The TeleVue Walnut Gibraltar mount is a complete 16.3 lb. altazimuth mount with a Sky Tour aiming computer. It is designed primarily for use with TeleVue 3.5” to 4” refractors – such as the TeleVue TV-85, NP101, NP101is, TV102, TV102iis, and Renaissance 102.
The Walnut Gibraltar mount/Sky Tour system consists of an adjustable height American-made furniture-grade solid walnut tripod with black trim, an accessory tray for eyepiece storage and added tripod rigidity, a separate yoke & cradle type Tele-Pod mount head, an eyepiece caddy set, a Sky Tour caddy plate, and a Sky Tour aiming computer. The Sky Tour computer encoders are preinstalled at the factory in this mount/computer package, making set-up easy and fast.
The Tele-Pod head balances your TeleVue scope at its center of gravity, so that the scope will not swing unexpectedly when you let go of the supplied mount handle (which can be set up for either right hand or left hand use). The tripod legs have rubber-tipped metal ground spikes for use on wooden decks and other hard surfaces. The rubber tips can be removed from the ground spikes for a more firm footing on grass or dirt. By varying the length of the legs, the telescope height can be set anywhere from about 36” to 60”.
The Tele-Pod head is usable at any latitude. It moves 360° in azimuth, over an altitude range of +85° to -10°. That means you will not be able to aim your scope directly at the zenith, but any object located directly overhead will soon drift past the zenith down to an altitude that can be reached by the mount.
The Sky Tour object locator computer adds “brains" to the Gibraltar altazimuth mount. With its exclusive Lorenzin 2000+ database and refinements such as dimmable red light display, backlit button names, 10-character speed-adjustable scrolling display, and advanced “identify" capability, the TeleVue Sky Tour brings the hand-held astronomical object locating computer to a new feature/performance level. The Gibraltar/Sky Tour system is simple enough to use to encourage beginning astronomers, yet deep enough in its database and capabilities for experts to maintain a lifetime of observing enthusiasm.
The 2000+ database objects that Sky Tour can lead you to are organized into six catalogs: NGC (New General Catalog), M (Messier), IC (lndex Catalog), ST (Star), NS (Non-Standard), and PL (Planets). For quick reference, an additional FAV (Favorites) catalog is available to store 99 of your favorite objects. Once Sky Tour is aligned on the sky, a process that takes only a minute or two, enter the Catalog mode and choose an object to view. Then switch to the Guide mode and Sky Tour shows you the direction to move your scope in order to center the selected object. As you move in the direction(s) shown, Sky Tour visibly counts down the distance to go to reach the object. When Sky Tour shows you’re at zero distance to go, you’re centered on the object. Finding over 2000 celestial objects is as simple as that.
Sky Tour also gives you highly accurate digital setting circle readouts by converting Alt/Az positioning into Right Ascension and Declination. The RA DEC mode lets you hunt for any object in the sky just by looking up its RA and DEC position on a star chart and using the setting circle function to guide you to that position.
Sky Tour has a 10-character red LED display that can be dimmed to any of five brightness levels. It has a display resolution of 1 minute in right ascension, and 0.1° in declination. The optional encoder kits use 2160 step, 0.167-degree/step (10-arcminute/step) encoders. You can move the scope at a very fast 160 degree per second rate without losing the Sky Tour’s lock on the sky.
Sky tour measures a compact 2.8" x 4.6" x 1.1" in size. It weighs a mere six ounces, including the 9 volt battery that powers it.
An optional soft carry case (#BAG120P) is available for transporting the tripod with mount head attached (the accessory tray must be carried separately and any attached eyepiece caddy plates must be removed and stored in the carry case separately). An optional #TVHANDLE photo tripod pan-head type handle (aluminum arm/soft rubber grip) is available to attach to the Tele-Pod head for moving the scope from place to place across the sky without touching the scope body itself.