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Rainbow RST300 Owners: Mounting Options?

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#1 StarAlert

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 11:39 AM

My brand new RST300 arrived yesterday. What a beauty!

The first thing I looked at was the bottom of the mount to see how I am going to mount it to a permanent pier in the back yard and also on an iOptron tri-pier when I go to a dark site. If you have one of these, how are you mounting it? All of the half-pier accessories on the Rainbow website are for the 135. I don’t see any accessories for the 300. 

 

There are four M8 threaded holes lined up in a row. It looks like I need to fabricate some kind of plate to attach from the bottom. 
 

Any ideas would be appreciated.

 

 


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#2 Pictor

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 12:26 PM

The inner holes on the RST-300 look to be 45mm which is the same as the RST-135/E.  The outer holes on the RST-300 are 90mm.  You may be able to find some standard adapters based on that.  


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#3 StarAlert

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 12:38 PM

Just to confirm with others, the mount doesn’t come with any mounting plates or adapters, correct?

 

My 10Micron came with a couple “transition” mounting plates. I was able to easily tap three holes into my pier’s top plate, then bolt the 10Micron bottom adapter plate to the pier top plate, then the Mount eventually on top of that with four thumb bolts. Very easy! 
 

Looks like the Rainbow isn’t going to be as easy. 



#4 Pictor

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:10 PM

Just to confirm with others, the mount doesn’t come with any mounting plates or adapters, correct?

 

My 10Micron came with a couple “transition” mounting plates. I was able to easily tap three holes into my pier’s top plate, then bolt the 10Micron bottom adapter plate to the pier top plate, then the Mount eventually on top of that with four thumb bolts. Very easy! 
 

Looks like the Rainbow isn’t going to be as easy. 

My RST-135E came with a basic plate with a 3/8-16 standard tripod center screw hole and the head also has the 45mm points as well.  I'm not sure how it could be any easier and still meet everyone's need unless they included a bunch of different plates and saddles. 



#5 StarAlert

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:20 PM

My RST-135E came with a basic plate with a 3/8-16 standard tripod center screw hole and the head also has the 45mm points as well.  I'm not sure how it could be any easier and still meet everyone's need unless they included a bunch of different plates and saddles. 

According to the Rainbow Astro website, the RST-135 includes an:

 

“Adapter for camera tripod(3/8″ tap)”

 

The RST-300 includes no such adapter. 


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#6 Seiko4169

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 01:26 PM

I was just about to pull the trigger on one of these mounts. The lack of adapter plates available however is a concern. I’ve got a few Tak tripods but the RST-300 doesn’t look like it could fit at all. This kind of forces the buyer to purchase the Super Mount CY tripods. Those aren’t currently available though? 



#7 StarAlert

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 01:54 PM

I was just about to pull the trigger on one of these mounts. The lack of adapter plates available however is a concern. I’ve got a few Tak tripods but the RST-300 doesn’t look like it could fit at all. This kind of forces the buyer to purchase the Super Mount CY tripods. Those aren’t currently available though? 

Unfortunately, I think Rainbow dropped the ball on this part of the RST-300. They include an adapter with the 135. Why not the 300? At the very least, I think they should include an adapter plate that allows buyers to mount the 300 to a flat surface. 
 

Here’s a picture of the bottom of the mount. 
 

00FCCADC 0645 44F7 9B29 E06953A81F9C
 
Rainbow does offer an adapter that converts the bottom of the RST300 mount to an A-P Mach 1 type mount. I’m still waiting to find out if they have one in stock. That’s the only option that Rainbow offers that I can find. Otherwise it looks like having a custom adapter made is the only other option. 

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#8 base16

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 02:17 PM

Personally, I don't consider being dropped the ball on or left with fewer options - I currently own 2 RST-300 mounts and a 135 each for different location and purpose.

 

Unlike the RST-300, the RST-135 model is slightly older and the price & capacity is in the range that more hobbyists are interested in. As such, it's bound to have more adoption and more options readily available off the shelf. As you go higher priced / capacity mounts, you are inching your way into nicheness be it Rainbow or any other manufacturer. I have experience with other manufacturers and this is no different.

 

Like I mentioned on the RainbowAstro mailing-list, the Mach1 plate is quite useful because there are so many mounting options once you have Mach1 compatibility on the RST-300, starting from permanent piers to tripods. People who are shopping in this catagory (like you and I) would likely have invested in a proper pier/tripod so it in fact makes more sense to let the customer choose whatever works best for them.

 

For the sake of completeness for folks looking at this thread in future, I'd also vouch for the Supermount CYG54G tripod if you are after a travel-only setup with the RST-300 (no Mach1 adapter needed).


Edited by base16, 18 September 2021 - 02:18 PM.


#9 Seiko4169

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 02:52 PM

Personally, I don't consider being dropped the ball on or left with fewer options - I currently own 2 RST-300 mounts and a 135 each for different location and purpose.

 

Unlike the RST-300, the RST-135 model is slightly older and the price & capacity is in the range that more hobbyists are interested in. As such, it's bound to have more adoption and more options readily available off the shelf. As you go higher priced / capacity mounts, you are inching your way into nicheness be it Rainbow or any other manufacturer. I have experience with other manufacturers and this is no different.

 

Like I mentioned on the RainbowAstro mailing-list, the Mach1 plate is quite useful because there are so many mounting options once you have Mach1 compatibility on the RST-300, starting from permanent piers to tripods. People who are shopping in this catagory (like you and I) would likely have invested in a proper pier/tripod so it in fact makes more sense to let the customer choose whatever works best for them.

 

For the sake of completeness for folks looking at this thread in future, I'd also vouch for the Supermount CYG54G tripod if you are after a travel-only setup with the RST-300 (no Mach1 adapter needed).

The problem is you can’t find these adaptors or compatible super mounts for love or money. Seems a little odd / frustrating to pick up a mount that won’t be utilised for months whilst waiting to mount it. 



#10 calypsob

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 04:04 PM

Seems like such a new product, you could probably expect to see more adapters in the future. 

 

It would be nice if the manufacturer provided a negative template of the base of the mount. Then anyone could just tape it onto a plate of aluminum and cut/drill one out with a simple jigsaw and drill press. 



#11 StarAlert

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 04:45 PM

My only other experience with top-end mounts was when I bought my 10Micron. It came with the adapters (two) needed to attach it to a flat pier plate. All I had to do was drill and tap three holes into my pier plate with the provided template. There was no running around to other mount manufacturers trying to figure out how to attach it to my pier. 

 

So I guess 10Micron set my expectations high for the Rainbow. If I’m comparing my 10Micron mounting experience to my Rainbow RST-300 mounting experience, I feel Rainbow has dropped the ball. I really don’t think it’s too much to ask that when I unpack an $8.5k mount, I’m able to mount it out of the box. But that’s just my opinion. Obviously, others are ok with figuring out how to mount it themselves as I’m the first one to bring this up on CN. 
 

It is what it is.

 

I’m still excited to get this mount up and running. It’s just going to take a bit more time, money and effort than I anticipated. But I guess that’s par for the course in this hobby. 

 


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#12 Pictor

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 08:18 PM

 

I’m still excited to get this mount up and running. It’s just going to take a bit more time, money and effort than I anticipated. But I guess that’s par for the course in this hobby. 

 

What tripod did you end up getting?  What size scope are you using on the RST-300?

 

I'm considering the RST-300 for a portable mount for larger scopes but I think the advantage of the small package of the RST-300 would be diminished by using a heavy tripod or pier.  I can use the RST-135E on a Carbon Fiber Gitzo Systematic 5 tripod and it works well for my refractor and even holds the 9.25 EdgeHD well if I splay the tripod legs to it's wide stance.  This works well for imaging since the CF legs are stiff enough and don't flex but the OTA sits too low in this configuration for visual.  If I keep the Gitzo's legs in their normal position, the scope setup becomes top heavy with the C9.25EdgeHD.  I wouldn't mind a larger carbon fiber tripod but I cannot seem to find one which makes me think the RST-300's only option is to mount the light mount onto a silly heavy steel tripod. 


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#13 StarAlert

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Posted 07 October 2021 - 12:35 AM

What tripod did you end up getting?  What size scope are you using on the RST-300?

 

I'm considering the RST-300 for a portable mount for larger scopes but I think the advantage of the small package of the RST-300 would be diminished by using a heavy tripod or pier.  I can use the RST-135E on a Carbon Fiber Gitzo Systematic 5 tripod and it works well for my refractor and even holds the 9.25 EdgeHD well if I splay the tripod legs to it's wide stance.  This works well for imaging since the CF legs are stiff enough and don't flex but the OTA sits too low in this configuration for visual.  If I keep the Gitzo's legs in their normal position, the scope setup becomes top heavy with the C9.25EdgeHD.  I wouldn't mind a larger carbon fiber tripod but I cannot seem to find one which makes me think the RST-300's only option is to mount the light mount onto a silly heavy steel tripod. 

I will be putting the RST300 on my iOptron tri-pier and mounting a 7” APO, an MK91 or a pair of big binos on it. 
 

I have no intention of putting this mount on a tripod that weighs less than the mount. At 25.6lbs, the tri-pier is not really that heavy… just 7 lbs heavier than the mount. I’ll be glad that weight is under the mount when there’s a 40lb, 1,260mm focal length scope hanging off it. 

 

For me, the advantage of this mount is that it will hold 11lbs more than my 10Micron AZ1000 without any counterweight. At just 18.5lbs that’s a huge advantage to moving the 10Micron at over 65lbs including the counterweights. 
 

Im still waiting for Rainbow’s A-P plate adapter so I can actually mount it and turn it on. 


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#14 base16

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Posted 07 October 2021 - 03:07 PM

What tripod did you end up getting?  What size scope are you using on the RST-300?

 

I'm considering the RST-300 for a portable mount for larger scopes but I think the advantage of the small package of the RST-300 would be diminished by using a heavy tripod or pier.  I can use the RST-135E on a Carbon Fiber Gitzo Systematic 5 tripod and it works well for my refractor and even holds the 9.25 EdgeHD well if I splay the tripod legs to it's wide stance.  This works well for imaging since the CF legs are stiff enough and don't flex but the OTA sits too low in this configuration for visual.  If I keep the Gitzo's legs in their normal position, the scope setup becomes top heavy with the C9.25EdgeHD.  I wouldn't mind a larger carbon fiber tripod but I cannot seem to find one which makes me think the RST-300's only option is to mount the light mount onto a silly heavy steel tripod. 

Have you looked into CYG54g?

 

I have used the RST-300 on it for a TOA-150b. The cyg54g is easy to handle (though beefy), it fits like a glove, and it looks nice too.



#15 Pictor

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Posted 08 October 2021 - 03:13 PM

Have you looked into CYG54g?

 

I have used the RST-300 on it for a TOA-150b. The cyg54g is easy to handle (though beefy), it fits like a glove, and it looks nice too.

I have not but that's a very cool mount.  How's the stability?  It looks interesting but I'm always skeptical about center columns. 



#16 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 09:57 PM

I have not but that's a very cool mount.  How's the stability?  It looks interesting but I'm always skeptical about center columns. 

 

I commented on tripod stability that I have first hand experience with.

 

https://www.cloudyni.../#entry10470716

 

If you don't want to geared center column version, you can try CYG54SRDL instead.  It is very solid.

 

Tammy


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