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Pro Tip: Don't forget to take off your lens cap when balancing your mount

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#1 KyeNelson

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:22 PM

For the last few nights I've been getting weird guiding issues and I've been trying to do everything I can to figure out what the problem was. 

Well.. since I balance my mount while its still light out, I didn't bother to take off my lens cap which was adding a lot more weight than I thought. 

 

Silly crucial mistake that took me a lot more time than it should have to figure out.

 

So for those who've been having guiding issues, maybe this could be the fix!

 

 


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#2 TrustyChords

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:34 PM

How heavy is your lens cap??


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#3 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:42 PM

It's sort of hard for me to believe that a slight imbalance like that could affect guiding results. So, I'd be curious about what scope and what mount you are talking about. I get tons of variation based on seeing and wind but have never seen a pound or so of imbalance give "weird" guiding results. Still, it's better to balance the system exactly as you intend to use it.

Rgrds-Ross



#4 KyeNelson

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 12:35 AM

How heavy is your lens cap??

WO Zenithstar 73. 

Got a pretty heavy aluminum lens cap. 

I'm not completely sure if the lens cap was the main issue but it sure changed how my scope balances on my mount. 



#5 TrustyChords

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 01:00 AM

WO Zenithstar 73. 

Got a pretty heavy aluminum lens cap. 

I'm not completely sure if the lens cap was the main issue but it sure changed how my scope balances on my mount. 

Aha. Is that the one with the bahtinov mask in the cover? That does look relatively substantial. I wish I had a bahtinov mask in my lens cover to be honest.



#6 Domtbol

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 12:35 PM

Do you not mark the mount and rail when you have it perfectly balanced , then you dont have to balance any more , also for the position of the counter weights.  The best way to balance ther OTA is to put it on a bench and put a screwdriver or something simelar under the rail and then mark it.  Dont forget to extend the focuser to the correct position , oh and mark that too , it will put you in the ball park for focusing.



#7 Phishin_phool

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 08:11 AM

Also don't forget to attach all your cables dew straps etc as well I found that all that little stuff adds up affecting the balance. I have two WIlliam Optics scopes and especially on my 103mm refractor that aluminum cap with the Bahtinov mask in it is substantial



#8 Der_Pit

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 04:58 PM

Yes, larger scopes 'suffer' more in that respect.  The cap is more heavy, and further out from the rotation point.  My Sharpstars' cap is 320g, and half a meter from the middle.  One day I wanted to re-check(*) my balance (done properly with cap off and dew cap extended).  So I disengaged the magnetic meshing (CEM60) and was flabbergasted as it vigorously started moving, until I realized I still had the cap on...

 

(*) I have an L-bracket below my dovetail that sits against the mount.  The mount stays out all year. So I balance once, and then I can remove and re-attach the OTA without having to balance again.



#9 hfsarber

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 05:22 PM

Z73 cap is 164g.

 

I did the same thing about a week ago.  After balancing the OTA I removed the cap to check the lens for dust and watched the camera rotate towards the floor.  Looked at the cap.  Looked at the scope.  Placed palm firmly on forehead!  lol.gif

 

I've been trying to finalize what's riding on top so rebalancing happens a lot.




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