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Mounting a TV-NP101 in Alt-Az

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#51 nicknacknock

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 01:10 AM

Tom gently tried to discourage me from ordering the pan handle with my DM4, but I bought it anyway because it worked well with my previously owned DM6 that I used with a previously owned NP101 and Mewlon 210. I am still searching for another NP101 or other 4” refractor to use with the DM4.

 

In the meantime, which is over a year now, I have been using the DM4 with my AT72EDii. I don’t like using the pan handle with this scope because it’s awkward, it’s heavy, and it exacerbates a balance problem with this tail-heavy refractor, so I have removed it. Tom suggested shortening the handle, but I haven’t done so yet because I want to try it with a 4” scope first. Don’t know how this will play out yet, but suspect I will eventually cut down the DM handle or sell it and fabricate my own handle because I have some concerns about steering a refractor by its diagonal. 

 

I bought the eyepiece tray with my DM6, but didn’t with my DM4 because I don’t want the added weight of the tray on what I hope will be a grab-and-go 4-inch refractor rig. Think I will eventually fabricate a smaller and lighter EP tray that I will mount on the tripod to lower the rigs CG. 

I shortened my pan handle, removing the curved portion. Also, positioning the scope in such a way to balance with the handle is a requirement if you are going to use the handle.

 

The EP tray is not the best if you use a Nagler 31mm as it will not allow any other 2" eyepieces to fit the tray. But, I can always drop the grenade in my pocket while I pick another piece from the tray. Yes, the EP tray needs a refresh...



#52 25585

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:04 AM

WHATTT!!!!!!!

Those are all current mounts, the original Gibraltar came out in 1984! 

Televue Renaissance 1984        Origional Gibraltar

"       "     Genesis           1988          "                "

"       "     "         "  SDF   1993          "                "

"       "     TV101& TV85  1998         "                "

"       "     TV101              2000     Current Gibraltar (HD4)

"       "      NP101             2001         "               "

"       "     NP101             2001

There are 3,

 

http://www.televue.c...d=200&Tab=_Pano

 

http://www.televue.c...200&Tab=_GibHD4

 

http://www.televue.c...200&Tab=_GibHD5



#53 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:11 AM

Thanks Jon. I am budgeting 35# total for 4” refractor, mount, tripod, diagonal, EP, and finder, but it must be rock solid. Meeting weight is easy enough, but meeting weight with stability acceptable to me is much tougher. If I can’t meet both requirements with a 4-inch scope, I will go smaller. My experiments with the AT72EDII on the DM4 show it’s possible to get rock solid stability at 27#.

 

 

It's probably cheaper just to drive down to San Diego some time and check it out..  The 120mm Eon was both heavier and longer and I was happy with the stability at 360x and even 514x.  With the NP-101, I consider it solid.

 

For an eyepiece tray, I use a cut down 5 gallon bucket.  It slips over the spreader and locks the spreader in place.  Plenty of room for whatever...

 

Jon



#54 Mike W

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 09:32 AM

So what's your point? The GibHD4 and GibHD5 came out in 2015, 31 years after the original Gibraltar! The Panoramic came out in 1998, 14 years after the original Gibraltar. I didn't add them to my list because they have absolutely NOTHING to do with the original Gibraltar that was MADE FOR their 4" scopes. 


Edited by Mike W, 14 February 2019 - 09:33 AM.

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#55 alnitak22

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 09:37 AM

So what's your point? The GibHD4 and GibHD5 came out in 2015, 31 years after the original Gibraltar! The Panoramic came out in 1998, 14 years after the original Gibraltar. I didn't add them to my list because they have absolutely NOTHING to do with the original Gibraltar that was MADE FOR their 4" scopes. 

He’s a lost cause. And the original Gibraltar is a great mount for the TV 4” scopes. I’ve used one with both a TV102 and 101. Also with my 85, for which it is a bit of overkill. Which is why the Panoramic came out, of course!


Edited by alnitak22, 14 February 2019 - 09:41 AM.

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#56 gwlee

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:22 PM

It's probably cheaper just to drive down to San Diego some time and check it out..  The 120mm Eon was both heavier and longer and I was happy with the stability at 360x and even 514x.  With the NP-101, I consider it solid.

 

For an eyepiece tray, I use a cut down 5 gallon bucket.  It slips over the spreader and locks the spreader in place.  Plenty of room for whatever...

 

Jon

Jon, Thanks for the offer. I might go the Riverside Telescope Makers conference in the Spring, which isn’t too far from San Diego, and I would like see your Eon 120 if that works for you. 

 

I am gathering materials to make an EP tray that sits on top of the tripod spreader. I was planning to use a plastic cutting board, but your bucket idea sounds good too. 

 

I like having two mounts for a refractor, where one mount emphasizes portability, and the other emphasizes stability. The Gibraltar mount was my portable mount for my NP101, and my DM6 was my stable mount.

 

Using the “stable” mount, I don’t want to see any shaking whatsoever through the EP when tracking or focusing at 100-200x. Can you get this level of performance with your mount with either your NP101 or your Eon 120?

 

The DM6 is far too heavy for the tree dodging over rough and sloping terrain at this site, so I decided work with the DM4 to see what can be accomplished within a 35# weight budget. Still looking for another NP101, but haven’t found one yet. Obviously, don’t expect DM6 level performance from the DM4, but hoping it might be good enough to work as its “stable” mount.

 

I am confident that I can meet my weight requirement with a 4-inch scope, but think my stability requirements might be too tough. If so, might have to go with a bit smaller refractor on this mount. I also intend to experiment with a carbon fiber tripod that will reduce the weight of the whole rig by 6-7#. 

 

Gary



#57 Rich V.

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 04:17 PM

Another option is a used UA Unistar Dlx (not the light model).  It is relatively light at ~7 lb. and IME, easily handles a 25+ lb. 130mm F7 triplet's weight so an NP101 would be rock solid depending on the tripod used.  No extension is needed for many scopes as it's built into the design.  

 

Unistars come up used from time to time if you're patient; pick a tripod that's appropriate for your particular load.

 

Rich



#58 25585

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 05:10 PM

So what's your point? The GibHD4 and GibHD5 came out in 2015, 31 years after the original Gibraltar! The Panoramic came out in 1998, 14 years after the original Gibraltar. I didn't add them to my list because they have absolutely NOTHING to do with the original Gibraltar that was MADE FOR their 4" scopes. 

The Panoramic mount used on the smaller wooden tripod was called that, not Gibraltar. It was the first, not Gibraltar anything. Original Renaissance and Genesis (mine) were the Panoramic's scopes, before any 101, 102 or Gibraltar mounts were introduced.



#59 Mike W

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:11 PM

The Panoramic mount used on the smaller wooden tripod was called that, not Gibraltar. It was the first, not Gibraltar anything. Original Renaissance and Genesis (mine) were the Panoramic's scopes, before any 101, 102 or Gibraltar mounts were introduced.

There, finally you are making sense! I threw that date about the release of the panoramic to see if you were just picking facts out of the air. Actually the first televue alt-az mount was called the "Pan Head Mount" , a wooden tripod with a camera head that was totally unsuitable for astronomy. Soon after they introduced the "Panoramic Mount", but still was too light for the 4" scopes. Here's a quote from Company Sevens Televue history page:

 

"Televue followed the original "Pan Head Mount" (should read panoramic) with a much more rigid design which is better suited to support the 4 inch telescopes particularly when operating at higher magnifications: the "Gibraltar Mount"

 

All this history can be found by going to Company Seven, vendor Televue, Then Televue History.



#60 25585

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 07:04 PM

I read that. It's not quite correct, in missing out detail. The original fork mount was the Panoramic. Like the one today, but no handle and a solid shaft to go in the wooden tripod top ring. No Telepod then with a 2 part shaft.

 

My Panoramic mount is the earliest, bought with my F5 Genesis. I have the original leaflet somewhere. But many adverts in Astronomy, S&T etc as well. 

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Edited by 25585, 14 February 2019 - 07:11 PM.

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#61 Mike W

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:02 PM

I read that. It's not quite correct, in missing out detail. The original fork mount was the Panoramic. Like the one today, but no handle and a solid shaft to go in the wooden tripod top ring. No Telepod then with a 2 part shaft.

 

I believe that was written before the time of the Telepod not fair to criticize Company Seven for that. The original Gibraltar also has the solid shaft into a nylon bushing, unless you upgraded the bearing like mine. Here's a photo of the original plain bearing.

 

IMG_4755.JPG


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#62 Mike W

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:03 PM

And here's the Gibraltar head with the bearing upgrade.

 

IMG_4756.JPG


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#63 gjanke

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 06:59 AM

I read that. It's not quite correct, in missing out detail. The original fork mount was the Panoramic. Like the one today, but no handle and a solid shaft to go in the wooden tripod top ring. No Telepod then with a 2 part shaft.

 

My Panoramic mount is the earliest, bought with my F5 Genesis. I have the original leaflet somewhere. But many adverts in Astronomy, S&T etc as well. 

those are to pretty to take outside


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#64 25585

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:00 AM

I believe that was written before the time of the Telepod not fair to criticize Company Seven for that. The original Gibraltar also has the solid shaft into a nylon bushing, unless you upgraded the bearing like mine. Here's a photo of the original plain bearing.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_4755.JPG

Like mine. Shaft only a couple of inches long, I wish it was a bit longer. I have not upgraded. Mine has no name badge, no need as only the model in its range. The Tele Vue badge is on the upper horizontal plate. Spacer accessory tray is black metal. No eyepiece caddy mounting holes or option for one in the late 80s.



#65 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:32 AM

Jon, Thanks for the offer. I might go the Riverside Telescope Makers conference in the Spring, which isn’t too far from San Diego, and I would like see your Eon 120 if that works for you. 

 

I am gathering materials to make an EP tray that sits on top of the tripod spreader. I was planning to use a plastic cutting board, but your bucket idea sounds good too. 

 

I like having two mounts for a refractor, where one mount emphasizes portability, and the other emphasizes stability. The Gibraltar mount was my portable mount for my NP101, and my DM6 was my stable mount.

 

Using the “stable” mount, I don’t want to see any shaking whatsoever through the EP when tracking or focusing at 100-200x. Can you get this level of performance with your mount with either your NP101 or your Eon 120?

 

The DM6 is far too heavy for the tree dodging over rough and sloping terrain at this site, so I decided work with the DM4 to see what can be accomplished within a 35# weight budget. Still looking for another NP101, but haven’t found one yet. Obviously, don’t expect DM6 level performance from the DM4, but hoping it might be good enough to work as its “stable” mount.

 

I am confident that I can meet my weight requirement with a 4-inch scope, but think my stability requirements might be too tough. If so, might have to go with a bit smaller refractor on this mount. I also intend to experiment with a carbon fiber tripod that will reduce the weight of the whole rig by 6-7#. 

 

Gary

 

Gary:

 

The Eon is gone.. 

 

It would be the NP-101 on the SV MG2 and the Port amount. I like you idea of two mounts. Out under dark skies, I often use the Port amount because high powers is not so critical. From my backyard, the MG2.

 

Jon



#66 terraclarke

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:39 AM

Another option is a used UA Unistar Dlx (not the light model).  It is relatively light at ~7 lb. and IME, easily handles a 25+ lb. 130mm F7 triplet's weight so an NP101 would be rock solid depending on the tripod used.  No extension is needed for many scopes as it's built into the design.  
 
Unistars come up used from time to time if you're patient; pick a tripod that's appropriate for your particular load.
 
Rich


I had a Unistar for years. It will handle an NP101 with ease. I used to use my Genesis SDF on my Unistar Deluxe that I recently sold. The main reason that it went was that I dislike side-mounting heavy telescopes and much prefer my Gibralter which handles the scope just as well. I don’t mind side-mounting with lighter scopes and much enjoy my Vixen PortaII and my UA DwarfStar with my smaller scopes but I had several near-mishaps with mounting a heavy scope in the Unistar’s side-facing clamping jaw. One heavy OTA (>20pounds) almost hit the ground and I caught it just in time between my leg and the tripod leg. Saved the scope but nearly broke my leg! Anyway, here’s the Genesis SDF (F5.4 and basically the same dimensions as the NP101) on the Unistar:

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#67 25585

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 04:22 PM

Does the Gibraltar 5 have a retaining system to stop it falling out of the tripod top?



#68 jeffmac

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 08:20 PM

Anyone with a now defunct Hercules mount want to chime in? I always wondered how the Hercules compared to the Gibraltar.



#69 Stanislaus

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:43 AM

Does the Gibraltar 5 have a retaining system to stop it falling out of the tripod top?

It's bolted from underneath so no chance of it "falling out", if I understand you correctly. I have one of these with a 4 inch refractor (not a Televue) and it is very stable. The two downsides of the HD5 are the cost and the lack of slow motion controls. That may, or may not be, an issue for people.


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#70 jimandlaura26

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 01:44 PM

Tom gently tried to discourage me from ordering the pan handle with my DM4, but I bought it anyway because it worked well with my previously owned DM6 that I used with a previously owned NP101 and Mewlon 210. I am still searching for another NP101 or other 4” refractor to use with the DM4.

 

In the meantime, which is over a year now, I have been using the DM4 with my AT72EDii. I don’t like using the pan handle with this scope because it’s awkward, it’s heavy, and it exacerbates a balance problem with this tail-heavy refractor, so I have removed it. Tom suggested shortening the handle, but I haven’t done so yet because I want to try it with a 4” scope first. Don’t know how this will play out yet, but suspect I will eventually cut down the DM handle or sell it and fabricate my own handle because I have some concerns about steering a refractor by its diagonal. 

 

I bought the eyepiece tray with my DM6, but didn’t with my DM4 because I don’t want the added weight of the tray on what I hope will be a grab-and-go 4-inch refractor rig. Think I will eventually fabricate a smaller and lighter EP tray that I will mount on the tripod to lower the rigs CG. 

I have used both a DM-6 and now a DM-4, since 2004. I currently use the DM-4 with a 2004 Stellarvue SV-80S (a heavier LOMO variant), Stellarvue SVR-102T and Lunt 60mm Halpha-double stack, all refractors.This mount is very versatile, and I use it with a handle to move the scope and a tray to accommodate eyepieces and 12V batteries. A great asset! Photo’s attached show the Lunt.

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Edited by jimandlaura26, 17 February 2019 - 01:49 PM.

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#71 JimP

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 06:49 PM

Can someone list which of the mounts adequate for the NP 101 have slow motion controls?

 

Jim


Edited by JimP, 17 February 2019 - 06:50 PM.


#72 25585

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:16 AM

Vixen APZ does. Skytee2 does. 



#73 JoeBftsplk

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:59 AM

Can someone list which of the mounts adequate for the NP 101 have slow motion controls?
 
Jim


Jim,

Portamount and Portamount II both do, but they're both barely adequate. My original Portamount works very well with a TV76 and probably would with a TV85. With a Tak FS78, a light but longish scope, it's marginal.

I'm looking at the Desert Sky Astro DSV-2 for my NP101. Try desertskyastro.com and see what you think.
Bob

Edited by JoeBftsplk, 19 February 2019 - 08:59 AM.



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