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iOptron AZ mount pro adjustable secondary saddle and revised collet nut for balance weight bar.

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#1 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 01:56 PM

Most of us who own the AZ pro and the MT 11  and MT pro  all of which use the same balance weight bar and locking collet nut system have experienced the problem not being able to tighten this nut enough by hand to stop the bar from not slipping without the use of some sort of strap wrench etc. Also I wanted to come up with a secondary saddle which is easily adjustable in horizontal and vertical and once again lockable to stop slipping.

The stock collet nut I found to be too small to do anything with in the way of modifying so I set about and made my own version allowing more meat so to speak so as I could fashion it to be able to fit my own built  "C"  spanner and a simple pull on that is enough to tighten this nut securely. 

With the secondary saddle  I used an ADM one I had laying around and built the rest of the parts to convert it to adjustable. Quite a bit of work but as this is a hobby of mine it keeps me busy during my retirement years. All the gremlins that existed before have now been eradicated and using this system is just so easy.

 

This first photo below shows the complete parts used for the revised secondary saddle.

 

AZ mount pro secondary saddle arangement. 009ab.jpg

 

cheers

Graham

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by biz, 09 December 2018 - 04:31 PM.

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#2 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:09 PM

This next photo shows the saddle assembled

 

AZ mount pro secondary saddle arangement. 013ab.jpg


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#3 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:16 PM

Here we have the collet nut and "c" spanner. You can now see the size difference of the stock and my own collet nut. In the tail end of the spanner I've inserted an Allen key for tightening the top thumb screw on the saddles puck.

 

AZ mount pro secondary saddle arangement. 019ab.jpg

 

 


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#4 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:22 PM

All on mount.     The brass wheel you see moves the saddle in and out at that end after unlocking the two thumb screws.. The movement I have is 4mm either side of zero which is way more than is needed to align the the secondary scope with the primary one. 

 

AZ mount pro secondary saddle arangement. 025.JPG


Edited by biz, 09 December 2018 - 05:03 PM.

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#5 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:26 PM

The next two photos show how the "C" spanner works

 

.AZ mount pro secondary saddle arangement. 022a.jpg


Edited by biz, 09 December 2018 - 07:45 PM.

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#6 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:28 PM

And final one

 

AZ mount pro secondary saddle arangement 2 001a.jpg

 

 


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#7 aneeg

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:38 PM

And the price is?

 

Arne


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#8 junomike

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 03:44 PM

Very well thought out!

waytogo.gif



#9 Spikey131

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 03:51 PM

Looks great, Graham!



#10 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 04:37 PM

Thanks guys for the nice remarks. 

Plenty of energy from the matter between my ears was needed to accomplish this . In the new year all the polished alloy parts will be anodised black to fit in. The anodisers are too busy this side of Xmas to fit it in for me. Should look a lot better then.

cheers

Graham



#11 biz

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 04:38 PM

And the price is?

 

Arne

Haha, no comment Arne.



#12 mikerepp

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 08:34 AM

Biz, nicely done!  I do like to see nice machined parts, great attention to detail!   You could anodize them yourself, sulfuric acid, battery charger and rit dye.



#13 watchever

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 11:06 AM

Hi Graham, it is surely a great improvement, but like Arne, I guess it is an expensive one.



#14 HxPI

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 01:05 PM

Very nice mods. The secondary saddle is particularly excellent. Don't know what else to say except wish this was the way the mount came from the manufacturer!

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Ciao,

Mel


Edited by HxPI, 10 December 2018 - 01:05 PM.

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#15 biz

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 08:58 PM

Very nice mods. The secondary saddle is particularly excellent. Don't know what else to say except wish this was the way the mount came from the manufacturer!

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Ciao,

Mel

Mel, thanks for the positive remarks.

To have this sort of saddle arrangement included with the purchase of the mount would certainly push up the price.

My guess is that manufacturers build to a sell price and any extras over and above that is going to cost.

Then again there must be folks out there that would pay more if they got more and then there will be some who just will not ..I guess this mount, as it is, fits in with where they are going.

Mel this complete saddle arrangement with its adjustment system is a whole lot of work but was well worth it in the end, so easy to adjust and lock it all up...the revised collet nut was a mission also but does the job...and then there is the spanner and I wanted just one to do both things, well it ain’t for sale in the shops so one just has to build it...I couldn’t be happier.

cheers

Graham



#16 biz

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 01:57 PM

Hi Graham, it is surely a great improvement, but like Arne, I guess it is an expensive one.

Hi Arnaud,

Well there is a lot of work and also a saddle is needed to do the job so it would be a little more than loose change from your pocket.

Although I have made these saddles before for my own use and as I had this ADM one lying around doing nothing ( I had actually forgotten I had it)  I thought why not use that.

cheers

Graham



#17 dustyc

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 02:17 PM

Parts look really great on that mount Biz!

I wish Ioptron would ship these with a option for a screw in extension of the counter weight bar so you didn't need to buy the accessory shoe to mount a 10 to 13 lb scope just to get the required weight to balance 33 lbs on the primary side. Oh well, that's why they sell the IEQ45 ALT-AZ.  



#18 biz

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 02:48 PM

21Parts look really great on that mount Biz!

I wish Ioptron would ship these with a option for a screw in extension of the counter weight bar so you didn't need to buy the accessory shoe to mount a 10 to 13 lb scope just to get the required weight to balance 33 lbs on the primary side. Oh well, that's why they sell the IEQ45 ALT-AZ.  

Hi Dusty,

An extension bar is not really the correct way around your problem.. If you went that way you would introduce too much focusing vibrations by having the balance weight too far out... much better to just put the required balance weights needed on the existing bar and the closer you get the weights up close  to the mount the better you will be and this is true for any mount EQ or Alt/AZ.

To balance out my Equinox 120ED and the iOptron 6inch mak I use two of the stock 4.5KG weights .

If your using two scopes and not reaching balance  just slide on a small weight between the secondary saddle and the mount and go for it.

cheers

Graham


Edited by biz, 13 December 2018 - 07:37 PM.


#19 Philip Levine

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 04:34 PM

Very nice mods. The secondary saddle is particularly excellent. Don't know what else to say except wish this was the way the mount came from the manufacturer!

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Ciao,

Mel

I concur with Mel, I wish iOptron had thought through the practical usage of the secondary mount regarding tightening.

Phil



#20 Spikey131

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 08:21 PM

Yes, the mount could have been designed and built better.

 

But then, I probably couldn’t afford it.

 

It *does* work, as advertised, in the stock configuration.  I use it almost every clear night with two scopes.  I do use a strap wrench to tighten the collet nut.  And I need a tool to loosen the clutch.

 

But then it works just great.



#21 biz

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 12:12 AM

Yes, the mount could have been designed and built better.

 

But then, I probably couldn’t afford it.

 

It *does* work, as advertised, in the stock configuration.  I use it almost every clear night with two scopes.  I do use a strap wrench to tighten the collet nut.  And I need a tool to loosen the clutch.

 

But then it works just great.

Hi Spikey,

I guess your first remark above is regarding the collet nut and secondary saddle...

As far as the secondary saddle it is nothing like iOptrons and something I put together to be able to use on “any”  mount for dual setup.  All that’s needed is the correct size centre hole in the puck. Whatever the balance weight diameter is , is all that needs to be drilled. This  saddle and it’s mods are complex and demand accurate machine work to operate correctly , this sort of work is expensive and as I remarked before , would push up the price of the mount if it was included with the package.. 

 

As you say, and what I also used to do,  was use a strap wrench to tighten the stock collet nut and it worked just fine but it was awkward for me as I have arthritis in some of my fingers. I just wanted something more permanent so designed and built the one you see and the “C” spanner is way easier for me to use.

As far as the stock saddle is concerned just replace the large thumb screw which clamps down onto the bar with one that has an Allen head screw thru it’s centre and you will then be able to nip it up with an Allen key like what I do..

 

I shared all that I’ve made here with you and others on CN because I thought it might be of interest to all but certainly not to create demands from some, of the manufacturer. I’m beginning to think I should keep these things I make to myself.

 

Also regarding your first remark ...with all due respect , in my opinion I consider the mounts design and build quality in general to be of good quality for its price but of course that’s only my opinion, others may think differently.

 

cheers

Graham


Edited by biz, 16 December 2018 - 04:08 AM.


#22 Spikey131

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 08:38 AM

Graham-

 

I hope my comments did not come across in any way critical of your posts or your fascinating modifications.  I read all of your posts with interest and find your ideas inspiring.  Please continue to share us all of your ideas and inventions.

 

I only wish that I had the tools and talent to make some of my own.  Fortunately, I have been able make the mount work to my satisfaction as it is.



#23 Muleskinner115

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 10:37 AM

I agree with Spikey. There is something wrong with a mount that needs all this special attention. I sold mine because it didn’t live up to what I expected.  Graham is good at cleaning up after iOptron.

Tim



#24 biz

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 11:21 AM

I agree with Spikey. There is something wrong with a mount that needs all this special attention. I sold mine because it didn’t live up to what I expected.  Graham is good at cleaning up after iOptron.

Tim

Tim,

This mount of mine worked fine out of the box. This “special attention” as you call it is just a hobby of mine and something that I do to a lot of mounts and not just iOptrons.  You would be surprised at what I’ve found in even high end mounts over the years.  Ive never regarded this as a “cleaning up”  (again your call)  operation but just something that I like to do.

I started this thread to show you all what can be done to ones mount if you have the tools and skill   “not”   as a place where you can have a bash at the manufacturer. I would prefer that you start your own thread about that and leave mine out of it.

If you have any positive and or negative things to say about the items I have built and displayed here then that’s fine.

 

Graham


Edited by biz, 16 December 2018 - 11:24 AM.


#25 biz

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 11:56 AM

Graham-

 

I hope my comments did not come across in any way critical of your posts or your fascinating modifications.  I read all of your posts with interest and find your ideas inspiring.  Please continue to share us all of your ideas and inventions.

 

I only wish that I had the tools and talent to make some of my own.  Fortunately, I have been able make the mount work to my satisfaction as it is.

Spikey,

Thank you for your explanation, much appreciated.

I understand that one needs machinery to do what I’m doing . I started from scratch with a hacksaw and file and over the years found that that just wouldn’t do so invested in a lathe, milling machine and many other machines as time went by.. Of course one then has to learn how to use them so I joined a model engineering club and never looked back.. all the other members build these miniature locomotives which we then drive around the track we have built .. The track is open every Sunday so as we can drive all the young kids around . It’s all a lot of fun for them and for some of their parents as well.

Im not interested in building a loco for myself and stick to my telescope stuff. I put on a presentation one club night showing all my gear and how it worked . I filled the club rooms that night as it was just something different for them.

Im now known as the   “Telescope Man”  by all club members. They actually take a good interest in what I’ve been building..    I tell you , there are some very talented Machinist’s in this club so I can learn a lot from them.  As you know we never stop learning. I’m in my mid seventies now so I’m trying to cram as much into the space between my ears as I can while I can.

Sometimes the hardest thing about what I build is coming up with a design that will work , quite often I have to modify my design but I usually get there in the end. With the EQ-Alt/AZ wedge I built I actually built the prototype from just custom wood just to get it to work. After many weeks of testing and alterations I finally used the alloy plate to construct the finished product.

Hey, it’s all a lot of fun.

cheers

Graham




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