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Re: Dual Mount - Is It Possible?

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Posted by Brian Chipman/">Brian Chipman on March 11, 1999 19:05:44 UTC

: Hi - I've been stargazing for about 18 years, but never : really used a scope before. For Christmas I received : a 10" Meade Equatorial Mount scope. I live in the : suburbs of Philadelphia, but have a small place near : the NY border where I can go to get really dark skies. : My question is, can I somehow customize my scope so that : I can use it as a dobsonian mount when I'm in the city : and then use it on the equatorial mount when I want to : start playing with astrophotography and am able to do : some all night observing? Has anybody done this? : It's a pain to bring this thing out onto my porch for : only an hour or two of observing. I have a street : light right outside my door. I've tried a light : pollution filter, which helps some, but if it were : more portable I think I'd use it a whole lot more. : Does anyone think this is a really poor idea? Is it : feasible? Thanks for any ideas? Sonnie

Assuming your Meade is a StarFinder reflector and not a Schmidt-Cassegrain, I can think of the folowing:

1.Check the owner's manual or Meade Customer Service to see if you can control the telescope's axis(RA and DEC) by hand without damaging the motor(s). The words "slow motion controls" and "clutch" (for disengaging the motor(s)from the axis) come to mind. If this is possible, then get a 1 power finder like a Telrad use it instead of the finder supplied. Take your telescope out and control it by hand while finding objects through the Telrad. Forget about equatorially aligning the scope when using this method so your scope becomes some sort of "psuedo-dob" and you save time and effort.Having used smaller German Equatorials before (Tascos unfortunately, maybe your Meade is easier to handle and better built) I can see that this might be awkward but maybe worth a try.

2. Make a Dobsonian mount for your reflector. Just build and balance it for the tube assembly you already have. I would recommend you make the cradle to allow for twisting the tube ala the 6" reflector in Richard Berry's "How to make a Telescope" (I forget the exact title). This allows for easier viewing as you can place the eyepeice into a comforable position. This is how I built my 8" Dob. From Richard Berry's book I took the cradle from the 6" equatorial and adapted it to the mount for the 10" Dob. Its not your "two mounts in one" but my guess is that you'll be able to take the scope out to your porch more often than to the dark sky site. You could probably make the Dob mount so that it is easy to remove the tube assembly and put it back on the equatorial mount when the time comes.

3. There are four types of "two mounts in one" that I can think of:

1.The equatorial platform for Dobs. 2.A fork mount (a tilted Dob possibly tilting back to Dob position and/or well balanced and smooth enough to operate by hand). 3. A split-ring equatorial with same considerations as above. 4. The old style yoke mount. Similar in concept to the split-ring.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

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