Can the SkyProdigy mount be used with other telescope optical tube assemblies (OTAs)?
March 30, 2011
Yes it can! However, you should be aware of the following points.
First, the SkyProdigy mount is designed to be used with tubes with Vixen-style 1.75 in dovetail bars on the right. It is designed and normally used with the OTA mounted so the mount arm is to the right of the tube as seen from behind. The dovetail bar on the scope is thus on its right side and it is considered "right-handed." The mount’s motions expect the tube to be positioned this way as well. Though another tube’s dovetail bar may fit the mount, the tube may not have this right-handed relationship to the SkyProdigy mount. The finderscope and focusing knob may not be optimally placed for observing convenience.
The payload capacity of the SkyProdigy is the same as for the SLT mounts: 8 lbs. Heavy scopes just won’t work with it. Balance may also be different with other OTAs.
Third, SkyProdigy mounts are designed with moldings or bezels on parts of the mounting around the clamp that are designed for each SkyProdigy OTA. With another OTA, you might not be able to get the bar deeply enough in the clamp to be securely held on the mount. In these cases, the bezel or molding will need to be removed, modified or replaced to allow safe use of the mount with your OTA. (NOTE: this type of modification may void your Celestron warranty.)
Fourth, a long tube may have clearance issues with the mount. Areas of the sky above a certain altitude will be inaccessible and must be avoided by the mount though proper use of slew limits.
Finally, the SkyProdigy uses a separate imaging camera in the mount arm for its StarSense sky alignments. This camera must be calibrated or aligned with the main optical tube so the system overall knows where the optics of the tube are pointed relative to the StarSense camera. This calibration is done at the factory for the two OTAs available for the SkyProdigy series.
SkyProdigy does have the capability to be calibrated with new tubes by the user as well.
The Calibrate function is in the hand control’s advanced menu (enabled by pressing Menu > Utilities > Menu Levels and choosing Advanced) under StarSense Camera.