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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle
      #6105590 - 09/28/13 09:53 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...

Edited by Mike X. (09/28/13 09:56 AM)


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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6105665 - 09/28/13 10:36 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.

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6105803 - 09/28/13 12:00 PM

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!

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6106006 - 09/28/13 01:51 PM

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

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6106267 - 09/28/13 04:28 PM

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

Edited by Mike X. (09/28/13 04:30 PM)


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6109055 - 09/30/13 11:00 AM

I add 2 photos that i took earlier this summer




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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6109776 - 09/30/13 06:33 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. The second photo is too dark for me to see anything.

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n1wvet
super member
*****

Reged: 04/22/11

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA, Earth
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6110398 - 10/01/13 12:11 AM

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.

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: n1wvet]
      #6111084 - 10/01/13 12:04 PM

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 !!!


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akira
member


Reged: 08/26/08

Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6112756 - 10/02/13 10:01 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.

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cloudmagnet
sage


Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: Georgetown, Texas
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: akira]
      #6113423 - 10/02/13 03:53 PM

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

Edited by cloudmagnet (10/02/13 03:55 PM)


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iluxo
sage


Reged: 09/23/08

Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6113896 - 10/02/13 07:43 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.

Edited by iluxo (10/02/13 07:45 PM)


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: iluxo]
      #6113992 - 10/02/13 08:44 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.

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: EFT]
      #6114229 - 10/02/13 10:34 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

Edited by Mike X. (10/02/13 10:35 PM)


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6114416 - 10/03/13 12:32 AM

Quote:

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




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.


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6114757 - 10/03/13 09:20 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.


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #6115714 - 10/03/13 05:24 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!!


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6118916 - 10/05/13 11:52 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...

Edited by Mike X. (10/05/13 11:57 AM)


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Boki
member


Reged: 12/26/08

Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6118981 - 10/05/13 12:37 PM

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

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Boki]
      #6119012 - 10/05/13 12:53 PM

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

Edited by Mike X. (10/05/13 12:54 PM)


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6119038 - 10/05/13 01:12 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.


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Moromete]
      #6119069 - 10/05/13 01:48 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.


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6119077 - 10/05/13 01:52 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.


Edited by Mike X. (10/05/13 01:59 PM)


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6119096 - 10/05/13 02:01 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.

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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6119193 - 10/05/13 03:28 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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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Moromete]
      #6119402 - 10/05/13 05:56 PM

It's a pleasure Moromete , that's why CN exists for
I would open it but I'm afraid to void the warranty, that's why I wentto to the store and talked with the dealer.
If we wouldn't find the same symptoms on other mounts too the mount at this moment would be traveling for a warranty check in Milan but at this point he will talk with them first, gather info and eventually act .
it would be pointless to send the mount and take it back still with electricity after 2-3 months if it has nothing.

Edited by Mike X. (10/05/13 05:57 PM)


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Moromete]
      #6119660 - 10/05/13 09:30 PM

The problem is not with the mount. The problem is with using an AC to DC adapter. Use a battery pack and the problem goes away...

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #6119681 - 10/05/13 09:45 PM

Cliff,

Any AC to DC adapter? If the mount will only work with DC from a battery and not an AC to DC adapter I'd call that a problem with the mount.

Mike


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6119703 - 10/05/13 09:57 PM

Quote:

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.




Well, as we say here in the States, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

I've spent the better part of my life working on electrical and electronic equipment and I can state categorically that you are placing your life in jeopardy. The "tingle" you are feeling comes from a small amount of alternating current that is using your body like a capacitor. The resulting current is described by Ohm's Law I=E/R where Capacitive Reactance (1/(2(pi)fc) is substituted for resistance.

On the other hand, if you are standing on wet ground (Like when the grass is covered in dew), or if you should touch a water pipe or some other metallic ground, your body becomes a resistor. In this case, as little as 30 volts can be fatal.

Throw the AC to DC adapter in the trash. Use batteries.

I've done my best to warn you. Where should I send the flowers?


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6119733 - 10/05/13 10:18 PM

Quote:

Cliff,

Any AC to DC adapter? If the mount will only work with DC from a battery and not an AC to DC adapter I'd call that a problem with the mount.

Mike




Mike:

The mount runs on 12 VDC. 99.9% of the "wall wart" style adapters do not have isolation step-down transformers and they use one side of the AC line (which SHOULD be neutral or a "floating ground") as a common return. This is the main reason we in the US have polarized plugs on our two wire AC stuff...

If your outlet is not wired correctly, or if the plug is not polarized, you can get the "hot" side of the AC connected to the mount. Touch the mount when your body is grounded, and POOF...

There are two ways to be safe: Use batteries, or use a power supply that has a 3 prong grounded plug with a true step down transformer and circuitry that is isolated from the chassi/case. And DO NOT use ANY AC to DC power supply out of doors when the ground is wet..


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Frank @ Van
member


Reged: 01/24/05

Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #6119809 - 10/05/13 11:22 PM

Mike, the problem is not from the mount, it is from the AC to DC adapter. The quality of the AC to DC adapter must be very poor and its insulation strength is low. Without connecting your AC to DC adapter to the mount, you can measure the AC voltage between the negative terminal of the DC output and the ground of the AC side, it must be in the range of tens of voltage. But for a good AC to DC adapter, it can be lower than 1 volt. You can not complain to the AZ-EQ6 mount when your power supply has such problem.

Frank


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6119909 - 10/06/13 12:51 AM

I have had my AZ-EQ6 since last December. I have not noticed any minor electrical shock problem with mine. I use a Pyramid power supply at home and a 12-volt battery in the field. The only time I would normally touch the mount is when I am doing a two-star star alignment in Alt-Az Mode which requires a manual move of the mount to the 1st star.

JohnD


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: johnpd]
      #6120347 - 10/06/13 10:28 AM

Hello guys, thank you all for the comments and suggestions/warnings.I read and take them all very seriously!!

So i would like to tell you that i am not using anymore since august a wall mart adapter but a linear AC/DC variable laboratory power supply that minimizes the "problem" up to almost make it vanish.
This is the one i'm using at the moment:


Once said that, i did measured the voltage both in the Wall mart swithing adapters and this variable one.

It is what it is stated to be but i also measure alternating voltage between the negative and positive pole of these adapters!! (i'm not and expert but i don't know if this is normal, i guess not?)

Even if it is..what makes me wonder is the fact that this current passes through the mount's body up to the tripod.
Shouldn't be isolated?Specially if Skywatcher states on the manual to use linear ac/dc apapters and recomends to use them at 15 volts?

At the moment i am only using the mount or with the linear adapter that does'nt gives me any tingle or battery..life is too precious to play with..

Anyhow i do believe that using a Battery is safe way to use the mount but it is not a solution , at least from my point of view.If a mount is stated to be able to use it with a simple switching power supply...it should be that way..without tingles, small schocks or other possible issues...Am i wrong?

Again thank you all for the patience and help you are most kind all!!!!!

PS: Please do not take me wrong , i love this mount and it performs perfectly for astrophotography, i'm not blaming anyone,i'm just trying to understand if it's the mount or the power supply.
From what you told me and what i understand it is me and the power supply and thats more than fine for me

Edited by Mike X. (10/06/13 10:37 AM)


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johnpd
sage


Reged: 04/13/08

Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6121579 - 10/07/13 12:26 AM

Hi Mike,

I believe Jack Huerkamp replied in another post that he was not aware of any leakage issues on his AZ-EQ6 as well. We both bought ours from the same vendor at about the same time (last December) if that helps any. Maybe there is a bad batch that came out.

JohnD


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: johnpd]
      #6121911 - 10/07/13 09:01 AM

John,

While at ECVAR I checked my mount to see if I got the tingle from it. I did not feel anything out of the normal. And the mount and legs were pretty wet from all the humidity.

Jack Huerkamp


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #6121924 - 10/07/13 09:08 AM

Jack If you touch the tripod with a tester does it indicate presence of current? For feeling the "tingle" the volts must be more than 35-50 from what i understand...If i put the linear adapter on the mount that drops them to about 7 i won't feel anything.

Edited by Mike X. (10/07/13 09:09 AM)


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Pauls72
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6122060 - 10/07/13 10:26 AM

I just went and checked my Atlas/EQ-6 mount and the power ground appears to be tied to the chassis ground. Although this is pretty common in electrical design, it is a poor practice on consumer device. Especially one that is used in an area where possible wet surfaces are involved (moisture/dew). The mount should be designed so all the electronics are isolated from the case/chassis. Then the case/chassis is tied to the AC out ground prong ("double insulation"). This would prevent any possibility of a shock when used with a cheap or poor power supply.

Without a doubt your AC power adapter is at fault. But after checking mine, it obvious that Synta did not use good electrical design practices when designing or there is a problem manufacturing the mount. Being in my older Atlas the 0V and chassis are tied together, I believe that it is a design issue. There are 3 possible solutions:
1) Use a 12V battery to supply power.
2) Use a power supply that is transformer-coupled (more expensive types).
3) Open up the mount and find where chassis is tied to the 0V and isolate it. Then tie a ground wire from your mount to the AC outlet ground.(This will require an Ohm or mult-meter). By adding a ground wire, you are protect yourself should a voltage ever get shorted to the chassis/case.

Edited by Pauls72 (10/07/13 10:36 AM)


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dragonslayer1
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Reged: 02/25/12

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Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Pauls72]
      #6122219 - 10/07/13 11:33 AM

As Cliff said, you have a Hot, Neutral, and Ground... they mixed the Neutral and Ground together,
Kasey


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6122318 - 10/07/13 12:18 PM

Thank you both guys, you are fantastic!
Yes I believe too this is the issue.So far the transformer based supply seems to do the trick
Unfortunately I am not an expert in electronics, I wish I knew how to find the point where the chassis is connected with the 0v...
I do have a multimeter, if it is an easy process I could give it a try

Edited by Mike X. (10/07/13 12:20 PM)


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Cliff Hipsher
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Reged: 12/31/08

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Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #6122766 - 10/07/13 03:30 PM

Batteries or AC to DC adapter?

One other thing to keep in mind is the OP is in Europe, so we have no idea what the local electrical codes are, or if they are even enforced...


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Pauls72
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #6123158 - 10/07/13 05:28 PM

Most of Europe uses 230VAC 50HZ. They use power receptacle's that are 2 hots with a ground pin. The ground pin should be tied to a water pipe or copper rod driven into the ground no matter what country you live in or what type of power they have.

Many power supplies now days are auto ranging, so they don't care if you plug them into 120V or 240V or any place in between. The only thing that is different is the plug on the line cord that you plug into the wall receptacle. So this same problem exists in other countries too. The big difference is that with a 230VAC input you most likely would have a higher voltage on the chasis.

The concept of "double insulation" is good electrical design practice.

I can tell you for sure that with the chassis tied to 0V, this mount would not have received UL approval if submitted for testing. (Underwriters Laboratories an organization here in North America that Certifies products as to their safety. It is an optional Certification.)


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6123258 - 10/07/13 06:01 PM

I didn't have a voltmeter with me at ECVAR. I will run tests when I get home

Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Pauls72]
      #6123264 - 10/07/13 06:03 PM

So far I have only been using a 12 VDC marine deep cycle battery to power my AZ-EQ6. I will have to run the test with an AC power supply.

Jack Huerkamp


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qsipiMcKenna
member


Reged: 06/29/13

Loc: MK, UK.
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6123298 - 10/07/13 06:16 PM

Hi Mike.
I have a MON2, (Russian I think), and I now have a CGEM. Both exhibit the same electrical tingling that you describe. The only solution I found was to make a clip that attaches to a tripod leg and run a wire from it to a metal stake driven into the ground below the tripod.
I will be very interested to hear what skywatcher say when your importer gets a reply.
Clear skies, Tony.


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HowardK
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Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: qsipiMcKenna]
      #6123308 - 10/07/13 06:22 PM

There is no ac/dc power supply for the azeq6.
Only a cigar lighter type plug.

How comes the OP is powering up with ac/dc power?

Please explain?


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: HowardK]
      #6123322 - 10/07/13 06:29 PM

Hello guys, thank you all again for the comments.
Byrne, thank for the feedback on the Cgem!!
Howard , it is easy, I bought a female cigar lighter and a female power plug for the wallmart adapter, a small cable and I soldered it.
For the variable linear power supply on the other hand things are even simpler, all you need is a cable that attaches on the negative and positive output poles of the supply. I will upload a photo ASAP so you can see it, it is simpler that way.

Jack , can't wait to read your test too! thank you!

Edited by Mike X. (10/07/13 06:30 PM)


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6123381 - 10/07/13 07:08 PM

Here is a photo of the adapter i made.
It gives two alternatives for connecting the mount on a power source.

1)A standart female power plug that comes with most wall mart power supplies
1)2 cables for attaching them a) on a battery or b) on a laboratory power supply.

On the other side there is a female cigarette power plug that connects to the cable supplied by Skywatcher.


Edited by Mike X. (10/07/13 07:10 PM)


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T1R2
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Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6123615 - 10/07/13 09:08 PM

If the masking tape is a place where there is a splice, if it touches any part of the mount or legs when hanging down then the current could go through, if this is the case I'd use electrical tape,

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: T1R2]
      #6123636 - 10/07/13 09:21 PM

Hello T1R2, thank you for the comment! tYou are right,he masking tape is there for keeping the cable together only.
When it is not used it is isolated with electric tape.
At the moment i am using those two cables for attaching the adapter on a lab.power supply and i had to take it off for taking the photo


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ErikB
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Reged: 02/05/06

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Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6123914 - 10/08/13 12:20 AM

Mike, there are two approaches to electrical safety in a case like this. As has already been pointed out, double insulation is one, and it is particularly good in cases where you are going to be outdoors or otherwise near moisture. The other approach is to have everything including the actual device grounded (as you have found). Both systems are designed to guard against a single failure such as isolation breakdown causing the user to be connected to a voltage and current that are high enough to be dangerous. In the case of double insulation, the extra safety is lost only if one of the insulation instances within the device is broken, an unlikely occurrence unless there is visible physical damage. In the case of the system that relies on grounding, the user can lose the extra protection easily, simply by employing an a/c adapter or cord that lacks a ground connection, either by design or by (possibly invisible) damage. All that is about moving the real danger closer, from two steps away to a single step away. It sounds like your equipment is of the kind that uses grounding.

However, it is a common occurrence to be able to feel a tingle in situations where there is no direct danger (but you have lost the extra level of protection afforded by grounding). A designer of a power supply will often want to reduce the possibility that radio signals picked up by the huge antenna that is the power grid will get into the powered equipment. Failure to to this may lead to a nearby transmitter causing the powered device to malfunction. Did you ever hear the neighbor's CB transmitter in your stereo? Transients caused by switching and lightning can also cause problems. In microprocessor-based equipment, just one transient may be enough to reset the firmware, or cause it to act erratically. So how does the power supply designer prevent transients and radio signals from getting in? Well, there are elaborate filters and simple ones. About the simplest is a small capacitor across the power line, and more advanced designs also commonly contain such capacitors. It is very common to use two small capacitors, one from the hot power wire to the protective ground, and another from the neutral power wire to protective ground (since both are different from the protective ground, and both can carry radio frequencies and transients). These are small capacitors that have high reactance, and they are not capable of carrying a dangerous current (but failure in one of them would be dangerous).

What do these capacitors have to do with the tingle? Since the system relies on grounding, it is likely to be designed to carry the protective ground all the way from the power outlet to the metal chassis of the powered device. If the DC power cord doesn't carry the protective ground in a separate wire, but uses just 2 wires, as is commonly the case with telescopes etc, then one of these wires will be connected to the protective ground. Usually this is the negative wire, and this is often connected to the chassis of the device (in this case the mount). But that wire is also connected to the midpoint of the two capacitors, so that it can carry to protective ground to your device. Assuming the two a/c power wires consist of one hot wire and one more or less "cold" wire, the point where the two capacitors come together acts as a high impedance (low current) source of about half the a/c voltage, and this is connected to your device (mount) chassis. Through this mechanism you can under certain circumstances measure a dangerous level of voltage on your device without having a risk of dangerous current, and without dangerous current you can't be hurt.

Now the protective ground from the power outlet is supposed to short out that small current to ground. If you do feel the tingle, it may be because that protective ground is broken somewhere. Assuming your a/c power cord has a separate protective ground wire, it might be broken. Or the power plug might be a 2-prong type that lacks the ground pin. Or you might be using some kind of adapter that lacks ground connection. Or your wall outlet may lack a ground connection, or the ground wire in the wall may not be connected properly to ground or to the outlet. One thing you can try is to check with a continuity tester (ohm meter on low range) whether you have a connection all the way from the mount chassis to the ground pin of the a/c power plug. You may be able to purchase a tester that plugs into the wall outlet to verify that the outlet is properly grounded.

The above represents some general information about common situations, and I don't know enough about your equipment to say if it is applicable. However, let me mention one very special situation that I have encountered. Once I was running telescope equipment in the field with a power supply made for a/c power, and my actual power source was a 12V battery (not the right DC voltage for my equipment though). So I used an inverter to get from 12V DC to a/c, and then from there to the DC voltage my equipment wanted. Then I found out that the inverter had some rather unusual requirements with regard to grounding vs non-grounding. But that is another story.


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HowardK
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Re: AZEQ6GT tripod gives me electricity tingle new [Re: ErikB]
      #6124370 - 10/08/13 09:03 AM

So.....my whole set up ....cge pro mount, 2 mallincams, guider, video switcher, electric focuser....has been giving me electric shocks....tingles when i touch anything.

This thread got me worried...

Had an electrical engineer here today...he also operates an observatory....he tested my house circuit....and.... I have no earth..anywhere.

He said its very dangerous
Told me to always wear rubber shoes at the scope ....even when the earth situation is fixed.

Phew


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