Park 2: Saddle Knobs Up or Down?

Dale Ghent

I've always put the ring knobs down for no reason other than getting tired of my sleeve snagging on them when reaching over the top of the scope.

Christopher M

Thank you Mike.
Its good to know I wasn't out to lunch on what I have been doing, and good to find out ways to improve.  I thought about it last night while cloudy and see how with larger and heavier telescopes, pre attaching the rings to the mount becomes more important.  

M Hambrick

Hi Christopher

I have a two-scope system with a 180EDT (big & heavy) in a side-by-side arrangement with a Tele-Vue Pronto (small & light). I always have the mount (1100GTO) in Park-2 per Roland's recommendation. I have found that the 180EDT is easier to attach when the dovetail plate and rings are already attached to the saddle plate. The rings are open with the hinges up. In this situation it really doesn't really matter which way the dovetail knobs are oriented, but in my case they are down. Like you, I keep the dovetail and rings attached to the smaller scopes and load them dovetail and all into the saddle. In this case, I have found it easier to do this when the dovetail knobs are up. Here is a picture with everything attached.

I always start out with just the OTA when attaching the scopes, and then add the cameras, etc. after the scopes are attached. To attach the 180, I have to use a folding stair. I use slings to hold the scope while I climb the stair. 

I would add another suggestion. It is worth spending some time setting up your system indoors to find the balance points. For any given visual or imaging system, the balance points will not change too much, so once you have figured out where to position the counterweights and dovetail plates, you can set it up the same way every time. It also helps to record this information somewhere, especially if you have multiple setups.


Christopher M

When loading my OTA with the mount (Mach 1) in Park 2, I've always wondered if it makes a difference if the saddle locking knobs are UP or DOWN.  I usually keep the dovetail and rings attached to my OTA (a 130EDT, so longish) so usually have the knobs UP as I have the OTA cradled in my two arms, can engage the dovetail into the saddle fixed side, then reach around w one hand to tighten the saddle knobs while still cradling the OTA.  Then I read a couple of notes where Roland recommends loading the rings and dovetail into the saddle first without the OTA ( and ).
Loading w or w/o OTA aside, does it make any difference?  I assume not as it all gets flipped around depending upon which side of the meridian one is pointing.

Related, if loading an OTA when in Park 2 into open rings like the hinged rings I have, does it matter if the hinge side of the rings are down or up?  When loading that way I usually have the ring hinges on the down side because it feels safer to me (flip the ring up and engage the locking knob)

Note that I usually load the OTA in Park 2 without attachements like the camera, etc, swing it to Park 3 to attach the extras, then swing it back to Park 2 position to adjust DEC balance.  All of this is with the mount off and using the clutches.  I see in the above threads that some recommend loading everything on the OTA then loading that into the rings in Park 2 position.  That seemed heavier.

Thoughts appreciated.  Thanks