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Best way to mount a 10" sct on an atlas?

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#1 MikeCMP

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:44 PM

Hello,
I have a 10" LX200, and the fork mount has stopped working, I deforked the OTA and am going to put it on my atlas. I was going to use a vixen rail, and have one already, but am concerned that it only has the two screws through the ends of the SCT to hold it on.

I like ADM kit, and they have a Losmandy bar that has radius blocks so there would be more screws holding it on, but I was just wondering if I should use rings instead. Is it worth it to get a set of rings for this scope rather than my existing vixen rail? If so, is there a reasonably priced set of rings I could use?

I found some 11.9 " rings at agena astro that might work.

I have a vixen to losmandy adapter for my atlas, but had also been considering the upgraded saddle from ADM as well.

Thanks in advance,
Mike

#2 Jan Owen

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:18 PM

Two screws are holding mine, either on my Atlas where the weight is over the dovetail bar more often, and it also has worked fine on my altaz mount, where it hangs off the SIDE of the mount... That one makes me more nervous, but has been just fine (so far... Heheheh!)...

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#3 shawnhar

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:21 PM

I just mounted my Meade 10 on an Atlas (EQ6, same mount) with the Vixen rail and have no issues. I did notice you have to tighten the 2 bolts pretty darned tight, other than that it feels solid to me. I have imaged 10 minute subs at 2500mm with round stars, so I ain't complainin.
BUT, lots of others worry about flex with that rail and the 2 screws. I went with the Vixen for cost issues. If money had not been a concern I would have changed the mount saddle and gone with the Losmandy.

#4 Jan Owen

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:23 PM

Here it is on an altaz mount, hanging off the side. Note also that I've added a second dovetail bar (also with just the two screws) on the top of the tube, and added a handle for ease of mounting, especially on the altaz mount, where you have to hold the OTA in one hand (with the handle) from the side, and tighten the locking screws on the mount with the other...

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#5 MikeCMP

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:33 PM

Guess I shouldn't worry, looks like the vixen rail works just fine.

I also plan to image, my atlas, or rather my EQ-6 since that is what it really is, guides wonderfully, the gent that sold it to me actually imaged with a c14 on it if you can believe it, using hyperstar.

I have a MDS top rail for my guide scope. I believe that the weight might be pushing it a little for imaging, but nothing wagered nothing won :)

Thanks for the replies, you put my mind at ease. Nw to get rid of the clouds!

Mike

#6 shawnhar

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:53 PM

C14 on an EQ6!...I can believe it, recent post in the imaging forums was a guy using a 12" Dob at over 45 pounds. I am at around 35 pounds, which is way over the 1/2 rule, the mount does not seem to care. I have an ST80 on a top rail with rings and use a DSI color with PHD, seems to work just fine. I can't go over 10 minutes even using iso 400 due to light pollution anyway.
I roll my eyes when I see these mounts called "low end" in posts, best astro upgrade I have made by far was the EQ6.

#7 frolinmod

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:05 PM

The "V" dovetail may "work" on the bottom of the OTA, but I'd invest in the ADM Accessories "D" dovetail with the radius blocks instead. The largest heaviest SCT I'd use a "V" dovetail with is the 8-inch. But the "V" dovetail should be fine on TOP of the OTA for attaching accessories.

I think tube rings will be overkill for this scope. But if you do invest in tube rings, might as well attach them to a "D" dovetail while you're at it, otherwise why bother with tube rings.

#8 dale67cameron

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:49 AM

I use the adm losmandy dovetail with radius blocks and the adm dual saddle on my meade 10" lx200 tube and atlas mount. It is solid as a rock with almost zero shake while focusing. I started with the vixen dovetail without radius blocks. The improvement with the adm losmandy setup is substantial. I will never go back to the vixen on a sct. Being able to focus with no image movement is worth the investment.

#9 Al Miller

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:49 AM

I use the ADM kit with the wide, Losmandy-style dovetail. I also replaced the standard Atlas head saddle with the ADM dual saddle. This combination is very strong and secure. Take a look at the ADM kit for the Meade 10", you can't go wrong.

BTW, my scope is the LX200, 10" OTA. Attached is a photo:

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#10 MikeCMP

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

Wow a lot of people have this combo, I am surprised. When I initially did some searching, what I seemed to find was a bunch of people saying the atlas was not quite enough mount for a 10" SCT.

Looks like ADM's site is down at the moment. Do you guys who upgrade the saddle feel it was worth it? I like the fact that it grips with the entire jaw of the saddle instead of two screws, less marring of the dovetails and a more secure connection I would guess.

Mike

#11 Al Miller

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

Wow a lot of people have this combo, I am surprised. When I initially did some searching, what I seemed to find was a bunch of people saying the atlas was not quite enough mount for a 10" SCT.

Looks like ADM's site is down at the moment. Do you guys who upgrade the saddle feel it was worth it? I like the fact that it grips with the entire jaw of the saddle instead of two screws, less marring of the dovetails and a more secure connection I would guess.



The Atlas is definitely up to the task for visual observing. Where it becomes "ify" is when you want to attach guidescopes, and other equipment to it for imaging. With all that extra weight the Atlas will be less stable and bouncy. It can be done though.

The saddle upgrade is well worth it. The ADM grabs the dovetail along its length and provides a much more secure grip. Other upgrades I've seen include replacing the counterweight shaft with a larger diameter one. I believe the newer versions of the Atlas actually come with this feature.

#12 Geo.

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:33 AM

Using good hardware the two screws are good for a half a ton load. The budget "D" set up is the Celestron C11 CGE bar that sells for under $40 on eBay. You'll have to add the center hole on the rear of the bar. On the whole a better setup than the ADM/Losmandy V series.

#13 MikeCMP

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:22 PM

Took a chance tonight to go out to the observing site, and it turned out to be a nice night. Even better was how the LX200 OTA performed on my EQ-6. In a word,AWESOME!

In fact I don't miss the forks at all now. It did take a lot longer to set up the EQ, but the benefits were great, most impressively, the damping on this mount. My forks were mounted on a milburn wedge, it weighed fifty pounds alone, and when you would focus or bumpt the OTA it would shake like a tuning fork. Though I guess it actually was a fork :) and if there was a light breeze like tonight, forget it, the fork mount would shake like a leaf.

I could rap the EQ-6 pretty hard and see the vibration damp out in a second or two. I was so impressed!

Got some good looks in this evening at Saturn, and some items n the tour program before packing it in. Very exciting to have my SCT back!

In other news I decided to get the losmandy rail. I am going to piggy back my guide scope and have my imaging equipment riding in the SCT so I might as well get the rail that will at least make me feel better.

Mike

#14 tclehman1969

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:18 AM

I understand your initial concerns about deforking a scope and putting it on a GEM. I had exactly the same issue when I deforked my C8. Though lighter and smaller than your 10, the idea of 2 screws only holding it as opposed to 2 screws on each side as in a fork made for a bit of nervousness. I queried on this forum and found the same answer, that it can be done with either a Vixen or Losmandy bar. I initially used a Vixen bar as it was something I could get from Orion when I bought the mount. More expediency and wanting to get home and put it to the test right away rather than waiting for a Losmandy kit. I already had radius blocks needed for my circumstance. Here is what it looked like in the first tests I made with the mount: http://youtu.be/DMjuvcODXXo. Needless to say, the rattle of the Orion mount has since been removed :jump:

While it did work just fine and I saw absolutely no issues with it with a Vixen bar (the Orion Universal Dovetail, which is what I used, is a solid bar of aluminum and is very strong), I did decide to replace it with the Celestron bar (large, aluminum bar that uses the single screw on the front cell and the 2 on the rear cell and half the cost of a Losmandy and does not need the radius blocks). Did I need to do this? Mechanically, no, psychologically, yes. Now it looks so much more stable with the wider Losmandy width bar than the Vixen bar.

Just thought I would add my two cents worth.

#15 Al Miller

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:07 AM

In fact I don't miss the forks at all now.



Best thing I ever did for my LX200 OTA was to de-fork it and go GEM. About the only thing I don't like is having to switch sides after the scope tracks past the meridian. A fork-mounted OTA doesn't have that issue. Nevertheless, the Atlas/10" is a great combo and, I can change OTA's if I want.

#16 RobertED

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:37 AM

All I have to say is....ADM mounting hardware!!!!
NOTE: No, I am NOT employed by ADM, but I am an owner of ADM hardware and I just love it!! It does a nice job securing my C-11 OTA to my Atlas mount!!!

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#17 jgraham

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:10 AM

I didn't care for the ADM plate for the Meade, it was a tad too long, narrow, and without radius blocks. I ended up with a Meade 5000 dovetail plate with radius blocks. I added an ETX-60/DSI Pro II as a guide scope slung under the scope attached to the forward section of the dovetail. The Atlas handles this scope like a champ!

De-forked 10" f/10 LX6...

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#18 Al Miller

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:24 AM

I didn't care for the ADM plate for the Meade, it was a tad too long, narrow, and without radius blocks.



Hmmmm. :question: My ADM kit for the Meade 10" OTA fit perfectly. I had no problems with the fit of the radius blocks, and the dovetail was the perfect length. It looks just like RobertED's in his above post.

#19 proteus5

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

Just to add one more. I felt the same as you when I de-forked my Meade 10" LX3 to put on my Atlas. I didn't feel comfortable with the 2 screw mounting of the Vixen, and like jgraham I went with the Meade 5000 wide dovetail with it's radius blocks. I did put a ADM vixen style on top for the guide scope. I also made a handle for easier mounting and carrying that attaches to the vixen dovetail on top.

#20 jgraham

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:50 AM

Yeah, I was puzzled by it too. There was no way I was going to hang the weight of my 10" scope on the plate that they shipped me. I held onto it in case I ever wanted to mount a lighter scope on my Atlas. The Meade plate looks a lot like Robert's, the ADM did not.

#21 MikeCMP

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 09:50 PM

Anthony from ADM wrote me to say there will be a little delay in getting my plate, I guess the radius blocks need to be anodized. No problem waiting a little bit.

I like the guide scope having off the dovetail on the bottom, pretty clever. Do you have to add weight to the back to balance the dec axis?

I held off on the dual saddle for the EQ-6 for now, as I have a very sturdy vixen to losmandy dovetail adapter already.

Have to agree that the atlas / EQ-6 is awesome. I loved it before, and love it more now. If I had bought the EQ-6 before my LX200 I might have never bought the big old Meade. Oh well. I liked that scope a lot when it worked. :)

When I bought this mount, I made sure to get enough extra counterweights from the seller to be able to balance the LX200 OTA in the event I had to defork it.

Oh, and one more thing, I. Was pretty impressed with the goto accuracy with the SCT, I typically use a small Newtonian with a FL of 750mm, but the EQ-6 put everything in the field of view of my televue 21mm plossel all night.

Clear skies,
Mike

#22 jgraham

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:40 AM

No extra weight needed, I just adjusted the ballance as you normally would.

#23 Steve Cobb

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:22 AM

I may be the only one who needs this, but it sure would be nice if one of the experts would do a simple but clear tutorial on these issues -- vixen versus losmandy, radius blocks? etc., etc. Walk us through the choices and issues with some simple diagrams. Many thanks in advance.

#24 RobertED

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:38 PM

Another view of fine ADM mounting hardware and my C-11 / ATLAS setup.......

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#25 Raginar

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:41 AM

Steve,

The reason there isn't it a tutorial is because it's just a requirement. None of them are 'better' or 'worse'. They're hunks of metal that attach to the tube and allow you to attach it to a GEM.

Buy from whoever you want; my recommendation is to get the cheapest one you can find. I've owned two now; a Meade 5000 series and a Losmandy. They were almost the same minus the length (2 differenet scopes).

Lets not overthink this stuff :).






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