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ES Twilight 1 completed mods - have a look....

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#1 Mr. Mike

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 10:45 AM

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 smile.gif ) 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!  

Attached Thumbnails

  • MountMod2.jpg
  • MountMod3.jpg

Edited by Mr. Mike, 10 March 2019 - 10:51 AM.

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#2 Cali

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 09:15 PM

I just ordered a Twilight I and appreciate your post. It looks like the price was recently increased from $199 to $249. 

 

Any thoughts on the Kokusai Kohki Guide Handle ?

 

Thx

 

- Cal


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#3 erin

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 04:36 PM

Hey Mike,

 

Thanks for posting! It looks good and I'm glad you are getting noticeable results waytogo.gif

 

I noticed the difference last night, when I finally got my binoviewers out on the moon and M42. Focus induced some shakiness with the extra weight of the BV (I was also using the C102), but it was tolerable, and I could watch the objects drift at high magnification without vibrations once everything settled. Before the mod...forget it!

 

Erin



#4 Mr. Mike

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 04:53 PM

I just ordered a Twilight I and appreciate your post. It looks like the price was recently increased from $199 to $249. 

 

Any thoughts on the Kokusai Kohki Guide Handle ?

 

Thx

 

- Cal

Great choice.  It’s a pretty decent mount that won’t break the bank and a few easy mods makes it better.  But, right out of the box it’ll do OK with smaller or lighter scopes too! That handle looks great.  I do wish there was an easier way to make larger movements without having to grab the scope by the tube or whatever.  Hmmmm. Kind of steep at $70 bucks but then again if it makes the mount that much better it’s worth it.  

 

You should be fine with your 102mm achro.  It’ll weigh a good bit less than my triplet.  Even so, the mods are so easy and useful that for some future time if you get a bigger or heavier scope you’ll be set to go.  Plus, making the mount even stronger will only make it work better with your current rig.

 

Hey Mike,

 

Thanks for posting! It looks good and I'm glad you are getting noticeable results waytogo.gif

 

I noticed the difference last night, when I finally got my binoviewers out on the moon and M42. Focus induced some shakiness with the extra weight of the BV (I was also using the C102), but it was tolerable, and I could watch the objects drift at high magnification without vibrations once everything settled. Before the mod...forget it!

 

Erin

Hey bud, yeah, got out last night for a little while again and at higher mags there still is some shakiness and settle time but it’s reduced to where I can tolerate it.  And, ZERO shakes at all using the slo mo controls.  Even a slight scope bump doesn’t cause much fuss.  Just a few seconds or so of settling required for focusing but once you are focused you won’t do that again until next eyepiece, right? 

 

The key key here is that we have made the mount usable with our heavier refractors where before it was certainly more iffy.  I didn’t want to spend $500+ on a mount at this stage so I pleased with how it turned out.  Glad you were able to get in some viewing and had similar positive results.  KEWL! smile.gif


Edited by Mr. Mike, 13 March 2019 - 04:54 PM.

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#5 mic1970

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 04:58 PM

Nice work.



#6 erin

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 06:05 PM

Yes! I noticed that too—no shakes with the slo mo controls and they are very smooth. 


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#7 Mr. Mike

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 04:13 AM

Yes! I noticed that too—no shakes with the slo mo controls and they are very smooth. 

Yep, no shakes to speak of with the slo mo controls! As I said, there is still some settle time after a focusing but once you get it dialed in you won’t have to do it often like you use slo mo controls so IMO that’s what really matters here.  

 

Im also thinking of grabbing a set of vibration pads for the tripod to just to complete the upgrade.  They aren’t expensive and can’t hurt.  Overall though, I’m pretty content and didn’t have to spend $500++ bucks! :)


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#8 Cali

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Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:10 PM

Yep, no shakes to speak of with the slo mo controls! As I said, there is still some settle time after a focusing but once you get it dialed in you won’t have to do it often like you use slo mo controls so IMO that’s what really matters here.  

 

Im also thinking of grabbing a set of vibration pads for the tripod to just to complete the upgrade.  They aren’t expensive and can’t hurt.  Overall though, I’m pretty content and didn’t have to spend $500++ bucks! smile.gif

Here is a list of pads . Also look for Ankle Weights/Wrist Weights at garage sales. You can wrap them around tripod legs.

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 14 March 2019 - 09:56 PM.

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#9 Mr. Mike

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Posted 15 March 2019 - 05:48 AM

Here is a list of pads . Also look for Ankle Weights/Wrist Weights at garage sales. You can wrap them around tripod legs.

 

- Cal

Great -thansk for the ideas.....never thought of weights for the legs! ;)




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