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Mounting a 300p, any tips or techniques


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Having taken delivery of a SW 300p DS I get the feeling I've bitten off more then I can chew. I've been looking at ways of making the process of mounting it on my NEQ6 easier and less likely to cause injury to me and the scope. I've considered using a Hydraulic Folding Engine Crane, and more favorably a Hydraulic Scissor Jack Lift just to try and make the process easier. I can call on friends to help but would love to devise a method where I could manage the process on my own. I'm wondering if any seasoned 300p owners have got any tips or techniques they use to achieve a hassle free painless outcome.

 

Many Thanks

Neil 
 

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I mount my OO VX12 on an AZ-EQ6 and always rather nervous affair. I always put a handle of some description on any heavy scope to make mounting and dismounting safer but the sheer size and weight of a 12" Newt makes life a bit difficult. I like the idea of the scissor jack lift, especially as the price looks extremely reasonable when compared with the cost of replacing a broken 12" mirror!

 

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Hello. That's one big scope to put on a eq mount. If it was me I would get it so it can be kept on a permanent mount all the time in an outside location (obviously undercover when not in use). Therefore I would get your friends to help you , as less chance of injury to you or the scope and try and get a permanent setting.

But if it was me as a big scope owner myself I would invest in a Dob mount, so much easier and safer with a big reflector on it. Just my opinion but a Dob mount would be the way to go ☺

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When I've had large heavy scopes on equatorial mounts I've found what works best is putting the dovetail bar / tube rings on the mount first then locking the mount axis, and lifting the scope tube into the rings, so they act as a cradle supporting the tube while I tighten the holding nuts. Still a nervous affair though especially when I had my 6" F/12 refractor on it's massive mount and tripod:

 

bigistar.jpg

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Martin beat me to it :D

Can I ask Neil what do you intend to use the scope for ? Visual or imaging ? I have seen 300P on EQ6 in the past but due to the nature of EQ mounts it will be hard work for visual observing as the focuser is going to end up all over the place. I'm not sure it would be all that good for imaging either as the 300P must be pushing the max capacity of the EQ6 and then you have to consider guide scopes etc.

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3 hours ago, John said:

When I've had large heavy scopes on equatorial mounts I've found what works best is putting the dovetail bar / tube rings on the mount first then locking the mount axis, and lifting the scope tube into the rings, so they act as a cradle supporting the tube while I tighten the holding nuts. Still a nervous affair though especially when I had my 6" F/12 refractor on it's massive mount and tripod:

 

bigistar.jpg

I'm with John on this. mount dovetail and rings. place them in a horizontal position with the hinge on the low side. This will act like a cradle for the scope. lift scope in and loosely tighten tuberings. Balance scope :)

 

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Brilliant, thanks for all the replies.

First off it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels the fear, I was beginning to think of myself as a right chicken.

DRT - I was looking at the lifting straps that go round your shoulders but some kind of handle would really make life easier, I seem to remember reading on SGL of people using detachable handle straps which could be brought from Amazon or Ebay, I'll see if I can find the thread again.

Timebandit - I observe from my front garden which faces south, I would love a permanent arrangement but anything metal round here often finds it's way to a scrap dealer in the dead of night (a cloudy night when I'm asleep). I must admit, when I opened the 300p's box for the first time an image of a Dob mount did come to mind, my daughter was with me at the time, she shook her head and said "good luck getting that out of the box" then promptly walked away.

John - That was gonna be another question in my list of many, I was debating attaching the open tube rings first to give a bigger, almost self guiding target when I'm buckling under the weight of the tube.

martin_h - Thanks for posting the video, I must admit I had similar thoughts to John regarding the stool collapsing.

spaceboy - I only intend on visual, I mainly observe planets which I normally tend to spend an entire session on one, possibly two, targets so hopefully there won't be too much tube rotating to do.

 

The other day I ordered a trolley which I intended to use for storing the tube vertically (mirror at bottom) enabling me to wheel it outside with minimal effort, I reckon using the trolley and the method shown in the video I'll be able to achieve docking without pestering my wife or friends for help. When the trolley arrives I'll have a few dry runs inside, I might have to tinker around getting the heights right but I'm feeling much more confident about the whole process now.

Thanks everyone for the help, much appreciated.

Neil

 
 

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36 minutes ago, algady said:

My OO VX12 F4 is mounted on an AZ-EQ6 and it's ok

The OO 12" F/4 tube is quite a bit lighter and a bit shorter and narrower than the Skywatcher 12" F4.9.

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Hi Neil,you might want  to consider putting two sets of rings on your tube and get an extra long,eg,full length Losmandy plate made up,i believe ADM can supply them,you will then find you have a much more stable setup.

You will find with even with very little wind you will get movement,you will also get superb views,as regards the eyepiece position,it would be a wise move to get a couple of good quality embroidery rings which will allow you to rotate the tube,allowing you to get the eyepiece in a comfortable position.

As already mentioned a handle or too would be very handy when handling your rig when your cold and tired..

The views you will get will be worth the effort,

Regards

Mike 

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Hmm interesting.  I'm thinking about getting an Orion Optics VX12 which is 14Kg. I had assumed I'd need a dob base but I'm wondering if I can mount it on my Teleoptics Ercole Giro Alt Az.  I do already mount a 14Kg 6" achro frac on there, but obviously the VX12 is both wider and longer (1200mm instead of 900mm) though the same weight as the 6".

 

Any thoughts? Alt Az ought to be more manageable than EQ.  But should I give up and get a dob mount?  I do like having all my scopes pointing at the same objects, the Ercole is just fantastic.

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11 hours ago, Demon Barber said:

Hi Neil,you might want  to consider putting two sets of rings on your tube and get an extra long,eg,full length Losmandy plate made up,i believe ADM can supply them,you will then find you have a much more stable setup.

You will find with even with very little wind you will get movement,you will also get superb views,as regards the eyepiece position,it would be a wise move to get a couple of good quality embroidery rings which will allow you to rotate the tube,allowing you to get the eyepiece in a comfortable position.

As already mentioned a handle or too would be very handy when handling your rig when your cold and tired..

The views you will get will be worth the effort,

Regards

Mike

Thanks Mike, that definitely sounds worth doing. It's something which will have to go on the "to do list" as the bank balance needs time to recover. If I spend any more money at the moment it'll be a false economy as the divorce will cost me a fortune.

I must say, I really am looking forward to the views. I'm doing my best to hold back, take my time and not make any school boy errors.

It's sitting in the corner teasing me :icon_biggrin:



 

20160803_145812.jpg

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1 hour ago, Hertford Stargazer said:


 

Thanks Mike, that definitely sounds worth doing. It's something which will have to go on the "to do list" as the bank balance needs time to recover. If I spend any more money at the moment it'll be a false economy as the divorce will cost me a fortune.

I must say, I really am looking forward to the views. I'm doing my best to hold back, take my time and not make any school boy errors.

It's sitting in the corner teasing me :icon_biggrin:



 

20160803_145812.jpg

Sorry, I can't tell how big it is. heinz beans is the official system of measurement in astronomy ;)

itdoes look a bit special though :D

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6 hours ago, Commanderfish said:

Hmm interesting.  I'm thinking about getting an Orion Optics VX12 which is 14Kg. I had assumed I'd need a dob base but I'm wondering if I can mount it on my Teleoptics Ercole Giro Alt Az.  I do already mount a 14Kg 6" achro frac on there, but obviously the VX12 is both wider and longer (1200mm instead of 900mm) though the same weight as the 6".

 

Any thoughts? Alt Az ought to be more manageable than EQ.  But should I give up and get a dob mount?  I do like having all my scopes pointing at the same objects, the Ercole is just fantastic.

I have an F4 OO VX12 and I also have an Ercole. I will team them up as soon as the skies permit and let you know how it works out :wink:

 

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On 04 August 2016 at 16:29, Scott said:

Sorry, I can't tell how big it is. heinz beans is the official system of measurement in astronomy ;)

itdoes look a bit special though :D

:icon_biggrin: I thought I'd get away with that one, we only had a tin of own brand baked beans, I was too ashamed to use them so the soup was the next best thing.

On 04 August 2016 at 19:16, Mark at Beaufort said:

I have a 12" Revelation f/5 and the only way I can carry it or lift is to put handles on the OTA. Here is a photo showing the handles in position. Since this photo was taken I have added a further handle between the securing grips which connects to the Dob base.

dob.b.jpg

12.revelation.jpg

Looks just the job :happy7:. I don't think I could bring myself to drill holes in it just yet, maybe in a few months when it doesn't sparkle so much.    
 

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23 hours ago, DRT said:

I have an F4 OO VX12 and I also have an Ercole. I will team them up as soon as the skies permit and let you know how it works out :wink:

I mounted the VX12 on the Ercole today and it didn't look happy. I hadn't put any weight on the other side but was surprised to find that I could tip the tripod onto two legs with a tiny bit of pressure on the OTA. That does not happen on my AZ-EQ6, even without counterweights or a second scope on the other side.

I  would not recommend this combination as you could easily tip the whole thing over when mounting or dismounting the scope :eek:

 

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On 8/5/2016 at 21:15, DRT said:

I mounted the VX12 on the Ercole today and it didn't look happy. I hadn't put any weight on the other side but was surprised to find that I could tip the tripod onto two legs with a tiny bit of pressure on the OTA. That does not happen on my AZ-EQ6, even without counterweights or a second scope on the other side.

I  would not recommend this combination as you could easily tip the whole thing over when mounting or dismounting the scope :eek:

 

Thanks Derek.  Looks like I'll be seeking a dob base as well then!

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