The William Optics UniGuide 50mm guide scope

In my quest to put together a decent starter package for doing deep sky imaging, I purchased a William Optics UniGuide 50mm guide scope and a ZWO ASI290mm mini guide camera to use for guiding my main telescope during imaging. Both appear to be fine pieces of equipment, but when I did some bench testing I discovered that in order to bring images to focus in the ASI290mm mini guide camera, it had to be positioned in the guide scope such that it was just barely inserted. Some additional length in the guide scope would be a good thing.

Thankfully, William Optics sells just the thing: the M48 Push-in Nosepiece. At the time I purchased the UniGuide, the Nosepiece was not labeled as “for the UniGuide scope,” so I took a chance and ordered it anyway, and found that it fit perfectly and gave the UniGuide the extra length it needed.

The M48 Push-in Nosepiece for the UniGuide scope

William Optics may have figured out for themselves that the UniGuide needed to be a bit longer, because the page for the UniGuide now shows that an extension tube (which appears identical to the Nosepiece) is included. None was included with mine when I ordered it in Feb 2020, though, so if you order a UniGuide for yourself, wait and see whether you get the extension tube before ordering the nosepiece.

I like that the UniGuide’s base is made for a dovetail mount. William Optics sells a saddle handle meant to fit the UniGuide’s base:

William Optics Saddle Handle Bar for UniGuide scope

Unfortunately, the size of the saddle handle did not match the spacing of the tube rings included with my Sky Watcher Esprit 100mm telescope, and the ring spacing could not be adjusted using the mounting plate included with the scope. So I replaced the stock mounting plate with another William Optics product, a Losmandy Style Type D mounting plate.

This mounting plate allowed me to change the tube ring spacing so that I could mount the saddle handle on the top of the rings. I used the center hole on the rings to mount them to the center holes and slots on the mounting plate. Here’s the final result of all these changes:

My Sky-Watcher with the William Optics base and UniGuide scope.

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