SCOPE SAVER TRAY/TABLE FOR LX200s
I frequently viewed ads in astronomy magazines for the ScopeSaver and always believed it to be a convenience item…a tray that would hold eyepieces, keypad and other items which are nice to have close by. An extravagant expenditure, I thought, to part with $100 for a simple accessory tray. I never made the association of the primary function of this accessory…not until I purchased my 10” LX200.
If you own an LX200, particularly a 10” or 12” model, you will appreciate the benefits of owning a ScopeSaver. If you are small in stature, or have a weak back, it will also come in very handy with the smaller and lighter 8” model. Stated very simply, the ScopeSaver allows the user to easily position the fork mounted OTA on the tripod in perfect alignment with the threaded portion of the tripod’s ...view middle of the document...
The tension screw and spreader then fall out to the ground. You are left holding a heavy (58 pound) OTA and wishing you had an extra pair of hands. All you can do is lay the OTA down, find the parts, and reattach everything with a new C clip. In the dark, this will burn precious viewing time. A box of 100 C clips was always part of my accessory case. During the year prior to purchasing the SS tray, I used almost the entire box of clips.
The SS tray comes with 6 mounting machine screws, which utilize threaded holes in the tripod head for attachment. Tray can be removed for storage but most owners leave it attached permanently. Four nylon-indexing grommets serve to align the scope drive base to the tension screw perfectly the first time. The tray has a very easy to use 2-way bubble level, plus cut outs for 12 eyepieces (2” & 1.25”) and a cutout for the keypad…finally, a permanent home for your keypad. An unexpected benefit of having the keypad securely mounted to the tray is that you can make all necessary guiding corrections using only one hand. The addition of a “Rob Roy Joystick” makes the laborious task of guiding even easier.
Tray can be used in altazimuth mode or in equatorial mode with the addition of a wedge. However, when used in equatorial mode, the four indexing grommets must first be removed to allow a flat surface for wedge installation. This minor inconvenience is the only DOWNSIDE of the ScopeSaver. For those who use a laptop in conjunction with the LX200, ScopeSaver also sells an auxiliary tray to conveniently hold your laptop. The laptop tray securely fastens to the main tray allowing easy access to your computer.
I’ve owned and used my SS for 3 years and find it to be one of the best astronomy accessory items I ever purchased. I use it every time I use my LX200…without fail. I calculate that the SS must have saved me 4 or 5 trips to my local chiropractor. This alone will more than pay for the purchase price.