Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Lightbridge Modifications: Collimation Knobs and Counterweights Installed

I ordered a couple of items from Scopestuff this week to tweak my 12" Lightbridge dob. Quite a few other Lightbridge owners feel the need to make these modifications and after having the scope out for a few nights now, I can also see the need for them despite the scope being a very good out-of-the-box experience.

Firstly, I ordered a couple of magnetic counterweights to fix the scope's balancing issue when I use 2" eyepieces. Now that I have the bigger 8*50 right-angle finder mounted on the scope, the scope tends to sink when I use 2" eyepieces at lower altitudes. These weights magnetically connect to the primary mirror cell assembly. They seem to do the trick just fine, but I may need to get either additional weights or a better, more permanent solution.

I also ordered Scopestuff's equivalent of Bob's Knobs collimation screws/bolts. I got them for both the primary and secondary mirror cells, and also ordered stiffer springs form the primary bolts. Installation was a snap, in fact I worry it was too easy. It only took me about twenty minutes for both primary and secondary systems. After installation I used the laser collimator to try them out, and had the scope mirrors aligned very quickly indeed. It was REALLY nice not to have to use two different types of screwdrivers to get it done! Being able to collimate completely by hand was great - this will really save some time out in the field.

That's all the modifications for now. I am getting quotes from different powder coating companies to potentially get the internal white-surface areas of the OTA painted flat black. In the meantime, I may very well go ahead and order a set of these knobs for my LX200!


Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,
Happy Easter to you.
I Haven't been in contact for a few weeks. It's good to see the additions to your LB.
If you send me your email address, I'll show you my low tech (but very successful counter weights)
For something more professional looking go to for their solution.

Cheers, John.

Phil said...

Hey John,

Good to hear from you again! Would like to see your solution, but I don't want to publish my email address due to Spam. Can you leave another comment with your address and I'll just copy it and reject the comment so it doesn't get published, and then email you?

Have looked at Farpoint and I do like that solution very much. My dad is a fitter and turner and thinks he can make something similar, so we'll see.