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Sky-Tee 2 (Duo-T) Modification/Addition

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#1 junomike

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:07 PM

Having used my Sky-Tee 2 (mine's a CDN Duo-T but the same thing) for the better part of the last few years I've discovered I mainly use for Planetary/Lunar viewing when I don't want to haul out the heavy CGE or when I'm mounting more than one telescope that's too heavy for my SW EQ5P. I found I could live without tracking as long as I had slo-mo controls.

My main choice of scopes was usually my Meade 152ED on the right (looking from behind Mount)  along with either the 8" EdgeHD, AT111EDT, or the APM 100's (on the left in top-saddle).  This worked fine as the top saddle required a counter-weight (16lbs total) which aided in equalizing the weight of both sides.

 

Duo-T CW oem.jpg

 

However the issue arose when I wanted to mount two equally weighted scopes as the one placed in the top saddle along with the heavy counter-weight required to balance it, greatly exceed the weight of the telescope opposite it. The added 15lbs of the CW un-balanced the mount to the point that the movement in Az was rough and suffered stiction.

I had read about a few people mounting a 3rd saddle in the place were the horizontal CW shaft went (as seen in this link).  This was my intention but I didn't have the skill or tools for such a modification.

And after seeing how iOptron does it (using the horizontal CW shaft as a placement for a telescope saddle) I decided that I wanted to do that as well.  Right around the same time, such a saddle became available in the classified.

 

Saddle.jpg

 

But there was a problem.  The seller wasn't sure where he had got the saddle and that the bore was too large for his 18mm EQ6 shaft as it measured just over 19mm.  The Sky-Tee 2 (along with most Synta CG5 class Mounts) use a 20mm shaft, meaning I'd need to bore out the Saddle to 20mm.

 

Saddle2.jpg

 


Mike


Edited by junomike, 22 April 2016 - 03:10 PM.


#2 junomike

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:19 PM

I decided I'd worry about that later and bought it.  Before it arrived I searched the internet for a 20mm Drill bit and found a few, but as stated earlier, a Drill Press would be required to get it perfectly straight.

Then I lucked out and found someone who could do the 20mm bore for me.  We discussed it and before he started I had a better Idea.  Instead of boring the hole to match the shaft, why not make a new shaft to match the bore!  This way the saddle (which I found out is indeed made for an iOptron mount) is left intact.
He made the part (to my specs) as  I had requested a shorter bar to lower the leverage as well as an "indent" so the saddle couldn't slip off if ever tilted.

 

Saddle CW Shaft.jpg

 

Holding to similar telescopes in weight is no longer an issue.

 

Duo T AT111EdgeHD.jpg

 

 

Mike


Edited by junomike, 22 April 2016 - 03:20 PM.


#3 junomike

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:23 PM

A few owners had mentioned that using a longer CW shaft and the Vixen 8.8lbs CW worked wonderfully and I figured it was worth a shot.  One issue however was that although the longer CW shaft of the SW EQ5P fit the Sky-Tee 2, It didn't seem to fit perfectly.  My solution was to use an extension of the shorter OEM shaft.  I had him make me one along with the shorter "saddle" shaft.

I can now mount a 3rd telescope (or APM 100) if desired, although I doubt I'll use it for that purpose.

 

TriMountb.jpg

 

The CW ext and 8.8 Vixen can be seen in this pic below.

 

TriMount.jpg

 

This is much nicer than the previously required 16 lbs set up I used to need.

 

Mike


Edited by junomike, 22 April 2016 - 03:54 PM.


#4 junomike

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:37 PM

Finally, while I was at it, I figured why not come up with a better solution to my "one pier...two Mount" problem.

My other highly used Alt.Az is a Giro 2 which also benefits from the 20" Antares Pier.  Problem is, every time I want to use it with the other Mount, I need to switch it out.

The three side screws are rarely an issue but the main center bolt needs to be torqued down in order to hold snug. 

Removing and replacing It is not only bothersome, but also I worried about eventually damaging the threads.

Adding another Pier would be Ideal but the cost of these has soared in recent years.  I also rarely keep the Mount heads attached to the Pier due to storage and transportation issues.

My solution was to have a second Pier attachment for the Mounts made. 

 

Along with the other pieces It turned out excellent.

 

twinpier.jpg

 

So now the Sky-Tee can be quickly removed and replaced with the Giro 2.

 

20160422_120946.jpg

 

Mike

 

 

 

 



#5 junomike

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:44 PM

Disclaimer/Things to note.

 

The shorter OEM CW shaft is most likely to prevent people from trying to over-mount something in the top saddle.  Although I haven't had any issues to date, that's not to say I won't.

I will take my chances however.

 

Also, the OEM  Pier attachment, although sufficient is light weighing in at 750g (1.6lbs)

 

oempier750.jpg

 

The SS one I had made is 3X as heavy weighing in at 2175 g (4.8lbs)

 

SSpier2175.jpg

 

I'm not expecting issues but this adds weight and makes things "top-heavy".

 

Finally, anyone thinking of making a second Pier attachment needs to mark the location of the holes on their Pier as we assumed they were 120° apart which is not the case.

I guess being of the lower cost Synta, they just drill the holes into the Pier and attachment at the same time so precision isn't required.

 

Mike


Edited by junomike, 22 April 2016 - 03:48 PM.



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