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Alt-Az mount stable


Bino-viewer

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Bino-viewer

I've just recently sourced a very nice, almost new Berlebach Planet tripod at a bargain price.

Despite it having the wrong top plate : an HEQ5 i couldn't let it pass, as everything else was ideal,

ie the leg spreader, tray and double clamps.

 

An online order to Berlebach in Germany for a replacement 'DM6' top plate, and a set of 3 'rubber feet' 

arrived in only 2 days.

I did enquire on the chatbox on here about the fact i'd not paid any German VAT, as we are out of the EU

and the general consensus was that i'd be charged import tax and VAT / handing fees 

Although its only a relatively small amount, the taxman has yet to catch up with me.

I'm sure he will ; its one of the two certain things in life after all......🥴

 

The Planet is a thing of beauty, and its the tripod i should really have invested in before now.

I have an existing UNI 18, and while its ok, its really the bare minimum of what is required when using a 10kg scope set up.

The Planet is a much sturdier and more stable tripod and should suffice me till the end.

 

So i now have 3 tripod options, and 3 alt-az mounts.

I'd thought about selling the UNI but will probably keep it for the time being.

 

If anyone has a need for a HEQ5 top plate for a Planet tripod, give me a shout.

 

IMG_2437IMG_2438IMG_2439IMG_2440

 

The 3 amigo's.

 

Left my lightweight grab+go Discmount DM4 on my Gitzo photo tripod.

This is ideal for quick sessions with my little 4" refractor and the mount + tripod is an easy one handed carry out.

 

Centre is my main workhorse Discmount DM6 on existing BB Uni 18.

The 'push to' Nexus DSC is super and a delight to use.

 

One the right is the heavyweight option : my TTS-160 Panther motorised alt-az on the new planet with my main 5.5" scope.

Thanks for looking.

 

IMG_2442

 

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Very nice tripod find. The 3 amigos look great. I'm a bit edgy about ordering stuff from Europe now due to Brexit.

 

EG6bAxll.jpg

 

This is my new grab & go! All it needs is a Porta II lol.

 

yG6n2MUl.jpg

 

The only downside to the Porta/Polaris is getting it in and out of its 'jockstrap' case with one hand. 🤣

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Bino-viewer

Yes, its only 4kg heavier than the Uni as well.

But although i could just about take the Uni and DM6 outside together (it was a struggle)

i don't think i'm strong enough to do it with the Planet and DM6. Not at nearly 54 and having not been to a gym for a year. I'd probably put my back out.

 

It sounds insignificant, but carrying parts out separately to observe, ie tripod, mount, scope, eyepiece case, chair, can sometimes put a dampener on

going out at all, certainly if the weather is borderline, or if i'm already tired from work etc. Thats why the lightweight DM4 grab / go is often my preferred choice.

 

Good to hear from you Mick ; how is the restoration of the Fullerscope mount going.....?

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1 hour ago, Bino-viewer said:

 

It sounds insignificant, but carrying parts out separately to observe, ie tripod, mount, scope, eyepiece case, chair, can sometimes put a dampener on

going out at all, certainly if the weather is borderline, or if i'm already tired from work etc. Thats why the lightweight DM4 grab / go is often my preferred choice.

 

 

 

 

No, it's very significant.

 

fMdHCVsl.jpg

 

This is why my 9.25" Evolution doesn't see the dark of night much.

 

Mrt9NkXl.jpg

 

Over the years I've experimented with a variety of lightweight alt-az mount/tripods. The chocolate teapot (above) aka Sky-Watcher AZ3 was an early experiment. Comparatively inexpensive and light it seemed an ideal solution for a small short tube refractor. It only had two drawbacks: (a) it didn't work and (b) it was rubbish.

 

9ICu4rul.jpg

 

The Porta II/Hal-130 works well and carries my 4kg Altair Starwave competently. The tripod isn't easy for me to carry with my disability though. The half-pillar is an added complication. Overall several journeys were required to assemble all of this. I'd often start putting it together in daylight.

 

2iPzcJBl.jpg

 

The game changer was the Sky-Watcher AZ5. It was bundled with the 127mm Mak. Initially I didn't want the bundled mount but I wanted the OTA dovetail to be in the correct position to use the Mak on the Porta II. The OTA's sold separately have the dovetail in a ventral position when the finder shoe is at the 10 or 11 o'clock position. This makes using a reflex or straight through finder virtually impossible to use on a Vixen-style mount. I still use the AZ5 with small Mak's. After some success carrying an ST80 (in a small bag) and the AZ5 at the same time I decided on a dedicated small grab and go.

 

tnOcF4kl.jpg

 

This scope is distributed under a few names; mine's an Altair 60mm EDF (f/6). It was great on the AZ5 but when I put the XRINGS dovetail on it the centre of gravity shifted.

 

R6qbgmtl.jpg

 

Although the XRINGS tube holder is lighter even with its carrying handle the heavy Vixen bar (above) had contributed to balance at the objective end of the OTA. So I've started using it on the Porta II/TL-130 (Polaris). The Vixen is a heavier mount but I can still carry it and the OTA in a small bag at the same time. So, basically one journey. When the weather's more sure I don't mind multiple journeys so much.

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