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EQ6 Altitude Adjustment

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#1 IanD

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:18 PM

I've got an 11" Edge SCT mounted on my EQ6 and I'm having a bit of an issue. If anyone owes an EQ6 you probably have noticed the difficulty in adjusting the altitude. Its absolutely terrible with a 30 lbs telescope and counterweights on it (necessary for accurate drift alignment).

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions or creative solutions to easing my altitude pains?

#2 tejasdragon

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

get bolts with hex heads and use a long wrench, be careful
it is not to get them wrench tight just that the leverage
from length gives you fine control. ALWAYS remember to
loosen the opposite side before tightening.

Henry

#3 DonR

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

A little lithium grease on the threads helps. Then, of course you need to loosen the opposite bolt before trying to tighten one - not doing so can result in damage to your hand if not to the mount. Adjusting the altitude down is no problem on my Atlas. When it's necessary to raise the altitude, I just lift up on the counterweight bar with my other hand while turning the bolt.

#4 NorthBoundTrain

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:10 AM

I also set the altitude a bit on the high side before making the final fine adjustments. This way the weight from the load is pushing down as I back out the south bolt. Much easier then lifting.

#5 astro_baby

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:01 AM

Mine was fitted with bolts from astro developments. The end nearest the polar scope had a long handle with a ractchet type effect.

Made life a lot easier plus the standard factory bolts tend to bend too easy for my liking.

Take a look here, about halfway down page


http://www.axio35.ds...ynta cables.htm

#6 rmollise

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:12 AM

The solution is simple. Either adjust altitude before you mount scope/counterweights or do as I do: When you are raising in altitude push on the counterweight bar to give it a little help.

#7 jerryyyyy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:27 AM

These are all good ideas. I bought some after-market bolts that make it much easier to grip.

#8 EFT

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:51 AM

If the problem is adjusting the mount with the load on it, then, as recommended, you should adjust the mount without the load or phyically lift the head when trying to move it upward and let the weight move it downward.

If the problem is that the latitude axis is too stiff to move even when the mount is not loaded, then simply replacing the handles may result in stripping the threaded holes and damaging the tongue that the rods push up against. The best thing to do in this case is to remove the side plates, disassemble the axis, and replace the set screws with thumb screws so that the tightness of the axis can be adjusted. The result looks like this:

Posted Image

#9 tejasdragon

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:36 AM

If the problem is adjusting the mount with the load on it, then, as recommended, you should adjust the mount without the load or phyically lift the head when trying to move it upward and let the weight move it downward.

If the problem is that the latitude axis is too stiff to move even when the mount is not loaded, then simply replacing the handles may result in stripping the threaded holes and damaging the tongue that the rods push up against. The best thing to do in this case is to remove the side plates, disassemble the axis, and replace the set screws with thumb screws so that the tightness of the axis can be adjusted. The result looks like this:


+1 I like it.
Henry

#10 bluedandelion

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:51 AM

I do what Uncle Rod suggested. Polar align with EQMOD without scope or counterweights and then load up my imaging payload. In my case the process has worked and the polar alignment holds just fine for the purpose of accurate gotos or autoguiding.

I am considering a combination of modifications but not until the end of this observing season. First, stainless steel thread inserts. Second custom bolts with rosette knobs. Third, reinforce the "tongue" with an epoxied piece of steel where the bolt makes contact. All of these have been reported here on CN at one time or another.

Ajay

#11 DonR

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:58 PM

The OP complained about the difficulty of adjusting the altitude while drift aligning - in order to drift align, you must have the telescope and counterweights on the mount. Still, I have no problem doing it by lifting up on the counterweights while turning the adjustment bolt, as long as I didn't forget to loosen the opposite bolt.

#12 bluedandelion

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:11 PM

You are correct. These mods may help in the long run, but they don't help his immediate problem.

#13 EFT

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:34 PM

The problem with thread inserts in this situation is that the aluminum casting is not very thick. Thread inserts are best used where they are being installed either into a blind hole or material that is at least 1/2 inch thick. In thinner material the thread insert are not likely to hold very well.

#14 Refractor6

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

The OP complained about the difficulty of adjusting the altitude while drift aligning - in order to drift align, you must have the telescope and counterweights on the mount. Still, I have no problem doing it by lifting up on the counterweights while turning the adjustment bolt, as long as I didn't forget to loosen the opposite bolt.


That's exactly what I did last night centering Polaris in the right place in the polar scope on my NEQ6 mount. A few turns on the North facing side and good to go well loosening the other side at the same time. This with the scope and mount fully loaded with weight {3-11 lbs counterweights/37 lbs OTA}

I was going to replace the stock adjusters by the way but after removing one and discovering it was heavy steel I decided it was a waste of cash to replace them after all.

Just remember to lift and adjust and loosen the opposite side and all is fine :cool:....

#15 astro_baby

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:48 AM

Unless Synta have chnaged them the stock adjusters may LOOK like heavy steel but they aint, they are known round these parts as bendy bolts. I have lost track of how many folks end up bending them and getting them out again if they bend can be a real pain.
It can be even worse because they can bend slightly and progressively wreck the threads on the mount.

To me its just not worth the headaches of dealing with the problems later so I always say replace them.

The worst I had to deal with was a mount where one bolt in the hands of a novice had been bent about 20' out of line. It was a pleasant sunday needle filing it away as it was bent on both sides of the casings and wouldnt budge either direction.

Even with careful use thay have been known to bend. My HEQ5 was never really under much use or load when I first had it and was handled carefully, mindful of the bendy problems but one of the bolts still bent after only a few outings.

#16 Refractor6

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:01 AM

The ones on mine aren't soft metal and taking one fully out showed it was dead straight and heavy in weight when held in my hand...these on a heavily used mount I recently purchased for reference. No problems yet for this new owner :fingerscrossed:

#17 jerryyyyy

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:16 AM

This was what I bought with a rubberized grip:

http://astrotroniks....&products_id=22

#18 EFT

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:20 AM

I have had to cut a number of these out of mounts due to them being bent. Definitely not my favorite thing to do. The higher your latitude, the more likely you are to bend the bolt due to the angle of the tongue that it presses against. I never seen one that was anything other than relatively soft, chrome-plated steel.

#19 Refractor6

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:47 PM

Okay advice taken from a few members even though no problems so far..... :flower:


2 stainless steel metric bolts of the same length as stock units and a matching metric wrench to adjust them...done.... $15 buck total

#20 Refractor6

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:57 PM

Here's some photos for Ian that started the thread. I see you're in Vancouver so here's the info on where I got them:

Stainless steel bolts at Pacific Fasteners and the matching metric wrench to adjust them directly across the street at Summit Tools...both up the hill on 1 st east of Boundary.

I added some black fabric hockey tape on the wrench for added comfort on the hand for field use.

On a side note when both snugged up now the mount head is completely ROCK SOLID. No flex at all in the head to speak of :)

P.S. they don't sell any fully threaded ones in metric sizes with hex wrench tool ends so don't even ask ;)


Photo #1

M10x90 F.T. bolt

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#21 Refractor6

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:58 PM

#2

M10x90 F.T. bolt

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#22 Refractor6

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:00 PM

#3

Number 17 in the locked glass case at Summit Tools. Ask for help...

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#23 astro_baby

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:03 PM

Heres how bad it can get by the way

Yes - this mount has been seriously abused BUT in fairnesss my HEQ5 never was, even with just a few nights use when new the bolts started to show signs of bending.

The bolt material is way too soft - though its a perisher to hacksaw just the same and if you strip the threads on the mount its a real pain to fix with stuff like helicoils.

I agree $30 is a lot for two bolts but when I did mine I just couldnt be bothered searching round endless catalogues so just stumped up. My time gets eaten enough without spending more of it on ploughing through engineering sites catalogues of bolts. I did find an alternate supplier who was charging less (£10 for all four) so I spent 40 mins driving there, bought the bolts which were supposed to be super duper aircraft grade blah blah only to find the threads were not correct, manufactured to too sloppy a tolerance and didnt fit. Glorious waste of my time in pursuit of saving a few $$$$.

After that I just though - to hell with it - buy the AstroDev ones like everyone else rather than waste any more time.

With very careful handling the factory supplied bolts might well be ok but most of us at some time have made some glorious mess at 3am when your freezing in a field - I'd like to have a bit of tolerance from the kit rather than a weekends work messing about putting it right. I'd rather be having a frothy coffee and looking at shoe catalogues or having my nails done than going through the hassle of fixing this kind of preventable accident.

Remember this ones an extreme example but the bolt doesnt have to get too far adrift before its uselss and possibly wrecking the mount threads and costing you time and cash - if you get into a real mess whatever you save on the bolts is liklely to be peanuts compared to the cost of putting it right - assuming you value your time and dont have a fetish for iron filings :)

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#24 Refractor6

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:16 PM

After seeing that photo many thanks for the heads up astro baby and the relative cheap cost to set it right :bow:

I'm the lucky one on this side of the pond since i'm a 5 minute drive from both the local shrine of everthing nuts and bolts and the custom tool place right across the street.

#25 astro_baby

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:35 AM

I live is an area which is bereft of anywhere to get any tool more complex than a screwdriver and any fitting thats not a dry wall fixing. All the classic hardware shops have gone and left us with supposed DiY shops which sell microwaves, televisions and lawnmowers....I suppose TV is a kind if DiY ...it wont watch itself :)

Seriously though if you need tools round these parts I have to take. Aday off work as the only store that does serious stuff only opens Monday to Friday when I am at work.






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