I was into astronomy years ago. Roughly 30 years ago I received my first scope from my parents. It was a Bushnell 3½" Newtonian reflector. It needed constant collimation efforts. Luckily I had access to some better equipment from time to time and knew that there could be much more to the hobby. Even still, I succumbed to the 'department store telescope' problem, where a cheap telescope is worse than no telescope at all for the encouragement of newcomers.
I left the hobby until my wife purchased me a Meade DS2130AT for Christmas. All the enjoyment of the hobby came back, but the quality of the telescope was just not up to par. I found that my wife truly enjoyed the GOTO part of the DS, and I found it very handy. This time I wasn't about to stop because of a poor-quality department store telescope. I ended up returning the DS to the store and going on a waiting list for the ever-delayed 10" LXD55 Schmidt-Newtonian. After approximately five months of waiting I had decided that the F5 SN wasn't the best choice for my interests, the Celestron C9.25 had caught my eye.
The C9.25 came with the ubiquitous CG5 mount, much too small for the C9.25, but very steady with a short tube 80 (an LXD55 holdover that ended up being a keeper). The C9.25 ended up deserving an EQ6, and now it's quite happy. My wallet wasn't quite as happy after spending almost $1500 more than I had originally paid for the DS scope.
My wife and I decided that we both missed the GOTO capabilities of the DS scope but the only options for either the CG5 or EQ6 were upwards of $800. About the same time that I ran across Steve Bedair and Christopher Erickson's websites. They had managed to adapt mounts to use Meade DS motor sets for roughly $200, much closer to a price I could justify. I decided that I would try to adapt either the CG5 or EQ6 to a DS-Motor GOTO mount. My problem was I didn't have access to the lathes and milling machines that both Steve and Chris used for their conversions. I kept tossing ideas over in my head until I found all the pieces that would fit together for my project.
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