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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5737663 - 03/16/13 11:30 PM

Danny, what are you, a professional photographer, or something?

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thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/08/04

Loc: New York City
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5737670 - 03/16/13 11:32 PM

That is a great setup, and this thread will help the prospective buyer of this mount immensely.

Very good Jim.


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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: thesubwaypusher]
      #5738161 - 03/17/13 08:30 AM

Jim, What is your opinion of just a C11 or the TEC140 mounted up on one side and the QBS on the other? Have you tried it yet?

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: t.r.]
      #5738428 - 03/17/13 11:28 AM

I don't have a C11 currently. I do have the TEC. I haven't mounted it up yet, but I have mounted and briefly used a 152mm f/5.9 achromat which is comparable to the TEC in size and mass. It worked fine, though IMO balancing the scope and understanding how the QBS works are key - you want to track with the panhandle, not with the slo-mo controls. The latter are great for precisely centering targets during alignment or adjusting position to get a different framing of your target, but for tracking at higher power I prefer the fluid movements of the clutched axes over the geared movements of the slo-mo controls.

Regards,

Jim


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trask
member
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Reged: 06/01/08

Loc: Tillamook, Oregon
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5746371 - 03/20/13 09:49 PM

Jim,
How do you think it would function with your Antares F/15? I have a DVS-2 and I like it so I familiar with this mount. I've ordered a Skylight F/15 and I need a mount. You think the DVS-3 would work?


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: trask]
      #5746614 - 03/20/13 11:35 PM

Hmmm...I have my doubts, but I also doubted that the 152mm f/5.9 would work with the mount and was wrong.

If it quits raining this weekend I'll give the Antares 105/1500 a whirl on the DSV-3. The Antares is very light for its length, but still has a large moment arm. The Skylight is heavier than the Antares and has a similarly large moment arm, so would likely be even more of a handful than the Antares for a mount.

Regards,

Jim


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

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5747024 - 03/21/13 07:52 AM

Quote:

... but for tracking at higher power I prefer the fluid movements of the clutched axes over the geared movements of the slo-mo controls.




Interesting. Counterintuitive to what I thought! My only concern about going to an alt/az is high power tracking...which is where I'm at most of the time with planets. I'm ust not sold yet on panhandle tracking...I would have thought the slo-mos were the answer. I need user reports specifically on observing and tracking planets for an hour or more.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: t.r.]
      #5747155 - 03/21/13 09:19 AM

Quote:

I need user reports specifically on observing and tracking planets for an hour or more.






did you ever own a custom dob? no problem at all [at least for my smallish scopes]. when I first started with small scopes or even my 8in sct, at high mags it was like,"wow that planet is fast in the eyepiece," and at the same mag on a custom dob somehow it was like it slowed down and is like so easy to track by hand. OMG!

trying to track with slowmo controls on a alt/az for me is like trying to draw a curve with etch-a-sketch.


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

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5747316 - 03/21/13 10:52 AM

Thats the impression I'm getting and it steers me back toward my motorized tracking GEMs. No, I've never had a dob or a real alt/az for that matter. A GEM is easy to track by hand cause you only move the RA. When I got my first motorized GEM I thought I was in heaven. I thought slo-mos on an alt/az would be the same as my GEM tracking experience. It appears they are not the same. I would like to shed the weight (GEMS are heavy) though and go minimalist. I don't think I have found my solution yet, I was hoping the DSV-3 was it.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5747436 - 03/21/13 11:51 AM

"trying to track with slowmo controls on a alt/az for me is like trying to draw a curve with etch-a-sketch."

It's not quite that hard. The real problem with near-mount slo-mo knobs (whether on the DSV-3, Lapides Teegul, or otherwise) is that when you touch the knob at high magnification inevitably the energy of your contact with the knob is transmitted into the body of the mount proper and induces a vibration. From that point, the mount's ability to dampen that vibration comes into play. Long, flexible slo-mo knobs have been used on mounts since the 1950s to mitigate this source of vibration. It's also not particularly hard to smoothly track a target at high magnification using conveniently positioned and sufficiently isolated slo-mo knobs. In fact, I think there's a market for slo-mo knobs using modern vibration deadening materials in their construction.

For mounts with close-to-body slo-mo knobs, I find that these knobs are better used for framing the target in the FOV than for actual tracking. I've kind of talked myself out of longer rigid knobs for the DSV-3. While more conveniently placed for longer OTAs, I don't think they solve the vibration issue. I am still keen on a longer, more ergonomic panhandle though. I'd also like to see longer, flexible, dampened slo-mo control knobs.

I'm still very much enamored with the mount. I think it eliminates the reason for existence of the Lapides Teegul, for example. For about the same price you get a mount with 4x (conservatively) the capacity, not much more mass, a clever counterbalancing system and dual OTA capability. I think the same could be said of these mounts (the DSVs) relative to mass-produced alt-az mounts like the Vixen Porta II and Twilight II. You can get a hand made, well-engineered, customizable DSV mount (e.g., DSV-1) for about the same price or just a little more than these units.

I find the DSV line at current price levels incredibly "disruptive" and hyper-competitive. Like all artisanal businesses in our hobby though, I can see DSA ending up with waitlists. I like the way Rob Teeter handles it. He has defined production slots, presells those, and when a run is full, it's full. That way he can manage expectations and not get swamped with over-commitments. I'm pretty sure Raul Medina has a profession other than mount maker, so such a system might work well for him as demand grows (which it will) to ensure that he has work-work-life balance.

I'm considering going EQ-mountless for the first time ever for this year's OFLI "Out There" dark sky trip. I'm leaning toward putting an AT111EDT and a standard C8 on the DSV-3 for the 9-day adventure. Armed with 9V Li batteries (used in smoke detectors), I won't need a whopper multi-AH battery, solar charging panels, etc. For the first time ever, I have a realistic chance of traveling fast and light, and simple.

Regards,

Jim


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5747720 - 03/21/13 02:18 PM

Might as well throw in my 2 cents on the slo-mo handles.

I have a DSV-1 and love it. I've used alt/az mounts with slo-mo handles on flexible cables and prefer those to the panhandle for high mag viewing. I don't find the up/down, left/right, "etch-a-sketch" motion to be a problem. The panhandle works pretty well up till around maybe 170x or so. Much above that and it gets tricky to keep the target in the view.

However, my DSV-1 does NOT have the balancing system installed like Jim's DSV-3. That means that I need to keep the clutches tightened up a bit to keep my scope from moving. With the clutches in play, the motion is very smooth, but obviously will not be as fluid as if I had the balancing system and the clutches looser. So it is likely that it would be easier to keep targets centered at higher mags with the panhandle in that configuration.

Like Jim, I think a longer panhandle would be an improvement, and I intend to make one and try it out when I get some time. Also, although I prefer the slo-mo controls I've used in the past for tracking, they were always the flexible cable type. I suspect that, like Jim, I would probably prefer the panhandle over the close-to-body rigid knobs, due to the vibration issues he mentions.

I also agree that the price on these units is astounding when you compare to mass produced options. I was looking at the Voyager and Portamount II when I stumbled across the DSV-1. The mount and the lightweight surveyor's tripod that Desert Sky sells with it comes to just a few bucks more than the other options. But the build quality and performance are a huge leap up. The DSV's are precision machined and use ball bearings as opposed to the other mounts' friction bearings. No comparison really, and for pretty much the same price!

-Dan


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kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5747752 - 03/21/13 02:40 PM

I thought slo-mos on an alt/az would be the same as my GEM tracking experience. It appears they are not the same.
I dont think you can ever get the GEM tracking experience with an alt-az. You will almost always need to track with both axes. You gain in simplicity and transportability instead.

I pretty much always use the slo-mo knobs when tracking my DSV-3. I either let objects drift across the field and then reposition, or continuously track in small increments; depending on the object, magnification and the seeing. I adjusted my controls so they are very smooth with no play or backlash when tracking this way. There is a small amount of vibration when touching and turning the knobs, which stops as soon as you let go of them. When an object is near to the meridian or in the east or west, you can track for quite a while using only one knob. I will then use it to keep the object close to center. Again the motion is smooth with no play or backlash. The vibration is small enough so planetary details remain visible at around 160-180x when tracking. I sometimes rest my elbow on the top of the tripod when not tracking to no ill effect.

I use the panhandle sometimes, but I prefer to push the rear end of the scope with my fingers more often for panning, especially at lower powers. This works well and is smooth and I dont have to reach across the mount to get to the panhandle. This gives more leverage, which a longer panhandle would accomplish too. For higher powers, I prefer the knobs. This may be because I am just used to slo-mo controls from other alt-az mounts.

After you use the mount a number of times, you get to know just how far you need to turn a knob or push the scope to center an object in the eyepiece or finder and it starts to become almost second nature. Lots of times with my eye to the eyepiece the mount kind of disappears. Push on the focuser a little or reach up, put your fingers right where the knob is and give it a little turn without looking away.

As far as balance goes, the only time I ever engage the clutches is when I am using a small Plossl. I set up the QBS with my UWAN 4mm as the lightest weight eyepiece. I use the Plossls almost exclusively on planets and balancing the QBS with them as the lightest weight eyepieces would require the scope be positioned back in the rings further than I want. So I part way enable the alt clutch when I use these eyepieces. Other than that, I don't need either clutch when using the controls or panning with any other eyepiece. When you get the balance set for your eyepieces, the movement becomes be very smooth, especially on the alt axis. Leveling the mount is very important to smooth motions.

Jim said it all about the engineering, build quality and value of the mount. I also think it looks very cool with a scope or two attached to it.


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

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: kevint1]
      #5747875 - 03/21/13 03:40 PM

Oh, I get the engineering, build quality and Rauls reputation, I was one of the first to bring this mount to the forum for discussion. I don't need to be sold on that. My requirements are just very high...we haven't even discussed binoviewing with this mount (another requirement) yet!?!? And I recall a few threads where others say that they can't stand the push-pull of an alt/az when conducted high power planetary observing. I suspect, I may be one of those, I just have no experience to relate to and spending the green, $1350 for the DSV-3 setup that I would buy, isn't an inexpensive experiment! Of course, the half-hitch, now Nova hitch, interested me as well, but I can't justify the expensive of it when a Losmandy Gemini 11 costs the same!

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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: t.r.]
      #5748450 - 03/21/13 08:21 PM

Are you going to put your 130 on it? I have a dsv1 you can try.

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