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AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle

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#1 Mike X.

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:53 AM

Hello all,

I have an AZEQ6GT for some months now and when i'm powering it up with the AC/DC power supply i noticed a warm tingle when i touch the tripod or the other parts of the mount.

This seems not to affect the mount operation but it is anoying as it is like a small electric shock.
I measured it with a multimeter and depending on the power supply i use i get a weird reading of 58-110 alternating volts!!
This is way more from the continuous 12 V i give to the mount.

Now recently i bought a better power supply (i guess) a Mastech HY3005 variable supply and it seems to contain the "tingle" (sorry i don't know how to describe it better) and the voltage ont he metal parts.The multimeter shows only 16-17Volts.

I understand this is a sort of power leakage but i'm wondering if it ever happened to anyone of you with a NEQ6/Atlas or an AZEQ6.

Could it be dangerous for the electronics?
The only solution i found so far is to earth the mount tripod with a cable...

PS: With the battery of course i don't get any tingle or Voltage leak.

Should i sent the mount for waranty repair or something or it si common?

Thank you all for the feedback and help.

PS: The importer/distributor which i talked here in Italy told me it's the first time they ever hear of something like this on SW mounts... :tonofbricks:

#2 CharlesW

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:36 AM

How about you video you using the multi meter on the power supply and send that to them. Then they will have a better idea. You might ask to have your warranty extended.

#3 Mike X.

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:00 AM

I will certainly do that, I have taken some photos with a tester, I haven,t thought of laming a video, thank you for the idea!

#4 frolinmod

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:51 PM

It may be as simple as a faulty AC adapter. Please try a different AC adapter. (Check the specs written on the adapter.)

#5 Mike X.

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:28 PM

I have tried 4 different adapters .. 3 switching laptop adapters and finally a linear variable power supply, same result ,different voltage on leakage...

#6 Mike X.

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:00 AM

I add 2 photos that i took earlier this summer
Posted Image

Posted Image

#7 frolinmod

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:33 PM

In the first photo it looks like you're touching the power supply cord pins with your fingers. No wonder you're feeling a tingle. You'll feel a bigger tingle if you touch it with the tip of your tongue. :p The second photo is too dark for me to see anything.

#8 n1wvet

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:11 PM

Uh...this is dangerous to the operator. It sounds like you are getting leakage current through the mount and getting an elevated voltage on the mount. I am not familiar with the grounding in Italy, but you may be missing a ground or have a phase voltage shorting to the case somewhere. It could also be a leaky supply allowing to much current to leak through to the mount. This is dangerous. You need to find the fault before you get seriously shocked.

#9 Mike X.

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:04 AM

Thank you for the feedback both!
No i don't touch anything except the tester.It's an optical illusion.If i would touch anything i would ground the mount and the light of the tester goes off.

@n1wyet,
Thank you, that's what i'm worried about.I think it's more than a leaky supply or the grounding because i have tested the mount both in Italy and in greece in different locations....allways the same thing...I guess i will have to send it back in warranty and let them check it out..?

Again thank you all , you've been most usefull !!! :)

#10 akira

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

I had the same problem with my heq5 pro a few years ago. When i touched the tripod i felt a small tingle. It turned out that the pins of the power jack were touching the mount head. The solution, i unscrewed the power supply cover and placed a piece of paper between the electronics board and the mount. i believe you have the same problem a leakage from the electronics board touching the mount's metal.

#11 cloudmagnet

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 02:53 PM

Different stroke for different folks- Call me a romantic but, I get a nice tingle when my wife touches me!!!! :grin:

#12 iluxo

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 06:43 PM

Mike, It means two things.

First, the power supply you're powering it from is almost certainly based on a capacitive divider, not an isolated transformer. In other words, a small, cheap and nasty one. Transformer ones are bigger, heavier, and more expensive but should isolate the DC output from the AC mains.

In the capacitive type, one side of the DC output is connected to one side of the AC input. In the US that means there's 55VAC superimposed on the DC output.

Second, it implies somewhere in the electronics driving the motor the designer decided to connect the negative to the metal chassis and ultimately your mount, in the mistaken belief this was a "good thing". Quite common among naiive electronics designers who don't understand the point of "double insulation".

So yes, your mount is indeed live and you will feel a mild tingling from 55V AC. In my country it could be lethal and selling products with this sort of defect is illegal.

Either find a transformer-coupled (insulated) power supply, or open up the electronics and find where its earthed (you will need a multimeter) and cut that.

#13 EFT

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:44 PM

This is definitely something you want to have addressed. This has been noted a number of times with the NEQ6/Atlas mounts as well and either discussed here or on the EQ6 Yahoo group. You might want to check on the Yahoo group for more discussion. I don't recall here about this with an AZEQ6 before.

#14 Mike X.

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:34 PM

Thank you very much guys, you have been most helpfull and gave me much usefull information!
I have bought a laboratory linear power supply too, it does reduce the current running on the mount chassis but it won't make it vanish.
Ed, thank you too! I will certainly check the yahoo group for more info.
Do you think this kind of power leakage could be harmfull for the electronics?
With some friends here we run a small test on 3 NEQ6 mounts and another AZEQ6 and we surprisingly found out that on all of them there was current on the chassis...That makes me think what iluxo said about the negative and the chasis..Could it be standart for Skywatcher mounts?

PS.I'm most definatelly thinking on sending the mount for a check under warranty..the only downside is that it takes up to 3 months to come back to me :foreheadslap:

#15 EFT

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:32 PM

Thank you very much guys, you have been most helpfull and gave me much usefull information!
I have bought a laboratory linear power supply too, it does reduce the current running on the mount chassis but it won't make it vanish.
Ed, thank you too! I will certainly check the yahoo group for more info.
Do you think this kind of power leakage could be harmfull for the electronics?
With some friends here we run a small test on 3 NEQ6 mounts and another AZEQ6 and we surprisingly found out that on all of them there was current on the chassis...That makes me think what iluxo said about the negative and the chasis..Could it be standart for Skywatcher mounts?

PS.I'm most definatelly thinking on sending the mount for a check under warranty..the only downside is that it takes up to 3 months to come back to me :foreheadslap:


I have not heard of anyone with a mount failure that could be connected to this issue, but it's hard to see how it could be good for things and I have seen dead motor boards with no explanation. My greater concern is in regards to safety though and I think that is the concern that most people have had in regards to this issue.

I'm fairly sure that sometimes it has been related to power supply, but it appears that you have been able to rule that out. Finding it in four other mounts certainly suggests something to do with design/manufacturing, but I think as others have said, not one that would normally be permissible. It would be interesting to hear what the manufacturer has to say, but I suspect that you will be looking at a warranty return situation.

#16 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:20 AM

Mike:

I've read all of the replies and there is a simple solution: Use a battery pack.

The stray voltage you are feeling is caused by a ground loop.

Using improperly grounded electrical equipment is highly dangerous and can be fatal.

For example, approximately 100 mili amps (0.1 amps) applied "hand to hand across the heart" is enough to stop your heart.

Ground loops are also sources of electrical noise. Most common AC to DC adapters are not properly grounded and are not intended for outdoor use. In fact, as some one has already stated, most "wall wart" adapters have one side of the AC input tied to common or ground. NOT a good idea..

Speaking as someone who spent over 21 years in the US Navy working on every thing from flashlights to 1500 KW steam driven generators, I do not EVER use a "wall wart" style AC to DC adapter out of doors.

Do yourself and your family a favor: Throw that wall wart in the trash were it belongs and get a battery pack.

#17 Mike X.

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 04:24 PM

Hello Cliff,
Thank you so much for commenting and all the usefull info!
I will follow your advice for sure and use the battery at least till i send the mount for check.
I allready stoped using the cheap power adapters as you recomended.I bought a more expensive linear power supply which is grounded but still the mount has to be checked even if it minimizes the current circulating on the chasis.

Again thank you so much for posting and thank you all one more time!! :)

#18 Mike X.

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:52 AM

Just a small update.
Today I went at the store where I bought the mount and with the dealer we checked another azeq6 that he had there.Same result, and current on the tripod/ mount.
At this point he told me to wait as he will ask for explanations rom the importer/skywatcher...
In a total of 5 mounts we checkedso far with friends here ,3 azeq6. And 2 NEQ6 all of them had electricity on the metal parts, so there is a high probability that all of them present the same thing,others with more voltage, others with less.

I' m afraid what one of our friends said here, that the negative pole must be attached to the chassis , could be the culprit ..

Ps: I hate the iPad auto" correction" thing... :foreheadslap:

#19 Boki

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 11:37 AM

Hi, i had similar issue with a TV set. It turned out, that the set needed a power cord extension with three lines (not just two, as mine) and the extra line was ground. You might check if your power supply or power extension has all three lines including ground available and if everything is ok with ground line. Other than that, it may be very dangerous to use it like that.... good luck, boki

#20 Mike X.

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 11:53 AM

Thank you Boki, yes the power supply is grounded and the plug has 3. Lines. ( Siemens plug)

#21 Moromete

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 12:12 PM

If even NEQ6 has this electrical problem, I wonder how no one in so many years haven't discovered this problem which seems design related.

If this electricity leakage is design problem with both NEQ6 and AZ-EQ6 maybe Skywatcher mounts should be avoided like CGEM (8/3 error and cogging issue).

At the moment it seems to me there is no reliable chinese middle range mount (<2000 usd) on the market.

Even IEQ45 can't hold the same weight advertised as an EQ6/CGEM.


It's suck a pitty that AZ-EQ6 has electrical problems, GOTO problems in AZ mode, cable problems in AZ mode, no longitudinal adjustments for the 2nd scope in AZ mode, erratic movements in AZ mode, faulty ASPA in EQ mode and a fragile RA locking lever.

Maybe I should check my CG5GT too for electricity leakage.

#22 Mike X.

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 12:48 PM

No no, non need to get in panic, the mount is performing admirably just like the NEQ6s of my friends.

This is obviously current with almost non amperage, otherwise i would be in company of angels by now and i guess it is the same thing with the nEQ6.

The mount after the 2.09 MCF patch is guiding perfectly.
I have been guiding at 1 meter focal lenght with RMS near 0.28 which is quite ok for my standarts.

At 500mm the RMS was near 0.12.

What i believe is that this is more of a problem to the user than the performance of the mount.

#23 Mike X.

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 12:52 PM

PS:For example this summer i must have lost 3 or 4 subs during 2 months and it was not by tracking/guiding errors!

PS2: I never had problems with the cluthes/levers
PS3: the ASPA of the mount works just as good as the Celestron ASPA.
PS4: The Goto accuracy of the mount, at least from my personal experience is equivalent if not better than the Nexstar one on my CG5 (which was pretty good!)

PS5: It is a new mount so bugs come out the first months of it's life.
The most important ones i see from my perspective are 2
1) the one with the current that it might not be necessarly a problem)
2) The random pikes it had duting autoguiding which was rapidly resolved with the patch.(The EQ8 had this issue too).


All in all, i wouldn't compare it with the problems the CGEM has in terms of AP.


#24 Mike X.

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:01 PM

i right these things for telling you that i believe that the NEQ6 and or the AZEQ6 are a great and safe option both for AP or visual.

#25 Moromete

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:28 PM

Mike,

I see how excited you are about AZ-EQ6 (to be honest I am too, except the problems I pointed out) and thank you for your valuable opinion based on your experience with the mount.

I have an idea: what if you take off the side panel with the electronic board and take a good close-up picture of the board and the wires with the panel being still connected by wires to the mount head? Maybe someone clever sees it and can help you with the electrical problem you have. Maybe an insulation could help, I don't know.

Judging by the symptoms you desbribed till now I think the problem is inside the mount itself and not in the power sources you use.

I hope you'll have this problem solved.






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