Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?


Tom Blahovici
 

Hi
I received my dovelm162 saddle plate for my new ap1100 and it appears that the springs are too short.
If I put the saddle horizontally, the clamps hang down into the way of the telescope dovetail making it very difficult to move all 3 out of the way.
Now I can fix this by using two of the springs or there is a washer on the knob side that if I put on the spring side it fixes it. However then it doesn't close very much.
Something is not right here....
Is this made by losmandy? If so. again, defective parts from them....
Tom


Tom Blahovici
 


Tom Blahovici
 

I have to add 4 washers to make this work. But I am concerned that they can interfere with the dovetail.


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Tom Blahovici wrote:

 

  • I have to add 4 washers to make this work. But I am concerned that they can interfere with the dovetail.

_._,_._,_

That’s actually on my list of nuisances to research, I was going to see if someone had a longer spring, but wasn’t sure if the cavity inside was large enough to fully close.

 

I put bright white tape on mine at the point where the clamp clears the opening so in poor light I can tell when I have them all opened and can drop in a dovetail in Park 3.  I unscrew a bit and pull with my finger until they align; also keeps me from unscrewing so far the knob comes off.   Here the middle one I pulled to the left with my fingers, the top is where the spring quits pushing out.

 

I was just so glad to switch to a saddle that you can drop in I didn’t worry too much – the Paramounts have to be threaded from the end, no drop-in at all.

 

I did wonder if this is by design or just an oversight.  If someone finds a source for a longer spring (and confirms there is room), please do post.

 

Linwood

 

 


Tom Blahovici
 

In my case they just drop down right into the path of the dovetail.
I just tried stretching the springs a bit and that has held. I don't know if that will be ok after weeks with the scope in place.
The springs need to be longer! Other solutions like washers prevent the clamps from clamping well enough.

Tom


M Hambrick
 

The springs look like they are 0.36" OD X 0.27" ID X 1/2" long closed and ground end compression springs as shown below. The compressed length for the 1/2" long springs is 0.21". McMaster sells a similar spring that is 5/8" long, but the compressed length is 0.39". This may not allow the dovetail clamp to fully close. If I can find one at the local hardware store I will try it out and report back.

One caveat is that these springs are zinc plated carbon steel. It would be better to have stainless steel springs. Another caveat is that the longer spring has a thicker wire diameter and requires more force to compress it.

Mike




Tom Blahovici
 

That's interesting but the saddle is not new. Since I have to seen any other complaints in the past it must be something different now. What's AP going to do about this?
Tom


 

Hello Tom,

 

We are looking into this. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 10:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?

 

That's interesting but the saddle is not new. Since I have to seen any other complaints in the past it must be something different now. What's AP going to do about this?
Tom


M Hambrick
 

Here is an update on the springs if you are looking for some different options. 

I went to the hardware store and found some #127 compression springs in their assortment. The #127 does not mean anything to me so I have provided the specifics below, as well as some photos comparing the OEM springs to the #127 springs.

Although slightly larger in diameter, the #127 spring will still fit inside the recess in the clamp. The compressed length is short enough that it will allow the clamp to be closed all the way. There are a couple of things that I don't like however, and I am going to keep using the OEM springs:

  1. The 1" long #127 springs have to be compressed slightly to engage the threads of the locking knob. There is enough compression on the spring that if you loosen the clamp too far, the spring could pop it out of the receptacle and you will find yourself searching in the dark for the clamp and locking knob. With the OEM spring there is no compression on the spring and when I loosen the clamps, I just unscrew then until I do not see the clamp moving out any more. At this point I am able to install or remove my dovetail plate, and it still requires several more turns to completely remove the clamp.
  2. I can't tell for certain, but I believe that the OEM springs are stainless steel. Maybe Marj, Roland, or George can comment on this. Although stainless steel is inferior to high carbon steel music wire for making springs, it is less susceptible to corrosion.

A good compromise might be to have a slightly longer version of the OEM spring. I think 5/8" would be a good option. 





 

Tom,

 

The assembly procedure and components have not changed for many years. Your is the first concern that I am aware of regarding this issue. I suspect that many users orient the plate so the clamps are down and gravity has assisted the clamp to move away from the center channel. When the clamps are down, you don’t have to reach over the scope to tighten the knobs.

 

Nevertheless, we have ordered springs that are longer than what we have used. Once we have tested them to be sure that they have the correct compression, we will send some to you.

 

I apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 10:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?

 

That's interesting but the saddle is not new. Since I have to seen any other complaints in the past it must be something different now. What's AP going to do about this?
Tom


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Marj Christen wrote:

 

  • The assembly procedure and components have not changed for many years. Your is the first concern that I am aware of regarding this issue. I suspect that many users orient the plate so the clamps are down and gravity has assisted the clamp to move away from the center channel. When the clamps are down, you don’t have to reach over the scope to tighten the knobs.

 

I tend to load and unload from Park 3, so it’s pulling them out by finger, and hoping the dovetail doesn’t hit them during insertion and push them back.  But it’s a very minor issue for me.  In removing the dovetail it’s moot.  Nonetheless…

 

  • Nevertheless, we have ordered springs that are longer than what we have used. Once we have tested them to be sure that they have the correct compression, we will send some to you.

 

Could you put me down as well?  I’m happy to purchase them.   It’s a minor nuisance but also looks like a minor cost to solve it.

 

Linwood Ferguson

 


 

I’ll do that.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of ap@...
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2021 11:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?

 

Marj Christen wrote:

 

  • The assembly procedure and components have not changed for many years. Your is the first concern that I am aware of regarding this issue. I suspect that many users orient the plate so the clamps are down and gravity has assisted the clamp to move away from the center channel. When the clamps are down, you don’t have to reach over the scope to tighten the knobs.

 

I tend to load and unload from Park 3, so it’s pulling them out by finger, and hoping the dovetail doesn’t hit them during insertion and push them back.  But it’s a very minor issue for me.  In removing the dovetail it’s moot.  Nonetheless…

 

  • Nevertheless, we have ordered springs that are longer than what we have used. Once we have tested them to be sure that they have the correct compression, we will send some to you.

 

Could you put me down as well?  I’m happy to purchase them.   It’s a minor nuisance but also looks like a minor cost to solve it.

 

Linwood Ferguson

 


Tom Blahovici
 

Thanks Marj, 
The nice thing about the knobs up is that there is a grouve that the dovetail sites in solidly and that allows you to pivot the dovetail into place. When the knobs are down this is not the case. Its loads easier when the knobs are up.
I don't have this issue with the ap600e and it's saddle at all. 
Best regards, Tom


Woody Schlom
 

Marj,

I don't have this problem but I sure appreciate how AP is going about dealing with it.  You guys (and gals) are the best!

Woody 

On September 16, 2021 9:21:35 AM "Marj Christen" <marj@...> wrote:

Tom,

 

The assembly procedure and components have not changed for many years. Your is the first concern that I am aware of regarding this issue. I suspect that many users orient the plate so the clamps are down and gravity has assisted the clamp to move away from the center channel. When the clamps are down, you don’t have to reach over the scope to tighten the knobs.

 

Nevertheless, we have ordered springs that are longer than what we have used. Once we have tested them to be sure that they have the correct compression, we will send some to you.

 

I apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 10:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?

 

That's interesting but the saddle is not new. Since I have to seen any other complaints in the past it must be something different now. What's AP going to do about this?
Tom



Bill Long
 

I am having a hard time determining what the problem is exactly. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Woody Schlom <woody_is@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2021 11:12 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?
 
Marj,

I don't have this problem but I sure appreciate how AP is going about dealing with it.  You guys (and gals) are the best!

Woody 

On September 16, 2021 9:21:35 AM "Marj Christen" <marj@...> wrote:

Tom,

 

The assembly procedure and components have not changed for many years. Your is the first concern that I am aware of regarding this issue. I suspect that many users orient the plate so the clamps are down and gravity has assisted the clamp to move away from the center channel. When the clamps are down, you don’t have to reach over the scope to tighten the knobs.

 

Nevertheless, we have ordered springs that are longer than what we have used. Once we have tested them to be sure that they have the correct compression, we will send some to you.

 

I apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Clear Skies,

Marj Christen

Astro-Physics

11250 Forest Hills Road

Machesney Park, IL 61115

Phone: 815-282-1513

www.astro-physics.com

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tom Blahovici
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 10:16 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?

 

That's interesting but the saddle is not new. Since I have to seen any other complaints in the past it must be something different now. What's AP going to do about this?
Tom



ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

From Bill Long:

 

  • I am having a hard time determining what the problem is exactly. 

 

I can explain from my perspective.  Picture the saddle in Park 3, so facing north and level side to side, empty, and the knobs mostly all the way in (just for this example).

 

I want to install my C11.  I loosen the knobs to make room.  As I continue loosening them, before the clamps clear the dovetail area, the spring runs out and they just sit there as I loosen more and more, still blocking the area.

 

I grab them with my finger as I loosen and push to the left, and repeat until the clamp clears the area.  Needing to push them by hand is a very, very minor nuisance.  Not worth fixing for that.

 

Now I go pick up the OTA and go to lower it into the saddle.  If I hit it square, great.  If it drags slightly on the left side because it’s heavy and it’s dark and I’m clumsy, the clamp flops back over into the dovetail area and you can’t sit the dovetail into the saddle.  Now (holding the large OTA with two hands) I reach with my third hand and shift the clamp back out of the way.   Except, well, for the lack of a third hand, so I have to set the OTA down on the grass, reset the clamps, pick it up and repeat.  This is the somewhat more serious nuisance, still fairly minor .

 

I didn’t even think to ask about them, I just assumed it was as designed.  I mean, I came from a MyT where you cannot drop in a dovetail, period – you have to slide them in from the end.  So I was absolutely delighted I could drop it in at all.

 

But being able to open the clamps up and have them stay open would be very nice.

 

Linwood

 


Bill Long
 

Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. I use this saddle and have never run into this problem myself, but I could see how this would be impactful to someone. Good to see there is a solution in store.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2021 11:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?
 

From Bill Long:

 

  • I am having a hard time determining what the problem is exactly. 

 

I can explain from my perspective.  Picture the saddle in Park 3, so facing north and level side to side, empty, and the knobs mostly all the way in (just for this example).

 

I want to install my C11.  I loosen the knobs to make room.  As I continue loosening them, before the clamps clear the dovetail area, the spring runs out and they just sit there as I loosen more and more, still blocking the area.

 

I grab them with my finger as I loosen and push to the left, and repeat until the clamp clears the area.  Needing to push them by hand is a very, very minor nuisance.  Not worth fixing for that.

 

Now I go pick up the OTA and go to lower it into the saddle.  If I hit it square, great.  If it drags slightly on the left side because it’s heavy and it’s dark and I’m clumsy, the clamp flops back over into the dovetail area and you can’t sit the dovetail into the saddle.  Now (holding the large OTA with two hands) I reach with my third hand and shift the clamp back out of the way.   Except, well, for the lack of a third hand, so I have to set the OTA down on the grass, reset the clamps, pick it up and repeat.  This is the somewhat more serious nuisance, still fairly minor .

 

I didn’t even think to ask about them, I just assumed it was as designed.  I mean, I came from a MyT where you cannot drop in a dovetail, period – you have to slide them in from the end.  So I was absolutely delighted I could drop it in at all.

 

But being able to open the clamps up and have them stay open would be very nice.

 

Linwood

 


Woody Schlom
 

I wonder if over time, some of the springs are compressing and not fully extending?  As if the metal wasn't tempered correctly. Perhaps an entire batch wasn't tempered correctly.  So those of us who got "good" springs don't have this problem at all. But others got all "bad" springs,  or even a mix of good and bad springs.

New they all worked. But years later,  some of the springs are getting tired?  

Woody 

On September 16, 2021 12:13:25 PM "Bill Long" <bill@...> wrote:

Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. I use this saddle and have never run into this problem myself, but I could see how this would be impactful to someone. Good to see there is a solution in store.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2021 11:50 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Dovelm162 springs too short or assembled wrong?
 

From Bill Long:

 

  • I am having a hard time determining what the problem is exactly. 

 

I can explain from my perspective.  Picture the saddle in Park 3, so facing north and level side to side, empty, and the knobs mostly all the way in (just for this example).

 

I want to install my C11.  I loosen the knobs to make room.  As I continue loosening them, before the clamps clear the dovetail area, the spring runs out and they just sit there as I loosen more and more, still blocking the area.

 

I grab them with my finger as I loosen and push to the left, and repeat until the clamp clears the area.  Needing to push them by hand is a very, very minor nuisance.  Not worth fixing for that.

 

Now I go pick up the OTA and go to lower it into the saddle.  If I hit it square, great.  If it drags slightly on the left side because it’s heavy and it’s dark and I’m clumsy, the clamp flops back over into the dovetail area and you can’t sit the dovetail into the saddle.  Now (holding the large OTA with two hands) I reach with my third hand and shift the clamp back out of the way.   Except, well, for the lack of a third hand, so I have to set the OTA down on the grass, reset the clamps, pick it up and repeat.  This is the somewhat more serious nuisance, still fairly minor .

 

I didn’t even think to ask about them, I just assumed it was as designed.  I mean, I came from a MyT where you cannot drop in a dovetail, period – you have to slide them in from the end.  So I was absolutely delighted I could drop it in at all.

 

But being able to open the clamps up and have them stay open would be very nice.

 

Linwood

 



Harley Davidson
 

Linwood

I agree, I've never thought there to be an issue and do like you do it.

tony

On 9/16/2021 2:50 PM, ap@... wrote:

From Bill Long:

 

  • I am having a hard time determining what the problem is exactly. 

 

 

I grab them with my finger as I loosen and push to the left, and repeat until the clamp clears the area.  Needing to push them by hand is a very, very minor nuisance.  Not worth fixing for that.

 

I didn’t even think to ask about them, I just assumed it was as designed.  I mean, I came from a MyT where you cannot drop in a dovetail, period – you have to slide them in from the end.  So I was absolutely delighted I could drop it in at all.

 

But being able to open the clamps up and have them stay open would be very nice.

 

Linwood

 



fernandorivera3
 

I have bought different AP dovetail saddle receiver plates over the years. Never had this kind of problem with any of them including the discontinued models 🤔

Fernando