AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height


Shailesh Trivedi
 

I have an AP1100 on a pier sitting about 59 inches above ground/concrete floor. To load a TEC 180FL at that height in the recommended Park 3 position (CWs down) is a stretch. Is it possible to load such a scope in Park 4 or 5 ? If not then any tips will help.

Shailesh


George
 

Shaillesh,

 

It is safest and easiest to load a scope by yourself in the Park 2 position.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shailesh Trivedi
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 1:32 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

 

I have an AP1100 on a pier sitting about 59 inches above ground/concrete floor. To load a TEC 180FL at that height in the recommended Park 3 position (CWs down) is a stretch. Is it possible to load such a scope in Park 4 or 5 ? If not then any tips will help.

Shailesh


Shailesh Trivedi
 

George,

Thanks for your reply. Park2 and Park3 have similar height challenges for me (CWs down, RA vertical, only DEC changes), is there anyway to load the CWs later and have someone hold the CW shaft while I load it in Park 4 or 5 ? Or even without CWs, if the scope is close to the pier while I load it, that may be ok, just not a wild swing. Thoughts?


George
 

Shailesh,

 

The advantage of Park 2 is that all you have to do is to set the scope into the rings and then you can let go…the scope will not fall out.

 

Regards,

 

George

 

George Whitney

Astro-Physics, Inc.

Phone:  815-222-6538 (direct line)

Phone:  815-282-1513 (office)

Email:  george@...

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Shailesh Trivedi
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 1:44 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

 

George,

Thanks for your reply. Park2 and Park3 have similar height challenges for me (CWs down, RA vertical, only DEC changes), is there anyway to load the CWs later and have someone hold the CW shaft while I load it in Park 4 or 5 ? Or even without CWs, if the scope is close to the pier while I load it, that may be ok, just not a wild swing. Thoughts?


Shailesh Trivedi
 

George,

You are on to an idea, I had not thought about removing the scope from the rings before attaching it to the mount. Park2 will now enable me to remove and place the scope on the open rings as you mentioned. That should work provided it does not roll out while I close the ring clasp; though the rings and handle are attached so if I remove the rings it may be a bit hard to hold without a handle since it is front cell heavy, most of the 40lbs are in the objective cell.


Shailesh


Worsel
 
Edited

Shailesh

as long as the clamps are on the underside of the OTA, as shown in the Park 2 position at https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/mounts/park-positions-defined.pdf there should be enough 'cradle' to prevent the OTA rolling out of the rings.  I confirmed this with my 130 mm.

Bryan


Roland Christen
 

Park2 is usually recommended for easy loading. Open the rings, lift the scope up into the rings and close them.

Trying to load a scope that has the dovetail already attached to the scope is a nightmare. Put the dovetail into the cradle instead of trying to slide the scope with dovetail into the cradle.

Hint: I have never recommended using Park3 for loading a scope.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Apr 30, 2021 1:31 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

I have an AP1100 on a pier sitting about 59 inches above ground/concrete floor. To load a TEC 180FL at that height in the recommended Park 3 position (CWs down) is a stretch. Is it possible to load such a scope in Park 4 or 5 ? If not then any tips will help.

Shailesh

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Roland Christen
 

You are really asking for trouble doing it this way.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Apr 30, 2021 1:44 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1100 loading heavy scope at 60 inch pier height

George,

Thanks for your reply. Park2 and Park3 have similar height challenges for me (CWs down, RA vertical, only DEC changes), is there anyway to load the CWs later and have someone hold the CW shaft while I load it in Park 4 or 5 ? Or even without CWs, if the scope is close to the pier while I load it, that may be ok, just not a wild swing. Thoughts?

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Joe Zeglinski
 

Shailesh,
 
    What is your scope’s Latitude?
As you get closer to the equator, attaching the scope to the dovetail plate with its opened rings, begins to get dicey. It only becomes ideal at higher than LAT-45, when the OTA is actually tilted further, past over the saddle, closer to the mount’s center of gravity,
 
    What you might try, with PARK-2, is some kind of wide safety  strap, perhaps a wide VELCRO as used for garden hoses, glued or fastened somehow,  to the back of the saddle. Then as you slip the OTA into the open rings, try to close the strap, as a safety collar,  around the middle of the OTA, like a third helping  hand, as you then safely finish locking down the rings. The open rings support it at each side, during the transfer.
   
    The strap will provide enough balance,  security, and boost your confidence, that it won’t decide to “rock itself” out of the partly open rings, before you are finished your task.
Same is true when removing the OTA – strap it in, before unlocking the rings.
 
Joe Z.


Shailesh Trivedi
 

@Bryan thanks for the confirmation with the AP130GTX

@Rolando, I acknowledge both your email notes, thanks, will not do anything which gets me, my scope or mount in trouble

@Joe - your real question is what is MY latitude because that is where my scope is. I am at 39.xx degrees latitude up in Northern California, so I will have to be careful to ensure the scope in Park2 does not roll off the rings. 

Thank you to everyone, including George for your mind share.

Shailesh


Worsel
 

Shailesh

I am at 38.5 N...Colorado.  I have no problem with the open rings holding the OTA in Park 2, as long as the clamps (the fixed half of the clamshell) are under the OTA. This means the hinged half of the clamshell is on top.

Bryan


Len Fulham
 

Shailesh,

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.

e/ CHECK EVERYTHING IS STABLE.

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.

Regards,

Len.


M Hambrick
 

Hi Shailesh

I live at 30 Deg North latitude and can confirm that there is no risk of the scope rolling out of the rings when I set it into the open rings in Park 2. I expect that this is also the case at even lower latitudes. Next time I set up my mount I may try some different latitude settings to see what the limit really is. 

FYI I have a 180 EDT with an 1100 mount on a 54" Astro-Physics portable pier. My setup is portable and I set it up and take it down every time. I agree that using a step ladder to get the scope up to the rings is a pretty dicey operation. I bought the folding step stool with hand rails shown below from McMaster (Model 9754T77) that has made this operation much easier. 

If you don't mount and dismount your scope very often, Len's method sounds pretty good too.

Do you have a permanent observatory ? If so, I wonder if it is possible to install some kind of lifting apparatus in the roof. 

Mike


Shailesh Trivedi
 
Edited

@ Len Wow Len; this is an elaborate setup you have. Let me think about it. Thank you for your detailed post.

@Mike: thanks for the McMasters tip. 

Shailesh


christian viladrich
 

Hi,

I don't know whether it could be of any use for you guys, here is something used for motorcycles.

The link is in French, but you can probably figure out how it works. Maximum height of the platform in 900 mm :

https://www.manomano.fr/p/table-elevatrice-hydraulique-moto-capacite-135-kg-s15344-5453476

Christian

Le 01/05/2021 à 14:39, M Hambrick a écrit :

Hi Shailesh

I live at 30 Deg North latitude and can confirm that there is no risk of the scope rolling out of the rings when I set it into the open rings in Park 2. I expect that this is also the case at even lower latitudes. Next time I set up my mount I may try some different latitude settings to see what the limit really is. 

FYI I have a 180 EDT with an 1100 mount on a 54" Astro-Physics portable pier. My setup is portable and I set it up and take it down every time. I agree that using a step ladder to get the scope up to the rings is a pretty dicey operation. I bought the folding step stool with hand rails shown below from McMaster (Model 9754T77) that has made this operation much easier. 

If you don't mount and dismount your scope very often, Len's method sounds pretty good too.

Do you have a permanent observatory ? If so, I wonder if it is possible to install some kind of lifting apparatus in the roof. 

Mike


dvjbaja
 

Why not get a friend or that special someone in your life to help you lift the tube assembly?  Or even better, buy one of those motorized, height adjustable piers and skip the friend entirely.  ???


On Sat, May 1, 2021 at 9:31 AM christian viladrich <christian.viladrich@...> wrote:

Hi,

I don't know whether it could be of any use for you guys, here is something used for motorcycles.

The link is in French, but you can probably figure out how it works. Maximum height of the platform in 900 mm :

https://www.manomano.fr/p/table-elevatrice-hydraulique-moto-capacite-135-kg-s15344-5453476

Christian

Le 01/05/2021 à 14:39, M Hambrick a écrit :
Hi Shailesh

I live at 30 Deg North latitude and can confirm that there is no risk of the scope rolling out of the rings when I set it into the open rings in Park 2. I expect that this is also the case at even lower latitudes. Next time I set up my mount I may try some different latitude settings to see what the limit really is. 

FYI I have a 180 EDT with an 1100 mount on a 54" Astro-Physics portable pier. My setup is portable and I set it up and take it down every time. I agree that using a step ladder to get the scope up to the rings is a pretty dicey operation. I bought the folding step stool with hand rails shown below from McMaster (Model 9754T77) that has made this operation much easier. 

If you don't mount and dismount your scope very often, Len's method sounds pretty good too.

Do you have a permanent observatory ? If so, I wonder if it is possible to install some kind of lifting apparatus in the roof. 

Mike


Shailesh Trivedi
 

@Christian thanks for the link

@dvjbaja I have been using my wife for the lift up on a Parmount MX which I no longer have. The PMX has a RA/DEC lock mechanism so I can lock it with CWs sideways and mount it with the saddle. The AP mounts do not have such a lock and I must either use Park2 or 3 with CWs down. I have been agonizing over getting my pier and concrete torn up to get an adjustable pier to help. 

Thanks for the continuing mind share.

Shailesh


dvjbaja
 

If I had a permanent spot, I'd go immediately for one of those Pier-Tech adjustable piers.  The new models look very robust and the flexibility of eye position would be excellent.  Alas, I am stuck lifting my 180 f/7 to the top of a 48" height on the 1100 and Losmandy tripod.  Not too bad, but over the years, I have indeed noticed how the 180 has gained weight.   So it does not get used and sits in storage. A refuge for spiders.   I dont' have such problems with the 10" Mak-cass.  It's much easier and lighter to handle, and honestly a superior observing experience.  Good luck and clear sky. 


On Sat, May 1, 2021 at 11:12 AM Shailesh Trivedi <strivedi@...> wrote:
@Christian thanks for the link

@dvjbaja I have been using my wife for the lift up on a Parmount MX which I no longer have. The PMX has a RA/DEC lock mechanism so I can lock it with CWs sideways and mount it with the saddle. The AP mounts do not have such a lock and I must either use Park2 or 3 with CWs down. I have been agonizing over getting my pier and concrete torn up to get an adjustable pier to help. 

Thanks for the continuing mind share.

Shailesh


M Hambrick
 

Tony (a.k.a. Harley Davidson) made one of his famous YouTube videos for a lift table that he got from Harbor Freight. Here is a link to it:

Mike

Hydraulic Table Cart item 60438 from Harbor Freight 1000 lb capacity - YouTube


Shailesh Trivedi
 

@dvjbaja I am leaning towards redoing my concrete pad, removing my Paramount MX pier (48 inch + 12 inch concrete pedestal) and buy a Pier Tech pier which may pave a path for their ROR. They look better than any I have seen thus far, though by far the most expensive but in my opinion, the best fit for my backyard - but that is for the future. For now I have pretty much decided to go the Pier Tech route. They have a top plate that has hole patterns for 119FSA for my AP1100 and ADATRI for my soon to come Mach2. Pier Tech's Pier3 can hold up to a AP3600 (I do not have one) and working height is 34 inches to 54 inches above concrete pad. This will be tremendously helpful to load my TEC 180FL in AP Park 2 like George and Rolando have recommended.

@Mike - I watched the video, that hydraulic table is very nice, also like his Chihuahua, Moose.

Thanks to everyone, please keep up the mindshare, maybe there is something better out there still. Great group of helpful folks. Cheers!

Shailesh