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EQ-Tech Equatorial Platform Impressions and Pics

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100 replies to this topic

#51 beatlejuice

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 11:41 PM

Go to the very bottom of this page how to polar align an equatorial platform

 

Eric
 


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#52 CP Kuiper

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 01:56 AM

Thanks for that link Eric

I have a RACI finder on my dob so the graphic is copied, printed, and now resides with my other essential observing documents.


Edited by CP Kuiper, 28 January 2016 - 02:01 AM.


#53 helobuba

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 01:55 PM

Go to the very bottom of this page how to polar align an equatorial platform

 

Eric
 

You know, I tried that method, but it didn't seem to really work for this particular platform.  Perhaps something to do with the off-axis southern bearing.  I'll be curious to know is any other owners of this platform have had success with this method.



#54 beatlejuice

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 02:28 PM

 

Go to the very bottom of this page how to polar align an equatorial platform

 

Eric
 

You know, I tried that method, but it didn't seem to really work for this particular platform.  Perhaps something to do with the off-axis southern bearing.  I'll be curious to know is any other owners of this platform have had success with this method.

 

 

The problem is you need to be able to easily and quickly swing the platform back and forth from starting point to end point and have it stay at those positions while you peek through the finder.

I don't really think this procedure is necessary for visual.

 

Eric



#55 Hap3niz

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:42 PM

Opened. Decent packing, no damage although box was roughed up.

DSC_0641-M.jpg

 

Top. Will replace top rubber nips, took me a while to figure out what the center hole was for. lol

DSC_0643-M.jpg

 

Top North. Tested without telescope, looks like bearing only touching one half of strip.

DSC_0661-M.jpg

 

Top South. Looks normal, need metal sheet to prevent damage.

DSC_0659-M.jpg

 

Bottom North. Skewed?

DSC_0665-M.jpg

 

Bottom South. Customly off center, less than others in this thread.

DSC_0663-M.jpg

 

North Bearing? Appears slightly off. Wood doesn't run even on it. Could I straighten it??

DSC_0671-M.jpg

 

Driveshaft? Does it's job.

DSC_0670-M.jpg

 

South Bearing. The wood runs a little rough on it, but works.

DSC_0672-M.jpg


Edited by Hap3niz, 31 January 2016 - 11:14 PM.


#56 helobuba

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 01:00 AM

Thank you for posting the pics. I hope that it works well for you. Don't be afraid to tinker with it and modify as required. Please keep us posted.

Edited by helobuba, 01 February 2016 - 01:03 AM.


#57 Hap3niz

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 03:03 AM

A couple more pictures.

 

Friction tape wrapped drive shaft.

DSC_0673-M.jpg

 

3m beefy tread with gorilla glue (absolutely correct on needing it!)

DSC_0675-M.jpg

 

Next will be adjustable legs/feet.


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#58 wolfli

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 07:43 AM

I think the off-axis south bearing is intentionally designed. Don't know why though. 



#59 John Verderame

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 03:29 PM

Wow, I'm glad I saw this discussion.  I have an Orion SkyQuest 12-inch Dob, not the goto version, the older one, and would love to find a good tracking mount for it.  I just happened to see one of these on ebay today and decided to research it a bit.  As usual, CN comes thru with flying colors, and, despite the OP's good experience, the rest sounds too iffy to me, so I'm not going to pursue this one any further.  Thanks to all for the fantastic, detailed information you've provided.


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#60 John Verderame

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 03:42 PM

I have an Orion SkyQuest XT-12 and am looking for a tracking mount for it, and am glad I came across this discussion.  Saw an EQ-Tech platform on ebay today and so decided to research it a bit.  After reading this thread I do not think I'd get one.  Seems the quality of workmanship is too unreliable.  Thanks to all for the good information provided.



#61 dmoralesf

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 04:44 PM

I'm glad I found this thread. For $200 I might take the plunge. Any pros/cons for astrophotography with this platform? I have a 10 inch dob skywatcher and can hook it up to a Nikon D90.



#62 Shneor

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 01:48 AM

Go to the very bottom of this page how to polar align an equatorial platform

 

Eric
 

My method is a lot simpler. First, I use an offset compass to align the platform to true north. I know the latitude of wherever I happen to be observing. If it's more than a degree away from the latitude the platform was built for, I use shims front or back as needed (I have a number of sizes). The most I have ever used was 2 pieces of 2x4 stacked under the tail, at Sentinel, AZ (just north of the Mexican border). Oh, and I don't do photography, just visual.

 

Shneor



#63 Shakedown St.

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 07:52 AM

I guess this will be my first post, I just might bite the bullet for the EQ-Tech with modifications shown above. It was noted that this would not be able to handle really any astrophotography, let me ask you this.

The longest exposures I take would be fifteen seconds, do any of you feel this platform would be able to handle that?

Edited by Shakedown St., 27 June 2017 - 11:48 AM.


#64 helobuba

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 04:39 PM

I guess this will be my first post, I just might bite the bullet for the EQ-Tech with modifications shown above. It was noted that this would not be able to handle really any astrophotography, let me ask you this.

The longest exposures I take would be fifteen seconds, do any of you feel this platform would be able to handle that?

Its hard to say.  What is the size and weight of your scope?  Much will depend on how well you can polar align your platform and how well your particular platform is built for your latitude.  There seems to be some variation in quality control with these.  Also, you weed to get the motor speed dialed in just right.


Edited by helobuba, 30 June 2017 - 04:55 PM.


#65 helobuba

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 04:49 PM

I've made still another modification to my Eq-Tech platform.  I have added strips of sheet aluminum to the contact surfaces of the upper portion.  This helps protect the wood surfaces and makes the movement smoother since I'm using my platform with a rather heavy 80lb scope. It was very easy and cost next to nothing.

 

eqtechplatform.jpg


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#66 Mike Lynch

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 10:00 PM

helobubba wrote:

 


  "I also noticed that the platform seemed to drive smoother if I placed my telescope slightly off center to the west." 

 

This is an interesting and telling comment, I think. I have an equatorial platform made by another maker, and I have had the same kind of problems as you.... In particular, the sector not always resting on the drive shaft...

 

I've wondered if I should move my Dob rocker box a bit toward the front (North) and west sector of the platform's top board to have a greater likelihood of keeping the sector in constant contact with the drive shaft by the sheer weight of the rocker box and scope....? 

 

I think that when I aim my 10.1" Coulter Dob south and low in the sky, the weight shift seems to pull the rocker box toward the south and pull the sector away from the drive shaft.



#67 Shakedown St.

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:29 AM

I decided to take my chances, just arrived in the mail and happy to report undamaged but same packaging.

 

3GGw72S.jpg
 

wyF6GYT.jpg

 

Also noted, the southern bearing is consistently being installed "crooked", I can tell this was not a mistake as remnants of penciled measurement outlines are visible, he does say he adjusts the platform to match your latitude so maybe that is why?

 

tTENTJD.jpg

 

Anyhow I plan on testing this out on some deep sky objects with a 10inch dob, will report back the astrophotography soon.

 

*If I can get it working up to par.


Edited by Shakedown St., 07 July 2017 - 03:04 AM.


#68 Nils Olof Carlin

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:55 AM

 

Also noted, the southern bearing is consistently being installed "crooked", I can tell this was not a mistake as remnants of penciled measurement outlines are visible, he does say he adjusts the platform to match your latitude so maybe that is why?

 

 

 

Ben,

 

My "best" guess is (as in my old post #14) an attempt to compensate for the odd choice of one straight north sector instead of two canted (as just about all others have!). The problem at hand is that with a symmetric setup and straight sector (and the northwest corner driven), the distance from the "apex" of the cone to the contact driver to sector will change during motion, the platform will go successively slower during a run.

This might be compensated for by installing the south support at an angle - you can check by moving the platform and see if the sector moves along the driven roller (it shouldn't, not much at least, but on the non-driven roller, it should, all the more).

Straining my 3-D imagination, I think this will work to some extent, but the polar axis will be rotated in azimuth, maybe to be perpendicular to the south support - significantly at an angle to the base. If I'm right, this could be compensated by rotating the base (to make the angle bar of the south support align true E - W?)

The design seems bizarre, anyway.


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#69 Shakedown St.

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:47 AM

And does anyone have instructions on how to reset the platform before it goes too far and breaks, it just says to make sure the curved bearing does not touch the drive roller. Do you just turn it off and pick it up back to the original position? First time with an equatorial platform.


Edited by Shakedown St., 11 July 2017 - 04:50 AM.


#70 Nils Olof Carlin

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 07:26 AM

One way: a good-sized screw, head pointing down from the top but not all the way. Two wooden blocks on the bottom, placed so that the screw head can travel as long as desired but not any longer, even if accidentally pushing the 'scope. Or two screw heads and one block, maybe easier if you want to move either stop.

To reset, lift the corner above the driven roller, off it but not too high of course, then slide it back until the screwhead hits the starting block.


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#71 TiSaph

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 07:32 AM

I hate that the drive motor sticks out the side on this thing.  It looks like you could reverse the direction of the drive and mount it on the other side of the bracket, on the base board.  Has anyone tried this?  If you have, where did you find a bracket that fits the motor and has a good geometry for mounting it?



#72 Shakedown St.

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:49 AM

Thanks! I wish those wires were not both black to indicate which one goes to the positive and negative. Does the 9V battery in there last a long time, how do you go about replacing it? I got the bracket off but seems pretty stuck in there.

 

DniNKKp.jpg


Edited by Shakedown St., 11 July 2017 - 08:51 AM.


#73 Shakedown St.

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 10:20 AM

I ended up reversing the screws, lightyears easier to take off now. waytogo.gif

 

rB50XdZ.jpg


Edited by Shakedown St., 12 July 2017 - 05:30 AM.

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#74 Nils Olof Carlin

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:15 PM

Ben,

no need to take the bracket off to change batteries. Just take off the plastic cover like you did for that last photo, and slide out the battery. I once measured the current consumption to 25 - 40 mA depending on set speed (IIRC, but it was a good while ago). I don't know the capacity of alkaline 9v batteries, rechargeable ones are rated for perhaps 200 mAh so you might get 5 hours or so of operation.



#75 Shakedown St.

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:44 PM

How are these wires on the motor supposed to be soldered on, left go to left and right to right?

 

xFhex6I.jpg


Edited by Shakedown St., 21 July 2017 - 09:45 PM.



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