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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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chaoscosmos
sage
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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101
      #5675646 - 02/12/13 11:31 AM

Hey all...

I'm pretty settled on picking up either the TV85 or NP101 Televue scope, mostly for viewing on my patio. The scope will be used just for viewing, not imaging. Which Alt/azimuth mount is most practical and solid for either one of these scopes? Is it the Televue Gibraltor set-up?

Also, is $1600 a reasonable price for a 12 year old TV85? Not sure if it has the same focuser as current models.

Thanks...


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snommisbor
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5675759 - 02/12/13 12:32 PM

For 1600 you could find a TV101. It is the version just before the NP101 and is a great scope. I had one, the focuser isnt that great but I put a FT retro fit on mine and it was awesome. I had the Gibraltar mount as well and it came with the computer I forget what that was called. But it worked great. Used it as a GnG all the time.

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johnnyha
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: snommisbor]
      #5675761 - 02/12/13 12:35 PM

Yeh $1600 is a horrible price, not even close to reasonable. You could find a used FS102 for that price and it will literally wipe the floor with the TV85. And as the previous poster pointed out you can almost get an NP101. DO NOT pay $1600 for that scope there are many better alternatives and I have seen many used TV85s go for around $1K. This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.

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PhilCo126
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5675767 - 02/12/13 12:38 PM

Best mount... plain or GoTo ?

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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: PhilCo126]
      #5675803 - 02/12/13 12:58 PM

Not a GoTo I don't think.

The price is actually $1575, and it comes with a TV Starbeam Sight. But yeah, I think thats' still too high. I'll wait.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5675842 - 02/12/13 01:17 PM

Quote:

Not a GoTo I don't think.

The price is actually $1575, and it comes with a TV Starbeam Sight. But yeah, I think thats' still too high. I'll wait.




You could buy an 80mm Lomo Triplet for less than that... A Vixen Portamount class mount should be fine for the 85, marginal even with beefed up legs for the NP-101.

I have a StellarVue MG2 for my NP-101, I have strict requirement for slow-motion controls, it's plenty solid but I prefer the viewing position of the Portamount.

Jon


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FirstSightModerator
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5675864 - 02/12/13 01:28 PM

I'd suggest a Unistar Deluxe (by Universal Astronomics in Massachusetts, a different outfit than CN's host Astronomics out of Oklahoma). Larry (the proprietor) is wonderfully helpful to discuss the best match for your needs. The "deluxe" model has improved clamping/dovetail mechanisms over the vanilla model.

I have an NP-101, and have found that I can get by with the lightweight version of the Unistar Deluxe (which I originally bought for a smaller, lighter WO Megrez 90 refractor and lightweight portability of the mount). However, at 10 lbs the NP-101 is near the rated performance limits of the light version, whereas the regular version of the Unistar is rated for carrying at least 30 lbs, and yet itself weighs only 7 lbs. I'm planning on upgrading to the regular deluxe version this spring.

In addition to the Unistar's high build quality and ease of use, it mounts the scope at an offset to the mount axis on which it attaches to the tripod, which means that you can set the scope to high near-vertical altitudes without the mount itself getting in the way.

As to tripods, the UA lightweight aluminum surveyor's tripod has proved very capable for visual use for the NP-101 (again, I originally got it for the Megrez 90) lighter. However, if I was choosing over with the NP-101 specifically in mind, I'd choose the medium-weight version.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5675940 - 02/12/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

However, at 10 lbs the NP-101 is near the rated performance limits of the light version, whereas the regular version of the Unistar is rated for carrying at least 30 lbs, and yet itself weighs only 7 lbs




When I put my NP-101 on the scales with the diagonal and clamshell, it's about 12lbs if I remember correctly.

Does the Unistar have slow motion controls? I am looking to find a better mount for the NP-101 but it's got to have slow motion controls.

Jon


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

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5675953 - 02/12/13 02:24 PM

TV 85's average $1K on Amart as Johnnyha points out!

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: t.r.]
      #5675975 - 02/12/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

TV 85's average $1K on Amart as Johnnyha points out!




Probably about right for an OTA only, maybe a little low.

Jon


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FirstSightModerator
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5675997 - 02/12/13 02:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

However, at 10 lbs the NP-101 is near the rated performance limits of the light version, whereas the regular version of the Unistar is rated for carrying at least 30 lbs, and yet itself weighs only 7 lbs




When I put my NP-101 on the scales with the diagonal and clamshell, it's about 12lbs if I remember correctly.

Does the Unistar have slow motion controls? I am looking to find a better mount for the NP-101 but it's got to have slow motion controls.

Jon




No, they ordinarily don't, and I don't see that as an optional upgrade accessory on UA's website. However, I would call Larry (UA's principal) at their listed phone # and check whether this might be available or not. You can, however optionally have your mount equipped with encoders for at least push-to DSCs.


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russell23
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Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5676020 - 02/12/13 02:59 PM

Quote:

Hey all...

I'm pretty settled on picking up either the TV85 or NP101 Televue scope, mostly for viewing on my patio. The scope will be used just for viewing, not imaging. Which Alt/azimuth mount is most practical and solid for either one of these scopes? Is it the Televue Gibraltor set-up?

Also, is $1600 a reasonable price for a 12 year old TV85? Not sure if it has the same focuser as current models.

Thanks...




I have a Vixen 140mm Neo-achro refractor mounted on a Vixen SuperPolaris mount set into alt-azimuth mode. There is an article that shows how you can do this. It is really easy and someone such as myself that lacks mechanical skills can do it very quickly. The Vixen superpolaris mount set up this way should be extremely stable for a scope of the size you are considering. The 140NA pushes it a bit, but with vibration pads it is not bad.

So another option would be to find a used Superpolaris mount. They are really rugged.

Dave


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John Rhodes
Vendor (Televue Rep)
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Reged: 02/21/06

Loc: Torrance, CA.
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5676271 - 02/12/13 04:52 PM

Quote:

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.




Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.


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Erik Bakker
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/10/06

Loc: The Netherlands, Europe
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: John Rhodes]
      #5676440 - 02/12/13 07:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.




Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.




Hi John,

Is that a new/improved formulation for the TV85 optics?


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coopman
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #5676507 - 02/12/13 08:01 PM

The Unistar Deluxe is a very good alt-az mount, but it does not have slo-mo controls.

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Stephen S
professor emeritus
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Reged: 08/21/07

Loc: Carmel, IN
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: coopman]
      #5676559 - 02/12/13 08:40 PM

Quote:

The Unistar Deluxe is a very good alt-az mount, but it does not have slo-mo controls.




+1. Great mount for my NP101. Had it set up with a binoviewer last night. Worked like a charm. Very smooth but no slow motion controls. I have a TV SkyTour connected to mine. Works well at the zenith. Not always the case with all mounts. Sleek, simple and reasonably priced.


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KerryR
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/05/07

Loc: SW Michigan
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5676770 - 02/12/13 11:09 PM

I have a Megrez 90, and had a Televue Genesis. I had great success mounting either on a Bogen heavy duty camera tripod with a crank elevator, with a PortaII head. The PortaII's slow motion controls are useful, as is the crank elevator-- the ep is easy to place exactly at a comfortable height. Well executed crank elevators are the next best thing to ball-mounts (Think Astroscan).

I also have a Unistar on a heavy duty wooden surveyor tripod. The motions are smooth enough that I don't miss slow motion controls.

Additionally, I have a Tech2000 pier and a GiroII head. This is a sleek setup, but, for smoothest motions, needs a counterweight. I prefer the un-counterweighted mounts mentioned above.


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John Rhodes
Vendor (Televue Rep)
*****

Reged: 02/21/06

Loc: Torrance, CA.
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: Erik Bakker]
      #5676977 - 02/13/13 02:53 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.




Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.




Hi John,

Is that a new/improved formulation for the TV85 optics?




As far as I know this has always been the design.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: John Rhodes]
      #5677080 - 02/13/13 06:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

This is not an APO OK, it does not deserve APO prices.




Actually, the TV85 does have apochromatic performance and uses the best fluorite substitute and matching glass currently available.




Historically, the TV-85 has always been considered an apochromat. Not all apochroamts are created equally. Roland Christen can probably find signs of chromatic aberration in any refractor...

Among the rest of us, it varies.

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Best mount / tripod for Televue 85 or NP101 new [Re: Stephen S]
      #5677094 - 02/13/13 06:52 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The Unistar Deluxe is a very good alt-az mount, but it does not have slo-mo controls.




+1. Great mount for my NP101. Had it set up with a binoviewer last night. Worked like a charm. Very smooth but no slow motion controls. I have a TV SkyTour connected to mine. Works well at the zenith. Not always the case with all mounts. Sleek, simple and reasonably priced.




For short scopes, I really like slow-motion controls. It's about leverage and mechanical advantage. With an NP-101, I have a lever about a foot long. Tracking at 200x-300x is doable but not so easy.

In comparison, a Dobsonian has a long lever which means for a given angular motion, you move it much more which means you have finer control. I figured this out one night when a friend of a friend came over. He had never looked through a telescope, probably never seen one, and yet with in minutes was tracking the 25 inch Obsession at 400x, I couldn't believe it.

But then I realized that the 10 foot long OTA with it's super smooth motions makes a very long lever, the lever is about 8 feet long... That's a factor of about 8 over a short refractor. Tracking at 400x with that scope is not quite like tracking a refractor at 50x but it is surprisingly close.

Jon


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