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Atlas CW Uprade!

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#1 Carl W

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 10:08 PM

Hi All,
Delivered on Friday...
Spilled $40 on 7/8" and 1" 'Silver and Demming' drill bits and took most of Saturday drilling out the counterweights.
Geez that cast iron is hard! Almost killed my little hobby drill press in the process but we got 'er done. :jump:
I was suprised to find that the new coupling nut is not made of steel like the original but looks like cast aluminum alloy of some sort - certainly not billet but I did not look at it that close.
During assembly I found the threads on all parts to be smooth and tight - very nice! For cheap insurance I chose to use some blue locktight on the shaft to nut threads, as I do not foresee the need to take them apart anytime soon.
Overall very happy with the fit, function and asthetics! :bow:

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#2 EFT


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Posted 19 August 2013 - 03:04 AM

That had to be a way nasty job. I'm sure your drill press was not happy.

#3 Pat at home

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

55 lbs of counterweights! What are you mounting on that poor Atlas? Any issues? I have an EQ6 (Atlas) and would never have thought to mount that much on it.

#4 Pauls72


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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:04 AM

Holy Cow 55 lbs of counter weights!!!
Here I thought I was on the high end with 33 lbs...

#5 Carl W

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:03 PM

Pat and Paul,
Those are three 11 pound plus two sevens for 47lbs.
The shaft upgrade kit just released from Orion is 25mm diameter vs. the original 17mm retractable flex noodle.
Yes I had problems from flex when slewing that would eventually loosen the coupling nut, and the new shaft kit should eliminate that. Otherwise with careful balance the Atlas has carried the load without complaint, and I use my rig exclusively for astrophotography. The OTA is the Orion 10" steel tube F4.7 with all the extra goodies needed for imaging.
Prelimary balace checks indicate I can remove one of the 7lb weights as the new shaft is heavier and a little longer than the original.
Anyway sorry for the confusion from leaving out the word "shaft" in my original subject line. :rainbow:

Ed you may want to look into providing the install/weight mod as part of your hypertune services!

#6 proteus5



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Posted 19 August 2013 - 08:34 PM


I just bored out two of my counterweights to fit the upgrade shaft last night. I just used a 1" bit on what looks to be the same drill press as yours. Took a little over a 1/2 hour each. I have a third weight that I left alone as I discovered that the original shaft extension that comes with the Atlas will screw into the end of the new larger CW shaft to lengthen it if I need to when I mount my Meade 10" sct. I haven't installed the shaft yet, but it is very nice looking.

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#7 Starhawk


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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:52 PM

What's the point of doing this? The mount's way overloaded.


#8 orlyandico


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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:05 PM

Rich, the thing is the stock Atlas shaft is 18mm which is even thinner than the Vixen shaft.

So even if you're not overloading the mount, a thicker shaft is desirable.

I was thinking of having a 1.125" shaft made for my CGEM so I could use the handsome AP weights (the CGEM uses a 20mm shaft like the Vixen GP, thicker - but not that much thicker - than the Atlas shaft). But I've managed to sell my CGEM (woohoo!)

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