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Equipment Discussions >> ATM, Optics and DIY Forum

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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
The Orion project...
      #5534183 - 11/22/12 04:30 PM

After having to part with my "loaner" Orion XX12, I decided that my XT8i, while a great scope, just wasn't packing the aperture punch I had become accustomed to. So off went the XT8i to the classifieds (probably to be regretted, someday), and in came a new (to me) XT12i. I actively searched for a used XT12i instead of an XX12 because I really like how much quicker I can set up the solid tube version vs. the truss (also - my storage and transport methods don't require the truss, either). The one drawback that I was expecting however, was that the base of the XX12 is superior to the base of the XT12i. Orion has added some supports to the XX12 base that get rid of the flex that happens with the XT12i, and they added Ebony Star laminate on the XX12. Without this in the XT12i, there is some annoying stiction with the azimuth motion, especially at higher powers.

I had planned to just add some reinforcements to the XT12i base to get rid of the flex, and look for some magic mix of lubricant as well as maybe adding a laminate ring to the existing base, but I think I've decided to re-build the base from scratch entirely. (I'll re-use some of the existing hardware, but it'll be mostly a "from the ground up" project.)

The one thing that was keeping me from doing this, was I was a bit worried about being able to transfer the push-to Orion encoder/computer system to an entirely new base, but after really looking at the entire system, I think that's going to be a non-problem.

I've taken some starting measurements, and am in the process of putting together a basic plan, which I'll post as soon as I complete it. I'll also try to post pics of my progress/trials and tribulations. I'm starting this in the ATM forum since I'm guessing this type of thing is fairly small potatoes for you guys and gals. However, if I'm about to go down a precarious path at any point, some of you expert ATM'ers can give me a "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAN, DON'T DO THAT!!!"

I'll be moving somewhat slow on this though, since I'm kind of a "measure once, think about it for a while, measure again, think about it for a longer while, eventually cut" guy. Also - the scope is usable as-is, so there is no rush. I'm kind of setting an informal goal of having it ready for spring galaxy season.

Thanks in advance for any and all help and direction!


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tcmzodiac
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/11/11

Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5534199 - 11/22/12 04:51 PM

Good luck with that! One option is to go the easy route...do you really ave to build a new base...not that doing so would be all that hard to do. I mixed up a lubricant which you might want to try on your bearings too.

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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: tcmzodiac]
      #5534230 - 11/22/12 05:14 PM

I looked back through your posts, and low and behold I did try your magic mix!! It was actually what made my scope usable stiction-wise, so many many thanks!

I've gone back and forth between doing an ground-up rebuild vs. a fix-it job, and I've kind of come to the realization that I think I might have a bit of fun going ground-up. I'm not going to ruin anything with regards to the original base, so humpty-dumpty can be put back together again if needed, and when I priced things out, it looks reasonable (famous last words, though).


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5534243 - 11/22/12 05:24 PM

Also, you don't have to follow the exact template of the stock base, except for certain critical areas. You can be a bit creative in the overall design of the new base.

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cpr1
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/24/12

Loc: Louisiana
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5534585 - 11/22/12 10:50 PM

Good luck on your project. I am sure it will be fun and will most likely lead to more projects!!

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daveingu
sage
*****

Reged: 01/24/09

Loc: Guelph, ON Canada
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: cpr1]
      #5534614 - 11/22/12 11:11 PM

I am interested in your plans as well. I have my own pet project for my xt12i also (though I would like to improve the wobbly base as well). I am thinking of cutting the top 10-12 inches of the tube off and making some kind of split tube arrangement. This is just to make the whole thing a little more transport friendly. I am envisioning a 44-46" main tube and maybe an Obsession style upper cage. With some locating pins and latches to snap the two sections together
The upper cage would hold the focuser and secondary assembly etc.
Has anyone tried anything similar?
Dave


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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: daveingu]
      #5534677 - 11/23/12 12:36 AM

Here's my rough layout thus far:



The measurements I've included are ones I think are somewhat important to keep consistent with the existing base.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5534696 - 11/23/12 12:58 AM

For the love of God man! Don't do that!!!!

I would laminate the entire bottom of the rocker box.


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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5534703 - 11/23/12 01:09 AM

Quote:

For the love of God man! Don't do that!!!!

I would laminate the entire bottom of the rocker box.




Indeed you are correct - why wouldn't I want to laminate the entire bottom? Much easier!


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m. allan noah
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/14/09

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5535005 - 11/23/12 08:29 AM

The base of my 6" f8 is 17 inches in diameter. I can't imaging putting a 12 inch on a disk that small. I'd say 22 inches is a minimum. Try to put the side walls of your rocker box above your laminate ring, rather than outside it.

allan


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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: m. allan noah]
      #5535531 - 11/23/12 01:34 PM

Quote:

The base of my 6" f8 is 17 inches in diameter. I can't imaging putting a 12 inch on a disk that small. I'd say 22 inches is a minimum. Try to put the side walls of your rocker box above your laminate ring, rather than outside it.

allan




That footprint seemed kind of small to me as well, but I was going off of dimensions I saw from Obsession's 12.5" rocker box. I've increased the bottom dimensions to 22"x22", which has also allowed me to put some "wings" up the sides like Orion does on their xx12, which should also help the flex problem.

Here's version 1.1:



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Lynnblac
super member
*****

Reged: 04/06/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5535546 - 11/23/12 01:42 PM Attachment (40 downloads)

LARGER ALT BEARING

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Lynnblac
super member
*****

Reged: 04/06/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Lynnblac]
      #5535548 - 11/23/12 01:43 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

MORE

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Lynnblac
super member
*****

Reged: 04/06/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Lynnblac]
      #5535550 - 11/23/12 01:44 PM Attachment (33 downloads)

13.1 dob

Edited by Lynnblac (11/23/12 01:45 PM)


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Lynnblac]
      #5535554 - 11/23/12 01:46 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

I also agree going with larger alt bearings if you're building from scratch. That'll also bring the height of the rocker box down, adding rigidity.

Here's a difference in height between the original and modified Lightbridge base and the new one I'm currently working on:


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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5535638 - 11/23/12 02:32 PM

I've gone back and forth quite a bit debating replacing the bearings with larger ones. Recently, I had to remove them to install some flockboard, and they come on and off fairly easily - just 2 bolts on each. What's keeping me from doing it at this point is the Orion dsc system. The alt. encoder screws on to on of the bearings, and I'm not sure how I'd be able to make that system work reliably with new bearings.

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Lynnblac
super member
*****

Reged: 04/06/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5535762 - 11/23/12 03:43 PM

It can be done easily. I adopted the Orion system to an Obsession. I mounted the encoders in plastic project boxes, attached an arm to the boxes, ran 1/4" bolt thru the hollow Orion encoder shaft. Then mounted them to the scope like standard encoders.

Edited by Lynnblac (11/23/12 03:44 PM)


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pdfermat
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/12/07

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: Lynnblac]
      #5535778 - 11/23/12 03:55 PM

Quote:

It can be done easily. I adopted the Orion system to an Obsession. I mounted the encoders in plastic project boxes, attached an arm to the boxes, ran 1/4" bolt thru the hollow Orion encoder shaft. Then mounted them to the scope like standard encoders.




Really!! Now that is interesting! You don't happen to have any pics of your handiwork, do you?


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Lynnblac
super member
*****

Reged: 04/06/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5536500 - 11/24/12 12:10 AM

Sorry no, when I added a Servo Cat to the scope I needed to switch to Sky Commander. So I sold the Intelliscope setup on AM.

Edited by Lynnblac (11/24/12 12:12 AM)


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Lynnblac
super member
*****

Reged: 04/06/09

Loc: Arizona
Re: The Orion project... new [Re: pdfermat]
      #5538974 - 11/25/12 03:34 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

I found some shots of the Intelliscope setup.

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