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My Meade "Hybrid" Equatorial Mount for a Refractor
I had a chance to pick up an Explore Scientific AR-6, 6"
refractor not long ago. I was thinking about a suitable mounting
for this telescope. A scope this size needs something robust. I
wanted a clock-drive, to add encoders for my Sky Commander and,
above all, it couldn't be too expensive. The Losmandy G11 comes
in at around $2195 -- a bit much for a telescope that costs
under $700. So, what to do??
I recalled I had a Meade Starfinder 10" equatorial mount in
storage and figured it was a good candidate for a useable
mounting for the telescope. The Meade mount has a nice DC drive
with enough torque to drive the 6" scope and counterweight
nicely. Additionally, I knew that JMI sells an encoder kit for
the mounting, so I'd be able to use my Sky Commander.
I contact my ole' buddy Sam, at Scope City in San Francisco, and
was able to get a Meade standard field tripod shipped to me in
just a couple of days. A little work with a metal-cutting band
saw, my drill press and some scraps around the workshop, and I
was all fixed up with a nice mount. Since I had the EQ
head already, the only cost I had to incur was the field tripod.
If you'd like any additional information about the mount, do
feel free to email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 650-315-6578. I always
enjoy "talking telescopes".
The Explore Scientific AR-6 6"
refractor is setup and ready to use.
Another view of the mount during setup. The cost
of a Meade equatorial mounting for their Starfinder telescopes
is relatively low. There was an AC version and a later DC
version. The nice thing about the DC version is that it runs on
a 9 vDC battery. Very portable.
I used 3-inch section of the "pier" that comes
with the Meade Starfinder equatorial mount. There are any number
of ways to mate the EQ head to the field tripod.
I wanted to low-ball the cost of the "saddle" as well. I had a
couple of the Losmandy "D" accessory mounts handy. I bolted them
to the Meade saddle and used a standard Losmandy dovetail plate
to hold the telescope on the mount.
I'll post pictures of my procedure at a later date. But, a
little imagination will go a long way in getting this job done.
For more information about
--Tel: 650-315-6578 (anytime)
More of my photos here.
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