I decided to get one of these Eq-Tech platforms for my old Coulter 10-inch dob. I realized this represents the bottom end of the EQ platform market, but I couldn't really justify spending much more for an old telescope I bought 30 years ago. I am actually very happy with this platform and I wish I had one years ago, but in my opinion this really is an unfinished product and requires several modifications to be truly useful.
I ordered mine on Etsy for $179 + $30 shipping and avoided the Ebay bidding process. My platform arrived via USPS in a single box which appeared undamaged. The platform inside looked OK for the most part, but I feel the packaging could have been done better. Aside from a few pieces of bubble wrap and some foam packing "peanuts" the platform wasn't really well protected. It seemed extremely fortunate that my platform arrived mostly undamaged. I say mostly because there were some small chips in the wood on bottom edge of the northern sector. These were in a place that did not make contact with either the drive or the roller bearing so it was just cosmetic and I repaired it with wood dough.
One thing I didn't like right away was that the feet height could not be adjusted to level the platform. I solved this problem by removing the stock feet and replacing them with adjustable feet I purchased online. I also used a moto tool to cut about 8 mm off the bottom of the metal bracket which attaches the motor to the platform. This allowed me to lower the adjacent foot all the way down without the bracket contacting the ground.
Like others I moved the reset stop about 1 cm further out to increase the run time. I would be cautious about moving this out too far because it is likely to create problems on the southern bearing which may bind or rub against the southern sector. The white friction tape on the southern thrust bearing peeled off right away and I had to glue it back in place with epoxy.
Like another owner I also removed the little rubber pads and added a sheet of non-skid to the top to hold my telescope securely to the platform.
The platform worked well for the first couple of runs and then began to stop working. I had to keep increasing the clock speed for it keep up until it finally wouldn't move at all. I tried replacing the included 9V battery with a new better one with no effect. I inspected it closely and noticed that the drive shaft was only contacting the inner edge of the plywood northern sector. The same was true of the eastern roller bearing. This was either caused by the off axis southern bearing or by the maker not machining the northern sector properly. The emery cloth strip had been worn down on the inner edge and the drive shaft couldn't move the platform anymore. I was tempted to remove and re-angle the southern bearing but I wanted to avoid doing something which might throw the whole design off. I could have sanded down the inner edge of the northern sector, but I also wanted to avoid doing anything so permanent. So instead I unscrewed the drive shaft bracket and inserted some rubber O-rings under the outside edge to lift it just slightly. I also inserted a small washer under the outside edge of the eastern roller bearing to lift it slightly as well. After replacing the strip of emery cloth with a new one, this allowed the drive shaft and roller bearing to make more even contact with the edge of the northern sector and solved my drive problem. I also noticed that the platform seemed to drive smoother if I placed my telescope slightly off center to the west.
After these several slight modifications my platform is running smoothly and I am very happy with it. Once I have the speed dialed in it will keep the object right in the center and runs for about 45 minutes. Like others, I think that the off-axis southern bearing may cause more problems than it solves and modification of that may be in its future, but for now I'll leave it be. If you are the type who wants something to work right out of the box then you should probably order an Atomic or other more expensive platform. If you want to save money and don't mind a bit of tinkering then the Eq-Tech is the way to go.
Edited by helobuba, 11 July 2015 - 01:10 PM.