Using the Side-Saddle to balance a digi-scope setup

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Using the Side-Saddle to balance a digi-scope setup

Post by alt-az-builder » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:20 pm

One advantage of using the Side-Saddle for a spotting scope is that the Side-Saddle has a tremendous range of up/down balance settings. In fact, my 77 mm Kowa balances (2-axis) with the saddle set almost all the way up. Were I to add a camera to the angled-view of the scope, making the setup top-heavy, I have a huge amount of downward saddle travel available to offset the top-heavy condition and once again establish perfect balance.

When I say that my visual setup with the Kowa 77 balances with the saddle almost all the way up, I need to note that I have two ways available of creating more upward adjustment of the saddle if it were needed. Careful inspection of the hub of the altitude axis to which the saddle is bolted would reveal that the four tapped holes in the hub are offset from the center. The hub can be rotated by 180 degrees to create either a downward or an upward bias of the saddle position -- thus increasing the total range of up/down adjustment.

Normally, the hub is rotated towards the downward bias when we assemble Hitch Hikers. If more upward travel of the saddle is needed, simply remove the saddle, rotate the hub by 180 degrees, and reattach the saddle.

Finally, if yet more travel is needed, reduce the number of saddle attachment screws from four to two -- creating more space for the remaining screw heads to slide in the slots. This trick can be used to create more up-travel or down-travel for the saddle.


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