A massive step forwards for the DIY homemade equatorial telescope mount project - putting the big scope on it!

For many years I've imaged with my F5 8 inch newtonian reflector on my LXD55 mount. A poor mount - but I made it work. The new homemade telescope mount is obvisouly designed to be a step forwards, and this summer is going to see the new mount in the observatory.

I've been testing the new GEM equatorial telescope mount with my small achomatic 400mm FL refractor on a tripod, but today I stripped down the main imaging rig and brought the 8 Inch Newtonian indoor for probably the first time in three years! Some adjustments to the dovetail bar and I had the big heavy Newtonian firmly attached to the homemade mount - and I'm pleased to say everything worked ok!

As you can imagine this is a rather terrifying experience - the first time I've trusted the big scope on something so, ahem, homemade! The motors drove the load quite happily, and I was pleased to be able to shorten the counterweight bar by about 8 inches - so it will now fit in the observatory.

By adjusting the clutches I was able to move the mount around on the mount with enough friction to hold it in position - this means if I run the mount into the pier, it will just slid on the clutches instead of something more terrible happening!

homemade telescope mount