Folks - I finished off a few easy/cheap mods today to my ES Twilight 1 mount that have really made a tangible difference. The reality is that with these couple mods, the mount performs better and can handle moderately heavier scopes than the stock configuration OR will be more stable with your current rig.
The first night out with my 102mm ES(Rodney ) Triplet I noticed that slo mo movements actually didnt introduce any shakes but focusing did. It wasnt ridiculous but it was enough that I wanted to beef things up a bit. I had read that the tripod for this mount is actually pretty solid which I believe it is. Its the head/arm itself, especially when used in the 60-degree position where the issues started. And, most of the time for astronomy you'll want the mount in that 60-degree position so pointing towards the zenith is easier/better. So, heres what ya can do:
1) See this thread: https://www.cloudyni...t/#entry9063557 that Jim posted. If you read through it you'll see exactly what to do. Basically, you are reinforcing the "open" area on the mount arm with a couple pieces of 12mm thick birchwood which I bought a chunk of at Michaels craft store for like $6 bucks. The dimensions to cut it are all in that thread and you'll have to do some hand sanding on the one piece to get it to fit but once you do its just a few drilled holes and some bolts. Done. EASY-peezy. Youll see in my pics that I didnt paint the wood or treat it but Jim did and you can opt for that if you like. Either way, my initial tests confirmed that this does stabilize the mount arm and reduces any post-focus shakes with my 102mm triplet down to 1-2 second level, tops even at higher mags. Very pleased!
2) Upgraded holding clamp. User Erin shared this eBay link with me. https://www.ebay.com...dfffc5c77|iid:1
There is a simlar clamp available on Amazon that will also work but its twice the price. I ordered this one and even from Hong Kong it arrived earlier than I expected and the transaction was smooth sailing. The clamp uses the MUCH better slanted "slabs" to hold the dovetail versus the dodgy screws that the stock clamp uses. WAY better stability & gives piece of mind too, lol. It also has nice knurled knobs on both screws for easy tightening and loosening. It fits perfectly too using the screws that come with the mount so no hardware is needed. You just remove the stock clamp and replace it with this one. The holes are exactly where they need to be. Couldnt be easier. Looks nice too - the clamp seems to be decent quality and is priced right. I beileve this clamp helps stability and its miles ahead of the stock one as far as grasp/security/usability is concerned so its a no-brainer upgrade for the TW1, IMO. $36 bucks to my door.
Pics are below. Feel free to ask any questions. Hope this helps anyone that either has a TW1 and wants to stabilize it more or allows someone to buy the TW1 that plans to use it with a higher weight rig that they are nervous about. Im not saying you can put a 6" beast on here or a 10" reflector....LOL.... but you CAN easily support any 4" refractor, even a triplet with confidence and likely a 110mm-120mm achro or lighter doublet. In stock form, the TW1 got mixed reviews with most 4" scopes at higher mags and was deemed possibly not good enough. With these mods, any 4" refractor is easy going!
Edited by Mr. Mike, 10 March 2019 - 10:51 AM.