Monday, November 27, 2023

Weird Request of the Day

I need a way to securely attach somewhere between one and three pounds to a telescope tube to adjust balance for a heavy camera at the other end.  A Velcro closure to get a tight fit would be nice with a way to add weights in 1/2 pound increments would be nice.  Ankle weights to go around tubes of 3", 5", and 10" diameters am would be good 

Ankle weights are obvious but not obvious how to add weights to get 1.5 pounds in nice even steps.  I would prefer not taking them to take rhem off and put on a heavier one. 

Weights with double hooks would work but they are generally precision devices for scales.  It would be nice if they were not made in PRC.


For my 5" refractor and 8" reflector I turned the problem over to my wife.


We went to Wal-Mart.  We bought two boxes of BB, some "fat quarters" (if your spouse does quilting, have her explain), and some elastic material.


Then we measured BBs into 8 ounce bowls, and she made bean bags to hold the BBs into two one pound and one half-pound packets.


Then she made elastic loops that around the end of the tubes on the other side the balance from the camera/adapter aassembly.


Okay, they look funky (especially the astronomy themed bean bags) but they are fast to remove and install, and I can get 1/2 pound, 1 pound, 1 1/2 pound, 2 pound, and 2 1/2 pound adjustments in tube balance.


I am so glad that I bought her a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago.




  1. Could you attach a container that would allow you to pour in water until it’s balanced? If you want to be snooty or it’s cold you could use expensive cognac, but in any case the container wouldn’t have to be large for 1 to 3 pounds, and weight increments would be very fine, literally drops.

    Maybe something like a medical saline bag that you fill or drain via tubing until exact balance is achieved.

    1. Even a half pound off can be fixed by adjusting clutch on the declination axis.

  2. Since I spent a lot of time learning knots when I was learning to sail, I usually look for a knot. In this case I would use a boom hitch or a constrictor knot. Sort of evolutions of the clove hitch, but they are much more secure, and should hold onto a smooth surface.

    You could tie a couple of hitches onto the tube, with a bowline in the in end and then clip weights to the bowline with a carabiner or shackle.

    Both of those knots tend to jam. So you need a knife to untie them, but paracord is cheap.

  3. Why do the weights have to be in even increments? Adjust the position on the boom to the weights you have. And velcro should do just fine

    1. The camera with the prime focus adapter is onev weight with the eyepiece projection adapter, another weight.