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Parallellogram mount recommendations please


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On 15 November 2017 at 13:39, mdstuart said:

I think we will need  to buy counterweights...We need to find a UK source for these..

Mark

I have coming from FLO counter-weights for my Skytee mount. Going to try those on the P-mount when they arrive. 

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Well i made mine from aluminium flat bar and a box of nuts and bolts, i got a bearing set off the bay for £4 delivered and i also had a spare counter weight and tripod from my telescope mount doing no

Right, got it all unpacked and set up. Like Mark, above, one of my handles was chipped, no big deal as it doesn’t affect the operation, I emailed Valentin about it to suggest betted packing around tha

I built my own. One of the latest incarnations is shown here:   It now holds my Opticron 16x80s happily

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

Ideal! What tripod have you, it looks sturdy. 

Pushed the boat out and got the recommended orion one. To be honest if you can source your own tripod it would do just fine as the connection is standard tripod screw ( perhaps a weakness in the whole set up as this small screw is the only connection between tripod and P mount , correct balance will be important )

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On 06/09/2017 at 10:42, BinocularSky said:

Just discovered that Universal Astronomics has ceased trading. What a pity! I guess Larry decided to retire...

 

Where did you hear about this, Steve? The website is still up, although it does say it has a new number and mailing address.

 

Mark

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3 hours ago, asset189 said:

Pushed the boat out and got the recommended orion one. To be honest if you can source your own tripod it would do just fine as the connection is standard tripod screw ( perhaps a weakness in the whole set up as this small screw is the only connection between tripod and P mount , correct balance will be important )

I have an old surveyor's tripod, so need to get a plate or suitably large washers and a long enough screw for mine, hopefully industrial strength hardened metal. Don't think my photo tripod will be strong enough.

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4 minutes ago, 25585 said:

I have an old surveyor's tripod, so need to get a plate or suitably large washers and a long enough screw for mine, hopefully industrial strength hardened metal. Don't think my photo tripod will be strong enough.

Not if its lightwright plastic construction, that was my problem. I had a surdy older mount but flat plate on top would have limited the motion of the P mount 

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My mount has just arrived, this afternoon,7584BC67-3310-425F-9072-2588787FA060.thumb.jpeg.6b30cfb3c7e36e69f72ed9b179d1dddf.jpeg from the Ukraine ?

Rather agricultural packaging ?

I’ll get it all assembled and take some more photos tomorrow.

Chris

 

Edited by ChrisCM
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Depends how far out the weight is on its stalk. Archimedean law of the lever. You will need more weight the closer to centre and less further out. My weights have arrived, so I'll be trying them out later. 

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Right, got it all unpacked and set up. Like Mark, above, one of my handles was chipped, no big deal as it doesn’t affect the operation, I emailed Valentin about it to suggest betted packing around that part. He got back immediately to apologise and said that he had packed it quickly and would sort the packing for future deliveries. I didn’t ask for a replacement as I am more than happy with the mount, which, in my opinion is excellent value for money.

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As others have said this is a solid bit of kit which appears well (over) engineered! But the down side of this is that you need a solid tripod.

I first set up the mount with my Strathspey 25x100s on my Manfrotto 055XPROB. I initially balanced it with a couple of weights off my Vixen GPDX Mount, these are a bit light and I was at almost full extension on the counterweight tube. This is quite stable and the right height for standing Astro use, but I think I will hang a weight from the built in hook on the tripod when I get it outside for viewing. The mount moves smoothly in all axis and seems to damp quite quickly when tapped.

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Sorry about the photos, but it’s a big bit of kit with the counterweight tube extended and finding somewhere to set it up was problematical! With the counterweight tube full retracted it should be poissible to fit it into a standard tripod bag, ideal for transportation.

This shot shows the azimuth fixing, it’s a roller bearing.

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Here is the altitude again a roller bearing with a nicely machined knob. You can see the damaged handle under the bins.

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I next tried them on my Orion mount tripod, using heavier weights that I used to balance out a C9.25 on the GPDX which made the balance tube a lot shorter, this was very stable but a bit too low for Astro use standing. I may try and get an extension pillar to raise it to the same height as the Manfrotto, which hopefully will make a very stable mounting which would be very difficult to knock over.

0DBC76E0-6EE2-48F3-95EC-660BBA7564E9.thumb.jpeg.637f84bd417f201df769f5464938f74e.jpeg

So, all in all I am very happy with my purchase. I was a bit wary about ordering from the Ukraine but it was all very easy. Valentin is a very nice person to deal with, he supplied, foc, a 10mm to 3/8” adapter (for the Manfrotto) and he sent me photos of the mount before it was packed. I ordered the mount on the 15th of November and it arrived yesterday,the 28th, so just short of 2 weeks. The only thing that didn’t work was the Parcel Force tracking, according to that it was still in Kiev on Tuesday ? so I was very pleasantly surprised when it turned up yesterday.

I paid using PayPal, a tip if you are offered the PayPal exchange rate or your own banks/credit card, chose your bank/credit card, I did and saved about £5! my total cost was £158.73. I didn’t have to pay any import duty or VAT, which I expected to, so this was a very welcome bonus? I don’t think there is another comparable heavy duty parallelogram mount for anywhere near this price.

So, all I need now are clear skies!

 

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Chipped handle, just 1 on mine too. Perhaps Valentin got a bad lot. No big deal. 

I did not get an adapter with my mount so have emailed to ask what extra bits I need. 

Nice thing about P-mounts is they can be used with cameras & spotting scopes so not restricted to astronomical viewing. 

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Hi Mark,

No I don’t think so, remember you’re also balancing out the weight of the parallelogram. My 25x100s weigh in at 4.5 kg. I found that the 2 smaller weights, 2 and 3 1/2 Kgs had to go right to the end of the extended counterbalance arm. With 5kg + 3.5 kg weights I was able to move the arm in quite a bit, unfortunately the securing screw on my second 5kg weight has lost its hand knob so I wasn’t able to try a total of 10 kg but I think this is the way to go, I’ll see if I can sort it tomorrow and let you know, I suppose I could have used the 2 smaller weights + the 5kg but I think it would start to get a bit unwieldy!

Btw did you get these? One was attached to the binocular mounting bar, it’s a 3/8” male thread so can be used to mount a ball head or small scope. Don’t know what the second one is for (maybe a spare?), they both have a threaded hole but it’s not a standard 3/8” or 1/4”  :

4891EF9A-71BC-4E44-B9FB-256450CCAD7E.thumb.jpeg.c15934f6f2613eb424e618b5733c1505.jpeg

 

Chris

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On 29 November 2017 at 17:29, ChrisCM said:

Hi Mark,

No I don’t think so, remember you’re also balancing out the weight of the parallelogram. My 25x100s weigh in at 4.5 kg. I found that the 2 smaller weights, 2 and 3 1/2 Kgs had to go right to the end of the extended counterbalance arm. With 5kg + 3.5 kg weights I was able to move the arm in quite a bit, unfortunately the securing screw on my second 5kg weight has lost its hand knob so I wasn’t able to try a total of 10 kg but I think this is the way to go, I’ll see if I can sort it tomorrow and let you know, I suppose I could have used the 2 smaller weights + the 5kg but I think it would start to get a bit unwieldy!

Btw did you get these? One was attached to the binocular mounting bar, it’s a 3/8” male thread so can be used to mount a ball head or small scope. Don’t know what the second one is for (maybe a spare?), they both have a threaded hole but it’s not a standard 3/8” or 1/4”  :

4891EF9A-71BC-4E44-B9FB-256450CCAD7E.thumb.jpeg.c15934f6f2613eb424e618b5733c1505.jpeg

 

Chris

I did not get those with my mount :(

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

I think I need a sturdier tripod than my Velbon to support say 30kg of mount, weight & bins in total. 

FWIW, I use a surveyor's tripod with my P-mount. Tread the foot-spikes into the ground and it's rock steady.

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I have a surveyors tripod in the garage, but need a washer & bolt combination to screw down the P-mount. Looking at my photos below, the smaller cylinder is too small, and larger too big for the hole on tripod hub. :help:

They are excellent tripods for the purpose, mine cost £30 on ebay. 

@BinocularSky what size nuts, bolts & washers, or other fixings did you use please?

 

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Edited by 25585
request to Binocularsky
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  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to give a big :hello2: to Valentin who has sent me a 3/8 in adapter for my P-mount Mk 3, which he said costs more than the Mk 2 so no adapters came with it initially. 

Happy Christmas & a Prosperous New Year Valentin!

Edited by 25585
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On 03/12/2017 at 17:44, 25585 said:

@BinocularSky what size nuts, bolts & washers, or other fixings did you use please?

My T-mount came with a post that is drilled/tapped to 5/8", i.e standard survey tripos thread.

I have, in the past, adapted survey tripods to take Vixen GP -type equatorial heads.  The central hole needs slightly widening (to 60mm) and the part of the head that protrudes through it protrudes too far to use the staple (that holds the 5/8" bolt) with the required M10 bolt. Hence I have tried two different bodge jobs, either of which, with a bit of tweaking, may be suitable for you:

* Removed the 5/8" bolt, and glued "pillars" of 3 M12 steel washers at 120 deg intervals around the top of 60mm hole in the tripod (for the mount body to rest on). An annulus would be better, but I didn't have the material or tools to make a suitable one. Then use an M10 bolt and washer, through the staple, to secure the head.

* Removed the staple and 5/8" bolt, and made a U- shaped bracket, drilled with 10mm hole in the centre of the horizontal part, to fit under the tripod head. I used a bit of 6mm thick galvanised steel strap (cut from a sturdy throw-over gate latch) for the bracket.

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2 hours ago, BinocularSky said:

My T-mount came with a post that is drilled/tapped to 5/8", i.e standard survey tripos thread.

I have, in the past, adapted survey tripods to take Vixen GP -type equatorial heads.  The central hole needs slightly widening (to 60mm) and the part of the head that protrudes through it protrudes too far to use the staple (that holds the 5/8" bolt) with the required M10 bolt. Hence I have tried two different bodge jobs, either of which, with a bit of tweaking, may be suitable for you:

* Removed the 5/8" bolt, and glued "pillars" of 3 M12 steel washers at 120 deg intervals around the top of 60mm hole in the tripod (for the mount body to rest on). An annulus would be better, but I didn't have the material or tools to make a suitable one. Then use an M10 bolt and washer, through the staple, to secure the head.

* Removed the staple and 5/8" bolt, and made a U- shaped bracket, drilled with 10mm hole in the centre of the horizontal part, to fit under the tripod head. I used a bit of 6mm thick galvanised steel strap (cut from a sturdy throw-over gate latch) for the bracket.

Many thanks. I shall be experimenting so when I get it sorted will post a pic. 

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@mdstuart @ChrisCM @25585

Gents, I too have ordered from Valentin. Approximately 2 weeks ago. 

He and I have both been tracking the package and we both saw it had departed from Kiev on 5th December. But since then the Ukraine site doesn't seem to show any further tracking details now it is out of their jurisdiction.

And Parcelforce tracking shows an unusual message saying what's shown below. Can I ask is this similar to your experience ? I recall one of you saying yours arrived with a site saying it was still in Kiev...

Item tracking history
Date    Time    Location    Tracking event
5/12/2017    15:10    MISMATCH - KIEV PI-3

Valentin and I are just trying to ascertain whether the tracking details we are seeing is what others saw too... We're aware this is a busy time for carriers, but he's just a bit concerned that it seems to have disappeared from the radar...

 
Thanks
Edited by Stargazer McCabe
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I remember mine disappearing off the radar after a week from the dispatch date. I emailed Valentin who said it usually took 2 weeks. Neither of us could track the parcel until it had actually been delivered!

 

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