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Anyone do a Minitower upgrade themselves?

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#1 eljackso

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:49 AM

I'm thinking of getting a minitower in the next few months and am considering doing a bearing upgrade, synthetic lube and setting the gearing myself - has anyone else tried this? My background pre-law was hands on mechanical and electrical engineering, so I feel that this is something I should at least consider doing myself. Any input is appreciated, and yes, I know about trapezium's services - I'm just a do-it-yourself person.

Thanks - Mike

#2 Rick Socarras

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:41 PM

Well...I never thought of it as my mount seems fine 'out of the box.' I did do something similar with an old Meade LX 200 and that worked GREAT!. I suspect if you do try it you will have few issues. The design of the mini is straight forward...probaby 3 bearing sets.

Let us know how you make out and upload pictures!

#3 eljackso

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for the info, Rick - like you, I'm hoping mine will be good to go out of the box... at the very least I will probably switch to a Mobil synthetic grease and get the numbers off the bearings for possible replacement down the road (if it becomes an issue). My ultimate goal is to make a wedge for the Mini and try some webcam imaging with the new C6-N.

My biggest reason for asking if someone has done this is looking for pitfalls, advice and hindsight. Also, I've seen several people around the forums who have opted for the "upgrade" package; I'm trying to decide if they went that route more for peace of mind or if it was a true neccesity for their application. If it seems to be a neccesity I'll make the changes myself and avoid the ~50% increase in cost incurred by farming it out to a 3d party.

I hope this all makes sense...

#4 Waduino

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:11 AM

Actually, I'd like to know how it goes too. I plan to order one soon and am thinking of replacing the grease (not the bearings) for winter operation.
Wad.

#5 Rick Socarras

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:48 AM

Mike,

I'm in S. Florida so I don't worry and/or pay attention to certain things. Grease is something I worry about when something starts to "stick" or "seize up."

I'm curious as to how things are in the mount to be honest. I did take a look at the GPS module since that was an original source of concern for me. However, everything was in place. Nicely I might add. I've been in the electronics/computer business ALL my life and I can spot 'so-so' work and nice work. This mount seems nice...at least compared to some chinese mounts I seen/owned.

Anyway, if I get a chance I will give you my .02 on what's going on inside.

Rick

#6 eljackso

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:17 PM

Wad - I've been looking at replacement grease and think I have settled on Mobil's "Mobilith SHC100" - its temp range is -40 to 350F and it's for electric motor bearings.

Rick - thanks again, any info you can provide from looking at yours would be welcomed... if I do this I want to have as much info up front as possible. What kind of OTA are you using on yours, and did you have the poor conx problem on the gps module that I've read about?

#7 Al Canarelli

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:07 PM

I suggest that you contact Steve Forbes of Trapezium. He's a very nice fellow and I wouldn't be surprised if he honestly tells you everything you need to know. It would help, of course if you buy the Mini Tower from him.

#8 Rick Socarras

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

Mike,

I did not have any GPS issues. Darn thing works great! I use 3 scopes on it...a William Optics ZS II 80...TMB 92SS and a celestron 6" sct. All work fine.

Rick

#9 Mikejj

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 05:10 AM

I thought about upgrading the grease too but when opened the cover I found the grease was already high grade. Contacted iOptron and was told the grease was rated -40 to 265F.

#10 StarStruckCarter

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:30 PM

Steve at Trapezium already offers a wedge and the bearing upgrades. If you do the modification yourself you will void your warranty. As I understand it, Trapezium will warrant the upgraded mounts if you have a problem.

jhc






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