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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5583389 - 12/21/12 11:35 PM

Jack,

To power the handcontroller stand-alone, the Synscan manual says you need a tip-positive "2.0mm"? I.D. and 5.5mm O.D. cable. Most cables are 2.1mm x 5.5mm tips. Do you think this is a misprint? I have a number of 2.1mm x 5.5mm tip-positive cables and they seem to fit ok in the Synscan. Should this be ok? I also have a Pyramid 10amp power supply. Should this work as the power source?

Thanks,

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: johnpd]
      #5583401 - 12/21/12 11:56 PM

John,

I am unaware of a 2.0mm ID x 5.5mm OD power connector. I have heard of 2.1x5.5 and 2.5x5.5. I just plugged a 2.1x5.5 power cord into my SynScan without issue.

However, why would you run power right to the SynScan instead of getting power from the mount itself?

On another note, I just open up my VISA bill and there was a $70+ foreign transaction fee.

Jack


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: johnpd]
      #5583407 - 12/22/12 12:03 AM

One issue I ran into:

The dowel on the tripod (onto which you align the mount) has two holes into which it can be inserted. Not sure why. It came with the dowel in the hole that is between two tripod legs instead of in line with one of the legs. Between the legs makes it a little difficult to access the polar scope because you can't nestle under the mount since you are blocked by one leg. I switched it to the other hole.

JohnD


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5583446 - 12/22/12 12:32 AM

Quote:

John,

My mount arrived with no fees collected by the UPS drive. But on Wednesday, I received a customs bill from UPS. I too used a VISA card, but there was no "Foreign Transaction Fee". There was $81+ in Duties and $34+ in other miscellaneous fees for a total bill of a little over $115.

Jack




You have to be really careful with UPS on this stuff. They will deliver the goods and even have you sign for it without ever telling you there is a fee. Then they send you a surprise bill later and expect you to pay it. If you call to complain they will tell you that there is nothing they can do because they already sent the money to customs but you can contact them (good luck with that). They will do this even on things that should not be subject to customs, like items returned for repair (i.e., not for purchase). The miscellaneous fees are of course for their own pockets. I don't know if FedEx does the same thing since they tend to charge the shipper for the fees up front, but it wouldn't surprise me. When it comes down to it, it's OK to have to pay the fees, it is not OK to be surprised by them later on with no recourse.


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5583449 - 12/22/12 12:32 AM

Hi Jack,

I found in the Synscan Firmware Update manual that the plug is 2.1, so the controller manual had the wrong value. I wanted to use my desktop to update the firmware. It would be difficult to get the mount close enough to the desktop to do this but I can use a laptop.

JohnD


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: johnpd]
      #5583568 - 12/22/12 03:43 AM

1. Successfully updated the firmware.

2. Tested the GPS module and that worked.

3. Mounted my C-8 on it and tried a test inside (cloudy in Southern AZ tonight) using EQ Mode.

4. GOD WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MOUNT.

a. The slew is smooth and quiet.

b. I had thought that you had to manually go to the first alignment star, but it took off automatically when I selected the first alignment star using the two-star alignment mode.

c. The GoTos were positioned approximately as expected for being inside.

d. I connected my Orion StarSeek WiFi module to the mount and powered up my iPad 3. Was able to slew to objects very nicely. The only issue I found was that the "Left" arrow did not respond. All the others did. I will leave a post on the Southern Stars Yahoo Group to see if they have heard of that issue. (NOTE: This problem has been reported by someone else in the Southern Stars Forum.)

e. The manual mentions when mounting the scope you should have the saddle horizontal (locking knobs up). I find that a difficult position. I would rather have the saddle vertical and slide the scope on from the top.

f. When I parked the mount, powered it down, and then powered it up again, it did not ask to go through the alignment process. It apparently uses your last alignment.

Hopefully I can try outside tomorrow.

JohnD

Edited by johnpd (12/22/12 04:11 AM)


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: johnpd]
      #5583639 - 12/22/12 07:03 AM

John,

I will have to look at that. I noticed that some views show the dowel in line with one leg and other pictures show it between two of them. It makes sense to have it in line with one leg - especially when in EQ mode.

Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: johnpd]
      #5583641 - 12/22/12 07:05 AM

Understood. I used my laptop to do the updae so I used mount power instead of plugging power to the SynScan

Jack


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: EFT]
      #5583644 - 12/22/12 07:09 AM

Ed,

I knew there would be a Customs fee. I just did not know how it would be collected. I was just surprised at how much UPS charges to collect the fee. In my case the "handling charges" amount to 42% of the customs fee - not bad for pushing a few buttons to render a bill.

Jack


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desanctb
member


Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Calgary,Canada
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5584173 - 12/22/12 02:10 PM

I'm in Canada and as far as I know because of the free trade agreement between our two country's there is no duty on astronomy equipment. When I order from the US (which I do alot) I make sure the vendor marks the customs forms appropriately as astronomical/scientific equipment. You should contact UPS and have them refund any fees because of this. As well, I avoid using UPS at all cost because I always get ripped one way or the other with them. I was also told one can use a company name rather than a personal name and UPS would have to contact you regarding fees and ask you who your import broker is. This way, you can go yourself and fill out the necessary paperwork and avoid paying UPS to do so. I've had so many bad experiences with UPS that I always ask the vendor to use USPS or another service when available.
Burt
Rasc


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: desanctb]
      #5584491 - 12/22/12 06:33 PM

The customs form was marked indicating tht the item was an astronomical mount and it was shipped to my company name. I will have to get back with UPS. The problem using the postal service is the insurance limit. Canada Post has an insurance limit to the US of $1000 and if the parcel was lost, I would be out the difference.

Jack


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: johnpd]
      #5584566 - 12/22/12 07:24 PM

An amendment to item 4b in my list above:

"b. I had thought that you had to manually go to the first alignment star, but it took off automatically when I selected the first alignment star using the two-star alignment mode."


If you are in EQ mode, the mount will automatically slew to the first alignment star. If you are in ALT-Az mode, you do need to move the mount manually to the first alignment star. From then on slews are automatic.

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5586668 - 12/24/12 05:32 AM

I received and installed the TPI spreadere and tray on Friday. They are beautifully machined and add greatly to the stability of the tripod while keeping it light. Here is a photo of the empty tray:



Jack


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5586670 - 12/24/12 05:35 AM

And here is a photo with the tray loaded with stuff:



Jack


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desanctb
member


Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Calgary,Canada
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5586983 - 12/24/12 10:55 AM

Jack... Do you still need to use the original eyepiece tray along with the TPI?
Burt


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: desanctb]
      #5587096 - 12/24/12 11:52 AM

Quote:

Jack... Do you still need to use the original eyepiece tray along with the TPI?
Burt




I would think yes. The ep tray pushes the tripod legs outwards while the TPI assembly pulls the lower part of the tripod inwards. This will stiffen up the tripod considerably. A similar DIY solution could be done with turnbuckles but the TPI tray is pretty useful. Adding weight on the tray increases the mass lower down.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: Pat at home]
      #5587172 - 12/24/12 12:45 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Jack... Do you still need to use the original eyepiece tray along with the TPI?
Burt




I would think yes. The ep tray pushes the tripod legs outwards while the TPI assembly pulls the lower part of the tripod inwards. This will stiffen up the tripod considerably. A similar DIY solution could be done with turnbuckles but the TPI tray is pretty useful. Adding weight on the tray increases the mass lower down.




You actually don't need the upper spreader at all. The thing is nearly useless in the first place and it's only use after adding the TPI spreader is to hold eyepieces. By not using the upper spreader, you no longer have to carry that thing around and install and remove it every time you set up or take down the tripod. That's one of my favorite things about adding the lower spreader.


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10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: EFT]
      #5587282 - 12/24/12 01:57 PM

The AZ EQ6 would be amazing on a G11 HD tripod. Since Optical Supports is not taking any orders, at this time, is there another way to get a EQ6-G11 plate adapter? Does the TPI spreader approach the CGE tripod in terms of stability?

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: desanctb]
      #5588480 - 12/25/12 01:29 PM

Probably not, but I lightly tightened it against the legs. The tripod with the TPI spreader and tray is amazingly light but strong and vibration free.

Jack Huerkamp


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desanctb
member


Reged: 09/27/06

Loc: Calgary,Canada
Re: AZ EQ6 in the US? new [Re: EFT]
      #5592363 - 12/28/12 09:53 AM

I have put my C11hd on it with no issues. Seems to handle the weight, (36lbs) with no strain on the motors. I did however have to use an extra weight to properly balance the OTA.
Burt


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