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Rotating rings ?

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#1 BCB

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 05:30 PM

Anyone happen to know if there's such a monster as 7" rotating rings ?? Or if there's a homebrew version ? Seems like every time I swing sky sides, I have to recollimate due to loosening, rotating, and retightening the rings. It's driving me friggin bonkers.

They'll be going on a 6" Orion 750mm newt scope.

Thanks

#2 eric moerman

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 05:40 PM

Hey BCB,

Parallax instr. is makin them.
this is there website www.parallaxinstruments.com.

greatings,eric

#3 Tom L

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 05:46 PM

Or you can go the homemade route. Basically keep your current rings loose enough to allow it to rotate and add a third ring that "rests" on one of the original ones or you could add a handle by drilling a hole in the OTA of the reflector (gasp!) and adding a knob that "rests" on one of the loosened rings.

I'll most likely make a wooden ring with a knob attached to it.

#4 BCB

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:33 PM

I saw the Parallax rings, but my GOD!! 325 for a set of rings ?? Tha's almost the TOTAL cost of the scope and mount LOL. matbe I'd try for those if I could find em used, but they'd STILL be too darn pricy

I HAD thought about the loose ring n 3rd ring deal, but I dunno.... Seems kinda cheesy. It'll do in a pinch tho.

Anyone have a link to some homemade ones ???

I might have better luck finding a complete scope that has em already.. LOL

#5 Tom L

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:36 PM

If you don't want cheezy, get the parallax rings! Do a search here for Stacy's rings on his 8" reflector. Should be in the equipment forum.

#6 BCB

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:45 PM

LOL

Don't go gettin all defensive on me now Tom. :D

I just can't see spending almost the same amount I paid for the scope n mount, for a set of rotating rings...

Unbelieveable what this stuff costs.. LOL

#7 erik

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 07:55 PM

hi all, speaking of going the homemade route, did anyone see a picture in S&T a few monthes back where some company was putting wheels on their tubes that roll along the tube rings? if you could figure out a way to fabricate something like that, it may solve the problem. i hate having to loosen and tighten the rings every time i move the telescope more than 10 degrees, it makes the go-to less accurate as well.so i usually leave one ring completely loose and the other one just tight enough so that the tube doesn't fall out and land on my big toe, but that's living dangerously. it works though, kinda......

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:13 PM

Anyone happen to know if there's such a monster as 7" rotating rings ?? Or if there's a homebrew version ? Seems like every time I swing sky sides, I have to recollimate due to loosening, rotating, and retightening the rings. It's driving me friggin bonkers.

They'll be going on a 6" Orion 750mm newt scope.

Thanks


Im curious as to why you said your scope needed recollimation after you rotate the OTA in its mounting rings? Maybe Im missing something? :question:

Rotating Rings are typicaly found on systems larger than 8 inches. They also tend to work best with tubes that dont flex (fiberglass). On a 6 inch system I think they would be overkill.

The reason they are expensive is in order to work properly they have to be well designed/constructed/adjusted to avoid binding and ensure smooth operation.

#9 Tom L

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:52 PM

LOL

Don't go gettin all defensive on me now Tom. :D

I just can't see spending almost the same amount I paid for the scope n mount, for a set of rotating rings...

Unbelieveable what this stuff costs.. LOL


I did??? I think it is too much also!

#10 Stacy

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 11:08 PM

Cheap tube rotation.

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#11 Stacy

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 11:09 PM

Cont.

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#12 Stacy

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 11:13 PM

You also have to drill out the hinge bolt hole a bit to counter-sink a tapered bolt it so it does not stick out. :grin:

#13 BCB

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 09:07 AM

Im curious as to why you said your scope needed recollimation after you rotate the OTA in its mounting rings? Maybe Im missing something?


The Orion tubes aren't that stiff. They tend to flex a bit when you tighten up the rings. If you collimate with loose rings, and then tighten them down, it flexes the tube a bit, throwing off the secondary mount and mirror cell a bit. Stacy ran into it as well on his scope.

Stacy, I saw that in another thread.. VERY nice work on that..

Out of curiosity, why did you use 2 sets of rings with spacers inbetween ?? Maybe I missed why you set it up that way..
Has that setup helped with keeping collimation dialed in when you loosen and rotate and lock back down ??
Also, do you have a pic of that hinge mod ? I'm a bit lost regarding it....

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 09:54 AM

I have seen that on my orion as well. The rings are cool but too pricey for me right now. I like the homebrew idea.

#15 Stacy

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 01:48 PM

Out of curiosity, why did you use 2 sets of rings with spacers inbetween ??


Hi BC,

I didn't think that one piece of the aluminum strip would be high enough to have a good bearing surface on the factory rings. I also didn’t want to try to fashion a ring out of a thicker piece of aluminum. Even this thickness was difficult to bend just right. So I thought … “I’ll just use two thin strips and put spacers in between …” Bad idea. It made the project much more complicated than it needed to be.

The whole reason for making my own ring was to try to get it to rest on the lower “factory” ring so it needed to be low enough to clear the dovetail. The brackets I used to fasten the ring together were still too high anyway so I decided to use it on the upper ring. It works well there and you don’t have to worry about the clearance. You could use any kind of ring you want really … I even tried some embroidery rings that worked, but looked pretty stupid. If I had to do it again I would just order an extra set of rings from Orion and use one of those.

As far as collimation goes, yes I’m sure the rotation and clamping affects it, but not by much. I do a quick collimation before observing and have had excellent results with this scope. I notice the collimation goes out a bit when I flip the quick release, but it goes back in when I clamp it down again. The extra ring and stabilizer bar actually help keep things stable.

Also, do you have a pic of that hinge mod ? I'm a bit lost regarding it....


On my rings from Orion, the hinge bolt sticks out. I just bought some tapered bolts from Home Depot and used a large drill bit to taper the bolt-hole so the top of the bolt is flush with the side of the ring. I’ll take a pic later …

#16 BCB

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 02:26 PM

On my rings from Orion, the hinge bolt sticks out. I just bought some tapered bolts from Home Depot and used a large drill bit to taper the bolt-hole so the top of the bolt is flush with the side of the ring. I’ll take a pic later …


OK, I get what you did now..

Used tapered head bolts for a flat finish, countersinking the rings bolt holes for the heads to sit in. :) Nice one.

Too bad you didn't know someone with a radius bender.. Would have made doing that ALOT easier.. You just gave me a very simple solution to all of this. I have access to aluminum bar stock and a radius bender at work. So you know what I'll be workin on this week. :) I'll sort pics when it's done.

No need for the pic of the hinges, but I WOULD like one of the ring tighteners replacements you made up for the regular orion rings.

#17 jmoore

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 02:31 PM

how'd you make the quick releases, Stacy? Are they on both of the original "factory" rings, or just the lower one? It's hard to see in the photo.

Nice work...may have to do this one day.

#18 Stacy

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 01:48 AM

A stop at the bicycle shop for the quick release. I got the one for the seat height adjuster and it fits great. Should be able to find a good one for $10 to $15. On the top (factory) ring I just used the standard (hand) tightening bolt that came with it but I inserted a nylon spacer. I think the spacer ended up being about ½”, I wanted the tube to rotate freely but not have any slop.

So how it works is the ring I made (wishing I had a radius bender!) :lol: rests on the top tube ring (outside edge lined with adhesive felt I got from my wife, fabric store I think). The top tube ring is always “loose” even though it’s tightened down, because of the spacer that you fine tune with sandpaper. The quick release is used on the bottom tube ring. When it’s flipped to the “loose” position, the tube can be rotated in place without fear of it slipping down. When the quick release is tight, the tube is held secure and the stabilizer bar keeps everything square.

What’s cool is that it’s so simple. You just flip the release, rotate the tube to desired angle, and flip it back!

PS. My Orion tube rings came with felt linings on the inside. You would need that so as not to scratch your OTA.

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#19 Stacy

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 01:49 AM

Spacer

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#20 BCB

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 08:38 AM

Very nice Stacy,
Only difference between your rings, and mine, is the clamping screw areas a bit different.. If I loosen mine totaly, I can rotate the bolt n "nut" out of the ring.. both ring "ears" are slotted, and the bolt is pinned to the bottom half of the ring.. Only one extra mod to do to the quick release would be to drill the bolt out for the pin.

I looked at my rings yesterday, and did find a few things.. One was that one set of rings was a bit bent, not allowing the top half to come down the way it was supposed to. It was binding on the tube at the hinge side.. A little bending n tweaking helped it, but it's not totally right. I put my laser in and checked it before n after bending.. Before bending, it moved quite a bit ( almost 1/4" on the primary), after bending, it barely moves at all.. Once I put a spacer in there, and attach the stabiliser bar, I think I won't have the "flex" problem anymore.

I have a neat idea on how to make the joint overlap, without the use of "ears" for the bolt n nut. It'll take some doing, but should work well... :)

If you like, I can make you a new "almost solid" aluminum ring, after I prototype mine, and fire it off to ya, Stacy.

#21 lighttrap

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 08:39 AM

Stacy, I really, really, really appreciate the pics. Those helped a lot.

Thanks,
Mike Swaim

#22 jmoore

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 11:36 AM

this is great, you guys. thanks. i'll HAVE to do this soon. The funny viewing angles of my Newt (because I don't usually bother to rotate the tube) have been my only major complaint about it. Fix this, and it will be brilliant.

jeff

#23 Stacy

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 04:23 PM

The funny viewing angles of my Newt (because I don't usually bother to rotate the tube) have been my only major complaint about it. Fix this, and it will be brilliant.


My first night out with my EQ mounted former dob was the motivation. I found I HAD to rotate the tube! This just makes it way easier. Now I find the eq newt a little more comfortable to use than my fork mounted SCT and a lot more comfortable than my AR-5 refractor. I leave the tripod legs in the fully retracted position. When looking at around zenith I stand and can have the EP right at eye level. When viewing lower in the sky I use an adjustable stool.

I can't wait to see what you come up with BC! Be sure to post some pics.

#24 Rushwind

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 04:33 PM

All,

Just wanted to add a bit to this thread. First, let me say, Stacy, *awesome* idea. :bow:

Not having burly machine tools around, I had to find a way to create a minimalist fixed ring.

My installation was accomplished using 2 hose clamps, purchased at a local hardware store. I needed 2, because they didn't carry any big enough to go all the way around my OTA. To keep these from scratching the OTA, I bought a roll of Magic Cover, which is the stuff you line shelves with to keep stuff from slipping around. Found this at the hardware store, too. A trip to the local sporting goods store produced a quick-release (when you're looking for this, you have to get the kind for a *seat*, not for wheels; the wheel ones have a hub that's too long...).

Total cost: $15, and I have most of a roll of non-skid left.
Tools required: pair of scissors, flat-head screwdriver (to tighten the hose clamps)

Works like a charm! Definitely the best accessory I've bought for the scope yet. (:

Posted Image Posted Image

#25 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 10:52 PM

Here is my take on Stacy's original idea. I used UHMW plastic channel and a hose clamp.

-Dave

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