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anyone think hypertune is overrated?

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#1 faltered

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 09:24 PM

I am really considering sending in both my CGE and newly acquired CGEM for hypertuning.

Seems like everyone is super satisfied with the results, but im curious if anyone has another side of the opinion.

I was looking at the DIY kit, but I cant say I am the most "dig in there and try it" type. Could I be biting off more than I can chew by thinking I could DIY?

Having had a CGE for a while, and I have LOVED this mount, I just took possession of a CGEM, and it sure is louder than my CGE. It just doesnt sound as smooth when slewing at a high rate.

Any thoughts to share?

#2 BlueGrass

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 11:19 PM

Hyper-tuning is something everyone evaluates at one time or another, especially if you have an Atlas / CGEM / CG5 class mount. These mounts simply do not have the best quality grease, bearings, etc when they leave the factory. Can't expect them to, given their low cost and mass production. Reworking them provides a better performing product. It's that simple. If you're happy with your mount's performance, then I don't see the need. However, if you have poor balance or tracking performance, then in most cases hyper-tuning restores its performance and you may find the mount actually performs better than when purchased new. The cost of shipping it off for the service is not insignificant and if you feel you can do the work yourself, you'll save some time and money. So far, all reports I've read about Deep Space Products hyper-tuned CGEMs has been positive.

The CGEM noise can be reduced somewhat by changing the default slew / goto rate in the HC. Hyper-tuning won't help there much since the noise is really due to the type of motors used and the physical aspects of the housing. At least in my case, I didn't hear a noticeable difference in the noise level. Compared to my CG5, my CGEM is probably 1/2 as noisy now. And that's saying something....

To answer your post's topic question: No, In my case it's not overrated. Ed took a sticky, poorly performing mount and returned a mount that now balances very easily in both axis and performs very well.


#3 vpcirc

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 03:37 AM

Well said George. I was ready to abandon my cgem until I ran into Ed Thomas by sheer coincidence. I was starting to think I was a real moron who just couldn't properly set up a GEM. Hypertune has stopped my spending most of my dark time in frustration trying to figure out why I couldn't get the mount to properly track. Maybe my mount was just a lemon, but off all the money I've spent on this expensive hobby, the $325 was best investment yet.

#4 Adam E

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:25 AM

With the problems my CGEM was having prior to Hypertuning, I was seriously considering three options: send off the mount for Hypertuning, send off the mount to Celestron, or just have a fire sale and advertize the mount with full disclosure of it's problems for something like $500 and call it a wash.

With the way my mount has behaved since Hypertuning, my thoughts are back to looking to upgrade the CGEM a couple or few years down the road. As long as the mount's performance holds up over time, I'll be happy with it for a good while.

#5 j.w.white

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:42 AM

I should be receiving my DIY Hypertune kit within the next several days, so I can let you know how relatively difficult the entire process is. I just had the CGEM returned from Celestron for RA/Dec sticking issues and, while the RA movement does seem a lot better, Dec is almost as bad (if not a tad worse) than when I sent it in. The reason I went with the DIY kit instead of sending it for the Hypertune (besides the big cost savings!) is that I'd really like to know what's going on inside, and be able to do periodic maintenance on it. It seems like a terrific mount and I anticipate that I'll enjoy using it over many years.

#6 John Carruthers

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 08:09 AM

If you have the necessary tools and parts to hand a mount can be stripped and sorted in a morning, if all goes well. Loads of guides and walk throughs around.
It's worth spending time drilling/tapping extra grubs on the spur gears and driving both axes for several complete revolutions before the 'final final' worm adjustment.

#7 EFT

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 01:28 PM

For those people comfortable with tearing their mounts apart (this is usually someone who has a garage full of tools to start with), I think that doing it yourself (with or without a kit) is a good idea since it gives you a better feel for just how the mount works and what can and cannot be done to improve its operation. However, if you are not comfortable with doing it yourself or you don't have the time, then my recommendation is to send it in to be HyperTuned. In general, tinkering is OK with a CG-5 or LXD75, but things get serious with a $1400 (or more) mount and while getting it apart may (or may not) be relatively easy, putting it back together and getting it adjusted right can be challenging. I do receive mounts that people haved tried to tune themselves but have ended up having to send it to me. Sometimes it is not big deal, other times serious damage has been done. Some mounts are easy to tune up while others are just a bear for one reason or another, even for me. There is a lot of variation in the mass-produced mounts so it is difficult to predict how a particular mount will be. For example, many of the CGEMs that I have worked on lately have been much easier to disassemble than the average Atlas mount, however, they have been all over the map in regards to putting them back together and getting them adjusted, whereas the Atlas mounts have been more consistent in the effort necessary to put them back together and adjust them.

If a mount is performing well and doing everything its owner needs it to do then there may be little or no need to HyperTune it. However, when a mount is not performing up to reasonable expectations, particularly in regards to balancing, backlash and tracking, then HyperTuning can often be very helpful.

The mid-level mounts like the Atlas and CGEM are some of the best mounts to HyperTune because they are much more capable than their smaller siblings and when well tuned they are very capable mounts. HyperTuning is also cost effective with these mounts when compared to the next step up in mounts which cost three times as much (and may still be mass-produced in China). More expensive mounts that are not mass-produced in China benefit less from HyperTuning because they are generally manufactured to tighter tollerances in the first place. However, even those mounts benefit from occasional tear-downs and maintenance.

Ed Thomas

#8 BobH

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:50 PM

My frustration with the CGEM as well as the ETX is why do we need a hypertune/supercharge in the first place?

Given the economy of scale, how much more could it possibly add to the basic price to just build a quality mount in the first place?

I'd like to see a ground swell of astronomers demand better quality scopes and mounts and, especially, truth in advertising.

Fat chance.

Oh, add the MiniTower to that as well.

Bob

#9 BlueGrass

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 05:57 PM

IMHO, it's not the quality of the components per se, it's the quality of the assembly and final QA pass / fail.

#10 vpcirc

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:58 PM

If you made 53 cents an hour, how much would you care? Welcome to the USA, currently being leased by China! The demand isn't there for telescopes right now, too many laid off workers can't afford them since their job was sent to Asia in the name of greater profits. I went to look at Meade APO's who the salesrep assured me was better than celestron since it wasn't owned by a chinese company. I looked at the scope that was clearly marked "made in China". The $1499 price tag would make me think it was quality American made. Wonder where the $1200 went after wages and materials?

#11 Ira

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 08:15 PM

If you made 53 cents an hour, how much would you care? Welcome to the USA, currently being leased by China! The demand isn't there for telescopes right now, too many laid off workers can't afford them since their job was sent to Asia in the name of greater profits. I went to look at Meade APO's who the salesrep assured me was better than celestron since it wasn't owned by a chinese company. I looked at the scope that was clearly marked "made in China". The $1499 price tag would make me think it was quality American made. Wonder where the $1200 went after wages and materials?


It went into Meade's pocket where it was spent on advertising, a very little bit of R&D, and retained profits.

/Ira

#12 John Carruthers

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:43 AM

Some thoughts on mount fiddling....

bear in mind that an old well used worm is probably better run in and performs better than a brand new shiny one.
High prcision worms and worm bearings are well worth the money on the low to mid priced mounts. (eq5, heq5, eq6 + clones etc).
Lapping in a new worm is time consuming but worth the effort of tearing down twice to clean the lapping oil out.

Very fine ceramic hybrid bearings can be fitted to the shafts but the performance improvement is not as obvious. OK if the existing bearings are faulty but not top of my list. Teflon washers and spacers in place of the stock nylon are a no brainer.

Worm end float control is woefully lacking on most mounts, (yes eq's I'm looking at you :-). Thrust washers or a pin bearing on at least one end of the worm should be fitted. This could be as simple as a grub screw ground to a point and tapped into the worm end covers.(think along the lines of a plain lathe centre).
A single ball bearing between the worm shaft and the pin might be another idea (as found in some Fullerscope mounts)the tiny ruby and saphire ball lenses from Edmund's would pimp it up a bit? "jewelled movement" ? :-)

Spur gears of better quality with a constant velocity profile may stop some PE components, as will extra grubs on more shaft flats, these allow the gears to be adjusted for concentricity.

#13 bardo

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:56 AM

Wonder where the $1200 went after wages and materials?



but, but, but...its a niche market. they have to make their initail investments back.

/sarcasm

#14 DanB

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 04:42 PM

my unguided shots before hypertuning my eq6 were horrid, even at 30 seconds only every 3rd frame was keepable. I had intermittent jumping around of my star and trails. The slack in both axis' was probably 1/16th inch or more and the end play plus grease used were sub par for astrophotography. I used my mount for 2 years before deciding on the Hypertune from Deep Sky Products. I cant prove to you here my improvements but tracking is now smooth, every frame (for the most part) is a keeper, the slack in both axis' is gone and the grease replaced with a high quality grease. Also, the slight broken glass or grinding noises which I had on slew are now entirely gone... My mount sounds like a new 747 winding up its engines when it slews.
IOW, I could not be happier with the results, not to mention the fact that I was able to pull this off myself in a small room with few tools. My only purchases as I remember were the Hypertune kit, the high end grease (my brother runs a bicycle shop here, he gets the really good stuff) and a set of calipers for fine measuring.

My only gripe so far... That I did not use loctite on a couple of things and those nylon spacers or bearings... I wish there were something which could not compress or deteriorate because that changes the gap over time. I would love to hear of any other solution, maybe ceramic or similar? Anyway, no hardcore complaints.
GL with your decision. Regards, Dan

#15 DanB

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 03:06 AM

For those people comfortable with tearing their mounts apart (this is usually someone who has a garage full of tools to start with), I think that doing it yourself (with or without a kit) is a good idea since it gives you a better feel for just how the mount works and what can and cannot be done to improve its operation. However, if you are not comfortable with doing it yourself or you don't have the time, then my recommendation is to send it in to be HyperTuned. In general, tinkering is OK with a CG-5 or LXD75, but things get serious with a $1400 (or more) mount and while getting it apart may (or may not) be relatively easy, putting it back together and getting it adjusted right can be challenging. I do receive mounts that people haved tried to tune themselves but have ended up having to send it to me. Sometimes it is not big deal, other times serious damage has been done. Some mounts are easy to tune up while others are just a bear for one reason or another, even for me. There is a lot of variation in the mass-produced mounts so it is difficult to predict how a particular mount will be. For example, many of the CGEMs that I have worked on lately have been much easier to disassemble than the average Atlas mount, however, they have been all over the map in regards to putting them back together and getting them adjusted, whereas the Atlas mounts have been more consistent in the effort necessary to put them back together and adjust them.

If a mount is performing well and doing everything its owner needs it to do then there may be little or no need to HyperTune it. However, when a mount is not performing up to reasonable expectations, particularly in regards to balancing, backlash and tracking, then HyperTuning can often be very helpful.

The mid-level mounts like the Atlas and CGEM are some of the best mounts to HyperTune because they are much more capable than their smaller siblings and when well tuned they are very capable mounts. HyperTuning is also cost effective with these mounts when compared to the next step up in mounts which cost three times as much (and may still be mass-produced in China). More expensive mounts that are not mass-produced in China benefit less from HyperTuning because they are generally manufactured to tighter tollerances in the first place. However, even those mounts benefit from occasional tear-downs and maintenance.

Ed Thomas

Oh hey Ed I didnt see you there the first post :grin: The DVD and the kit were great but I already said that. Did you see my remark about the nylon washers and is there anything else we could use besides that and still get a good spacing?

Your nylon washers were obviously better. My stock eq6 washers were only 2 years old and were falling out in my hand when I took the mount apart last winter.

Thanks for any advice. Regards, Dan

#16 fetoma

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:36 AM

I'm probably going back to an Atlas myself. I had one, hypertuned it, then sold it for a CGE. Since I moved, I now need something portable, and the Atlas is fine for me to cart around.

I would like to somehow integrate thrust bearings (pictured below) into the mount and eliminate the nylon washers all together. I did this with an LXD55 to a certain extent. When I pick up my next Atlas and tear it down, I'll see if this is feasible with a bit of machining. :scratchhead:

Attached Files



#17 EFT

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:47 AM

The spacers that I produce and sell are actually Teflon. The axes in the mount should not be tighted so much that these spacers get significantly deformed but they are soft. Actually, if the axes are that tight they wouldn't work anyways. I have had discussions about substitutes (like specially coated brass) but the costs (materials and equipment like a laser cutter) start to get prohibitive.

Ed Thomas

#18 Bart

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:50 AM

Hey BlueGrass,

The CGEM noise can be reduced somewhat by changing the default slew / goto rate in the HC.


"Changing the default slew" to what, faster, slower? What percentage?

Thanks

#19 EFT

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:52 AM

This might be possible like you did on the LXD55 but it will be even more difficult. The spacers only account for between .020" and .080" on each axis. There is little space for machining the mount components and the ring gears house two of the axis ball bearings so you would have to shorten the ring gear and move one of the ball bearings further in. In addition, there is only about 2-3mm available at the end of the ring gear before you get into the axis lock groove.

Ed Thomas

#20 faltered

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:53 AM

You know, I think I am convinced. Sounds like most who get this service are really happy they did it. Ill start with my CGEM. Thanks everyone for this - now I just need to find a darn tripod for my CGEM.

#21 Bart

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:57 AM

If one has thrown away the shipping box for the CGEM, how should one go about packing it for shipping?

Thanks

#22 BlueGrass

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:21 AM

Bart,

I've reduced both my RA and DEC rates to 5. It takes a little more time for the mount to complete a goto, but it is quieter. I've not had any problems using these reduced rates so far. Good luck.

#23 Bart

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:38 AM

Thanks.

#24 EFT

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:50 AM

The simplest way is to find a good sturdy box (double thickness if possible) that is a good bit larger than the mount (20x20x12 is good). Wrap the mount head in at least a couple of layers of large bubble wrap and wrap the hand controller in bubble wrap as well. Cushion everything as well as possible using peanuts or other packing material in the box. You want the mount to move around as little as possible.

The only way I would allow a pack-and-ship place to do it is if they are going to use the one-shot foam packs that expand to conform to the item being shipped. Otherwise they will just drop it in a box of peanuts which is insufficient.

If you want to get hard core, then what I do sometimes is get a good box and line it with styrofoam that you can get in sheets from Home Depot. Doing it this way, you can make a custom-formed box for the mount.

Finally, if you have a Pelican case (or similar) that you store the mount in, it can be shipped in that case. However, shipping may cost a little more this way.

Ed Thomas

#25 MrJones

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:28 AM

Could I be biting off more than I can chew by thinking I could DIY?


Sounds like you made your decision to hypertune and I don't know about the CGEM but here's my 2c.

I got a LXD75 a week ago and was immediately frustrated with its performance, just for visual. I'm fairly mechanically inclined so with the help of the internet guides went for it. After 4 days of working on it for a few hours a day then taking it out at night to play with I have it set up ok with what I think is a balance of minimal lash, minimal play and minimal drag. It's definitely not perfect but it would take full disassembly and a lot more work to make any better. I did replace a few screws.

The trickiest part of the operation other than just figuring out how it all worked was that a lot of the performance gain came down to fiddling with torques on screws. In the end I'm glad I did it myself because I'm kind of expecting that I'm going to have to periodically keep tweaking things to keep it working well and I know what to do now. Also someday I'll probably have another mount and it seems I can expect I'll have to do the same again with it.

Good luck either way,

Doug

And this topic clearly requires the involvement of graemlins

:bow: :jump: :rainbow:






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