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Adding a 3rd weight to HEQ5-Pro

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#1 RandallK

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:40 PM

With my Meade 8”SCT, Finderscope, 80mm Orion ST-80 guidescope, DMK webcam, ATIK 313E, Orion manual filter wheel, and either a 3.3 or 6.3 focal reducer, everything clocks in at just over 20 lbs. However with the two 5.1 kg supplied weights, I have to remove the Meade finderscope to get balance. These counterweights are right at the end of the shaft. So I have acquired another 5.1 Kg weight. Now there are 3 on the shaft.

These weights are now shifted up to about the middle of the shaft and I think that relieves pressure at the end. My next concern is if this would place any strain on the motors. It appears not. I have put my ear to the mount and cannot hear anything abnormal. The next was a slew at 8X and again, everything runs quiet.

I’m only using this configuration for imaging with the SCT My SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro’s specifications state a maximum payload of 30 lbs and when observing, 2 weights are adequate. It’s not as if I’m going to go off slewing 90% of my imaging evening. I’ll be more or less confined to one particular object/area.

Any comments on whether the adding of an additional weight will damage the drives would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance

Randy

#2 jason_milani

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 06:56 PM

As long as it's balanced correctly you should be fine. :)

#3 neptun2

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

I have HEQ5 Pro mount and i have used even 4 counterweights without problem. When i put my skywatcher 8" f5 newtonian with 80mm f5 refractor piggybacked on it and add the nikon d5000 and meade dsi 2 pro as guide camera i need to use 3x5kg + 1x3.5kg counterweights to get balanced. I have used this combination without any problems putting load of around 12kg while the mount itself is rated as 13.5 to 14kg max. This did not impose any damage to the mount. Of course it makes autoguiding a little bit difficult but mechanically i have not seen any problems with the mount itself handling it.

#4 RandallK

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:32 PM

Thanks for the info. My max payload will be 9.5Kg/21 lbs.
Why does this make it difficult for autoguiding? I use PHD and ASCOM.

#5 neptun2

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:29 PM

Well with 9.5kg you should not have problems with guiding.My setup is muche heavier and much more close to the max payload rated by the manufacturer. Also up to now i did not have the time to make more tests. When i had the problems with autoguiding i examined the mount carefully on the next morning and found loosen screw which may cause this. next time it will become clear if this caused the problems or not.

#6 RandallK

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 05:09 PM

OK Thanks very much for your info. Clear skies to you!
Randy






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