New Orion Atlas Mount - Cure for those rainy day blues

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Well, I haven't posted to this site in months ... but it been about that long since I've had good astrophotography nights in Seattle.  This winter is brutal with the rain and the clouds, and the calendar conspires against me in that most good clear nights seem to fall on a work night - and it's early to bed, early to rise.

It took about a year for my love affair with my Celestron AVX mount to run its course.  I've been very unhappy with it as of late due to tracking inaccuracies and the fact that the power receptor broke right as I was setting up to photograph the total solar eclipse last August. I had to remove a circuit board and make repairs that still, to this day, aren't fully completed. 

In my search for a better mount, I kept reading good things about the Orion Atlas mount. From what I've read, it's supposed to be belt driven (as opposed to the gear drives in Celestron mounts) and most owners seem to be very pleased with the Atlas. I bought a GamePad controller and, once I get the EQDIR cable, I'll be going that route for full computer control rather than using the hand controller.

But for now, I get to stare at this thing until about July, when summer starts in Seattle and lasts a couple of weeks...

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Submitted by Don (not verified) on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:04

Can't believe your going all computer controlled, Id like to do the same some day, wouldn't know where to start, probably can't afford it anyway :(

I would like to get your first impression on the new mount, as in, is it quieter than a regular gear driven mount is? Have you had the chance to track anything yet? I'm going to have to see your setup during the day sometime. I can bring my solar scope for you to try on the new mount, if we ever get a clear day that is..


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Submitted by Jim Coleman (not verified) on Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:44

It's been sitting in my room for going on two months. I haven't even had a chance to get it out yet. I did turn it on. The mount is super quiet unless you are slewing at a high rate. Then it's NOISY!!! Yes, I am about to take the all-computerized plunge. I need to get going on that - I have all the hardware, just have to get all the software and find some time to get it all tied together. You are welcome to come see the mount any time, when our schedules permit. And yes it would be fun to put the solar scope on! It's beefy ... but not any more than your mount. But it's a huge step up from the Celestron AVX!


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