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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Refractor6
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5311596 - 07/10/12 03:58 PM Attachment (56 downloads)

#2

M10x90 F.T. bolt


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Refractor6
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5311601 - 07/10/12 04:00 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

#3

Number 17 in the locked glass case at Summit Tools. Ask for help...


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5311607 - 07/10/12 04:03 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Heres how bad it can get by the way

Yes - this mount has been seriously abused BUT in fairnesss my HEQ5 never was, even with just a few nights use when new the bolts started to show signs of bending.

The bolt material is way too soft - though its a perisher to hacksaw just the same and if you strip the threads on the mount its a real pain to fix with stuff like helicoils.

I agree $30 is a lot for two bolts but when I did mine I just couldnt be bothered searching round endless catalogues so just stumped up. My time gets eaten enough without spending more of it on ploughing through engineering sites catalogues of bolts. I did find an alternate supplier who was charging less (£10 for all four) so I spent 40 mins driving there, bought the bolts which were supposed to be super duper aircraft grade blah blah only to find the threads were not correct, manufactured to too sloppy a tolerance and didnt fit. Glorious waste of my time in pursuit of saving a few $$$$.

After that I just though - to hell with it - buy the AstroDev ones like everyone else rather than waste any more time.

With very careful handling the factory supplied bolts might well be ok but most of us at some time have made some glorious mess at 3am when your freezing in a field - I'd like to have a bit of tolerance from the kit rather than a weekends work messing about putting it right. I'd rather be having a frothy coffee and looking at shoe catalogues or having my nails done than going through the hassle of fixing this kind of preventable accident.

Remember this ones an extreme example but the bolt doesnt have to get too far adrift before its uselss and possibly wrecking the mount threads and costing you time and cash - if you get into a real mess whatever you save on the bolts is liklely to be peanuts compared to the cost of putting it right - assuming you value your time and dont have a fetish for iron filings

Edited by astro_baby (07/10/12 04:04 PM)


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Refractor6
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5311621 - 07/10/12 04:16 PM

After seeing that photo many thanks for the heads up astro baby and the relative cheap cost to set it right

I'm the lucky one on this side of the pond since i'm a 5 minute drive from both the local shrine of everthing nuts and bolts and the custom tool place right across the street.


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5312367 - 07/11/12 02:35 AM

I live is an area which is bereft of anywhere to get any tool more complex than a screwdriver and any fitting thats not a dry wall fixing. All the classic hardware shops have gone and left us with supposed DiY shops which sell microwaves, televisions and lawnmowers....I suppose TV is a kind if DiY ...it wont watch itself

Seriously though if you need tools round these parts I have to take. Aday off work as the only store that does serious stuff only opens Monday to Friday when I am at work.


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John Carruthers
Skiprat
*****

Reged: 02/02/07

Loc: Kent, UK
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5312373 - 07/11/12 03:04 AM

be sure to check the thread pitch, I've seen both M10 x 1.25mm and M10 x 1.0mm on EQ6 mounts (also a 1.25 forced into a 1.0mm hole)
As Astro Baby says, the stock bolts are made from stale cheese, a few £ spent on SS bolts is far better than stripped threads/bent bolts.
There are some on the market (can't find them now) that have a built in reversible ratchet handle


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Refractor6
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: John Carruthers]
      #5312391 - 07/11/12 03:40 AM

Quote:

be sure to check the thread pitch, I've seen both M10 x 1.25mm and M10 x 1.0mm on EQ6 mounts (also a 1.25 forced into a 1.0mm hole)
As Astro Baby says, the stock bolts are made from stale cheese, a few £ spent on SS bolts is far better than stripped threads/bent bolts.
There are some on the market (can't find them now) that have a built in reversible ratchet handle





I took the stock one from one side in with me for an exact match up John. The new ones both went in no problem. Added a little extra gun grease to keep things well protected in regards to all the threads though.

Considering the amount of weight i'm riding on top and having seen the picture provided by astro boy i'm glad I came by this thread sooner than later. Have a feeling now that the stock one on the one side that recieves most of the high angled intense pressure could have caused some troubling issues inside the head in no time flat with the weight load i'm demanding on it.

The new stainless steel ones shown by the way must have a heavy nickel content since the magnet test shows no reaction to them. The old ones were very magnet reactive.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5312630 - 07/11/12 10:17 AM

When you put new bolts in make sure to round and smooth the ends. Otherwise the bolt will damage the tongue that it pushes against. A rough end will also make the adjustment bumpy and more difficult.

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Refractor6
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: EFT]
      #5312775 - 07/11/12 12:33 PM

Quote:

When you put new bolts in make sure to round and smooth the ends. Otherwise the bolt will damage the tongue that it pushes against. A rough end will also make the adjustment bumpy and more difficult.




Done....that's the first thing I did when they came home. My father was a mechanic so I learned a few things along the way.

First with a file taking off any sharp sections and slightly rounding the edges on the ends. Finished up with a few grades of fine sandpaper to make them deadly smooth.

No rough edges to bugger the insides when under pressure


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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5312838 - 07/11/12 02:02 PM

So what I want to know is this: Does anyone do drift align with the replacement bolts with a load of say 25-30 lbs (not counting counterweights) of imaging equipment? Is it safe to do so?

Ajay


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DonR
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/15/06

Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5312993 - 07/11/12 05:08 PM

It's the counterweights that matter. The imaging equipment does not bear on the "up" altitude adjustment bolt, the counterweights do. I do drift alignment with 26 pounds of counterweights installed, with the original altitude bolts, and I've been doing it that way for about five years with no problems.

Depending on what you use to turn them (a padded knob, a wrench, etc.) the replacement bolts may be easier to turn. But if you aren't careful you can still bend or break something. All that is required is to be sure to loosen the opposite bolt before tightening one, and to lift up on the counterweight shaft when adjusting the altitude upward.


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Refractor6
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: DonR]
      #5313117 - 07/11/12 06:04 PM

Yes I was told Don but someone who works in the metal industry last night that even these lovely hard as it gets stainless steel ones I just put in can snap in half if abused.

Care must always be taken to always loosen the opposite side when changing the position and lifting the 33 lbs of counterweights in my situation well doing a change in height....


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5313136 - 07/11/12 06:25 PM

The problem is that the higher in latitude you are, the greater the angle between the bolt and the face of the tongue that it presses against. With either increased wieght or stiffness in the latitude axis the bolt will tend to bend downward regardless of what it is made of. Any bend in the bolt will quickly make it impossible to adjust. It is just not that big a bolt. That's why they went with something that is over 1/2 inch in diameter for the CGEM to eliminate this problem completely.

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Refractor6
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: EFT]
      #5313147 - 07/11/12 06:32 PM

Well my feeling is now with the hard ones in place on my NEQ6 they should last a lifetime with CAREFUL use.

In my case for pure visual observing that is just some minor tweeks in the field to center Polaris in the right place in the polar scope...nothing crazy or overly stressful on the mount or threads.


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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: DonR]
      #5313362 - 07/11/12 08:44 PM

Quote:

It's the counterweights that matter.




Understood, but total amount of counterweight depends on the specific type of scope, camera, guiding apparatus etc. and the associated moment arms. This is why I asked the question as I did. In my case, imaging load is 29 lbs (with c9.25) and total CW is 35 lbs.

The problem is that drift aligning requires a delicate touch. What I was looking for is whether anyone actually does this routinely. As I said, I do a polar align with EQMOD with no load and then add the scope and kaboodle. I have not dared to use the alt knobs for drift aligning.

Ajay


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DonR
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/15/06

Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5313422 - 07/11/12 09:40 PM

Quote:


The problem is that drift aligning requires a delicate touch. What I was looking for is whether anyone actually does this routinely. As I said, I do a polar align with EQMOD with no load and then add the scope and kaboodle. I have not dared to use the alt knobs for drift aligning.





A delicate touch? Well, you don't want to hit it with a two pound hammer, but I wouldn't really call it delicate.

I have drift aligned the Atlas many times, using the original altitude bolts, with 26 pounds of counterweights on the shaft - two eleven pound weights plus a four pound weight borrowed from the SkyView Pro, all as low on the shaft as they will go. If all I had was three eleven pound counterweights I would use them, and slide them further up the shaft.

Maybe you should just try it, I assure you it really couldn't be simpler. As I said, you just have to be sure to loosen the opposite bolt before tightening one, and use your free hand to assist by lifting up on the counterweight bar as you tighten the "up" bolt. You can adjust the altitude as little or as much as you want, and put no more stress on the bolts than turning them with the mount unloaded.

The EQMOD polar alignment routine will get you in the ball park, but no closer than any other carefully executed alignment using the polar scope. In order to nail it you need to drift align. If you pay attention and use reasonable care, there's nothing to be afraid of.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: DonR]
      #5313437 - 07/11/12 09:53 PM

If you get the mount close to the correct latitude, then the small adjustments for drift aligning should not really cause any substantial problem. It is a lot more difficult if you are having to make substantial changes in the latitude setting (like when traveling) that trying to make them with the mount fully loaded becomes more difficult. Overall, this is not an adjustment that you have to be concerned about making as long as you don't feel like you have to use a vise grip to turn the knobs.

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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: EFT]
      #5313646 - 07/12/12 12:49 AM

Thanks Don and Ed.

Ajay


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dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5314451 - 07/12/12 02:28 PM

I agree with Astro Baby that the altitude bolts, especially the rear one, are seriously inadequate, especially for those of us at higher altitudes (I'm at 49 º N) and with challenging loads.

Mine bent, although not as badly as the "pretzel" AstroBaby encountered.

The English bolts recommended by AstroBaby are excellent - the ratcheted rear handle is very convenient, and much easier and handier than a regular hex head with a wrench. (I just replaced the bolts provided by Astrotroniks with the English product.) Delivery of the bolts from England to the Pacific Northwest was quick and easy.

Like EFT, I also removed the side plastic disc to expose the altitude adjustment screws - they did indeed need adjustment.

But, they don't need adjustment very often, and I actually preferred the look of the mount without the plastic decorative discs, so I just left the discs off, and would use an Allen key to adjust the screws again (which hasn't been necessary).


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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: dvb]
      #5314655 - 07/12/12 04:15 PM

I had a bolt bend on my EQ6, those things are soft!

To solve the problem, I fired up my CAD software and designed a new base to replace the old one. I had planned on marketing it but, speaking with a vendor, it sounds like he wanted it for free. I'm talking a well thought out, precision machined piece, that turned me off from doing it.

It's all machined from billet aluminum, and has 1/2" fine stainless alt bolts. The main feature is the alt bolts can be moved to different positions based on latitude to allow them a staight push on the 'tongue'.

I also made a new Dec nut that allowed me to screw in a 1.125" shaft, and bore out the counterweights and install bronze sleeves. I've put my FSQ and Coronado double stack on it with 43 pounds of weight, and can make fine adjustments to the alt axis with buttery smooth feel.

Perhaps in the future I can make a large run of these and pin down a price. As it was I only made 3 complete base/nut/shaft assemblies. It really takes the EQ6/Atlas to a new level, putting the alt/az adjustments on par with something from AP.

Because it is modular, I had planned on a tripod/stock type replacement, and a pier version.

Some day!!


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