Re: Small mount was Recent encoder discussion on CN

Dale Ghent

On Feb 26, 2021, at 09:46, Frost David <> wrote:

I would love a smaller mount of this size and quality. It was what I wanted when I signed up for the Mach2 honestly. Something lighter and portable but still with great accuracy and same APCC/CP4 or 5 functionality.

This is why I recently purchased a Rainbow Astro 135. It weighs around 7 pounds and can easily be lifted out and setup on my tripod fully assembled in two minutes. For quick solar and nighttime use for those of us that do portable imaging, it’s fantastic. But the accuracy is nowhere near that of an AP mount. It physically can’t be. But for short focal lengths it works.
Yeah, I bought an RST-135 for mobile imaging on weekend trips and plane ride. I put a CFF 92mm f/6 frac on the top of it and it works exceedingly well, with the main parts of the setup split between a Nanuck roll-aboard hard case and ThinkTank Photo Shapeshifter backpack. On planes, the hard case with scope and imaging stuff goes in the overhead, the RST, laptop, and cables in the backpack go under the seat in front of me, and the tripod and power supply is in checked baggage. I haven't yet travelled to a place where there's no AC power for it and covid has nix'd travel for now, so I have some time to figure out a LiFePO4-based portable battery system that doesn't bust the airline rules regarding lithium batteries. The limit is watt-hours per battery, per person. It's me, my wife, and kid, so I can max out the usage by allotting everyone their own battery.

The thing that makes the RST-135 such a killer travel-friendly scope is its harmonic drive which obviates the need for counterweights for reasonable loads. As we know, counterweights can be half the mount's weight, or even more, so removing them from the picture makes airline transport such an easier task to contemplate.

So far I've taken the ensemble on 1 international flight (to central Mexico) and 1 US destination (SF bay area). The customs folks at QRO airport in Mexico were curious and amused by the gear, but I'm used to the exercise with customs officers having carried a lot of photo gear around the world.

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