Above are the mounting rings for the custom 8" four element IR refractor. The central opening is just slightly larger than the OD of the OTA. The base plate is 8" wide (common width of declination plates for German equatorial mounts in this size range) and 12" long.
Key Features:

- Note the off-axis split on this Dream design. This allows an OTA to sit safely in the rings (left side of drawing above) even while the rings are in their open position and a German equatorial mount is positioning the OTA horizontally, to one side of the mount. This position of the mount allows the OTA to be lower and more easily accessible. Rings split in a conventional way, in the middle, will allow the OTA to fall out at this same mount position. This design feature makes mounting the OTA inside the rings safer and easier to handle than a conventional even split ring arrangement.
- Opposite the hinge bar side are two thin, narrow plates which will have three quick release handles on the bottom side. The handles have not been drawn in yet because the customer's emphasis was the OTA, not the rings. All three can be used for the tightest grip on the OTA, or just the two outer handles can be used. These also make attachment quick and easy. No bolts, nuts or washers to fumble with or fall on the ground. No equipment is required to tighten them down either. The handles, when locked down, fold up into the 4" wide cavity below the thin plate.
- 4" diameter hole at the center of the base plate allows for power and data cabling to pass through, if the mount has this capability.
- Side panels with vertically oriented oval cutouts give the rings added strength and rigidity yet the large diameter ovals allow air to pass through. This prevents a thermal jacket effect that would occur if the rings had solid walls without openings. This also reduces weight, slightly.
- Custom bolt pattern on both the bottom and top mounting plates. Top mounting plate is for an add-on guidescope.
- The entire part shown above is completely composites, carbon fiber in this example. The only metal used would be in the quick release mechanisms, which are very light themselves.
- Additional declination plate ribbing for even further rigidity, as well as oval venting holes to allow air to pass through. See the next page for an image showing these four ribs.
- Extreme light weight, very low CTE with very high strength and rigidity. The CTE of these rings matches the CTE of the OTA in this example.

Move two pages forward to see the rings in their open position

OTA only

OTA with rings