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Best refractor for a DM6

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#26 k5apl

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 12:12 PM

I owned a TEC160FL and a DM6 on the Losmandy tripod.  A great combination for my viewing.  I used my TEC140ED

on it before I upgraded to the 160FL.  My computer was the simple to use SkyCommander and the whole setup gave me many many hours of enjoyment under the stars.


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#27 The Ardent

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 12:12 PM

I'd like to mention the reason for the DM6 is portable observing. My experience is that a manageable 5" refractor is a lot easier to set up than a behemoth 7" 

The larger longer refractors require taller tripods. The TEC website used to say something to the effect that the 160 was a small increase in aperture but a large increase in cost + weight. 

Also note the popularity of the AP 130, TSA 120, and TEC 140. These scopes are in the ideal range of size / length and offer great optics. I believe this is one reason for their enduring popularity. 

My point is don't get wrapped up in aperture fever to a point that negates the portability of the DM6. 

 

On on the other hand, 

Since the OP is young and strong , I suggest he try every scope possible and form his own conclusions, 

 

 

A reflector like in post 22 above, the eyepiece is too high off the ground for seated observing. I have an 8" f/4 Newt that ideally requires a half-height Losmandy tripod. 


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#28 The Ardent

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 12:15 PM

The 160FL appears to be close to perfect. 

 

I owned a TEC160FL and a DM6 on the Losmandy tripod.  A great combination for my viewing.  I used my TEC140ED

on it before I upgraded to the 160FL.  My computer was the simple to use SkyCommander and the whole setup gave me many many hours of enjoyment under the stars.


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#29 fate187

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 01:57 PM

No such thing as overmounting! Buy a DM6, use it with your TSA120. You will be future-proofed for any larger scope in your future. How nice to have the DMs as an option!

 

In Europe there is the APM Maxload, AYO range & possibly the new Rowan AZ100 as top tier strong alt az mounts.

I was also eyeing this mount as an alternative for europeans instead of a discmount.

 

@Tyson: I have seen a few folks using the TEC180 on a DM6. So should be good. It looks a little scary to me. But people in this thread also think it works. I am always scared with my CFF185 on an AZ-EQ6 in AZ mode blush.gif .

I wouldn't go for anything below 150mm aperture, since you have the TSA120. Maybe a CFF165 f/7.8, the longer brother/planetary version of the f/6.5 version?

 

@people with DM6: You don't use counterweights with this mount?


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#30 donadani

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 02:04 PM

@people with DM6: You don't use counterweights with this mount?

 

nope - none needed :)


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#31 Scott in NC

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 02:14 PM

Well, I don’t know about “best,” as that’s pretty subjective, but to me my TEC 140 on a DM6 and Berlebach Planet is as near to perfection as I could ever hope to come. :ubetcha:


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#32 RAKing

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 03:50 PM

Well, I don’t know about “best,” as that’s pretty subjective, but to me my TEC 140 on a DM6 and Berlebach Planet is as near to perfection as I could ever hope to come. ubetcha.gif

I first met Tom Peters at NEAF in 2008 and he had a beautiful TEC 140 on his DM-6.  Naturally, I fell in love with that combo, but eventually opted for a Mach 1 equatorial with my scopes.

 

Then I ran into Tom again in 2016 at NEAF and he had a beautiful TEC 180 sitting on his DM-6.  

 

The DM-6 is a very solid mount and if the OP can swing the finances, he has plenty of options when it comes to the telescope!

 

Cheers,

 

Ron



#33 Tyson M

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 06:43 PM

Well, I don’t know about “best,” as that’s pretty subjective, but to me my TEC 140 on a DM6 and Berlebach Planet is as near to perfection as I could ever hope to come. ubetcha.gif

Yea by best I was referring to largest aperture without compromising stability with vibrations at high power. I am thinking 155- 165mm tops. Either an AP, TEC or CFF some day.  

 

It will obviously depend on finances but the future is looking promising. The DM6 with nexus will be a lifetime grab and go mount which I'll use several different tripods for likely. 

 

I dont want to drop a large sum on money on a large premium refractor and get vibrations under moderate wind conditions.



#34 Haydon

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 08:27 PM

I too like the TEC 140 on the DM-6. Good aperture, light weight and I’m not observing on my knees when using one.

#35 DJ N

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 09:20 PM

Hi everyone

 

Thought I would add my own experiences. I currently mount my Skywatcher Esprit 150ED Triplet to my DM6 (with the 8" extender). For home use, I have the DM6 mounted to a fairly solid pier, however for other times, I use a AP (Baader) AWT000 wooden tripod. For such a significant payload, I find the DM6 extremely portable. I much prefer it to GEM's. Even at high power, I have no issues tracking planets.

 

Though I might add, just to take the "edge" off the significant payload, I did make up a simple 3.5kg counterweight mounted to 6mm aluminium plate. I do also use the DM6 for my Celestron C11.

 

 

Cheers

 

Daniel

Attached Thumbnails

  • DM6 Esprit 150ED.jpg

Edited by DJ N, 16 May 2020 - 09:21 PM.

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#36 GaryJCarter

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 02:17 AM

I’ve used my DM6 to mount a variety of OTAs including up to 6” f/15 and 7” f/9 refractors, sometimes doubled up with a TV-85 or a SolarMax 40. I’ve also mounted my 6” Cave Newtonian and Celestron C-11. I do have the optional counterweight bar that helps balance to mass of the larger OTAs.


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#37 GaryJCarter

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 02:19 AM

AP178f9.JPG
 
AP 7” f/9 on a DM-6, extension, and a Particle Wave Pinnacle Tripod 

Edited by GaryJCarter, 17 May 2020 - 02:24 AM.

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#38 fate187

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 05:54 AM

What is the weight of DM6 ready to take an OTA?



#39 25585

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 08:52 AM

I was also eyeing this mount as an alternative for europeans instead of a discmount.

 

@Tyson: I have seen a few folks using the TEC180 on a DM6. So should be good. It looks a little scary to me. But people in this thread also think it works. I am always scared with my CFF185 on an AZ-EQ6 in AZ mode blush.gif .

I wouldn't go for anything below 150mm aperture, since you have the TSA120. Maybe a CFF165 f/7.8, the longer brother/planetary version of the f/6.5 version?

 

@people with DM6: You don't use counterweights with this mount?

I like this review of the APM Maxload  http://alpha-lyrae.c...d-mount-review/

 

The owner used it for a 180mm LZOS. The APM can take 2 scopes as can an AYO & AZ100. Criteria for me is whether I want DSCs at some point, or a GOTO AZ EQ 6. 

 

Not enough testing or feedback for the Rowan though it uses Nexus. AYO uses Argo. DMs are US only. 

 

AYO & DM don't do cards or Paypal anyway. So Rowan with DSCs, APM with none or AZ EQ 6 with GOTO...confused1.gif   crazy.gif  If I lived in Canada or the USA, I would still be uncertain. 



#40 Tyson M

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 02:47 PM

Also note the popularity of the AP 130, TSA 120, and TEC 140. These scopes are in the ideal range of size / length and offer great optics. I believe this is one reason for their enduring popularity. 

My point is don't get wrapped up in aperture fever to a point that negates the portability of the DM6. 

 

On on the other hand, 

Since the OP is young and strong , I suggest he try every scope possible and form his own conclusions, 

Yea this is why I am so torn. I can imagine that the TOA130 or TEC140 is sublime with that mount.  I guess the biggest issue is my tripod.  I have the discmounts tall wooden tripod good for 200lbs. I'll see how it handles the TSA120 under regular usage. Likely a perfect match.

 

I wont bother with the tripod upgrade for now as the wooden Discmounts tripod is a lot lighter than the losmandy HD tripod. That negates some portability switching it up and it might not see as much usage. I'll see how the current system works together for a bit before deciding to upgrade the tripod and subsequently scope.

 

I have a fair bit of time before I'm ready budget-wise anyways. The commentors here have given me plenty of strong points to consider, so thank you all!

 

The wild card might be scrapping the tripod upgrade and scope and consider the observatory next priority at the yellow zone dark site. Then I might go off the deep end and try my hand at something crazy- like a bino friendly 10" f11 istar R35 achro on an expensive tracking mount & pier which would take several years likely but have a huge reward with large unobstructed glass views. 


Edited by Tyson M, 17 May 2020 - 02:50 PM.

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#41 DJ N

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 07:18 PM

What is the weight of DM6 ready to take an OTA?

I have weighed my gear, and the weights are follows....(this is the breakdown for portability/travel to dark skies)

 

DM6 Head with 8" Casady Saddle, encoders and ArgoNavis controller 8.9kg

8" Extender with DM6 AP Adapter 3.6kg

Counter weight assembly 3.5kg

AP Wooden tripod with Lapides spreader 10.7kg

 

Hope this helps

 

Cheers

 

Daniel


Edited by DJ N, 17 May 2020 - 07:18 PM.

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#42 Kunama

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 07:22 PM

Hi everyone

 

Thought I would add my own experiences. I currently mount my Skywatcher Esprit 150ED Triplet to my DM6 (with the 8" extender). For home use, I have the DM6 mounted to a fairly solid pier, however for other times, I use a AP (Baader) AWT000 wooden tripod. For such a significant payload, I find the DM6 extremely portable. I much prefer it to GEM's. Even at high power, I have no issues tracking planets.

 

Though I might add, just to take the "edge" off the significant payload, I did make up a simple 3.5kg counterweight mounted to 6mm aluminium plate. I do also use the DM6 for my Celestron C11.

 

 

Cheers

 

Daniel

Beautiful pier !!!!  



#43 k5apl

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 08:09 PM

I would like to add more experiences with my TEC160FL and DM-6 Mount.  As previously described, I used it with a Losmandy Field Tripod. I also used the DM-6 on a home-made extension (Pipe Casing) about 12 inches long that was fitted to a Meade HD Field Tripod.  I also used a C/W bar on the DM-6 and a SS counterweight to help smooth Azimuth motion (for me).  The mount can be modified or used in different configurations that depend on the User's preferences.

 

The DM-6 really worked well with the TEC160FL and also with my AP130edfGT (Gran Turismo).  And, since I started out with the TEC140, the mount is versatile with several scope configurations.  Its hard to go wrong with these American optics and this American mount.

Wes


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#44 Kunama

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 09:07 PM

Here's another option Tyson,  the APM TMB-LZOS 152/1200 CNC LW II,  should work well with the DM6, great optics and reasonable weight

 

 

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#45 Passerine

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 11:16 PM

Okay all, I need all you refractorholics here to weigh in!

 

Lets say budget was not an issue and your mount was a DM6 and a losmandy HD folding tripod. 

 

What refractor would you choose?  I hear a TEC180 can be mounted on this mount decent but not ideal.  So then I am thinking about a scope 130mm-160mm max for greater stability.

 

TOA130 or TOA150?  AP155? CFF165?  TEC 140 or TEC160? LZOS?

 

I have a DM6 with Nexus coming to me in the next few days, mounted on a Discmount tall tripod (200lbs capacity) but there is a high possibility I might buy another tripod- the losmandy HD folding tripod for times where I want to put an even heavier refractor on it than my TSA120.

 

People say the TOA130 is the best.  I am thinking hard about that scope these days. But then I might use it over the TSA120 as they are close in aperture which might make the latter redundant. 

 

I am 34 years old and fairly strong.  I am curious to hear your thoughts on what refractor you would choose.  I would prefer rock hard stability with no vibrations as I am getting pickier with that as wind can be problematic, until I build an observatory at my dark site.

 

Regards

Hmmm... Keeping your last sentence in mind, TEC160 or CFF160/165mm.  I know the DM6 maybe can "handle" a 180, and maybe even do the job well, but moment arm and cool down keep increasing the bigger you go.  Plus looking at the photo of a 180 on a DM6 above in post #17, it just looks a little too big for a DM6, not a perfect match, in my opinion.

 

Dave
 


Edited by Passerine, 17 May 2020 - 11:18 PM.

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#46 mark8888

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 03:31 AM

Hmmm... Keeping your last sentence in mind, TEC160 or CFF160/165mm.  I know the DM6 maybe can "handle" a 180, and maybe even do the job well, but moment arm and cool down keep increasing the bigger you go.  Plus looking at the photo of a 180 on a DM6 above in post #17, it just looks a little too big for a DM6, not a perfect match, in my opinion.

 

Dave
 

It looks that way in the photo because I have both the dew shield fully extended, and the tripod legs fully retracted.  With the situation in reverse it looks fine. Behold:

Attached Thumbnails

  • tec1.jpg

Edited by mark8888, 18 May 2020 - 03:38 AM.

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#47 mark8888

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 03:32 AM

close up

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#48 Passerine

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 08:07 AM

It was more the girth of the TEC180 hanging off the side of the DM6 that looked a little too much to me, and the idea that it would be necessary to add lots of weight to the already quite heavy Berlebach tripod.

 

TEC160:

   tube weight:  24 lbs.

   length (retracted):  39.4"

 

TEC180:

   tube weight:  36.5 lbs.

   length (retracted):  45"

 

I'm going to stick by what I said, which is simply my opinion or "what I would do" if I had a choice of any refractor, regardless of cost, but I was forced to use the DM6 with it.  But hey, I might easily be wrong.  Wouldn't be the first time!  :-) The whole question seems a little funny to me since anyone who can afford a TEC180 could probably also afford whatever mount s/he wants, even more than one mount, and would not be limited to a DM6 only.

Dave



#49 donadani

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 11:55 AM

...one more 180 on a DM6/Planet - not the most stable combo but the biggest I want to carry around - and it works wink.gif

 

51.jpg


Edited by donadani, 18 May 2020 - 12:01 PM.

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#50 Starman81

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 12:03 PM

nope - none needed smile.gif

 

Wow, I've always wondered how the Discmount pulls that off... No counterweights, super smooth even at high power, won't lose balance for eyepiece swaps... Honestly, I always thought it is just a bit of hype but with all the testimonials I've read over the years, it MUST be true!




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