Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

How to mount finder shoe

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:09 PM

Hi All,

 

I have two telescopes, a refractor and an SCT (both purchased second hand).  Both mount to my tripod through a Vixen style dovetail attached directly to the OTA. Neither OTA has any bolt holes for mounting finder shoes.  What do people do in this situation?

 

I have a Telrad, but with my light pollution, I need a magnifying finder.

 

Telescope rings?  I'm trying to keep the weight down.

Double-sided tape? I'd worry that it would fall off with an 8x50 finder.

Drill and tap holes? I'm not very experienced and fear damaging the scopes.

 

The rings seem to be the best option for me, but I don't know if there are any other options. Thanks for any suggestions.



#2 OldManSky

OldManSky

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2178
  • Joined: 03 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Valley Center, CA USA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:29 PM

Do you have any pictures of the two scopes?

I suspect both of them *do* have finder scope attachment screws, they're just not obvious...

Pictures would help us determine that for sure :)


  • cookjaiii likes this

#3 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 20 July 2019 - 11:14 PM

I'll follow up with pictures.  Thanks.



#4 clearwaterdave

clearwaterdave

    Skylab

  • ****-
  • Posts: 4104
  • Joined: 27 May 2014
  • Loc: Western Maine

Posted 22 July 2019 - 06:51 AM

Hello.,Drilling is no big deal.,perhaps you have a friend who is handy and has tools whom you could ask to help.,good luck.,



#5 Tapio

Tapio

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2219
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Tampere, Finland

Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:09 AM

I agree with Paul. Both should have holes for finder shoe - at least SCT does.


  • OldManSky likes this

#6 S.Boerner

S.Boerner

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1198
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Chesterfield, MO

Posted 22 July 2019 - 11:11 AM

What about double sided tape AND Heavy Duty Zip Ties?



#7 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:40 AM

I think I'll just go with rings.  They have the added advantage that I can move them from one side to the other depending on the mount and especially when using a German equatorial mount.

 

Thank you for your suggestions.



#8 SteveG

SteveG

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7893
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 23 July 2019 - 02:00 PM

I think I'll just go with rings.  They have the added advantage that I can move them from one side to the other depending on the mount and especially when using a German equatorial mount.

 

Thank you for your suggestions.

 

Which of your 2 refractors are you trying to mount the finder to? Buying tube rings for both scopes seems excessive.

 

I’m very sure there are 2 threaded screw holes for a finder mount on your SCT. 


  • ShaulaB likes this

#9 oldstargazer

oldstargazer

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2117
  • Joined: 03 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Western Oklahoma

Posted 23 July 2019 - 03:38 PM

Been looking and looking and finally found the box my finder scope dovetail base for my sct came in. On the box there are three number groups, first is 07215 under the barcode, then K 16040 and then last is PO 41796, pretty sure the box came from Celestron.



#10 t-ara-fan

t-ara-fan

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 787
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2017
  • Loc: 50° 13' N

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:14 PM

Pics and model numbers would go a long way.



#11 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:46 PM

Astro-tech 80 ED and Celestron Nexstar 8" SCT.

 

The SCT was originally mounted on a goto with the mount arm on the left (as I look through the eyepiece), but the mount was fried so I replaced it with a vixen dovetail.  Unfortunately, all my mounts have their arms on the right side, so the top of the scope (the side with the "XLT" logo), points toward the ground.  The other side doesn't seem to have any place to mount a finder shoe.  

 

The AT80 ED is completely smooth.  There are two nuts on top of the focuser, but a manual I found on line said those were adjustment screws set at the factory to align the optics and that they should not be touched.

 

Thank you all for your interest, I appreciate the help.

 

Jim

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMAG1929-20190721-080247637.jpg
  • IMAG1930-20190721-080332425.jpg
  • IMAG1937.jpg


#12 OldManSky

OldManSky

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2178
  • Joined: 03 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Valley Center, CA USA

Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:08 PM

Well, the SCT is easy -- it already has a finder mount (though it might not be the kind you want).  The black slotted-thing in your second SCT photo (top-right) is the finder mount.

You can see a finder mounted in it in the image below.

 

celestron-c8-evolution-optical-tube.jpg

You can remove it and replace it with a Vixen/Orion/Synta type dovetail bracket if you want to.

 

The refractor is harder.  But since it's an AstroTech (imported and sold by our hosts, Astronomics), you can ask Mike at Astronomics.  I'm sure he knows :)


  • cookjaiii likes this

#13 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:28 PM

Well, the SCT is easy -- it already has a finder mount (though it might not be the kind you want).  The black slotted-thing in your second SCT photo (top-right) is the finder mount.

You can see a finder mounted in it in the image below.

 

celestron-c8-evolution-optical-tube.jpg

You can remove it and replace it with a Vixen/Orion/Synta type dovetail bracket if you want to.

 

The refractor is harder.  But since it's an AstroTech (imported and sold by our hosts, Astronomics), you can ask Mike at Astronomics.  I'm sure he knows smile.gif

The SCT was designed with the mount arm on the left, but all my mounts are on the opposite side.  When I put the scope on one of my mounts - with the mount arm on the right side (right from the perspective of the eyepiece end), that mounting bracket and those mounting bolts point toward the ground.  That's my predicament.

 

That's a good suggestion about asking Astronomics about the AT80 directly.

 

Thanks.



#14 SloMoe

SloMoe

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 24 July 2019 - 07:58 AM

Would it be possible to mount the dovetail on the opposite side of the ota?

That would roll the two screw's for your finder to the top.

And looking at your pic of your SCT ota that's what has happened, the dove tail is on the wrong side, the focus knob should be under your diagonal when the ota is mounted.

 

You can't just flip the ota around because that will throw the auto align off.

 

Photonexpress has a few different 3D'd finder brackets available 

 

The member's name is Dr. Benway, I've gotten a few things from him, they work great.

 

I did get a standard Synta/Vixsen shoe and used double sided sticky tape to attach it to one of my refractors, but mine is mounter way forward for 1X finders.


Edited by Mike W., 24 July 2019 - 08:07 AM.

  • cookjaiii likes this

#15 OldManSky

OldManSky

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2178
  • Joined: 03 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Valley Center, CA USA

Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:09 AM

Well, you could always go with tube rings for the sct instead of a single dovetail...it would cost more, but it would be more stable/solid than the single dovetail, and then you could rotate the OTA to any orientation you wanted...

 

Something like this:

 

https://www.astronom...-9-id-pair.html

 

Essentially the same solution would work for the refractor, too -- mount a plate on top of the tube rings (if you don't have rings, get some), and put the finder there.


Edited by OldManSky, 24 July 2019 - 08:12 AM.

  • cookjaiii likes this

#16 SloMoe

SloMoe

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:31 AM

Found him, http://www.jwbozeman.com



#17 rowdy388

rowdy388

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3559
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Saratoga County, NY

Posted 24 July 2019 - 10:06 AM

My 80mm ATEDT is a little different. It has two pairs of finder screws on each side of the focuser.

Looking at your picture, I see the same screws but only one on each side. I believe they are still 

for the purpose of holding a finder. They don't do anything except hold a finder IMO so go ahead 

and use them if practical.



#18 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:49 PM

Would it be possible to mount the dovetail on the opposite side of the ota?

That would roll the two screw's for your finder to the top.

And looking at your pic of your SCT ota that's what has happened, the dove tail is on the wrong side, the focus knob should be under your diagonal when the ota is mounted.

 

You can't just flip the ota around because that will throw the auto align off.

 

Photonexpress has a few different 3D'd finder brackets available 

 

The member's name is Dr. Benway, I've gotten a few things from him, they work great.

 

I did get a standard Synta/Vixsen shoe and used double sided sticky tape to attach it to one of my refractors, but mine is mounter way forward for 1X finders.

Thanks Mike W.  I would love to mount the dovetail on the opposite side, but there were no pre-tapped holes to do it.  This was designed for a go-to mount, which is now toast.  With the go-to, the only finder needed was a 1x red dot to get you close to a guide star for aligning.  There are not many extra pre-tapped holes, and the ones that are there are in the wrong places with the dovetail on that side.

 

Thanks for the link to Photon Express.  Looks like I could spend some money there ;-)

 

I appreciate your suggestions.



#19 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:51 PM

Well, you could always go with tube rings for the sct instead of a single dovetail...it would cost more, but it would be more stable/solid than the single dovetail, and then you could rotate the OTA to any orientation you wanted...

 

Something like this:

 

https://www.astronom...-9-id-pair.html

 

Essentially the same solution would work for the refractor, too -- mount a plate on top of the tube rings (if you don't have rings, get some), and put the finder there.

It's looking like rings are the way to go.  Thanks for your input and the link.


  • OldManSky likes this

#20 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 24 July 2019 - 12:56 PM

My 80mm ATEDT is a little different. It has two pairs of finder screws on each side of the focuser.

Looking at your picture, I see the same screws but only one on each side. I believe they are still 

for the purpose of holding a finder. They don't do anything except hold a finder IMO so go ahead 

and use them if practical.

When searching for information, I found that there are indeed some small variations among AT80s.  I will reach out to Astronomics as OldManSky suggested above to make sure the two screws are for a center-hole finder shoe and not the factory-set optical alignment screws. Thanks for thinking about my problem.



#21 cookjaiii

cookjaiii

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 589
  • Joined: 23 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Southeast PA

Posted 24 July 2019 - 01:33 PM

Good news on the AT80ED!  Pete, at Astronomics confirmed that the two screws on either side of the printing are not for optical alignment, but are for mounting finder shoes.


  • rowdy388, clearwaterdave and OldManSky like this

#22 rowdy388

rowdy388

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3559
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Saratoga County, NY

Posted 24 July 2019 - 01:59 PM

Good news on the AT80ED!  Pete, at Astronomics confirmed that the two screws on either side of the printing are not for optical alignment, but are for mounting finder shoes.

One screw does a surprisingly good job of securing a finder scope as I have found out. Score!


  • cookjaiii likes this

#23 SteveG

SteveG

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 7893
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 24 July 2019 - 02:37 PM

Good news on the AT80ED!  Pete, at Astronomics confirmed that the two screws on either side of the printing are not for optical alignment, but are for mounting finder shoes.

Glad to hear! You can get a single-screw mounting foot at Scopestuff.com.

 

As for the SCT, I think your ring solution is all that's left. 


  • cookjaiii likes this

#24 SloMoe

SloMoe

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2576
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2016
  • Loc: Washington State

Posted 24 July 2019 - 09:18 PM

I emailed the suggestion to Dr. Benway a while back about creating a 3D'd Synta/Vixen shoe with a larger flat foot print to put double sided tape for just this situation.

 

I have used the 3M double sided sticky tape and created a slight curve/radius by stacking three layers on the outside edge, centered by two layers with a single thickness dead center in the foot, 

Grabbed the trusty hair dryer on high and heated both contact surfaces, took aim and the stuck it down, and pressed, hard for about 5 min.

 

Once set I can pick either scope, one is a WO Zeinithstar Petzval HD, heavy for a 66mm, and my Orion ST 90, by the shoe, so I don't have any reserve about using it for an average optic 8X50 finder, but really, with a short tube you already have an optic finder, so be it a laser, Telrad, Skysurfer, cell phone, it's safe.

 

Seriously, I've learned that heating the tape up before impact, it sticks like no other.

 

My dob on the other hand would whistle in the wind if all the holes weren't filled with fasteners for shoe's.

 

Different applications for several finders, normally only two being used at one time.

 

other holes include the six around the base for the boundary layer fans,

 

After you drill one hole what's one or two more?

Attached Thumbnails

  • thumbnail_Img_190113132711736-5.jpg
  • thumbnail_Img_190207065423972-1.jpg

  • cookjaiii likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics