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You ever wondered how amazing a telescope is? You are standing approximately 40,208,000,000,000 km away from the closest star to this planet, and you can see it through a lens like it’s adjacent to you. It feels tangible and so close.
If you love studying about the celestial objects and like to navigate your telescope towards the sky and marvel at the heaven that is space, then you must know quite a lot about telescopes. And like every other emerging astronomer, you might have hesitations about whether you have chosen the right apparatuses for your telescope or not.
What is a dovetail?
You might know this, but to avoid the risk, you must know what a dovetail bar is and how significant it is in optimizing the functionality of a telescope. This apparatus attaches the optical tubes of the telescope to the mount. You can also use it to attach other accessories like guide scope rings and counterweights on the optical tube.
Which dovetail is best-suited for your telescope?
The most widely known and use dovetail bars are Vixen V Style and Losmandy D style. D style indicates that mating surfaces are 3 inches wide, and V style specifies that it is 1.5 inches wide.
If you own a Celestron telescope, you must have noticed that it is commonly available in either CGE style (3’’) or a CG-5 Style (1.75’’) dovetail bar. However, out of these two, the CG-5 style bar is more popular and widely used.
If the mount of the telescope is large, larger optical tubes and payloads would be attached to it. To cater to this size, either the CG or Losmandy is used because of their more extended width.
Features of an ideal dovetail bar:
If you are making a hefty purchase to get the best view possible of the celestial objects, you should make sure that it has the following properties that make it better-suited for its function:
- Should be able to attach various accessories securely
- Rigid support, so it is tightly attached to the telescope
- Should be mechanically compatible with different telescopes
- Sturdy body
- Easy installation
- Should fit the mounting base
- Better if it has adjustable guide scope rings
- Should be compatible with the weight and size of optical tubes
What are telescope mounts?
This mechanical instrument is used to support a telescope. You must own it if you frequently use your telescope to peek at the stars and examine them carefully. With the aid of this structure, you can aim telescope very accurately irrespective of its mass.
Amazingly, the science has advanced to such an extent that these mounts can easily follow the motion of the stars that fixed as the earth consistently rotates.
Mounts and dovetails
If you have purchased the telescope that uses any of the dove bars mentioned above, then you are in luck as your telescope could easily be interchanged with other different mounts. But do make sure that dovetail saddles are identical; otherwise, there will be mechanical issues.
Review these mounts and their specific dovetail saddles:
Dual Saddle plates (CG-5 and CGE saddle): CGEM II, Advanced VX, CGX, and CGX-L
Vixen (or CG-5) Saddle mounts: NexStar SLT, Advanced GT, NexStar SE, LCM, NexStar Evolution, SkyProdigy, Omni XLT AZ, Omni XLT, AstroMaster
CGE Saddle mounts: CGE, CGE PRO, CGEM, CGEM DX, and all EdgeHD optical tubes
Imagine you have a Sky prodigy mount, so the telescope you purchase will have the dovetail bar of CG-5 style. With that dovetail, you can use the same optical tube for the Astro Master mount.
This does prove that the telescopes can be interchanged easily, but you must make sure that the mount can handle the payload capacity of your telescope mount.
We need to use an adapter to fit dovetail bars to dovetail clamps of a mount’s width appropriately.
A dovetail bar is said to be “right-handed” if the mount arm is to the right of the optical tube if you view it from behind. The dovetail may fit any other mount, but the tube will not have a right-handed relationship in any other case except the one mentioned before.
Now that you have a clear idea of which dovetail bar is used by your telescope and how you can mount it with others, you can continue your journey to unravel the mysteries of astronomy.
Have fun with your telescope and its advanced apparatuses to view the world closely and beyond.
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