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John

Show off your Alt-Azimuth mounts

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, John said:

Very nice Paul :thumbright:

Does the Vixen GP do that ?

Thanks John.  Stu is quite right on this point.  You have to mod the GP, while an SP just involves moving the axis over so it is set at zero degrees latitude.

I once took a GP up to Peter Drew at one time to do the same mod for me.  I have a feeling it needed the use of a hacksaw, but I'm not certain.  I'm sure he will remember if you pm him.

Edited by paulastro
Missed a bit out.
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7 hours ago, DirkSteele said:

That is great.  Where did you source the 16" pillar from?

I've had it for a few years.  If I remember correctly it was from Widescreen who had them made by someone.  I'm sure I've seen similar available elsewhere from a couple of dealers.  I'd be surprised if they aren't available from someone.  You could put a post on SGL asking  if anyone knows a supplier.

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6 hours ago, steveex2003 said:

My motley collection. I am possibly considering moving the AZ5 on in favour of an Ercole Mini perhaps.

32C95086-2816-421E-9B92-D6AA3F352FCF.jpeg

Blimey, I have a room that looks just like that 🙂.

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Posted (edited)

A Certain Comet caused me to "un-mothball" my *modded* AZ3! 🥳
A useful ultra-portable mount... Fits into a (posh) Gitzo Tripod Bag too.

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A frustrating mount (for many?)! But the tendency to fall backwards
was foiled by addition of springs. (Counterwights didn't work for me).

Took a while time to find extension springs of right length/tension...
Wanna buy a (budget)  "job lot" several hundred etension springs? 😛

The springs give a satisfying "springy" sound! Make sure the springs
are firmly attached... "You'll have someone's eye out with that" etc. 🤣

Edited by Macavity
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Here's my DX in Altaz mode.  Not bad for £50 including the HAL tripod.

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Such a brilliant topic! Inspiration for any one looking for or wondering about what's out there.

I join late but have a few to add to this great list. First up are Desert Sky DSM and DS2b - made by Raoul with all CNC aluminium and SS fixings. Ball bearings and an assembly that can be stripped, adjusted cleaned and lubricated forever. The dollar and VAT needs to be kinder but prices are low for this quality. The 2b features separate clamps and friction controls and a smart eyepiece balance on the side or 2 scopes with collimation. Sadly sold that one but the DSVM has done 3 trips to NZ in hand luggage. The wand is my addition.

 

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42 minutes ago, Stephenstargazer said:

Such a brilliant topic! Inspiration for any one looking for or wondering about what's out there.

I join late but have a few to add to this great list. First up are Desert Sky DSM and DS2b - made by Raoul with all CNC aluminium and SS fixings. Ball bearings and an assembly that can be stripped, adjusted cleaned and lubricated forever. The dollar and VAT needs to be kinder but prices are low for this quality. The 2b features separate clamps and friction controls and a smart eyepiece balance on the side or 2 scopes with collimation. Sadly sold that one but the DSVM has done 3 trips to NZ in hand luggage. The wand is my addition.

 

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Lovely mounts and lovely scopes as well. Don't see many DSV mounts over here.

Lumicon diagonal as well - another rather unusual item !

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Following on my first AZ was a Vixen Porta, gave good service but the slowmotions needed adjustment often. Later a Vixen APZ - if you think buttery and smooth this is just that. Needs counterbalance and  rather big for capacity of 6/7 kg.  I prefer the mount configured as that rare thing a manual Equatorial. Could not find an APZ photo so stuck in the AP ( best star hopper any way).

A David Lukehurst 14" compact dobsonian was lovely to push around the sky but eventually I grew tired of assembly and colllimation for each outing. Still it is the one that showed me many 'new' Messier objects.

Next fancies are a Scopetech Zero for the Questar and possibly a Rowan AZ100 for the Tak - but such decisions need long consideration. I notice no mention of iOptron AZ Pro but perhaps this post attracts a different style.spacer.pngspacer.pngspacer.png

There is also an AZGti but hardly worth mention, it works but lacks soul.

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Edited by Stephenstargazer
omission
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Well spotted John! I never regretted personal import of the the DSV mounts. The Lumicon diagonal was an early purchase from RVO and so solidly made that it will be kept forever - just 2 cnc pieces, absolutely rigid. The cost repaid many times over.

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Another couple, Altair Sabre

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And its successor the AZ100

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Omo, does the AZ 100 need counterbalancing with such a moderate load? I am looking for portable solutuons and carrying a cb is just dead weight!

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Stephenstargazer and welcome to SGL. :hello2: That is an impressive collection.

A word of caution about the dovetail on the WO. I had one like it snap on me a few years ago when it was attached to my ETX105 and it hit the ground. I think the cold weakened it when the temperature dropped to minus something Celsius and damaged the rear ABS plastic cell and two of the three mounting points. The rest of the OTA, meniscus cell and mirrors were undamaged and found a local engineering workshop to undertake and make a replacement backplate, (as shown below), once I had drawn up a rough sketch/plan of it.

small_IMG_0385.JPG..jpg.96b510aeac1ce230208486066271a09d.jpgPIC011.JPG.d44aaf7659477cb4cf6a80da07ee9215.JPGPIC012.JPG.3b3b2b4aaf9826a35f9fd23345ee7b76.JPG

The Jubillee/hose rings are securing the dovetail bar to the OTA as I cannot find/obtain suitable dovetail/tube rings.
There are CNC ones, but they cost £'00s/$'00's + shipping.

Edited by Philip R

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I don’t bother with a counterweight with my AZ100 unless using an OTA over 10kg where the stability of the tripod becomes a factor.

Using a counterweight or not doesn’t seem to affect the smoothness of the mount. 

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Super selection of mounts and scopes @Stephenstargazer! We love to see this sort of thing on SGL!
Welcome, by the way!

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Thanks for welcome! Actually a lapsed member and several of those scopes and mounts have new homes. 

Current stable is Questar Fieldscope(ex MoD 1983), Vixen VC200L on SXD2, Tak FC100DF (latest). 

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1 hour ago, Stephenstargazer said:

Omo, does the AZ 100 need counterbalancing with such a moderate load? I am looking for portable solutuons and carrying a cb is just dead weight!

Not exactly sure to be honest i just always put one on, I would go with what @johninderby suggests, he has tons more experience than me 👍

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16 minutes ago, Stephenstargazer said:

Thanks for welcome! Actually a lapsed member and several of those scopes and mounts have new homes. 

Current stable is Questar Fieldscope(ex MoD 1983), Vixen VC200L on SXD2, Tak FC100DF (latest). 

A very nice armoury indeed 🙂

 

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