Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2011 September 28

The dovetail plate to attach the Celestron 28-cm SCT to the Celestron CGEM mount arrived from Astronomics this morning. I tried it out in the CGEM's saddle then installed it on the tube with the supplied bolts. I was glad to see that it installed with four bolts, not the three I had thought. With two bolts snugged down on both front and rear cell, it seems very solid, and much better than a Vixen dovetail would have been.

I then went on to Step 1 of the Great Telescope Transformation: removing of the Explore 127-mm triplet apo from the mount, and storing it in its case. Though the case looks very nice, the scope must be in a very specific orientation and configuration to fit in the case, not the same as on the mount at all. I also removed the two 11-pound counterweights. I'm now recuperating before tackling the next steps:

2. Removal of the Orion Sirius mount.
3. Installation of the Celestron CGEM mount and counterweights.
4. Installation of the Celestron 28-cm SCT.
5. Balancing and testing.
6. (After dark): Alignment of mount.


Steps 2 through 5 were accomplished in stages this afternoon. The scope is now riding on its new mount, balanced and ready for the next clear night. The CGEM came with a 17 pound weight and this, along with an 11-pound weight from the Sirius, almost exactly balances the 27.5 pound tube plus finder, dew shield, William focuser and 2" diagonal, and Tele Vue 22mm Nagler eyepiece. If I add camera or binoviewer, I may need an additional counterweight.

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