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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
In the market for a new alt-az mount...
      #5558502 - 12/06/12 11:40 PM

For many years a Lapides modified Teegul alt-az on a beefy Bogen tripod has been my alt-az solution.



But I would now like an alt-az mount with higher capacity and easy DSC/encoder installation. Specifically I'd like an alt-az mount suitable for longish 4" refractors, my TEC 140 and SCTs up to about 9.25".

I've looked at the DM6, Half Hitch Nova, Unistar and T-Rex mounts. Then I came across the Desert Sky Astro Products mounts.

http://www.desertskyastro.com/

They sound like they'd be right in line with my requirements and preferences (I need to be able to handle either Vixen or Losmandy dovetails, want simplicity, want slo mo controls plus a pan handle, etc. Anyone used one of these?

Regards,

Jim


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5558591 - 12/07/12 01:19 AM

Jim,

You should definitely have a look at the AOK Swiss / AYO line.
The new AYO Mark II offers full encapsuled encoders.
Using a counter weight on the opposite side of the scopes it can carry up to 12 kg's.
None of the AYO's has slow mo's but with this kind of design it is simply not necessary, maybe an optional "Guiding Handle" for even smoother movements.

Here is the complete lineup:
http://www.aokswiss.ch/d/mont/ayo/uebersicht_ayo.html

And here the new AYO Mark II:
http://www.aokswiss.ch/d/mont/ayo/ayo_mark_II/uebersicht_ayo_mark_II.html

....up to the real heavy Duty "AYO Master"

best regards
Chris

Edited by chboss (12/07/12 01:30 AM)


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SMigol
sage


Reged: 07/30/10

Loc: California, USA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: chboss]
      #5558599 - 12/07/12 01:34 AM

Orion just released a new version of their atlas that has an Alt/Az config with goto/encoders so that you can "push to" as well.

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mattyfatz
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/27/06

Loc: Boise Idaho
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: SMigol]
      #5558617 - 12/07/12 02:00 AM

Your absolutely insane of you don't consider the Universal Astronomics Unistar. You should at least put a call in and discuss your needs. The UA mounts are as tough and reliable as battleships.. But they are as silky smooth as the Queen's Undies

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beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5558642 - 12/07/12 02:54 AM

Wouldn't the loaded TEC 140 be stretching the stated 20 lb load limit of the mount for this type of scope?

Eric


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Jim7728
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Reged: 04/10/05

Loc: Stoop Landing Observatory, NYC
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: chboss]
      #5558716 - 12/07/12 06:48 AM

Quote:

None of the AYO's has slow mo's but with this kind of design it is simply not necessary, maybe an optional "Guiding Handle" for even smoother movements.





Agree, as far as not needing slow motion controls which requires two hands in a sometimes awkward position. One hand tracking feels more natural, to me.

For a TEC 140 and 9.25 SCT, I'd go from least expensive starting with the Unistar Deluxe Super 8 with Losmandy saddle and Encoders, AYOmaster or a DM-6 of which I just acquired and think it has the most load capacity of the three.

A Über tripod would also need to be in the mix.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: chboss]
      #5559047 - 12/07/12 10:54 AM

Wow, thanks Chris.

Those are nice mounts! I am looking at the Master. Just $2355 with the encoders, and made in Switzerland, land of fine machinery.

Regards,

Jim


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t.r.
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5559083 - 12/07/12 11:12 AM

Personally I feel slo-mo's are a must for high power planetary viewing. I'm in the same boat currently shopping for "thee" alt/az mount that I can live with as my main mount. Being visual only, I'm considering simplifying and selling the Mach 1. My requirements are for an alt/az with DSC, slow-motions and 30 pound (130GT or C11) capacity. The way I see it, I have two options: The Nova Hitch or the DSV3. The only differences I can come up with is that, one, the DSV3 can carry both instruments at the same time. Two, the Nova centers the OTA over the az-axis which may be more stable. And three, the Nova is a *BLEEP* load (DOUBLY) more expensive. But, as an only mount, it may be worth the price of admission. As far as I'm concerned, either can be fitted with train and track motors so not a point in the Nova's favor. I just have two concerns, can I live without an equatorial mount and is the CG design of the Nova superior to the DSV3's? Perhaps like you Jim, I'm in a quandary right now on picking the right alt/az...

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5559126 - 12/07/12 11:35 AM

So I'm not entirely sold on the need for slo-mo, to be honest. I also have a Gibraltar that I use with my TV-102, and while it's not an optimal mating (the TV-102 being too long for the standard Gibraltar's capabilities, IMO), high magnification planetary observing isn't much of an issue compared to the same scenario with the slo-mo equipped Lapides Teegul. So long as the axial movements are smooth, nudging works as well as knobing at high magnification, I think. My main interest in slo-mo is not for tracking but rather for precise placement when observing extended targets like the moon. I find slo-mo is really handy for moving between craters when using Rukl of another detailed lunar atlas, for example.

t.r., have you considered the T-Rex?

Regards,

Jim


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stephanm
member


Reged: 07/07/11

Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5559131 - 12/07/12 11:38 AM

I too am interested in a heavier duty alt az mount. However, I need to keep the total cost, with tripod to around $1000. Hence my interest in the DSV-3. I have read good things about the other DSV mounts, but not much on this one. I revived a thread about the DSV-3 before I saw this thread with hopes of getting some info on it.

Thanks,
Stephan


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t.r.
Post Laureate
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Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: stephanm]
      #5559142 - 12/07/12 11:47 AM

I did consider the T-rex when it first came out, but have since ruled it out based on price vs. the Nova, which I feel gives more for the dollar. The DSV3 is the value mount for what it delivers and is my front runner.

Stephan, for $1000, you may want to try Stellarvue. They may still have a few MG2's around that have all these features plus encoders that would get you where you want to be. It just doesn't have the carry capacity I need...


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stephanm
member


Reged: 07/07/11

Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: t.r.]
      #5559248 - 12/07/12 12:51 PM

The DSV-3 is $765 and the DSV surveyor tripod is $200, so this one is doable for me. I'm not really interested in the MG2. SV has discontinued it, mainly for QC reasons. I do like their surveyed tripod, which appears to be the same as the DSV model, but with a nice wooden tray.

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DaveJ
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Reged: 01/07/05

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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5559278 - 12/07/12 01:11 PM

Quote:

They sound like they'd be right in line with my requirements and preferences (I need to be able to handle either Vixen or Losmandy dovetails, want simplicity, want slo mo controls plus a pan handle, etc. Anyone used one of these?




Jim, you had my curiosity up since I, too, have been interested in a quick-setup ALT/AZ mount for my TEC 140. Unfortunately, I saw this quote on their site, "The DSV-3 is recommended for refractors up to 1000f/l, 20lb in weight." I don't know about your setup, but my TEC 140 is north of 25lbs when I'm actually using it. Same with my MaxScope 90 - another OTA I wanted to use with it. Sounds a little too light weight for us.


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coopman
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Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5559484 - 12/07/12 03:23 PM

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 only way that I have found to negate this to push the OTA forward in the tube rings. Then, if you later to look at something that is at a lower angle, or switch to a much lighter eyepiece, you have to move the OTA backwards to keep the scope from being nose heavy and diving. I have not found any alt-az mount yet which allows me to use these refractors without having to do this "push the tube forward" and "push the tube backwards" routine. I do like the slo-mo controls on the MG2 - it has the Unistar beat in this respect. The user's movements provide the slo-mo controls with the Unistar, and if you're using 200X or more it can get sort of frustrating. I guess that this is why I don't do much planetary observing.

Edited by coopman (12/07/12 03:24 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5559573 - 12/07/12 04:31 PM

You may be right, Dave, but the manufacturer posted this on Astromart.

http://www.astromart.com/classifieds/details.asp?classified_id=794814

"The DSV-3 delivers:
* Proven 140mm f/7 Refractor and 11" SCT capability. The DSV-3 can carry each of these scopes by itself or both at the same time. The mount works well with Refractors, SCTs, Maks, Newtonians, etc."

And this...

"So, how does the DSV-3 perform? In the words of DSV-3 owner:
"BTW, I got a brief first session in last night. Using one tube at a time I mounted a TEC 140 and then a Tak 102. I had no problems following your manual and I had the setup balanced in minutes. The Tak, of course, did not come close to challenging this mount. The great news is that neither did the TEC 140. It's great to have an alt/az mount capable of such a load that moves when I push and stops when I stop pushing. Very smooth in all directions. No drift at horizon nor at zenith. No tension added, I kept it loose. During the brief time I observed (fed the mosquitoes) I used a Nagler Type6 9mm on the lighter end and an Ethos 21 on the heavier end. The QBS responded quickly and perfectly"

Steve E. in Louisiana"

Which leaves me to believe that the rating on the website is out of date. The C11 OTA bare is 27#, then add a finder, diagonal, etc., and you're pushing 30# pretty quickly. I also assume the TEC 140s it was tested with weren't "naked". That is, they included rings, dovetail, finder, diagonal, etc.



Regards,

Jim


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Scott99
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5559666 - 12/07/12 05:40 PM

I've used the Teegul for a long time also, if I was going to "ramp up" I'd go with the Discmount or T-Rex.

But I've found with my larger scope I'm using higher magnifications and get frustrated without tracking, and the larger alt-az mounts are almost as much hassle as setting up an equatorial.


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Patrick
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Scott99]
      #5560034 - 12/07/12 10:02 PM

Quote:

But I've found with my larger scope I'm using higher magnifications and get frustrated without tracking, and the larger alt-az mounts are almost as much hassle as setting up an equatorial.




I wonder about this too. My Vixen GP2 is really pretty easy to setup. The only negative is that I have to point the scope in EQ mode rather than in alt/az, but then once I'm on the target I get tracking for free.

Patrick


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crazyqban
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Miami, Florida
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Patrick]
      #5560061 - 12/07/12 10:17 PM

I pre-ordered the new Nova Hitch. You should check out their yahoo group for information or call Charles directly. I think that it is going to be an extraordinary alt-az mount.

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M44
sage
*****

Reged: 03/24/07

Loc: SoCal.
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5560231 - 12/08/12 12:29 AM Attachment (71 downloads)

When I was receiving my AP 130 GT, I was looking for a suitable alt-az mount and finally settled for AYOdigi from Beat Kohler of AYOSWISS (beat@aokswiss.ch).

AP130 GT is a beast, Beat suggested AYOdigi based on my requirements with fully loaded AP130GT. I paid under $1500 that includes encoders / Argo navis holder and shipping to USA in the middle of 2011. May be the dollar rate and new prices changed the price.

I previously used Grio II, Universal astronomics, Quarter-hitch and Tak Teegul. All of them pale in comparison when it comes to the load capacity or the smoothness of the movements of AYOdigi. It is one finely machined and solid piece of equipment. The encoders are 10,000 tic and always palced the object in view with my AP130/Docter 12.5mm 84 deg eyepiece).

It will be a perfect match to TEC 140 when matched with a tripod like Berlebach planet (which I use) or I think DM6 is equally capable to satisfy your needs when it has the extender(which I dislike).

I do NOT prefer slow motion controls especially when the mount is light weight. Every turn induces vibration (Like my Mini Half-hitch). I also dislike anything less than Losmandy D-style saddles when mounting a heavy refractor.

AYOdigi comes standard with vixen style and the other end with holes with 35mm spacing allowing to attach Takahashi clamshells or Robin casady's 8" saddle. I asked for 35mm spacing on both sides to attach Casady's dovetail saddles, you can take a look at a pic of Ayodigi with my refractors at Ayoswiss page.

Only a couple things I did not like of AYOdigi are 1) the base comes with 3/8" hole drilled within the Aluminum base. I would like to be changed with a Steel base like Half-hith mounts for repeated assemble/disassemble. The second thing is you can not completely lock an unbalanced scope (this is a negative with every alt-az mount except Half-hitch style mounts).

Now I use AYOdigi with Kokusai kohki vixen porta guide handle, without handle it is hard to pan the scope. This handle fits perfectly with 35mm spacing (as in Takahashi Teegul).
I initially opted for Super half-hitch but it was never materialized. If I have to do it again, I would first opt for AYOdigi or DM6.

The choice of Tripod and dovetail saddle attachment is as important as the mount itself .

Good luck!


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M44
sage
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Reged: 03/24/07

Loc: SoCal.
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: crazyqban]
      #5560239 - 12/08/12 12:35 AM

Quote:

I pre-ordered the new Nova Hitch. You should check out their yahoo group for information or call Charles directly. I think that it is going to be an extraordinary alt-az mount.




A word of caution when pre-ordering. I wouldn't place an order unless the mounts are currently shipping.

When I placed an order for Super half-hitch, I had to wait 14 months and no mount in sight. There were issues with sub-contracter. Finally i had to cancel and wait for my refund. It was very frustrating experience and I will never do that mistake again when purchasing astro equipment.

Hopefully things got better now for the Nova hitch.


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crazyqban
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Miami, Florida
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: M44]
      #5560393 - 12/08/12 03:57 AM

I'm not in any particular hurry. I m currently using a Lapides Modified Teegul that I really like and works just fime for what I need. I plan to sell the Teegul once I get the Nova if I am happy with it. Thanks for the heads up.

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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: crazyqban]
      #5560536 - 12/08/12 08:57 AM

I am interested in the DVS-3 for a 4 " f/11 ish refractor, amoung other scopes. I am wondering if it can handle that, as far as a functional balance, i.e. the slo-mo for that tube length being underwhelmed, not overwhelmed, the tension adjustment not having to be tightened to the extreme, assuming balance is correct. For me slo-mo is necessary.

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neotesla
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Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Canada
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: moynihan]
      #5560643 - 12/08/12 10:36 AM

This was posted before in another thread...

http://trackthestars.com/


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moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: neotesla]
      #5560665 - 12/08/12 10:49 AM



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Jim7728
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Loc: Stoop Landing Observatory, NYC
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: neotesla]
      #5560735 - 12/08/12 11:30 AM

Quote:

This was posted before in another thread...

[url=http://trackthestars.com/]http://trackthestars.com/[/ur l]




Oooh!


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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: Scott99]
      #5560786 - 12/08/12 12:09 PM

Quote:

I've used the Teegul for a long time also, if I was going to "ramp up" I'd go with the Discmount or T-Rex.

But I've found with my larger scope I'm using higher magnifications and get frustrated without tracking, and the larger alt-az mounts are almost as much hassle as setting up an equatorial.




Which Alt/Az mounts are you referring to? My experience is that the larger ones with encoders are pretty much drop it on the ground, attach the scope and go.


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Scott99
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Reged: 05/10/07

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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: EFT]
      #5561406 - 12/08/12 07:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I've used the Teegul for a long time also, if I was going to "ramp up" I'd go with the Discmount or T-Rex.

But I've found with my larger scope I'm using higher magnifications and get frustrated without tracking, and the larger alt-az mounts are almost as much hassle as setting up an equatorial.




Which Alt/Az mounts are you referring to? My experience is that the larger ones with encoders are pretty much drop it on the ground, attach the scope and go.




I would say that my equatorial mount is also drop on the ground and go, after you lift several heavy components. When I look at any alt-az setup that can handle my 30 pound refractor, most of them save me only 1 heavy component that has to be set up.

When I say "set up" that means carry everything from my house to the car, then out of the car to observe, then back home again, etc. When I look at larger alt-az mounts, I'm generally saving 1 trip to the car on both ends, and maybe a minute or two in the field. Not enough time and energy saved to justify giving up tracking. I don't use encoders or goto on any of the mounts, so the equatorial is ready very quickly also.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: crazyqban]
      #5561445 - 12/08/12 08:24 PM

The hitch mounts look fussy to me. Maybe they aren't, but they look (and read) complicated compared to others. If I want complicated, I'll go full GOTO and tracking. In an alt-az, I want braindead-simple, point and shoot.

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

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: neotesla]
      #5561514 - 12/08/12 09:10 PM

Beautiful. I love the Scandinavian design ethic. On the other hand, the Danes aren't known for their software engineering. How much cooler would that mount be if, instead of their own hand controller, they'd developed iOS and Android apps to allow control of the mount with a smartphone or tablet?

I just picked up two iPad Minis. One for my sister and another for my father, for Christmas. I think the Mini is the ultimate telescope mount control pad. I use an iPad 2, but the Mini is sized better and the retina display is simply jaw dropping. Heck, skip the software development altogether and do a deal with Southern Stars to support the mount in Sky Safari.

But I digress. For my alt-az mount, I specifically do NOT want the hassles of heavy power requirements and tracking. I want it to be akin to the low overhead experience of a push-to Dob. That said, I will keep an eye on the new Danish entry. It's lovely and would be a wonderful GOTO mount replacement.

- Jim


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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies
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Reged: 09/11/06

Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5561640 - 12/08/12 10:53 PM

Quote:

Beautiful. I love the Scandinavian design ethic. On the other hand, the Danes aren't known for their software engineering. How much cooler would that mount be if, instead of their own hand controller, they'd developed iOS and Android apps to allow control of the mount with a smartphone or tablet?

I just picked up two iPad Minis. One for my sister and another for my father, for Christmas. I think the Mini is the ultimate telescope mount control pad. I use an iPad 2, but the Mini is sized better and the retina display is simply jaw dropping. Heck, skip the software development altogether and do a deal with Southern Stars to support the mount in Sky Safari.

But I digress. For my alt-az mount, I specifically do NOT want the hassles of heavy power requirements and tracking. I want it to be akin to the low overhead experience of a push-to Dob. That said, I will keep an eye on the new Danish entry. It's lovely and would be a wonderful GOTO mount replacement.

- Jim




Perhaps get a DM 6 and be done?

Just a thought?


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Midnight Dan
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5562110 - 12/09/12 10:03 AM

I just put in an order for a DesertSky Astro DSV-1. Obviously much smaller/lighter than what you're looking for, but in my research all the DSV mounts have gotten nothing but glowing reviews and seem to be able to handle much more than their rated loads.

The DSV3 looks remarkably similar in design to the AYO units, is less expensive, and is supported directly by its creator in this country. An advantage if you need service, or parts.

-Dan


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tomcody
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5562508 - 12/09/12 01:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Beautiful. I love the Scandinavian design ethic. On the other hand, the Danes aren't known for their software engineering. How much cooler would that mount be if, instead of their own hand controller, they'd developed iOS and Android apps to allow control of the mount with a smartphone or tablet?

I just picked up two iPad Minis. One for my sister and another for my father, for Christmas. I think the Mini is the ultimate telescope mount control pad. I use an iPad 2, but the Mini is sized better and the retina display is simply jaw dropping. Heck, skip the software development altogether and do a deal with Southern Stars to support the mount in Sky Safari.

But I digress. For my alt-az mount, I specifically do NOT want the hassles of heavy power requirements and tracking. I want it to be akin to the low overhead experience of a push-to Dob. That said, I will keep an eye on the new Danish entry. It's lovely and would be a wonderful GOTO mount replacement.

- Jim




Perhaps get a DM 6 and be done?

Just a thought?



+1
You won't find better than a DM6 with an Ipad/Sky safari connection to the Sky Commander.
I recommend getting two tripods, the stock wooden tripod for lighter scopes (grab and go), and a Losmandy HD tripod with 12" Losmandy extension for the 140 up.
Rex


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5562591 - 12/09/12 02:47 PM

There's something about the DM aesthetic I just don't like. That coupled with a lack of slo mo controls kinda turns me off of 'em. How easy is it to put a DM head on a tripod other than the ones DM offers? I find their "fence board" tripods ghastly.

Also, has anyone put any of these higher end alt-az heads on a Rob Miller tripod?

- Jim


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M44
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5562630 - 12/09/12 03:17 PM


DM6 can be attached to any tripod with a 3/8" stud. Berlebach / Rob miller can make custom made this to attach any alt/az that are available today.

Atleast one set up I saw on CN is with DM6 and Rob miller tripod.

I had considered Rob miller tripod, though it is light weight tripod, it can not be retracted for portability. Basic version come with 36", not enough for any size of the refractor. You need extensions (extra $$$) or go for a taller tripod (extra $$$).

Losmandy tripod with extension sounds good otherwise I suggest Berlebach planet for portability.


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tomcody
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5562703 - 12/09/12 04:03 PM

Quote:

There's something about the DM aesthetic I just don't like. That coupled with a lack of slo mo controls kinda turns me off of 'em. How easy is it to put a DM head on a tripod other than the ones DM offers? I find their "fence board" tripods ghastly.

Also, has anyone put any of these higher end alt-az heads on a Rob Miller tripod?

- Jim



See this thread for Rob Miller tripod & DM6:
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=refrac...,

As for liking the aesthetic? When I go from a Meade 7mm RG to a Ethos 13mm eyepiece and don't have to rebalance, I love the way it looks!
Rex

Edited by David Pavlich (12/27/12 11:39 AM)


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5562734 - 12/09/12 04:26 PM

I have a few tripods that I use with DM-6 (T-REX, and Half Hitch, Vixen SXD, and G11) interchangeably. I made G11 mount base as standard way to attach mount to tripod.

FLT 152 on DM-6/12" extension/Losmandy FHD:


MN-86 on DM-6/8" extension/Losmandy FHD:


TMB 130SS on DM-6/8" extesion/Planet on left, FLT 152 on T-REX/12" extension tube/Binoscope Tall Tripod on right:


TMB 130SS on HH, DM-4 8" extension/Losmandy FHD:


TMB 130SS on HH, 12" extension/Losmandy FHD:


TMB 130SS on DM-6/8" extension/Planet on left:


If you aim for simplicity, I would go with DM-6, potentially go with larger scope in the future (say, TEC 180FL).

I am supposed to have Super Half Hitch delivery next week. I am planning to replace T-REX with SHH for TMB 130SS use. T-REX is for FLT 152, DM-6 is for MN-86.

Tammy


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jrbarnett
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5563151 - 12/09/12 09:21 PM

Tammy:

How would you rate the T-Rex versus the DM-6?

Regards,

Jim


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5563274 - 12/09/12 10:38 PM

Quote:

Tammy:

How would you rate the T-Rex versus the DM-6?

Regards,

Jim




Hi Jim,

I would say that T-REX functions as good as DM-6 with 45lb 6" f/8 refractor on Losmandy FHD tripod.

If you go beyond that, I feel a little more comfortable going with DM-6.

Tammy


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Jim7728
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: tomcody]
      #5563583 - 12/10/12 05:41 AM

Quote:

As for liking the aesthetic? When I go from a Meade 7mm RG to a Ethos 13mm eyepiece and don't have to rebalance, I love the way it looks!
Rex





Tammy's DM-6 on top of the Berlebach Planet tripod looks very aesthetically pleasing to me, as well as functional and is why I have one on order for my DM-6.


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tomcody
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Jim7728]
      #5564178 - 12/10/12 01:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

As for liking the aesthetic? When I go from a Meade 7mm RG to a Ethos 13mm eyepiece and don't have to rebalance, I love the way it looks!
Rex





Tammy's DM-6 on top of the Berlebach Planet tripod looks very aesthetically pleasing to me, as well as functional and is why I have one on order for my DM-6.



You don't have to tell me, I like the way it looks, JBarnett the OP, is the one who said he disliked the looks, I was trying to make a point that the function of it matters more than how it looks.
Rex
PS I don't understand the value of the BerleBach over the Losmandy tripod? especially if one uses the Losmandy 12" extension. The Losmandy is strong and light, costs less, I think? when one considers shipping, and comes apart into four lightweight pieces to carry and fit into the car. and is made in the USA.
Rex


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Patrik Iver
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Re: In the market for a new alt-az mount... new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5590024 - 12/26/12 05:25 PM Attachment (42 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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