Hi Richard, sorry to discourage you, but I tried both Option 1 and Option 2 and found both a challenge. But my suggestion is what about trying a tripod adjustment?
The ideas offered about a box step make eminent sense. But why not simply put your tripod at its lowest elevation? If you are not doing any "visual" (I haven't looked though an eyepiece for a year), you don't need to extend your tripod to full height unless you are surrounded by low level obstructions.
But frankly, my experience of adding an OTA complete with StarSense and Finderscope (option 2) is fraught with more risk than adding the entire mount/OTA assembly (as under option 1). At least with 1 you only need to hook a single bolt into the slot, then you have reasonable security whilst you fiddle with the other two bolts. I don't want to alarm you, but....
It is during disassembly when you are tired, possibly frustrated if the night has not gone well, where things might go badly wrong.
What if you forget to disconnect the StarSense cable? I have twice accidently done this during daylight testing. in the first, my OTA suffered a tumble where I fortunately caught it but ended up with two tiny scratch marks on my corrector plate, but fortunately my kit survived and they have been of no consequence. I had another earlier incidence where in not dissimilar circumstances, I accidently dragged my mount off a table (fortunately no OTA attached) having tripped over the stupidly long original StarSense cable I had left attached and my mount dropped three feet onto a wooded floor. Fortunately, my mount landed upright on its base and escaped undamaged as its heavy base landed on my cable (perhaps fortunately, to cushion it) and it severed that as if guillotined. This is where I replaced it with a short coiled cable taken from an AVX.
Frankly, I don't think there is any comfortable way of handling a wedge and SCT OTA over 8". But lowering your tripod to avoid using steps might assist, and will add stability.
Edited by Noah4x4, 02 July 2020 - 03:33 AM.