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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed?
      #5523963 - 11/17/12 08:56 AM

as subject says. will order the atlas EQ-G in the next week or so. what will be needed? anything? there's always something!!!

still haven't pick an ota but leaning towards a newt.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5524018 - 11/17/12 09:35 AM

You've chosen a nice mount. Rock solid. As far as your choice of scopes, I'd highly recommend that you try to look through a Newt on a GEM before you go that route. The focuser can be in some very awkward postions. You can make or purchase a set of rotating rings, but even then, it's not the most comfortable of viewing positions.

If you're going to be setting up on hard surfaces like concrete, you might consider anti-vibration pads for the mount's feet to sit in. If you're going to power it with a battery, get a good one that will hold a charge well. Mounts are real funny about low voltage.

And if you decide on a big refractor like a C6R, I'd recommend the mount extension that Orion makes. That way, you're not sitting on the ground when viewing near Zenith.

David


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5524045 - 11/17/12 10:06 AM

Jumpstart battery of about 17ah capacity. Get an SCT. You will be much happier with it in the long run and so will the Atlas.

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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5524529 - 11/17/12 03:00 PM

anti-vibration pads, check,,

Jumpstart battery of about 17ah capacity.
wondering about batteries. weight? how much stuff can be hooked up to a jump start battery before you need to move up to something bigger?
years ago use a deep cycle boat battery just be cause I had one in the shed. it was a pita to move around,lol
(hand trucks) to start with I'm sure I won't be running too much but down the road may add laptop and other things..

yeah still up in the air on ota! been without for 10+ years and remember the 10" lx200 was great. but a 10" newt seemed brighter as I remember,, my eyes aren't what they were so thats where my thought process is coming from. still looking at all of them, but the newt is kind of in the front running..


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5524598 - 11/17/12 03:52 PM

Just to add a word or two here, I have an EQ-6 (Atlas) and I had an 8 inch newtonian on it as my first scope. It was not a comfortable experience. The mount is big and as a result buts the eyepiece at a fair height most of the time. If you like to view in different parts of the sky during a session then you either need a method for easily rotating the tube or loosen the rings to reposition the eyepiece. A 10" would have an even heavier mirror so the eyepiece would end up at a greater height than mine. I also found that the large tube acted like a sail in the wind, any slight gusts would impart some vibration. It did not take me long to get another scope better suited for the EQ-6 and build a dob mount for my newtonian.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: Pat at home]
      #5524632 - 11/17/12 04:21 PM

An SCT or a MAK would a lot easier to use.

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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5524966 - 11/17/12 07:38 PM

Quote:

An SCT or a MAK would a lot easier to use.




yes a mak would be awesome. was tempted to jump on an orion 180mm last week but held off for now. which ever ota I get would be the only one for at least a year or more so wanted to go with a bucket to start with,,
here a question to help me decide. the last scope I had was an emc lx200 10" at the time I did get to look through some 8" and 10" newts and clearly remember the difference in brightness with the newts. so fast forward to now, with all the new coatings for the SCT's are they more comparible to the newts now?


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5524978 - 11/17/12 07:47 PM

Newts on GEM's with tripods are quite awkward. I'd skip the Newt on an Atlas and instead go refractor or SCT. The problem with Newt OTAs is that they tend to hit the tripod legs when pointed near zenith. EQ mounted Newts belong on short piers with no legs to interfere with the travel of the OTA, IMO.

You'll also need to power the mount. I think you'll want more than a 17AH jumpstart battery. My Atlas with a refactor and dew heater drain a 17-20AH battery in about 4 hours. Much better are Optima blue top deep cycle marine batteries. I have two, a 50AH and a 66AH. Either of those will power the same rig for many full nights without recharging.

You'll also want an adjustable observer's chair (or drummer's throne). And the 8" extension for the Atlas might come in handy, depending on how long the OTA you choose is.

I'd skip the VSPs if observing on dirt or grass. Keep 'em if on concrete, asphalt, wood or similar hard surface.

Depending on the OTA, you may also need a dew controller and a dew stip or two, and/or a dew shade. Dew controllers will require a splitter for your battery; one fork to the mount and the other to the dew controller.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (11/17/12 07:57 PM)


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5525024 - 11/17/12 08:18 PM

Thanks Jr, I did not think about a newt ota that might hit the tripod!! that would not be good!

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Dougal
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/11/06

Loc: NC
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5525104 - 11/17/12 09:08 PM

I upgraded all four of the adjustment bolts to a stronger set with better grips. The original altitude bolts in particular proved to be little stress machines. Oh and of course consider EQMOD, it's a winner if you don't mind having a laptop along to view. I haven't used the hand controller for several months now.

Edited by Dougal (11/17/12 09:09 PM)


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: Dougal]
      #5525150 - 11/17/12 09:35 PM

good call on adjustment bolts,, laptop is a ways off yet as I'm just getting back into a scope but will came the eqmod in mind,,thanks

Quote:

I upgraded all four of the adjustment bolts to a stronger set with better grips. The original altitude bolts in particular proved to be little stress machines. Oh and of course consider EQMOD, it's a winner if you don't mind having a laptop along to view. I haven't used the hand controller for several months now.




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Phil Wheeler
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/31/05

Loc: 3 miles WNW of Celestron
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5526877 - 11/18/12 09:20 PM

Excellent advice re putting an SCT on it.

Did anyone mention building an observatory for it?


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Phil Wheeler
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/31/05

Loc: 3 miles WNW of Celestron
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5526895 - 11/18/12 09:27 PM

Quote:

the last scope I had was an emc lx200 10" at the time I did get to look through some 8" and 10" newts and clearly remember the difference in brightness with the newts. so fast forward to now, with all the new coatings for the SCT's are they more comparible to the newts now?




Most newts are fairly fast scopes, while SCTs are slow -- generally f/10 unless you use some sort of reducer/corrector. I don't think visual brightness comparisons mean much.

Modern SCTs do have excellent coatings. If I were you I'd get an 11" Celestron SCT for that mount. I have a particular preference for Celestron, partly due to my location and also based on excellent service (and needing very little of it!)


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5527472 - 11/19/12 08:35 AM

Quote:

as subject says. will order the atlas EQ-G in the next week or so. what will be needed? anything? there's always something!!!

still haven't pick an ota but leaning towards a newt.



Maybe I missed it but what are you planning to do with the telescope? Visual? Imaging? both? imaging at 2000mm or more FL can be quite challenging.
Regarding power, if used for imaging the mount should have its own power source, possibly regulated. Dew heater, computer etc... should be on a separate battery.
Andy


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Pierre Stromberg
sage
*****

Reged: 02/07/08

Loc: Woodinville, WA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: Dougal]
      #5528312 - 11/19/12 04:12 PM

I'm surprised the EQMOD folks didn't mention the virtues of using a wireless game pad with the Atlas. It totally ROCKS.

Pierre


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: Pierre Stromberg]
      #5528383 - 11/19/12 04:51 PM

Quote:

I'm surprised the EQMOD folks didn't mention the virtues of using a wireless game pad with the Atlas. It totally ROCKS.

Pierre



I always thought that was a great feature. I wonder if one can also autoguide sending pulse commands through the wireless connection. That would be cool.
There would still be a cable going from the guide cam to the computer tho.


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5528491 - 11/19/12 06:01 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

I'd start with an ADM dual saddle and puck to replace the stock saddle, followed by a Criterion extended counterweight shaft...two quick and very effective upgrades. Putting it in an observatory would be ideal, but if you are going mobile with a heavy OTA I would address the weakest part of the Atlas - the tripod. The quick and easy fix would be a 3/4" thick plywood secondary tray threaded though the middle on the factory locking rod with notches cut to snug up against the tripod legs. I added an extension using metric rod stock and hardware from McMaster & Carr. This is a pretty easy Saturday morning project and makes the tripod very rigid. If you like to take the high tech route, get a used Losmandy HD tripod and an Atlas adapter from Optical Supports and park your mount on this. I eventually went this route when I bought a C11 Edge, and this Atlas/Losmandy combination is solid as the Rock of Gibraltar If you are interested in any of these suggestions feel free to PM me, below is a picture of my C11 on the "Atlosmandy" mount...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5528501 - 11/19/12 06:09 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Here is a shot of a stabilizing tray I knocked out for an EQ5P I used to own, the tray is now being used with my Sirius mount. I made a very similar one for my road Atlas (I have two: one for travel and one in my observatory) in 3/4" plywood...works like a champ!

Clear Skies,
Brian


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5528815 - 11/19/12 09:08 PM

Quote:

I would address the weakest part of the Atlas - the tripod.
Brian



Having had an Atlas in the past I definitely agree. The tripod must be improved. I heard great things about the Losmandy but for maximum portability I use a Rob Miller. I think Rob can make one for the Atlas. It weights only 8lb. and it's incredibly solid. If I remember well it's rated for a load of 300lb.


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Ranger Tim
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/25/08

Loc: SE Idaho, USA
Re: OK decided to get the Atlas EQ-G, whats needed? new [Re: andysea]
      #5528931 - 11/19/12 10:05 PM

I am a newtonian fanatic but totally agree with the advice to skip the newt on the equatorial mount. The eyepiece always seems to be in a position that requires contorting oneself or climbing a ladder at a weird angle. Using the newt on an eq. mount for astrophotography is a different thing altogether and works well as long as you don't want to shoot at the zenith.

My suggestion would be to invest in a Celestron Edge HD 9.25 OTA. It seems to be the perfect size for the Atlas with the weight ratio perfect for AP down the road. C11's are heavy, so be sure you want to handle such a big scope if you decide to go that route and stay portable.


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