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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Good alt/az for 4" refractor new
      #6611749 - 07/01/14 06:09 PM

The scope is a Vixen ED 103. F/7.7 weighs about 8 pounds. I have a Porta II and even on a HAL 130 tripod it is to shaky.I would like to stay under $600 so The Disc Mount, Half Hitch and T-Rex are out.

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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Nippon]
      #6611797 - 07/01/14 06:49 PM

You may have good luck buying used, such as a Universal Astronomics Unistar deluxe, or a Televue Gibraltar. Used, you could swing either, and they come up periodically on this site's classified and others as well. They would satisfy you, I believe. Some go a bit old school and use a Vixen Polaris and use it in alt/az mode, but I have no personal experience with that setup.

Edited by choran (07/01/14 08:49 PM)


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Mickey_C
sage
*****

Reged: 04/27/05

Loc: AZ
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: choran]
      #6611922 - 07/01/14 07:55 PM

I recommend the UA Unistar deluxe. It was solid in 28 mph winds at the GCSP with a SW 120ED mounted. Enough so that it's made my short list of *cherished* equipment.

It's well within your budget.


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astrophile
sage


Reged: 06/30/13

Loc: Chaise-lounge, 18x50s in hand
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Mickey_C]
      #6612465 - 07/02/14 05:32 AM

The other mount in that price bracket you might consider is a Stellarvue M2, will require a column for tripod clearance.

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karstenkoch
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/21/12

Loc: GMT+9
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: astrophile]
      #6612564 - 07/02/14 08:14 AM

ES Twilight II. I use it with my SV102ED. Solid. No shaking. In your budget. Why. Am I talking. Like. James T Kirk? Seriously, if your budget is hard and fast and you want the heaviest duty mount + tripod for less than $600, I know of no other (but someone please speak up if you do).

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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Nippon]
      #6612654 - 07/02/14 09:27 AM

Quote:

The scope is a Vixen ED 103. F/7.7 weighs about 8 pounds. I have a Porta II and even on a HAL 130 tripod it is to shaky.



That is interesting. I have always thought of the Porta II as equivalent to the AT Voyager which is rock solid with my Kunming 102ED f/7. Maybe the extra inches in length makes the difference?

I dislike metal tripods, and I don't care who makes 'em. I suggest trying your rig with a wooden surveyors tripod. Oberwerk has seconds for cheap.

Someone suggested a Vixen Polaris. I have one (on wooden SP legs) and it is on the edge with my 102ED. Likely, your longer OTA will overwhelm it.

Finally, there are not too many alt-az in your price range with slo-mos which I am sure you will miss if you step up to a mount without them. It is worth trying the wooden tripod route first.


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joe4702
member


Reged: 12/16/13

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: hottr6]
      #6612773 - 07/02/14 10:35 AM

M2 with column on CG5 2" steel tripod has been working fine for me with a 100mm f9 ED refractor. Also looked at the ES Twilight II - very nice but more than I needed.

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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: hottr6]
      #6612855 - 07/02/14 11:30 AM

One more thought. You could try vibration pads under your HAL feet. Won't cost much to try, and you can flip them quickly if they don't work for you.

Question: You don't observe from a deck, do you?


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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: hottr6]
      #6613307 - 07/02/14 03:37 PM

I don't observe from a deck and I have anti vibration pads. I have the older Hal 130 so I have to use a half pier to use the Porta on The Hal. I know that is part of the problem because when I use the half pier with my GP2 mount it is less steady than the GP2 directly on the Hal 130. I was looking at the ES Twilight II and it appears rather robust with a sturdy tripod. Anyone have one of those?

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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Nippon]
      #6613345 - 07/02/14 03:56 PM

Nippon,

I have the exact same setup as you (Porta with the 103mm F7.7). Vibration pads worked for me. But I do have wood legs vice the metal ones.

I have not tried other mounts for this scope to give a good opinion as the others have.

I do think the FTX would have been good...but over budget I know.


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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Nippon]
      #6613385 - 07/02/14 04:21 PM

If you can find the Unistar deluxe used, and put it on the larger of the Oberwerks wood tripods, who will be quite pleased--the vibration is almost non-existent. Last night I was out with that setup and a Televue NP101, which is about the same weight as yours or a bit heavier, and truly, tapping the mount results in a vibration that settles in 1/2 second or so. This on a concrete driveway and no anti-vibration pads.

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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: choran]
      #6613651 - 07/02/14 07:20 PM

I'll look into the unistar. Your 101 is heavier than my Vixen. I remember from looking into the specs for your scope when looking to buy a 4 inch scope. And it is nearly as long I believe because of the petzval design. I found a vendor offering a used Stellarvue MG Deluxe head only for about $200. Anyone with some experience with the MG?

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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Nippon]
      #6616869 - 07/04/14 05:13 PM

Quote:

The scope is a Vixen ED 103. F/7.7 weighs about 8 pounds. I have a Porta II and even on a HAL 130 tripod it is to shaky.I would like to stay under $600 so The Disc Mount, Half Hitch and T-Rex are out.




No slow/mo controls, but how about something along these lines?
I've had success with newt ota's up to 20 lbs doing something vaguely similar.

http://www.astromart.com/articles/article.asp?article_id=689


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bgi
super member
*****

Reged: 12/01/05

Loc: Ga
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: izar187]
      #6617850 - 07/05/14 10:59 AM

That's awesome and the way we did it way back when "old school" style aka Edmund's "All About Telescopes" by Sam Brown.

Modern day hand-grenade eyepieces makes using these more difficult with re-balancing. But the price is right and they're pretty quick to put together.


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vkhastro1
sage
*****

Reged: 08/21/05

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: bgi]
      #6617893 - 07/05/14 11:23 AM

The Tak Teegal with Lapides modification is a great alt-az
mount with slow motion controls on both axes.
They frequently come up for sale on the used market for around $450.00.
Add a heavy duty wooden tripod (Berlebach/William Optics versions) - again available for less than $150.00 on the used market.
Great setup and the purchase price will be around your
$600.00 budget.


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: bgi]
      #6618351 - 07/05/14 04:39 PM

Quote:

That's awesome and the way we did it way back when "old school" style aka Edmund's "All About Telescopes" by Sam Brown.

Modern day hand-grenade eyepieces makes using these more difficult with re-balancing. But the price is right and they're pretty quick to put together.




They do assemble fast.

All About Telescopes oughta be on everybody's shelf!

You are certainly correct about heavy ep's, but it can be countered somewhat.
The threads are tapered, and altitude movement can be tightened up by quarter turns of the flange on the altitude threads.
Don't lap the threads, but match the altitude threads for smoothness, at the store.
Then add a wrap or so of teflon tape.
No oil, to catch grit, or to get on you or your stuff.
Just the very affordable, clean, disposable and replaceable, teflon pipe tape.
Comes in little snap shut roll containers, to store with the observing kit.

You can also hang the ota so that as it travels from zenith toward the horizon, those tapered threads are tightening up by a quarter turn.


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Russ S.
super member


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Low Country, SC
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: izar187]
      #6622425 - 07/07/14 10:27 PM

At your weight you could use one of UA's mounts smaller and cheaper than the Unistar which is rated for 30-40 lbs. The owner Larry is suppose ro be very friendly and helpful, I'd definitely give hima call.

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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor [Re: Nippon]
      #6622918 - 07/08/14 08:27 AM

Quote:

Stellarvue MG Deluxe head only for about $200. Anyone with some experience with the MG?




I bought a used one about a year ago, works excellent on my 120mm f/7.5. i usually don't use the slo mo controls (awkwardly placed, although extensions are available I've read). if i balance the scope properly it moves with a gentle nudge like a dob(i leave the clutches disengaged). there are some mixed reviews if you look around (they seem to vary depending on scope size/weight) but I'm very happy with mine.

i also had metal tripod leg vibration issues, replaced the inner extension legs with wood and it fixed all my vibration problems. down to about 1-2 secs under high magnification. the mounts solid, just needs a good wood tripod.

btw i also did see some universal astronomics stuff in the classifieds recently.


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: lamplight]
      #6624137 - 07/08/14 08:38 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

I often mount my ED100 on a cheap Skywatcher AZ-3 on which I've replaced the spindly bent aluminium legs with DIY wooden ones. Turned a barely useable setup into a very nice one.

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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: Good alt/az for 4" refractor new [Re: Pat at home]
      #6624438 - 07/08/14 11:36 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Porta II with HAL130 tripod with my 100mm SW Esprit triplet (f/5.5). I use the train-n-track option which makes vibrations much less of an issue and also gives some reasonable tracking within a relevant range of time.

The short focal ratio of this scope really makes the Porta II viable for this setup. The HAL130 tripod, in my opinion, should be the standard tripod for this rig. The basic one that they normally sell with the Porta II is very inadequate and reduces the actual capabilities of the mount head.


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