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Available Fork-mounted 10" LX200R Counterweight System?

Cassegrain Equipment Meade SCT Visual Tripod Mount Accessories
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#1 Noumenon

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Posted 23 June 2022 - 11:39 PM

Hi all!

 

Loving all the help people have been giving me since diving into this hobby last year. You all have been wonderful in direct thread responses and PMs. What a community. Thank you.

 

So my fork-mounted 10" LX200R (same as ACF) has a three-way dovetail bracket (to hold three attachments), a GSO 8x50 RACI new finder w/ bracket, red dot sight, green laser, I've a 2" diagonal and use 2" eyepieces all mounted to the back and of course, my balance is... problematic. 

 

A couple questions : 

  1. Is anyone aware of an off-the-shelf counterweight system currently available for this telescope & mount setup? I do see this ( https://www.meade.co...ct-and-acf.html ), which would be exactly what I'm looking for, but no one has it available and am in need of  alternatives.
  2. Is my balance issue also contributing to my alignment issues? Whenever I do an auto-align or any align and recenter on the star, etc -- it gets in the general area well, but regardless of any centering during alignment I do, it continues to only go to that general spot in the sky. Once centered on the object it will track "well enough".

Any assistance or other input would be appreciated!

 

Best,

Steve



#2 carolinaskies

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Posted 24 June 2022 - 07:07 AM

As far as counterweight bars I've used the Meade slide system and the Scopestuff stackable weight systems.  I like the Scopestuff for my LX200 10" and it's actually probably the easiest to replicate as a DIY since it uses a basic aluminum slide bar stock which uses 1/4x20 attachment slides. 

There's a wide choice of aluminum channel out on the market for various purposes from woodworking to hardware mounting to shelving.   And there are stackable screw on weights for video steady-cam systems.   



#3 Thrifty1

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Posted 24 June 2022 - 08:23 AM

Yes - balance was one factor impacting my alignment/ max exposure issues. I was only able to get about 25 second exposures before elongated stars.

3 things fixed it:

1 - good PEC training. Reduced my PE from 40 arc-seconds to less than 10.

2 - good polar alignment. I bought the SharpCap Pro license for the Polar Align tool. So easy and gives me so much better alignment.

3 - telescope balance. I made my own counterweight system. I attached a track to the bottom with weights I can slide along it. I wasn’t sure how to counterbalance the fork arm and ended up getting an ankle weight I can wrap around it. It has removable weight pouches to adjust the weight. I tightly wrap it around a fork arm with an extra Velcro strap so it doesn’t shift.

All of the above works great for improved alignment and tracking. I’ve been able to get some 3 minute exposures now unguided.

#4 Thrifty1

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Posted 24 June 2022 - 08:35 AM

Here are a couple photos. The ankle weight isn’t pretty, but it works well. 

Here are the weights I bought for the sliding rail. 
 

Neewer Aluminum Alloy 4.6lbs/2.1kg Removable Counter Weight for Balancing Shoulder Mount Rig Stabilizer Fits 15mm Rods(Blue+Black) https://a.co/d/bIrhgPA
 

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#5 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 24 June 2022 - 06:09 PM

Although they're rigid I hate dovetail brackets because they are quite heavy and contribute to inbalance.  Scopestuff's setup is close to optimal.  For a detailed look at balancing an SCT see https://petersonengi...ncing-your-sct/


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#6 jaymcgil19

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Posted 26 June 2022 - 01:36 PM

When balancing make sure you end up a touch heavy on the front end to keep the slop minimized in the gear lash.

 

John M




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