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Jack & the Finderstalk

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#1 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 09:53 AM

Technology has advanced so much and equipment has evolved a lot. Nothing in this hobby has stayed back in the dark ages quite like the RACI finderscope mounting stalk.

 

Sure, they now have spring loaded adjustment screws in the bracket. But why in the heck are RACI finderscope mounting stalks always so darn long? I get it...a straight-through almost requires it to sit up high unless one wants to hurt their neck. But the entire point of a RACI is to allow you to look down into it without having to contort yourself. So it serves no purpose having it sit up high. In fact, an RACI finder sitting up high is kind of a pain.

 

Yes, one can get dual rings with two pairs of three adjustment screws. Sorry, but those are a pain to adjust, even though a lot of them keep the finder closer to the OTA. One does make (I think its Vixen) a shorter stalk, but they are hard to find, too expensive and these days often out of stock. Aside from that all finder stalks are tall, meaning the finder has to sit so far away from the OTA it might as well be considered the OTA's satellite.

 

So, now that I once again have an Alt-Az mount (unlike my GEM where the finder really acted like a moving satellite), I decided to find a way to keep my finder close to the OTA. But, I didn't want to cut down the stalk in case I were to sell it someday (I've done that before).

 

So, I had a spare ADM dovetail saddle lying around and thought...hmmm, why use the traditional finder mounting shoe (don't get me started on the "safety" notch being on the wrong end). I figured out right where I wanted my RACI finder to be, and then made a simple wooden "spanner" to attach the ADM saddle and the RACI mounting stalk together. I attached the stalk in the middle of the stalk, rather than the bottom. Now I can put it anywhere along the dovetail rail.

 

Here is my old GEM mounted OTA and it's satellite (I also had it mounted on the rings in various locations and putting the shoe on my focuser is not an option)...

 

6f106c_0a57218632ea41d8a38bb4c0f1c3ee1d~

 

The new RACI mounting bracket...

 

6f106c_694cba4f4f8c4df78b568cd04e4d5985~

 

6f106c_8e2c67d6600b4993b7e9471849600a62~

 

6f106c_b11d0d54e1d141a39974d9708f96a19c~

 

6f106c_cb0f9a23a2664197a13783820076b42b~


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 05 August 2022 - 10:20 AM.

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#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:14 AM

In many cases, the long stalk is necessary to get the finder far away enough from the main OTA, that the latter doesn't block a part of the field of view. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#3 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:22 AM

In many cases, the long stalk is necessary to get the finder far away enough from the main OTA, that the latter doesn't block a part of the field of view. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

I have never had that be an issue. With the focal point being infinity, I've never seen an instance that the OTA blocks the view in any way. Of course some, with extremely long focal length refractors may be problematic. In fact the Celestron RACI sits right on the OTA, which I find appealing. The cost, not so much.


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 05 August 2022 - 10:37 AM.


#4 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:26 AM

I have never had that be an issue. In fact the Celestron RACI sits right on the OTA, which I find appealing. The cost, not so much.

On many refractors, the finderscope shoe is mounted on the focuser. If the focuser is considerably smaller than the main OTA, which might also have a big dewcap, then there's a real risk that the main OTA starts to become visible as a shadow off to one side in the finderscope. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#5 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:40 AM

On many refractors, the finderscope shoe is mounted on the focuser. If the focuser is considerably smaller than the main OTA, which might also have a big dewcap, then there's a real risk that the main OTA starts to become visible as a shadow off to one side in the finderscope. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

You are right. I've usually had no issue with an RACI mounted on a rotating focuser. I can't do that with my Mak's dual speed focuser. This tall stalk problem is mainly for CAT users and those who have short focal length, wide field fracs who can't mount to the focuser, and of course anything on a GEM already has the "satellite" issue anyway.

 

The main issue I have is that there are few options available. I should get everything I need to machine aluminum and make my own (or to sell). Hmmm...hmm.gif


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 05 August 2022 - 10:44 AM.


#6 SoCalPaul

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:59 AM

I haven't used the current Celestron bracket, but it looks robust and appears to address your concern?

 

celestron finder bracket1.jpg

celestron finder bracket2.jpg


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#7 clearwaterdave

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 11:08 AM

I agree.,and most places to mount them seem like it is either in the way or out of comfortable reach.,.I mounted mine off the handle and I can go back and forth quite easily.,

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#8 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 11:08 AM

I haven't used the current Celestron bracket, but it looks robust and appears to address your concern?

 

attachicon.gifcelestron finder bracket1.jpg

attachicon.gifcelestron finder bracket2.jpg

I love that. But not enough to spend that much. ;)


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#9 SoCalPaul

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 11:16 AM

I love that. But not enough to spend that much. wink.gif

I don't know if the bracket is available on its own?

 

Also, although not clear in those photos, it does have a QR shoe.

 

Paul


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#10 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 11:18 AM

I don't know if the bracket is available on its own?

 

Also, although not clear in those photos, it does have a QR shoe.

 

Paul

I can make anything fit anything. ;) I don't think they sell the bracket separately, but if they don't they should as they'd corner the market.


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#11 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:06 PM

I haven't used the current Celestron bracket, but it looks robust and appears to address your concern?

 

attachicon.gifcelestron finder bracket1.jpg

attachicon.gifcelestron finder bracket2.jpg

I have one on my EdgeHD 8".  Rather, I had one on it.  The finder was difficult to attach and remove from the proprietary base.  And the finder will not be portable to other telescopes unless they also have the proprietary base.  Besides, this proprietary base will only go on Cats, unless you are willing to drill holes in a Newt or refractor OTA.   I replaced this proprietary Celestron base on my EdgeHD 8" with a standard Orion/Vixen/Synta base.  Actually, all my Cats have a standard finder base on them now.

 

I like to be able to move finders among several telescopes, whether they be Cats, refractors or Newts.  You can't do that unless they all have the same type of finder base.  I think a standard Orion/Vixen/Synta style base is best for portability.

 

What is needed is the option to have a lower finder stalk that is compatible with a standard Orion/Vixen/Synta base.  On some telescopes a long stalk will work better.  On others a shorter stalk is called for.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 05 August 2022 - 12:13 PM.

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#12 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:07 PM

I don't know if the bracket is available on its own?

 

Also, although not clear in those photos, it does have a QR shoe.

 

Paul

What do you mean by "QR" shoe?

 

Mike



#13 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:11 PM

I have one on my EdgeHD 8".  Rather, I had one on it.  The finder was difficult to attach and remove from the proprietary base.  And the finder will not be portable to other telescopes unless they also have the proprietary base.  I replaced this Celestron base with a standard Orion/Vixen/Synta base.

 

I like to be able to move finders among several telescopes, whether they be Cats, refractors or Newts.  You can't do that unless they all have the same type of finder base.  I think a standard Orion/Vixen/Synta style base is best for portability.

 

What is needed is the option to have a lower finder stalk that is compatible with a standard Orion/Vixen/Synta base.

 

Mike

That's why I said, I can make anything fit anything without having to buy something special. But yeah, if only there were more common, compatible and universal mounting platforms that were commercially available. 

I don't think it would be all that difficult to make and attach a common findershoe adapter to the bottom of it. 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 05 August 2022 - 12:12 PM.


#14 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:19 PM

That's why I said, I can make anything fit anything without having to buy something special. But yeah, if only there were more common, compatible and universal mounting platforms that were commercially available. 

I don't think it would be all that difficult to make and attach a common findershoe adapter to the bottom of it. 

I'd rather buy accessory parts and adapters off-the-shelf rather rig something up.  Though I have done my share of rigging when nothing was available.

 

It's pretty obvious that what is needed is a good off-the-shelf finder bracket for 50mm finders that has a shorter stalk.   Also, we need finder brackets with shorter stalks for the common 6x30 finders.

 

The Chinese make everything else.  I'd like to see them make these, too.  grin.gif

 

Mike

 

(Right now I'm rigging a replacement for the StarSense Explorer push-to gizmo.  But I'm trying to find components available for sale that I can put together.  I found some good candidates.  Now I'm waiting for everything to arrive in the mail.  That's how I roll! grin.gif)


Edited by Sarkikos, 05 August 2022 - 12:23 PM.

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#15 betacygni

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:35 PM

Stellarvue already makes no stalk finder rings: https://www.stellarv...er-scope-rings/

Various options, including zero rise, select the different options from menu to see the pics.

Edited by betacygni, 05 August 2022 - 12:36 PM.

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#16 SoCalPaul

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:43 PM

What do you mean by "QR" shoe?

 

Mike

QR = quick release

 

I think the phrase and abbreviation come from the world of photography?

 

Paul


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#17 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:46 PM

Stellarvue already makes no stalk finder rings: https://www.stellarv...er-scope-rings/

Various options, including zero rise, select the different options from menu to see the pics.

As I mentioned, there are a lot of dual-ringed, six point adjustment lo-rise brackets. I find 6 point adjustments a pain to fiddle with. Great if you never have to adjust if it stays put. Otherwise, beyond the adjustments, I find they still take up far too much real estate. 



#18 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:48 PM

I'd rather buy accessory parts and adapters off-the-shelf rather rig something up.  Though I have done my share of rigging when nothing was available.

 

It's pretty obvious that what is needed is a good off-the-shelf finder bracket for 50mm finders that has a shorter stalk.   Also, we need finder brackets with shorter stalks for the common 6x30 finders.

 

The Chinese make everything else.  I'd like to see them make these, too.  grin.gif

 

Mike

 

(Right now I'm rigging a replacement for the StarSense Explorer push-to gizmo.  But I'm trying to find components available for sale that I can put together.  I found some good candidates.  Now I'm waiting for everything to arrive in the mail.  That's how I roll! grin.gif)

I would rather buy them as well. But, as they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention." A perfect example is mount/pier extensions. My ownership of small, Alt-Az mounts over the years (like the Stellarvue MC2, or my recently acquired Skywatcher AZ-GTi) necessitated the need for easy to use mounting adapter plates and extension piers. Now, I could have spent a small fortune on existing commercial products, but I made my own with readily available parts from a hardware store. Unlike the proprietary commercial offerings, they needed to fit onto my existing mounting platforms (piers/tripod heads).

 

This one was used with my MC2 Alt-Az mount as well as my new AZ-GTi...

 

6f106c_9c44cacbe2ad459f8bded4cc1009d96e~

 

And a shorter version for my deck pier...

 

6f106c_2925358cf75142fa8330fccd8ed72629~


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 05 August 2022 - 01:09 PM.

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#19 SoCalPaul

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 12:52 PM

I would rather buy them as well. But, as they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention."

Or to phrase it differently, "market opportunity is..." LOL.

 

Paul


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#20 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 01:39 PM

Mods...I just noticed I posted this in the "Eyepiece" forum, instead of "Equipment". Feel free to move it.



#21 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 03:29 PM

Stellarvue already makes no stalk finder rings: https://www.stellarv...er-scope-rings/

Various options, including zero rise, select the different options from menu to see the pics.

You are right.  Svbony also has something similar, probably for less.  But these are double-ring finder mounts.  I was thinking more in the line of the cylindrical finder bracket with two adjustable screws, as in the pics in the Opening Post.  

 

I use double-ring and the standard cylindrical finder mounts.  I don't really have a preference, as long as the finder mount is the right height for the job and works well in practice.

 

I actually have an Svbony double-ring finder mount for an SV 50mm finder.   It is sturdy construction, works well. 

 

I wonder if there are double-ring finder mounts for 30mm finders?  For my small scopes, I often use a 6x30 RACI.  The long stalks on the standard finder brackets for 6x30 are too tall, IMO.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 05 August 2022 - 03:37 PM.

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#22 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 03:31 PM

QR = quick release

 

I think the phrase and abbreviation come from the world of photography?

 

Paul

I understand the concept of quick release, as in quick release plates for tripod heads.  I just wasn't used to seeing the QR abbreviation.

 

Mike


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#23 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 03:38 PM

You are right.  Svbony also has something similar, probably for less.  But these are double-ring finder mounts.  I was thinking more in the line of the cylindrical finder bracket with two adjustable screws, as in the pics in the Opening Post.  

 

I use double-ring and the standard cylindrical finder mounts.  I don't really have a preference, as long as the finder mount is the right height for the job and works well in practice.

 

I actually have an Svbony double-ring finder mount for an SV 50mm finder.   It is sturdy construction, works well. 

 

I wonder if there are double-ring finder mounts for 30mm finders?  For my small scopes, I often use a 6x30 RACI.  The long stalks on the standard finder brackets for 6x30 are too tall, IMO.

 

Mike

It would be great if these finderscope stalks had adjustable height. Hmmm...


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#24 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 03:40 PM

It would be great if these finderscope stalks had adjustable height. Hmmm...

Yep, that idea had popped into my head earlier.  But a disadvantage could be that the adjustment creates another point where something can come loose and go wrong.

 

Mike


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#25 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 04:04 PM

Yep, that idea had popped into my head earlier.  But a disadvantage could be that the adjustment creates another point where something can come loose and go wrong.

 

Mike

You mean like everything else we use? shocked.gif cool.gif


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