EQ6/Orion Atlas Mounting

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As we all age we start to dream of telescopes made from exotic lightweight materials....

Well this isn't in my future (the lightweight materials part) so I started looking for a way to reduce the weight I have to lift in order to set up the scope.  I am absolutely in love with the 10" SCT optical tube I have, so I started looking for a different way to mount it.  Ken Sikes, a fellow LX50'r that lives near me decided to get one of the new Orion Atlas EQ-G mounts and I helped machining the mounting blocks and plate for his scope when he got the mount.  I went over to his place one evening and we played with the new mount enough to convince me that this was a viable and relatively inexpensive way to go.

The plusses of the mount are weight, the heaviest single piece I need to lift is the mount head assembly itself.   All in all this makes for an easy to set up system that will break down into 4 components for easy transport and storage.

I weighed all the parts and this is what I came up with......

10" Meade OTA 28.5 lbs Includes mounting rail for Atlas, Telrad base, Finder base, Corrector heater and two Meade camera brackets.
LX50-SD mounting with 10" optics 64.1 lbs  
Meade LX50 SD Mounting 35.8 lbs Stepper converted model
Atlas EQ-G GoTo mounting 35.2 lbs  
Atlas mount box 26.0 lbs  
OTA Chest 27.9 lbs  
Atlas tripod w/ spreader 17.2 lbs  
Meade Adjustable field tripod with Super Wedge 52.0 lbs  

February 2006  Look under the Atlas Cases page for details.


9/16/06 Update.....

After many months of use I have decided I really do like this mounting.  While there have been some teething problems, most notably in the looseness of the gearing and stiff spots in the bearings, once these issues were taken care of the mounting is a joy to use.  The new Version 3 Hand controller is now shipping (I should have mine by the end of September '06) and it appears it will eliminate most of the complaints we users have about this mount.