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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Gavin Bray
sage


Reged: 12/31/06

Loc: Australia
Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new
      #4394127 - 02/18/11 03:04 AM

I have a 14" SCT mounted on an AP-1200 using the 24" ribbed AP mounting plate and Parallax Instruments rings. This is normally setup in my observatory and works very well. I also have an ATS portable pier and I've taken this setup out into the field but it requires two people to secure the OTA in the rings.

What I'd like to be able to do is handle this by myself. I can carry and lift the OTA but it's too dangerous to try to manoeuvre it into the rings.

Would a dovetail system be a better option?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

The setup is for visual use only.

Thanks
Gavin


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: Gavin Bray]
      #4394220 - 02/18/11 05:33 AM

Securing a C-14 OTA to a mount using a dovetail may or may not be easier for you than doing so using Parallax rings.
I'd consider them to be about equally dangerous for a short critical interval during mounting and dismounting.

Whatever works best for you is the way to go. Please don't let anyone bamboozle you into using an OTA mounting method that is overkill for your particular application.

One uses Parallax rings or an Andy Homeyer scope cradle to reduce flexure between C-14 OTA and mount.

If flexure isn't a significant problem for you, then a dovetail is less expensive and in my opinion somewhat easier to use overall.

If you decide to use a dovetail when in the field, it could be a PITA if you're then having to add and remove the dovetail as you transition back and forth between observatory and field use. You might even end up eventually stripping the threads on the OTA if you're constantly adding and removing a dovetail.

It might be best to simply use one method or the other and stick to it.

I use an Andy Homeyer scope cradle and have no difficulty placing my C-14 OTA into the scope cradle and securing it without any additional help. Note this is not a recommendation from me to buy a scope cradle in lieu of Parallax rings. Far from it. I would think that Parallax rings would be even easier in this regard.


Edited by frolinmod (02/18/11 05:49 AM)


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gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: Gavin Bray]
      #4394345 - 02/18/11 08:03 AM

Quote:

I have a 14" SCT mounted on an AP-1200 using the 24" ribbed AP mounting plate and Parallax Instruments rings. This is normally setup in my observatory and works very well. I also have an ATS portable pier and I've taken this setup out into the field but it requires two people to secure the OTA in the rings.

What I'd like to be able to do is handle this by myself. I can carry and lift the OTA but it's too dangerous to try to manoeuvre it into the rings.

Would a dovetail system be a better option?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

The setup is for visual use only.

Thanks
Gavin




Watch the video. The rings don't change much, you would just put the tube on the chair like the guy in the video and close the rings around the tube instead of clamping the dovetail.

c14 is a small portable scope

If your chair is a gravity design with continuous adjustment instead of notches to hold the seat, it would be wise to clamp a vice grip under the chair to prevent slippage.


greg n


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Gavin Bray
sage


Reged: 12/31/06

Loc: Australia
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: frolinmod]
      #4395382 - 02/18/11 05:12 PM

Thanks for your comments Ernie.

Quote:

Securing a C-14 OTA to a mount using a dovetail may or may not be easier for you than doing so using Parallax rings.
I'd consider them to be about equally dangerous for a short critical interval during mounting and dismounting.

Whatever works best for you is the way to go. Please don't let anyone bamboozle you into using an OTA mounting method that is overkill for your particular application.

One uses Parallax rings or an Andy Homeyer scope cradle to reduce flexure between C-14 OTA and mount.

If flexure isn't a significant problem for you, then a dovetail is less expensive and in my opinion somewhat easier to use overall.

If you decide to use a dovetail when in the field, it could be a PITA if you're then having to add and remove the dovetail as you transition back and forth between observatory and field use. You might even end up eventually stripping the threads on the OTA if you're constantly adding and removing a dovetail.

It might be best to simply use one method or the other and stick to it.

I use an Andy Homeyer scope cradle and have no difficulty placing my C-14 OTA into the scope cradle and securing it without any additional help. Note this is not a recommendation from me to buy a scope cradle in lieu of Parallax rings. Far from it. I would think that Parallax rings would be even easier in this regard.





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Gavin Bray
sage


Reged: 12/31/06

Loc: Australia
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #4395390 - 02/18/11 05:13 PM

Greg, thanks a lot for the video link. That looks like a really simple but clever idea. I think I'll look at doing something similar but keeping my parallax rings.

Quote:

Quote:

I have a 14" SCT mounted on an AP-1200 using the 24" ribbed AP mounting plate and Parallax Instruments rings. This is normally setup in my observatory and works very well. I also have an ATS portable pier and I've taken this setup out into the field but it requires two people to secure the OTA in the rings.

What I'd like to be able to do is handle this by myself. I can carry and lift the OTA but it's too dangerous to try to manoeuvre it into the rings.

Would a dovetail system be a better option?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

The setup is for visual use only.

Thanks
Gavin




Watch the video. The rings don't change much, you would just put the tube on the chair like the guy in the video and close the rings around the tube instead of clamping the dovetail.

c14 is a small portable scope

If your chair is a gravity design with continuous adjustment instead of notches to hold the seat, it would be wise to clamp a vice grip under the chair to prevent slippage.


greg n




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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: Gavin Bray]
      #4395490 - 02/18/11 05:58 PM

Hello Gavin,
Good to hear from you..,

Quote:

I have a 14" SCT mounted on an AP-1200 using the 24" ribbed AP mounting plate and Parallax Instruments rings. This is normally setup in my observatory and works very well. I also have an ATS portable pier and I've taken this setup out into the field but it requires two people to secure the OTA in the rings.

What I'd like to be able to do is handle this by myself. I can carry and lift the OTA but it's too dangerous to try to manoeuvre it into the rings.

Would a dovetail system be a better option?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

The setup is for visual use only.







Can you clarify something, please? Is the purpose of the C14 for visual-only usage in general, or is it only used for visual observing when in portable mode?

See, if you are a visual-only observer (like me, actually), then I'd be curious as to why you would have opted for the Parallax rings / AP Ribbed mounting plate set up, really.

The rings and ribbed plate set up is generally implemented in order to mitigate against flexsure in as much as it relates to photography - and has no real practical benefits for visual observing.

I actually manage setting up / dis-mounting my C14 on my own, by the way. My C14 has Losmandy dovetails (I do have Parallax rings too, but they're still unused), and I seem to manage okay.

Regards,

skybsd


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Gavin Bray
sage


Reged: 12/31/06

Loc: Australia
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: skybsd]
      #4396293 - 02/19/11 02:06 AM

Hi Skybsd

It's actually a Meade 14", which I understand is a bit heavier than a C14.

I use the Meade for visual and also with a Mallincam video camera. I have no plans to image with it because ot its focal length.

I went with the ribbed mounting plate as, hopefully, it's the only mounting plate I'll need for the mount. It's probably overkill for visual but when I move into imaging (with a different scope) it will suffice. I mount a small refractor on the top of the rings. This may have been unnecessary overkill. I'm not sure.

I'm going to try the method in the video in Greg's link but with the rings. If it proves difficult I'll look at alternatives like dovetails.

Regards
Gavin

Quote:

Hello Gavin,
Good to hear from you..,

Quote:

I have a 14" SCT mounted on an AP-1200 using the 24" ribbed AP mounting plate and Parallax Instruments rings. This is normally setup in my observatory and works very well. I also have an ATS portable pier and I've taken this setup out into the field but it requires two people to secure the OTA in the rings.

What I'd like to be able to do is handle this by myself. I can carry and lift the OTA but it's too dangerous to try to manoeuvre it into the rings.

Would a dovetail system be a better option?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

The setup is for visual use only.







Can you clarify something, please? Is the purpose of the C14 for visual-only usage in general, or is it only used for visual observing when in portable mode?

See, if you are a visual-only observer (like me, actually), then I'd be curious as to why you would have opted for the Parallax rings / AP Ribbed mounting plate set up, really.

The rings and ribbed plate set up is generally implemented in order to mitigate against flexsure in as much as it relates to photography - and has no real practical benefits for visual observing.

I actually manage setting up / dis-mounting my C14 on my own, by the way. My C14 has Losmandy dovetails (I do have Parallax rings too, but they're still unused), and I seem to manage okay.

Regards,

skybsd




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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: Gavin Bray]
      #4396421 - 02/19/11 05:59 AM

Hi Gavin,
Good to hear from you!

Quote:

Hi Skybsd

It's actually a Meade 14", which I understand is a bit heavier than a C14.




Gosh - so sorry, I neglected the fact that its listed there in your signature Yes - the Meade is significantly heavier than the Celestron!

Hmmmm.., silly me, Your question now definitely takes on a new perspective here..,


Quote:

I use the Meade for visual and also with a Mallincam video camera. I have no plans to image with it because ot its focal length.

I went with the ribbed mounting plate as, hopefully, it's the only mounting plate I'll need for the mount. It's probably overkill for visual but when I move into imaging (with a different scope) it will suffice. I mount a small refractor on the top of the rings. This may have been unnecessary overkill. I'm not sure.





Well.., your setting me straight as far as this being the Meade 14", I'm more inclined to agree with your using the Parallax rings x AP Ribbed Plate set up, to be honest - I would personally prefer this is as a far more secure arrangement than the dovetail set up.


Quote:

I'm going to try the method in the video in Greg's link but with the rings. If it proves difficult I'll look at alternatives like dovetails.





Well., having had mishaps occur due to my own gross over-exaggeration of what I thought I could carry in the past, please try to test your comfort levels with the weight first, okay?

Lots of luck!

Regards,

skybsd


Quote:

Hello Gavin,
Good to hear from you..,

Quote:

I have a 14" SCT mounted on an AP-1200 using the 24" ribbed AP mounting plate and Parallax Instruments rings. This is normally setup in my observatory and works very well. I also have an ATS portable pier and I've taken this setup out into the field but it requires two people to secure the OTA in the rings.

What I'd like to be able to do is handle this by myself. I can carry and lift the OTA but it's too dangerous to try to manoeuvre it into the rings.

Would a dovetail system be a better option?

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

The setup is for visual use only.







Can you clarify something, please? Is the purpose of the C14 for visual-only usage in general, or is it only used for visual observing when in portable mode?

See, if you are a visual-only observer (like me, actually), then I'd be curious as to why you would have opted for the Parallax rings / AP Ribbed mounting plate set up, really.

The rings and ribbed plate set up is generally implemented in order to mitigate against flexsure in as much as it relates to photography - and has no real practical benefits for visual observing.

I actually manage setting up / dis-mounting my C14 on my own, by the way. My C14 has Losmandy dovetails (I do have Parallax rings too, but they're still unused), and I seem to manage okay.

Regards,

skybsd







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Mirzam
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: skybsd]
      #4397547 - 02/19/11 05:32 PM

I don't know if all large Parallax rings are like mine, but they don't open far enough to stay open without someone holding them. This means that I have to take them apart at the joint to load a large (15" OD) OTA by myself.

Regarding dovetails and saddles, AstroPhysics makes a long saddle that can be mounted in several positions (sliding fore and aft orthogonal to the dec axis). This gives tremendous balancing flexibility. The saddle has hex wrench holes in the knobs allowing them to be tightened very securely. I prefer this set-up to messing around with large rings.

http://www.astro-physics.com/ see 16" easy balance saddle

JimC


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Gavin Bray
sage


Reged: 12/31/06

Loc: Australia
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: Mirzam]
      #4398174 - 02/19/11 10:11 PM

Thanks for the suggestion Jim. I'm going to try with the rings but if that proves unsuccessful then I'll take a closer look at the AP easy balance saddle.

Regards
Gavin


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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: Gavin Bray]
      #4399942 - 02/20/11 06:08 PM

I wish I had some pics of how I mount my 14" onto my 1200 by myself. I built my own dovetail plate and clamp and it kind of hooks into the clamp plate and rolls up into plate. You then use your hand that is under the OTA to spin the clamp locks into place. Your arm is under the OTA at all times, it works pretty slick.

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Gavin Bray
sage


Reged: 12/31/06

Loc: Australia
Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #4400746 - 02/21/11 01:08 AM

Steve

If you get a chance to takes some photos I'd certainly be interested in seeing them.

Thanks.


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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Attaching a 14" SCT to an AP1200 [Re: Gavin Bray]
      #4400820 - 02/21/11 02:15 AM

So would I!

Regards,

skybsd


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