Re: AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

Len Fulham


I have had the same issue. In my observatory I had a pier 68" high, 1200GTO and 7"f9 Starfire. 3 decades or so ago I was happy enough to climb a step ladder whilst cradling the scope in both arms and set it in the rings. During the last few years I had to dismount the scopes a few times and did not feel comfortable with that approach.

I prepared some aids:
An old solid stool with a ply top with screw adjustable height (I covered the ply with a thin towel, bit leery of pneumatic chair lifts, don't trust em)
A 'Y' tipped timber cut just right to fit under the CW bar to floor when bar is horizontal with an elastic strap which holds it onto the bar.

To remove scope:
a/ Start with normally balanced scope.
b/ Bring CW Bar Horizontal and put timber prop under CW bar and fix with elastic; now the bar/CW can't drop when the scope comes off.
c/ Swing telescope tube vertically so objective is pointing at ground (I have a fixed dew cap, but if you have one which retracts, it should be retracted.)
d/ Place stool under centre of objective and raise it until it starts to take the weight of the scope.


f/ Loosen dovetail or rings being wary of any unexpected movement.
g/ Release dovetail or open tube rings.
h/ Bear hug tube and place it on the floor (carpet or similar)
i/ Store tube in safe place.

If the tube is going back on, leave everything in place ready, or record details for next time.

If mounting a new tube (ie unsure re balance etc) put excess CW on the DEC axis first, then swing/lift DEC onto forked prop. Then reverse the general concept.

With this approach there is no need to climb anything to get the scope on the mount. (Actually I lie, with the RHA I had an intermediate very stable platform to stand on, lowered scope to that, then to floor).

Clearly this is a planned process which requires organisation but it gives a lot more control than hoping you don't lose balance on a ladder, creating a critical moment.



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