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

Deforking my 8" SCT... AGAIN!

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 22 September 2019 - 05:53 PM

There's a guy on YouTube who used to be the editorial director of EVO magazine named Harry Metcalfe who has a Lamborghini Countach. He constantly switches between having the huge rear wing on and off the car. 

 

I feel that way with my EQ5 mount versus my LX6/Premier fork mount with an EQ-wedge. I started out with the forks, but then rigged the scope up for the EQ5. I ran it like that for a while, then I switched back to the forks in a fit of nostalgia. It's been on the forks for about a year or two, and now I've gone back to the EQ5. The difference is I've picked up an f/7.1 70mm refractor and the adjustable bracket to hold it on the SCT. 

 

My theory is to use the refractor for low power, wide field viewing and use the SCT for high power, narrow field viewing (I've read MANY comments on CN that this is a great way to enjoy both scope's strengths). I could do that on the fork mount, but I found the EQ5 was much more steady with very little in the way of shakes (where as the forks do tend to vibrate when the weight gets amped up).

 

So, I'm back in GEM land and looking forward to this weekend where I can take the whole rig up north to a friend's cottage away from city lights. The entire rig fits into 2 bags:

  • a small canvas travel bag that holds the 2080 OTA, the dew shield (wrapped around it) and the tripod spreader
  • a slightly larger leather travel bag that holds everything else including the EQ5 head, the counter weights, the counter weight bar, my Telrad, my eyepiece case, the 70mm OTA, battery pack and hand controller for the EQ5, a red flashlight, my Jumbo Pocket Atlas and my Kendrick dew control system (straps and controller)

The only other items are a Celestron Power Tank for the Kendrick system, and the tripod with a bungee cord around the legs to keep them from flopping all over the place. I also have a tiny fold up table and a fold up camping chair. The whole pile fits easily in the back of my Fiat (with the rear seats still upright!). I'll just jam in a few other essentials like a sleeping bag and 48 beers and I'm good to go!

 

Do any of you guys flip-flop between two particular mounts? If so, what drives your change of mind?

 

Astro Gear - Ready to Go!
 

Thanks!

Rick


  • Castor and eros312 like this

#2 Joe Eiers

Joe Eiers

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 690
  • Joined: 08 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Arcata, Ca.

Posted 22 September 2019 - 10:19 PM

I used to run forked...  but ever since the Celestron AVX mounts came out way back, I am a deforker.   I do have a GPS11 that I run forked, but it's a pain to unfork.  My C14 is WAAAAAAAY better deforked, but I miss the forked experience sometimes.  I don't know if it's nostalgia or just just plain want'n to be stupid.

I've used many a forker' over the years, and for moving around the blacktop at a start party it remains supreme (except the 14; once set up, it STAYS, period.)

   If I head out to a dark sky with my 6SE, it stays forked.  Too easy.  

   If I take out a C8, defork and bag it with the AVX.

   Same with the regular 11's, but now we're talking the CGX mounts.

  If I had my dream world where everything worked the way I wanted it, and I could pier mount...  I'd say FORK ME!  I hate GEMS.   Counterintuitive, even after a lifetime of use.   But in the real world, fork mounts have tooooooooooo many drawbacks, the least of which is that there are relatively few of them!

    Ah, well.   Off to observe with my 14 on my GEM!

     Joe


  • bbqediguana likes this

#3 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • *****
  • Posts: 19160
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 23 September 2019 - 07:18 AM

Rick, Nice tripod bag wink.gif

 

Because of weight and flexibility issues (wanting to mount/use additional scopes) I deforked my NS11 GPS scope years ago. I do however miss the convenience of that lovely fork mount for visual use.


  • bbqediguana likes this

#4 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 17 October 2019 - 08:23 PM

AAAAND... we're back on the forks! Wow... that was QUICK. 

 

The reason is that my youngest son is a budding astrophotographer and until now he's been snapping pics of the planets and the Moon through his 8" Dob using a smart phone. I thought about it, and I actually have TWO Meade 2080 telescopes - one that is fully assembled and the other in various pieces in storage.

 

I decided to pull out all the equipment and see if I had enough to build two scopes - I DID! So, I am keeping my 1991 Meade 2080 LX6 Premier (back on the forks, eh!) with my Sky-Watcher 70mm f/7.1 achromat as the finder (plus a Telrad!). My son gets a 1985(ish) Meade 2080 OTA on my EQ5 mount. I figure the GEM will be better for him taking pictures - I've got 3 counter weights for it total (the pic below only has 1 in use). I'm also giving him my f/6.3 focal reducer as he'll likely want it (takes the focal length of the SCT down to 1260mm which isn't much bigger than his Dob (1200). I've also got another 70mm f/10 achromat that can go on the EQ5 if he'd like to gear down and try something a little easier than the SCT. I've also got an old SBIG camera that I'm going to give him if he wants to try that out. 

 

So there you go... what was that? Less than a month. Anyway, here's a pic of the 3 scopes in question:

 

Two2080s.jpg

 

Left to right: my Meade 2080 LX6 Premier, then my son's old 8" Dob, and his new Meade 2080 on an EQ5 mount


  • stevew likes this

#5 Tom Stock

Tom Stock

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 367
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2010

Posted 22 October 2019 - 09:49 PM

I spent lots of time trying to stiffen up my forked scopes... an LX-90 and a Classic C8.  No matter how much I did to them, even going with a super wedge and tension cables, they would still ring for awhile and focusing was always a little bouncy.  It was always the RA bearing support flexing.

 

When I de-forked them, I found that a low end equatorial mount like a CG-5 was far more solid that the fork mounts.  Now I have my C8 mounted on a Advanced VX mount and it feels rock solid compared to the forks.

 

I miss the simplicity of the C8 fork, but the versatility and rigidness of the German mount just can't be beat.


  • bbqediguana likes this

#6 Tom Stock

Tom Stock

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 367
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2010

Posted 23 October 2019 - 08:22 AM

One thing I do miss is the setting circles on the fork mount. They worked extremely well for locating targets. I have goto on the gem which is convenient but I could actually move to a target a lot faster with the setting circles.
  • bbqediguana likes this

#7 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 23 October 2019 - 11:48 AM

One thing I do miss is the setting circles on the fork mount. They worked extremely well for locating targets. I have goto on the gem which is convenient but I could actually move to a target a lot faster with the setting circles.

Yes, I like the big, easy-to-read setting circles on my mount (LX6). I was just showing my son the other night how to use them. He's got them on his GEM, but they are so tiny and hard to read (EQ5).



#8 jgraham

jgraham

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 20315
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Society

Posted 23 October 2019 - 12:29 PM

For me... forks for visual, GEMs for imaging. I have deforked and reforked a couple of scopes, but thanks to the used market I now have my visual scopes and my imaging scopes. I love the modern altaz forks for comfort, and I use the older pre-GoTo forks on a wedge. Since these were designed for manual operation I also find them to be very comfortable to use for most of the sky. For those regions where it's a bit tough I either hit's early or wait a bit. Either way, the Sky is a very Big Place with lots to see.

Having options is good. :)
  • Terra Nova and bbqediguana like this

#9 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 23 October 2019 - 01:17 PM

For me... forks for visual, GEMs for imaging. I have deforked and reforked a couple of scopes, but thanks to the used market I now have my visual scopes and my imaging scopes. I love the modern altaz forks for comfort, and I use the older pre-GoTo forks on a wedge. Since these were designed for manual operation I also find them to be very comfortable to use for most of the sky. For those regions where it's a bit tough I either hit's early or wait a bit. Either way, the Sky is a very Big Place with lots to see.

Having options is good. smile.gif

I agree - when I was figuring out which 8" SCT to give my son, I gave him the one with the GEM as his primary interest is solar system photography (likely to branch out into all sorts of astrophotography) and my interest is purely visual, so I was happy to go back to my forks.



#10 TerryD23

TerryD23

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2019
  • Loc: Northeast PA

Posted 25 October 2019 - 08:07 PM

AAAAND... we're back on the forks! Wow... that was QUICK. 

 

The reason is that my youngest son is a budding astrophotographer and until now he's been snapping pics of the planets and the Moon through his 8" Dob using a smart phone. I thought about it, and I actually have TWO Meade 2080 telescopes - one that is fully assembled and the other in various pieces in storage.

 

I decided to pull out all the equipment and see if I had enough to build two scopes - I DID! So, I am keeping my 1991 Meade 2080 LX6 Premier (back on the forks, eh!) with my Sky-Watcher 70mm f/7.1 achromat as the finder (plus a Telrad!). My son gets a 1985(ish) Meade 2080 OTA on my EQ5 mount. I figure the GEM will be better for him taking pictures - I've got 3 counter weights for it total (the pic below only has 1 in use). I'm also giving him my f/6.3 focal reducer as he'll likely want it (takes the focal length of the SCT down to 1260mm which isn't much bigger than his Dob (1200). I've also got another 70mm f/10 achromat that can go on the EQ5 if he'd like to gear down and try something a little easier than the SCT. I've also got an old SBIG camera that I'm going to give him if he wants to try that out. 

 

So there you go... what was that? Less than a month. Anyway, here's a pic of the 3 scopes in question:

 

Two2080s.jpg

 

Left to right: my Meade 2080 LX6 Premier, then my son's old 8" Dob, and his new Meade 2080 on an EQ5 mount

Do you see a noticeable visual improvement with the 6.3 focal reducer?



#11 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 26 October 2019 - 10:24 AM

Do you see a noticeable visual improvement with the 6.3 focal reducer?

Hi Terry,

 

Yes, I do! It helps tidy up the outer 2/3's of my field of view by making the stars out there more in-focus than without it. Obviously it reduces the magnification, so that also helps present a cleaner look especially when the seeing is bad.

 

I really only do use it with my 24mm wide angle eyepiece to get the biggest actual field of view (1.2°). Without the reducer, I can see the field curvature of my SCT - the stars in the middle are nicely focused while the outer stars aren't. If I focus on the outer stars, the middle stars become blurry. With the reducer, everything looks to be in focus at the same time - likely my 50 year old eyes still have some decent accommodation for that type of thing. As I get older, I'll likely notice a discrepancy even with the reducer.

 

Cheers!

 

Rick



#12 Bataleon

Bataleon

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2019

Posted 26 October 2019 - 04:31 PM

I just deforked my CPC 800 and couldn't be happier. a80466ba4481b6aafa03e6cf731daa4e.jpg

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
  • kevint1 and bbqediguana like this

#13 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:01 PM

I just deforked my CPC 800 and couldn't be happier. a80466ba4481b6aafa03e6cf731daa4e.jpg

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

Is there no counter weight for that mount? How does that work?



#14 Bataleon

Bataleon

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2019

Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:02 PM

Is there no counter weight for that mount? How does that work?

There is. I don't leave them on inside because they make carrying more difficult lol

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
  • bbqediguana likes this

#15 seasparky89

seasparky89

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 298
  • Joined: 09 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Springfield, VA

Posted 26 October 2019 - 08:31 PM

I deformed my LX-200 8” ACF, and now the OTA sits on either a Sirius or an Atlas Mount, depending what I want to do on a particular night. For me, the main reason to defork was the weight of the OTA/fork mount. The fork-mounted OTA was very solid, with no vibrations at all. Too bad they don’t make an easily-detachable OTA/fork mount system. That would go a long way to satisfy many users who have issues with weight, etc. it could even give the users a choice of which mount to use on a given night.

Stan
  • bbqediguana 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