making astronomy accessible to all

If you need help setting up your telescope, please bring it along to one of our Bredhurst meetings, and we will be glad to help you and answer any questions you have. And if it is clear, we can also take it outside and you can test it out.

If you have a telescope that is now out of the box but still in bits, the following will show you how to put it together.

Counter Weight
Fit the counterweight to the counterweight shaft as shown below.

Fit The Telescope
Fit the telescope to your mount, usually uses a couple of bolts to clamp the dovetail bar.

Balancing The Telescope

Firstly release the Declination Clutch (Dec) keeping hold of the telescope as you do this. You now need to rotate the telescope on the declination axis as shown below. If the telescope is balanced, it will stay in the horizontal position. If the telescope moves downwards, the telescope is to far forward on the mount. If the telescope moves upwards, then the telescope is too far back.

To correct this issue, reset the telescope back to the home position as shown in the previous picture, tighten the clutch and adjust the telescope. Now retest declination axis for good balance

The Right Ascension (RA) axis follows the same requirements as the declination axis. Release the RA clutch keeping hold of the telescope. Rotate the telescope to the left and the right to a horizontal position. If the telescope axis slips towards the counterweight, you can try to move the weight up the counterweight shaft and re-test. If however the mount moves towards the telescope, move the counterweight towards the opposite end of the counterweight shaft.

If you cannot get the RA axis to balance moving the counterweight up or down the counterweight shaft, you might require another weight as your telescope is heavier than your counterweight.

Article by Gavin Lacey

Mid-Kent Astronomical Society
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