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You may have seen that a 28lb box containing my new mount was delivered to work last Thursday direct from Austin, Texas in the thread:

'UK 'astronomer' spots another 'Nova'...'

So added below are the now customary SGL 'un-boxing' shots of my new baby....

On Saturday I had chance to try out the Tak and get my head around the Half Hitch Telescope 'two axis balance' philosophy, see:


More shots to follow in due course....







Edited by TakMan

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that is once serious business like looking mount

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Had chance to learn the Half Hitch 'two axis balancing' that the Nova employs on Saturday plus it was sunny - so took a few pictures of the new gear! 
The Berlebach Planet came from FLO's 'Clearance Section' a few months ago in anticipation of the delivery and has worked a treat - looks nice too and I'm now glad I didn't opt for a metal one, liking the 'play' of the warmth of wood and it's grain against the CNC metalwork.
The Planet has the EQ6 head, so I did have to import from Germany the 3/8" adapter - but that, along with the Half Hitch Telescope 'TQR' Tripod Quick Release has added some more height/clearance for the azimuth drive and given a bit more zenith clearance due to the wide head of the tripod.
The TQR was an inspired idea from Charles. Apart from being beautifully designed and made, it makes set-up as easy as adding a DSLR camera to your standard tripod's quick release mechanism. There is no fumbling to find the screw hole and scratching the underside of your mount, or worse getting the angles all wrong and then crossing the threads. The wide contact plate almost 'guides' the two surfaces together in a sure-footed way and offers plenty of contact area for you to happily use one hand to close the cam locks - another superb design choice.
If any of you have a tripod and mount using the standard 3/8-16 screw method, I urge you to consider an order from his next batch!
Anyway, onto some pictures - with more to follow of my 'new toy'....
Pic 1: Quick release and Nova Hitch
Pic 2: Quick Release back, azimuth cam lock and encoder housing
Pic 3: Half Hitch Telescope's 'TQR' Tripod Quick Release
Pic 4: Quick Release on Berlebach Planet (thanks FLO!)  :icon_salut:
Pic 5: Nova Hitch Yoke detailing and Dovetail-Saddle
Pic 6: Nova Hitch front face
Pic 7: Nova Hitch Side Profile1
Pic 8: Nova Hitch Side Profile2
Pic 9: Saddle back assembly










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Thanks for that chaps....

I've had another chance to play with the Half Hitch 'two axis balance' routine in the daylight over the weekend as the nights have been so poor recently too have a chance to try her out.

I'm getting there in slow increments and can so far accommodate eyepieces ranging from the 1.55lb 17mm Ethos down to the lightest at 0.95lb, the 8mm (refocusing as I go), without adding any tension to the altitude clutch**. This means that the scope remains completely fluid at any angle, no matter which Ethos I use. I can add a touch of 'resistance' if I need to, just to temper any inertia...

So far though, the weight of the 21mm (2.25lb) is too much for this current setting, the weight pushing the focuser end down.... I can overcome this weight offset by adding tension/resistance into the axis to combat it (the slow motion controls are ambivalent to the added tension and remain completely fluid though, which should also remain true when the tracking motors are engaged), but I want to experiment to see if I can keep any added tension down to a minimum when I am manually manipulating the scope from just grabbing the diagonal.

Another option would be to add a small counterweight onto the OTA to offset the 21, but that is a last resort!

**I have to lock the altitude axis when performing an eyepiece change mind (a quick operation using the black cam-locks), otherwise the scope will drop down to the horizontal safety stop!

Some more pics, now with the scope added as well...

Detail1 Altitude drive arm, encoder housing and tracking motor

Detail2 Altitude manual slow motion control and tracking unit

Detail3 Azimuth drive arm and tracking power hook-up

Detail4 Altitude clutch tensioner, horizontal stop, cam lock saddle

Detail5 Nova Hitch two-axis up-down saddle adjusters

Detail6 Nova Hitch tracking Azimuth drive gearing

Berlebach Planet, Nova Hitch and TSA102s

Tak fitted to Nova Hitch close-up

Tak on Nova Hitch - users perspective

Tak on Nova Hitch - front view

Detail1 Nova Hitch and Takahashi TSA102s

Detail2 Nova Hitch and Takahashi TSA102s

Detail3 Nova Hitch and Takahashi TSA102s

Zenith reach BEFORE filterwheel adjustment!
















Edited by TakMan

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