Astro-Physics 8.5" Dovetail Saddle Plate
This 8.5" dovetail saddle plate is made by Astro-Physics and can be used with a variety of mounts. If you already own the 13.5" male Losmandy D-style plates, this is the dovetail for you. The knob assembly features a brass pin with a tapered end to hold your sliding bar firmly without marring the aluminum. The DOVELM2 is 8.5" (21.6 cm) long and weighs 2.3 lb. (1 kg)
A center hole on the knob side allows you to move one of the knobs to accommodate the short (7") Losmandy Universal plates. The short Losmandy plates should only be used with one of the knobs moved to the center position. Otherwise, the knobs of the DOVELM2 are spaced too far apart to grip the short plate properly. Make sure that you orient the DOVELM2 so that one of the knobs is always at the objective end of the plate. Otherwise, you will not be able to utilize the safety screw on the bottom of the male dovetail. Using the middle hole with the 7" plate gives over three inches of travel for balancing. Note: Use of the middle position may require the Q4047 adapter for additional knob clearance.
Dovetail Saddle attaches to:
- Astro-Physics 400, 600E, 900, 1200, 1600 or Mach1GTO German equatorial mounts (all models).
- Takahashi mounts with the 2-hole mounting pattern (EM-10, EM-200, Teegul, etc) - use the Q4044 adapter plate.
- GiroDX mount - use the Q4044 adapter plate.
In September 2002, AP updated this plate to include a wider safety recess to accommodate the safety knobs of the Losmandy D-style plates. This change added 4 3/8 more inches of travel when balancing your telescope. In November 2007, four additional holes in a large bolt circle were added to enable the plate to be off-set while retaining the knobs on the same side of the mount (rather than "flipping" it to the other side). Two 10-32 tapped holes were added to the knob side of the plate in August 2009 to allow for the attachment of clips for better cable management.
This dovetail plate cannot be used as an accessory plate. However, if you use Astro-Physics rings or rings from Parallax Instrument (with the Astro-Physics hole pattern), you can attach the same Losmandy D series dovetail to the top of the rings to use as an accessory plate.
If you are using the 17.25" or longer Losmandy D series dovetails with AP 900 or Mach1GTO mounts, it is recommended that you use the DOVELM16S or DOVELM162. The DOVELM16 was designed to use the longer plates on the 1200 and 1600 mounts.
Warning: Some Celestron plates (2004 - recent production) do not anchor securely in the DOVELM2. We encourage everyone using a plate manufactured by Celestron to test that plate in the DOVELM2 before mounting their telescope, in order to ensure that it can be locked down firmly.