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EQ6RAIL experiences?

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#1 GoFish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 10:56 AM

I’m giving some thought to buying this device and installing it to improve latitude/altitude adjustments on my Atlas EQ-G mount. 

 

It is offered by Modern Astronomy for £129.00 (around $166 USD). Pricey, but looks like a reasonable solution to the bendy-bolts problem. 

 

https://www.modernas...ssories/eq6rail

 

Anyone tried this yet?

 

(I have no affiliation with the seller, just an interested potential customer). 



#2 Pauls72

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 12:12 PM

It looks like a nice solution, just seems a bit pricey for whats there. If you get one, let us know how it works. It is a whole bunch cheaper than the EQ6 Wedge.

There are some additional reviews in the Stargazers Lounge site.

https://stargazerslo...nybody-got-one/

 

Since I just bought a new ES 92° 17mm eyepiece, 2" O-III filter, additional carrying cases plus new altitude adjusting bolts for both mounts, the CFO isn't going to let me buy anything for awhile. frown.gif



#3 Jeff Struve

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 12:36 PM

I wonder if it only helps 51° and above?



#4 GoFish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 01:04 PM

It looks like a nice solution, just seems a bit pricey for whats there. If you get one, let us know how it works. It is a whole bunch cheaper than the EQ6 Wedge.

There are some additional reviews in the Stargazers Lounge site.

https://stargazerslo...nybody-got-one/

 

Since I just bought a new ES 92° 17mm eyepiece, 2" O-III filter, additional carrying cases plus new altitude adjusting bolts for both mounts, the CFO isn't going to let me buy anything for awhile. frown.gif

Thanks for the link on the stargazers lounge thread. The only negative, aside from the price, that was identified is that the south adjustment bolt needs to remain in place while the mount is stored. This is so that the bolt and the cylinder do not become separated, which would require disassembly to fix. 

 

OTOH, folks reported that it made altitude adjustment easier and allowed making finer adjustments while polar aligning. 



#5 GoFish

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 01:12 PM

I wonder if it only helps 51° and above?

Great observation. Had not considered that. 

 

My opinion, based just on looking at photos, is that it helps also at lower latitudes. I would speculate that there is less benefit at lower latitudes because the OEM geometry is more favorable at shallower angles. But it should eliminate both gouging of the casting and bending of the bolts at all latitudes. 

 

(The preceding is only slightly encumbered by the thought process).


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#6 GoFish

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 08:49 PM

Well, today I clicked the Buy button on the EQ6RAIL. 

 

After two sessions with the new mount, I was not satisfied with the jerkiness of the altitude adjustment.  Possibly the slight bend in the south adjusting bolt is playing a role, but since everything else on the "project" seems to be functioning so well I decided to take the plunge.  With the trifle I paid for this mount I will be playing with the house's money for a long time lol.gif

 

Related, I found these M5 hand knobs on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.c...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

They are a good replacement for the 3 grub screws on the west (angle scale) side of the altitude pivot.  Loosening these thumbscrews while making altitude angle adjustments makes the movement much smoother and requires less torque on the adjustment bolt.  Once the angle is set, then tighten the thumbscrews.  (I did not invent this idea by any means, but I wanted to pass along the link for the bolts since they fit so well).

 



#7 GoFish

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:53 PM

I placed my EQ6RAIL order with Modern Astronomy right at the end of the business day on Wednesday, Aug 29. It arrived here today (Thursday, Sep 7). I count that as 7 calendar days. Nice quick turnaround for a domestic order, but really outstanding for an international order!

 

Total cost in USD was $172 after currency conversion and, I assume, some conversion fee from PayPal. Pricey for sure. 

 

Installation was simple. I had had the mount apart previously to remove a bent/jammed bolt, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. There are no instructions provided with the package, but this video told me all I needed to know for installation:

https://www.youtube....h?v=daXpLPcQsQg

 

The package included grease, but I used SuperLube instead. I also put 2 small dots of RTV silicon below the new aluminum guide plate to, perhaps, stick it to the mount casting. Not sure if the spots of glue are in contact with the casting, though. 

 

I did some indoor testing after installation with my Atlas fully loaded. The altitude movement was significantly smoother with the EQ6RAIL. I mean really smoother and dramatically less torque needed on the south bolt to tilt the mount. Maybe not quite night and day, but close!

 

I have to reserve final judgment until I have a chance to use the mount again under real conditions. Hopefully the improved altitude movement will translate to easier and more accurate polar alignment. I’ll report back here when I know the answer, but my initial impression is very positive. 

 


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#8 ad701xx

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 11:40 AM

Have you been able to get some experience with this yet?



#9 GoFish

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 10:35 PM

Not yet. We’re having biblical rains right now, so it may be a bit. 



#10 GoFish

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 09:26 AM

I now have 2 full setups’ experience with the EQ6RAIL-modified Atlas EQ-G. In addition to the EQ6RAIL addition, I also replaced the three 5mm grub screws that are hiding below the latitude scale on the left faceplate. The improvement in altitude angle adjustment is really remarkable!  

 

I now can smoothly adjust both up and down with a fully loaded mount. Fine adjustments are now possible and my entire PA process is greatly improved. Very little torque is needed on the J-bolt to increase or decrease the pointing angle. Bent bolts, hopefully, are a thing of the past for me. 

 

Replacing the three grub screws (using nylon-tipped screws with knobs) on the side of the pivot was very simple to do, and dirt cheap. But I’m not sure this step added as much to the outcome as I expected. In any event, the combination of the new EQ6RAIL plus the replaced pivot grubs has resulted in a pretty drastic improvement. 

 

Aside from the price tag, I don’t have anything but praise for the EQ6RAIL.  Now, if only someone would develop an aftermarket handle for carrying the mount head ...


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#11 ad701xx

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for the report. I took my Atlas with me when I viewed the eclipse last year and remembered how much I hate the altitude adjustment on that mount.




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