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Atlas Mount----What I decided



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 12th 06, 01:35 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
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Default Atlas Mount----What I decided

Thanks for the input. After reading through the user group posts, it seems
1) there are quality issues 2) The mount requires a lot of rework to be as
good as claimed by the manufacturer.

Really, truly, there is not substutute for quality. Time to just save up
for a better mount!

Doink


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  #2  
Old February 12th 06, 03:04 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
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Default Atlas Mount----What I decided

Doink wrote:
Thanks for the input. After reading through the user group posts, it seems
1) there are quality issues 2) The mount requires a lot of rework to be as
good as claimed by the manufacturer.


Who among us does not?
  #3  
Old February 12th 06, 04:06 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
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Default Atlas Mount----What I decided


Doink wrote:
Thanks for the input. After reading through the user group posts, it seems
1) there are quality issues 2) The mount requires a lot of rework to be as
good as claimed by the manufacturer.

Really, truly, there is not substutute for quality. Time to just save up
for a better mount!

Doink


Hi:

Well, there's always the attraction of the "better," but I think the
EQ6 Skyscan/Atlas EQG (as opposed to the original EQ6/Atlas) is a good
buy for the money and a good performer. The main drawback to the
original--high periodic and random error--has been eliminated in the
new mounts, and quite a few good images are being done.

Main problem now? The Vixen style dovetail/saddle. It should be larger.
While the setup is great for an 8 or a 9.25, it begins to be "not good
enough" for a C11, and is definitely not good enough for a C14.

Also, now that Synta owns Celestron, it would be really nice to see the
mount use the Celestron HC and motors (ala' the EQ5). The current HC is
useable, but is rather limited, being similar to the original NS8/5
software-wise.

Remember, too, that until you get to the Titan/AP/Paramount/MI level
there are still going to be "issues" to be worked through.

Peace,
Rod Mollise
Author of _Choosing and Using a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope_
Like SCTs and MCTs?
Join the SCT User Mailing List.
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/sct-user
============================
See my home page at
http://skywatch.brainiac.com/astroland/index.htm
for further details!
============================
For Uncle Rod's Astro Blog See:
http://journals.aol.com/rmollise/UncleRodsAstroBlog/

  #4  
Old February 12th 06, 08:02 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
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Default Atlas Mount----What I decided

Rod,

I have to agree completely. I've been using a "new to me" 10" LX-5 SCT
since '95. It was stolen in a burglary in late '97, recovered in mid '98.
I hade Meade put in a new optics group in '99. The tripod had a broken lug
and a crack that I had welded in '00, but it didn't hold up. Didn't use it
much for a couple of years (out of the country, bad sky). Came back, got an
18" truss dob. So the LX-5 with the new optics was used maybe six times in
six years. But I wanted to get back to doing school star parties, so I
decided to spring for the Atlas-G to replace the deteriorating tripod, and a
wedge that was gradually losing its functions. The fork busings were
deteriorating as well, so the alignment of DSCs was gradually becoming tough
to do.

So I looked around for a new mount and tripod, and found the Atlas-G. I've
had it nearly a month, but I've only been out with it for three nights due
to work and weather, and waiting for a new dovetail and saddle plate to
adapt the OTA to the new mount.

The first night was a "get acquainted" session, where I proved to myself
that I didn't know what I was doing. The second night was an attempt to
apply what I learned from the Yahoo EQ6 Users' Group . What a great
resource! But the night was very disappointing. Extremely. No rhyme or
reason for just plain goofy behavior, or so I thought. The only thing that
worked well was the iteration between Castor and Polaris to take out optical
axis misalignment. The next day I was able to track the sun dead center in
the eyepiece at solar rate for over an hour with no discernable offset.
After posting my experiences on Yahoo, and on the Cloudy Nights Equipment
forum, and receiving a lot of feedback, I refined my processes. So, despite
full moon interference, I went out last night to try again. Quite a
difference.

Between try numbers two and three, I got a new power supply. I bought an
Orion power station. I was just goint to pick up a replacement battery for
my old one, but there were so many features with this one (like being able
to run my laptop from it at the same time as the mount) that I ordered it.
Also, just prior to try number 2, I used an inclinometer to set the
latitude; the mount indicator was almost five degrees off. And before try
number three, I noticed a clocking of the dovetail in the saddle plate.
Reset that. Did a 1-star alignment, and the iteration to Polaris to take
out misalignment of the OTA optical axis to the mount. Took two cycles.
After that, I didn't like the behavior of the GOTO for accuracy. So I used
the Park function, repowered the mount, did a 2-star alignment and proceded
to do some GOTOs. Even though I was probably 5-10 seconds off on the clock
setting, I hit the few things I was going for (Saturn, Moon, M42, M81, M82,
NGC457) within about 0.3 degrees at the very worst. And I ran some of the
hops through my laptop and Earth Centered Universe Pro v5.0. I also tracked
the sky position through ECU. And I tried tracking a few satellites with
Satellite Tracker, but since the software in the HC is Nexstar 5 equivalent,
the tracking was in a leap-frog mode so I could see the satellite as the OTA
overtook it, but it didn't hold the image on the stops. I expected so,
since the clock setting has to be very accurate to have any hope of even
finding the satellite in the eyepiece.

So, bottom line, sure worked for me. I have to shim out a tiny bit of
misalignment residual to the dovetail (probably needs a dime under the nose
of a plate; a quarter shifted the offset about triple what was needed).
Loved how QUIET the thing is after what seems like forever listening to
Meade rock polishers.

Jim
A Bad Night With A Telescope
Beats A Good Night Doing Anything Else
Tectron 18" Truss Dob.
Meade 10" LX-5 SCT/Atlas-G
Orion 90mm refractor,
Meade 10" Starfinder Newt,
Celestron 10x50 Ultima Pro


"RMOLLISE" wrote in message
ups.com...

Doink wrote:
Thanks for the input. After reading through the user group posts, it
seems
1) there are quality issues 2) The mount requires a lot of rework to be
as
good as claimed by the manufacturer.

Really, truly, there is not substutute for quality. Time to just save up
for a better mount!

Doink


Hi:

Well, there's always the attraction of the "better," but I think the
EQ6 Skyscan/Atlas EQG (as opposed to the original EQ6/Atlas) is a good
buy for the money and a good performer. The main drawback to the
original--high periodic and random error--has been eliminated in the
new mounts, and quite a few good images are being done.

Main problem now? The Vixen style dovetail/saddle. It should be larger.
While the setup is great for an 8 or a 9.25, it begins to be "not good
enough" for a C11, and is definitely not good enough for a C14.

Also, now that Synta owns Celestron, it would be really nice to see the
mount use the Celestron HC and motors (ala' the EQ5). The current HC is
useable, but is rather limited, being similar to the original NS8/5
software-wise.

Remember, too, that until you get to the Titan/AP/Paramount/MI level
there are still going to be "issues" to be worked through.

Peace,
Rod Mollise
Author of _Choosing and Using a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope_
Like SCTs and MCTs?
Join the SCT User Mailing List.
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/sct-user
============================
See my home page at
http://skywatch.brainiac.com/astroland/index.htm
for further details!
============================
For Uncle Rod's Astro Blog See:
http://journals.aol.com/rmollise/UncleRodsAstroBlog/



 




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