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How to take scopes of mounts / or put them on.


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A little embarrassing to ask this perhaps but anyone who knows me in here should expect nothing less…

I’ve never really owned a big scope believe it or not. Well - I did have a 12” flex tube for a while but that was too big, and I didn’t have the problem I’m describing below.

I did a swap with a Stu last week and now I’ve got a SkyTee and a Skywatcher Explorer 200 as my scope. I am really happy with it, but realised almost immediately that there is no way I’m taking this whole setup outside in one go.

I can comfortably (ish) heft the OTA around but it is quite big and unwieldy and putting it in the SkyTee and taking it off in the dark is causing me a reasonable amount of irrational anxiety! I’m fine taking it off (more or less). It’s just that moment when you put it on, and tighten everything up, and just sort of pray everything is seated correctly that gets me…

And the moment when you swing the OTA round and you’re just waiting for the OTA to slide straight out of the clamp and on to the patio. It’s causing some emotional turmoil… 

Anyone else get that or is it just me?!

Edited by Mr niall
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A common scope accident! I have a friend who knows someone who might have experienced something similar!

Some dovetail bars have a small tapped hole in the end. A screw in there prevents the bar from sliding out, provided the clamping screw is reasonably set.
You can easily drill and tap any 'unsafe' dovetail bars you have.

Another useful accessory for large scopes is a handle. A D type cabinet handle with spacing to suit the rings is easy.
But mods with a bit of bar, or a strap are equally valid.

HTH, David.

 

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At the very least, plenty of practice mounting and dismounting in the daylight will give you muscle memory.

Personally, I'd be more concerned about dismounting it at the end of a session when you're cold and tired. But maybe that's just me

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My 5" f15 scope is a beast to handle and I share your anxiety so I fitted an aluminium block to the underside of the dovetail and this allows me to mount the scope vertically, the block taking the weight, whilst firmly gripping the handle, and tightening the clamp bolts.  For me this works  perfectly , mounting and dismounting the scope , in the wee small hours when it is covered in ice.

This scope is only used on my steel pier in the garden so it is much higher than it is shown on my tripod, but the idea is the same.

This also means that the basic balance position is always the same, so little adjustments can be made with the white scope ring and taxi magnet with weights.

IMG_2393.JPG

Edited by Saganite
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I have a 200PDS on an EQ R Pro. I set up in daylight, I wouldn’t even consider setting up in the dark. There’s a lot more to consider than just mounting it, balancing, cables, dew heaters etc, all easier in day light.

As for dismounting, again, only in daylight the next morning (if I don’t decide to just leave it set up for multiple nights). Just put a cover over it and worry about it the next day.

 I also have a 100ED frac. I do disassemble this in the dark as it’s much smaller and lighter 

The mount is almost a permanent setup outside, just has a good cover over it 

Edited by Jiggy 67
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My scope is pretty heavy too so fitted a handle, which is essential for safe loading of scope onto mount in my case at least. and then swapped the short dovetail that scope came with for a much longer one and added that small red clamp, shown in close up in lower image.
So very much like @Saganite, the added advantage with this clamp is that  as I have changed the setup (heavier camera, new rotator, different guidescope) when I move the rig slightly to achieve perfect balance I just move the clamp and when I fit the scope onto mount it just slides down to the clamp and it it is in a balanced condition each time.

1642759402186.thumb.jpg.06f7566d251a68eaa129fba9df6b224d.jpg1642759687659.thumb.jpg.3a7b28b1128177942a04d1ccb1b4076e.jpg

 

Steve

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I think a handle is vital with any scope if you are trying to maneuver it into position single handed while adjusting a clamp etc...

I even have a handle on my DSLR to prevent slips when mounting it to a tripod, I almost lost it once..

20210417_132306.jpg.a4b9799fe9f25453fe89304b3d99ac79.jpg

Alan

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I get the same feeling with my new set up 5" refractor on a skytee, it nearly 9kg and long if it wasn't for the handle there would be no way I'll be able to put the scope on the mount. 

I would definitely recommend a handle and with more practice mounting and un mounting hopefully the feeling will go away. 

Dave 

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On 21/01/2022 at 10:15, teoria_del_big_bang said:

My scope is pretty heavy too so fitted a handle, which is essential for safe loading of scope onto mount in my case at least. and then swapped the short dovetail that scope came with for a much longer one and added that small red clamp, shown in close up in lower image.
So very much like @Saganite, the added advantage with this clamp is that  as I have changed the setup (heavier camera, new rotator, different guidescope) when I move the rig slightly to achieve perfect balance I just move the clamp and when I fit the scope onto mount it just slides down to the clamp and it it is in a balanced condition each time.

1642759402186.thumb.jpg.06f7566d251a68eaa129fba9df6b224d.jpg1642759687659.thumb.jpg.3a7b28b1128177942a04d1ccb1b4076e.jpg

 

Steve

I know just what you mean Mr niall!

 

teoria, I like the dual purpose clamp for balance and safety. Is it possible that you have an image of the handle on top of your scope, I can’t quite work it out from the images on my phone. 

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