Sunday, September 3, 2023

Those Rotating Rings Carry An Unexpected Benefit

Before my 2014 stroke, I used to be able to remove that telescope from the mount and reinstall it myself.  I can still pick it up but it is awkward and I fear dropping a precision instrument that has associated with it many memories of my father who played the primary role in putting it together.  

The telescope is mounted to a dovetail plate that slides into the mount saddle.  It is easiest to turn the mount to where the scope pointing a few degrees below horizontal, loosen the dovetail clamps, and slide it down and out.  Now, if it had handles, it would be much easier to control, especially by myself.

The new rotating ring assemblies have a 1/4"-20 hole in the top.  The obvious solution: handles that screw into those holes.  I spent a bit of time figuring out how to machine something to put my hands through and my wife asked a question that every machinist must remember: "Never machine something you can buy." It almost never cheaper to make it yourself.

The handles are here.  I just need to machine a base to which this handle attaches that has a slot slightly wider than the top of the ring assembly so it does not rotate once I have secured it to the rotating ring assembly with a 1/4"-20 bolt.  (I will only use these when removing the telescope from the mount.)

The handles turn out to be made in China but of good quality.  That is a little harsh.  The problem with the PRC is the CCP.  Chinese companies used to turn out products of varying quality.  Most of what I have seen recently is pretty good.  I just want to see their profits used to attack Taiwan and start World War III.

I needed some 1.5" long 10-24 thumbscrews.  U.S. made on Amazon.

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