The Mount and support accessories for the telescope(s)
After much deliberation I eventually pushed the boat out to get this mount and I am not in the slightest bit disappointed, it excels in every area. It is portable in that one person can manage it, it is easy to set up, it is accurate and tracks well, stable and lastly it looks good. The bearings on it are very large and very smooth and it's tracking accuracy is so good that when accurately polar aligned you can (according to the literature) take unguided exposures of up to 10 minutes with long focal lengths. I haven't pushed it this far as yet and all of the pictures taken on this site using this mount were taken with exposures ranging from 30 seconds to 4 minutes unguided with no trailing evident. It will handle weights of up to 150lb although I have seen setups where that has been exceeded. It is controlled by TheSky 6 software and also has a joystick for manual adjustment. everything on it exudes quality from the build, through to the finish and even the counterweights are beautifully finished. There are various warning bleeps to tell you when something is amiss and the only time I experienced them was when I switched the mount on and I had forgotten to slacken off the RA and declination locks off a notch, this was rectified and it has performed faultlessly even allowing me to image when it is windy. As far as I can see, looking at prices on the market the only way you can get a better mount is to spend upwards of £30,000. The mount, without counterweights or counterweight bar weighs 69lb so with the bar and 3x20lb counterweights accounts for a heavy weight.
I chose this portable pier mainly because of the build and reputation of the company but also because of the facility where you can raise and lower the head by 20 inches to allow for more comfortable viewing, this is done with a battery operated motor. I must admit I haven't used this facility as yet. When it arrived the wrong bolts were sent to attach the Paramount base plate to the top but this was quickly rectified by a visit to a local metal work supplier. The Tri-pier, like the Paramount is very solid and stable. The Tri-pier 2 weighs approximately 75lb
Pier-tech wheely bars
All the above sits on top of a set of pier-tech wheely bars which are designed for the Tri-pier 2. This allows me to move the whole system in and out of the shed when the weather is too bad to use it. The wheely bars have a very wide base which necessitated shortening the legs in order for it to get in and out of the shed. The build quality is solid and very heavy and it weighs approximately 60lb