Re: This might be a stupid question - figured it out

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>

Hi Paul,

You did get it to work... but you also uncovered a flaw in the counterweight
shaft. You should have a shaft with a uniform diameter and you should have
no difficulty adding or removing counterweights with the shaft screwed
firmly into the mount. Get it replaced. There is no reason to have to
remove the shaft in order to remove or add weights.

BTW, If you are using a refractor, you might want to check out a minor
modification that I made to help balance the DEC. axis so that one can
easily switch from visual to photographic use of the telescope without
having to resort to sliding the OTA in the dovetail mount. Prior to that
modification, I found that adjusting the DEC. balance would throw off
critical polar alignment: but I don't have that problem any more. See:


Larry Denmark

E-mail . . .
Web site . .

Hi Rich -

Thanks for your note. That wasn't the problem, but I did figure it out
morning (my initial theory of it being a stupid question was pretty spot

My mistake was trying to put the counterweight on _after_ already
threading the
counterweight shaft onto the mount. I didn't initially realize that the
counterweight shaft diameter gets noticably wider right at the end -- it
makes the safety plug at the end redundant.

When I took the shaft off of the mount and tried putting the weight over
threaded end, it worked fine. It will slide freely up and down the shaft
it gets within about 1/2 inch of the bottom where it then stops (because
shaft is wider).

What I need to do is first put the weight on the shaft, and then thread
shaft into the mount. I've not encountered this on other mounts I've used
other mount is a Vixen Great Polaris). As I intend to use a reasonably
range of instrument weights on this, I suspect I'll get a fair amount of
practice threading and unthreading this shaft.



"Rich N." <> on 03/26/2000 05:42:01 AM

Please respond to


cc: (bcc: Paul Schroeder/US/DataCard)

Subject: [ap-gto] Re: This might be a stupid question . . .

Fax to:

Are you sure you have the set screw backed out all
the way? There is bronze "nose" that "floats" in the
hole. I always slide the weight on the shaft with the
knob on the weight pointing down so that this floating
bronze nose will stay clear of the shaft. Once the weight
is on the shaft I rotate the weight so the knob is on top.

Maybe there is a little burr in the hole where the bronze
nose stick through?


Hi all -

Well, my 600E GTO arrived from AP earlier this week-- it is absolutely
and very solid. Tonight the skies cleared up nicely, and I had hoped to
give it
a brief test drive.

Alas, I got tripped up by a fairly (very?) mundane problem.

Put simply, I couldn't get the 9 pound counterweight to slip over the
counterweight shaft. It was _incredibly_ tight. With maximum hand
pressure, I
couldn't get the shaft more than 1/4 inch into the counterweight.

The only conceivable way I could have gotten it in further would be to do
serious banging with a rubber mallet. I didn't feel very comfortable
with a brand new mount. As it was, it took both me and my son pulling
to get the shaft out of the counterweight (even though it was only 1/4

Are the counterweights normally this snug? Is there a break-in period to
"loosen" the collar inside the counterweight, or does this sound unusual?

I'll call AP on Monday, but if anyone had any suggestions maybe I could
again yet tonight (or tomorrow night).

Thanks and best regards,

Paul Schroeder

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