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#1 BlueMoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:44 AM

I recently completed (made functional, is anything ever "finished"?) pipe mount for my Antares refractor:

http://www.northrim....es2/frontal.jpg
http://www.northrim....es2/oblique.jpg
http://www.northrim....s2/close_up.jpg

The cost for materials was around $35.00 and everything (except the tripod) was purchased from my local Home Depot and Walmart.

All the flanges, the Tee and vertical and "telescope side" pipes are 2". The counterweight side uses a 2" to 1.5" reducer, 1.5" pipe and end cap.

The counter weights are 2x10# and 1x5# units with 1.5" center holes from Walmart. I used a short piece of 2" ABS to space the weights out from the Tee, and some thin 2" ABS shims between the weights and the end cap to prevent rattling.

The "telescope side" wooden disk provides necessary area to bolt the clamshell mount to while the lower disk provides area for through bolting 2 2" flanges. I've also found these disks improve dampening somewhat...

The threaded rod extends through the tripod, lower disk and into the Tee. I have washers and nuts below the tripod head and above the lower disk to "pull" the mount tightly into the tripod head.

Instead of using string to limit the rotation of the Tee, I used a strip of wood with a hole drilled through it and a jam nut and washer above it on the threaded rod. I adjusted the nut, washer and wood strip assembly so that I can rotate the Tee twice around the vertical axis before the wood strip seizes up against the washer and nut, preventing the Tee from unscrewing. The telescope mounting flange I'm not concerned with unscrewing as it basically travels only about 90 degrees during normal observing.

I lapped the threads with some valve grinding compound I had laying around and so far, I'm very pleased with the results. The counterweights almost equal the telescope weight and the shorter pipe they are mounted on decreases vibration. Stiction is about the same as my 8" Dob was and movement is very smooth. I can tilt the refractor vertically and even with drawtube full extended, the 'scope clears the tripod legs. Settling time is generally < 2 secs and I may be able to improve upon that with a little more tweaking.

It takes about 5 minutes to set up and with the telescope unmounted, I can walk the whole assembly outside easily. Unscrewing the end cap allows one to remove the weights easily if needed...

Things I might still do: Drill the lower disk with some 2" and 1.5" holes to hold a few EPs, add a green laser mount to the vertical disk and add a triangular plywood tray to the lower part of the threaded rod to further stiffen the mount and provide a shelf for my laptop.

Cheers!

#2 mathteacher

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:59 PM

Instead of using string to limit the rotation of the Tee, I used a strip of wood with a hole drilled through it and a jam nut and washer above it on the threaded rod. I adjusted the nut, washer and wood strip assembly so that I can rotate the Tee twice around the vertical axis before the wood strip seizes up against the washer and nut, preventing the Tee from unscrewing.


Is this visible in one of your pictures? I have trouble understanding how this works.

Very nice work on your pipe mount! It looks very solid and an improvement compared to my mount, so thanks for sharing. I wish I had your scope; I hear it's a very nice performer. I am going to post a link to this thread on the discussion thread of my article so people can see your work as another reference point. :waytogo:

#3 BlueMoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:17 PM

Thank you Mr. Wang for the compliments and the link. I'm delighted to share my work with any who may find it useful.

The "rotation limiter" is not visible but I'll be happy to work up a quick drawing to show how it works and post it.

Cheers.

#4 mathteacher

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:35 PM

The "rotation limiter" is not visible but I'll be happy to work up a quick drawing to show how it works and post it.


If it's not too much trouble. All for the advancement of Pipe mount technology! :)

#5 BlueMoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:49 PM

Please excuse my artistic talents (my wife has them in this family)..
Posted Image

The threaded rod comes up from the bottom the full length of the mount and extends into the Tee. The wooden strip (about 1"x1/2"x3") has a hole drilled through, slips over the threaded rod, and extends a bit into the sides of the Tee. To get it in there, I unscrewed the Tee, placed the wood strip inside it, then slipped the strip over the rod and screwed the Tee down on the upright pipe at the same time. Place a flat washer over the threaded rod with a couple of nuts to jam them together.

To adjust the mount the Tee can be "unscrewed" (moved up), adjust the gap between the upper surface of the washer and the lower nut. The 2" Tee leaves enough room to get a couple of open-end wrenches inside to do the trick. When the distance (gap) is adjusted to your satisfaction, tighten the two nuts together and there you are!
The wood strip and washer rotates with the Tee without binding, but gently seizes up against the jam nuts when the upper limit of travel is reached.

Ta-da! For the advancement of amateur pipe mount builders everywhere!

Cheers!

#6 StarStuff1

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:01 PM

Excellent work, Jeff. Isn't it amazing what can be done with a few $$$ of simple materials? :cool:

#7 BlueMoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:35 PM

Thanks SS1! I really enjoyed putting it together and it's a lot of fun to build "low tech" solutions... especially when they work out better than you expect!

I'd still like an iOptron Mini, but, perhaps later... ;)

#8 mathteacher

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 02:54 PM

Excellent drawing! Now I get it :)

#9 BlueMoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:20 PM

Thank you again. BTW, I just read your pipe mount article in the reviews section and found it very informative and clear as well.

Cheers!






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