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Equipment Discussions >> Binoculars

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wky46
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Reged: 12/12/05

Loc: west Ky.
Any other mounts besides a parallelogram?
      #5609414 - 01/06/13 11:00 PM

Looking to build a parallelogram mount for my 20x80's but just wondering if there are any other practical designs out there before I start. I'm thinking maybe something like a shoulder harness design or a simple arm holding the binocular with the weight transferring to ones chest. Or maybe even a simple but functional monopod. What else is out there for heavier binos? Thanks, Phil

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daniel_h
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5609519 - 01/07/13 12:19 AM

Do you want to use them sitting or standing, monopod would only be useful for short looks with a 20x80 I would think
Gary seronik on his website has a counterbalanced mount without the UP/down that a p-mount provides' useful for sitting only
Instead of p mint you could just use tripod/fluid head


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Jawaid I. Abbasi
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: daniel_h]
      #5609556 - 01/07/13 01:12 AM

If you can take pain in your neck area while observing over 65-70 degree using azimuth-alt mount then buy a mount that at least double or triple capacity.

A monopod is still better but building a P-mount is really a fun (I know because I built three P-mount)
Have fun


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: daniel_h]
      #5609764 - 01/07/13 08:48 AM

Sorry, yes I meant to say I mainly like to view sitting and lying, hence the parallelogram. However, with maybe a shoulder harness type mounting system it would certainly provide more mobility. Probably will go with the traditional P-mount but thought there might be some ideas where people were thinking outside the box.....Phil

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Mike Lynch
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Jawaid I. Abbasi]
      #5609793 - 01/07/13 09:11 AM

I agree with Jawaid... I built a parallelogram mount, and it works well for me!

But you might search this site for an article by Ed Zarenski entitled "Binocular Mounts, Tripods & Mounting." He shows several ideas for mounting binoculars.

I hope this URL (from THIS Web site!) for that article comes through:
http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1344

I bought a cradle specifically for putting on a tripod with a Bogen head I bought from Ed. The head is pictured in the 7th and 8th photos at that article's page. The cradle shown in those pictures is no longer available from ScopeStuff, incidentally.

But, as Jawaid points out, this can be a pain in the neck when observing objects pretty high in the sky!

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA


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Don M
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Loc: Roseau, Minnesota
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5609880 - 01/07/13 10:24 AM

Hi Phil, This may not be what you have in mind, however, the StarRocker works well for me and
provides a 'crazy fun' type of freedom and comfort! 10 x 50, 15 x 70, 20 x 80's. StarRocker - CN Rocks!
----------------


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wky46
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Loc: west Ky.
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Don M]
      #5610784 - 01/07/13 07:29 PM

Don, that is absolutely the coolest thing EVER (and your star seeker) I don't know if you remember, but I ran across your old thread kinda recently and emailed you about the star rocker. I'm going to look at those pics in the other thread a little closer and may attempt something similar. Awesome Don, thanks for the reminder ..... Phil

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Gordon Rayner
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5611280 - 01/08/13 01:12 AM

An inertially stabilized, shoulder supported mount allows sitting, and views up to near the zenith, if the stabilizer pole is in front, and a counterweight is behind the head.

The original(?) presented by Alan MacRobert in Sky and Telescope, and available on their website, used stabilizer beams behind the head, which interfere with the ground in a chair of normal height.

20x is probably too much, but certainly better than handheld , and your neck will be comfortable.

An eight or ten foot painter's extension pole (Home Depot, etc) gives very considerable stabilization up to 12X-15X, and improves the stability of a Canon 15 x 50 ( which is already very stable).

There are some crude pics in my gallery. A search, using "inertial" brought up relevant previous posts.

I =mr^2. Inertia/mass is maximized by pole length, rather than by putting weight on the end of the pole. Think of the balance pole of a tightrope walker-- no masses on the pole ends.

Such an inertial stabilizer is intermediate in stability between handheld-braced and a rigid mount. It is convenient for grab and go use near the zenith , for low magnifications, the more if an ordinary chair is available .

A sidesaddle p-mount with multiple axes, including a hinge as a secondary azimuth axis, and a lawnchair, is a good way to go for a straight binocular. But setting up the tripod and chair and mounting the counterweight and binocular are slower than grab-and -go.

The p-mount components seem more modular than the elegant, dedicated chairs such as the one pictured above. Such a chair must be the best method, if for a fixed location, or if there is enough space in a transport vehicle.


Another possibilty is to use a tripod with a fast adjustable center column. The Quick-Set Hercules is very rigid, but the gear ratio chosen for up-down makes it slow.

A fork -in -a fork, or a half-fork in a half-fork ( an L inside another L) can be used for higher angles if the arms are long and/or the outer fork or half-fork arm(s) is swept back ( consistent with keeping the center of gravity inboard of the lines connecting the tips of the tripod legs, to avoid tipover crashes).

But that construction will not relieve neck discomfort at high angles with a straight view binocular.


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GaryS
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5611771 - 01/08/13 11:22 AM

I put an article up on my web page yesterday describing my monopod binocular mount. It's easy to build -- you can probably put one together in an evening and you can buy most of the parts needed. Check it out.

I also like Alan MacRobert's binocular ladder -- simple and effective. (Details are on the S&T web site.)

So yes, there are good alternatives to the tried-and-true parallelogram mount!

Gary


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: GaryS]
      #5611797 - 01/08/13 11:40 AM

Wow, thanks Gary! Being I'm quite simple, I think that's something that I'd like to tackle. With so much money invested in glass, I've gotta do something. Even hand-holding 10x50's at night is actually quite a useless endeavor for me.

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SMark
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5612287 - 01/08/13 04:42 PM

I think I might also tackle that little mount project. I would put something like that to very good use.

Thank you Gary!!


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Photobud
super member


Reged: 01/07/13

Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: GaryS]
      #5612303 - 01/08/13 04:52 PM

Great! Went to that article and have added it to my favorites so I can build one, too.
Quote:

I put an article up on my web page yesterday describing my monopod binocular mount. It's easy to build -- you can probably put one together in an evening and you can buy most of the parts needed. Check it out.

I also like Alan MacRobert's binocular ladder -- simple and effective. (Details are on the S&T web site.)

So yes, there are good alternatives to the tried-and-true parallelogram mount!

Gary




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Andresin150
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Loc: Bogotį - La Calera / Colombia
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Photobud]
      #5612528 - 01/08/13 06:59 PM

The Starchair 3000 is waiting for you guys!

In december, it proved to be of great help and confort to a friend that is partially disabled... For me, my usual muscular back pain totally justifies it.
It is expensive, very expensive, but is amazing and a life time investment... So with continuous use it will pay itself soon.. Like premium optics....


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wky46
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Loc: west Ky.
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5612608 - 01/08/13 07:53 PM

Man, I wish!

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Gordon Rayner
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: GaryS]
      #5613005 - 01/09/13 12:39 AM

The inertial mount design by MacRobert has an important limitation:

That shortcoming is the limitation of the stabilizer ladder's rearward length to no more than the distance to the ground from the shoulders, when viewing at or near to the zenith. The moment of inertia ( resistance to rotation) is I=(mL^2)/3, where L is the length of the ladder or pole from the shoulders, in one direction, forward or backward, and m is the mass of the part of the ladder or pole which lies outboard of the shoulders, in that same direction.

That distance, L, can be no more than about six feet, or two meters, for a standing giant. If the observer is seated, for comfort and stability, that length , for zenith area use, can be no more than from the ground to a few inches above the chair back height.

But if the stabilizing element(s) is a ladder or pole, such as an extendible painter's pole, forward of the observer, the stabilizer(s) can be eight feet or more in length. A rearward part of the ladder, or a board, is positioned behind the observer, as a counterweight which also adds more
inertial stability, though less than the inertia contribution of the long front pole or ladder portion which it balances.

I tried bamboo and carbon fiber front mounted poles. Storage , transport, and vibration make more than about 10 feet long front poles impractical. An eight or ten foot aluminum telescoping painter's extension pole was the most satisfactory.

Edited by Gordon Rayner (01/11/13 02:19 AM)


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Goodchild
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5613557 - 01/09/13 11:41 AM

Take a look at JKoelman's design. It doesn't get any simpler or practical.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=binoculars...


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Goodchild]
      #5613599 - 01/09/13 12:02 PM

Thanks for the great ideas all! Royce, that would be something to think about using my 10x50's. As he said, 20x80 and heavier would probably be too heavy. However, it may just work with my hard, dense head ....Phil

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wky46
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Loc: west Ky.
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5613602 - 01/09/13 12:06 PM

Gordon, though mathematics isn't my strong suit, I'm definately looking into incorporating a painters extension pole into some type of monopod design now. Thanks.... Phil

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Unknownastron
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5614729 - 01/09/13 11:55 PM

I have a professionally made parallelogram, a homemade parallelogram for lighter binos and a couch potato bino chair. I find myself using the couch potato most of all.
Clear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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salientbunny
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Reged: 06/13/12

Loc: Southeast Georgia, US
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Unknownastron]
      #5615449 - 01/10/13 12:39 PM

The Manfrotto magic arm and my zero gravity chair work pretty well for me.



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SMark
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5615537 - 01/10/13 01:26 PM

salientbunny...

How much weight can that effectively hold?


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salientbunny
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Loc: Southeast Georgia, US
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: SMark]
      #5615561 - 01/10/13 01:39 PM

The magic arm is rated at 15kg, so about 30lbs. I have not used anything other than these Nikon AE 10x50s on it so far.

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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5615684 - 01/10/13 02:54 PM

What kind of bracket are you using to attach the binoculars to the magic arm salientbunny? There's several models that I see but is it just the camera bracket that comes with it? That's intriguing if it fits my pocket book. Thanks, Phil

Edited by wky46 (01/10/13 02:59 PM)


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salientbunny
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Loc: Southeast Georgia, US
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5615727 - 01/10/13 03:23 PM

The Manfrotto Super Clamp, sold separately from the Magic Arm.

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salientbunny
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5615737 - 01/10/13 03:30 PM

sorry, I guess I miss read. Yes, I am just using the bracket that came with the Magic Arm and a tripod adapter I already had on hand to mount the binoculars.

Edited by salientbunny (01/10/13 03:32 PM)


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5615783 - 01/10/13 03:56 PM

Sorry bunny. I edited my post a couple times, I was even confusing myself! Thank you

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SMark
scholastic sledgehammer
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5616512 - 01/10/13 11:41 PM

If the Magic Arm can hold up to 30 lbs., then there shouldn't be too many binoculars that it can't handle...

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guangtou
sage


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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: SMark]
      #5618533 - 01/12/13 07:26 AM

Is the magic arm this model?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/325440-REG/Manfrotto_143_143_Magic_Arm_...

It states load capacity is 6.6 lbs


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salientbunny
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Reged: 06/13/12

Loc: Southeast Georgia, US
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: guangtou]
      #5618635 - 01/12/13 09:10 AM

Yes, that is it. Tho I did not purchase the kit. I got the super clamp as one item and the magic arm with the camera platform as another and do not have the backlite base pictured in the kit.

I notice the add mentions 6.6 lbs capacity. The clamp is labeled 15kg and it makes sense the arm itself may be limited to 6.6 lbs tho it is not labeled. Unfortunately, I do not have the documentation for the magic arm itself.


Edited by salientbunny (01/12/13 09:13 AM)


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Rich V.
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5618775 - 01/12/13 10:42 AM

The Manfrotto site shows the Magic Arm rated for 3kg and the Super Clamp at 15kg. The arm should be good for up to a HD 70mm with a bit to spare... Sounds like it could be a good idea for these mid-sized binos!

http://www.manfrotto.com/magic-arm-with-bracket

http://www.manfrotto.com/quick-action-super-clamp

Rich


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5619190 - 01/12/13 02:35 PM

Yes, I think the Magic Arm looks like a perfect solution to mid-sized binoculars as you pointed out. Be nice if they had a model for larger binoculars like my 20x80's. Of course, then I really couldn't afford it! Anyway, when time permits I probably will build something along the lines of the monopod design. I have an inexpensive camera tripod and may add a boom to it and I also have a microphone stand with boom (but not sure about the load specs on that). Gonna take a little ingenuity with either but ya'll certainly have provided some great links to follow.

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wky46
Carpal Tunnel
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Loc: west Ky.
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5619230 - 01/12/13 03:02 PM

I see the MagicArm only swivels on the ends so I'm thinking there ought to be a ball-end swivel type camera bracket out there. I could probably forgo that part of the build if that type bracket is available cheaply and could sufficiantly handle a 6lb or so load. Seems all one would have to do is then thread it to a boom and voilą, a completely adjustable platform.... right???

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Rich V.
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5619382 - 01/12/13 04:23 PM

If you intend to use a monopod or some kind of boom on a tripod, a standard vertically mounted ball head would provide all the motions you need for binoculars. You have to consider that weight cantilevered on the end of an extended arm of any kind will be prone to some shake and flexing, though.

I use a common Manfrotto ball head rated for 8.8# with my tall Giottos monopod and it works well with binos up to 5 lbs. I find a tall monopod with a ball head is ideal for minimalist-style stabilizing of 10x-12x binos; you can use it standing or seated. Heavier, higher mag. 16x70 binos are still fine for terrestrial use on my monopod but are on the edge of being a little shaky for astro use, IMO.

Rich


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5619419 - 01/12/13 04:43 PM

I knew I came to the right place, thanks Rich. Something to think about. It sounds like from your experience I probably shouldn't even consider it with my 20x80's (5+lbs.) even with a sturdy and robust tripod/boom.

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Goodchild
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5619438 - 01/12/13 04:52 PM

With a tripod/boom system, don't you still have to adjust your chair position periodically? That's the part that seems the most aggravating to me. That's why the "magic arm" and JKoelman's methods are so appealing.

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SMark
scholastic sledgehammer
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Loc: Atlanta, GA USA
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Goodchild]
      #5619492 - 01/12/13 05:28 PM

I just ordered myself the Magic Arm kit, so I'll try it out with my 5 lb. 16x80 and let you know how it works.

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wky46
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/12/05

Loc: west Ky.
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Goodchild]
      #5619508 - 01/12/13 05:37 PM

Those have been in the back of my mind ever since you posted that link Goodchild. Just thinking about that heartbeat thing he mentioned though, my heartbeats pretty strong. So much to think about. But in the meantime, and since it looks so simple a design, certainly wouldn't hurt to rig up something similar. Thanks again....Phil

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Goodchild
scholastic sledgehammer
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5620026 - 01/12/13 11:41 PM

Phil, I think you're going to get a heartbeat using any kind of fixed mount that you rest up next to your eyes, except maybe a monopod or tripod. We don't detect a heartbeat when we handhold binos because we shake too much to notice it, but it's there.

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Andresin150
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Goodchild]
      #5621230 - 01/13/13 05:00 PM

A soft pillow helps minimizing it. I rarely have that problem in the Starchair even at 40x, thanks to the pillow.

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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5623537 - 01/14/13 10:15 PM

Quote:

The Manfrotto magic arm and my zero gravity chair work pretty well for me.






I already have the anti-gravity chair and binos. What Manfrotto magic parts woulc I need to order to make a system like yours? I have up to 15x63 with horizontal mount, and much heavier 25x100 with vertical mount. Would it be able to handle the latter, or just the smaller stuff?


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: SMark]
      #5624028 - 01/15/13 09:06 AM

Please let us know how they work out for you SMark.

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salientbunny
member


Reged: 06/13/12

Loc: Southeast Georgia, US
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5624654 - 01/15/13 03:33 PM

Faackanders2, these...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/553830-REG/Manfrotto_143A_143A_Magic_Ar...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=manfrotto+super+clamp&N=0&In...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/823282-REG/BARSKA_AF10546_Binocular_Tri...

Edited by salientbunny (01/15/13 03:37 PM)


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hallelujah
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5624756 - 01/15/13 04:30 PM

Here's more:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywo...


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wky46
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/12/05

Loc: west Ky.
Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: hallelujah]
      #5624898 - 01/15/13 06:02 PM

Ok, ya'll talked me into it, I just ordered a Manfrotto Magic Arm with camera bracket off of Amazon (still need a clamp)! For less than $100 why the heck not. I'm buying it under the assumption they won't handle the 5+ lbs. of the Garretts, so I'm keeping all the great DYI links everyone provided. They should be perfect for my 10x50's though. I hope the saying is true that, 'It's better to ask for forgiveness than for permission' . Now I gotta look for a chair! Thanks all.....Phil

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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5627184 - 01/16/13 10:44 PM

Thank you silent bunny!


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: salientbunny]
      #5629681 - 01/18/13 10:54 AM

Just ordered it. Thanks for the info.

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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5630097 - 01/18/13 03:16 PM

Great faackanders! I just received mine today but waiting for the SuperClamp. Put my 10x50's on them just to see how it's going to operate and seems like it's going to work great for those, as it looks to be quite a solid and sturdy piece of hardware. Alas, my 20x80's have developed some sort of white, dime-sized, moldy looking growth in a couple of places inside one of the objectives. I've been holding off sending them in to get cleaned so I can see how they fare on the MagicArm .... Phil

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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5630222 - 01/18/13 04:30 PM

For my 25x100 binos which got dew inside them, I bought a jar of flower drying pellets and put it is a sealed bag w/ the binos. It took about a month but now binos are dry inside.

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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5630249 - 01/18/13 04:50 PM

I'll remember that, thanks. Had them near the ocean last year and only recently got them out. Sure hope I didn't wait too long.

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SMark
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5630971 - 01/19/13 01:54 AM

Quote:

Please let us know how they work out for you SMark.




Well, I have to say I really like it. It does take a bit of getting used to with regard to getting the positioning just right and all, but that's pretty much all it is. Once acclimated to the mechanics of it all it's pretty easy to adjust and position everything correctly the fist time. I first tried it with my 16x80 and it worked great.

I will say this though, that heartbeat thang is a bit annoying. I'll try using more cushion behind me and see if that tames things a bit. It becomes a big deal when viewing Jupiter because the planet will obviously bounce with each heartbeat. But when I moved over to M45 and then M42 it didn't seem to be as noticeable.

Though I did find a way to make it go away entirely... I attached my Canon IS binoculars to it instead. I tried all three... The 10x42, the 15x50, and the 18x50 (recently acquired) and in each case it was as steady as staring at a painting on the wall from 5 feet away. Yeah, rock-steady. I could get used to that real fast. Nothing like sitting comfortably in a chair with your head and neck supported and looking at rock-steady views of the heavens...

So I'm really happy with it. It might be fun to build something like a Dobsonian platform of sorts to set the zero gravity chair onto, with a couple handles attached to the base to give a bit of left-to-right movement when needed. Something to think about anyway. Something like that could keep you from ever having to get up and reposition the chair.


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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: SMark]
      #5631418 - 01/19/13 11:52 AM

Oh, SMark!
You had to mention how good the Canon 15x50 are on the magic arm...Like I need to spend more money on mounts
Just to repay you in kind , instead of building a Dobsonian base, why don't you get a sun-tracker chair and find a way to mount the magic arm to its frame?
Sun tracker
Marco


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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: rydberg]
      #5631994 - 01/19/13 06:26 PM

Nice chair Marco. Do you have one? Just wondering about the build quality (of course). I've been thinking about kinda the same concept but simply using a lazy susan bearing, sandwiched between two sheets of plywood and just setting a reclining lawnchair upon that. I'm sure it's been done a bunch but just wondering what size bearing that could handle the load and footprint.

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SMark
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: rydberg]
      #5632030 - 01/19/13 07:00 PM

Quote:

Oh, SMark!
You had to mention how good the Canon 15x50 are on the magic arm...Like I need to spend more money on mounts
Just to repay you in kind , instead of building a Dobsonian base, why don't you get a sun-tracker chair and find a way to mount the magic arm to its frame?
Sun tracker
Marco




Heh Heh...

Yeah, the Suntracker should work well with the Magic Arm. I like the zero gravity chair because it does zenith with ease and comfort. Observing at zenith is most difficult with a typical tripod, unless you have 45°/90° setup (which I don't.)

Any time you attach your instrument to the same frame you are sitting in, you will get unwanted movement and vibrations affecting the image to some extent. It's not a whole lot in this case, but the Canon IS makes it zero.


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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: wky46]
      #5632368 - 01/19/13 10:39 PM

Hello WKY46:
No, I don't own one. I am always considering it, but I seem never to decide, one way or the other. I read somewhere, IIRC, that the bearings on the base are rated at 250 lb.
I think someone on the forum has it, if you do a search over the last couple of years.

Marco in Richmond, KY.


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: SMark]
      #5639763 - 01/23/13 11:23 PM

Just got my order of:
Manfrotto Magic Arm w/ Camera bracket
Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp w/Standard Stud(for 25x100 binos)
Barska Binocular Tripod adapter (2ea for smaller binos)
$145.60 free shipping

Below freezing temps and cloudy outside. So I decided to set up inside on my zero gravity chair. Everything set up easy, but the majic arm clamp was harder to do than I expected. It probably would work great with my 9&15x63 Orion Mini Giants (but since I already have a garrett pivoting pistol grip monopod, my main interest was the 25x100s which I have never been able to use at zenith with comfort).

As mentioned above the standard stud was needed for the 25x100 vertical post. The 10lb weight of the binos is too much for horizontal viewing with 25x100s (the ball joint pivot will hold hold position canterlevered out horizontally with such a moment arm. However I am marginally able to look vertical with the 25x100, since I only have to hold up a fraction of the 10 lbs weight above my eyes (and my forehead/face can also support the reduced effective weight (with no risk of getting black eyes like hand holding without any support which I attempted once 2 minutes for the North American one summer ). So I think I will be able to look at the zenith with my 25x100 on a clear night (and then I'll try the easier 9&15x63 and smaller binos. Should be real comfortable for the relatively static "comet of the century". But the Orion paralleogram (which I returned) would probably have worked better for 9&15x63mm and smaller binos.


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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5639986 - 01/24/13 03:26 AM

I saw a Magic Arm and Super Clamp holding a DSLR camera at a nature park two days ago.

There seem to be numerous adjustments, which would need to be repeated every time a new target were chosen. One might get lost while re-orienting and re-clamping? Am I missing something?

The Orion P-gram does not have sufficient axes for reclined use. There are many and better self-made multiple axis ( or to which more axes can be straightforwardly added) wood and/or metal p-grams easily found by a search in CN and/or Google.
One might succeed with only a hand drill( perhaps even one of the old "eggbeater" type )and a handsaw or hacksaw, and some sharp handfiles, but a drill press or a stand for a hand drill would be a big help, as would a vise/vice.

Bearings can be bronze sleeve T-shaped, from McMaster-Carr or Reid's ("for your needs"). Scissor cut Teflon washers. They can be square, or octagonal, and/or multiply stacked on a bolt with two fender washers and a nut, then chucked in the drill press or mounted hand drill, and hand filed circular. The Japanese style " multiple hacksaw blade" handheld files are very fast for that operation.


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5643544 - 01/25/13 11:02 PM

The Manfrotto Magic Arm comes with two allen wrenches, to tighten up over time as it gets loose. Would tightening them up now make it better for my heavy 25x100 binos; or would it damage or make it wear out quicker.

I tightened my pistol grip monopod with the provided allen wrench with great sucess of preventing/eliminating creeping/shortening of the monopod with the weight of 9 & 15x63mm Orion Minigiant binos. Before tightening they would not stay up but creed down.

But the manfroto system is mor complicated, and the lever to "lock" is very hard and tight already. Before I use the allen wrenches, I would like some experienced user feedback (to prevent damage and/or give me confidence).

Thanks Ken


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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5646407 - 01/27/13 04:42 PM

Quote:

The Manfrotto Magic Arm comes with two allen wrenches, to tighten up over time as it gets loose. Would tightening them up now make it better for my heavy 25x100 binos; or would it damage or make it wear out quicker.

I tightened my pistol grip monopod with the provided allen wrench with great sucess of preventing/eliminating creeping/shortening of the monopod with the weight of 9 & 15x63mm Orion Minigiant binos. Before tightening they would not stay up but creed down.

But the manfroto system is mor complicated, and the lever to "lock" is very hard and tight already. Before I use the allen wrenches, I would like some experienced user feedback (to prevent damage and/or give me confidence).

Thanks Ken




Also anybody know how these clamp on the inside. Since I sometimes observe in extreme cold (like this month) is there anthing like rubber or bungee cords inside that may snap in the colde, or is everything , metal (cables or breaks, or metal hinges that can take the cold). Anyone out there use them in below freezing temps? Thanks for any feedback, before I learn by trial and error.


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5658070 - 02/02/13 12:45 PM

With below zero farenheight temps I have not tried the Manfrotto Magic Arm outside. Yesterday it even hurt my nose to breathe. Didn't want to risk anything rubber hidden inside breaking.

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Mr. Bill
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5666930 - 02/07/13 11:42 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Another option....available from Oberwerk.

If you don't care about correct field orientation, this works real good for zenith viewing.

I use binoculars for sweeping Milky Way structure and find this method works great without reclining and obviously there is no neck strain.



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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5667640 - 02/07/13 06:40 PM

I've never viewed with a mirror, but the design has always intrigued me. I may just rig something a little more crude than yours with the materials I have on hand. Thanks for the inspiration.... Phil

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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5672218 - 02/10/13 11:53 AM

Quote:

Just got my order of:
Manfrotto Magic Arm w/ Camera bracket
Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp w/Standard Stud(for 25x100 binos)
Barska Binocular Tripod adapter (2ea for smaller binos)
$145.60 free shipping

Below freezing temps and cloudy outside. So I decided to set up inside on my zero gravity chair. Everything set up easy, but the majic arm clamp was harder to do than I expected. It probably would work great with my 9&15x63 Orion Mini Giants (but since I already have a garrett pivoting pistol grip monopod, my main interest was the 25x100s which I have never been able to use at zenith with comfort).

As mentioned above the standard stud was needed for the 25x100 vertical post. The 10lb weight of the binos is too much for horizontal viewing with 25x100s (the ball joint pivot will hold hold position canterlevered out horizontally with such a moment arm. However I am marginally able to look vertical with the 25x100, since I only have to hold up a fraction of the 10 lbs weight above my eyes (and my forehead/face can also support the reduced effective weight (with no risk of getting black eyes like hand holding without any support which I attempted once 2 minutes for the North American one summer ). So I think I will be able to look at the zenith with my 25x100 on a clear night (and then I'll try the easier 9&15x63 and smaller binos. Should be real comfortable for the relatively static "comet of the century". But the Orion paralleogram (which I returned) would probably have worked better for 9&15x63mm and smaller binos.




Used the Manfrotto Arm on with 25x100 binos and my zero gravity chair to look ar M42, Jupiter, and M45. It was basically a 3 handed operation. 2 hands required to hold 10 lb binos in place, and one to rotate the lock lever 180 degrees under alot of tension. Since I don't have 3 hands (or another helper), I had to hold binos with one hand and the lever in the other, and hence I got exhausted after 10 minutes, and never really able to lock in the desired position (but I did get close within a few degrees. The majic arm did provide some weight assist, but overall the mount was too wobbly under the 10 lb weight, and the image was way too shaky. Collimation of the binos got off with all the weard movements, and awkward to push tubes in and out to reallign while holding up above my eyes. The cold, thick clothing, and gloves didn't help either. I may try this once agian with my 25x100 in the summer with the Viel and North American.

However the next time I test the manfrotto arm it will be with my lighter 2.3lb 9&15x63mm Orion minigiant binos.

The arm appeared to be steady with binos removed. I kept the gravity chair in the garage, but easily removed the manfrotto arm to store inside since the warning label said not in the cold. Removing the arm from the chair was easier than removing the 25x100 binos from the arm, but this was my first time using it outside in the cold.

Question - If I was able to try first, would I still buy it. No, but I will not return it since it appears to look good for my other binos and camera. My garret monopod works best standing, and not so well when seated or lying down in the gravity free chair.


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5672227 - 02/10/13 11:59 AM

At one time I thought about getting the mirror system fro my 25x100 binos, but I believe it was $500 and where I observe I get lots of dew and/or ice so I thought it would not be very usable with an exposed flat surface (and for that money a UT parallelogram would be better in the non term).

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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5672304 - 02/10/13 12:42 PM

My experience with the Magic Arm clamped to a lawn chair holding my 10x50's was that it seemed the arm just isn't long enough to fully articulate. And to re-adjust the position of the arm, one has to contort in an uncomfortable position to loosen or tighten the lever. I haven't tried, but I would think that even with the Magic Arm clamped to a tripod next to the chair, at 18.5" fully extended there wouldn't be enough length to operate effectively (again, I haven't tried). I'm gonna make it work though with the Magic Arm clamped to a PVC extension off the tripod to add some length and have it infront of me instead of clamped behind me. I tried it clamped to a microphone boom stand but unfortunately, the mic boom could not hold the weight.... Phil

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Mr. Bill
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5672306 - 02/10/13 12:42 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Quote:

At one time I thought about getting the mirror system fro my 25x100 binos, but I believe it was $500 and where I observe I get lots of dew and/or ice so I thought it would not be very usable with an exposed flat surface (and for that money a UT parallelogram would be better in the non term).




I agree with your reasoning...the largest binocular that can be used without vignetting with my setup would be 80mm.

Also, dewing would definitely be a problem in cold, damp weather. I live in the high desert so dew is generally not an issue.



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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5673047 - 02/10/13 08:53 PM

I recently built a Peterson Engineering EZ Binoc Mount and it is absolutely fantastic. Easy to use standing, sitting or reclined. I painted it and it stays out in the backyard.

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guangtou
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Ain Soph Aur]
      #5673481 - 02/11/13 04:29 AM Attachment (30 downloads)

I also have the Peterson Pipe mount and love it. Handles my 11# binocs wonderfully and is easy to use.

Edited by guangtou (02/11/13 04:32 AM)


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eklf
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: guangtou]
      #5673809 - 02/11/13 10:42 AM

How is the damping time for the Peterson mount? 'looks like it would sway in the slightest wind?

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guangtou
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: eklf]
      #5673842 - 02/11/13 11:08 AM

The damping time will be longer than it would be mounted on a tripod but not objectionable by any means. It is a lot more stable than it looks and I have used mine for over 2 years now. The key is achieving the correct balance with the counterweights. The only downside I find is that it isn't very portable. To that end I bought a heavy duty tripod and panhead. However, after the peterson I can hardly stand to use the binocs on the tripod.

Edited by guangtou (02/11/13 11:11 AM)


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eklf
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: guangtou]
      #5673891 - 02/11/13 11:35 AM

That is good to know. I really like the simplicity of the unit. The price is right too.

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wky46
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: guangtou]
      #5674048 - 02/11/13 01:15 PM

Thanks! I'll check into it .....Phil

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Ain Soph Aur
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: eklf]
      #5674721 - 02/11/13 08:03 PM

I've only used the EZ Binoc mount with my 10x50 Pentax so far, and the mount is incredibly smooth and stable in my experience. As Guangtou mentions, balance is key.

I am looking forward to trying it out with 100mm binocs eventually, and also planning on building a second one to leave at my parents house. It can be a bit expensive depending on how much you have to pay for the steel pipe and fittings, and lapping the threads can be a bit messy.


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: guangtou]
      #5674820 - 02/11/13 09:15 PM

HOW MUCH IS THE PETERSON PIPE mOUNT?

Unfortunately my back yard is small with alot of trees.
I observe from my driveway, front yard, and remote sites about 20min away.

I like the UT 6 DOF sytem to use with my zero gravity chair. But I know it would be very expensive (and more than the 25x100mm binos themselves).

P.S. I also have asperations of potentially owning a 150mm bino 90 deg version, but believe these would be limited to tripod mounting, so they would not be a factor in parallelogram/pipe mount system selection.


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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5674910 - 02/11/13 10:20 PM

Who makes the "UT 6 Degrees of Freedom system"?

Are those Azimuth 1, Azimuth 2 ( the hinge or elbow), pitch, yaw, roll ? That is five degrees. What is the sixth? Is that the up-down movement provided by the parallelogram mechanism?


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5676629 - 02/12/13 09:34 PM

Quote:

Who makes the "UT 6 Degrees of Freedom system"?

Are those Aximuth 1, Azimuth 2 ( the hinge or elbow), pitch, yaw, roll ? That is five degrees. What is the sixth? Is that the up-down movement provided by the parallelogram mechanism?




Universal Astronomics

"Besides making night sky observation much more comfortable, a parallelgram mount gives a big range of eyepiece height without adjusting the tripod- and without loss of target (ideal for sharing the view with kids). Universal Astronomics manufactures the finest parallelogram-type mounts on the market, and they are 100% made in the USA. The basic Unimount features 4 degrees of motion, and up to 6 degrees of motion can be achieved with the addition of the Ultra-Swing Hinge and Deluxe L Adapter. Even with all those pivot points, there is virtually zero slop or backlash. While observing the night sky, you'll feel like the mount is not even there. Because all axis' are in perfect balance, the binocular simply "floats", while you effortlessly point it in any direction. For the ultimate in comfort, try it with a reclining lawn chair (Ultra-Swing option recommended). Six degrees of motion allows viewing almost the entire sky without moving your chair!
Comes with 10 lbs. of counterweight, so it will balance binoculars as large as the Oberwerk 25x100IF. Bottom-mount binoculars attach directly to the included dovetail base. For those with a narrow IPD (inter-pupillary distance), the standard dovetail should be upgraded to the "riser dovetail", which adds clearance so minimum IPD can be achieved without interference with the binocular's objective tubes. For binoculars that have a tripod adapter socket on the front of the body, order the Deluxe L Adapter. If you prefer an L adapter that does not swivel, choose the Oberwerk Heavy-Duty L Adapter. Need a tripod? The Oberwerk Wood Tripod is perfect for this mount.


4 to 6 degrees of motion (depending on options)
All bearings are teflon-lined
Max. Load: 10 lbs."

I thought they had a longer heavier version for 25x100 binos from a reclining zero gravity chair, but couldn't find it in my brief search.

Ken


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faackanders2
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Re: Any other mounts besides a parallelogram? new [Re: faackanders2]
      #5708614 - 03/02/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Just got my order of:
Manfrotto Magic Arm w/ Camera bracket
Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp w/Standard Stud(for 25x100 binos)
Barska Binocular Tripod adapter (2ea for smaller binos)
$145.60 free shipping

Below freezing temps and cloudy outside. So I decided to set up inside on my zero gravity chair. Everything set up easy, but the majic arm clamp was harder to do than I expected. It probably would work great with my 9&15x63 Orion Mini Giants (but since I already have a garrett pivoting pistol grip monopod, my main interest was the 25x100s which I have never been able to use at zenith with comfort).

As mentioned above the standard stud was needed for the 25x100 vertical post. The 10lb weight of the binos is too much for horizontal viewing with 25x100s (the ball joint pivot will hold hold position canterlevered out horizontally with such a moment arm. However I am marginally able to look vertical with the 25x100, since I only have to hold up a fraction of the 10 lbs weight above my eyes (and my forehead/face can also support the reduced effective weight (with no risk of getting black eyes like hand holding without any support which I attempted once 2 minutes for the North American one summer ). So I think I will be able to look at the zenith with my 25x100 on a clear night (and then I'll try the easier 9&15x63 and smaller binos. Should be real comfortable for the relatively static "comet of the century". But the Orion paralleogram (which I returned) would probably have worked better for 9&15x63mm and smaller binos.




Used the Manfrotto Arm on with 25x100 binos and my zero gravity chair to look ar M42, Jupiter, and M45. It was basically a 3 handed operation. 2 hands required to hold 10 lb binos in place, and one to rotate the lock lever 180 degrees under alot of tension. Since I don't have 3 hands (or another helper), I had to hold binos with one hand and the lever in the other, and hence I got exhausted after 10 minutes, and never really able to lock in the desired position (but I did get close within a few degrees. The majic arm did provide some weight assist, but overall the mount was too wobbly under the 10 lb weight, and the image was way too shaky. Collimation of the binos got off with all the weard movements, and awkward to push tubes in and out to reallign while holding up above my eyes. The cold, thick clothing, and gloves didn't help either. I may try this once agian with my 25x100 in the summer with the Viel and North American.

However the next time I test the manfrotto arm it will be with my lighter 2.3lb 9&15x63mm Orion minigiant binos.

The arm appeared to be steady with binos removed. I kept the gravity chair in the garage, but easily removed the manfrotto arm to store inside since the warning label said not in the cold. Removing the arm from the chair was easier than removing the 25x100 binos from the arm, but this was my first time using it outside in the cold.

Question - If I was able to try first, would I still buy it. No, but I will not return it since it appears to look good for my other binos and camera. My garret monopod works best standing, and not so well when seated or lying down in the gravity free chair.




On 2/25/26 from 10-12PM in shadow (of my house) of the rising full moon, I evaluated the manfrotto majic arm on my zero gravity chair with both 2.3 lb Orion Mini Giant 9x63 and 15x63 binos. This time the arm was failry steady with the lighter weight. The 180 deg arm locking devise involved uncomfotatale contortion of your body/arm and required excessive force, but the long steady vews were worth it. I looked at M42, M45, Jupiter with part of the Hyades, and briefly (unlocked) at M36/M38 in same view near zenith. I did want to look at the latter longer, but with these dim objects (of the full moon shadow sky background), I lost the objects every time I locked the arm with 3 attempts. The brighter objects were easier to keep in view while locking the arm (or tweaking it after to get back in central view). The manfrotto arm is good for long steady views of few objects. I am more a quick view of finding lots of objects observer, so I still prefer the Garrett pistol grip monopod. The garrett monopod with quick connect/disconnect also allowed for much easier swapping of the binos than the manfrotto arm. The first time I swapped binos with the amfrotto arm I remained seated, and it was dificult alligning the bracket with the blind hole of the bracket; so the rest of the time I snaked out behind the system and swapped binos from the front and then snaked back in. The object remained pretty close to the same FOV while interchanging binos, and I did not have to release and relock the arm. For these (and lighter binos) the manfrotto arm works well and I can finally look at the zenith comfortly and steady. Can't wait for summer with North American and Viel to give these and my 25x100 one more try.

P.S. I also evaluated 10 new colored filters from Meade sale ($40) along with skyglow, ultrablock, OIII, Orion Mars, Denk planet, and Televue Bandmate Mars-B on both Jupiter and the full moon with 17.5" f4.1 and Denk II binoviewers and Multiplier OCS with the MH (no additional lenses) and LL, LM, ML dual powerswith modes. For the most part I had the Bandmate Mars B filter in the left eye swapping out the other filters in the right eye (what is in the right eye does shift perceived color of left eye pulling to the right eye color). In general Jupiter looked better in lighter color filters, and the full moon looked best in the darker colors. Best filter for Jupiter showing most bands was 82A very light blue and 11 yellow green. I preferred the cooling blue effect of the moon with 38A dark blue and 47 Violet. Note Violet was so dark I could harly see Jupiter, and although they advertise this for Venus, it may just work for the bright full moon (and I have a 17.5" dob!). Skyglow, Bandmate Mars B also were close runner ups for Jupiter. It was a fun warm(er) winter night requiring no facemask


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