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Hi,

having started with a 130P on an eq mount.I wanted something with more light gathering on a alt-azimuth mount. I didn't want to go down the Dob route although that would have been a lot easier and cheaper.ūüôĄ

So I have now got a 200P on a Skytee on a Manfrotto tripod.

My question is why do all the pictures I have seen of this set up have the scope side mount rather than the top mount.

Is it just a question of weight if you also add counterweights under the top mount? I understand the recommended max weight is 10kg per mount although some places say 15kg.

As it is a lot easier to mount the scope on the top mount than the side one (I nearly dropped it on the first attempt) and it seems counterintuitive to have the weight of the scope hanging off the side mount instead of sitting on top of the top one.

Thanks.

IMG_20201117_162633103.jpg

IMG_20201117_163222765.jpg

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The top mount of the Skytee II really only works with small scopes. If you start adding a lot of counterweighting to the downward facing counterweight bar, it starts to foul the mount body. I hardly ever use the top mounting on my Skytee II. Some folks have modded theirs to add a 2nd side mounting point.

Are those the stock dove tail clamps ?.  I would be a little wary of mounting a heavy scope on those. Upgrading to an ADM or similar clamp is a good plan, unless the stock clamps have been improved.

With upgraded clamps and using the side mounting point, the Skytee II will handle quite a load. This is a 9.5kg 130mm F/9.2 refractor:

 

 

lzosst2.JPG

Edited by John
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2 hours ago, John said:

The top mount of the Skytee II really only works with small scopes. If you start adding a lot of counterweighting to the downward facing counterweight bar, it starts to foul the mount body. I hardly ever use the top mounting on my Skytee II. Some folks have modded theirs to add a 2nd side mounting point.

Are those the stock dove tail clamps ?.  I would be a little wary of mounting a heavy scope on those. Upgrading to an ADM or similar clamp is a good plan, unless the stock clamps have been improved.

With upgraded clamps and using the side mounting point, the Skytee II will handle quite a load. This is a 9.5kg 130mm F/9.2 refractor

lzosst2.JPG

I agree with John, I didn't mount anything significant on the top mounting position apart from a finderscope then I found that the top mounting point was useful and convenient place to mount a Telrad so used it for that instead.

I second the recommendation to upgrade the clamps.  The supplied clamps really are quite poor and I wouldn't trust them to handle the weight of a 200P.

Something like this ADM clamp will be much safer than the stock option.

Out of interest, which Manfrotto tripod is it that you're using that looks really quite nice.

Edited by AdeKing
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The top mount can also be adjusted via the black knob below where the scope would sit. As this is only tightened by hand it can work loose and if you use something too heavy could suddenly slip on the locking knob and spin down and get damaged by hitting the legs of the mount, so not worth the risk unless it is a very light item. Happened to me once with a heavier scope on top. Luckily I was there to stop it hitting the mount and causing any damage, so since then I only use the 2 side clamps I have (I added in an extra ADM Vixen clamp along with an upgraded  Primaluce  vixen/losmondy clamp that I use for my SW250 newtonian).

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Thanks for the replies and the advise, upgraded clamps will be the next purchase. Back to looking at the 'For Sale' ads then.ūüėÄ

When you say they aren't good enough, do you mean they will break or they do not grip the dovetail enough to prevent it slipping at extreme angles? If so would a bolts with protruding heads in the back of the dovetail on either side of the clamp work as a temporary measure?

Looking back on the forums, these clamps have been declared not good enough since this mount came out. Does anyone know if the standard clamps have been improved over the years? I got the Skytee secondhand but I don't believe it is very old, it's in 'as new' condition.

The tripod is an old Manfrotto Art  351 which I don't know anything else about as I was fortunate enough to be given it by a friend. It came with a gimbal head attached but luckily the Skytee fits straight on.

Edited by WiltsStarGazer
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2 hours ago, WiltsStarGazer said:

Thanks for the replies and the advise, upgraded clamps will be the next purchase. Back to looking at the 'For Sale' ads then.ūüėÄ

When you say they aren't good enough, do you mean they will break or they do not grip the dovetail enough to prevent it slipping at extreme angles? If so would a bolts with protruding heads in the back of the dovetail on either side of the clamp work as a temporary measure?

Looking back on the forums, these clamps have been declared not good enough since this mount came out. Does anyone know if the standard clamps have been improved over the years? I got the Skytee secondhand but I don't believe it is very old, it's in 'as new' condition.

The tripod is an old Manfrotto Art  351 which I don't know anything else about as I was fortunate enough to be given it by a friend. It came with a gimbal head attached but luckily the Skytee fits straight on.

The problem with the stock clamps is that the threads on the tension knob of the clamp have a tendency to strip rather easily under load. The knobs are made of rather soft aluminum. They also used a steel threaded rod with a cross cut in the top which the knob screws onto to tighten the clamp. This cross cut has the effect of wearing away the threading within the knob rather effectively, being made of harder metal.

Maybe the more recent versions of the mount have knobs which are made of harder metal and the threaded rod design altered ?

 

 

 

Edited by John
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I’ve used the Svbony saddles on a Skytee. Fitted two and threaded the centre holes to M12 and used an M16 to M12 adaptor fitted to the counterweight shaft so the shaft can be used without having to remove one of the saddles..

404AAAF7-AC29-47C1-B3A2-205363E64783.jpeg

D5FD863C-A2A2-477C-A7AB-A1EEC89ADE7D.jpeg

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2 hours ago, John said:

The problem with the stock clamps is that the threads on the tension knob of the clamp have a tendency to strip rather easily under load. The knobs are made of rather soft aluminum. They also used a steel threaded rod with a cross cut in the top which the knob screws onto to tighten the clamp. This cross cut has the effect of wearing away the threading within the knob rather effectively, being made of harder metal.

Maybe the more recent versions of the mount have knobs which are made of harder metal and the threaded rod design altered ?

 

 

 

Unfortunately, they look like the aluminium knobs.

 

2 hours ago, johninderby said:

I’ve used the Svbony saddles on a Skytee. Fitted two and threaded the centre holes to M12 and used an M16 to M12 adaptor fitted to the counterweight shaft so the shaft can be used without having to remove one of the saddles..

404AAAF7-AC29-47C1-B3A2-205363E64783.jpeg

D5FD863C-A2A2-477C-A7AB-A1EEC89ADE7D.jpeg

They look great, always important in the dark!,

That's a lot of counterweight, what scope do you have on the other side?

 

IMG_20201118_195937446.jpg

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Couldn't resist having a little play as the clouds partrd briefly down here.

I don't know what to expect of this mount but there seems to be quite a bit of play in the slow motion controls, is this normal?

Edited by WiltsStarGazer
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That’s only 5.2kg total. The stock set of two weights for the EQ3 or Skytee.

There shouldn’t be much play.  Can be adjusted though and there is a thread or two on SGL on the subject.

Edited by johninderby
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have got a pair of the SVBONY style clamps although these ones are marketed as Rother Valley Optics brand.

They look great and will give me peace of mind when I have the 200P mounted on it.

Is there a torque setting for the two Allen bolts on the puck?

I have a bicycle torque wrench that will go down to very low settings and I don't want to chance stripping the threads by gorillaing it.

My Skytee was secondhand and didn't come with any instructions.

Thanks.

Edited by WiltsStarGazer
Put my glasses on now I can see what I wrote.ūüôĄ
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