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Atlas (EQ6) vs Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G (AZ-EQ 6)

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#1 Brad Greig

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

Subject pretty much says it all. I'm looking for my first AP mount. I think I have the Orion and Skywatcher model numbers correct in the subject. I'm sure I'll be corrected promptly if not.

I'm trying to put together my AP rig. I've looked at the Losmandy GM-11 mount and I think it's a bit more than I want to spend at the moment. So I'm looking at the Atlas mounts.

I like the idea of the EQ and AZ operation. I like the fact that two scopes can be mounted when configured in AZ mode. The reason for this mount is AP. But it will be used for visual as well. I can see myself mounting two scopes occasionally, like when my daughter has her friends over, and everyone has to have their turn behind the eyepiece.

Anyway, I'm leaning toward the Atlas Pro, but have seen posts on other sites that there are issues with the goto system. Not sure if they are valid concerns, as I haven't seen any updates in some time. If so, is this something that is likely to be fixed with something as simple as a firmware update? Does anyone have any first hand experience with this mount? Really looking for guidance, as I have received some great information here in the DSLR Imaging forum. So I thought I'd make a post here also.

Thanks in advance for any replies!

Brad

#2 neptun2

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

Hello Brad. Well the Atlas Pro have some advantages like the possibility to use it also in AZ mode, the fact that it uses encoders and also there are improvements in the altitude adjustment mechanism for polar alignment. It is also lighter. It is a kind of evolution of the old EQ6. Software is the same. The problem is that this mount is very new and there is still not enough info about the possible problems. I personally do not expect any serious problems because this is upgrade of the EQ6 and not something new made from scratch. There are other threads in this forum for this mount. I recommend to look at them also.

To summarize. If you are like me and have fun to work with new equipment taking the risk of the first adopters go with the AZ-EQ 6. If you prefer to use safe and proven technology without risk go with the old EQ6. For astrophotography you won't see any considerable difference between the two. I hope that actual owners of the new AZ/EQ 6 will also tell their opinion.

#3 ccs_hello

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:08 PM

As in the other thread, I questioned the encoder resolution is far lower than the native EQ6-G's microstepper's resolution. I also sensed that during GOTO and tracking operations, the (course) encoder does not participate in these operations.

So my question is: have anyone tried to intentionally disrupt the alignment and GOTO position (open the clutch and manually push to), then be able to regain back (relock clutch) to good enough or perfect alignment again?

Sorry for the direct pointed question. I assume that is one of the major features of the new mount. But does it really work that way and work well?

Clear Skies!

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#4 Brad Greig

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

OK, so let me ask this one final question.

Above it is stated that for AP I will not notice any considerable difference between the two.

Does that imply that the issues with GoTo performance will not affect tracking once aligned on the target?

I apologize if this is a simple question. I'm just about to pull the trigger on one of the two. I'd prefer the new, but not if it is going to be un-usable as an AP platform for a modest load.

Thanks,
Brad

#5 rmollise

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:42 AM

OK, so let me ask this one final question.

Above it is stated that for AP I will not notice any considerable difference between the two.

Does that imply that the issues with GoTo performance will not affect tracking once aligned on the target?

I apologize if this is a simple question. I'm just about to pull the trigger on one of the two. I'd prefer the new, but not if it is going to be un-usable as an AP platform for a modest load.

Thanks,
Brad


Go-to performance does not affect tracking--and it's too soon to say there is any problem with the mount's go-to, anway IMHO.

#6 EFT

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

Ideally, the AZEQ6 should perform as well as the EQ6 in polar mode. However, at this point there is simply not enough data to support that assumption. The LX80 showed everyone that a workable convertable mount may not be as easy to produce as you might think. The AZEQ6 appears to be better designed and the basic guts are similar to a tried and true format, but only time will tell whether it works well for both Alt/AZ and GEM use. If your goal is AP, you can go with the known commodity of the EQ6/Atlas or you can be a guinea pig for the new mount. It's up to you.

#7 Brad Greig

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:11 AM

Thanks, Rod and Ed. I truly appreciate the comments.

Brad

#8 Neocisco

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:47 AM

I'm sorry, but since the AZ-EQ 6 has belts for transmission instead of gear-boxes, doesn't this mean that it would be showing a much better PE than the EQ6? If that's true then using the AZ-EQ 6 for AP would be a much better choice, right?

#9 Mike X.

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:01 AM

In theory yes.One less gear means one less factor that ingluences the PE.Also..backlash should be reduced.
In practice it remains to be seen..

#10 EFT

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:01 AM

I'm sorry, but since the AZ-EQ 6 has belts for transmission instead of gear-boxes, doesn't this mean that it would be showing a much better PE than the EQ6? If that's true then using the AZ-EQ 6 for AP would be a much better choice, right?


Not necessarily. There is no reason that a toothed belt drive would have less error than a spur gear drive of similar precision. In fact, it is probably easier to make a spur gear drive of higher precision than a belt drive. I can tell you that in working with one mount manufacturer, a belt drive can be very problematic and extremely dependent on the quality of the belts being supplied. If you think about how a belt would be molded as opposed to how a gear is machined, it is easy to see how machining could result in a much higher precision system. The other thing to remember is that the majority of periodic error comes from the worm and ring gear. The belt or spur gear drive is a secondary contributor only so the overall effect of a belt vs. a spur drive may be negligible. The one advantage that a belt drive will often have is that it will be quieter at high speeds.

#11 Lane

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:47 PM

What kind of material is the belt made from?

I am worried it will be the first thing that wears out.

#12 EFT

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:00 PM

What kind of material is the belt made from?

I am worried it will be the first thing that wears out.


I doubt anyone will know for sure, but typically these types of belts are made of some kind of fiber (sometimes Kevlar) reinforced plastic. The likelihood of wearing out or stretching is fairly low in this application.

#13 Mike X.

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:04 PM

I was thinking of that Lane..then i thought that even if it is the first thing to wear out..how much effective work will have a belt on a mount during it's life time?
It is not a car trasmission belt that has to work everyday and in high speeds ;)

#14 Roy McCoy

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

More than likely the belt is off the shelf. There are five or six standard timing belt types with pulley profiles to match the belts.
So even in a worst case scenario in which a belt might fail, you could probably count the teeth and order a belt from StockDrive or similar vendor.


Stockdrive

#15 martl

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:41 PM

I own a EQ6AZ and have used it a few times in the meantime. The (also from me) reported possible issues with goto performance couldn't be verified. If encoders are deactivated, goto is more precise as stated in the manual.

If you want to have a mobile setup and you want to use the AltAz configuration, too, I would not hesitate to spend the extra money on the AZ. The slip clutches, the lesser weight and the elevation adjustment are well worth some extra money. Of course about long term stability we will know not before a few years have passed, but so far I can only recommend this mount.

CS
MArtin

#16 frolinmod

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:12 PM

Here's a photograph of my AZ-EQ6 at a solar outreach event at the end of the day. Scope on the left is a Lunt LS100 and the scope on the left is a Lunt LS80 double stack. Note the ADM Accessories dual dovetails and MAX-M. I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the dovetail on the right so that I could easily insert/remove the socket head cap safety screw that screws into the end of the counterweight shaft. Also note the longer handset cord that I picked up to replace the short one that comes with the mount.

The only problem I had with the mount this day was that it would not track while grossly out of balance and other than not tracking gave no other indication that anything was wrong. That left me scratching my head for awhile until I released the clutches.

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#17 EFT

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:48 PM

Here's a photograph of my AZ-EQ6 at a solar outreach event at the end of the day. Scope on the left is a Lunt LS100 and the scope on the left is a Lunt LS80 double stack. Note the ADM Accessories dual dovetails and MAX-M. I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the dovetail on the right so that I could easily insert/remove the socket head cap safety screw that screws into the end of the counterweight shaft. Also note the longer handset cord that I picked up to replace the short one that comes with the mount.

The only problem I had with the mount this day was that it would not track while grossly out of balance and other than not tracking gave no other indication that anything was wrong. That left me scratching my head for awhile until I released the clutches.


Not tracking while very out of balance is not surprising, but it would normally result in a terrible sound with the standard Atlas/EQ6 mount. It could be they have built some protection into the mount to avoid damage, but otherwise I would expect either stepper motor skipping or possibly belt slippage with a grossly out of balance load.

#18 johnpd

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 02:04 AM

What is the replacement handset cord you got? Is it a standard RJ-45 cord?

JohnD

#19 frolinmod

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 02:35 AM

Straight through RJ45. I purchased it on Ebay. The workmanship on the connector crimps was poor. I had to cut off the connectors and crimp some new ones on. Fortunately flat satin is trivial to cut, strip and crimp. A standard straight through Ethernet cable will also work, of course.

#20 neptun2

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 04:37 AM

I also have question to the owners of this mount - how hard you think you can load it in EQ mode and still be able to make good 5 minute subs around 1000mm foca length with off-axis guiding? Currently i have HEQ5 Pro and skywatcher 120 ED refractor and am very happy with this combination but i plan to purchase in the future the esprit 150 refractor which is around 15 kg OTA only and will reach probably around 17 or 18kg with all accessories. Will AZ-EQ6 be able to handle that for astrophotography?

#21 HowardK

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:06 PM

[quote name="EFT"][quote]Here's a photograph of my AZ-EQ6 at a solar outreach event at the end of the day. Scope on the left is a Lunt LS100 and the scope on the left is a Lunt LS80 double stack. Note the ADM Accessories dual dovetails and MAX-M. I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the dovetail on the right so that I could easily insert/remove the socket head cap safety
screw that screws into the end of the counterweight shaft. Also note the longer handset cord that I picked up to replace the short one that comes with my head for awhile until I released the clutches.


Hi

Can u tell me how u attached the ADM saddles to the az eq6 supplied saddles...i have removed the saddle from its circular holder by releasing the 3 grub screws but can't see how to attach the ADM saddle.

#22 HowardK

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:37 PM

Here's a photograph of my AZ-EQ6 at a solar outreach event at the end of the day. Scope on the left is a Lunt LS100 and the scope on the left is a Lunt LS80 double stack. Note the ADM Accessories dual dovetails and MAX-M. I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the dovetail on the right so that I could easily insert/remove the socket head cap safety screw that screws into the end of the counterweight shaft. Also note the longer handset cord that I picked up to replace the short one that comes with the mount.

The only problem I had with the mount this day was that it would not track while grossly out of balance and other than not tracking gave no other indication that anything was wrong. That left me scratching my head for awhile until I released the clutches.



#23 frolinmod

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:10 PM

Can u tell me how u attached the ADM saddles to the az eq6 supplied saddles...i have removed the saddle from its circular holder by releasing the 3 grub screws but can't see how to attach the ADM saddle.

I used ADM EQG-A-NEW "hockey puck" adapters on each saddle.
In other words, the exact same ADM part that works with the EQ6 also works with the AZ-EQ6.

On the secondary saddle I then drilled a 1/2" hole through the center of the ADM saddle and ADM hockey puck adapter to give me more convenient access to the safety screw that screws into the AZ-EQ6 counterweight shaft.

#24 HowardK

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:25 PM

Got it

Nice






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