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25585

Tele Vue Gibraltar mounts

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I use the TV Panoramic mount with my Genesis. Bought both together & they are excellent grab & go. 

So as my Skytee 2 is too heavy for tucking under an arm & I like scope in or on top mounts, I am considering a fork mount for my fracs, of which the 120 Equinox is bulkiest and heaviest. 

The only maker I can find for fork mounts for scopes (others for binoculars) is Tele Vue, & their Gibraltar 5. They seem to come with a star finder gadget which may be good being for TV. 

So does anyone here use a TV Gibraltar for any size of scope, & can advise on its pros & cons including the star finder?

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I can't comment on the star finder but I have owned a TV Gibraltar mount on an ash wood tripod. The Gibraltar worked well enough with my F/6.5 Vixen ED102SS refractor but it did not handle the longer tube of the ED120 too well other than at low to medium power. I was, overall, rather dissapointed with this particular Tele Vue product. It looks good and is well made but clearly suits short tube refractors (eg: Tele Vue's !) somewhat better than those with longer tubes. I've owned a similarly designed Hercules (USA) fork mount since and found the same limitations with this type of design. Maybe the heavier duty Gibraltar 5 is an improvement ? - I don't know as I've not used one.

I've tended to stay with "T" style alt-az mounts such as the Giro, Ercole and Skytee II and found them more satisfactory.

"Your mileage may vary" as they say :smiley:

 

 

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I use one with my 102, as per signature.

Not sure what you mean by ‘star finder gadget’ but I bought the mount second hand and paid handsomely for the Starbeam finder and the Sky Tour kit - having already paid handsomely for the Gibraltar.

My verdict would be that it’s good but far from perfect - the lack of slo-mo control is a deep deficit! - and way over-priced. But that is TeleVue territory!

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Sky Tour, that's it!

Gibraltar 5 is higher than previous models. I guess it's the classical design with no slo mo, kind of traditional. 

I can see where it would fail for higher magnification steadiness, but hand guided narrow FOV in a largish dob is for me too tense beyond 100x without becoming too exasperating. 

So the 120 stays on my Skytee. 100 Equinox & Tak DL would be lighter, & narrower but both are 900mm FL. If I could buy a Gibraltar 5 on tripod but no Sky Tour (to save £s) it might be worth the chance. 

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To be honest, I've found the Skywatcher AZ-4 to be at  least as steady as the Gibraltar was. Much, much lower priced as well !

Not as nicely made of course.

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15 minutes ago, John said:

To be honest, I've found the Skywatcher AZ-4 to be at  least as steady as the Gibraltar was. Much, much lower priced as well !

Not as nicely made of course.

But however it is single side-single strut. So there is no under-scope support (why I like Skytee top plate), which Gibraltars cradle does give, with a little on the sides.

I am surprised the 2 fork sides in Gibraltars are only held to the base by 2 bolts, though reinforcement is possible due to the simple design.

SW Az Eq mounts are another alternative, but too much for what I want, and more expensive than TV.

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12 minutes ago, 25585 said:

But however it is single side-single strut. So there is no under-scope support (why I like Skytee top plate), which Gibraltars cradle does give, with a little on the sides.

I am surprised the 2 fork sides in Gibraltars are only held to the base by 2 bolts, though reinforcement is possible due to the simple design.

SW Az Eq mounts are another alternative, but too much for what I want, and more expensive than TV.

I think the point is that these mounts are designed to be as strong as needed without over engineering weight into them. Side mounted scopes are perfectly steady enough for visual use and I’m sure if Televue thought four bolts were necessary they would have see them.

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p.s. Mrs Floater is happy with the Gibraltar &  mounted scope as a permanent item of furniture in our living room - even with a dust cover over the scope (necessary because of lack of opportunity to use!?). Other tripods/mounts are unlikely to meet the aesthetic requirements. (Payload, ease of use and other astronomonkey nonsense has no place in her ... Ah yes, Laplace comes to mind: ‘I had no need of that hypothesis’). ??

The Gibraltar 5 looks good as well as being highly functional. I just have a feeling that it ought to be better. ?

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

But however it is single side-single strut. So there is no under-scope support (why I like Skytee top plate), which Gibraltars cradle does give, with a little on the sides.

I am surprised the 2 fork sides in Gibraltars are only held to the base by 2 bolts, though reinforcement is possible due to the simple design.

SW Az Eq mounts are another alternative, but too much for what I want, and more expensive than TV.

Fine. You are welcome to your views. I was just posting my experiences with both mounts.

 

MgM6yFQ.gif

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42 minutes ago, Floater said:

p.s. Mrs Floater is happy with the Gibraltar &  mounted scope as a permanent item of furniture in our living room - even with a dust cover over the scope (necessary because of lack of opportunity to use!?). Other tripods/mounts are unlikely to meet the aesthetic requirements. (Payload, ease of use and other astronomonkey nonsense has no place in her ... Ah yes, Laplace comes to mind: ‘I had no need of that hypothesis’). ??

The Gibraltar 5 looks good as well as being highly functional. I just have a feeling that it ought to be better. ?

My TV tripod needs re-varnishing or staining (perhaps marine varnish) but it has a Habitat/Ikea kind of appeal, so I know what you're saying. A Gibraltar (or Berlebach), with attractive scope on top, is nice to look at.

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11 minutes ago, John said:

Fine. You are welcome to your views. I was just posting my experiences with both mounts.

 

MgM6yFQ.gif

I have looked at all types of mounts, & read FLO's & other sites reviews. On the AZ4, one reviewer said a single screw holds the dovetail bar. That (as for other mounts) I find unsettling, with, as the reviewer said, when you mount an expensive heavy telescope. 

FLO page does not state the AZ4's weight limit. I guess it would be OK for my Tak FC100DL or Celestron C8 (with modded improved clamping) though. I would get a head as cheap enough to try, if it was only sold alone and could be fitted on an EQ5 tripod. 

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

On the AZ4, one reviewer said a single screw holds the dovetail bar

I do get that concern and would like, for example, to be able to upgrade the clamp on the AZGTi mount bit I’m not sure it is possible. Regardless, I have never (touch wood) had a problem with it and the connection is very secure.

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11 minutes ago, Stu said:

I do get that concern and would like, for example, to be able to upgrade the clamp on the AZGTi mount bit I’m not sure it is possible. Regardless, I have never (touch wood) had a problem with it and the connection is very secure.

Yes annoying that the az gti single screw can’t be replaced but I know that you always use a stop screw in the top of the dovetail bar which imo eliminates the concern.

My Tak once slipped on my porta 2 and my stop screw stopped it fine. I won’t use a scope without having stop screws on the dovetail now.

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I don’t think there are many here on SGL, if any, who own the latest TV HD5. The HD5 is a very different animal to its predecessor – beefier, bigger and now sits on a Berlebach tripod. I would agree that the lack of slow motion controls is regrettable and I cannot think why TV decided not to supply this mount with a handle like the Panoramic. However, I mainly use the telescope for wide field viewing so the lack of slow motion controls is not an issue for me. It’s a very steady mount but I only use the tripod in the low position as I prefer to remain seated and my telescope is very light. I think it is a very well made simple mounting which has that “classic” look. I am able to lift the telescope and mount complete which saves a bit of faffing about as there is no setting up or taking down. Not cheap but nothing Televue is!

IMG_1423a.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Cleetus said:

I don’t think there are many here on SGL, if any, who own the latest TV HD5. The HD5 is a very different animal to its predecessor – beefier, bigger and now sits on a Berlebach tripod. I would agree that the lack of slow motion controls is regrettable and I cannot think why TV decided not to supply this mount with a handle like the Panoramic. However, I mainly use the telescope for wide field viewing so the lack of slow motion controls is not an issue for me. It’s a very steady mount but I only use the tripod in the low position as I prefer to remain seated and my telescope is very light. I think it is a very well made simple mounting which has that “classic” look. I am able to lift the telescope and mount complete which saves a bit of faffing about as there is no setting up or taking down. Not cheap but nothing Televue is!

IMG_1423a.jpg

That is exactly what I want for my Tak DL & 100 Equinox (both 900mm FL). The 5 looks good & sturdy!

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A shame there are so few mounts with the fork design for larger telescopes. TV may not have slo mo but they do have friction variation settings so some restriction in over-fast movement is there, same principle as the OO UK Dobsonian option. 

I suppose the scope is your handle, not a problem if ep & diagonal are secured firmly enough. I don't miss a handle on my early model Panoramic head for the Genesis. 

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I've had a Gibraltar for nearly 20 years. I agree with John. It's OK but I'm glad I didn't buy it new. When mounting non-TV scopes on it you have to be careful that they don't ride too high. For the mount to work properly the centre of the optical tube should be in the same plane as the altitude bearing. TV assume the use of a clamshell clamp to make this possible. If you start introducing dovetails and tube rings you risk a quick ascent up a gum tree.

Olly

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In that case I'm  sure glad I don't have a twenty year old Gibraltar!!

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