The DSV-3 is a real mount that performs as advertised, no hype required.
The DSV-3 delivers:
* Proven 140mm f/7 Refractor and 11" SCT capability. The DSV-3 can carry each of these scopes by itself or both at the same time. The mount works well with Refractors, SCTs, Maks, Newtonians, etc.
* Dual collimatable saddles that accept industry-standard dovetail bars. Mount also accepts Takahashi clamshells directly.
* Geared slow motion controls with tool-less adjustable clutches. Full circle gears, no need to reset the controls.
* Comprehensive altitude axis quick balancing system (QBS), capable of balancing from light EPs to heavy 2" extreme wide angle ones.
* Optional high resolution encoder system for use with user-supplied DSC for accurate telescope pointing.
* Premium features such as panning handle, bubble level, altitude brake, machined metal knobs, Stainless Steel fasteners, etc.
* Top notch CNC machined Aluminum construction.
So, how does the DSV-3 perform? In the words of DSV-3 owner:
"BTW, I got a brief first session in last night. Using one tube at a time I mounted a TEC 140 and then a Tak 102. I had no problems following your manual and I had the setup balanced in minutes. The Tak, of course, did not come close to challenging this mount. The great news is that neither did the TEC 140. It's great to have an alt/az mount capable of such a load that moves when I push and stops when I stop pushing. Very smooth in all directions. No drift at horizon nor at zenith. No tension added, I kept it loose. During the brief time I observed (fed the mosquitoes) I used a Nagler Type6 9mm on the lighter end and an Ethos 21 on the heavier end. The QBS responded quickly and perfectly"
Steve E. in Louisiana
Would like more information? Read on...
The DSV-3 is a medium size, heavy duty Alt-Az mount. It was designed from the start to handle refractors up to 140mm f/7 refractors and SCT's up to 11" aperture. Our tests show the DSV-3 can handle both, each of them by itself or both at the same time. Even in the extreme loading case of a C11 hanging on one side and the QBS on the other (on a Meade standard field tripod or other suitable tripod) the DSV-3 is rock solid, the slow motion controls operate smoothly and the pointing accuracy of the optional encoder system is spot on. And if you are using smaller scopes, the DSV-3 handles those well too.
We have gone to great lengths to make the mount as rugged as possible. The DSV-3 uses massive Altitude and Azimuth shafts. Both axes ride on huge ball bearings capable of carrying many times over the DSV-3 design loads. The generous spacing between the axes point of support allows carrying large cantilever loads with negligible deflection. The mount's stubby form factor and straightforward load path (as opposed to a long twisty single fork arm) readily transfers the load to the tripod and to the ground.
On top of all this brawn, the DSV-3 comes loaded with features that will enhance your observing experience. No other Alt-Az mount currently on the market offers all these features in a single package:
Dual non-marring collimatable dovetail clamps (saddles) - now bigger and stronger.
* Enjoy side by side views with two different telescopes. Rich field and high power views, filtered and
unfiltered views, white light and H-alpha solar views, you name it.
* Saddles can be aligned (collimated) so both copes point at the same object
* Choose the side that best fits your scope and maximizes your comfort.
* Mount works equally well in single scope or double scope mode.
* Vixen-style saddles included in the price, Losmandy-style upgrade available.
* Saddles have non-marring jaws, protecting the looks and value of your equipment
* Saddles can be swapped sides; more flexibility for your setups.
* The mount's saddle flanges are drilled to also accept Takahashi clamshells directly (two M8 holes at 35mm spacing).
Geared lock-less slow motion controls with on-the-fly adjustable clutches.
* High reduction ratio for precisely controlled motion of the axes. Easily track your target at high powers.
* No need to unlock/lock the slow motion controls every time you want to move from one target to another, thanks to the slip clutches built into the slow motion controls. Simply glide to your target and then track it using the slow motion controls, no locks hassle!
* Full circle gears, no need to stop in the middle of your observing session to reset the slow motion controls.
* Large knurled knobs are easy to grasp even when wearing gloves. The knobs are located on the front of the mount, within easy reach of the user.
* A pair of levers on each axis allows matching the clutches to the load on mount. Light for smaller scopes, firm for loading the mount to the max, and you don't need to carry a wrench with you to adjust the clutches.
* The DSV-3's clutch design uses the entire face of the gears for the clutch slip surfaces (not a small bushing wrapped around a tiny shaft).
* When it comes to slow motion controls, worm gears are the real thing. Top manufacturers such as AP and Tak have been using worm gears in their mount for decades. Don't settle for less.
Comprehensive altitude axis Quick Balancing System (QBS).
* Complete balancing of the altitude axis, both in the front/back and up/down direction.
* The mount stays in whatever position you point it at and moves effortlessly in any direction, at all pointing angles, even with the clutches released.
* Easily compensate for different EPs and accessories by simply sliding the balancing weight to a preset position.
* The QBS can be installed on either dovetail clamp (or outboard on the scope tube rings for double scope use). It is installed and removed easily without tools for storage and transportation.
* Some manufacturers claim that their mounts do not require balancing. While it's true that inducing enough friction in the altitude axis will prevent the scope from tipping, the fact is that a properly balanced mount will move more easily and handle heavy accessories better than an unbalanced mount. This is especially true with long scopes or when using heavy EPs or binoviewers at high pointing angles.
Optional high resolution encoder system for use with user-supplied Sky Commander DSC.
* 7200 tic encoder system provide 3 arc minute resolution (10000 tic available).
* Encoders are housed in CNC machined aluminum enclosures that are integral part of the slow motion controls. The encoders and gears are completely enclosed, protected from bumps that may cause damage or misalignment.
* Only a short cable is needed to connect the encoders to the DSC, no cable wrap issues.
* System includes: high quality US Digital optical encoders, CNC machined housings & gearing system,
modular connectors, DSC cable, mounting bracket and instructions to configure your DSC.
* Panning handle included in the price
* Built-in bubble level for easy setup
* Altitude brake to assist in eyepiece changes
* Custom machined aluminum knobs used throughout. No cheap plastic knobs used here.
* Built-in column provides clearance for long optical tubes. No need to buy a separate column.
High quality construction
* The DSV-3 is made from 6061 aluminum parts, beautifully CNC machined and assembled with stainless steel fasteners for strength and corrosion resistance. No welded parts, no castings and certainly no plastic end caps used here!
* The DSV-3 axes ride on massive ball bearings and shafts, coupled with large thrust bearings for maximum stability and effortless motions. The axes points of support are widely spaced, which along with the large shafts, minimize deflection under load. Because the axes in the DSV-3 are completely supported by rolling bearings, the axes do not have a tendency to loosen up with use, as is the case of some mounts that do not use rolling bearings. Further, the axes in the DSV-3 are coplanar and their points of rotation are close to one another. This arrangement maximizes mount rigidity and axis orthogonality, important for accurate DSC operation.
* Proudly made USA
* Mount head with standard Vixen-style saddles: $745.00 + $30.00 CONUS ground shipping.
* Encoder system for user-supplied DSC (includes DSC bracket): add $280.00
* Losmandy/CGE-compatible saddles upgrade: add $30.00 per side
* Smartphone bracket: add $40.00
* White powdercoat finish: add $30.00
* Heavy Duty Surveyor style tripod: $180.00 + $20.00 CONUS ground shipping
This is a handcrafted product. Each unit is painstakingly crafted and thoroughly tested. Typical lead times are 6-8 weeks. If you are interested in one of these mounts, please email or call to sign up for the wait list. When units become available, we contact interested parties in the list order. Deposits are welcome.