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Question about balancing a scope for Photography (or not).

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#1 SambaChoro

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:33 PM

I'm not sure if this should be posted here but since I wish to track my scope for photography purposes I decided to post here. Administrators fell free to move the post elsewhere if that's the case.

I'm just starting astrophotography. I'm a complete newbie. I'm using WO Redcat 51, Orion mini guide scope, ZWO ASI120mm as guide camera and a Canon T3i on a Ioptron Sky Guider Pro. With the counterweights I have a total of about 10.5 pounds on the tracker.

SGP has a marketed load capacity of 11Lb, what I think is great for a tracker. I always understood the load capacity of any tracker or mount to be the total load said tracker or mount could carry, which also means the counterweights. 

Recently I was told by a friend who works at the optics section of a main camera store that a manufacturer rep told him the load capacity pertains only to the scope and everything else around it, not the counterweights. Is it true?

I've been careful trying to keep my set up under 11 Lb (including counterweights), but according to this I could go over that amount as long as the scope end of the mount is under 11 Lb.

Any thoughts?



#2 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:10 PM

Load capacity, I believe, is listed for just what you are putting on top.  The counterweights aren't included in that.

 

Also, the rule of thumb is to try to keep your stuff to about half of what the capacity is.  Round numbers, I think you're about there.  It's always better if you have some extra capacity margin over what you are putting on it now, to give you some options for additional (usually heavier) stuff down the road.  If you can swing it, financially.


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#3 SambaChoro

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:12 PM

Load capacity, I believe, is listed for just what you are putting on top.  The counterweights aren't included in that.

 

Also, the rule of thumb is to try to keep your stuff to about half of what the capacity is.  Round numbers, I think you're about there.  It's always better if you have some extra capacity margin over what you are putting on it now, to give you some options for additional (usually heavier) stuff down the road.  If you can swing it, financially.

Thank you for your reply. That clarifies things.



#4 Gipht

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:14 PM

A rule of thumb which applies more to some mounts then others is to keep the telescope and  attachments at or below half of the rated capacity of the mount.  The counter weight is not included.  Depending on your mount, that number may be able to be exceeded.  In your case, if you already have all that  equipment you could just give it a try.   Be very careful to get your mount as balanced as possible.   Keeping the telescope very slightly east heavy so the motor is working against the telescope weight, rather than the weight helping  the motor usually helps the tracking.  Your pushing the limit of the mount, so if you hear strain on the motor, or the mount will not move the telescope, then quit while your ahead.


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#5 kathyastro

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:15 PM

The manufacturer's rated capacity does not include the counterweights. 

 

However, the general rule for AP is that you should avoid loading more than 50% of the rated capacity.  That rule does not make sense on a tracker, which has no visual use and is only used for AP.  I would say that, if the rated capacity is 11 lbs, go ahead and load 11 lbs on it. 

 

Don't load it more than necessary, though.  THelighter the load, the better it will run.


Edited by kathyastro, 19 August 2019 - 06:16 PM.

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#6 SambaChoro

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 07:10 PM

Thank you for your replies,

 

I think I'm good then. As I mentioned  I got 10.5 pounds loaded on it (I forgot to mention a red dot finder on top of camera, otherwise how could I find anything). That means I do have about half the rated load capacity.




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