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Alt-Az mount advice for daytime observing with a 102 refractor please.


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I'm wondering if I could use my 102 as a nifty bird watching scope, EQ mount obviously no use at all for this purpose so just wondering if there's a decent Alt-Az mount or photo tripod that can comfortably carry a 102 refractor plus maybe Baader Zoom Hyperion eyepiece.  I have the Horizon Heavy Duty tripod, the carrying capacity is said to be up to 100 aperture spotting scope but I think my 102 will be considerably heavier than a spotting scope, not sure how the fitting would go with a dovetail bar and rings.  I have a relatively cheap 45 degree erecting prism diagonal, does the quality make much difference for daytime use?  Also needs to be portable enough to carry a few hundred yards (with the scope in the other hand).

I've already tried my 70 Travel Scope on the Horizon tripod, probably wouldn't compare that well to a £2k spotting scope on a carbon tripod but works reasonably well.

Edited by jonathan
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Is your 70mm travel scope not good for terrestrial use?

IMHO an 102mm f/7 is a little too big and clumsy for birds. But if you would like to give it a try, any of the push-to alt-az mounts would work. Personally I use a Hercules 2.5" alt-az (also sold by RVO and Artesky). Other good lightweight choices include mini Ercole and AZ4.

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3 hours ago, jonathan said:

I'm wondering if I could use my 102 as a nifty bird watching scope, EQ mount obviously no use at all for this purpose so just wondering if there's a decent Alt-Az mount or photo tripod that can comfortably carry a 102 refractor plus maybe Baader Zoom Hyperion eyepiece.  I have the Horizon Heavy Duty tripod, the carrying capacity is said to be up to 100 aperture spotting scope but I think my 102 will be considerably heavier than a spotting scope, not sure how the fitting would go with a dovetail bar and rings.  I have a relatively cheap 45 degree erecting prism diagonal, does the quality make much difference for daytime use?  Also needs to be portable enough to carry a few hundred yards (with the scope in the other hand).

I've already tried my 70 Travel Scope on the Horizon tripod, probably wouldn't compare that well to a £2k spotting scope on a carbon tripod but works reasonably well.

I would probably be less concerned about the tripod and more  the tripod head. If you want to track birds in flight, then a heavy duty gimbal head is probably the way forward. With such a large telescope you will have a wide degree of movement so will require some clear space around the tripod - keeping focus may also be a challenge.

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On 19/04/2021 at 10:28, KP82 said:

Is your 70mm travel scope not good for terrestrial use?

Seems pretty decent to me, but then I'm not an experienced bird watcher.  Just wondered if a larger scope would be any better.

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On 19/04/2021 at 10:28, KP82 said:

Is your 70mm travel scope not good for terrestrial use?

IMHO an 102mm f/7 is a little too big and clumsy for birds. But if you would like to give it a try, any of the push-to alt-az mounts would work. Personally I use a Hercules 2.5" alt-az (also sold by RVO and Artesky). Other good lightweight choices include mini Ercole and AZ4.

Do you use the 70mm or 107mm on the Hercules ?

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Just now, dweller25 said:

Do you use the 70mm or 107mm on the Hercules ?

The Hercules is only used with the 72. Although its specs is rated for up to 10kg (I doubt), I don't trust it. My 107 goes on the iEXOS100 for night time use only.

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