Fork mount and cover

PVC cover, before canvas cover and OTA installed. Custom pedestal and fork mount was designed by Parallax Instruments. The PVC cover is supported with wheels with the far end open, so the entire cover can be pulled away with ease (the temporary horizontal tubes at the far end have been removed). The telescope is horizontal when stowed, so dust should not accumulate on the primary mirror.

(insert photos of yoke and pedestal)

(insert completed cover photo)

The PVC is covered with a plastic tarp to protect it from rain that always comes from the south. The OTA is kept insect-free with a fine-mesh cloth attached at each end with an elastic band. This allows the late-night humidity to escape, preventing condensation on the mirrors. The fans are covered with a separate elastic band, so the entire tube is well-protected. Even the fit between the focuser drawtube and the fiberglass tube is concentric to about 0.5 mm, keeping out the smallest insects.

Parallax Instruments mounting rings, modified with side mounting plates. 2" stainless steel shafts with threaded end are for clutch adjustment. One more bar was added (on the right side) to support the radial counterweight.

To lock the polar axis, a threaded bolt and support was added. Screwing the knob inserts the rounded end of a 3/8" diameter bolt into a matching hole in the fork mount. With the primary mirror removed, the front of the OTA is heavy enough to keep the declination near horizontal. With the mirror installed and balanced, a small weight placed on an OTA optical breadboard platform is enough to keep the OTA from moving.


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