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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light
      #5726754 - 03/11/13 08:10 PM Attachment (58 downloads)

I just had my new Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-P out for First Light this past weekend. Short form: I am very favorably impressed. Mine sits on a Losmandy HD tripod via an Optical Supports adapter; for these sessions it carried my TEC 140 w/ a Telrad, SV50 RACI, AP diagonal and EPs up to an ES 30mm 82n. First off, I broke my cardinal rule about never taking untried gear to the field, and this weekend was a three day away star party...I didn't need to worry. The mount fired up, the hand set initialized, and I punched up "AZ" mode (having set the mount up and balanced my scope at home, carefully marking positions). I went for the two star alignment procedure using first Sirius, and then Aldebaran. The alignment was successful so I punched up M42 and the Atlas AZ slewed to it and dropped the Trap near the center of my 24 Pan - the first time I ever used it. The Go To performance was consistently very good and it tracked like a bloodhound. For one test, I centered Jupiter in a 19 Pan and left it for an hour and a half. When I came back it was still in the field of view. Not too shabby. My biggest surprise came early on Sunday morning. We had been observing Saturn and I had a Pentax 5mm XO in the focuser. Without thinking about it, I slewed the mount over to see M3 and only remembered the 5mm XO after hitting the button. Much to my surprise, M3 was split in half at the edge of the FOV. Again, I was impressed. I did not disable the encoders (which worked just fine near as I could tell) and had no issues with degraded Go To performance. So all things considered, I was mighty happy about the performance. There are a few twitchy issues I would like to address. For one thing, I'm not crazy about the saddle, it's short and I just feel uncomfortable about it - I'd rather have an ADM dual saddle there for my peace of mind, but I have to admit it got the job done. There is also some wackiness with the power cord. It seems like, under some conditions if too much slack comes out of the cord, the mount will reverse direction to hit the target. I'd swear this happened at least once, but I'm not sure what is going on. And finally, of course, the hand set cord is way too short. Really? C'mon Orion, can't we have a big boy cord with our hand set? But I like the GoTo and tracking performance, the screw in power jack, ease of set up and balancing, improved elevation screw system, and the way it fades into the background - it's sooo quiet. Hope this helps, I'll have more to say with use and the chance to try it in GEM mode.

Clear Skies,
Brian

Edited by BKBrown (03/11/13 08:33 PM)


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5726758 - 03/11/13 08:12 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

And here is a close up of the head...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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rigel123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5726840 - 03/11/13 08:53 PM

Thanks for the first light, pretty much what I expected to hear on the mount but nice to have it confirmed.

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10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: rigel123]
      #5727119 - 03/11/13 11:25 PM

Thanks, Brian for the photos and hands on review of the AZ. I think you reassured us on this mount. How smooth and easy is the alt-az function? Were the encoders accurate in alt-az compared to the T-Rex?

Thanks,
George


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: 10gauge]
      #5727181 - 03/12/13 12:00 AM

Thank you Brian,very useful first light report!

Edited by Mike X. (03/12/13 12:01 AM)


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: Mike X.]
      #5727990 - 03/12/13 12:00 PM

You guys are welcome, glad this helps. George - I just got my T-Rex and haven't had it out yet (still waiting for the Sky Commander to show up). Once I get it, I plan to do a weekend of head-to-head testing and encoder accuracy will be part of the game. So there will be more later...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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martl
sage


Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Innsbruck/Austria
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5730652 - 03/13/13 04:28 PM

Nice to read that you are satisfied with the mount. I think Skywatcher has created a very fine piece of equipment with this. The issues (or non-issues) with goto will be sorted out as soon as people (including me) have more time and occasion to test this, weather still isn't cooperative at all.

CS
Martin


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Skrenlin
member


Reged: 12/13/10

Loc: North Chicagoland area
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: martl]
      #5730661 - 03/13/13 04:34 PM

Brian,

What firmware version did your hand controller come installed with?


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5730747 - 03/13/13 05:33 PM

Quote:

and the way it fades into the background - it's sooo quiet.




Have you ever heard the Sirius Mount during a GOTO ?
Have you ever heard the (older) Atlas Mount during a GOTO ?

How does the sound compare to those?


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: Lane]
      #5730764 - 03/13/13 05:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

and the way it fades into the background - it's sooo quiet.




Have you ever heard the Sirius Mount during a GOTO ?
Have you ever heard the (older) Atlas Mount during a GOTO ?

How does the sound compare to those?




Yes and Yes (I own both of those mounts), and the new Atlas Pro Az is quieter than either of them

Clear Skies,
Brian


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BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: Skrenlin]
      #5730776 - 03/13/13 05:49 PM

Quote:

Brian,

What firmware version did your hand controller come installed with?




It has 3.34 installed..

Clear Skies,
Brian


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Diver
newbie


Reged: 07/27/12

Re: Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G First Light new [Re: BKBrown]
      #5790028 - 04/10/13 11:04 AM

I just recieved my mount and I love it so far. You almost cannot hear it track! Fast slew '9' is fairly quiest compared other mounts I have. For some reason '7' is the loudest.

There is no play in RA or Dec when locked. Tracking seems to be mostly spot on.

I noticed two things right off that might be of interest.

1. The voltage readout is not correct. It reads 20 volts. It is 12 volts as measured. Firmware 3.34. I see others have the same issue in other forums.

2. I think the polar scope is not precisely centered as it 'cones' when rotated. You can center the cross hair though. It may be the polar scope or it may be that the center and tapping of the polar scope is not 'exactly' in the center RA axis. Either way it is not off much.

More to come when my ATRC8 shows up!


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