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Some issues with iOptron iEQ45m

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#1 zjc26138

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:52 PM

I've had my iEQ45 for well over a year now and I just realized something. Even though my scope shipped with the modified dec clutch, the hand controller is not the newer 8407 model, but the older 8406 model. So maybe I got shipped the wrong controller, it works fine, but I feel like I should be using the newer controller. Any thoughts?

The next issue is play in both the RA axis and DEC axis. I never really thought this was a big deal, espeically since I have done 7 minute guided subs. What is the easiest way to remove the play or do I just have to live with it until I can afford an AP900?

Lastly the motors seem to be making more noise then usual. I noticed tonight while tracking Jupiter the RA motor was rather loud. More loud then I remember it in the past. So I set the mount up inside my house, and the RA motor still was louder than I remember. And the dec motor was also making noise. Any ideas on this?

As always thanks for the help!

#2 orlyandico

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

increased noise may be due to improper balance. Generally you would want to be east-heavy. On my CGEM it is noisier when moving east (in the direction of greater weight) than the other direction.

how much slop is there in both axes? if it's like 1/10 of the field of a 32mm eyepiece then that's normal and you'll never be rid of it unless you go the AP route.

incidentally i have a 20-year old AP and a 2-year old AP. the 20-year old also has slop (although less than my CGEM).

#3 zjc26138

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:31 PM

The motors were making the noise with my scope on the mount and when the scope was off of the mount.

I can't recall exactly, but the slop seems a lot great than 1/10 the field of my 30mm. I would guess close to 1/4. Right now if I grab the counter weight shaft I can get the whole mount to wiggle. It's hard to describe exactly how much it wiggles, but its quite noticable.

Also with the DEC completely locked down I still can use the scope to rotate the axis without much difficulty.

#4 orlyandico

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:14 PM

Wiggle with the clutches locked is normal. On my CGEM the end of the shaft moves back and forth about 2mm when locked.

If it's more than that then perhaps you need to adjust the worm mesh.

#5 nomosnow

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:21 PM

"Also with the DEC completely locked down I still can use the scope to rotate the axis without much difficulty."
So.. you are pushing on the telescope and actually moving the dec axis??? There is something wrong here as the worm wheel is coming out of mesh with the worm gear . These two are spring loaded. If you are pushing on the telescope and moving the dec axis you may be damaging the 2 gears as they bump over each other.

#6 zjc26138

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:26 PM

Yeah it wiggles more than 2mm. And yes I'm pushing the scope and the whole dec axis is moving. It's not easy moving, but it still moves. I figured it wasn't good.

#7 psandelle

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:04 AM

Have you emailed the iOptron support people? They've always been very responsive with all the questions I've had.

Paul

#8 zjc26138

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:06 AM

I'll give them a call in the am.

#9 psandelle

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:22 AM

I don't know about their phone courtesy, but I've found they get back to me in 24 hours or less with email (even on the weekend) almost every time.

Good luck, too. At the very least get the new HC, and I hope there's an easy way to fix the wiggles.

Paul

#10 zjc26138

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:26 AM

Thanks. I've had good luck with calling them in the past.

#11 chboss

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:35 AM

I have the one with the 8406 controller and the new clutch in DEC.
The new type of controller and control boards came out later if I am not mistaken....

The play in the axes may be due to the spring loaded motor assembly. Unlike on other mounts where the gear mesh is fixed, it is spring loaded on the iEQ45, which makes both axes feel "soft".
On the Yahoo groups you can find some tuning tips for improvements.
But if guiding and Goto's work properly why bother?

best regards
Chris

#12 zjc26138

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

Thanks for the info Chris. That explains why I have the 8406 controller.

#13 EFT

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:25 AM

As someone else suggested, if it is working, you may not need to fix it. However, if the mount is balanced and you are getting increased noise, that is the opposite of what you would expect if the worm mesh is too loose (resulting in too much play in the axes). I suspect the noise increase is a balance issue. If the axis slop is too bothersome, then you will probably need to increase the tension on the spring loading. Over time and with use, I would expect the system to loosen up a bit.

#14 zjc26138

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

Thanks for your input Ed.

#15 Astronewb

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:48 PM

Hi, let me add some comments on the play. As others have stated, the RA and DEC worm housings are spring loaded to ensure proper mesh. If you rock the RA or DEC too hard, you can see the whole housing assy moving..that's normal and will introduce a lot of perceived play.

With an ota on the mount..just place your hands on the lens and focuser and very lightly rock it...if you hear a 'clicking noise', there is probably too much play on your housing or your worm. Process is the same on the RA axis, only hold the counterweight and the center of the ota.

With your 7 minute guided subs, as you said, it's probably not a big deal.

To eliminate any excessive play, you would need to disassemble the worm housings. To check for excess play on the RA worm..just remove the cover and hold your finger on the worm pully and housing at the same time..gently rock the top center of the ota,,,if there is excess play you will feel it in your finger as the pully moves away from and back toward the housing. This is worm play, and is adjustable. PM me if you need to do this. Same with the DEC housing

The other area to check while the cover is off is the housing to hinge play..same scenario, but put your finger (or a dial indicator) at the hinge and housing and rock with your other hand very gently..you will feel the play if it is present..if it's a lot, you can actually see it.
If excess play is present, you can loosen the cap screws on just one of the hinges and press it tightly against the housing and retighten. Mark the hinge to housing location with a fine marker line before loosening..just to make sure you retain the proper mesh point.

Hope the info helps someone...

Paul

#16 zjc26138

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:06 PM

Paul, thanks for the info. I appreciate it. I'll try the play test when I get home and go from there.

#17 Phillip Easton

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

Here is a video I made and posted which shows the housing to hinge play, (that Paul posted about), in my mount. This was from the factory and once I corrected it my GOTO's were much, much better.

https://www.youtube....h?v=swyO7Emd63w

BTW mine has the modified clutch and the 8406 HC. The 8407 needs new controller boards so it is not an easy upgrade.

Cheers!

#18 zjc26138

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:31 PM

Thanks Phillip!

Yeah I figured it wouldn't be an easy upgrade.

#19 mgwhittle

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:45 PM

Actually, it is an easy upgrade and will cost you $120. You just unplug the boards, plug the new ones in and plug in the new hand controller. I did this upgrade but wouldn't recommend spending the money unless you just really want that new hand controller and one of the features it has.

As far as your other issues, Phillip Easton recommendation on getting the henge play and gear mesh adjustment right is really a good idea. It's not hard to do either if you have a bit of mechanical skill and follow iOptrons instructions. I also installed a spring with just a bit more tension on the RA motor housing. I cannot at this point comment on the good sense of doing this.......it has made GOTOs after a meridian flip much better but I am not sure if it is putting too much stress on the motor housing. Time will tell on that one I bet.

#20 Phillip Easton

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:06 AM

Oops, Mark is right. I chose the wrong word and so left you with the wrong impression. I was using easy as in deciding to spend the money to do the upgrade. The actual swapping of the boards is easy to do. I have attempted to outline the differences between the two on my website if you are interested.

Mark, thanks for the update on the cost. $120 isn't too bad.

Also Paul suggested checking the play and the mesh first, just want to give credit where it is due :)

Cheers!

#21 zjc26138

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:50 PM

I took a video of slop.

http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be

#22 EFT

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

I took a video of slop.

http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be


While that looks a bit on the loose side, as long as the worm assembly is moving out from the wheel and not laterally (i.e., side to side), then the action is generally correct. The other video that was linked to earlier seemed to show a lot of lateral movement in the assembly and that would be a real problem, especially with gotos and changing direction.

If the spring tension is not high enough, then the worm will want to slide out of the teeth of the wheel and tilt outward too easily. This would be a problem with an off-balance load as well as when starting a slew, particularly at high speed since the worm would tend to push out momentarily and then slide back into place. The problem is, if the spring tension is too high, then it will excentuate all the flaws in the worm and wheel (which inevitably exist in gear systems). Finding the correct tension is the tricky part. I find that I spend a lot of time playing with a spring loaded system until I am happy with it. While the benefit is less backlash, the adjustment is much more difficult to make than a solid-mounted worm.

#23 zjc26138

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

Thanks for the info Ed.

Yeah the worm assembly is only moving out, and not side to side. So as long as I properly balance whatever scope I have mounted I should be alright?

#24 EFT

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

Thanks for the info Ed.

Yeah the worm assembly is only moving out, and not side to side. So as long as I properly balance whatever scope I have mounted I should be alright?


Balance will be important, but if the worm is too loose, then the mass will get you when the mount starts to move, particularly at higher speeds. So you might need to tighten it up if you find it having problems.

#25 zjc26138

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

Alright thanks for the info.






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