Orion Rack Mount System

At the time I acquired my Orion 565AT TEN-TEC did not sell a rack mount kit. Since my equipment was all rack mounted I looked around for a possible alternative. I was able to find an appropriate piece of aluminium, courtesy of Ted (VE7TIN).

The rack mount hardware is 5.25 inches high and made out of 1/8 inch aluminium. (A 5.25 by 19 inch panel blank would also work.) The panel was bent in a carpentry vise (with wooden jaws) and persuaded to a 90 degree bend with a plastic mallet. The bend was made such that the short (exposed) portion of the of the mount was approximately 1.25 inches.

The panels were then trimmed to a total exposed length of 1 inch using a carefully applied file. The inner portion of the panel was trimmed to a length of 15.75 inches. Appropriate holes were cut in the panel for mounting it in the rack.

Caution the Orion is a large and heavy rig and needs to be supported adequately in the rack.  My Orion sits on rails made of 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch aluminium angle stock.  These support the Orion from front to back in the rack.

I found that local Ace Hardware had a spray paint (Misty Grey) that was very close to the TEN-TEC colour.

I attached the panels to the Orion using the existing screws. Several thin felt pads were applied to the inner face of the panels to protect the Orion. The final position of the panels allows the Orion to protrude slightly from the rack. Approximately 3/16ths of an inch at the TEN-TEC logo!

Some photos of the finished rack are given below.