Celestron C8 Lifting Strap

OTA Lifting 3rd Hand

After purchasing a Celestron C8 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA), I found it awkward to lift and anchor it to the dovetail slot on my Vixen GP-DX equatorial mount. The OTA is not heavy (weighs about 14 pounds with 8 x 50mm finder), but the mount is taller than I am (The Vixen half-pillar raises the mount nine inches), this created a problem. The difficulty is the OTA has nothing firm to grab onto and it required lifting the telescope almost overhead. Needless to say, a third hand was required; two to lift and one to tighten the screws that secure the dovetail. There is no choice as you don't want to drop your telescope! So I searched the Internet, trying to find a commercial solution and none surfaced. So I decided to use my sewing background to fabricate a third hand.

The material required was found at an Army surplus store ( e.g. Army Surplus ) in the camping department. Black nylon webbing was the material, and is quite strong; with a two inch width. You will have to have access to a sewing machine to make this third hand at a cost under ten dollars.

Here are the construction details:

Graphics by Autodesk QuickCAD

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