Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
DSV-3 Has Landed!
      #5719283 - 03/07/13 08:31 PM

I returned home from a business trip this afternoon to the pleasant surprise of boxes on the porch. Raul Medina, the craftsman behind Desert Sky Astro, not only knows machining but also packing items to resist the best destructive efforts of carriers. The packing was first rate with styrofoam panels cut to match the sizes of the sides, bottom and top of the box, he then placed a mid-layer separating the counter-balance system from the mount head. Each component was well-wrapped in bubble wrap and then surrounded with a dense layer of peanuts. First rate.

The mount itself is impressive. I'll get some pictures up this weekend, but it is a well-thought-out work of industrial art. Simple, logical, feature rich and sturdy, but not particularly heavy. The DS tripod is a conventional Chinese aluminum surveyor tripods modified to prevent the legs from spreading too wide. Not bad, and certainly serviceable, but definitely not up to the high quality of the mount head. This thing screams for a Berlebach Planet. It's that nice.

At some point in the not too distant future I'll load test it with a Mewlon 210 (which for the record is a very long 27" long) and TEC 140 mounted simultaneously (collectively a ~45# load) . We'll see if it's up to it. More often mine will carry a C8 and an AT111EDT for use in the bush, so a lighter load.

I opted for the optional encoders. Using Li 9V batteries, I figured that this would be a great, reliable, low maintenance system for backcountry camping and free me from the big batteries and solar panels that I normally pack for dark sky campouts. I'm hopeful that the clutches and slo-mo will be decent replacements for motor drives.

I also have a DSV-1 on the way, for terrestrial spotting use and quick looks.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rigel123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5719375 - 03/07/13 09:11 PM

Congrats! Looking forward to the pics of your setup.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5719394 - 03/07/13 09:21 PM

Woo Hoo! Congratulations Jim; I look forward to hearing your feedback on the DSV-3. Let the party begin

Clear Skies,
Brian


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5719517 - 03/07/13 10:18 PM

A 6inf5 newt would go real nice on his dsv1 as a gng

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5719968 - 03/08/13 07:55 AM

Pics...or it didn't happen!!!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: t.r.]
      #5720778 - 03/08/13 04:09 PM

Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. Soon.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Goodchild
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/31/08

Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5721121 - 03/08/13 08:17 PM

I recently picked up a used CG-4 mount from someone who had just bought a DSV-3 mount and I, too, was very impressed with it. I decided then that I'll probably have to get me one. Very nice mount.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5722556 - 03/09/13 04:14 PM

Okay, I am setting up the mount for my club session tonight and need to know the resolution of the optical encoders. I can't find it on the DSA website. Anyone with one of these happen to know offhand? I can play trial and error, I suppose.

Thanks,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mistyridge
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5722844 - 03/09/13 07:13 PM

The ones on my DM-6 are 4000. I don't know if that helps.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoeM101
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: mistyridge]
      #5722850 - 03/09/13 07:17 PM

do you know what brand they area?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: JoeM101]
      #5722952 - 03/09/13 08:31 PM

I believe I read that Raul put in the better 10000 encoders, but don't quote me!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5723710 - 03/10/13 11:29 AM

Just ordered a DSV-3. You better say really nice stuff about it jr,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: moynihan]
      #5723957 - 03/10/13 01:54 PM

Jay, I think you'll be really happy with the build quality and performance of the mount. Raul does a fantastic job.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: moynihan]
      #5724184 - 03/10/13 04:14 PM

Okay, here's the details. The encoders are 7200 tic in both axes. That tidbit is in the DSV-3 manual section. 10k tic encoders are available as an option.

Last night was first light for the DSV-3, where it carried an SV80S (LOMO triplet) and a C5, and...

...

...

It worked really, really well. The push-to is accurate enough to put targets in a 1-degree field over an extended period with merely a 2-star alignment and no syncing during the session.

Downsides? I few minor quibbles. First, a clever way of aligning one arm relative to the other would be awesome in order to make sure both scopes are aimed at roughly the same point. As it stands, you'd need one of the two scopes to be held with tube rings that allow for adjustment in order to align both OTAs relative to one another. The surveyor tripod is functional but kind of light and I suspect that it represents the weak link for damping with a bigger load than I had last night. Besides, the workmanship of the mount is nice enough to warrant a Berelbach Planet. A slightly longer pan handle would be nice, too, as would the option of longer slow-mo knob shafts.

I only wish that there were a DSV-4 and DSV-5. I'd love to see a scaled up version capable of handling a C14 OTA, adapted to work on an Astro-Physics 10" diameter portable pier. Eventually I will work my way up to larger loads with the DSV-3, but I would be surprised if I were satisfied with the mount's stability with a C11 and TEC 140 up top. I may try a Mewlon 210 (22#) and TEC 140 (22# with rings) up top just to see how it goes.

I'd like to mess around with a single OTA and the counterweight system tonight if I have time.

So far, it's a splendid, easy to use mount.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5724326 - 03/10/13 05:16 PM

Jim, I don't quite follow your comments about aligning two scopes. I haven't tried it yet, but I thought the manual talks about up - down and right - left adjustment screws on the right hand side dovetail mount. I don't have the manual in front of me right now, but I thought I remembered reading that.

I doubt the surveyors tripod will satisfactorily hold a C11 and TEC 140, but I think a Berlebach Planet might. I've seen photos of a TEC 140 on a Planet pointing straight up with an Ethos 13mm with no clutch engagement. I'm thinking of a Berlebach UNI for my set up. I like the aesthetics of dark wood with this mount and my scope.

Edited by kevint1 (03/10/13 05:29 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: kevint1]
      #5724452 - 03/10/13 06:30 PM

Quote:

... a clever way of aligning one arm relative to the other would be awesome




Hi Jim:
On the Desert Sky website, it says:

"The dovetail clamps in the DSV-3 can be collimated so the 2 scopes point at the same object."


-Dan

Edited by Midnight Dan (03/10/13 07:56 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5725282 - 03/11/13 06:24 AM

Perhaps it's not clever enough?





...on second though, it's obviously too clever.

Edited by johnnyha (03/11/13 06:26 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5726184 - 03/11/13 03:54 PM

Actually there's a way to do it, but it's not clever. Rather it's inelegant and involved. 12 steps in the manual, and recommended to be done in daylight.

When I say clever, I mean no tools needed and doable in a moment in the field at night.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (03/11/13 03:58 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoeM101
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/09/12

Loc: 45.66086, -73.54702
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5726220 - 03/11/13 04:08 PM

sounds like you may have mixed feelings about the mount Jim.. would you say it's priced appropriately? I just picked up a CT Duo T and at 250 it's pretty darn awesome... now mind you, i'm making some mods to add encoders but apart from that, this thing is built like a tank... would you say the DSV-3 lives up to all of your expectations and would you recommend it?

one last thing, with the equipment you listed, money doesn't seem to be an issue (wish i could say the same), but for the average Joe, with limited finances, do you think 1000 is justified for this mount? I'm just curious to read your thoughts as i have read the entire OP but first impressions, (unboxing) inevitably prompt generous reviews, it;s only when using it a while do you start to love or dislike aspects that you didn't have a real chance to experience yet...

cheers,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: JoeM101]
      #5726358 - 03/11/13 05:07 PM

No mixed feelings at all, really. For the asking price, compared to other custom made alt-az mounts, it's an absolute steal. For not much more than a mass-produced alt-az, DSA offers precision, hand-crafted alternatives. If anything I think Raul's pricing is too low for what he delivers.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5726374 - 03/11/13 05:16 PM

Quote:

...For the asking price, compared to other custom made alt-az mounts, it's an absolute steal.
- Jim




Its going to be a long 6 weeks to wait


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ngc2289
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/05

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX.
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5726633 - 03/11/13 07:11 PM

jr where are those pictures!!!!!!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: ngc2289]
      #5730289 - 03/13/13 12:44 PM

I know, I know, I know...

I was so excited when I set it up Saturday that I forgot to take any pictures. I only realized this after it was dark.

This weekend I'll get some nice ones. Possibly the DVS-1 will be here, too, and if so, I'll do a "family shot". I plan on taking the DSV-1 with the AT60EDT and a C90 down to the local marsh where I walk my dogs and making the birders jealous. "My spotters may not be as nice as yours, Mr. Leica, but my *mount* crushes yours to dust."

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ngc2289
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/05

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX.
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5730740 - 03/13/13 05:26 PM

Oh sure you expect us to believe that you just happen to forget to take pictures!! You are just so cruel!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5730921 - 03/13/13 07:01 PM

Quote:

the AT60EDT




A few months back, after you got it, you did not seem too enthusiastic about that one. Now that some time has passed, any other thoughts about it?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: moynihan]
      #5731416 - 03/13/13 11:58 PM

It still has a hard time keeping up with any of my vintage 60mm achromats, but it is the widest TFOV instrument that I have presently, so for wide field terrestrial use, it's pretty decent.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
moynihan
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5731476 - 03/14/13 12:44 AM

Quote:

It still has a hard time keeping up with any of my vintage 60mm achromats,




Yes. Same with my AT66ED, in comparison to my Carton 60mm f/15, f/16.7. The latter is superb.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5736523 - 03/16/13 03:33 PM

Okay y'all. Here are some pictures and some comments after further use. First the pictures:











As for user notes, here goes. The slo-mo knobs are useful primarily for centering targets rather than tracking. It's important to take the time to properly balance the OTA(s). When balanced, smooth tracking is easier using appropriate clutch tension on the alt and az axes, and piloting the load with the panhandle. The axial movements are very smooth even loaded. The slo-mo motions aren't rough, but they aren't as smooth as when using the panhandle.

I was wrong earlier when I said you needed ringed scopes to reposition each OTA relative to the other. The requirement for a ringed OTA is if you want/need to use the counterbalance system with dual tubes (such as when you have a tiny tube and large tube mounted simultaneously).

That said, the alignment feature for aligning one OTA relative to the other is a little fussy, requiring an allen wrench and best done in daylight with a terrestrial target as a result. The fact that you can precisely align OTAs relative to one another is a wonderful plus, though, fussy or not.

Though the head is promoted as being capable of carrying a C11 and TEC 140 simultaneously, the OTA in the picture is an 11.2# 4.4" f/7 triplet. It gives you an idea of the scale of this mount head. A C11 or TEC 140 OTA are GINORMOUS compared to the shown OTA. I'm a little skeptical, but I'm also a guy who always overmounts. Later today I'm going to mount up the massive 6" f/5.9 achromat OTA to see how the mount plus counterweight system handles it. My ideal load for dual OTAs would be the AT111EDT pictured and a C8 OTA on the other side. A nice contrast in FOV and light grasp, and a very rewarding duet.

The craftsmanship is quite excellent. Raul Medina is a skilled machinist and a smart designer. I don't know how he can afford to make and sell heads of such quality for the prices he's asking, seriously.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5736583 - 03/16/13 04:21 PM

RFT anyone? Comet much? RIDONCULOUS!











That is the comical Astrotelescopes 152mm f/5.9 achromat on the DSV-3. When balanced, it actually works well. It would be better with the V-series saddle on the other side (I elected the option of both V-series and D-series saddle).

I have a DSV-1 on the way, so I may be able to move V-series saddles around between the two mounts. Also, for this "wide load" I will probably extend the tripod legs 6" to 8" to form a wider base triangle.

Pretty impressive, though, for the dimensions of the mount head, doncha think? The saggy dew shade on the 152mm is bugging me. I'm going to go out and try and shim it with some fuzzy sided Velcro tabs.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5736735 - 03/16/13 05:46 PM

Alright, I gotta bring it up...isn't the whole assembly tippy? The 111 looks as though it is and the 152 appears even more so? It is the only thing holding me back on this mount...the offside weight distribution. It worries me.
Beautiful mount and pics all the same however!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5736806 - 03/16/13 06:16 PM

I know the 152 is for widefield viewing but how is the vibration dampening on that scope at high mags, just for kicks.

berlebach wood legs would look so much beefier wouldn't it?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kunama
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/22/12

Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5736846 - 03/16/13 06:31 PM

That is very impressive Jim. What encoders are in it? Do you know if they will work with Wildcards Argo Navis?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
kevint1
sage
*****

Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: Michigan
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: t.r.]
      #5736850 - 03/16/13 06:31 PM

t.r., I'll chime in here. I've used my EON 120 on this mount a quite a few times now, in a lot of different positions. I am using essentially the same tripod as Jim and I have never experienced any tendency for the set up to tip. I have had the scope hanging between two legs with the third on the opposite side with no issues. I do think the legs on my tripod may be spread more than Jim's, according to his photos. My scope weighs just under 18 lbs with diagonal, finder and medium sized eyepiece. I estimate the QBS weighs about 6 lbs. The mount itself weighs 12 lbs. The one caveat here is that I always make sure the mount is level. I've just never had any fear that it would tip. Hope this helps.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ngc2289
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/05

Loc: Corpus Christi, TX.
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5736854 - 03/16/13 06:33 PM

WOW! NICE set-up!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU for the pictures!!!!!!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: t.r.]
      #5736879 - 03/16/13 06:41 PM

"isn't the whole assembly tippy?"

Nope. Not even with the 152, though I do have the legs fully retracted on the tripod.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5736934 - 03/16/13 07:07 PM

Congratulations, Jim! Very nice alt-az setup. Fantastic photos and what a beautiful scope friendly venue!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Kunama]
      #5737017 - 03/16/13 07:41 PM

I bet the mount would work with Argo Navis. You can specify 10,000 tic encoders in place of the standard 7,200 tic units. I've had lousy luck with Argo Navis units, though. Two duds and poor customer service. The hardware at the time was outsourced to China and has since been brought back in house, so maybe it's better now.

Never had a hint of a problem with a Sky Commander though, and now I have two of them. For that matter, Orion's inexpensive Intelliscope DSCs have been much more reliable for me than AN.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (03/16/13 07:56 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5737027 - 03/16/13 07:44 PM

Hiya Danny.

Dunno how the 152mm will do in the vibration department. Given the svelt 12# weight of the head, I didn't think it would handle the 152mm porker. But I was wrong!

Maybe tonight I'll give it a shot.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
zjc26138
Loved By All
*****

Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5737241 - 03/16/13 08:54 PM

Beautiful setup Jim!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: DSV-3 Has Landed! new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5737333 - 03/16/13 09:18 PM

Quote:

I didn't think it would handle the 152mm porker. But I was wrong!






well if I can handle my 8in ota on a dsv-1, I know that wouldn't be hard to do on your mount.



It's just that with my 8in sct when I get into high mag I have to wait a little longer than normal to have it settle down. I could put my tv gibraltar legs under then head to help...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
thesubwaypusher
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

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?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
trask
member
*****

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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

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!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
11 registered and 28 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 3253

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics