Why balance your scope? A balanced telescope will track more smoothly. Also, the drive motors and drive gears used in SCTs are quite small. An unbalanced scope will lead to excessive wear on the drive train with early life failure of motors and gears.
Many SCTs are very nose heavy. Especially when equipped with a dew shield or a long focal length piggybacked secondary telescope., This is the situation that the EZ Balance is designed to correct. This simple but unique 3.3 pound counterweight has a thin flange that fits between the telescope backplate and the EyeOpener (or the manufacturer's supplied visual back). It fits all 10" through 14" Meade and Celestron SCTs, from early models to current versions. It does not fit the RCX series scopes. And it does not fit 8" scopes.
This counterweight had 2 unique features:
First, it is on-axis. (Centered on a line that runs through the center of the tube). Unlike rail mounted counterweights, if you don't have any heavy accessories (such as a large secondary telescope) attached to the top of the optical tube the scope will stay in balance regardless of the orientation of the tube, and regardless of whether it is mounted on an Alt-Az or Polar type of mount.
Second, it locates much further to the back of the scope than is possible with rail mounted counterweights. This provides far more leverage than rail mounted counterweights, reducing inertial loading on the drives when slewing. (If you have a heavy off-axis piggybacked telescope you will still need to position a rail mounted counterweight opposite to the secondary scope but typically you'll need significantly less total counterweight with the EZ Balance.)
Do you need this counterweight? Loosen your declination clutch. If your scope is nose heavy you can roughly simulate the effect of the EZ Balance by hanging a 3.3 pound weight from a string wrapped around the scope's visual back. You may still have a slight imbalance, but if this reduces the overall amount of unbalance in your system you'll want the EZ Balance.
The counterweight has a protective covering on the back of the casting to prevent scratching of your telescope's backplate. The counterweight is easy-on easy-off, so it can be readily removed to keep weight to a minimum when carrying your 'scope. No screws or rail systems are required.
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Peterson Engineering Corporation
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