Toy Store Refractor Alt-Az Mounts
Posted 09 July 2009 - 10:01 PM
I really wonder what kind of images I can get from their optics, if I can get the images to stop moving all over the place.
Posted 09 July 2009 - 10:29 PM
Finally I fixed it by putting it in the trash can.
A more serious answer to your query is that there are 60mm cheap scopes and 60mm cheap scopes. Some are so bad as to have plastic lenses, some not. But there are people who have played with them and the general view is that they do a lot better when they are remounted.
But that this is still not saying much.
Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:11 PM
Ah, back on topic- the worst part is that after the locking screw that holds the mount stem to tripod is tightened, the mount still wiggles (a lot).
So, to be slightly more specific, I was wondering if there were any modifications that could be done to it to minimize that rocking. As just about everyone knows, there are other problems with it, too.
Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:48 AM
Posted 10 July 2009 - 10:23 AM
Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:17 AM
It's an old EduScience 60 mm aluminum tube refractor, with the plastic rack and pinion focuser. I've heard folks here complain about focuser slop; this focuser's track moves all over and cannot hold a position... for too long.
So, the mount and tripod is not all there is that is wrong with it, but the focuser I can adjust myself to, but inability of the tripod-mount interface to hold the OTA without shifting is basically impossible to ignore.
And until I can lick the mount issue, only the supplied eyepieces, or maybe the PlÃ¶ssls that came with my Orion scope can work, as the other EPs I own are TMB Planetaries and one Stratus, which is even heavier than the TMBs.
I'll bet the objective lens isn't too bad; if I use a "real" EP, I might be able to get a decent image with it.
I wonder if I can insert some kind of O-ring or some such to steady the mount in the tripod.
Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:54 PM
Honestly, these things are compromised in almost every which way, you're better off starting from ground zero. The other thing I noticed about cheap stuff is that it is designed to be cheap. That sounds silly. I have messed around with cheap stuff and discovered that when you try to attach it to high end stuff you often run into unforeseen problems due to the fact that the cheap stuff almost falls apart in the presence of uncheap stuff. So cheap stuff is designed not to be upgraded, in a sense. I ran into this issue on an old Newt which wasn't even that cheap.
Anyhow, I'm sure you can come up with something. For one thing you could glue the 60mm at a 45 degree angle, use some strong RTV. Now extend the tripod legs and bolt them so they can't close. Take some sturdy plywood and bolt the legs to the plywood. Now put the plywood on a three point suspension system, say with three car jacks, and tilt it to whatever part of the sky you want....
Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:38 PM
Yes. Tom Peters did and he came up with this:
Has anyone tried to improve or fix the wobbly alt-az mounts that most often come with those cheap 60 mm refractors?
Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:56 AM
Posted 11 July 2009 - 08:42 PM
I used some scrap aluminum from work to attach it to a camera tripod.
The bracket was screwed into the telescope tube, and it had a 1/4-20 hole tapped in the aluminum already.
Orion sells a plastic bracket just like it, but it's more fun to come up with something that works for free.
The camera tripod works great, just remember to have the handle facing away from you when you mount it. The tripod was a WalMart purchase, a simple Velbon, or something. No need to get a Manfrotto for this one.
A hybrid diagonal will