Jim? You usually have something on a brown truck by now.

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SteveC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/15/06

Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5589742 - 12/26/12 01:18 PM

Hi Jim,

You're right, the DM mounts are nothing to write home about aesthetically, but they work great. I used the DM6 for many years with the TEC140. I sold the DM6 and replaced it with the DM 4 to use with the TEC110. The DM 4 has a higher capacity than what has been reported. I've been tempted to put the 140 to see how well the mount can handle the extra weight..


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Mark9473
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/21/05

Loc: 51N 4E
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: SteveC]
      #5589943 - 12/26/12 04:20 PM

Anybody know of a good DM-6 tripod extension? I hear the DM extension works well, but I'd prefer something tubular.

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Jim7728
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/10/05

Loc: Stoop Landing Observatory, NYC
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5590024 - 12/26/12 05:25 PM Attachment (37 downloads)

Other than that it's a little pricey, I think the DM-6 8" tripod extension is perfect in that it's light weight and the three struts act as a nice hand hold when moving the tripod around.

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