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Observing in Comfort - New Parallelogram




blog-0285678001341940951.jpgAs 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.

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Wow! I recently made a wooden one for my Helios Quantum 7.4 45deg, you yours is a thing of beauty! Welldone.

I too hightly recommend others use a paraellogram with gaint bins. When i first got my Helios i really enjoyed them. But even with their 45deg eyepieces i got serious neck strain after 2mins of observing! And the woodenntripod they come with is totally terrible for astro use.

I was gonna sell the quantums because they were simply a pain in the neck! But now i have the paraellogram, i am loving them and using them everyday theres a clear sky. Its just so relaxing on a recliner with the eyepieces just floating into any angle you wish!

Off topic, the eyepieces that come with the H7.4 are good for dayime but any bright stars just off the centre of the FOV turn into double stars! The coma is terrible. I highly recommend hyperions, much better sharpness across the FOV.

What eyepieced are you using and how is the FOV sharpness?

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Parallellogram mounts rule! That one really looks the business. I made a wooden one for my 15x70s. Much more comfortable than the photo tripod. An observing chair with adjustable seat can solve the EP height problem behind regular scopes, however.

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It sounds like we are all singing from the same hymn sheet - and thank you for your kind comments.

To answer your question, Pingster: I bought two second hand 19mm TV Panoptics. They are lovely and sharp, no sign of coma at all. I also have a pair of 20mm WO wide angle EPs that came with a WO binoviewer. There actually is not much performance difference between them unless one is very fussy (which I have slowly become). The WO eps are very much the better value for money and the panoptics have that small but measureable increase in quality.

Michael: your point about the chair is entirely valid. I do find, however, a distinct pleasure in making the eps came to meet me rather than having to go down to meet the eyepiece. Almost like a roll reversal kind of thing!

With reference to the Hyperions, I find that I cant get my nose between the 2" barrels hence I have had to go down the 1.25" route. I guess I have smaller inter-pupillary distance (and a big nose!).

Clear skies and happy p'gram observing.


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