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Dovetail & Saddle Plates

Dovetail & Saddle Plates

Dovetail and Saddle plates allow you to securely attach one piece of equipment to another. An astronomical dovetail plate (typically male) is basically a piece of anodized aluminum that is machined with precision dovetails along the length of the plate. A saddle plate is a special adaptation of a female dovetail that incorporates a clamping capability, and holds a male dovetail plate securely in place. Dovetail plates come in different widths and lengths, and you choose the size based on the equipment you plan to mount together. The most popular widths are 4", also called "D" Series dovetails, made popular by Losmandy, and 1.7", also known as a "V" Series plate. In general, larger or heavier mounts and telescopes call for "D" series plates or a customized plate that is made specifically for the system, and lighter weight telescopes and mounts, like most Vixen mounts (hence the V designation), call for the narrower dovetail plate. Consider your weight load when choosing these accessories, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact a member of our Telescope Department for help.

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