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Twilight 1 Mod Redux

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#1 writerguy

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 11:47 AM

I recently bought an AT102ED 4" refractor and an ES Twilight 1 mount. I love the setup, but like many others decided I wanted to find some way to reduce the shakiness of the mount at high magnifications. While poking around the forums, I found this post by JimOfOakCreek describing his elegant solution, and thought I'd give it a try. 

 

There was only one problem: While I normally live in NYC, I am currently riding out the pandemic with my family in northern Wisconsin, and have limited access to tools and supplies. Also, I have absolutely *no* DIY skills. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

 

But I was encouraged by the fact that Erin described her own successful recreation of Jim's solution in that original thread. So I immediately reached out to both Jim and Erin and began peppering them with inane questions. And I do mean inane. As in, "Do you paint first and then varnish, or varnish first and then paint? And if you don't mind my asking, what *is* varnish, anyhow? And should I apply it to the rest of the telescope as well?"

 

Jim and Erin were incredibly kind and helpful (not to mention patient), and after a few false starts, I was able to recreate the modification. (I did take the precaution of ordering *two* sets of wood pieces on the assumption that I would both my first attempt. I was right.)

 

And here it is!

 

IMG_2720.jpg IMG_2721.jpg

 

After waiting impatiently for the clouds to clear, I finally had the chance to test it last night. Big improvement! At lower magnifications, it's virtually rock steady. At higher magnifications, there is some initial wiggle on focus, but it damps within 1-2 seconds just as Jim and Erin describe -- rather than the 7-8 seconds I was experiencing before the mod. I am thrilled. I am also amazed that I was able to do this, as are my children. "It looks very professional," my 11-year-old son told me the other day. And after 40 hours of work, it should.

 

So: A *huge* shout-out to Jim and Erin, and a word of encouragement to anyone who might be considering something like this but, like me, is handy-deficient: You can do this! And it works! And you can do this! Really!

 

Trust me: If *I* can do this, your *cat* probably could.

 

Clear skies,

 

AG


Edited by writerguy, 11 July 2020 - 02:02 PM.

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#2 4BINNI

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:07 PM

Your link to the post by JimOfOakCreek doesn't work. And I would really like to check it out, having just bought a ES Twilight 1.



#3 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:52 PM

Nice work. 
 

Your Friend Jim



#4 jeremiah2229

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 12:58 PM

Your link to the post by JimOfOakCreek doesn't work. And I would really like to check it out, having just bought a ES Twilight 1.

Trying to help...


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#5 erin

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 01:35 PM

AG—it looks great! Well done! It really is satisfying too, isn’t it? Nice write up too. I will say for record that I don’t think your questions were that inane wink.gif

 

Glad I could help and so glad it makes the difference for you. I hope you are enjoying those dark skies smile.gif


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#6 writerguy

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 02:10 PM

Oops -- thanks, jeremiah2229! I fixed the link in the original post, as well. Apparently, in addition to being all thumbs, I don't know how to work a link editor...

 

4BINNI, you can also see Mr. Mike's post regarding the same modification. Like Jim's thread, that one also contains additional information about other mods you can try.

 

Personally, I'd like to try the enhanced Vixen dovetail clamp that Erin added. Someone just sold one on the classifieds, and I missed it by a day! 


Edited by writerguy, 11 July 2020 - 02:11 PM.

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#7 khingdheano

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 12:53 AM

The "Flitch Plate" mod is, IMHO, indeed very effective. I just acquired a Twilight 1 mount from a friendly CN member. The first night I used the mount I noticed some vibration while focusing my ES AR102 refractor, not enough to be objectionable but more than I was used to from my Vixen Great Polaris equatorial. I saw this thread about the mod and thought I would try it, can't hurt, right? No permanent changes to the mount. Well, it did make a difference, cut the vibration time by at least half. I made one addition to the mod as described here, I sandwiched some relatively stiff strips of foam between the two pieces of the plate. I don't know if that helped or not, but I am happy with the results.


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#8 writerguy

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 09:40 AM

Glad it worked for you! What kind of foam did you use? Could you post a picture of your mod?

 

Erin made a cool additional mod as well using an extra piece of wood that fits in the lower gap on the mount arm, but I didn't have the presence of mind to ask her about that when I made the original mod.

 

By the way, my Twilight 1 arrived with a dented leg, and I contacted the vendor, Jeff Norwood, at Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions, to let him know. Jeff immediately informed Mike Hatch at Explore Scientific, who promptly shipped me a new leg. (He actually offered to replace the entire tripod, but I didn't think that was necessary.) I've read lots of good things about ES and their warranty policy in the forums, and just thought I'd take the opportunity to strongly recommend CCTS as well. (Jeff was also incredibly helpful during the ordering process, answering lots of questions and offering advice backed up by what was obviously loads of experience.)


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#9 erin

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 06:02 PM

The extra piece I added to the bottom of the gap I did the same as the larger piece. Sand it to fit and use one bolt to attach it to the outside piece.

 

Glad the mod is working waytogo.gif



#10 khingdheano

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 09:05 PM

Glad it worked for you! What kind of foam did you use? Could you post a picture of your mod?

 

Erin made a cool additional mod as well using an extra piece of wood that fits in the lower gap on the mount arm, but I didn't have the presence of mind to ask her about that when I made the original mod.

 

By the way, my Twilight 1 arrived with a dented leg, and I contacted the vendor, Jeff Norwood, at Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions, to let him know. Jeff immediately informed Mike Hatch at Explore Scientific, who promptly shipped me a new leg. (He actually offered to replace the entire tripod, but I didn't think that was necessary.) I've read lots of good things about ES and their warranty policy in the forums, and just thought I'd take the opportunity to strongly recommend CCTS as well. (Jeff was also incredibly helpful during the ordering process, answering lots of questions and offering advice backed up by what was obviously loads of experience.)

I have no idea how to describe the foam. It was something I saved from some packaging, for a phone or something. My wife loves to laugh at me about my foam collection. I'm always keeping something that normal people would toss, she'll hear me say "Oh hey, that's a great piece of foam." I have boxes of the stuff.


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#11 writerguy

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 09:43 PM

My entire family loves to laugh at me about all kinds of stuff. But in my case, none of it is actually useful.smile.gif



#12 writerguy

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:38 AM

Erin, I'm going to try adding that piece! One of the nice things about this mod is that it's so easily removable/adaptable. Still want to add that enhanced Vixen clamp, too!


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#13 aeajr

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 10:26 PM

Thanks for sharing this mod of the TW1

#14 writerguy

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:12 AM

My pleasure! I hope it's helpful.

 

I recently acquired the enhanced Vixen clamp that Erin and Mr. Mike recommend, and will post about that once I've had the chance to try it. (It *feels* secure, but I haven't been able to do any observing since I got it!)


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#15 aeajr

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:49 AM

My pleasure! I hope it's helpful.

 

I recently acquired the enhanced Vixen clamp that Erin and Mr. Mike recommend, and will post about that once I've had the chance to try it. (It *feels* secure, but I haven't been able to do any observing since I got it!)

Got a link for that?  Not sure what this would be or how it would help.



#16 writerguy

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 09:03 AM

Sure! Mr. Mike posted about it here and you can see one here. Mr. Mike and Erin found it further increased the stability of the mount. (There seems to be more surface area in contact with the dovetail, and it's a bit heavier, too.)



#17 mortarman

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 07:53 AM

I wonder if a couple of aluminum plates would work? I have some scrap that I could use. Or do you think the wood adds a cushioning effect?



#18 writerguy

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 08:40 AM

Hey mortarman,

 

I wish I could tell you! Perhaps one of the handier and more experienced forum folks would know?

 

I did a little research on flitch plates and beams -- as JimOfOakCreek explains in his original post, this reinforcement method is essentially a form of that kind of thing -- and it seems that they typically involve making a wood sandwich around a steel plate to share the load on that inner plate. But I saw other variations as well, with alternating layers of wood and metal; and JimOfOakCreek recommended thick Baltic birch because it is relatively rigid. I suppose it wouldn't do any harm to try with you scrap pieces and see if it helps: the nice thing about this mod is that you can simply remove it without altering the mount arm itself. (I took my wood pieces on and off a couple of times while fitting them.)

 

Bear in mind, however, that this is pure speculation from someone who can barely operate a hammer...

 

AG


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