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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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IanD
member
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Reged: 07/11/09

Loc: Edmonton, AB, Canada
EQ6 Altitude Adjustment
      #5309046 - 07/08/12 10:18 PM

I've got an 11" Edge SCT mounted on my EQ6 and I'm having a bit of an issue. If anyone owes an EQ6 you probably have noticed the difficulty in adjusting the altitude. Its absolutely terrible with a 30 lbs telescope and counterweights on it (necessary for accurate drift alignment).

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions or creative solutions to easing my altitude pains?


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tejasdragon
sage
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Reged: 09/08/11

Loc: Garland, Texas
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: IanD]
      #5309054 - 07/08/12 10:24 PM

get bolts with hex heads and use a long wrench, be careful
it is not to get them wrench tight just that the leverage
from length gives you fine control. ALWAYS remember to
loosen the opposite side before tightening.

Henry

Edited by tejasdragon (07/08/12 10:24 PM)


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DonR
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/15/06

Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: IanD]
      #5309170 - 07/09/12 12:10 AM

A little lithium grease on the threads helps. Then, of course you need to loosen the opposite bolt before trying to tighten one - not doing so can result in damage to your hand if not to the mount. Adjusting the altitude down is no problem on my Atlas. When it's necessary to raise the altitude, I just lift up on the counterweight bar with my other hand while turning the bolt.

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NorthBoundTrain
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/23/11

Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: DonR]
      #5309231 - 07/09/12 02:10 AM

I also set the altitude a bit on the high side before making the final fine adjustments. This way the weight from the load is pushing down as I back out the south bolt. Much easier then lifting.

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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: NorthBoundTrain]
      #5309251 - 07/09/12 03:01 AM

Mine was fitted with bolts from astro developments. The end nearest the polar scope had a long handle with a ractchet type effect.

Made life a lot easier plus the standard factory bolts tend to bend too easy for my liking.

Take a look here, about halfway down page


http://www.axio35.dsl.pipex.com/astrodevelopments/Synta%20cables.htm


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5309386 - 07/09/12 08:12 AM

The solution is simple. Either adjust altitude before you mount scope/counterweights or do as I do: When you are raising in altitude push on the counterweight bar to give it a little help.

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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: rmollise]
      #5309555 - 07/09/12 10:27 AM

These are all good ideas. I bought some after-market bolts that make it much easier to grip.

Edited by jerryyyyy (07/09/12 10:27 AM)


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5309661 - 07/09/12 11:51 AM

If the problem is adjusting the mount with the load on it, then, as recommended, you should adjust the mount without the load or phyically lift the head when trying to move it upward and let the weight move it downward.

If the problem is that the latitude axis is too stiff to move even when the mount is not loaded, then simply replacing the handles may result in stripping the threaded holes and damaging the tongue that the rods push up against. The best thing to do in this case is to remove the side plates, disassemble the axis, and replace the set screws with thumb screws so that the tightness of the axis can be adjusted. The result looks like this:



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tejasdragon
sage
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Reged: 09/08/11

Loc: Garland, Texas
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: EFT]
      #5309735 - 07/09/12 12:36 PM

Quote:

If the problem is adjusting the mount with the load on it, then, as recommended, you should adjust the mount without the load or phyically lift the head when trying to move it upward and let the weight move it downward.

If the problem is that the latitude axis is too stiff to move even when the mount is not loaded, then simply replacing the handles may result in stripping the threaded holes and damaging the tongue that the rods push up against. The best thing to do in this case is to remove the side plates, disassemble the axis, and replace the set screws with thumb screws so that the tightness of the axis can be adjusted. The result looks like this:





+1 I like it.
Henry


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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: tejasdragon]
      #5309761 - 07/09/12 12:51 PM

I do what Uncle Rod suggested. Polar align with EQMOD without scope or counterweights and then load up my imaging payload. In my case the process has worked and the polar alignment holds just fine for the purpose of accurate gotos or autoguiding.

I am considering a combination of modifications but not until the end of this observing season. First, stainless steel thread inserts. Second custom bolts with rosette knobs. Third, reinforce the "tongue" with an epoxied piece of steel where the bolt makes contact. All of these have been reported here on CN at one time or another.

Ajay


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DonR
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/15/06

Loc: Georgia, USA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5309876 - 07/09/12 01:58 PM

The OP complained about the difficulty of adjusting the altitude while drift aligning - in order to drift align, you must have the telescope and counterweights on the mount. Still, I have no problem doing it by lifting up on the counterweights while turning the adjustment bolt, as long as I didn't forget to loosen the opposite bolt.

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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: DonR]
      #5309893 - 07/09/12 02:11 PM

You are correct. These mods may help in the long run, but they don't help his immediate problem.

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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: bluedandelion]
      #5309924 - 07/09/12 02:34 PM

The problem with thread inserts in this situation is that the aluminum casting is not very thick. Thread inserts are best used where they are being installed either into a blind hole or material that is at least 1/2 inch thick. In thinner material the thread insert are not likely to hold very well.

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Refractor6
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: DonR]
      #5310540 - 07/09/12 09:44 PM

Quote:

The OP complained about the difficulty of adjusting the altitude while drift aligning - in order to drift align, you must have the telescope and counterweights on the mount. Still, I have no problem doing it by lifting up on the counterweights while turning the adjustment bolt, as long as I didn't forget to loosen the opposite bolt.




That's exactly what I did last night centering Polaris in the right place in the polar scope on my NEQ6 mount. A few turns on the North facing side and good to go well loosening the other side at the same time. This with the scope and mount fully loaded with weight {3-11 lbs counterweights/37 lbs OTA}

I was going to replace the stock adjusters by the way but after removing one and discovering it was heavy steel I decided it was a waste of cash to replace them after all.

Just remember to lift and adjust and loosen the opposite side and all is fine ....


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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5310846 - 07/10/12 02:48 AM

Unless Synta have chnaged them the stock adjusters may LOOK like heavy steel but they aint, they are known round these parts as bendy bolts. I have lost track of how many folks end up bending them and getting them out again if they bend can be a real pain.
It can be even worse because they can bend slightly and progressively wreck the threads on the mount.

To me its just not worth the headaches of dealing with the problems later so I always say replace them.

The worst I had to deal with was a mount where one bolt in the hands of a novice had been bent about 20' out of line. It was a pleasant sunday needle filing it away as it was bent on both sides of the casings and wouldnt budge either direction.

Even with careful use thay have been known to bend. My HEQ5 was never really under much use or load when I first had it and was handled carefully, mindful of the bendy problems but one of the bolts still bent after only a few outings.

Edited by astro_baby (07/10/12 03:53 PM)


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Refractor6
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Reged: 10/20/04

Loc: Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: astro_baby]
      #5310850 - 07/10/12 03:01 AM

The ones on mine aren't soft metal and taking one fully out showed it was dead straight and heavy in weight when held in my hand...these on a heavily used mount I recently purchased for reference. No problems yet for this new owner

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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5311161 - 07/10/12 10:16 AM

This was what I bought with a rubberized grip:

http://astrotroniks.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=22


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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: astro_baby]
      #5311165 - 07/10/12 10:20 AM

I have had to cut a number of these out of mounts due to them being bent. Definitely not my favorite thing to do. The higher your latitude, the more likely you are to bend the bolt due to the angle of the tongue that it presses against. I never seen one that was anything other than relatively soft, chrome-plated steel.

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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]
      #5311370 - 07/10/12 01:47 PM

Okay advice taken from a few members even though no problems so far.....


2 stainless steel metric bolts of the same length as stock units and a matching metric wrench to adjust them...done.... $15 buck total


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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]
      #5311594 - 07/10/12 03:57 PM Attachment (74 downloads)

Here's some photos for Ian that started the thread. I see you're in Vancouver so here's the info on where I got them:

Stainless steel bolts at Pacific Fasteners and the matching metric wrench to adjust them directly across the street at Summit Tools...both up the hill on 1 st east of Boundary.

I added some black fabric hockey tape on the wrench for added comfort on the hand for field use.

On a side note when both snugged up now the mount head is completely ROCK SOLID. No flex at all in the head to speak of

P.S. they don't sell any fully threaded ones in metric sizes with hex wrench tool ends so don't even ask


Photo #1

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]
      #5311596 - 07/10/12 03:58 PM Attachment (54 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 (44 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 (51 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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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dvb
different Syndrome.
*****

Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #5314957 - 07/12/12 07:57 PM

Quote:

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!!




Sounds interesting! It would be great to see a proto-type!


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bluedandelion
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/17/07

Loc: Hazy Hollow, Western WA
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: dvb]
      #5315011 - 07/12/12 08:33 PM

For the azimuth here's what I did: I removed the black paint on the mount base and the tripod top plate. I then sanded and polished both surfaces. Motion in azimuth is now very smooth and precise. It is the altitude that has always confounded me.

Ajay


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JoLo
sage


Reged: 02/09/10

Loc: Highland, IL
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: bluedandelion]
      #5315916 - 07/13/12 12:00 PM

I had a serious bent bolt problem as well, replaced with SS bolts and used a rachet. I have since replaced them again with the padded bolts from Astrotniks, both AZ and ALT....big help!

Someone stated above and this I have learned; exercise care when adjusting the ALT, don't tighten without loosening, and help with pressure on the counterweight bar if necessary. Not a problem since!


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lezarb
newbie


Reged: 11/20/12

Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5530512 - 11/20/12 03:59 PM

Hi there,

I've just joined the forum motivated by a google search re similar problem. I found a contribution by jareb on this but process of registering etc cannot find original post, it will have to do here...Would've been the following post:

"Thanks Jareb for the great heads ups on that one. Just got delivery of NEQ6 and ran into the altitude adjustment bolt problem. It was very stiff and seemed to lock completely after turning it with adjuster azimuth bolts through a few degrees.

Somewhat concerned reading posts here and elsewhere re need for replacement hex bolts and possible thread damage and other mods.

Your post fixed it for me and as simple as you say. Empty mount of everything. Extend out the weight bar. Position the bar so its pointing upward at its highest point. Loosen those azimuth adjuster bolts and back them off a bit. Now gently press downward on the bar and notice how the adjuster bolts change from the resistance of stone to butter. Doing this in small increments of 4 degrees or so WORKED a treat , thanks and got my 53 degrees altitude in no time. 'Tiltmeter 'and compass free iPhone apps work well with http://astronomy.abigbluesky.com/index.php/articles/how-toos/52-technical/80-... useful if you cant get polar alignment due to confined space eg attic :-)
Above will get you going and not destroy your bolts. For more precise alignments without polaris or with polaris use the drift method covered elsewhere.

colm


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lezarb
newbie


Reged: 11/20/12

Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Refractor6]
      #5530532 - 11/20/12 04:07 PM

I was of course referring to rmollisse post #5309386 - 07/09/12 08:12 AM for his simple solution that worked for me as well. Thanks rmollisse, nice one:-)

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lezarb
newbie


Reged: 11/20/12

Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: lezarb]
      #5530555 - 11/20/12 04:21 PM

rmollisse (#5309386 - 07/09/12 08:12 AM) I inadvertently named jareb, anyways ta again rmollisse, it worked.

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Pauls72
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: lezarb]
      #5530597 - 11/20/12 04:39 PM

I have a C11 most of the time on my Atlas. Early on it was hard to move the altitude bolts. I pulled both of the adjusting bolts out and coated the tips and threads with SuperLube and never had an issue since. No problem at all adjusting it even with the C11 and 33lbs of counter weights all mounted.

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astro_baby
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/17/08

Loc: United Kingdom
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: Pauls72]
      #5530735 - 11/20/12 06:08 PM

The UK supplier of the bolts with the ratchet handle is astro developments, google it and they will appear. I have no connection with them at all other than being a satisfied customer.

Something else to think about is the standard front bolt from astro developments can be too long and foul the weights depending on your setup...this was the case with my HEQ5 so I had astro developments make me a shorter front bolt. It means at a lower latitude it would be useless but as the furthest South I could go without walking on water would be 51' its not a problem.

Weirdly last weekend I spent fun time sawing an alt bolt out lf a CG5 thats been wrecked.....sighs


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FaronD
sage


Reged: 03/25/10

Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: IanD]
      #5531398 - 11/21/12 12:31 AM

Quote:

I've got an 11" Edge SCT mounted on my EQ6 and I'm having a bit of an issue. If anyone owes an EQ6 you probably have noticed the difficulty in adjusting the altitude. Its absolutely terrible with a 30 lbs telescope and counterweights on it (necessary for accurate drift alignment).

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions or creative solutions to easing my altitude pains?




I had two EQ6 pros in the past and I never had an issue with bending bolts or even stiction however, I did perform a couple of minor tweaks which I picked up from the EQ6 yahoogroups. Both scopes I used were heavy. One was a C11 and the other was a Tak Toa130.

The first thing to do if the mount is difficult to move in alt is to access the grub screws under the plastic side cover as Ed showed a few posts back. All you have to do is to loosened them once. Loosen them just enough so the movements by hand are nice and easy, glue the cover back on and you're good to go. The hardest part is removing the cover without cracking it. I used a little lube on the adjustment bolts to ensure they move easily as well. Finally, make sure your scope is counterbalanced properly. These mods work great, I didn't have to lift the counterweight shaft once the mods were performed either. Another tip is to apply a little lube under the the base of the mount this allows the azimuth to move easily.

If you're not comfortable doing such mods, consider sending the mount to Ed Thomas and it will come back better than new



Faron


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Pat at home
sage


Reged: 03/16/07

Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Ca...
Re: EQ6 Altitude Adjustment new [Re: FaronD]
      #5532739 - 11/21/12 05:54 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

I upgraded the altitude bolts with hardware store bolts and epoxied a wooden knob on the ends, no ratchet or box end wrench needed.

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