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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Review of Nova Hitch Mount
      #5825787 - 04/27/13 07:33 AM

Review of Nova Hitch Mount

By Kelsey Golden


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Scott in NC
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5825912 - 04/27/13 09:15 AM

Nice review, Kelsey--thanks for sharing that! I'd also be interested in hearing any follow-up comments that you may have after you've had a few more months' experience with this mount.

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D.Briden
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Reged: 10/08/08

Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5826122 - 04/27/13 11:44 AM

Great review Kelsey.... good to hear that it exceeds all of your expectations - even with a bigger scope than your own.

We have similar interests as I too am more into the photography side (FSQ106ED/Tak EM400), but also wanting a matching quality visual set-up to compliment a nice 10" Dob that I 'look after' for my local astro club with my own range of Ethos eyepieces and my own (at the moment), mountless TSA102s.

Looking forward to receiving my Nova soon (with the encoders/Sky Commander etc and then the tracking to follow...)

Can I enquire further....? You never really got into the performance with your own (lighter) WO scope? Did you feel the tripod was acceptable for this instrument, or 'only just' - what were the dampening times like? Of course, I ask in relation to my smaller Tak - although she is still a rather long (f/8) and heavy 4" unit!

The tripod for me is also the 'weak link' issue at the moment. Perhaps I will go with Charles' new creation or a Berlebach Planet or Sky - my only concern with this would be their rather large head base that may encumber zenith performance but I also have on order his 'quick release' unit that would add a further 3" to the height so offering additional clearance.

Thanks for taking the time to write up a review whilst the rest of us wait for ours... sounds like I shall be in for an awful amount of 'new equipment cloud'!

Clear skies,

Damian


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lcaldero
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: D.Briden]
      #5827884 - 04/28/13 08:38 AM

I am curious about your comments regarding pricing. The current price of the Nova Hitch is comparable to mounts like the Trex-- actually the trex price includes encoders so that makes it a bit cheaper than the Nova hitch similarly equipped. A lot of discussion about how innovative the mount is but not much about performance under the stars?

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kcgolden
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Reged: 04/01/07

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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: D.Briden]
      #5828056 - 04/28/13 10:43 AM

Quote:

Great review Kelsey.... good to hear that it exceeds all of your expectations - even with a bigger scope than your own.

We have similar interests as I too am more into the photography side (FSQ106ED/Tak EM400), but also wanting a matching quality visual set-up to compliment a nice 10" Dob that I 'look after' for my local astro club with my own range of Ethos eyepieces and my own (at the moment), mountless TSA102s.

Looking forward to receiving my Nova soon (with the encoders/Sky Commander etc and then the tracking to follow...)

Can I enquire further....? You never really got into the performance with your own (lighter) WO scope? Did you feel the tripod was acceptable for this instrument, or 'only just' - what were the dampening times like? Of course, I ask in relation to my smaller Tak - although she is still a rather long (f/8) and heavy 4" unit!

The tripod for me is also the 'weak link' issue at the moment. Perhaps I will go with Charles' new creation or a Berlebach Planet or Sky - my only concern with this would be their rather large head base that may encumber zenith performance but I also have on order his 'quick release' unit that would add a further 3" to the height so offering additional clearance.

Thanks for taking the time to write up a review whilst the rest of us wait for ours... sounds like I shall be in for an awful amount of 'new equipment cloud'!

Clear skies,

Damian




RE: Tripod and my own scope:

I would call the gibraltar tripod "usable" is about the best I can say with my 110 - and more or less the same with the 140. "Usable" meaning, It wouldn't be on a short list of things about my setup to improve, but it would nonetheless be something I'd wish was more suited to the task. If I spent the $5,000 on a TEC 140, the tripod probably would be on the short list of next 5 things to replace/buy.

The key thing I notice with the tripod is vibration when focusing. It isn't incredibly disruptive but it definitely slows me down. You may notice those wood braces on the tripod legs pictured in my review (Installed correctly on the TEC 140 picture, incorrect with the 110). I borrowed those from Charles and I believe they help a little but I'd say if you don't already have a tripod and it's therefore already on your "list" of things to buy, get something better than the gibraltar. If you already own one, wait and see if you can tolerate it before dropping another 1000 - 2000 on a tripod.


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kcgolden
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Reged: 04/01/07

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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: lcaldero]
      #5828084 - 04/28/13 10:59 AM

Quote:

I am curious about your comments regarding pricing. The current price of the Nova Hitch is comparable to mounts like the Trex-- actually the trex price includes encoders so that makes it a bit cheaper than the Nova hitch similarly equipped. A lot of discussion about how innovative the mount is but not much about performance under the stars?




I apologize for not covering that aspect of the performance in more depth. A lot of this relates to normal use vibration, smoothness, slow motion controls, performance at high powers and balance which I did cover - and those things work quite well. If those aspects are solid, performance under the stars is also or at least, that's what I was trying to convey by focusing on what I did so much. However, in reviewing my article, there's probably some specifics I could've elaborated on.

The one thing that might be of concern to anyone considering an Alt-Az mount is ability to view the Zenith as this is a shortfall of many alt-az mounts and the Nova too, cannot reach the Zenith. I'm just estimating here but it's probably 5 to 10 degrees off from the Zenith at maximum altitude (anyone who knows the exact cutoff can correct me and I will edit this comment). This compared to my skyshed pod which cuts off about 20 degrees. Comparing the two, I have yet to find a situation where the Nova cuts off something I want to see and even if I did, it wouldn't be that long before I could point my scope at it whereas my Skyshed pod often cuts things off and it's several hours before I can see them.

I did mention that we viewed Jupiter at 300x with the TEC 140 using an ethos eyepiece if I remember correctly (so even heavier). At that power, the slow motion controls were really put to the test and despite the Gibraltar tripod, a light touch on the slow motion controls made it very easy to keep Jupiter centered. I also spent some time star hoping around the messier clusters in Auriga (M36, M37, M38). This was mostly with a large panoptic eyepiece and in this case, I was mostly pushing the scope from target to target while looking through the eyepiece the entire time. This too was easy to do and there were no problems with jerkiness or instability which could make such a task impossible with other mounts.

Edited by kcgolden (04/28/13 11:14 AM)


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lcaldero
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5828118 - 04/28/13 11:19 AM

Thanks Kelsey, helpful info.

Laura


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kcgolden
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: lcaldero]
      #5830918 - 04/29/13 06:56 PM

Quote:

I am curious about your comments regarding pricing. The current price of the Nova Hitch is comparable to mounts like the Trex-- actually the trex price includes encoders so that makes it a bit cheaper than the Nova hitch similarly equipped. A lot of discussion about how innovative the mount is but not much about performance under the stars?




Also, I'm not sure the price difference between the Nova and the T-Rex should be the consideration - the two mounts are relatively close in price. I have not used or seen a T-REX so cannot comment on whether or not it should be picked over the Nova but I note a few differences that may sway the decision:

1. The encoders on the Nova have twice the resolution
2. The Nova has dual-axis balancing - the T-Rex just has one axis on which to balance.
3. Aside from the nuts and bolts, pretty much every part of the Nova is CNC machined and Anodized. Even the dovetail is CNC machined. I have no idea what is CNC-Machined on the T-REX but it isn't marketed as CNC-Machined nor hand-made and verified - and I would hope they would brag about both of those things if it was.

Right now, the Nova is being sold without a tripod so comparing the price to the T-Rex, the nova with encoders and sky commander is $2270.00. The T-Rex with the same 2335.00 - so actually a little bit more. The price difference being only about 2% right not, I'd say the price shouldn't really be a big consideration when comparing the two mounts.

This isn't to say I want to give any bad impressions about the T-REX since I haven't tried it but given what I know to be true about the Nova and the way the T-REX is currently presented, I would still pick the Nova even if it was several hundred dollars more.

Edited by kcgolden (04/29/13 06:57 PM)


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crazyqban
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5831461 - 04/30/13 01:15 AM

Also, the Nova has a digital racking option that I don't think that the T-Rex has.

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kcgolden
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Reged: 04/01/07

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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: crazyqban]
      #5832649 - 04/30/13 03:57 PM

Quote:

Also, the Nova has a digital racking option that I don't think that the T-Rex has.




Do you mean tracking?


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crazyqban
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5833432 - 04/30/13 11:12 PM

oops, yes, tracking.

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riverlaw
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Reged: 06/09/10

Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5842337 - 05/05/13 07:57 PM

Hi Kelsey, Would you mind making a video on how to balance your scope in the nova? I am waiting for one and am very interested in how this is done. Thank you, Scott

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issdaol
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Reged: 01/01/10

Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: riverlaw]
      #5873108 - 05/20/13 05:29 AM

great review. what are the features of the tracking option?? i did not see any detail on this

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riverlaw
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Reged: 06/09/10

Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: issdaol]
      #5881743 - 05/24/13 08:22 AM

The tracking feature are not completed yet. That is the reason most likely that they he did not go into detail on that feature. It is looking like that feature will be completed before the end of the summer.

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Doug D.
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: riverlaw]
      #5897991 - 06/02/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

Hi Kelsey, Would you mind making a video on how to balance your scope in the nova? I am waiting for one and am very interested in how this is done. Thank you, Scott




I'd sure be interested in this myself if somebody had the inclination - especially with a TEC 140 or comparable in the cameo role.


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kcgolden
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: Doug D.]
      #5909122 - 06/08/13 02:05 AM

Hi,

It's been a while since I've visited this thread. Regarding a balancing video, I'll gladly do so when I next get time to observe again. It's been pretty much since I wrote my article that I've been able to though. Hopefully in the next month or so, that will change.

As for the tracking option, all I know is that it is an offered feature. I did not order it though. I have tracking on my permanently mounted EQ mount and didn't see the need to do it in a visual-only mount that I intended to be portable and quick to set up and break down.

I'm sure some people that ordered their mounts with tracking will have more to say about it but since I don't have it nor want it, I'm probably not the one to ask.


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SteveH
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Reged: 08/17/05

Loc: Texas
Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5913265 - 06/10/13 02:41 PM

Hi,,
Good review, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is helping push me to upgrading my Giro IIs. I'd be curious if anyone here has any experience with the Nova and the DM6 with a physically large scope like a TEC 140.

Thanks


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riverlaw
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Reged: 06/09/10

Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: SteveH]
      #5914970 - 06/11/13 12:25 PM

Hi Steve, You live in TX. You shouldn't need any hard assessments and should go with the local guy! I am only half kidding of course.

Here is a some impressions of the nova with a large scope. Not a comparison but still good to see more opinions on the new

nova.http://www.chesmontastro.org/node/9915


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SteveH
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Reged: 08/17/05

Loc: Texas
Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: riverlaw]
      #5915610 - 06/11/13 06:27 PM

Well, I guess by Texas standards they aren't too far away (~3hrs), so perhaps I could just run over there and see one up close and personal. 8^)
My dilemma is I think that a DM6 and the Nova comparison while both being alt az are two different beasts, almost apples and oranges; and I am trying (without the luxury of trying them out) to decide if I want an apple or an orange.


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nicklane1
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Re: Review of Nova Hitch Mount new [Re: SteveH]
      #5928909 - 06/19/13 10:11 AM

What a beautiful mount!
I know it is hand made and all (like Porsche 911s and Aston Martins) and that its market is for grab n go. But, with a Nova Tripod, it costs more than a Losmandy G11 with gemini and tripod.


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