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iOptron ZEQ25 overcurrent error, disassembly issue

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#1 N1ghtSc0p3

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 12:03 AM

Evening all,

So I took delivery of my ZEQ25 this week, in a weird way of "in stages". I ordered from High Point Scientific (the 2" tripod package, no case), and b/c I usually miss the UPS guy, I requested the shipment be sent to my local UPS store. The head made it to my doorstep, but the tripod was sent to the UPS store. After some live chat and phone calls with HPS, I was able to iron it all out and get my scope. (Plug for HPS here...they also just mailed out a set of Celestron VSP's 'for my troubles'...a very great vendor if you ask me!) So I'm all excited to get the mount out last night and try some AP, despite the nearly full moon.

Then I got the dreaded "R.A. Overcurrent" error. I tried everything I could outside...restarting the mount, taking off the entire payload and CW, etc. Nada. So I packed it in, figuring I'd get around to tuning the mount tonite, following Astronewb's YouTube vids.

I got the RA drive casing off, pulled the boards, and slipped the belt off the pulley and now I'm dead in the water. The pulley *will not move* no matter how much force I apply. I'm being fairly gentle with it, but still using a decent amount of force (with my bare hands, I am probably only a little short of cutting my fingers on the pulley's teeth.) I tried using a short hex wrench to see if I could gain some leverage and move the pulley enough to loosen the set screw...no joy, the wrench just flexed a little. I know Paul said that it was ok to use a little force to turn the pulley to access the set screw, but this thing just will not move.

The other thing that concerned me is that almost all of the screws that I removed while taking the housings and circuit boards off were almost completely stripped. This includes the three holding the cover over the GPS receiver...they were obviously not "fresh." Is this common?

I'm wondering if I might have received a returned unit...I just emailed iOptron, but was also wondering if anyone had any other ideas. I'm not giving up on this mount at all, because I really like the design, I'm just a little concerned that I might not have received a "factory-new" version.

Disappointed on a cloudless night, I was hoping to do a quick tune and get her back outside for first-light!!

Thanks.

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#2 Mkofski

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 12:56 AM

It sure sounds like you did the right thing emailing iOptron. Sounds like they need to replace the mount. If you can't turn the gear, you probably can't get to the set screw... right? I'd be bothered by the stripped screws although that could happen during assembly.

One way or another it sounds like you'll need somthing replaced. Good luck!

Mike

#3 mmalik

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:23 AM

iOptron will send you new motor I am sure as you hear back from them via email; email is better and faster when it comes to iOptron. Stripping is something where you could send the mount back if you are not satisfied. If you do, order one directly from iOptron if they have any in stock. Sorry for your trouble, be little patient. It will get sorted out soon. Good luck!

#4 Astronewb

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 10:02 AM

Aw man, I hate it when that happens...:( Seriously, try this.

With no ota and no counterweight, loosen the tension screw about 5 or 6 turns and then unlock the lock screw (worm cammed off the ring).

The RA axis should swing free now because the worm is disengaged.

Power up the mount and select speed '2' and slew in both directions for about 60 seconds.

Then select speed '6' and slew in both directions for about 60 seconds.

That should solve your overcurrent message.

Note: Camming the worm up off the ring will allow you to turn the worm pulley so you can access the set screw. Now you can remove the pulley to re-install the belt. This 'burn in' method for the encoder motors should be done with the belt attached so the motor can learn the amperage values.

Tip: While the pulley is off, if you can file or turn a chamfer on the outer pulley edge, the belt will be a snap to re-install. You can even do it with the pulley in place and set screw tightened, just pop it over the pulley.

Make sure you leave a few thousandths of an inch clearance between the pulley and the housing, rubbing is bad.

Hope that helps, let us know how you make out?

Cheers...Paul

#5 N1ghtSc0p3

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:40 AM

Evening all,

So I report back with good news! First off I emailed iOptron on Friday night and Saturday morning I had a reply from John (Tech 1) offering a new motor, or a return of the mount for fixing. Fortunately, I don't think that will be necessary.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I took a hex wrench that I guessed would work and filed it down so I could get it in and loosen the set screw. I have a plethora of these wrenches as I used to be into R/C cars and I had a hunch that the set screws were the same size as those on the pinion gears on the ol' R/C buggies.

So, once the pulley was removed, I followed Paul's videos and performed the tune on my R.A. axis. Then I looked at the motor. I still couldn't turn it at the planetary shaft end, even with a pair of flat, smooth-jaw pliers. I removed the planetary and was able to spin that freely, and without the planetary, I could spin the motor shaft. So...I guessed (again) that there must have been something binding up the planetary/motor mesh. I reassembled the planetary onto the motor, and voila! I could turn the shaft of the planetary using my flat/smooth jaw pliers.

So, reassured that I *might* have solved the problem I reassembled the R.A. drive and sure enough, upon applying power at 2x, I could hear the motor. After 2 mins of that, I applied 512x slew speed and was greeted with a pleasant little hum and easy movement. I even followed Paul's final 'challenge' in Part 3 and screwed the worm lock/spring nut all the way down and still successfully slewed at 512X.

All in all I am pretty happy that I was able to diagnose the problem myself, while likewise being rather impressed that iOptron was so quick to offer an immediate repair part and service assistance.

Of course, now its cloudy out (and supposed to be the rest of the week), but at least I'm confident that if there is a break in the clouds, I should be able to get set up pretty quickly and hopefully get some first-light photos!

Thanks all,

#6 Mkofski

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:22 AM

Great work! I really like how easy the mount is to take apart and put together again. Now you can enjoy using it.

Mike

#7 ScottAz

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:08 AM

Perhaps iOptron might consider including a tool kit and a set of teeny-weeny replacements screws with every mount ... :grin: Why not? Example: our Porta II mount even has a special compartment for the Allen wrenches needed for adjustment. Maybe iOptron could emboss the phone number for customer service on the handle of each tool. It could come with a DVD of all of Paul's tweaks and fixes..... :p

We are still looking forward to our ZEQ25's arrival and (also) hoping for warmer weather. Maybe V5 Astroproducts can beat iOptron to the punch and start selling a tool kit? :bow: or maybe a small metal lathe should also ship with every mount? :tonofbricks:

#8 Astronewb

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:07 AM

That's great news (insert name here)! Now that you have succeeded in dis-assembling and re-assembling the RA housing you are better informed on how the mount works and have increased your confidence in it, I'm sure.

As far as tools, a standard metric allen key set will fit every cap screw on the mount. A Phillips (cross-slotted)screwdriver and a pair of pliers are the only other tools needed.

For those that may need to tighten or tweak anything, the main allen wrenches are: 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm and 3.0mm.

Congrats again on your fix, looking forward to hearing how it works for you in Texas in the future...;)

Best...Paul

#9 Seldom

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:48 AM

Perhaps iOptron might consider including a tool kit and a set of teeny-weeny replacements screws with every mount ...

It would sure be nice if they could find a more permanent way to mount the serial number than a stick on label.

#10 N1ghtSc0p3

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:02 PM

Perhaps iOptron might consider including a tool kit and a set of teeny-weeny replacements screws with every mount ...


I sent iOptron a picture of the screw heads, and Tech 1 John sent out a set of screws today. I really can't complain at all, and am very happy with the customer service. At this price point, I think we have the right to expect that the mount will operate as advertised upon supplying power. However, occasionally things do happen, like a stuck planetary assembly, possibly in packing or shipping or maybe even in production. For mass-produced products like these, at relatively fine manufacturing tolerances required for 'pretty darn good AP performance,' I think a small issue like this is acceptable, especially since it was a pretty easy fix. Fortunately we have Astronewb's experience and expertise to guide us when things are slightly awry.






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