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Altair Astro TMS Universal Mount


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I'll comeback and add some pictures to this, because the it is a thing of functional beauty!  I thought I'd just record some initial thoughts.  Oddly this is one of those bits you'd think would be hard to get excited about, after all it's just a mounting device...

My EQ is of the vintage that had only the Vixen style puck.  Having just acquired a new scope with a Losmandy bar I needed come up with a method of dealing with both styles of dovetail. 

 

Out of the box you find a precision machined lump of metal - it has that polished and precise style that comes with CNC fashioned equipment.  It has considerable bulk and is pleasantly weighty. I won't call it heavy.  The Altair logo is etched into it in a very cool way.

I needed a new puck to mount it. Again this has the same fit and finish. It screws to the bottom of the mounting plate with 4 screws.

Fitting is easy, undo 3 grub screws on the mount, pop it in place and replace the grub screws. Take care so it's lined up properly.

 

Operationally it works very well, scope can be tilted in rather than slid in. I think this is important as it feels like the scope is a lot more supported.

 

The bolts are smooth and tighten securely. They can sometimes snag if you tighten or loosen one side faster than the other, but this is just a practice thing

 

All in all it does what it should do. I feel much more secure with my kit attached to it than I did the original puck.  It's also massively improved the look of my mount, which brings no practical benefit, but still make me happy.

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On 3/26/2021 at 2:30 PM, paulgrover68 said:

My EQ is of the vintage that had only the Vixen style puck.  Having just acquired a new scope with a Losmandy bar I needed come up with a method of dealing with both styles of dovetail. 

I probably have the same vintage of EQ6 as yours. Mine was bought in 2006, and has served me well, but the old girl needs a makeover. I upgraded the mount last year with the EQ6 belt mod, which made a great improvement in guiding, and reduce noise while slewing. Soon I will be replacing the RA worm mount with an upgraded version from Rowan Astronomy. It's called the EQ6 & NEQ6 Zero Backlash Worm Mount. I have heard good reports about it halving the RMS in PHD2, and is a cheaper option than spending £2 or 3000 on a new mount. My guiding is not that bad considering, on a good night around 0.5-0.6 RMS, but any improvement is a big bonus for me.

 

Brian

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's an update on using this bit of kit.

Tonight I setup and balanced as normal. As part of my balance routine I move the scope to point toward the pole and check everything is rock solid.  All seemed ok.

Connected up and waited for everything to get dark.  Pointed the scope to the pole and the entire rig slipped and fell.  Fortunatly I was in a position to catch it before total disaster.  The result was a severe case of brown trousers and the USB lead on the camera snapping. I suspect it brushed the ground. I was concerned this could have damaged the camera, but all is functioning.

I mentioned the propensity of the two bolts that move the plate forward have to snag and I think this is probably what happened. However they must have done so in a way that looked and felt secure as I was thorough with my checks. The scope even passed a tug test.

 

I got away with it this time, but it has seriously shaken my confidence in this piece of kit. So next time out I'll be extra vigllent with my checks.
.

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30 minutes ago, paulgrover68 said:

Here's an update on using this bit of kit.

Tonight I setup and balanced as normal. As part of my balance routine I move the scope to point toward the pole and check everything is rock solid.  All seemed ok.

Connected up and waited for everything to get dark.  Pointed the scope to the pole and the entire rig slipped and fell.  Fortunatly I was in a position to catch it before total disaster.  The result was a severe case of brown trousers and the USB lead on the camera snapping. I suspect it brushed the ground. I was concerned this could have damaged the camera, but all is functioning.

I mentioned the propensity of the two bolts that move the plate forward have to snag and I think this is probably what happened. However they must have done so in a way that looked and felt secure as I was thorough with my checks. The scope even passed a tug test.

 

I got away with it this time, but it has seriously shaken my confidence in this piece of kit. So next time out I'll be extra vigllent with my checks.
.

I have a bolt fastened on my dovetail at the front, underneath. In the event of the scope slipping, the bolt catches the end of the saddle, preventing any disasters.

 

Brian

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10 hours ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

I have a bolt fastened on my dovetail at the front, underneath. In the event of the scope slipping, the bolt catches the end of the saddle, preventing any disasters.

 

Brian

This is a bloomin' good idea. I was trying to puzzle out a protective mechanism. 

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12 hours ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

I have a bolt fastened on my dovetail at the front, underneath. In the event of the scope slipping, the bolt catches the end of the saddle, preventing any disasters.

 

Brian

I've done the same and use it as a stop at my balance point.

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