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New Atlas/Deforked C8 = Awesome!

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#1 tclehman1969

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:27 PM

So I recently picked up an Atlas EQ-G mount and, well, needless to say, I am impressed. :jump: Way more stable than the old C8 in its forked configuration.

Anyway, I had posted a query in the mounts forum recently about the ability to mount my C8 via a Vixen-style dovetail and then mount to the scope a Celestron Onyx 80 EDF via an ADM MDS dovetail. I had concerns about the stability of this configuration. After receiving an answer from Uncle Rod stating "keep on truckin'" I proceeded to try it out. Well, it seems solid enough to me! Now, due to weather issues, I have not had the chance to see if there is any appreciable flexure in the system when looking at stars, so I will update that at another time, hopefully in the coming weeks.

I have seen other posts where people posted questions or had concerns about such a configuration. And I had looked through numerous pics from other posters about their particular mount/scope configuration to see if I could find someone doing it as I was planning on doing it. I saw a few, but rather few. So, to share my experience I decided to post a video on YouTube showing this configuration. It can be found here: http://youtu.be/DMjuvcODXXo

Only downside to the Atlas is it seems to drain my battery far quicker than my old AC motor on my Byers drive. In fact, using it just last evening, the battery dropped one notch (highly accurate, huh?) on its meter after just 45 minutes of use after fully charging it during the day. Any suggestions on a good battery source? How many amp/hours would be good? Id like to try and avoid anything that has flashlights, air compressors, radios and all that built onto the battery. I just need a good battery! :grin:

Thanks to all in advance!

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#2 rigel123

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:58 PM

I use a 35 amp/h gel battery, one that is used for electric wheel chairs, etc. It will power my Atlas/dew strips for a weekend of imaging. I use a second one to power my camera and backup my laptop in the field.

Nice looking setup btw!

#3 tclehman1969

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:58 AM

What do you use to charge up those batteries? Trickle, or can they be charged in a car while driving? When I go to the mountains with my scope, I won't have access to 110v for a wall charger so being able to charge off my cars 12v system is important.

#4 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:36 AM

Looks great, but do yourself a favor. Move the "north" pin/peg on the top of the tripod so that it sits over a single leg rather than between two legs. One good bump from behind and your mount will pitch over forward and make you and your C8 very sad. Synta ships them the way you have it set up, but it ain't right. The tripod top is tapped to allow the peg to be mounted either between two legs or in line with a single leg. I call the single-leg-north format "putting the mount's best foot forward". :grin:

Oh and the Atlas is a battery hog if you slew a lot. It can easily drain a 20AH fully charged battery in a couple of hours of active use. Sooner if you run dew heaters. You will want a nice deep cycle marine battery or similar with at least 50AH of capacity. I like the Optima blue top batteries. I have a 50AH and a 66AH. They aren't cheap, but they are very good and can easily run an Atlas for many nights of all-night observing.

Powertanks and Walmart jump start batteries won't cut it.

Regards,

Jim

#5 Skrenlin

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:22 PM

jrbarnett,

The Sirius EQG tripod pin is (or at least was on mine) cast as part of that top plate and immovable. Although the pin on my tripod was over a single leg labelled "N" and not between 2 legs like in that picture.

#6 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:34 PM

Yep. On the Atlas, the pin is threaded and can be moved from one side to the other, though.

Atlas with the pin relocated:

Posted Image

Regards,

Jim

#7 Skrenlin

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:04 PM

Doh! I looked at the mount pic and thought it was the Sirius, not the Atlas. No idea why.

On another note, what's that nifty wheeled battery box you have there?

#8 rigel123

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

What do you use to charge up those batteries? Trickle, or can they be charged in a car while driving? When I go to the mountains with my scope, I won't have access to 110v for a wall charger so being able to charge off my cars 12v system is important.


I use a trickle charger,not sure about charging them off your car

#9 tclehman1969

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:18 PM

Thanks, Jim, got the pin switched to the other side! Accident avoided!

Would you happen to know the draw of the Atlas? Being a fair weather astronomer, I won't be running any dew strips, just the drive. I know when I picked up the Atlas at Orion they suggested a 2 amp 12 volt power supply minimum to run it, 3 amp better. Is that what it draws is 2 to 3 amps? If so, given a long session for me would be 6 hours, max draw would be 18 amps. I am guessing a battery should have more capacity than your max usage, maybe double. Is this the right thought process?

I'm feeling so confused! :confused: :help:

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:52 PM

That is a Xantrex Xpower 1500. It has a built in 1500W inverter and a 50AH battery.

- Jim

#11 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:56 PM

I dunno about draw, but I do know that I needed a bigger battery. :lol:

For remote site use, I also use solar recharging (solar panels and a charge regulator).

Regards,

Jim

#12 WillCarney

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:08 AM

I dunno about draw, but I do know that I needed a bigger battery. :lol:
For remote site use, I also use solar recharging (solar panels and a charge regulator).
Regards,
Jim


I agree. I use a Marine deep cycle battery like a RV or boat uses. I can power my Atlas all night even at 20 below with a 750 power inverter. I just recharge the battery with my regular charger. One time I even powered a laptop and camera at the same time as the Atlas for an entire night. William






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