Free-Turn X: Low Friction; High Precision
Is your current alt-az mount state-of-the-art or stuck-in-a-rut?  Times change.  Simply claiming to be the best doesn't make it so.  The V.2 FTX makes other alt-az mounts obsolete.

The Version 2 Free-Turn X adds new features and options to the rugged, reliable, easy-to-use workhorse mount that has proven so successful.  The overall dimensions have not changed, and the solid, friendly character of the FTX remains.

The Free-Turn X marries classical elegance and high-tech efficiency with pure brawn.  At only 8.9 pounds (9.4 pounds with a Nexus DSC), the Free-Turn X's optimized structure is designed to carry big loads without being a big load. It's the smallest and lightest encoder-equipped mount that can effectively carry a TEC 140 or C-11 at the top-end limit.  And the versatile FTX is also perfect for 100 mm binoculars.  Note that the listed 9.4-pound weight of the FTX represents a ready-to-use mount with encoders and DSC -- not a bare head as some competing mounts advertise.

The Free-Turn X provides better manual "tracking" because it operates with low levels of friction. 
The secret is two-axis balancing without counterweights.  Employing an adjustable saddle, the FTX uses the weight of the scope itself to counter the off-axis load created by the star-diagonal, eyepiece, finder, etc.  Off-axis loading is responsible for "balance shifts" when aiming higher or lower with mounts lacking two-axis balancing.  (For a graphical explanation, click here.)  Free from gravity-induced torque, the FTX optimizes precise movement.
More info on why friction does not solve balance!
Half Hitch Telescope
4301 West William Cannon
Suite B-150, #188
Austin, Texas 78749

(512) 632-9624
info@halfhitchtelescope.com

Summary of V.2 FTX Features:
  • Weighs only 9.4 pounds ready-to-use.  Performs big.  Carries small.
  • CNC machined, cross-braced structure.  Rigid, lightweight, precise, and beautiful.
  • Virgin aircraft-grade alloys.  No castings.  Anodized finish.
  • No counterweights needed for big scopes.
  • Two-axis balancing without counterweights.  Balance remains constant with up & down rotations.
  • Cam-lever friction control.  Set the resistance you want without tools.
  • 20,000-step encoders in machined aluminum housings.  Super hign-precision pointing for Nexus DSC.
  • Folding DSC bracket.  Sized to fit Nexus DSC perfectly.  No Velcro needed.
  • Integrated RAM-ball for attaching smart-phone/mini-tablet bracket.  Go graphical Push-To.
  • Preloaded roller bearings.  Low-friction smoothness.  Zero slop.  No maintenance -- ever.
  • Stainless steel fasteners.
  • Powerful dovetail plate clamping system accepts Nova-style plates.  Won't slip with heavy loads.
  • An adapter for Losmandy D-series plates is available from ADM.
  • Attaches to tripod via standard 3/8-16 screw.  Optional Tripod Quick-Release.
  • Adjustable horizon stop and zenith stop to protect scopes from accidental bumps.
  • CNC machined and engraved Carry-Handle.
  • Retractable CNC machined Guide-Handle with knurled grip.
  • Finder Bracket.
  • Optional Trim-Weight System for fine tuning of balance after eyepiece changes.
  • Optional Folding Dew-Controller/Battery Bracket.
V.2 FTX Pricing and Internet Ordering
Note:  Mount delivery times now about ten days.
The V.2 FTX Classic Package includes 20,000-step encoders; Folding DSC Bracket; RAM-ball; retractable CNC machined Guide-Handle; engraved Carry-Handle; Finder Bracket; Nova-style dovetail plate; Five dovetail plate clamping screws.  NOTE: Some Classics are available with very slight blemishes -- less noticeable than those on the Basic version of the mount.  The savings are considerably larger than the blemishes!

The V.2 FTX Basic with Encoders mount includes 20,000-step encoders; Folding DSC Bracket; RAM-ball; fixed-length Guide-Handle; Finder-Bracket; Nova-style dovetail plate; Three dovetail clamping screws.  A few small blemishes in the anodize, mostly on the yoke-bottom part.
 
ITEM
PRICE
US SHIPPING
No Fee
for PayPal

 
V.2 FTX Classic Package
$1999
$90
Sold Out
 
V.2 FTX Classic Package
As above with very slight blemishes
$1699
16 units left -- 12/03/16
$80
3-Day
Sale!

V.2 FTX Basic Mount
with Encoders

$1399
$1299
Eight units left -- 12/03/16
$70
FREE!
         
The following items may be purchased as separate items as needed.
 
9" Nova-style Dovetail Plate
(One is included with mount.)
$60
$12
 
Optional Tripod
Quick-Release
$349
More Available Soon
$25
 
Optional Trim-Weight System
$149
$18
 
Optional folding bracket for dew-control system & battery
$169
$18
Hitch Hiker:  The Little Multi-Purpose Mount that Could
Click for larger image.
The advanced Free-Turn X provides no-tool, adjust-on-the-fly friction control.  Sometimes, a little friction is a good thing.  But the FTX does NOT force one to accept the worst-case friction level for all of your observing, as on older designs.  Forget using a wrench, removing covers, and making trial-and-error adjustments!  With the  FTX, add only the resistance you want by moving a lever.  The friction-control levers rotate and fold compactly alongside the mount for transport.
 
The Free-Turn X provides excellent zenith clearance as an integral feature. 
You don't need to buy a separate extension column that is essentially dead-weight with the sole purpose of solving clearance problems.  Save weight and bulk with the efficient FTX.  The optional Tripod Quick-Release adds 3.5 inches of clearance, but also adds a super-convenient quick-connect function that exceeds the firmness of a hand-tightened knob.  The FTX and TQR blend perfectly into a neatly integrated system.

The Free-Turn X keeps the load close to the tripod's centerline, improving load stability and reducing stress on the tripod.  The FTX performs well on tripods that would be considerably undersized for mount designs that swing the load to the side.  Save cost and weight on the tripod.  The FTX provides a more comfortable observing position, too -- that doesn't squeeze you close to the tripod legs and move you in a big circle.

The Free-Turn X points accurately. 
Its CNC machined geometry is perfect.  There's a large, high-precision square built right into the structure of the FTX.  You can't beat that for orthogonality!  Find anything quickly.  Without noise.  Without big batteries.  Without meridian reversals.  Without waiting on slow slews.  Without mechanical breakdowns.  The FTX is good to go for many years -- without hassles or failures.  And 20,000-step encoders are now available for DSC units than can employ them.

The Free-Turn X is the EASY mount. 
Lightweight.  Compact.  Solid.  Intuitive operation.  Maintenance free.  Reliable.  Cutting edge.  Featureless mounts that lack controls aren't simple; they're just obsolete.
The V.2 FTX retracted/folded for transport.  The optional Trim-Weight System and optional Folding Dew-Controller/Battery Bracket are shown.  The optional Tripod Quick-Release is also shown.   Click on any image for a larger view.
The V.2 FTX Classic!
Shown with optional equipment.  Click for larger view.
The 2.3-Pound Hitch Hiker Astro:  Ultimate Grab & Go Mount
A Special One-Time-Only Project.  Only 30 Available.  Save $350.
Preorder Now.  Deliveries start February 27.
The V.2 FTX Basic
Smooth, Balanced Motion and CNC Machined Elegance in a Low Cost Mount
The V.2 FTX Basic with Encoders is structuarally identical to the V.2 FTX and features the same two-axis balancing, lever-operated friction controls, and adjustable horizon and zenith rotation stops.  It includes the same, complete encoder installation as the Classic -- with 20,000-step encoders in machined aluminum housings; Folding DSC Bracket; and RAM-ball.  It also has a fixed-length Guide-Handle with wooden grip (instead of the machined, retractable handle), Finder-Bracket, and a dovetail plate as standard equipment.  And it has the same load capacity as the V.2 FTX Classic.

The Basic omits the Carry-Handle and also has three dovetail-plate clamping screws, which provide more than enough clamping power for all but the heaviest loads.  (Two additional clamping screws are optional for $20 per pair.)  There are also a few blemishes in the anodizing, mostly on the yoke-bottom part.  These blemishes have little impact in the overall appearance of the mount -- but give you a HUGE discount.

The V.2 FTX Basic is an elegant, all CNC machined mount with unbeatable smooth, low-friction motions.  No better bargain exists in amateur astronomy.

Ultra portable.  Ready to use.  Nothing extra is needed.  Weighs only 9.2 pounds.
The V.2 FTX is warranted to the original owner against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of three years.

NOTE: Prices subject to change without prior notice.  Checks for mail-in orders should be made payable to Half Hitch Telescope.  The listed shipping charges are valid for the contiguous 48 states.  Send a message to request a shipping quote elsewhere.  Return authorization required and must be initiated within ten days of receipt.  Returns must be in original packaging and fully insured.  Shipping charges and PayPal fees are not refundable.  Minimum 15% restocking fee applies -- plus repair/replacement charges for any parts not returned in original condition, or for any servicing required to restore the items to original condition.
The Hitch Hiker Optical Mount is the new tripod-head developed by Riddel Precision Instruments, LLC.  A prototype Hitch Hiker is pictured to the left.  Hitch Hikers are sold with the horizontal payload platform as standard equipment.  The newly designed $169 side-saddle option is intended for telescopes and telephoto lenses with mounting rings.

The Hitch Hiker Astro is a one-time-only joint-project with Half Hitch Telescope that allows the Hitch Hiker to be purchased without the payload platform -- and fitted with the side-saddle only.  And the optional $39 finder-bracket is included in the package, as well.  Save hundreds!

For more Hitch Hiker info see www.hitchhiker-om.com .

Clear & black finish: $499.
Price includes US shipping.
All black finish:  $529
Price includes US shipping.
The Hitch Hiker Astro is a one-time-only offering combining the main structure of the multi-purpose Hitch Hiker tripod-head with its optional side-saddle -- omitting the standard payload platform.
NOTE:  The Hitch Hiker Astro includes the Hitch Hiker main body, side-saddle, guide-handle, and finder-bracket.  The payload platform, quick-plate, and clamp locking-pin are not included.