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25585

Fork mounts for refractors

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25585    513

Wondering about a more portable, yet secure alt az mounting, than the mighty Skytee & single side SW AZ5 & Vixen Porta II, I think the fork mount design as TV use is probably the answer.

Gibraltars are too expensive, so am wondering if any other maker/seller has a cheaper equivalent. Good for big binoculars too.

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Peter Drew    5,872

I've yet to see a good, cheap fork mount for a telescope or big binocular.   :icon_biggrin:

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Jeff Marsden    12

I can't help with commercial mounts but if you fancy a DIY approach the Richard Berry Dob mount for refractors is often mentioned. Try this one at the beginning. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/146934-ron-ravneberg-memorial-scope-gallery/

or this cutie half way down the page by Jeff Morgan https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/546728-richard-berry-dob-mount-for-refractor/

Jeff

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Cleetus    52
35 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

I've yet to see a good, cheap fork mount for a telescope or big binocular.   :icon_biggrin:

I think you are right - you can have good or cheap but not both. Unfortunately, nice things cost money! I seem to remember TS selling a fork mount very similar to the Gibraltar for a lot less money.

Edit: Still sell it for 280 Euros. Good for large bins or telescope.

Edited by Cleetus

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mikeDnight    4,326
1 hour ago, 25585 said:

Wondering about a more portable, yet secure alt az mounting, than the mighty Skytee & single side SW AZ5 & Vixen Porta II, I think the fork mount design as TV use is probably the answer.

Gibraltars are too expensive, so am wondering if any other maker/seller has a cheaper equivalent. Good for big binoculars too.

Sadly Televues Gibraltar mount is anything but solid enough and is stupidly priced! A company in the US used to make the Hercules Helix altazimuth fork mount, but its no longer in production. You may be able to pick one up second hand if you advertised for one. 

There's a similar looking fork mount made for binoculars but its very unstable and no match for the Hercules Helix.

 

5a8207b1d8f63_2018-02-1221_35_20.jpg.19763bdbc8b85895834837d2ba8b7d93.jpg

Edited by mikeDnight

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Cleetus    52
1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

Sadly Televues Gibraltar mount is anything but solid enough and is stupidly priced! A company in the US used to make the Hercules Helix altazimuth fork mount, but its no longer in production. You may be able to pick one up second hand if you advertised for one. 

There's a similar looking fork mount made for binoculars but its very unstable and no match for the Hercules Helix.

 

5a8207b1d8f63_2018-02-1221_35_20.jpg.19763bdbc8b85895834837d2ba8b7d93.jpg

I assume you are referring to the (now discontinued) Gibraltar and not the new HD4 or HD5? I have no experience with the old model but I do have the HD5 and, silly price it may be, I've never had any problems with regard to steadiness. 

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25585    513

I did not know the Gibraltar has been superceded.

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mikeDnight    4,326
13 hours ago, Cleetus said:

I assume you are referring to the (now discontinued) Gibraltar and not the new HD4 or HD5? I have no experience with the old model but I do have the HD5 and, silly price it may be, I've never had any problems with regard to steadiness. 

Thats interesting Cleetus! The Gibralter that I had was an early model with walnut legs and brass fittings and used it to mount my NP101. Things may have changed since that model was made, but as pretty as it looked, it was at the bottom of the stability scale. I've not used a recent model. May be if it wasn't for the rediculous high price, I may tempted, as it would suit my FC100DC very well.

Now you've got me wondering! I wish you hadn't!!

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Cleetus    52

Thicker steel, a bigger fork, and  TV have changed the tripod. It is now mounted on a much stronger  Berlbach and we all know how good they are. So a completely different kettle of fish as you English like to say. I think all TV stuff is over priced but nice things cost money. Speaking of which,  fifteen more posts and I will be able to advertise my Ethos!!

Edited by Cleetus
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25585    513

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Cosmic Geoff    287

What advantage does the fork have over a single-sided mount like the AZ4?  With single sided you can have a dovetail plate and you can swap scopes and mounts at will (within mechanical constraints such as weight and bulk.)  The "traditional" alt-az mount for refractors seems to have been a fork but that is not in itself a reason to continue using it, unless it confers some advantage.

I bought an AZ4 to mount my vintage Ross refractor (acquired without mount). A traditional wood tripod and brass fork would have been prettier if I had found something suitable, but it would be taking up space while the AZ-4 gets regular use with other telescopes.

Edited by Cosmic Geoff

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25585    513
30 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

What advantage does the fork have over a single-sided mount like the AZ4?  With single sided you can have a dovetail plate and you can swap scopes and mounts at will (within mechanical constraints such as weight and bulk.)  The "traditional" alt-az mount for refractors seems to have been a fork but that is not in itself a reason to continue using it, unless it confers some advantage.

I prefer scope-on-top mounting. My Genesis has the TV Panoramic mount which works very well. Vertically the scope weight is pushing downwards giving a more stable stance, and there is no need for counter-balancing the mount itself, also the "prongs" of a fork mount take more of the weight between them putting less strain on the OTA attachment. One advantage of a Skytee2 is the top mounting platform, but a fork mount does not need all the mechanics.

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Davey-T    9,952
On ‎13‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 19:11, 25585 said:
On ‎13‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 16:55, Cleetus said:

£280.00 LOL, mine cost about £30.00 in materials and a day to make.

Dave

5a8977cbbf5b2_Binomount1.thumb.jpg.5a27395795f265a4a73af0fa360a8250.jpg

5a8977cded205_Binomount-2.thumb.jpg.d56ca37e8ed1991e66ee84e8451fb86a.jpg

 

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