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 densteele@dobstuff.com 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 your requirements:
--Dennis Steele
--Tel: 650-315-6578 (anytime)
--Email: densteele@dobstuff.com

More of my photos here. 

Copyright 2007-2013 -- DobSTUFF.COM. All rights reserved