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Atlas bearing kit

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#1 red

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 11:48 AM

I was wondering if anyone had heard anything about this company (Astro-Rubylith) which is now selling an Atlas bearing kit identical to one that was offered by someone else not too long ago. I'm a little wary since the last time I ordered this kit, it took me a couple months to get my money back from paypal (the company never sent me the bearing kit and would not answer phone calls or emails).

#2 Bradley B

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 03:59 PM

Kelly Carroll (Astro Rubylith's owner) is a good guy. We've had several dealings over the past several months. No worries!

#3 Trebor777

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 06:28 PM

Astro-Rubylith is great. I've ordered the bearing kit from them and got it a couple of days later. Everything was perfect. Highly reccommended...

#4 red

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 12:31 PM

How difficult was the process of installing the kit? Also, did you see a significant difference in terms of your peak-to-peak PE? I'm just trying to see if I really want to tear my mount apart for this.

#5 Trebor777

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 03:11 PM

How difficult was the process of installing the kit? Also, did you see a significant difference in terms of your peak-to-peak PE? I'm just trying to see if I really want to tear my mount apart for this.


Installing the kit isn't hard, but it isn't easy either. I never measured the PE before or after. Though the mount does sound a lot better then it did before. The most important aspect of it, IMO, is the final adjustment of the gears.. Though, I have to get into mine again. My RA is a little tight. Either I didn't put enough grease on the ring gear or I fudged up somewhere. But it tracks good and the GoTo's are spot on. My guess is more lube...

#6 red

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 03:47 PM

Thanks for the info, I think this will be an upcoming project for me. It seems like I just go from one project to the next and I'm never satisfied!

#7 Nocturnal

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:13 PM

You can feel confident ordering the kit from Kelly but you can always send an email first. You'll get a response right away.

There is one problem you need to be aware of. The ceramic bearings aren't quite the right size and they will rub against the cover screws. This is easily remedied as I've documented here:

http://gallery.tungs...?g2_itemId=1336

I've notified Kelly of this problem and I expect something will be done about it. In the mean time you can easily address this problem with a self made spacer like I did.

I did measure PE before but haven't been able to do an 'after' yet. I don't expect miracles based on the general construction of the mount but maybe it helped a little.

#8 red

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:09 PM

I think the best result would be if the random PE (jaggies) were reduced to some degree. I hold no illusions that I'll be taking 5 min unguided exposures anytime soon, but every little bit helps.

#9 Nocturnal

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:28 PM

I think that is the right goal to have. Not so much to remove all PE but to make it more predictable. Predictable PE can be reduced by applying PEC. With the irregular PE in these mounts that's a tall order.

For this same reason it's important to identify all sources of 'rubbing' or friction. That's how I found out about the bearings. The worm shafts didn't rotate smoothly after I screwed in the covers. I could feel them grind slightly. After I added the spacers they turned smoothly, as they should.

Similarly the setting circles can also cause friction. It's a rather odd construction that allows these aluminum rings to just slide between the fixed and moving parts of both axes when you just replaced the bearings with better ones. So I increased the spacing slightly which allows me to lift the setting circles to their highest position before fixing them. This eliminates friction. Every little bit helps, I hope.

#10 vegasMike

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 02:48 AM

I hate to be the naysayer here.. but, I get worried and frustrated when we end up 'upgrading the upgrades, and modifying the upgrades so they can be upgraded'. The more we end up tinkering with these mounts to upgrade and modify them from stock, the more little problems start to surface and the more the mount moves away from its original engineering design which I have noticed leads to more of them put up for sale because they didn't quite live up to the user's expectations. I would rather get a higher quality mount out of box from another maker.

#11 red

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:34 PM

I agree with you on the point of getting a higher initial quality product to start, but when you consider that the initial cost of the Atlas combined with the cost to upgrade the bearings is still about half of what you would pay for a losmandy G-11 with the upgraded servos, it is a bargain. Besides, who in this hobby doesn't enjoy tinkering with their equipment to get the most out of it? ;)

#12 vegasMike

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:50 PM

...but when you consider that the initial cost of the Atlas combined with the cost to upgrade the bearings is still about half of what you would pay for a losmandy G-11


Purely monetarily speaking that is somewhat true.

But think about this. How come you never see anyone that has a before AND after Pec curve or detailed guiding results of the Atlas on these boards. Doesn't that make you think?

I have been down the road of upgrades and third party 'fixes' to existing mounts, quite a few times actually. And when it comes down to it, most end up being gimicks, bandaid fixes or otherwise just end up opening up new issues.

In order to keep my post from becoming 100% whining, I have to admit that I have been in contact with users and suppliers of Atlas bearing kits and related accessories. Aside from the external structural upgrades like Losmandy type saddles; so far I have not had any 'magic' news regarding their utility above and beyond stock. But im trying. :tonofbricks:

#13 Trebor777

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:36 PM

But think about this. How come you never see anyone that has a before AND after Pec curve or detailed guiding results of the Atlas on these boards. Doesn't that make you think?


See Step # 35

17 arc seconds peak to peak before the Hypertune 6 after....

#14 Time on my hands

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:24 AM

The Atlas is a great mount and I love mine. However, they do need to be disassembled and cleaned up if just to get the metallic dust out of the bearings and metal chips out of the other areas. Chinese QC (and even cleaning between lathe and assembly) appears to be nonexistent. Might as well replace the Chinese bearings with better ones while you have it apart. Fortunately these chores are easy to do and fun to boot. Unfortunately they void the warranty.

#15 Dennis Sakva

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:32 AM

And Losmady PE is perfect as it is? No tuning is needed... ;)
http://www.astro.uni...g11_tuning.html
EQ6 tuning is more of a sport than a necessity...

#16 jtaylor996

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 11:02 AM

From what I've been reading, it's not bearings that contribute the most to PE, it's the worm gears. Has anyone replaced the Atlas worms with high precision units?

#17 Mert

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 12:58 PM

How come you never see anyone that has a before AND after Pec curve or detailed guiding results of the Atlas on these boards. Doesn't that make you think?]


Oh well, you might have missed some interesting threads
on the EQ6 and EQMOD forums where you could have read
about what you miss!
I've seen quit a lot of PE's before and after and it really
seems to make a lot of difference.
Of course, there are also users who have fun improving,
measuring and trying things.
It's all part of the hobby I think. :shrug:

#18 Mert

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 01:03 PM

From what I've been reading, it's not bearings that contribute the most to PE, it's the worm gears. Has anyone replaced the Atlas worms with high precision units?


IMHO the main problem is the gear ratio, which introduces
phase shifting, making a decent PE-correction quit
difficult.
Of course the gears must have as little runout as possible.
Here I post some image of an improvement I'm being busy
with still, but it works well for the moment.
Changed the 36 tooth transfer gear for a 47 tooth one and
also bearings in the transfer gear and stuff like that.

Best regards,

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