Re: 110 scope musings

Jay Freeman

It seems to me that there is another product that might be in demand, that Astro-Physics is in a good position to create; namely, a very light-weight and very compact portable equatorial mounting -- perhaps optimized for the new 110 but also usable for the Stowaway -- that is good enough for astronomical imaging.

I don't image or travel much, but I occasionally attend star parties where it is a several-hundred meter leg -- which means a several-hundred meter lug -- from parking to the setup area, so I am intimately familiar with issues of equipment portability.

By way of illustration, one design that might work is an offset fork -- they are scarce, but Googling "offset fork telescope mount" will turn up a couple of images. This is basically a regular fork mount with the tips of its stubby fork arms bent so the OTA can swing parallel to the polar axis. It requires careful attention to minimizing the diameter of the polar axis housing, and needs a small counterweight somewhere. 

Another possibility is a conventional fork mount, with arms too short to allow the OTA to swing through, which means you can't point close to the celestial pole -- possibly a reasonable tradeoff for portability.

A third is a mount like the "inside-out fork" used for the Zeiss 12-inch refractor at Los Angeles's Griffith Observatory (again, Google is your friend).

Clever use of expensive materials might help save weight: Carbon fiber? Titanium? Mithril?

Just some thoughts ...

-- Jay Reynolds Freeman
(personal web site)

Join to automatically receive all group messages.