This complete and ready-to-travel equatorial mount consists of a DC-powered Teegul Sky Patrol III equatorial head that is mounted on a short fixed-height metal TST-6010 tripod by means of a variable latitude adjuster. Designed for travel anywhere around the world, this compact and lightweight Takahashi Teegul Sky-Patrol III package is ready for observing and wide field astrophotography with a small refractor or catadioptric telescope.
Called “The Cadillac of Tracking Mounts” in a Sky & Telescope review, the Teegul Sky Patrol III sets up in minutes and holds scopes up to 6.5 pounds in weight. It has a built-in DC-powered right ascension worm gear drive. The drive has a right ascension drive corrector hand control for astrophotography, a manual declination control, a counterweight shaft and 1.3 pound counterweight, and a 6VDC battery pack that uses flashlight batteries (not supplied).
The Sky & Telescope review reported consistently well-tracked 15-minute exposure astrophotos with no manual guiding corrections whatsoever with an 85mm telephoto lens. Two out of three unguided 15-minute exposures with a 180mm lens also showed “nice round star images. In manually guided shots with a 300mm lens, guiding was easy and corrections infrequent during 10- to 15-minute exposures,” according to Sky & Tel.
The Teegul Sky Patrol III hand control has switch-selectable Northern or Southern Hemisphere operation. An optional polar alignment scope is available for polar alignment in both hemispheres. It clamps onto the Teegul mount with one thumbscrew and can be left in place permanently. The worm gear right ascension drive is controlled by two pushbuttons, one providing 2 times the sidereal rate for periodic error tracking correction to the west and stop for a sidereal rate correction to the east. One revolution of the right ascension worm takes about 17.5 minutes. The 6VDC motor drive draws 170mA when tracking.
The Teegul is capable of handling a 6.6 pound (3kg) maximum payload using the supplied 1.3 pound (0.6kg) counterweight, although the optimum payload is 4.4 pounds (2kg). An optional 1.3 pound (0.6kg) counterweight (#TGULCWT) is available for balancing heavier loads. However, despite these payload limitations, the Sky & Telescope review loaded the mount down with a 14 pound payload, using additional counterweights with no adverse performance effects.
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