Also, the Autostar hand pad was very unresponsive due to the well-documented wearing-out of the rubber keypad. These problems really got me thinking that I should be buying a Takahashi mount. Sure it's lots of money, but leisure time is valuable too and wasted doing field repairs. I guess I am a bit lucky; one of the folks who went to Punggai couldn't get his new Meade LS-6 working.
To avoid the mount collisions, I had to re-fabricate the brackets so that the motor doesn't stick out where the OTA can hit it. To do this, I had to use some pulleys. The problem with such a scheme is that the Meade DS motor shafts are not held in place by anything, they rely on being mounted straight-through to the couplers.
I found these "rod end bearings" from RS Online, which I'm using to fix the end of the motor shaft:
I used a 6mm bolt (with the head cut off) as replacement motor shaft. From left to right, the rod end bearing (self-aligning); timing belt pulley with two set-screws; and the Meade plastic gear.
Here's what it looks like on the motor:
I fabricated some new aluminum brackets for the motors, and screwed these brackets to plywood scrap.
Close-up of the RA axis:
and the DEC axis:
It ended up really easy to mount the rod end bearing to the aluminum plate, as the bearing had an M6 bolt as part of it; a simple wing-nut held it in place.