Not sure if anyone is actually following this group or not but I will put some short posts on here for posterity. I received my SkyProdigy 70 a while back but due to weather and other stuff have only used it once. I removed the plastic shroud to fit my Orion ST80 goscope on the mount and tried it out without adjusting the camera alignment or anything special. I used the manual alignment mode due to blocked areas of my sky and light pollution. Worked very well , the objects (Jupiter, Moon, double cluster, M42...and a few others) were not exactly centered in a 20mm eyepiece but close. There is an adjustment you can use under the help menu to better align but I didn't use it. I want to use the mount with several different scopes, a c90 mak (the newer one, spotting type scope but very nice), the 80mm STgoscope, a 130mm flextube newt (Bushnell Ares 5) and my Orion 120ST refractor. I plan to use a couple of these for astro video with a Samsung SCB-2000 camera....more
I decided to reattach the plastic tube shroud over the vixen type dovetail on the mounting arm. It doesn't seem to add a lot of support (not sure about this) to the mount but does protect the altitude gearing from exposure to dirt and stuff (I did have to remove the safety stop as it blocked the longer dovetail on a couple of my scopes, I replaced the two bolts holding it and put three tiny washers for spacing underneath). I have added mounting rings to my scopes which gives enough offset from the plastic shroud that they will fit into the SP mount dovetail, it does change the center of gravity by putting the tube out about another 5/8" or so but I don't think it will matter...more
I am also replacing the tripod legs with the wooden Hands On Optics legs I already owned. I am modifying the wooden legs so they will fit, the holes on the legs are a bit large for the SP bolts (also, these bolts are too short so I found some longer ones at the local big box hardware, think they are 1/4" or about 6mm) so I drilled the wooden leg holes just a bit larger and glued 3/8" wood dowel pieces into the holes. I will drill 1/4" holes through the glued dowel pieces to allow the longer 1/4" bolts to fit without any significant looseness. I had to round off the top backside of the wooden tripod legs just a bit (harbor freight bench oscillating sander and jig saw) and will touch up the top of the legs with some color of paint. Hopefully I will get this all done in a couple more days (just waiting for glue to dry and such). WC
Thanks for this post.
Forgot to add that I could have made the changes directly to the SP mount by drilling larger holes through the base mounting points and cutting or trimming the plastic tube shroud but I don't want to do anything that might invalidate the warranty...right now anyway....WC
The wooden legs are working fine, I still need to do some appearance only touch ups (a little sanding and paint) but they don't look bad now. I have removed the plastic shroud thing again in order to use the mount with my Bushnell Ares 5 flextube scope. I couldn't find a set of rings to work with this scope because of the flextube attachements and it probably works better without the weight of the rings. I decided the plastic shroud really doesn't add to the stability of the mount. The mount will also work with my Orion 120st scope and rings, I am glad I switched out original legs for the wood ones....this is close to the max for the mount although the image stabilizes after about 1 1/2 seconds with a tap to the scope. I don't need to think about this but I am thinking of getting one of the C6 optical tubes down the road, not a huge improvement over what I have but the helical focus on the Bushnell mount is lousy, good views though. WC