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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1
bb4
super member


Reged: 04/16/07

Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help!
      #5678900 - 02/14/13 07:43 AM

Hi All -
Does anyone out there know how the mini/nova hitch mounts work? What I am looking for here is:
1) how easy is it to quickly pan across the sky (i.e. does the slow motion control inhibit quicker movements or are the slow motion controls only active when the clutches are engaged?)
2) Does one have to re balance the mount everytime one changes an EP?
3) how easy is it to change the balance?

The nova is intriguing but I want to know what I am getting myself into.


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Quintessence
Vendor


Reged: 06/03/07

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: bb4]
      #5678988 - 02/14/13 09:11 AM

I am the builder of the Nova Hitch -- so let me save you some trouble. The Nova Hitch is a new mount that is about three weeks away from initial release. So, you will not find any current reviewers of the mount. The Mini Hitch is no longer in production.

I will add that the Nova Hitch is NOT very similar to the previous Half Hitch and Quarter Hitch -- and has its own set of characteristics. So, reviews of those mounts will not be very helpful to you.

Reviews of the Nova Hitch should be coming soon. Parts for the Nova are rapidly being completed, and I am posting progress photos on my website.

I am prevented by CN rules to discuss the Nova Hitch except for answering direct questions with basic information.

1.) The slow-motion controls have clutches and the mount can be turned at any time without locking/unlocking any control.
2.) You can apply as much resistance with the clutches as you wish to overcome out-of-balance situations. The drives themselves will "lift" a considerable out-of-balance load. So, no, re-balancing after eyepiece changes is not required.
3.) The Nova Hitch has two-axis balancing (fore/aft and up/down) both of which can be done without tools and without removing the scope from the mount.

Personal evaluations of the Nova are probably about four weeks away -- but I hope this basic design info helps in the meantime.

Charles


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bb4
super member


Reged: 04/16/07

Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: Quintessence]
      #5679273 - 02/14/13 11:43 AM

Hi Charles -
Thanks for answering.
So, based on your response, I assume can pan the telescope and mount relatively quickly across the sky and then use the slow motion controls?


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Quintessence
Vendor


Reged: 06/03/07

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: bb4]
      #5679360 - 02/14/13 12:28 PM

Yes -- that's absolutely the case. Even if an eyepiece change leaves the scope a bit out of balance, you can compensate by adding a little clutch force (no tool required to do so). But since the Nova Hitch has two-axis balancing, the load will only be slightly out of balance -- only by the "delta" between the two eyepieces. This compensation should only require a modest increase in clutch force. And the Nova utilizes a clutch type that is well-noted for smoothness. So moving the scope around by hand even after a balance-altering eyepiece change is completely anticipated and supported. Moreover, the Nova Hitch has an optional balance-trimmer, a swing-arm carrying a small trim weight, that can neutralize balance shifts caused by eyepiece changes. On the previous Half Hitch, such trimming of balance was more or less a requirement -- but this is not so with the Nova Hitch. The Nova's clutches and drives will operate with a considerable out-of-balance load. But if you keep the balance more or less neutral, then only extremely light clutch force is needed, and the scope can be turned manually with great ease. Overall, the Nova Hitch includes multiple strategies for handling balance issues: On-the-fly, no-tool, two-axis balance adjustments without counterweights; powerful drives and clutches (which adjust quickly without tools) to handle temporary out-of-balance loads; and addition of a small balance-trimming device to neutralize moderate shifts in balance due to eyepiece swaps.

The laws of physics demand the close relationship between balance and easy manual movement. Having a strategy for easy movement is just another way of saying you have a strategy for easy balance.

I hope this explanation helps.

Charles


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bb4
super member


Reged: 04/16/07

Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: Quintessence]
      #5679449 - 02/14/13 01:16 PM

Thanks Charles. That answered my questions.

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bb4
super member


Reged: 04/16/07

Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: bb4]
      #5682883 - 02/16/13 07:01 AM

Hi Charles -
I have a couple more questions if you do not mind.

Can the robotic control be connected to a DSC for automation?

With the motors installed, will it still be easy to quickly pan he telescope from one part of the sky to another? Base on your responses above, I would say yes, but I want to make sure

How much extra weight do the motors add?


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Quintessence
Vendor


Reged: 06/03/07

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: bb4]
      #5683151 - 02/16/13 10:22 AM

The control unit that will be released shortly is a "trainable" tracking unit. It is, however, a digital system that differs substantially from typical trainable tracking systems. For one thing there is no mode switching. Eight push-buttons arranged in two nested diamond patterns are always active. The outer diamond of buttons is ALWAYS active for training the tracking rates -- and the inner diamond of buttons is ALWAYS active for independent slow-motion control. Stated a little differently, the outer buttons ONLY affect tracking RATES and do not slew the mount -- while the inner buttons ONLY adjust the CENTERING of an object without affecting tracking rates. This separation of function (without mode switching) makes the control very intuitive.

Moreover, tracking rates will be digitally displayed on a small screen. This allows you to preset approximate tracking rates when you point to various zones in the sky. As you use the system, you will quickly notice that tracking rates vary systematically with respect to where the scope is pointed (in terms of alt-azimuth coordinates). Thanks to the digital display of tracking rates, you will quickly learn sort of an average tracking setting for particular zones in the sky -- and you can (using the digital display) quickly preset the approximate average tracking vectors. For visual observing, the preset values you enter may well be close enough to allow lengthy observing periods with minimal drift. But tweaking your first guess will be a simple matter since the training buttons are always active.

The mechanical portion of the drive system will not change for an automatic tracking control -- and a more elaborate automatic tracking control that works in conjunction with the DSC will certainly be developed. But the Nova's very intuitive trainable tracking system will still have appeal for many users because of attributes like low cost and no required alignments.

In answer to your second question -- yes, you will still be able to move the scope around at will. The tracking system does not alter this characteristic at all.

Charles


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Denimsky
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/21/07

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: bb4]
      #5683507 - 02/16/13 01:10 PM

Hi bb4,

I owned a Half Hitch Mark II and currently own a Mini Hitch mount.

The biggest advantage of Hitch mounts is the friction free movement across the sky.
It is usually not possible with other mounts because the balance point changes depending on where the scope is pointing. Usually you need to add friction to compensate that.

With two axis balance, you can use the set up completely friction free if the set up is balanced well initially and the eyepiece weight doesn't change much. You will need to tighten the clutch while you are exchanging the eyepieces though.

If your eyepieces have different weights, you will need to add friction using the clutch.
I found that Mini's clutch is easier to use and more effective than the breaks on a Half Hitch mount. Even though a Mini Hitch is very small, it accommodate diversely weighted eyepieces better than my Half Hitch mount.

I'm not sure how Nova's clutch is compared to Mini's though. I assume it is improvement because of the size of the mount and clutch.

I really like my Mini Hitch.
It is small, ultra light and smooth.
It supports my SV80L very well at high power (200X) combined with a carbon fiber photo tripod. SV80L is 600mm fl and 10lb and it is a quite long and heavy 80mm.


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Quintessence
Vendor


Reged: 06/03/07

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: Denimsky]
      #5684011 - 02/16/13 06:24 PM

Indeed, the Nova Hitch shares the same general architecture of the Mini Hitch -- but with many refinements. The clutches on the Nova Hitch are more than triple the size of those on the Mini. Moreover, in addition to the single knob adjustment on each clutch, there will be optional on/off cam-lock brakes. The on/off cam-locks will eliminate the need to tighten the clutch knobs during eyepiece changes so that your clutch settings are preserved.

I think you aptly described the basic operation of either mount with regards to balance. The Nova Hitch adds a new feature, however: No-tool, on-the-fly up/down balance adjustments with the scope in place. Of course, the two-axis balance is achieved without using counterweights -- but one can also add the optional "balance trimmer" which has a small, sliding trim weight attached to a swing arm.

Charles


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wrg
member


Reged: 02/16/13

Re: Mini/Nova Hitch questions - Please Help! new [Re: Quintessence]
      #5687713 - 02/18/13 08:18 PM

I wondered about this mount for some time, glad to hear there going to hit the market soon.

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