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Building a 10" Reflector


Equatorial mounts

This telescope is primarily designed to be used as a medium to high-power planetary as well as deep sky instrument and the ability to locate and track objects is important. For this 10", and even some heavier 8" telescopes, my choice for best economy and utility is the Orion Atlas EQ equatorial mount and tripod. For a lighter 8" telescope, the SkyView Pro™ Equatorial Mount or the SkyView™ Pro Equatorial Pier Mount will do nicely. I have used the Atlas mount and found it to be entirely adequate to handle a 25 lb. telescope. Tracking appears to be accurate, though there is a small amount of backlash in the right ascension. This can be compensated for by coming in on an object from the West and toward the East so as to go against the backlash. Slew and fine adjustments do not seem to be a problem.

The power supply supplied for the Atlas mount is an external pack designed to hold eight D cell batteries. This sort of thing is always a problem for me inasmuch as common batteries are expensive and always seem to be dead when you want them to work. My choice is to buy a small 12 volt motorcycle wet cell battery and trickle charger at an automotive parts store and adapt it to the mount. It will run almost forever on a single charge. You can also run the mount off your car cigarette lighter, but that makes me nervous. I always worry about winding up with a dead car battery when it's time to go home. Radio Shack has all of the electrical parts necessary to create a cable to connect the battery to the mount. They have an entire system associated with their own line of power power supplies that can be easily adapted.

Battery is shown here with jack and power cord. All available at your local Radio Shack. When using a charger, remember to attach positive charger cable to positive battery post and negative to negative.