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SkyTee-2 with a 5" f/8?


Ben Ritchie
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Next up on my astro wish-list is getting the 130EDT out of the observatory and on to an Alt-Az mount; my favourite astronomy time of all is summer skies with a refractor, an RDF, a couple of eyepieces, and simple push-to. Usually it's the TV76, but now the C9.25 is sitting in the observatory i'd really like the AP to take over the outside job.

Problem is that it's a heavy old 'scope, the OTA + diagonal is close on 10kg and the rings alone are 3kg more (two DAP5s plus very solid rings). So with a big eyepiece, and the 20mm ES100 is made for this :), i'm right up near max weight. The same setup is comfortably mounted, but certainly not overmounted on my EQ6 (heck, it's not overmounted on an AP900), and takes three EQ6 counterweights to balance. I'd have to use an ADM saddle on the SkyTee as all my stuff is Losmandy fit, but i've read the standard saddles aren't great anyway

I've seen some sign that the SkyTee-2 works ok at these weights, e.g. John's comment here

I had a Meade 6" F/8 refractor on one side of a Skytee II - thats a 25 lb OTA. The mount, when counter weighted, seemed OK

but i'm going up past that somewhat to very near max quoted weight. So all seems very marginal to me. Any thoughts? Don't want to order one to discover that it's not up to the job. I do want smooth operation on the mount without striction etc., and stability for planetary work too.

I have an EQ6 tripod but don't think the SkyTee fits - so is the HEQ5 tripod alright at my weights, or should I budget for a Berlebach? I've never liked the idea of putting the 130EDT on a standard HEQ5, that never looks up to the job.

Giro-3 looks a good alternative with higher capacity, but no longer available?

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Other John's got some impressive hardware on his at that same link

Here's a few photos showing a Meade 10" SNT (16 Kg), a 6" refractor (12 Kg), A 4" f/11 and f/13 and a 3" refractor on the mount.

with the SNT up near what i'm looking at in terms of size and weight, but i'm not sure what to make of

Of course my Skytee 2 has had a few mods as can be seen in the photos.

:)

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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The SkyTee II that I was using with that Meade AR6 had the standard dovetail clamps which were not really up to the task - I was lucky the scope did not end up on the floor as the threads had started to strip from the tightening knob I noticed later. I had the SkyTee II on a 2" CG5 tripod which fitted fine and is a bit more stable than the HEQ5 one. I might have had an early one but I was not that taken with the SkyTee II in all honesty. Setting aside the clamp issue, the slow motion controls seemed to distant with their standard knobs on so I would have had to replace those with longer ones if I had decided to keep and use the mount myself and the motion of the mount in altitude seemed less smooth than I'd have liked.

It's quite possible that later versions of the SkyTee II have addressed these issues - mine was a very early one.

A few months back a Bray Tablet mount was for sale on Astro Buy & Sell. Those things will take a C14 optical tube !

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I have a Skytee II with ADM clamps and I think it was marginal with my C925 which weighs about 11 kg. You may need a half pillar as well, or your long refractor may hit the tripod legs at certain position.

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