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A few iEQ45 mods

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#1 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:26 PM

I've been quite pleased with the iEQ45 mount - I wasn't sure if it would manage my 10" f/4.5 Newt, but it does, for visual use, in its "stripped down version" with the Ken Dauzat rings, which weights about 33 lb., with a Parcorr, Nagler 31T5, and TelRad. The heavier Parallax rings, at 39 lb., are manageable, but I didn't really enjoy it.

I have replaced the stock saddles with a the ADM Vixen/Losmandy type.

You'll note I am using the iEQ45 extension bar - with that, 2 weights will do more that 4 weights on the stock bar alone.

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#2 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:29 PM

A surprising annoyance of the iEQ45 is the tripod spreader, which is made of plastic, with "vanes" underneath - these cut into the hand while carrying the mount, and remove some of the benefit of its light weight.

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#3 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:33 PM

I happened to have a spare spreader from a Skywatcher mount. On its own, it is too wide to properly mate with the spindle of the iEQ45. One option would be to replace the spindle with something longer, but my dealer, Nick at Vancouver Telescope Centre, was kind enought to shorten the wings of the extra SW spreader so it is compatable with the stock iEQ45 spindle. Here is the shorter SW spreader (black) lying on a stock SW spreader (white).

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#4 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:36 PM

A final annoyance is the azimuth adjustment bolts - they are cold-forged, square-ended, which makes adjustment kind of "jiddery"; not very smooth:

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#5 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:38 PM

Nick at Vancouver Telescope was kind enough to round the end of the screw on his grinder:

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#6 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

I know there some other mods out there. For example, here is a link to a spreader made from wood:

http://tinyurl.com/ckkbwtp

A really nice job!

:bow:

I'd be interested in other posts or links to mods folks might have to share.

#7 MRNUTTY

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:42 PM

Good stuff!

#8 Phillip Easton

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:34 PM

Finish off your azimuth mod by sanding the paint off of the contact surfaces between the mount and the tripod. Use painter's tape to mask off the surfaces you don't want to sand. I also put the mount in a bag to keep it clean. Put a thin film of super lube on the surfaces to help protect them and reduce friction. Makes it much easier to adjust.

I also put super lube on alt bolt and wheel.

Got the idea here:

http://www.cloudynig...l/fpart/28/vc/1

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#9 Phillip Easton

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:40 PM

The bottom of the mount.

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#10 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:45 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, Phillip!

#11 dvb

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:47 PM

Here's a link to an excellent wood accessory shelf that fits over the stock spreader, made by Midnight Dan:

http://tinyurl.com/cq62zg5

#12 Phillip Easton

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:24 AM

Okay, I finally got around to doing a polar alignment after doing azi and alt mods/tweaks and wow what a difference. After struggling with trying to do fine adjustments it was a huge difference! No more jerky motion everything was smooth as butter.

Summarize:

1 - Round off the azi adjustment bolts
2 - Sand off the paint and lube mount/tripod contact surfaces
3 - Lube the pivot bolts (at the back) for alt adjustment and the inside of the adjustment wheel.
4 - Use a longer bolt to put in the alt adjustment wheel. I found a long screw with an actual plastic knob on the end at Ace Hardware.

If you have an iEQ45 and do nothing else do these.

Cheers!
Phillip

#13 dvb

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:56 AM

:bow:

#14 Astronewb

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:02 PM

Okay, I finally got around to doing a polar alignment after doing azi and alt mods/tweaks and wow what a difference. After struggling with trying to do fine adjustments it was a huge difference! No more jerky motion everything was smooth as butter.

Summarize:

1 - Round off the azi adjustment bolts
2 - Sand off the paint and lube mount/tripod contact surfaces
3 - Lube the pivot bolts (at the back) for alt adjustment and the inside of the adjustment wheel.
4 - Use a longer bolt to put in the alt adjustment wheel. I found a long screw with an actual plastic knob on the end at Ace Hardware.

If you have an iEQ45 and do nothing else do these.

Cheers!
Phillip


Ditto the above...! Also, you can try some of these mods:

http://www.flickr.co...57629679446064/

http://www.flickr.co...57631021687076/

Thanks for the informative thread.

Cheers,

Paul

#15 Midnight Dan

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:20 PM

Excellent advice, Phillip! I've put those mods on my todo list! Thanks!

-Dan

#16 Phillip Easton

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

Excellent advice, Phillip! I've put those mods on my todo list! Thanks!

-Dan


Dan,

No problem, I am glad I went back through that long thread I referenced and tried out some of the ideas. I could not believe what a difference it made in doing the polar alignment. My goto's were better that night as well. Going to be going to our club's dark site tonight so actually looking forward to setting it up again. :D

Cheers!
Phillip

#17 dvb

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:40 AM



Ditto the above...! Also, you can try some of these mods:

http://www.flickr.co...57629679446064/

http://www.flickr.co...57631021687076/

Thanks for the informative thread.

Cheers,

Paul


Those are very impressive mods, Paul - I enjoyed the Flickr slideshows.

#18 Phillip Easton

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:37 PM

Gents,

I updated my site with additional images for the mods/tweaks I have done in case anyone is interested.

http://www.the3dwiza...astronomy/ieq45

Cheers!

#19 Midnight Dan

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:06 PM

Just completed Phil's list of mods and they make a very nice difference in smoothness of altitude and azimuth adjustments!

The only thing I did a little different was to completely separate the base from the mount head. That way I didn't have to put the mount head in a plastic bag to keep it clean while sanding the paint off of the base surface. Plus it opened up all the screws, threaded holes and adjusters for easy lubing.

-Dan

#20 Wembley2000

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:52 PM

I sent Aeroquest Machining my ieq45 worm and Jim made me a new one. When the skies clear, I will let you all know how it goes with pempro graphs.

Wem

#21 Phillip Easton

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:12 PM

Dan,

Wish I had thought of removing the base, LOL

Wem,

Certainly want to hear how this works out!

Cheers!
Phillip

#22 Astronewb

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:42 PM

I sent Aeroquest Machining my ieq45 worm and Jim made me a new one. When the skies clear, I will let you all know how it goes with pempro graphs.

Wem


Jim at Aeroquest makes a nice worm. I installed one about a week ago and compared the stock worm to the Aeroquest worm using the TE Recorder software on my TEM. Here are screenshots of the results. Good luck with yours.

Stock worm: [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8469/8139537570_291645...
No TDM Stock Worm by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Aeroquest worm: [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8056/8139506881_f78c30...
No TDM Aeroquest Worm by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Just a simple bolt on reduced the PE from 32 arc-seconds to 19 arc-seconds. A very cost effective modification.

Cheers,

Paul

#23 Wembley2000

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:04 PM

[/quote]

Ditto the above...! Also, you can try some of these mods:

http://www.flickr.co...ts/721576296...

http://www.flickr.co...ts/721576310...

Thanks for the informative thread.

Cheers,

Paul [/quote]

Paul's tensioners are also a very worthwhile upgrade, really helps to smooth out the frequency spectrum. Lowered my pe by roughly 20%, smoothed out a 20 second error due to the belt to nothing.

Wem

#24 Phillip Easton

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:11 PM

Paul or Wem,

How much did the worm cost? I have gotten my PE down from 40 (replacement worm from iOptron) to 20 arc-secs by adjusting mesh and using a stiffer spring. Wonder if the Areoquest worm would help to bring it down further of is the low 20's about the best we can hope for without PEC or the TDM?

Cheers!

#25 Wembley2000

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:28 PM

Phillip,

The worm was 105 plus shipping. I will let you know if it will help you out when I get a chance to give it a try. If you are already at 20 and I get results close to Paul's, it would not be worth while for you. I need to wait until probably thursday or friday for Sandy to clear out of my neck of the woods.

Wem






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