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How to balance my LX200 mount?

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  • deepskyja
    Hi Hall, I just buy new items to do astro imaging. Today my setup is LX200 14 as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI. The
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 29, 2008
      Hi Hall,

      I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
      Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion
      ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
      The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
      declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
      http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
      Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.

      Clear Skies

      ---------------------------------

      Jacques A.
      France, Normandie

      Deep Sky Jam Observatory
      49° 36' 43" N
      00° 20' 44" W
      LX200 GPS 14"

      http://www.deepskyjam.com

      ---------------------------------
    • Niall Saunders
      Bonjour Jacques, The problem that I think you are having is that you do not have ENOUGH weight to balance the system - your weights already seem to be at the
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 29, 2008
        Bonjour Jacques,

        The problem that I think you are having is that you do not have
        ENOUGH weight to balance the system - your weights already seem to
        be at the 'end of travel' as far as the mounting bar is concerned.

        Also, your weights are TOO CLOSE to the tube - you need a system
        that allows you to move the weights AWAY from the tube - this is "D
        balancing (you are only using 1D at the moment)

        Finally, you 'may' need to think about 3D balancing, where you can
        move your balance weights from 'side to side'. But this may not be
        necessary at the moment.

        Have a look at
        <http://autostarsuite.net/photos/niall_saunders/default.aspx>
        where you can (just) see the balancing system I am using.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheer,
        Niall Saunders
        Clinterty Observatories
        Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
        --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Hi Hall,
        >
        > I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
        > Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion
        > ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
        > The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
        > declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
        > http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
        > Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.
        >
        > Clear Skies
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        >
        > Jacques A.
        > France, Normandie
        >
        > Deep Sky Jam Observatory
        > 49° 36' 43" N
        > 00° 20' 44" W
        > LX200 GPS 14"
        >
        > http://www.deepskyjam.com
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        >
      • deepskyja
        Hello Niall, Thank you for your help, I just see your setup and I have a question. Can you imaging close to the zenith with no risk for your declinason motor
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 30, 2008
          Hello Niall,

          Thank you for your help, I just see your setup and I have a question.
          Can you imaging close to the zenith with no risk for your declinason
          motor drive?

          ---------------------------------

          Jacques A.
          France, Normandie

          Deep Sky Jam Observatory
          49° 36' 43" N
          00° 20' 44" W
          LX200 GPS 14"

          http://www.deepskyjam.com

          ---------------------------------



          --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Bonjour Jacques,
          >
          > The problem that I think you are having is that you do not have
          > ENOUGH weight to balance the system - your weights already seem to
          > be at the 'end of travel' as far as the mounting bar is concerned.
          >
          > Also, your weights are TOO CLOSE to the tube - you need a system
          > that allows you to move the weights AWAY from the tube - this is "D
          > balancing (you are only using 1D at the moment)
          >
          > Finally, you 'may' need to think about 3D balancing, where you can
          > move your balance weights from 'side to side'. But this may not be
          > necessary at the moment.
          >
          > Have a look at
          > <http://autostarsuite.net/photos/niall_saunders/default.aspx>
          > where you can (just) see the balancing system I am using.
          >
          > Hope this helps.
          >
          > Cheer,
          > Niall Saunders
          > Clinterty Observatories
          > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
          > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Hi Hall,
          > >
          > > I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
          > > Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion
          > > ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
          > > The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
          > > declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
          > > http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
          > > Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.
          > >
          > > Clear Skies
          > >
          > > ---------------------------------
          > >
          > > Jacques A.
          > > France, Normandie
          > >
          > > Deep Sky Jam Observatory
          > > 49° 36' 43" N
          > > 00° 20' 44" W
          > > LX200 GPS 14"
          > >
          > > http://www.deepskyjam.com
          > >
          > > ---------------------------------
          > >
          >
        • Niall Saunders
          Hello again Jacques, The balancing weight system causes absolutely NO OBSTRUCTIONS WHATSOEVER. I designed it with exactly this in mind. I had available 2
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 31, 2008
            Hello again Jacques,

            The balancing weight system causes absolutely NO OBSTRUCTIONS
            WHATSOEVER.

            I designed it with exactly this in mind.

            I had available 2" (50mm) solid brass bar to act as weights (also
            very easy to machine, and a high 'density' factor)

            By creating a 'Tee' form for the main weight, I could get far more
            weight into the space available - and this extra weight allowed
            the 'mass' to be 'closer' to the OTA axis. This meant less chance of
            the weight striking the fork base (i.e. the RA base).

            I also use a second weight, mounted directly on the rail, to 'bulk-
            up' the balancing system. It also is the only weight I really have to
            worry about when I swap my two cameras between the 8" and 80mm OTA's
            as I change from mono to colour imaging.

            I also use this second, stand-alone, weight to help balance a DSLR
            when fitted as a stand-alone imager (using a 300mm lens). I tend to
            mount this at the forward end of the OTA, and 'below' the main tube -
            effectively where the stand-alone balance weight was fitted. The
            weight then simple gets moved to the rear of the weight-bar, or
            sometime I fit a further weight, instead, on the piggy-back ED80
            scope, i.e. ABOVE the primary OTA.

            It is all about having enough fexibility to achieve what you want.

            And that is why I avoid commercial systems like the plague - they
            just are not flexible enough (well, apart from how much some of
            the 'flex' that is !!!!!)

            Hope this helps.

            Cheers,
            Niall Suanders
            Clinterty Observatories
            Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
            --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hello Niall,
            >
            > Thank you for your help, I just see your setup and I have a
            question.
            > Can you imaging close to the zenith with no risk for your
            declinason
            > motor drive?
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            >
            > Jacques A.
            > France, Normandie
            >
            > Deep Sky Jam Observatory
            > 49° 36' 43" N
            > 00° 20' 44" W
            > LX200 GPS 14"
            >
            > http://www.deepskyjam.com
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "Niall Saunders" <niall@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Bonjour Jacques,
            > >
            > > The problem that I think you are having is that you do not have
            > > ENOUGH weight to balance the system - your weights already seem
            to
            > > be at the 'end of travel' as far as the mounting bar is concerned.
            > >
            > > Also, your weights are TOO CLOSE to the tube - you need a system
            > > that allows you to move the weights AWAY from the tube - this
            is "D
            > > balancing (you are only using 1D at the moment)
            > >
            > > Finally, you 'may' need to think about 3D balancing, where you
            can
            > > move your balance weights from 'side to side'. But this may not
            be
            > > necessary at the moment.
            > >
            > > Have a look at
            > > <http://autostarsuite.net/photos/niall_saunders/default.aspx>
            > > where you can (just) see the balancing system I am using.
            > >
            > > Hope this helps.
            > >
            > > Cheer,
            > > Niall Saunders
            > > Clinterty Observatories
            > > Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
            > > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Hi Hall,
            > > >
            > > > I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
            > > > Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an
            Orion
            > > > ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
            > > > The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
            > > > declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
            > > > http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
            > > > Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.
            > > >
            > > > Clear Skies
            > > >
            > > > ---------------------------------
            > > >
            > > > Jacques A.
            > > > France, Normandie
            > > >
            > > > Deep Sky Jam Observatory
            > > > 49° 36' 43" N
            > > > 00° 20' 44" W
            > > > LX200 GPS 14"
            > > >
            > > > http://www.deepskyjam.com
            > > >
            > > > ---------------------------------
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Richard Seavey
            Hi Jacques I get the feeling that no one has answered your original question. Although the Subject of this thread is How to balance my LX200 mount? , are you
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 31, 2008
              Hi Jacques
              I get the feeling that no one has answered your original question. Although
              the Subject of this thread is "How to balance my LX200 mount?", are you
              really asking about how you set up your ST-11000 camera so that it doesn't
              hit the base of the fork when pointing towards the zenith?

              Richard





              At 03:09 PM 3/29/2008 +0000, you wrote:



              >Hi Hall,
              >
              >I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
              >Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion
              >ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
              >The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
              >declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
              ><http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg>http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
              >Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.
              >
              >Clear Skies
              >
              >---------------------------------
              >
              >Jacques A.
              >France, Normandie
              >
              >Deep Sky Jam Observatory
              >49° 36' 43" N
              >00° 20' 44" W
              >LX200 GPS 14"
              >
              ><http://www.deepskyjam.com>http://www.deepskyjam.com
              >
              >---------------------------------
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mark de Regt
              Jacques, It is an unfortunate trait of the LX200 that the camera will not fit inside the fork, so that one cannot image close to the celestial pole with an
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 31, 2008
                Jacques,

                It is an unfortunate trait of the LX200 that the camera will not fit inside
                the fork, so that one cannot image close to the celestial pole with an
                LX200. The RCX400 does not have this problem.

                Mark de Regt
                http://www.de-regt.com/Astronomy


                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ccd-
                > newastro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of deepskyja
                > Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 8:09 AM
                > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [ccd-newastro] How to balance my LX200 mount?
                >
                >
                >
                > Hi Hall,
                >
                > I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
                > Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion
                > ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
                > The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
                > declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
                > http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
                > Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.
                >
                > Clear Skies
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                >
                > Jacques A.
                > France, Normandie
                >
                > Deep Sky Jam Observatory
                > 49° 36' 43" N
                > 00° 20' 44" W
                > LX200 GPS 14"
                >
                > http://www.deepskyjam.com
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • deepskyja
                Hi all, My problem is not the position of the camera when it close to the fourk but the weight of my setup when I close to the zenith. The declinason axis
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 5, 2008
                  Hi all,

                  My problem is not the position of the camera when it close to the
                  fourk but the weight of my setup when I close to the zenith.
                  The declinason axis can't lock the OTA

                  Clear skies
                  --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi Hall,
                  >
                  > I just buy new items to do astro imaging.
                  > Today my setup is LX200 14" as main telescope, a STL11K, an Orion
                  > ED80 as guide scope with a Meade DSI.
                  > The problem is I can't imaging close to the zenith because the
                  > declinason axe can't look the OTA, see the following picture:
                  > http://www.deepskyjam.com/images/setup_balancing.jpg
                  > Does some of you solve this problem, any advices are welcome.
                  >
                  > Clear Skies
                  >
                  > ---------------------------------
                  >
                  > Jacques A.
                  > France, Normandie
                  >
                  > Deep Sky Jam Observatory
                  > 49° 36' 43" N
                  > 00° 20' 44" W
                  > LX200 GPS 14"
                  >
                  > http://www.deepskyjam.com
                  >
                  > ---------------------------------
                  >
                • Hilary Jones
                  Hi Jacques, There are two ways to solve the problem. The right way to do it is to get a 3D balancing system. You can get them from Losmandy: -
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 5, 2008
                    Hi Jacques,

                    There are two ways to solve the problem. The right way to do it is
                    to get a "3D" balancing system. You can get them from Losmandy:
                    - http://www.losmandy.com/secondary.html

                    or from ADM accessories:
                    - http://www.astro.premcom.com/ADM/index.htm

                    There may be other places too; but I recommend these systems. They
                    will let you get your scope in perfect balance.

                    The second and less desireable way to solve the problem is to get an
                    EZ clutch kit from Peterson:
                    - http://www.petersonengineering.com/sky/clutch_kit.htm

                    This will let you lock the Dec axis more firmly; but it doesn't solve
                    the real problem, which is that your scope is out of balance!

                    By the way you might want to join the LX200GPS group. You will find
                    many LX200 experts there. It is at:
                    - http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LX200GPS/messages


                    Take care,
                    Hilary

                    --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi all,
                    >
                    > My problem is not the position of the camera when it close to the
                    > fourk but the weight of my setup when I close to the zenith.
                    > The declinason axis can't lock the OTA
                  • deepskyja
                    Thank you for your help Hilary ... is ... They ... an ... solve ... find ... the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 5, 2008
                      Thank you for your help Hilary

                      --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "Hilary Jones"
                      <hilaryyahoo3@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Jacques,
                      >
                      > There are two ways to solve the problem. The right way to do it
                      is
                      > to get a "3D" balancing system. You can get them from Losmandy:
                      > - http://www.losmandy.com/secondary.html
                      >
                      > or from ADM accessories:
                      > - http://www.astro.premcom.com/ADM/index.htm
                      >
                      > There may be other places too; but I recommend these systems.
                      They
                      > will let you get your scope in perfect balance.
                      >
                      > The second and less desireable way to solve the problem is to get
                      an
                      > EZ clutch kit from Peterson:
                      > - http://www.petersonengineering.com/sky/clutch_kit.htm
                      >
                      > This will let you lock the Dec axis more firmly; but it doesn't
                      solve
                      > the real problem, which is that your scope is out of balance!
                      >
                      > By the way you might want to join the LX200GPS group. You will
                      find
                      > many LX200 experts there. It is at:
                      > - http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LX200GPS/messages
                      >
                      >
                      > Take care,
                      > Hilary
                      >
                      > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "deepskyja" <deepskyja@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Hi all,
                      > >
                      > > My problem is not the position of the camera when it close to
                      the
                      > > fourk but the weight of my setup when I close to the zenith.
                      > > The declinason axis can't lock the OTA
                      >
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