As the poor weather and short nights are limiting my observing projects, I have been busy finishing a heavy duty aluminium and stainless steel parallelogram mount for my large 100mm APM binoculars. Here is a summary description of its build: http://refreshingvie...rammount.htm�.�
It has been derived from a wooden version that I built last summer. I plan to give away the wooden model to a fellow SPOG astronomer who wants to do some bino observing while his camera is capturing photons on the scope.
The parallelogram mount is an extremely comfortable to observe the night sky – the eyepieces really do seem to float in front of your eyes. If you are observing at the zenith, simply push the binos higher or if you are looking at the horizon, simply lower them down. This really does make a refreshing change from my Newtonian where the eyepiece remains where it wants to and I have to crick my neck down to meet it!!
I have yet to use it for serious astronomy as the awful weather and long summer days are getting in the way. That being said, I have managed a few sessions at dusk scanning the brighter stars against a blue sky before it gets properly dark.
To put the mount through its paces, I have had great fun tracking numerous airliners and high flying birds. The mount moves with ease across the sky with wonderfully smooth and controlled motions in pan and tilt at all altitudes. It is quite something to see high altitude airliners in detail from the ground as they slowly cross the sky! This mount is clearly going to be a pleasure to use once the observing season starts up again.
This setup is definitely a keeper and will be used my observatory and under the dark skies of Salisbury Plain.