Markless™ Astronomics

Accessories for Big and not-so-Big Dobs

  1. DSCstalk™ II by Markless™ Astronomics

  2. DSC Stalk Sandwich Kit, (DSC-SK) by Markless™ Astronomics    

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

The

DSC Stalk™ II (now over 600 Markless DSC Stalks in use worldwide!)

designed and manufactured by Markless Astronomics exclusively, will hold your DTC/DSC (Argo Navis, Sky Commander, JMI, etc.) and handpad at a convenient height and in safety.   Properly affixed to the shelf, your DSC will be safely secured - no more tumbles from the UTA to the concrete below!   A Bakelite studded knob for attaching the shelf to the SATIN ANODIZED aluminum tube makes for easy adjustment (no fumbling for a wrench to loosen or tighten).   A Moonlite Clamp and mounting block securely holds the tube assembly.   Only the best materials go into the construction of a DSC Stalk by Markless Astronomics.

Available in Gen 2 (or 1) and Gen 3 versions.   Specify your ServoCAT generation when ordering.   Gen 3 ServoCATs have a Type B USB port on the front panel.   Still not sure?   Click here for a comparison photograph. (click here).

The advantages of the wiring components used by Markless Astronimics can be summed up in one word: ROBUST!   What that means to you as a user is that you are far less likely to have a damaged connector that might put your Stalk out of commission.   Should you ever have an accident, however...

  • Upper end of wiring is a full 8.5 inches long; plenty long to replace a damaged telecom connector and not have to replace the wiring.
  • Lower end has a rugged aluminum angle panel for connectors - practically unbreakable.
  • Feed-through Keystone telecom connectors are mounted on the panel.   Inexpensive and simple to replace, should one ever be necessary.   No soldering!   Truly plug-n-play.
  • RCA Phono Power cable plug is internally fused with a 0.3 amp PPTC resettable fuse on Models 201 and 204.
  • Since May of 2012, all wiring exiting the tube slots is double protected from chafing with heat shrink tubing and woven polyester braid (not shown in above photos).
  • -------------------------------------

    The DSC Stalk II Model 201 obtained directly from Markless Astronomics still includes a Bumper Block that mounts on the other side of the rocker box.   The combination of the Main Block and the Bumper Block (each of which contains a ~0.2 inch thick Teflon pad) constrains the mirror box to the center of the rocker box and prevents the mirror box from sliding back and forth in a sideways motion.   Prevention of sideways motion improves the accuracy of digital setting circles over those on telescopes which have sideways motion of the mirror box.   The finish of the Bumper Block is stained and varnished Baltic Birch plywood.   A photo of an installed Bumper Block is displayed above.   Use of the Bumper Block is discretionary and optional.   If your telescope does not have sideways motion of the mirror box, the Bumper Block does not need to be used.

    The M.A. DSC Stalk II has five to eight major components, depending upon the model.   The following table shows the makeup of each model.

      Model 201 Classic Obsession-style (Baltic Birch) Model 202 DISCONTINUED (Black Poly) Model 203 Ultra Compact Obsession (Black Poly) Model 204 Lightbridge Style (Black Poly)
    Fits Models
    12.5, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30
    12.5, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30
    UC 15, UC 18, UC 22
    8, 10, 12, 16
    Acrylic Shelf
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Aluminum Sandwich Plates Installed
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Aluminum Tube (optional black $10 extra)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Internal Cables (DSC power, handpad or hand controller, encoders, DSC)
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Connection Panel
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Not needed- see text
  • Yes
  • Mounting Block And Moonlite Clamp
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Bumper Block
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • Upper Stabilizing Block
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
  • Price
    $179
    $N/A
    UC 15/18: $150; UC 22: $155
    $169
    S&P (48 cont. States; west coast higher than shown)
    $email
    $email
    $email
    $email

    North Carolina residents, please add 7.25% sales tax.

    When ordering, identify your telescope make, model, and optional equipment (ServoCAT, PGB, DSC, dew heater controller, secondary dew heater, etc.) installed and/or planned!   Please include your shipping address and contact telephone number for quotation purposes.

    Features.

  • The Acrylic shelf (with metal reinforcing plates) is pre-drilled with holes for an Argo Navis holster.   (You will need to obtain screws, washers, and nuts if you have an Argo Navis holster.   Otherwise, obtain and use Velcro to attach your DSC to the shelf.)  
  • The satin anodized aluminum tube contains the internal cables and is slotted to allow the cables to exit the tube.  The cables reach your DSC (attached to the shelf) and the mating connectors on the Connection Panel (Connection Panel on Models 201, 202, and 204).  
  • On Model 203 (for UC), the cables exit the lower slot and extend around to a connection board already mounted on your factory-installed ServoCAT-equipped Ultra Compact Obsession telescope.   Scroll down to see photographs of the DSC Stalk II mounted on a UC 18 Obsession telescope. The cables for a UC22 are significantly longer due to the location of the connection board on the UC22.

    The Mounting Block you need depends upon your telescope’s requirements. There are four models available and each is shown in an accompanying photograph.   Choose a model that best suits your needs.

    In addition to the Moonlite mounting block, the Model 204 for Lightbridge style of telescopes has an Upper Stabilizing Block™ which is mounted high on the rocker box sidewall.

    The DSC Stalk II Connector Panel is available only on DSC Stalks wired by MA.   If you want or need the functionality of the Connector Panel (keeps your cables very neat and orderly) and one that is very rugged, order your wired DSC Stalk here.

    The Mounting Block and Bumper Block (if applicable) attach with screws to the side of your rocker box.   The length of attachment screws varies with telescope brand and sidewall thickness.   Specify your scope so that you get the correct hardware.

    The Moonlite Clamp is manufactured by Moonlite and is a very secure method of holding the tube assembly.   It is made of aluminum, is very strong, and has several interesting features.   There is a set screw and washer which serve as a “stop” to prevent the tube from sliding downward when the clamp knob is loosened.   However, the set screw and washer are removable which would then permit a downward height adjustment of the tube.   There is another threaded hole on the top end of the clamp which also will accept the set screw, effectively changing the clamp from a right handed clamp to a left handed clamp.

    Optional items.

    The following items not included with the DSC Stalk II, but are needed on most telescopes.   Which ones and what cable lengths depend upon the telescope make and model and what equipment is installed.   In some cases, the user may have already one or more of the cables.

  • 4 ft. RCA Phono cable to connect DSC Stalk to Power Rail, price   $4
  • DSC cable to connect DSC Stalk to DSC port on ServoCAT, price  $6 (specify length when ordering)
  • Gen 2: HP cable to connect DSC Stalk to HP port on servoCAT, price  $8 (specify length when ordering)
  • Gen 3: HC cable to connect DSC Stalk to HC port on servoCAT, price  $6 (specify length when ordering)
  • Custom length encoder cables to connect DSC Stalk to encoders, price   $20 (specify lengths when ordering)
  • Two #8-32 stainless steel machine screws, washers, and lock nuts for attaching Argo Navis Holster to DSC Stalk shelf (set of two screws), price  $2

    Optional Spacer Kits:

    Email me to obtain a free copy of a drawing that depicts the mirror box and rocker box issues that might require a spacer.   Just ask for the "bearing overhang" drawing.   I will email it to you as an attachment. Or, just click here to view it online. (click here).

  • Kydex Spacer Kit for 15" Classic Obsession $7.50 - this kit or something similar is needed due to the recessed nature of the large aluminum bearings on the 15" Obsession telescope.

  • Kydex Spacer Kit for 25" Classic Obsession $10.00 - this kit or something similar is needed due to the overhang of the large aluminum bearings on the 25" Obsession telescope.

    To order any item from this website, please email me at cs(at)marklessastronomics dot com.

    Charles Starks, Charlotte, NC

    (Back to top)

    (Back to home page)
       

    (Back to top)

    (Back to home page)

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

    Announcing the new

    DSC Stalk Sandwich Kit, or DSC-SK

    This product is an enhancement for your DSC Stalk acrylic shelf to strengthen the web attachment area. It is now standard on every new DSC Stalk and DSC Stalk replacement shelf sold by Markless Astronomics.   However, it is easily retrofitable on almost every M.A. DSC Stalk shelf in the field.

    The price is only $8.00 for the kit, postpaid! Only $5 if ordered with another product!   Email me to order.  cs(at)marklessastronomics dot com.

    The kit includes

  • A matched pair of aluminum reinforcing plates (laser cut to fine precision)
  • Two SS 6-32 machine screws, washers, and nuts
  • A short wood dowel for aiding alignment
  • A 9/64” drill bit

    The plates are easy to install and complete instructions are emailed with each order.   You need only align the plates above and below the shelf (sandwich the plastic), drill two small holes, and fasten them together with the screws.

    WHY YOU SHOULD GET THIS KIT…

    The DSC Stalk was designed to hold Digital Setting Circles (for example, an Argo Navis, Sky Commander), etc., a ServoCAT hand pad, and a ServoCAT wireless receiver (on the underside).   It does that job very well.   It was not designed for heavier items (such as laptops or monitors!) or designed to be leaned on, used as a cane, or to steady oneself when ascending or descending a ladder.   Also, when it is in transport, it should be removed from the Stalk tube, and packed away, especially if one leaves the DSC attached to the shelf.

    However, I saw an opportunity to strengthen the shelf assembly to make it more resilient to abuse and to improper storage and transport.  This kit, which is very modestly priced, significantly improves the resiliency of the shelf (although nothing is unbreakable and the aforementioned usage prohibitions remain in effect).   Nonetheless, I recommend you take advantage of this offering to improve your equipment.   If you order an entire shelf (a complete new shelf is $32 plus shipping), the Sandwich Kit will be included at no additional charge.

    However, the Sandwich Kit alone is available now for only $8, postpaid. Only $5 if ordered with another product!

    (Back to top)

    (Back to home page)

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

    Great Astro Links to other fine products and ideas:

    Astrocrumb Filter Slides - a "MUST HAVE" accessory for your Big Dob. Roger builds 'em RIGHT!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Obsession® Telescopes - by Dave Kriege - Heirloom Grade Telescopes for the discriminating astronomer

    (top)

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

    Copyright 2003-2014, by Charles Starks, Charlotte, NC, All Rights Reserved

    Updated: 11:48 AM 11/10/2014