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adjustment wrench for DiscMounts DM-6

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#1 Scott in NC

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:40 PM

I just bought a used DiscMounts DM-6, and it should arrive early next week. The previous owner told me that he misplaced the adjustment wrench, so it looks like I'll have to buy a new one. Does anyone know whether this wrench is a proprietary size/shape for which DiscMounts is the only source? I'd love it if I could find something that works at the local hardware store, rather than paying $40 + shipping for a replacement (especialy since DiscMounts doesn't accept any electronic forms of payment). :crazy:

#2 JMW

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:03 AM

The form factor is thin. I would send Tom at Discmounts a quote request for the wrench plus shipping and send him the check. I keep the wrench on a magnet inside the DM-6. This is the standard place. Not sure how the previous owner lost it.

#3 Jim7728

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

I'd look for a cone wrench from a bicycle parts supplier or try a 7/8" open end wrench from
your tool box. Unless you have to have one that fits inside the DM-6, $40 plus shipping is a bit much for what looks like a $2 tool.

Update:

I just tried a 15/16" open end wrench and works fine for loosening and tightening the tension nut inside the DM-6.

#4 Scott in NC

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:00 AM

Thanks, Jim! When the mount arrives I'll hunt around in my toolbox to see if I already have something that works. And if now, I'll check out the local hardware and bicycle stores.

#5 Jim7728

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 12:31 PM

No problem, Scott.

FWIW. Cone wrenches seem to come in metric sizes only and 24mm is slightly bigger equivalent of 15/16".

With a hack saw,vise and file one may cut down the handle to fit inside the DM-6.

Vein BMX Cone Wrench - 24mm

#6 WolfTracks

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 04:24 PM

Once you get the DM6 adjusted where you like it you don't really need to mess with it much. I balanced mine with just the diagonal, and then with my largest eyepiece (30mm Pentax XW) and I never need to adjust the mount. The only reason I would buy the wrench is if I just wanted one to keep inside the DM6, or if you use the DM6 with more than one telescope.

#7 Scott in NC

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 04:46 PM

Good advice. But the guy who sold me the DM-6 said that he had the friction set pretty tight, as his primary scope is quite a bit heavier than the main scope that I'm intending to use on this mount. So I suspect that I'll have to loosen the friction a little. That means that I'll still have to have a proper wrench to adjust it at least once. That BMX cone wrench that Jim linked to above looks like it might be just what I need. I'll wait until the mount arrives before buying anything else, though.

#8 WolfTracks

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 05:51 PM

A 15/16 deep socket fits it a tad loose (but so does that wrench that comes with it). If you have one of those it would work fine.

#9 Doug D.

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 07:37 PM

You really need something thin enough to slip in the space. I have seen some bike wrenches (as Jim pointed out) that look like the Discmounts version but not sure how likely you are to find the right size and shape. Tom's is certainly a lot of money for what it is - not sure why he charges so much for it especially since it is typically a replacement for a lost wrench.

On the other hand, if you are the lucky guy who bought the DM-6 plus pretty much everything else accessory wise on Amart this week - you got a pretty impressive deal that I would have jumped at had it lasted more than a few minutes, LOL. Your money of course so I wouldn't presume but the right wrench is pretty important to make this mount sing as it should.

I use a couple different scopes on my DM-4 and use the tool often.

#10 johnnyha

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 08:18 PM

I'm a big fan of Tom P. but I agree that this wrench at $40 is grossly overpriced by a wide margin - it should be less than $5. Anyway size-wise it's nothing special, you should be able to make the adjustment with any wrench that fits the nut.

#11 Scott in NC

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:20 PM

The DM-6 mount and tripod arrived today, and it's really quite impressive--a nicely engineered and machined piece of gear. Re: the wrench, it doesn't look like I'm going to need one at the moment. I was easily able to adjust the altitude tensioning nut to the perfect level of tension using an adjustable wrench. I haven't yet figured out whether the azimuth tension will be as easy to adjust, but the way it's currently set seems to be just fine. What's really impressive is that the 6" bearings provide plenty of tension to hold my 4" f/7.75 refractor perfectly still at any degree of altitude, yet allow me to move the scope easily with only a gentle push, without excessive stiction or backlash. So far I'm pretty pleased with this mount. Of course, we've got thunderstorms forecast for the next few days, so it may be a while before I get to test it out under the stars.

#12 Doug D.

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:46 AM

Good luck with it Scott ! Mine arrived 2 nights ago from Tom but same weather issues on my end..... hoping for clear skies for both of us.

Doug

#13 Scott in NC

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:51 PM

I decided to post a wanted ad on AM just in case someone has an extra DiscMounts wrench. I realize that's a long shot, though. I've gotten one response so far, and that person suggested that I try this (as that's what he is using for his DM-6): Martin BLK-1230 Forged Alloy Steel 15/16" Wrench. The description says that this wrench is 1/4" thick. I did a google search and also came up with this wrench: 15/16" Thin Wrench. This one might even work better, since it's only 1/8" thick.

#14 johnnyha

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 06:14 PM

I haven't yet figured out whether the azimuth tension will be as easy to adjust, but the way it's currently set seems to be just fine.

Almost every alt/az mount I've had benefits from the az bearing being set as lightly as possible without the nut being loose, and the DM6 is no exception even with my FS152.

Congrats on the mount I know you'll love it! BTW Tom Peters recommends and I will vouch for setting the alt adjustment on the tight side, you don't want it to be "light fingertip" style movement, you want the mount to be set and require some effort to move so it stays where it is pointed even when changing eyepieces. Even when the alt nut is somewhat tight the DM6 movement is super buttery smooth, that's what you want.

#15 SteveC

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 06:32 PM

I found in my tool box, a power tool wrench that I converted to DM wrench. I don't know which power tool it came from, circular saw, belt sander, but whatever it was I can probably substitute an adjustable wrench if need be.

With my Dremel tool and a metal cutting disk I cut away probably about 1/16" from inside the wrench and now it works perfectly. It's bigger and heavier, but now I'm less likely to lose it as a consequence.

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#16 Chucky

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:21 AM

<< I'm a big fan of Tom P. but I agree that this wrench at $40 is grossly overpriced by a wide margin - it should be less than $5. Anyway size-wise it's nothing special, you should be able to make the adjustment with any wrench that fits the nut. >>

Tom had to have it custom manufactured...with it's kink and thinness. And as we know, limited machining runs aren't done for free. I'm sure Tom wishes it was less expensive too, but it is what it is. I'm not planning to loose mine!!

#17 mountain monk

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:35 PM

I got, as a backup, a 24mm Vein wrench (Amazon, less than 10$). 1/16 inch thick for the first couple of inches, then some easy-to-strip insulation which makes the lower handle about 3/16 thick overall. Tight enough to work--you are not cranking down on the nut. And easy to shorten if you want it to fit inside. I just keep in in my little tool box that always travels with my scopes.

Thanks Jim 7728.

Dark skies.

Jack

#18 Scott in NC

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:36 PM

Well, here's what I decided to get: Sears Craftsman 15/16" stubby wrench. I was happy that I was able to find it at the local Sears store, since it would be easier to return if it didn't fit than would a tool that I bought online. Fortunately, it fits the adjustment nuts on my DM-6 just perfectly. So I guess I won't be buying the $40+ DiscMounts wrench after all.
:jump:

#19 TomP

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:20 PM

Wow all this for a wrench!

Here's why the wrench cost what it does. If your going to make 20,000 or a 100,000 wrenches, you have a die made for a press ($10k or more for the die). You slide a 10 foot by 20 foot piece of steel into the press and boom within seconds, hundreds of wrenches fall out, slide another 10 x 20 piece in and hundreds more. Or if you want 200 pieces you put a 6 inch x 18 inch pieces of steel in and 20 minutes latter 8 wrenches come out. Than you sand and file each one and have it platted. Of course platting for 20k is a lot less than for 200. It's economy of scale, period.

The friction nut can be tightened enough by hand, but the wrench makes it a lot easier. I have only sold a few extras because most customers either don't loose them or don't need them after the friction is adjusted. I think the only customer that bought more than one spare is Boeing Research. If you have a DM-6 put the wrench on the magnet inside the box. If you have a DM-4 put the wrench in your eyepiece case or somewhere you wont lose it or forget were it is.

Tom

#20 Scott in NC

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:07 PM

Thanks for the input, Tom! :) I don't doubt that the wrench costs you what it does to make, especially since most people don't ever need extras, so there's no economy of scale here. But I'm basically a cheapskate who bought a used DM-6 and was hoping to find a good deal on a *similar* wrench that would get the job done. The crazy thing, though, is that if I had been able to order the DiscMounts wrench directly through your website and pay via PayPal or credit card, there's no doubt that I would have bought it from you. It was the fact that I'd have to email you to get a price quote, then mail you a check or money order, then wait for that to clear before the wrench got shipped that kept me from going that route. I just happened to be in the local Sears store buying other stuff, when I decided to look to see if they had a similar wrench, and voila, they did! But I can definitely understand why you might not want to deal with PayPal or credit card companies, as they do skim quite a bit of money off each sale.

But now I've decided that I really need a handle for my DM-6, so I'll probably be emailing you anyway in a few days.

Best regards,

#21 mark8888

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:32 AM

But now I've decided that I really need a handle for my DM-6, so I'll probably be emailing you anyway in a few days.

Best regards,


The handles rock. :grin: I have both the 18" and the 24", both angled. Really useful, especially when you want to quickly pan the scope from one side of the sky to the other without having to shove the focuser/binoviewer/etc.

#22 Scott in NC

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:06 AM

Hi Mark, thanks for your input on the handles. Can you slew to the zenith without the handle hitting the tripod? And if so, what type of tripod are you using? (I've got the standard height DiscMounts wooden tripod.)

#23 mark8888

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:46 AM

Hi Mark, thanks for your input on the handles. Can you slew to the zenith without the handle hitting the tripod? And if so, what type of tripod are you using? (I've got the standard height DiscMounts wooden tripod.)


No, it does hit the tripod riiiiiight before zenith. Not an issue for me though as I can't see exact zenith from my spot anyway. I'm using the Berlebach Planet with an 8" extension, and the 24" handle. A longer extension would allow the scope to reach zenith without a problem, I think.

#24 Scott in NC

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 10:11 AM

Thanks for the info, Mark. It sounds like the 18" angled handle will work just fine for me. I'm using an 8" extension on my mount as well.

#25 mark8888

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 10:20 AM

no problem, good luck!! :grin:






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