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7861EZ-Touch Mount Preliminary Comments

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  • Tom Trusock
    Mar 11, 2006
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      I've used the WO EZ-Touch with a couple of different telescopes now,
      and feel I can comment fairly well on it's performance. I ususally
      don't say a whole lot till I release a review, but I've been getting
      a lot of e-mails about this mount, so hopefully this will help
      answer some questions for people considering one of these for
      purchase.

      I've used it with the WO 105, WO 80FD, wo 66 triplet, wo 66 doublet,
      FS102nsv, and will mount my TV102 on it eventually as well but I
      haven't gotten that far yet.

      The WO105 and the WO66 doublet made an extremely nice combination -
      I had a wonderful time with my 4 year old daughter one night - she
      got to use the 105, while I'd use the 66 to look at the same
      targets.

      This was an ideal setup - moderate power observing with a short
      focal length 4" scope on one side and a tiny lightweight 66mm scope
      on the other.

      I went to more of a "worse case senario" last night - I played with
      my FS102nsv (which is longer and heavier) on the WO and a 66SD on
      the other side, and spent the evening at high power looking at the
      moon and Saturn.

      It worked well, but balance was a bit of an issue - like with any
      alt/az - but better than the gibralter. The discmounts - are in a
      whole nother class, and could, for the most part, care less about
      balance.

      I'm not sure I'd want to put a larger load on the EZ touch than the
      FS102 and a companion scope - at least without adding VSP's. The
      weight and especially the length of the FS102 were the main
      boogeymen here, but it overall it was still pretty solid, smooth and
      useable at 180x or so. The rap test gave a damping time of 4-6
      seconds which is about what I'd expect - focusing settled down
      within a couple of seconds (1-2 when using fine focus). Better than
      my Gibralter, considering the weight that's on it. It's certainly a
      lot more versitile in the telescopes you can use with it.

      Next I took the 66SD off, and put VSP's (vibration supression pads)
      under the feet.

      At ~200x, with the FS102, the rap test yielded a settle time of
      under <2 seconds. The combination of a few lbs less and VSP's
      proved an astounding difference. When focusing - the jiggles stop as
      soon as I removed my hand from the knob.

      At 275x (nagler 3-6 zoom on 3mm), loaded with the FS102, w/ 8x50
      finder, 2" Diagonal and eyepiece and no scope on the other side,
      still using VSP's, damping time from the rap test is still right
      around 1 second. When moving the scope to recenter the target, the
      scope stops jiggling immediately after removing your hand from the
      telescope.

      Overall, I consider this very good performance for a lightweight
      alt/az mount.

      To get this level of stability, it's I found it's VERY important you
      spread the legs as far apart as possible.

      I'd recommend Ultrawide angle eyepieces for higher powers as items
      just fly across the FOV of the 3-6, but the motions of the mount are
      smooth - however, unlike the DM4/6, I can't track and observe at the
      same time - the setup isn't that stable - but to be fair, I've never
      seen one that is - outside of the DM4/6. On that note, the UWAN's
      are proving superb eyepeices, and the 4mm is highly recommended for
      high powers with this mount. Alternately, the nagler 3.5 would also
      be a good selection.

      The mount's not perfect. I wish the tension adjustment screws were
      captive. You can tell when they are all the way out *before* they
      pop out (and they haven't popped out yet) - but they get a little
      wobbly when all the way out and that's a bit disconcerting. My
      only other concern centered around the tray. I wish they had used a
      tray bolt that went all the way through the support, instead of one
      that screwed into the plastic center - that would be less likely to
      strip out at some point. Finally, the tray is a little small. It's
      cut to fit 3 - 1.25" eyepieces and has three smaller holes (.965??)
      but nothing for 2" eyepieces. All of these of these are pretty
      minor issues.

      Given the price, and the fact it's dual armed with Losmandy and
      Vixen saddle plates (that covers just about everything) - I think
      it's an excellent deal and offers great performance in a
      lightweight, inexpensive dual armed, mount that supports both
      losmandy and vixen dovetails - the two standards on the market.

      Hope someone finds this of use.

      T
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