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Rob Roy Designs & Joy Stick Info

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Spring Loading 1/2" Tripod Rod by Rob Roy 
Pizza-pie Plate for Holding Keypad by Rob Roy 
Joy Stick Ordering Info & Picture by Rob Roy 
Alternative to Keypad Joystick by Michael J. Cook 
Alternative to Keypad Joystick (More) by Robert Fields 
Joystickstar by Dave Lillis (using old joy stick to slew Classic scope)
Polaris Wedge Sight By Rob Roy 
Emergency Polaris Wedge Sight By Rob Roy 


Subject: Spring Loading 1/2" Tripod Rod

From: Rob Roy <>

There has been some concern about the weight of the scope pushing on the bottom of the scope's thin base plate via the fixed 1/2" threaded rod and possible damage to the motherboard just underneath. "Spring loading" the 1/2" rod was my solution to that problem.

A thin triangular metal plate is made with dimensions to match three of the tripod head holes, i.e. 4&1/2" from one corner to the next. Drill a small hole in each corner of the plate to accept one end of each spring. The three springs are about 1&1/2"-long expansion springs.

Drill a central 1/2" hole in the thin plate to accommodate the central rod. Two thin 1/2" nuts are tightened against each other on the rod just ABOVE the plate to hold the rod in the correct position in the tripod head.

The springs are fastened to the underside of the tripod head to three of the six holes that are already in it, using short 5/16" bolts. Use the three bolt holes that are not used to fasten your wedge. A washer with a small hole drilled in it under each bolt head holds the top end of each spring. The central rod's c-clip is removed permanently.

Adjust the rod up or down using the two central 1/2" nuts, so that the rod just sits up about 3/4" above the tripod head. As soon as the weight of the scope rests on the rod, the rod is pushed down. When the rod is lined up with the hole in the scope's base you will hear it snap into place via the springs . Rotate and tighten the rod in the usual fashion.


Subject: Pizza-Pie Plate for Holding Keypad   Top

From: Rob Roy <>

I found it frustrating trying to find a suitable place to hang the keypad while viewing. A 16" pizza-pie plate between the tripod and scope base solved the problem. The upturned lip makes a great place to hang your keypad no matter what side of the scope you are on, and the plate also provides a great tray for placing eyepieces, filters, small flashlights, etc. They can't roll off because of the lip.

I have altered mine several times since I first made one. The most recent version has large 6.5" hole in a 16" aluminum pizza-pie plate. I felt that there wasn't a good fit with the original plate situated between the scope and the tripod head. A good fit is especially important using a wedge.

You simply cut a 6.5" hole (diameter of tripod head) near the center of the plate. It's best for you to place your scope and/or wedge on the plate on a workbench to experiment with the best position for your needs. You may not want the hole to be in the exact center of the plate. Depending on what you are using to cut the hole, clamping between two thin pieces of plywood may help keep the edge neat and clean.

The plate just sits down on the tops of the tripod-leg supports before you afix the scope or the wedge above it. It will rotate to any position you wish. My current version has a 3"x7"x2" deep heated well off to one side to keep eyepieces or camera lenses warm to help prevent fogging when in use.


Photo of Joy Stick on Hand ControllerLX200-Classic /Magellan II JOYSTICK   Top

Find it frustrating having to take your eye away from the eyepiece to find the N S E W keys in order to reposition a star? This accessory will allow you to maintain your viewing without the slightest disturbance. You simply push the toggle in the direction that you want the object to move in the field. It works at all speeds. Your hand controller needs no modification whatsoever. The joystick slips over the bottom and covers only the four directional keys. It literally installs in seconds. Two small set-screws gently hold it in place. Four soft cork pads sit above the directional keys, and touch them only when the toggle is moved. The joystick will even move stars diagonally in the field, if you so wish. It fits all versions of the LX200/Magellan II keypads. A personal cheque or money order for United States- $59.95USD and will get one sent to you immediately.

Write to:
      Robert G. Roy,
      RR#2, Binbrook,
      Ont., Canada.

P.S. Please make sure that you put enough stamps to Canada. Insufficient postage delays have taken an extra two weeks. (A cheque in an envelope should only be 0.5 oz = $0.46, 1 oz = $0.52)

Can also be ordered from ScopeTronics at: <>
Select "LX10/50/90/200 Accessories" from the Telescope Accessories group.

If you have any further questions or would like to see a copy of the unsolicited comments sent by many users, please contact Rob at: <>

Archive Editor comments:  I love mine!


Subject: Alternative to Classic Keypad Joystick --part 1 of 2   Top

From: Michael J. Cook <>

I wanted a better "feeling" for the N-S-E-W keys I then stumbled across 3/8" diameter "furniture saver" pads. These little guys are made from what appears to be clear latex, and have self-adhesive backing. I stuck some centred over each of the N-S-E-W keys. The pads sit up about 3/16". They have a very slight soft feel to them and they really "grip" your skin as you pass your thumb over them. Your thumb also sits nicely "craddled" between the four pads. The clear pads also allow you to see the N-S-E-W lettering straight through.

I guess its a matter of personal preference, but I'm sold with these pads. They also give blend in very well with the streamlined cosmetics of the keypad. Give 'em a try, you won't be disappointed. Cost about 2 bucks for 12.


Subject: Alternative to Classic Keypad Joystick --part 2 of 2

From: Robert Fields

Rob Roy wrote:
> A great idea and it works very well, but little add-on buttons or pads were
> in use by some, long before the joystick came along. I use one of these
> pads on the button so I don't have to look down to change speeds

When Ron Ezra was on the list (Key LX200 engineer), he mentioned that he put little dabs of Elmers glue (White Glue) on the N,E,S,W keys to create little nibs. They are practically invisable. But, you can feel them quite easily. Kind of like the little nibs that are on a lot of keyboards so you can find the home position without looking.


Subject: Polaris Wedge Sight     Top

From: Rob Roy <>

The sight is fastened to the wedge and the azimuth is adjusted to be in the middle of its range of travel. The entire tripod without scope, etc. is then rotated and leveled to have the sight point in line with Polaris. Close alignment in altitude can be achieved at this point, but is not necessary.

Photo-Polar Wedge SightMy sight is made by bolting at right-angles to each other, two pieces of thin-walled 2"x2" aluminum angle, each about 4" long. One of the angles hangs over the top back edge of the wedge so that the second's top edge points to Polaris. Initially, I just held the sight in place with spring clamp, but now have fastened a 1/4"x20 machine bolt, washer and wing nut to hold it in place. The top angle has also been made a little smaller. The bolt sits in the slot at the very top of the wedge plate.

You may want to try a simpler version to see if it works for you before making a more sturdy and permanent sight. Saw to 1/2" deep a narrow kerf in the edge of a 4"-long piece of 1x2 or 1x3 scrap wood. Glue a tongue depressor into the kerf at right angles to the face of the 1x2. The 1x2 is clamped to the top of the wedge plate. In use, the tongue depressor's top edge points to Polaris. Now that you have the idea, and if you like it, there are many possibilities of materials and design for making a "Polaris Wedge Sight".


Subject: Emergency Polaris Wedge Sight   Top

From: Rob Roy <>

I had loaned my Polaris Wedge Sight (see above) and wasn't going to get it back by the next star party- Canada's one and only Starfest. In case you're not aware, this sight allows you to set the tripod close enough to correct polar alignment so that once the scope is mounted on the wedge you won't run out of azimuth adjustment range.

To replace the missing sight, I took along a large spring clamp and a 12" L-square- the kind that has a 3/4" thick x 2" wide x 6" long wooden base. The square was clamped laterally across the top edge of the leveled wedge set to its mid-azimuth adjustment position. A piece of white tape along the square's outer metal edge made it easier to see in the darkening sky. The leveled tripod was adjusted laterally to line up Polaris along the square's edge. Though not necessary at this time, the altitude could be adjusted too.

If you do this before the heavy scope is mounted on the wedge, you will find that you never run out of azimuth adjustment range and you won't have to move what is now a very heavy scope & tripod assembly. My 12 volt battery sits on a shelf in the center of the tripod legs, making the whole thing nearly impossible to move after-the-fact. If I had thought of this "emergency" sight, I probably would never have bothered making a formal dedicated permanent one.
Rob Roy, Maker of LX200 joysticks.


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