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Adding a fork mount to a non-fork SCT OTA

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#1 Sanjeev

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:42 AM

Hi:

I've seen few articles of people who have de-forked their SCTs, but is the reverse possible? I have an 8" SCT OTA (Meade 203SC EMC model, white tube) that is on a flimsy GEM. I hope to eventually get into astrophotography, and I don't have the money to buy the latest and greatest Meade or Celestron fork mount SCTs, and neither can I afford an expensive GEM.

My question is whether it is possible to add a fork mount to a non-fork OTA? Has anyone done this, and if so, can you please explain (or provide the URL) for ways to do this?

Your help is much appreciated

Sanjeev

#2 TxStars

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:28 AM

You would have to find a used fork mount with the side bearings to do this.
One from Meade would be easiest as the screw holes would line up.
The reason most get away from the fork mounts is bad drives and they are not built heavy enough for astrophotography.

#3 Geo.

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:57 PM

Meade forks for your tube have three screws on each trunion saddle. As long as your SC203 was drilled and tapped for fork mounting it's just a matter of screwing everything together. With you dovetail bracket at 6 there should be one hole at 9 and 3 o'clock where the rear cell meet the tube and another two in the rear cell about 1.5" above and below 9 and 3.

The mounts worth looking at are the LX50, LX90, LX200 and LX200GPS all except the LX90 are very heavy mounts and a lot of AP has been done with them. The 50 and 200's electronics are getting long in the tooth, but there is an after market replacement for the 200's. The 200GPS and LX90 have second generation goto and are pretty reliable. Figure $150 for a LX50, $300-400 for a LX90 or 200 and $450 - 550 for the LX200GPS mount. Then you'll need a Meade field tripod, figure $125. An EQ wedge is also desireable, another $50-75.

LX200GPS 8" scopes with the tripod have been trading in the $1000-1200 range of late. It may prove more economical to sell your SC203 ($400-600) and your mount LXD300? ($150) and purchase a LX200GPS.

A used Orion Sirius or SkyWatcher HEQ-5 will run $650-850 and I'd consider these good for AP with the SC203. It's hard to see how you can get where you want to be without an outlay of $500 unless you go the LX50 route.

#4 Sanjeev

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:16 AM

OK. Great suggestions. Thanks






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