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ATX 115 w/1.6X and CTH Head On Order - Couple of Questions (1 Viewer)

dwever

Well-known member
I kicked around getting a 15X second pair of binoculars to go with my 8X42 NL Pure. I solved my need for higher magnification with the nuclear option. The amazing Swarovski ATX 115. Picture is from the internet since I don't expect delivery until next week. Also have the 1.6X extender but don't think I'll ever need it. It was less than a year old on sale from a well known enthusiast from Cloudy Nights who just bought like an eighteen thousand dollar telescope - (I am certain I didn't need the PayPal protection but I have it). At Sportsman's Warehouse in Alaska today I was able to pick up the exact needed Stay On Case.

Sportsman's Warehouse was kind enough to set up the ATX with the 95mm objective even though I disclosed to them I was just using them as a showroom. The 95 was a stunning view, and what I'm reading is the 115 is 20% sharper and 40% brighter (Time & Optics You Tube article). I can't imagine.

1. What is a great tripod to go with this rig and the CTH Swarovski head? I'm told aluminum is preferable to Carbon Fiber for stability? Want to be able to walk away from it in the field without worrying about it blowing over in a breeze. Additionally, this will be in a back-pack and a couple of pounds from the right tripod don't make a big difference.
2. To transport via back-pack, should I break the instrument down in to two pieces and place it in a cushioned container prior to going in the pack; or, is this going to be okay in the stay-on case surrounded by a jacket in the pack?
3. Being in Alaska I know that below twenty or ten degrees Fahrenheit focus wheels can stiffen up. What is your experience in bitter cold with the ATX system. Just last month on the 13th I was out in -21F. The ATX's operating range is -13 to 131°F / -25 to 55°C.

Thanks!!!
 
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jring

Well-known member
Hi,

congratulations... I keep my fingers crossed that you get a good example. You might want to read up on star-testing because the guy on CN certainly did know how to do that...

As for the tripod and head, the CTH is not the correct piece of kit for an ATX 115. Its rated max load is 5kg, the ATX 115 combo weights 3 kg and the usual rule of thumb for use with a tripod is to keep below half of the max load for any piece of kit.

My recommendation would be sth along the lines of a Manfrotto 502 AH with its 7kg max load.
As for legs, if you want to go aluminum, the Birder Tripod from the Audubon store gets good reviews. Normally CF is preferred due to its better dampening properties but this one makes up the not so good dampening properties with larger than usual tube diameter and only two sections. It is probably a bit long for putting into a backpack, but I would recommend to use a tripod carrier system like a scopac anyways.

Joachim
 

dwever

Well-known member
Hi. The guy on CN is some kind of optical engineer and who I’m buying from if we’re talking about the same guy who’s user name is phaxman. This is the perfectly fixed example after he sent it to Swarovski. Kit is less than a year old even with the months long trip to Austria.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi. The guy on CN is some kind of optical engineer and who I’m buying from if we’re talking about the same guy who’s user name is phaxman. This is the perfectly fixed example after he sent it to Swarovski. Kit is less than a year old even with the months long trip to Austria.
Hi,

I hadn't even looked when I wrote this... but it has happened that multiple examples have been bought, the cherry picked and the so-so ones sold on. Of course you don't write about this on the forum.

After I read the history I have hopes that you will get a good example. Sure, that guy prefererred his Questar 7, but that is a Mak with 1.5x the aperture of the ATX, a 5 digit pricetag and weighting north of 8kg just for the OTA.

Joachim
 

dwever

Well-known member
If the picture is your combo, you have the PTH head and not the CTH head and also the balance rail. If this is your combo it's just fine.

Jan
Yes that picture is what I bought. The 1.6X is coming out, but it will be around if needed. As you can tell, this is my first spotter, but my home and travels in Alaska seem like a great fit.
 

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Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
1. What is a great tripod to go with this rig and the CTH Swarovski head? I'm told aluminum is preferable to Carbon Fiber for stability? Want to be able to walk away from it in the field without worrying about it blowing over in a breeze. Additionally, this will be in a back-pack and a couple of pounds from the right tripod don't make a big difference.
For similar tube dimensions carbon fibre would be significantly stiffer than aluminium. In addittion, aluminium has very high thermal conductivity and is uncomfortable to hold at temperatures around 10° C (50° F). At the temperatures you mention, contact could have unpleasant consequences!

Have a look at wooden tripods from Ries or Berlebach. Wood is the first choice for surveyors, sea watchers and amateur astronomers using high magnifications because of its superior damping qualities (very short decay time for vibrations).

John
 

dwever

Well-known member
For travel my best guess for safe transport is the Stay-On-Case then inside a Lowepro Lens Trekker as it can take a full-frame 600mm 5.4 or an 800mm without camera body? Other / better options?

 

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