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Mitty Wedge Polar Alignment for CPC 1100

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#1 SL63 AMG

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 12:13 PM

For Christmas, my wife bought me a Mitty wedge and an Orion Starshoot Pro 2 DS CCD camera. I was very excited about the camera and tested it right away.

I was able to take this amazing image of the Orion Nebula.

Of course, as you can tell, because my telescope is Alt/Az mounted, I was only able to take short unguided exposures. Regardless, the results were encouraging.

Unfortunately, my results with M31 and M81 were less than desirable. I needed to mount the wedge.

The Mitty wedge, while well built, provides little help for a newbie amateur astronomer! It came with a single piece of paper with four photographs showing how to install it. There are no other instructions included.

After considerable research, I finally installed it, mounted my telescope on it and accomplished a precise polar alignment. I decided to reduce the information to a single document, excluding the photos from Mitty.

I thought I would share it with anyone else owning a similar Alt-Az telescope and a Mitty Wedge.

You can download the PDF document here.

The document has photos displaying the mounts operation. If you find errors, let me know and I will make the appropriate corrections.

#2 Peter in Reno

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 02:59 PM

Thank you for posting good information about Mitty wedge. Can you attach several pictures of your setup from different views and also wider angle.

1) Side view showing from bottom of wedge to whole scope.
2) Back view showing from bottom of wedge to whole scope (showing visual back).
3) Back view of wedge showing hardware fastening the CPC base.

I have been debating whether to get GEM or fork mount for Celestron C-8. I have very limited clear night sky and would like to image DSO objects from east to west uninterrupted and minimal or no merdian flipping. A big advantage of fork mount is no meridian flipping. Disadvantge is balancing depending how much imaging equipment is attached to rear cell of scope. We get nice clear days but by the time it gets dark, high clouds or ice crystals appear very frequently.

Also, when you get a chance to image DSO objects, please show pictures. Try to image at 10 minute subs if you can.

Have you tried All Star Polar alignment? This should be acccurate enough that drift alignment may not be necessary.

Thanks,
Peter

#3 SanDiegoPaul

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:39 PM

I have been using my Mitty Evolution Wedge for three yrs now, and it is an absolutely amazing piece of equipment. Originally I had my 8" Lx200 on it and I got that wedge b/c they say it will hold up to a 12".

Now I am using a 10" Lx200-R on that wedge and it is still solid as a rock after all this time. And it gets moved from my tripod here at home to my pier up in the mountains at least once/twice a month. SO what I am saying is, that after all this use, it's still solid as a rock.

As for the align process, the best thing you can do is either join a club & ask around, or do a lot of Internet reading. Feel free to PM me for some details if you wish - I'm pretty good at it now.

#4 Peter in Reno

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:24 PM

I finally decided to order CPC800 with Mitty wedge from OPT two days ago and it arrived today!!! Thank you OPT. But OPT never sent me an e-mail with a tracking number and I would have taken some time off from work to wait for delivery at home. OPT is still a great store. I got the tripod and Mitty wedge but no scope because the scope requires a signature for delivery. So no scope till Monday. :bawling:

Fortunately the weather is forecast to be cloudy this weekend so no big deal. It's currently snowing. I am very famaliar with fork mount with a wedge. I used to have orange tube C-8 with Celestron wedge 35 years ago. I really miss that scope. Anyway, the Mitty wedge with tripod appears to be very strong and durable. I love the adjustable latitude and azimuth setup. The Celestron tripod is so much better than my old Atlas EQ-G tripod. Atlas did not come with a brace like Celestron. Also, Celestron's accessory tray is built like a tank as compared to Atlas' wimpy accessory tray.

I look forward to receive the scope on Monday.

Peter






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