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My Newest Toy - The Twilight Skywatcher

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by sojourneyer, Dec 23, 2023.

My Newest Toy - The Twilight Skywatcher

Started by sojourneyer on Dec 23, 2023 at 1:51 PM

14 Replies 2744 Views 2 Likes

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  1. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    Mount is Twilight 1 modified to accept 3/8" tripods and tripod is Skywatcher Star Adventure (same mount as used on the GTi, GTe and Z5 units.

    All up weight is 4kgs or approx 8.5 lbs
    It also has a different flat head dovetail clamp.


    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!



    bottom view.jpg mount set up 4.jpg mount set up3.jpg
     
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  2. Gabby76

    Gabby76 Well-Known Member

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    A interesting looking mount.
    Merry Christmas to you :)
     
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  3. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it's a very imteresting mount. It looks like it would be easier/simpler to use, plus lighter in weight.

    Happy holidays, and may the New Year bring better observing weather.
     
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  4. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    What surprised me was that the tripod held up well. I knew that the mount would be was worried about the tripod.
    I had my 6SE on it last night and there were no problems at all. Vibration was not bad in the least.

    But using the lighter tripod took about 10 lbs off the weight of the mount and tripod of a traditional Twilight 1.

    I bought it used 3rd hand. The original owner built a mount base identical to the original base with the exception that the bottom of the base is flat and accepts 3/8" bolts. I do not know how he did it. It looks OEM.

    With my two bases I can use the mount with almost any tripod. That was my christmas present to myself for this year.
     
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  5. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    A friend suggested a new name that I like ——- TwiSky
     
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  6. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    I went in a different direction. I'm primarily an imager and want steadier/heavier mounts. I also wanted to simplify my equipment, pairing two heads to one tripod.

    Mounts Stitched.jpg

    One thing I didn't care for with the Twilight 1 tripod was the leg spreader with only three eyepiece holes. The many eyepiece holes in the CG-4 leg spreader are better for imaging because it can hold the camera, alignment eyepiece, barlows, etc.

    I do use the Twilight 1 for imaging wide-field deep sky, believe it or not. I use my DSLR with the 60mm and field flattener/reducer or a camera lens, and set the DSLR to short exposures. From a very bad Bortle 9 zone a high number of short exposures works better than less and longer exposures. With the short exposures star trailing isn't an issue.

    The CG-4/Twilight 1 hybrid is still portable. If you're wondering what I did with the Twilight 1 tripod, I salvaged all the hardware and repurposed the materials.

    Your pictures made me think that an additional arm attachment bolt on the Twilight 1 might help control the vertical oscillations even better. Hmmm.....

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ADDED: I didn't waste any time and disassembled the Twilight head and marked it for drilling for the additional bolts. I saw that there is a big stud molded into the base that mates with a cup in the arm. The stud was ~.030" too long and held the arm flange off the base, a source of movement/vibration in my mount. I filed about .040" off the stud and then lapped the flanges of the two pieces together. Wayyy better fit. I used Lock Tite Blue on the stud/cup assembly to bed the two pieces together. I did not Lock Tite the assembly bolts.

    While I was at it I checked all other assembly point, but they were OK. I believe the better seating/mating of these two parts eliminated most movement on the vertical axis.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2023
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  7. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    Why not get a Twilight 2 or other such equivalent mount Ed? My friend got one from overseas and loves it.
    Here is a photo of the additional bolts put on the vertical arm.

    I like how you filled the space on the vertical arm. I am thinking of putting a strong metal sheet there. That way I might be able to affix my Starsense cradle to it.

    Extra support bolts.jpg
     
  8. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Cool looking tripod! I hope you and TwiSky have many observing opportunities in 2024 ;)
     
  9. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I had thought about getting the Twilight 2, but it really wouldn't fill any of my requirements. If anything, what I really need is a good photo tripod. I drove my car into the tripod I have and the repairs are not quite satisfactory. Maybe later this year I'll get a tripod I like and can afford.

    With the better fit of the arm to the base I believe I eliminated a lot instability. The extra bolts are still an option I haven't ruled out, and are easy enough to do.

    Over the years I have seen pictures of how Twilight 1 owners modded the arm. The reason I used hobby grade plywood is because wood dampens vibration better than steel or polymers, and I have plenty left over from other projects. I immediately saw the difference the mod made using the TV-85.
     
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  10. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    Sybony has come out with a mount now copying the Twilight 1 set up.
    Here is a good video on it. The guy does a good job especially giving size dimensions for the base


    I decided to go with the Twilight one because the owner had two bases for it which gives it so much flexibility in terms of tripod choice.
     
  11. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    I believe you made a good move getting the Twilight 1. The SV225 looks like a decent option for smaller and shorter scopes. Time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2023
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  12. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    Also the Twilight 1 is a taller mount. It is 10” from the base of mount to the base of the dovetail clamp.
    You saw in the video an8” SCT HITS THE MOUNT BASE. I believe the same would occur with a 6” SCT as well.
     
  13. Gabby76

    Gabby76 Well-Known Member

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    I noticed that ES no longer has the twilight 2 on their site.
    A friend needed some parts for his and was told they were unavailable.
     
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  14. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    ES has apparently sold out all their Twilight series of mounts.
    I wonder what the problem is with their suppliers. You can not find Twilight mounts/tripods
    in the USA
     
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  15. sojourneyer

    sojourneyer Well-Known Member

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    I have renamed it the Skylight
     
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