Re: Loosening Saddle Plate Knobs

Christopher Erickson

I work on a lot of scope and mounts.  I take care of most of the scopes in our local club as well as the Onizuka VIS scopes as well as a number of professional observatories and I have to say that my two small rubberized strap wrenches get used a LOT.  Everything from diagonals, knobs, eyepieces, focusers, etc.  They work great and don't damage the finish.
Christopher Erickson
Consulting Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 10:35 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] Loosening Saddle Plate Knobs

When I started reading these posts and suggestions I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I mean, what's the problem?  If one of the knobs is too tight, you just pull out the appropriate long-handled hex-key or Allen Wrench and loosen it.  Big deal.  The AP Mach1 manual even mentions this -- and AP even included a nice set of Bondhus wrenches.
I was in the process of writing a smart-a__ post about this when my atrophying brain said "Better check your Mach1 before shooting off your mouth."
My Mach1 is currently all packed up and hard to get at, so I pulled out my field setup photos.  And there in gorgeous ink-jet color was my saddle plate showing its three tightening knobs -- each one with with a hex key socket in the middle -- just as I thought -- and just like the Mach1 clutch knobs.  No problem, just use a long handled hex key.
And then that same age-addled brain said, "Hey Woody, you're now using the longer saddle plate with three knobs because you hated the original short one with just two knobs.  Maybe that short one is this DOVELM2 saddle Gary is talking about.  And maybe it doesn't have those nice knobs with the hex-key sockets."
I never throw anything out, so I rummaged around and found my original saddle plate.  Son-of-a-gun, it has two knobs and neither one has those hex-key sockets!
I think most of the suggestions you got were good and workable -- particularly the small strap-wrench suggestion.  But if I were you, I'd also ask Howard if it's possible to buy a couple of the nice (and I thought standard) AP knobs with the hex-key socket in the middle and substitute those for the ones that you have.  These would be similar to the Mach1 clutch knobs.
The answer will probably be NO, but it doesn't hurt to ask. 
One of the things I didn't like about that little dovetail plate were the just two knobs and the tiny little brass wedge thingies on their ends that tighten down and hold your scope to the mount.  The longer optional plate I bought not only has three knobs and dovetail locks, but the dovetail locks themselves are very large machined and spring-loaded things that really work well.  And each of the three knobs has that hex-key socket.
If all else fails, you might consider the longer dovetail plate with the three dovetail locks -- and three knobs with the hex-key centers.
  -----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 5:45 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Loosening Saddle Plate Knobs


I have a MACH1GTO with the DOVELM2 saddle plate,  At the end of the night, especially if it is cold, I have a tough time loosening the two saddle plate knobs to release the scope.  Perhaps it is because I have big old fingers, or maybe I just tighten them too much at the start of the night.  

Does anyone else have the same problem, and are there innovative ways to easily loosen them?



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