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Um....LOMO Astele 133.5

Started by mskulick, 02/04/2007 11:22AM
Posted 02/04/2007 11:22AM Opening Post
Hi, all. I recently acquired a LOMO Astele 133.5 'EL'(fork-mounted with motor drive) 8O Seems like a nicely-made scope and appears to give good planetary/lunar views. The scope came with a homemade wedge and tripod, nicely executed by the previous owner, although I believe something more steady/heavy-duty would be preferable. There is a dovetail mounted to the scope with two fasteners from inside the tube. The width of this dovetail, however, appears to be about 1 7/8" compared to the 1 3/4" width of the Vixen standard dovetail. I don't think I want to disassemble the OTA to replace it, but wonder if there is something available to adapt it so it could be mounted on an LXD-75 setup. I would also need to remove the fork mount if I go this route. Another thought would be to get a wedge/tripod from another SCT and mount the assembly on that. The scope comes with a little controller box that holds a 9v battery & attaches to the mount with what looks like a phone cord. It's operation seems a little erratic (the PO never used it, preferring the slow-motion knobs provided) and seems to require some attention if it is to be used. Can anyone suggest a source of info on this telescope, as there were no manuals or parts breakdowns provided? I know these are no longer available in the U.S. but am hoping someone will chime in with some ideas.
Kind regards,
Mike.
Posted 02/13/2007 11:32PM | Edited 02/20/2007 02:42PM #1
I have the LOMO 150mm f/14.2 with the GEM type mount. I bought an Orion Vixen type 8" long dovetail and a machinist friend drilled and tapped it bolt to the scope mount (took about five minutes of his time). Since the LOMO dovetail is oversized relative to the Vixen dovetail, you could also mill it down to the Vixen width. Any decent machinist can fix this problem very quickly, and at a reasonable cost. This is a very minor problem for any competent machinist. My friend is accustomed to doing complex precision work for companies such as Remington Arms, so work such as scope mounts is laughably simple. Also, he can turn out better surface finish than is commonly seen in scope mounts and hardware. It really depends on what you want to pay. He builds parts for antique engines from scratch. You should have no probelm getting your work done as long as you show the machinist what you are mounting the scope to and what you expect. Any city has dozens of machinists who can do this work.

The LOMO dovetail will fit in the Stellarvue M1 mount with no modification if the sliding base is removed from the dovetail. I use my LOMO 102MN in this manner and add the sliding base with Vixen dovetail if I want to mount it on my LXD75 GoTo mount.

Another advantage of this dovetail-on-dovetail arrangement is that it gives you a longer fore and aft adjustment range when mounting very heavy equipment such as large binoviewers, eyepiece turrets, camera gear, etc. Two short dovetails can give you an adjustment range at least twice as long as a single dovetail. The LOMO dovetail and block assembly does not allow the dovetail to accidently slide out of the block, so it is worth keeping. The lack of balance adjustment is why I hate dual-arm fork mounts, besides the clearance issues at the rear. Because you can rotate the diagonal at the rear of the Mak to any position, it is really as comfortable to view from as any fork mount, and more comfortable at zenith. I use a 2" Mercury visual back with dual thumbscrews and brass compression ring. My Stellarvue 2" dielectric diagonal has a tapered groove that prevents the diagonal from backing out when it is rotated into viewing position and gravity is pulling it downward with a heavy binoviewer attached. The Mercury visual back and Stellarvue diagonal have a very snug fit with no wobble. You can get a similar well matched pair from Hands on Optics which was a major LOMO dealer and one of a very few Stellarvue dealers. The Stellarvue 2" diagonal has a very strong 1.25" to 2" adapter that supports a binoviewer quite well.