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Orion XT*g tracking

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#26 Chaz659

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:54 PM

The fan shouldn't make the view jittery either. I can't tell when my fan is running. Orion needs to take that one back and replace it. There's something seriously wrong with it that isn't wrong with the others.


I would have to agree. This thread started more than a month ago and there has been nothing resolved. I would begin the process of requesting a replacement. I have been doing a great deal of reading regarding these scopes, here and other forums, and I am sorry to say I have never seen anyone with this issue, therefore haven't seen a way in which to resolve the problem either. Get it replaced. Best of luck and please let us know how things work out for you.

#27 kharrison

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:04 PM

I have started having the same trouble with my XX16g. In my case I was using high power (300x). It was on the grass but I leveled it with shims. The eyepiece was a 6mm Delos, which weighs 1 lb. I was at a public observing event so I didn't have much time for testing. Since I bought it through a telescope store here in Dallas and it is still under warranty I just dropped it off with them. I'll post something as soon as they get back to me.

BTW, has anyone besides Dan contacted Orion about this?

#28 Starman81

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

Check to see if the right side bearing on the OTA is rubbing agaqinst the right side panel. There should be a small gap of a couple millimeters at least. If it is rubbing, that could be causing some stiction, resulting in jumpy tracking. Some lithium grease or graphite powder between the two parts might solve it, or you could add a thin shim (maybe 1/16") between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, as this would move the right side panel slightly outward, creating the needed gap.


Well, you were right--the right side bearing IS rubbing against the right side panel. Not all the way around but towards the back, definitely. On the front side there is a healthy gap of 2-3mm at least. I don't have any shim stock on hand, how about some double-sided foam tape between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, that should work I think (?).

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#29 kharrison

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 08:16 PM

Well, it turns out there was a considerable amount of west Texas regolith contaminating the grease in my drives (mainly azimuth). The guys at The Observatory cleaned it up and put in fresh grease. They tested it as best they could in the store but I'll have to take it out someplace to be sure. We also checked the gap on the right alt bearing and it was clear.

Anyone else with this problem go to TSP this year?

#30 thetortoise

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:07 PM

I am always amazed at how smoothly my XT10G tracks, even at high powers. I always expect to see something from the motors but I never do. On the other hand, when I don't have the tracking on, and am trying to nudge the thing, that's when the view bounces all over the place.

#31 Starman81

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:09 AM

I am always amazed at how smoothly my XT10G tracks, even at high powers. I always expect to see something from the motors but I never do. On the other hand, when I don't have the tracking on, and am trying to nudge the thing, that's when the view bounces all over the place.


Thanks for sharing, Jarad, we need all the data points we can get. I wish so badly that this was my experience as I really do like this scope. Can you check your right side bearing to see of there is any contact? On mine, you could not even slide a piece of paper in i.e. there was full contact.

#32 thetortoise

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:34 AM

I had never checked this before but I can confirm that there is no contact on the right bearing. A thick card-stock slipped right in there no problem with room to spare. Ok, potentially really bad idea, but what if you just sort of pulled outward on the right side to loosen it up? A bit of mechanical manipulation "might" work (just don't break it of course...)

#33 Billytk

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:59 PM

I would try some carnuba wax where it rubs to make sure that is where the issue is. You can always wipe the wax off. If that does solve the issue then you can either keep the wax there or find a way to loosten the gap.

#34 Jeffgg

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:18 PM

Starman, were you able to correct the bearing issue? I was about to purchase a XT10G but now a little apprehensive....
Best luck

#35 Starman81

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 04:29 PM

Jeff, welcome to Cloudy Nights! Though we've had a nice stretch of clear nights recently, work and life combined have kept me away from observing. I have applied the mod of adding a shim in between the front and right side panel and did indoor testing. With just that 1/16" shim in place, the bearing *eventually* ends up moving back into contact with the right side panel. I will double that thickness up and see if the result is better, but keep in mind, it has not been concluded yet that this is the cause of the jumpiness in tracking.

#36 Starman81

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:10 AM

I've had a few opportunities now to test the scope out further. The 1/12 inch shim did not make a difference and even when I move the OTA ever so slightly to make sure that the bearing was not touching the side board, there was still vibration. I guess is just something you have to live with. It can be exacerbated by poor seeing and thermals, but when those two issues are at bay, the tracking is "good". Now Saturn is a bit too low or already has set by the time I am able to observe nowadays, so high power planetary testing can't be done, but I had the Moon at 144x with BV'ers and there was no noticeable vibration.

So overall, I have not quite nailed down the cause. But I will still test with perhaps adding weight to the base or maybe adding to the shims and re-test, in case my first test was flawed and then I'll try whatever else comes to my mind. But I won't worry sooo much about it. While using this scope, I've had a lot of fun. It combines the capability of my XT8i and Nexstar 8SE in one tidy package (those two scopes are gonna hit the selling block!). I find the software/controller on this unit is more user friendly than either the XT8i or the 8SE (though not perfect) and doing the alignment is a snap. Even if I have to turn off the tracking and 'hand-track' with the controller for high-power planetary/double star observing I am ok with that since I am mainly a DSO observer anyways and this scope does well in that regard.






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