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EQ6 mount - faulty instruction manual.

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#1 alpal

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:17 AM

I tried to mount a large 8" telescope on my new EQ6 mount
& as I was placing it on top, the mount moved forward & tipped over.
Problem - I had heavy counter weights & the locating dowel
for the head of the tripod was BETWEEN 2 of the legs.
This caused it to tip over when pushed as the counter
weights were also between the two legs.
This causes it to be off balance without the telescope load.
The manual doesn't tell you but you can choose 2 different
positions for the locating dowel on the flat round plate:
Position 1 - between 2 legs.
Position 2 - centered on one leg.
Obviously you need it on one leg facing towards your celestial pole.
I am in the Southern hemisphere so I now have one leg pointed toward the pole.
It can longer tip over as the telescope is being mounted.

QUESTIONS:
(1)Why don't they tell you this in the instruction manual?

(2)Why would they make the default shipping a position
that can cause the mount to tip over?

(3)How many people have damaged their mounts because of this
oversight?

Luckily for me the mount was only slightly scratched.
It could have been much worse if the hand controller
had been crushed.

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:40 AM

(2)Why would they make the default shipping a position
that can cause the mount to tip over?


They had to select one or the other position. I'm guessing that they chose the one in which, if a partially loaded mount tipped, it would tip with the counterweights in place rather than the optical tube. It's also the only configuration in which the counterweight shaft can't hit a tripod leg even at near-equatorial latitudes.

While it's not the orientation that most folks will select for use, it is the most failsafe orientation.

#3 alpal

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:53 AM

Thanks Jrcrilly,
I wonder why they don't explain what you've said in their manual?
How would you locate a dowel?
between 2 legs or centered on one leg?

Also - I'll have to now make sure that the counter weight
can't hit the leg when in some positions.
When I set it up again I'll let you all know.
That will be in a week or 2.

I really think that this topic deserved a whole page in the instruction manual.

After all we are talking about:
Possibly smashing your expensive telescope if the tripod
tips over without counter weights in the dowel centered
position & also the counter weight hitting a leg or
the tripod tipping over when there is a heavy counter weight
& no telescope attached if in the "in between position".
Both scenarios are bad.

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:42 AM

How would you locate a dowel?
between 2 legs or centered on one leg?


I always place the dowel above a leg. This is best for me because (1) I'm at 41 degrees latitude so the counterweight shaft is well above the leg and (2) like most folks, I always install the weights before the OTA so I don't have to worry about the unbalanced OTA pulling the tripod over.

I think the manufacturers always have to guess just how much information to provide in a manual. I agree that their selections could always be improved by adding more. This particular topic isn't very specific to the mount in question, as many other mounts from Synta (H-EQ5, CG-5, etc.) plus those from Maxvision, Vixen, and Takahashi use the same general scheme.

#5 alpal

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:49 AM

Thanks Jrcrilly - it seems that just when I thought I
knew everything I was proved wrong.
I think the manuals must assume you know this already.

I would certainly never place my telescope on a mount unless the right counterweights were in position.
I am at -37.5 degrees so hopefully the counter weight
won't hit a leg - if it does I hope the motor won't
burn out or cause any damage?

#6 jrcrilly

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:11 AM

I am at -37.5 degrees so hopefully the counter weight
won't hit a leg - if it does I hope the motor won't
burn out or cause any damage?


37 degrees should be just fine for the counterweight shaft. Of course, a really long optical tube can create issues at the other end. Some drive systems detect a stall and shut off immediately; others do not. I dunno what the EQ-G does.

#7 John Miele

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:16 AM

I'm at 35 deg. N and never had a problem. My CW shaft is also located directly over one leg.

#8 Skylook123

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:40 PM

Both on this forum and on the Yahoo! EQ6 Users Group site, the topic gets heavily covered every six or eight months or so. Unfortunately, it usually gets covered because a new user has a catastrophic crash.

Usually, when a new user asks "what's the first thing I should fix when my new mount arrives", the universe chimes in with "MOVE THE PIN TO OVER ONE LEG." Sorry you had to learn in a nearly catastrophic way. Why do they ship it this way? Why don't they discuss it in the manual? I've stopped asking those questions about astro equipment manufacturers and vendors. Just when you don't need more learning curve stress!

#9 alpal

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:42 PM

Quote: Jim
"Both on this forum and on the Yahoo! EQ6 Users Group site, the topic gets heavily covered every six or eight months or so. Unfortunately, it usually gets covered because a new user has a catastrophic crash."

Pity about that - When you buy a new mount & pay $2,000 you
would expect to be informed about it.
It just breaks your heart when you see it crash onto concrete.

QUOTE: Jim
"I've stopped asking those questions about astro equipment manufacturers and vendors."

Maybe we need a new topic heading on this site.
e.g.
"What do I need to know before using my new telescope
BEFORE I take it outside & set it up to avoid ruining
it in the first 10 minutes."

#10 jtaylor996

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:47 PM

I just took delivery at work for a second Atlas, and was also shocked that they ship it like that. We're using it as a feed rotator for an RF test range. The first thing we did was move that pin over...

I vote they should fix that manual, and stop shipping them like that!

#11 alpal

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 07:55 AM

Thanks jtaylor -
I hope the mount manufacturers read the threads on this
site & take notice when there is a problem.

As Skylook mentions - it's all part of the learning curve.






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