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EQ-6 3rd-party tuneup options

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#1 Bob D

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 09:03 AM

I'm considering a mount in the "Atlas/EQ-6, CGEM class" for astrophotography. I'm sure that a well-running version of either would meet my needs. To insure the "well-running part" (especially smooth PE) out-of-the-box, I would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for one of the tune-up options, which are probably only available on the EQ-6 at present. I've heard of the Telescope Stability Systems "hypertune" (still available?) and the "WS2" process. Which of these would you recommend? Are there others that should be considered? Note that I'm not interested in personally fooling with the mechanics of a new mount in any significant way for fear of making it worse.

#2 Telescopeman54

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 09:21 AM

TSS is gone. He used to do outstanding work, too.

I'm not familiar with the WS2 process.

I had an Atlas that never needed any tweaking and found it to be excellent right out of the box. Your mileage may differ.

If you buy a new one, try it first. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you find it to be less than you wished then consider having it overhauled. Just remember, you kiss off any warranty if you do so.

CS

Steve

#3 Bob D

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 09:47 AM

Steve,

Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry to hear about TSS being out of business. I had only read good things about them.

Are you considering adding any larger mounts to your tuneup portfolio?

Also, what would you estimate for the astrophoto load capacity (for relatively short refractors) of your modified minitowers plus the new wedge that you have for them?

#4 rmollise

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 10:12 AM

I'm considering a mount in the "Atlas/EQ-6, CGEM class" for astrophotography. I'm sure that a well-running version of either would meet my needs. To insure the "well-running part" (especially smooth PE) out-of-the-box, I would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for one of the tune-up options, which are probably only available on the EQ-6 at present. I've heard of the Telescope Stability Systems "hypertune" (still available?) and the "WS2" process. Which of these would you recommend? Are there others that should be considered? Note that I'm not interested in personally fooling with the mechanics of a new mount in any significant way for fear of making it worse.


The Atlas is, out of the box, capable of very good guided imaging. At focal lengths of <1500-mm or so, it is a real champ, especially if you keep the load down (in the neighborhood of a C8 and guide scope). Unguided imaging? Don't expect more than about 30-seconds if you expect a large percentage of subs to be keepers.

Tuneups? I'm not convinced in the efficacy of that even if you can find somebody to do it. IMHO, if you need More Better Gooder than the Atlas/EQ6 offers out of the box, the thing to do is to bump it up a notch to the CGE/G11 class at about 3000 dollars.

I have no complaints about my Atlas. Well, the HC ain't that great, but I leave that at home; EQMOD is sweet. ;)

#5 Bob D

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:21 AM

The Atlas is, out of the box, capable of very good guided imaging. At focal lengths of <1500-mm or so, it is a real champ, especially if you keep the load down (in the neighborhood of a C8 and guide scope). Unguided imaging? Don't expect more than about 30-seconds if you expect a large percentage of subs to be keepers.

Tuneups? I'm not convinced in the efficacy of that even if you can find somebody to do it. IMHO, if you need More Better Gooder than the Atlas/EQ6 offers out of the box, the thing to do is to bump it up a notch to the CGE/G11 class at about 3000 dollars.

I have no complaints about my Atlas. Well, the HC ain't that great, but I leave that at home; EQMOD is sweet. ;)


Rod, I have read a lot about the "shavings, paint flakes, etc." that seem to be in the Atlas and thought that they might contribute to some of the high-frequency PE jitter that many users seem to see and probably can't guide out without very special measures. So, it seemed like spending another roughly $500 to get this removed, better bearings, backlash adjusted by a pro, etc. might be money well-spent for me. That would bring the total cost to only in the neighborhood of $2000 rather than $3000 and also provide a lighter mount to setup than the CGE or G11, which would probably be capacity overkill for me and also might have still have some out-of-the-box difficulties for the "serious adjustment challenged." So, is this a reasonable strategy if you only need an Atlas-capacity mount, but want smoother tracking and "lower risk of return," and like the $2000 price range?

#6 mosheriffic69

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 02:51 PM

Here is a link to Astromotions WS2 process:
http://www.andysshot...chnologies.html

#7 Rudy Nix

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 03:01 PM

I bought my Atlas mount about a year ago. It worked quite satisfactory right out of the box. I didn't quite like the saddle that came with it, so I replaced it with a third party product from ADM and TSS. I didn't like the ADM puck and I didn't like the TSS saddle so I combined the parts I did like. I read a lot also about the shavings and whatnot left behind on the inside of the mounts during assembly, so I decided to take it apart and do a "hypertune" on it myself. Surprisingly, The insides were not bad at all, a little lighter on the grease than what I would prefer, but non of the tar like substances as I had read about. About the worse I could find was that when they brushed on the paint, they got a slight amount on one of the gears. I've got it all apart, so I am replacing all the bearings and making a few improvements as I go along. Rod is right about the mount. All you really need is a good guidescope, guide camera and guiding software and make sure you have no flex. If you want to spend an extra $500.00 on the mount for improvement, replace the saddle with one of ADM's puck with Losmandy saddle and use all Losmandy style dovetails for your scopes.

#8 rmollise

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 05:44 PM



Rod, I have read a lot about the "shavings, paint flakes, etc." that seem to be in the Atlas and thought that they might contribute to some of the high-frequency PE jitter that many users seem to see and probably can't guide out without very special measures. So, it seemed like spending another roughly $500 to get this removed, better bearings, backlash adjusted by a pro, etc. might be money well-spent for me. That would bring the total cost to only in the neighborhood of $2000 rather than $3000 and also provide a lighter mount to setup than the CGE or G11, which would probably be capacity overkill for me and also might have still have some out-of-the-box difficulties for the "serious adjustment challenged." So, is this a reasonable strategy if you only need an Atlas-capacity mount, but want smoother tracking and "lower risk of return," and like the $2000 price range?


Maybe. Funny thing is, I don't run into many folks who are having trouble guiding their mounts or who seem to be deviled by these shavings. Don't you reckon it might be a good idea to try the mount first before throwin' money at somebody to fix somethin' which likely ain't broke? I am NOT convinced any of this kinda stuff will do pea-turkey to improve your PE...but that's jus' this ol' penny-pinchin' country boy talkin'... :lol:

#9 Charlie Hein

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:32 PM

What Rod said... in spades.

#10 Bob D

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:39 PM

Maybe. Funny thing is, I don't run into many folks who are having trouble guiding their mounts or who seem to be deviled by these shavings. Don't you reckon it might be a good idea to try the mount first before throwin' money at somebody to fix somethin' which likely ain't broke? I am NOT convinced any of this kinda stuff will do pea-turkey to improve your PE...but that's jus' this ol' penny-pinchin' country boy talkin'... :lol:


Before I heard that TSS was out of business, I was really tempted to buy both the mount and hypertune directly from them, which would have saved a few extra bucks and seemed to be just like getting a somewhat "better machined" and almostly certainly "better QCed" mount new. I was comparing this to, for example, getting a Vixen Sphinx SXD. However, it seemed that the "direct from TSS" Atlas would have more load capacity, have EQMOD, still cost significantly less, and be essentially guaranteed to not be a lemon/substandard. From what I've read, the latter is not an insignificant probability for any but the most expensive toys in this hobby.

I do appreciate your very practical "down home" advice. I had a chance to be a "country boy" in Kentucky, but somehow I wound up being born in the relatively "big city" of Louisville. So, I sometimes get sidetracked by the dreams of "more better" that you often warn against. :grin: Until this contagion abates, I will probably, at least, further investigate that tungsten-sulfide coating process.

#11 Dennis Sakva

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 09:17 AM

So did anyone try WS2 process?

#12 Bob D

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 02:39 PM

So did anyone try WS2 process?


Dennis,

Yesterday, I searched on the Yahoo EQ6 Group for experiences with this process and saw that yours was "mixed"!

I didn't see anything else on it there, so maybe we will get some more feedback on this forum!

#13 Aaron Johnson

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:14 PM

I too want to add my .02 and say the Atlas can work great out of the box. The only time I've ever had any trouble, I've been able to trace down the problem to somewhere between the chair and the hand controller :D

#14 Midknight

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 05:29 PM

I agree the Atlas works great out of the box. I have managed 3mins unguided with this mount on my first decent polar alignment :roflmao:

See Here

#15 vegasMike

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 09:08 PM

WOW! Trevor that is a great unguided shot - would be a great guided shot too! I was figuring that someone on this thread would take a stab at the whole 'proof is in the pudding' and Im glad you chose to chime in here.

I just recieved my EQ6 last week, so I cannot comment on its accuracy, however I will most deffinetly agree with the posters here and say, try the mount out first before you throw $$ at it you might be pleasantly surprised. Also, buy form a trusted dealer that will accept returns and exchanges (without charging an arm and a leg for them to 'restock' it - in case you do get that lemon you are worried about.

Good luck!






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