Astro-Physics 16" Easy-Balance Dovetail Saddle Plate
This 16" Dovetail Saddle Plate, designed and manufactured by Astro-Physics, is the ultimate in versatility for customers with instrument packages that are difficult to balance in conventional saddle plates.
A total of 8 mounting positions are available on the DOVELM162 to provide a "best possible" orientation for either front-heavy or rear-heavy instrument packages - especially useful for today's heavy imaging instrument packages.
This AP dovetail saddle plate has an inherent 8" (20.3 cm) total offset capability, depending on how you position it on the mount. Due to the addition of a third, center clamp, the Astro-Physics DOVELM162 can now maintain at least two clamps engaged on any Losmandy "D-style" or other "D-style" dovetail plate 7" or longer.
As with all AP dovetail saddle plates, it is very easy to attach dovetail plates. Simply tilt your D-style plate, with the scope attached, into position. Then tighten the knobs. There is no need to struggle as you try to insert the Losmandy plate (with your heavy telescope attached) into the end of the dovetail saddle, as with some dovetail saddle plate designs.
The DOVELM162 features 1" diameter knobs with 3/16" hex sockets. Tightening with an Allen wrench is strongly recommended as this plate will likely be carrying a heavy load. The smaller design of the knobs prevents interference with the Dec motor box when the plate is mounted in the extreme offset position. The smaller knobs also avoid interference when used on the 22" or 27" sliding bar for the 3600GTO (SB3622 or SB3627) in a side-by-side configuration.
The clamping blocks grip your dovetail plate firmly. Springs keep the blocks in an open position until you tighten them. The unique design of the clamping blocks ensures that they remain properly aligned with no need for additional guide pins, and the brass washer on the knob allows firm tightening with no binding.
This plate includes wide recesses to accommodate the safety knobs of the Losmandy D-style plates. It also features multiple machined cutouts on the underside to reduce weight. A #10-32 tapped hole at each end allows for cable stays to be installed for cleaner routing of accessory cables.
Weight is 3.9 lb. (1.8 kg).
Warning: For several years, beginning approximately 2004 until more recently, Celestron delivered their scopes with a dovetail mounting plate that had a different specification. These plates do not anchor securely in the DOVELM162. AP encourages everyone using a plate manufactured by Celestron to test that plate in the DOVELM162 before mounting their telescope, in order to ensure that it can be locked down firmly.
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