Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

EQ6/Atlas Bendy Bolts again...

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Pauls72

Pauls72

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2465
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2007
  • Loc: LaPorte, IN USA

Posted 25 August 2018 - 11:44 PM

I bent my original Atlas altitude adjustment j-bolts years ago. Since replacing them on my original mount, I have always been careful about lifting the scope to take the load off when I adjust them, or so I thought. At the Nebraska Star Party I was having problems trying to polar align the mount. I found one of the altitude adjustment bolts with a slight bent. This is a picture of the current one on the right up against a new piece of threaded shaft. You can see the slight bend. The place I bought the replacement bolts from (Astrotroniks), has apparently gone out of business and I couldn't find any place with any, other than from the UK on e-bay. I didn't want to have to carry wrenches to adjust either.

 

BendyBolts.jpg

 

So I bought some pieces of threaded shaft M10x1.5x100mm (18/8 Stainless Steel, medium hardness) and some M10 rubber coated knobs from McMaster Carr online. Then some nuts and red heavy duty Loctite locally.

 

Put the knobs and nuts on. Used the bench grinder and ground the tips on the pieces of shaft. Then used the nuts to clean the threads. Took the knobs off and put them back on using the Loctite. Made 4 of them, so now I have new altitude adjustment bolts for both of my Atlas mounts. Liberally coated them with Super Lube before installing.

 

M10x1.5.100mm threaded shaft.

https://www.mcmaster...05a440/=1ebh7g6

 

M10 Knobs

https://www.mcmaster...125k87/=1ebh8nf

 

DIY_ReplacmentBolts.jpg


Edited by Pauls72, 26 August 2018 - 12:25 AM.

  • ecauble likes this

#2 PirateMike

PirateMike

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2581
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2013
  • Loc: A Green Dot On A Blue Sea

Posted 26 August 2018 - 12:04 AM

Now that is a fine solution to those nasty (i'm being polite) bendy bolts! When will Orion (Synta) ever get completely rid of them?


  • Scott123 likes this

#3 Pauls72

Pauls72

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2465
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2007
  • Loc: LaPorte, IN USA

Posted 26 August 2018 - 12:06 AM

My second Atlas that I bought used about 4 years ago still has the original j-bolts.

 

This is a picture of the original j-bolt from my first Atlas. Bent more than the current bolt.

Atlas-Jbolt2_zpsf49582bd.png



#4 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16808
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 26 August 2018 - 01:10 AM

I'm sure that's good enough for the purpose.  I'm a real threaded fastener nerd (former amateur race car driver).  Starting with long grade 5 (not 8, they're brittle) bolts would be even stiffer than the stainless steel.


  • PirateMike likes this

#5 PirateMike

PirateMike

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2581
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2013
  • Loc: A Green Dot On A Blue Sea

Posted 26 August 2018 - 12:53 PM

I'm sure that's good enough for the purpose.  I'm a real threaded fastener nerd (former amateur race car driver).  Starting with long grade 5 (not 8, they're brittle) bolts would be even stiffer than the stainless steel.

Or buy an Atlas AZ/EQ-G. It doesn't have bendy bolts, so now we know that Orion (Synta) does have a solution to the problem.

 

Better yet, listen to "Bob the Fastener Nerd", he knows what he is talking about!  waytogo.gif


  • bobzeq25 likes this

#6 Pauls72

Pauls72

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2465
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2007
  • Loc: LaPorte, IN USA

Posted 26 August 2018 - 11:36 PM

Yes, I could buy an Atlas AZ/EQ-G. But why buy a new mount when I'm perfectly happy with my current ones. My Atlas is around 10 years old and it has served me well. I bought a second one used about 4 years ago. This one is older than my original one (it had an even older firmware than mine did originally). I had to repair some problems with the tripod from being outside for several years. I installed a Rowan belt drive kit in my original one, replaced the worm gear bearings with ceramic ones and supertuned it. Also installed an ADM DV dual saddle on both mounts, and upgraded to the 1" counter weight bar and I built an additional spreader/stabilizer for the original one. Plus I use EQMOD with an EQDirect adapter. I have PoleMaster adapters on both Atlas mounts too. Both these mounts have been to plenty of star parties and outreach events too.

 

I could buy an EQ6 Wedge too.

https://www.teleskop...-stability.html

 

The problem with plain steel bolts is they will rust. If you get zinc plated ones, once you start grinding on the end the plating is gone. It will also wear off too. We have plenty of dew here in the Midwest and I've gotten caught in the rain too.

 

My next step will be, if I ever take it will be to a premium mount like Astro Physics, Paramount, Avalon or 10Micron.



#7 rottielover

rottielover

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 128
  • Joined: 11 Jun 2017
  • Loc: St. Louis MO

Posted 27 August 2018 - 12:30 PM

I can't wait to pull mine out and show you how badly bent mine are.   I got my mount used, well... ya

 

Anyway I can't remember who it was that posted these but I have two on order from amazon so I can replace the bent up ones:  https://smile.amazon...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1



#8 ecauble

ecauble

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: 08 Aug 2016
  • Loc: King's Mountain, NC

Posted 27 August 2018 - 08:36 PM

I actually bought this set on ebay. They worked fairly well for two weeks, but one night I was dialing in PA and turned the back bolt without enough slack, the plastic handle snapped off, and the bolt bent. I had to take the dissasemble the mount base and back the bolt out with a pair of vice grips. ranting.gif

 

Since that happened i've been doing a rough PA with my polemaster with no counterweights. Then I do a second PA with the full load and try and go as gentle is possible. 



#9 NickWDavis

NickWDavis

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 291
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Detroit

Posted 28 August 2018 - 08:52 AM

I bent mine pretty badly years ago. I enlarged the old holes and tapped them to be replaced with larger carriage bolts.


  • ecauble likes this

#10 Pauls72

Pauls72

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2465
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2007
  • Loc: LaPorte, IN USA

Posted 28 August 2018 - 11:31 AM

The threaded shaft needs to be a bit longer. Using the 100mm lengths limits you to about 0 to 50 degrees latitude. You need something like 110mm or maybe even 120mm to get the full range of adjustment.


  • ecauble likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics