The Free-Turn X marries elegance and efficiency with pure brawn. At only 8.2 pounds, the Free-Turn X's optimized structure is designed to carry big loads without being a big load.
Go Small. Go Large. The Free-Turn X is nimble enough to be a good match to an 80 mm refractor -- but has the brawn to solidly carry a 140 mm triplet or 180 mm doublet. The versatile FTX is perfect for refractors, the C-11 or other Cassegrains, Newtonians, and large angle-view binoculars. The FTX derives its high stiffness-to-weight ratio from a sophisticated, cross-braced design with elegant tapering; rigid, triangular pocketing; heavily preloaded bearings; short cantilever geometry; and other advanced strategies.
The Free-Turn X provides better "tracking" because it operates with low levels of friction. The engineered secret is two-axis balancing without counterweights. The FTX uses the weight of the scope itself to counter the average off-axis load created by the star-diagonal, eyepiece, finder, etc. Two-axis balancing is the most important single factor for excellent "tracking" -- even more important than slow-motion controls. Follow objects on their direct path with joy-stick like control. Don't just nudge. Guide!
The Free-Turn X provides no-tool, adjust-on-the-fly friction control. You are NOT forced to accept the worst-case level of added friction for all of your observing to avoid the pain getting out a wrench, removing covers, and making trial-and-error adjustments. Instead, just move a lever to easily predetermined positions to make whatever compensations are required for different eyepieces. Because of the FTX's integrated two-axis balancing, you only need to add the minimum friction necessary to null the variation in off-axis load from the average -- not the entire off-axis load as in older-design mounts. Better yet, quickly null the balance variations with the small Balance Trim-Weight to keep frictional resistance very low.
The FTX does NOT combine any bearing and braking surface, as in older mount designs. Instead the FTX separates the functions of "being a bearing" from "being a brake" so that friction levels can be reduced to near zero -- yielding uncanny ability for small-angle movement.
The Free-Turn X provides excellent zenith clearance as an integral feature. You don't need to buy a separate extension column. Some mount manufacturers ask you to ignore what is obvious: Without an extension column, these older mount designs position the scope very close to the tripod legs.
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 old mount designs that swing the load far to the side. Save cost and weight on your tripod with the FTX. 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 like older designs do. And can you really imagine a 100 mm binocular hanging far to the side of an outdated mount design?
The Free-Turn X is supremely accurate. The large, precisely-machined cross-brace insures that the FTX structure is perfectly square. It's like having a machinist's square built into the mount! The encoders are mounted directly to the ends of the axis shafts in precision-bored sockets (far more precise than drilling and reaming). The 5,000-step encoders used on the FTX provide just the right blend of precision pointing and forgiving, battery-saving operation.
The Free-Turn X delivers value. The base price delivers a ready-to-use mount. You don't need to separately purchase a saddle or tripod extension column. Moreover, the versatility of the FTX may allow you to use only one mount for all your visual scopes. And the FTX is an elite quality mount -- all CNC machined from virgin alloys; anodized finish; top quality roller bearings; stainless steel fasteners; and more.