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

EQ6R-Pro balancing and guiding issues

  • Please log in to reply
54 replies to this topic

#1 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 13 May 2019 - 03:34 PM

Hello,

My EQ6R-pro arrived about a week ago. It seems to be hard to get a perfect balance. There is some resistance in the clutches when I release them. Is this normal for this mount? I expected more free motion than it has out of a mount like this. I can't seem to get my guiding down reliably and consistantly below my image scale of 1.03"/pixel. No matter what I do, it ranges between 0.8-1.35 Tot RMS sometimes higher sometimes lower.

Edited by thedudeabidez88, 13 May 2019 - 03:35 PM.


#2 Johnathan Edwards

Johnathan Edwards

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2017

Posted 13 May 2019 - 03:38 PM

Return the mount as soon as possible- your problems are just beginning.



#3 wrnchhead

wrnchhead

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 837
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2017
  • Loc: NE Kansas

Posted 13 May 2019 - 03:49 PM

I have the same mount just delivered, and it is very free when the clutches are unlocked. I haven't had it out yet to test the guiding performance. 



#4 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 13 May 2019 - 10:30 PM

I'm in contact with Skywatcher and Highpoint scientific. This is what Skywatcher support said.

"The EQ6-R can be a bit tight when new but it should not affect the mounts overall performance. Below are some recommendations from the engineers. They use PHD2 where we here in the US office do not, we recommend the SkyX for control software. 


The factors that might impact the guiding are:

1.     Seeing

2.     Focal length of the guide scope

3.     Do not use too aggressive settings in PHD2, do not set “Minimum Move (pixels)” with too small number.

4.     Try lower guiding speed.(On SynScan hand controller, menu “Setup\Auto Guide Speed”)"


I responded

Seeing on all those nights I tried were good and I used a longer exposure 2.5 -3 seconds on my guide camera to eliminate seeing issues. My guide scope is 162mm and my main imaging scope is 480mm. I have used the guiding assistant to suggest MinMo settings. I have tried low aggression and high aggression. I have also tried 0.2x, 0.5x and 0.9x guiding speeds. I use sharpcap to get my polar alignment nailed down. I can usually get it to 5 arcseconds from what sharpcap tells me. The guiding assistant in PHD usually is higher, 0.5 to 1 arcmins. How do I correctly balance it if there is resistance or tightness? If there is tightness, there will always be some error in how good a balance I can get. For control I am using EQASCOM/EQMOD. I platesolve using SGPRO which allows me to skip any star alignment. 

#5 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 13 May 2019 - 10:34 PM

Johnathan, can you please ellaborate? Do you have one? What problems have you had with it? Simular?

#6 telfish

telfish

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1927
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Adirondack Mountains NY

Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:54 AM

In my experience tightness of an axis never goes away. My Atlas (SW) mount has always been tight on the west side and OK on the east. Nothing I have done to adjust this has really worked apart from having the worm way loose which causes other issues.



#7 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:58 AM

I have an AVX. When I first got it, it was even tougher to balance because of the resistance that it had. I wound up stripping it down to remove most of the loads of grease that it had leaving a very thin film on contacting sliding surfaces for both the RA and DEC. I wouldn't be to surprised if that is happening here, but I didn't expect that same issue with a 1600 dollar mount, which irks me abit. If I can't get my guiding numbers down and my balance issues sorted out, I will be sending it back.

#8 wrnchhead

wrnchhead

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 837
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2017
  • Loc: NE Kansas

Posted 14 May 2019 - 10:33 AM

My AVX. Oh boy. Lol. That thing is something else. 

 

Maybe run your mount some, just do some fun visual stuff if possible, see if it will break in. Sky Watcher did say it might be normal at first, and they designed it. They may know what they're talking about. 



#9 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 14 May 2019 - 10:49 AM

Yep maybe. After five nights of great weather, at leased for the foreseeable future, the rain has arrived so I will slew it back and forwth on both the dec and ra, and also release the clutches with my gear on in as best a balance I can get and freely move everything around. I do not want to do anything that will somehow void the warrentee.

#10 EFT

EFT

    Vendor - Deep Space Products

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 4960
  • Joined: 07 May 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 14 May 2019 - 11:29 AM

The stiffness is a result of the contact and grease between the ring gear drum and the housing.  This is common to all mounts that use this ring-gear system (EQ6, Atlas, CGEM/DX, AVX, etc.).  The ring gear drum is too tight in the housing and that combined with too much grease, causes the axis to be stiff and difficult to balance.


Edited by EFT, 14 May 2019 - 12:16 PM.


#11 RandallK

RandallK

    Mercury-Atlas

  • **---
  • Posts: 2699
  • Joined: 10 Nov 2006
  • Loc: Nanaimo, B. C. Canada

Posted 14 May 2019 - 11:54 AM

I'm in contact with Skywatcher and Highpoint scientific. This is what Skywatcher support said.

"The EQ6-R can be a bit tight when new but it should not affect the mounts overall performance. Below are some recommendations from the engineers. They use PHD2 where we here in the US office do not, we recommend the SkyX for control software. 


The factors that might impact the guiding are:

1.     Seeing

2.     Focal length of the guide scope

3.     Do not use too aggressive settings in PHD2, do not set “Minimum Move (pixels)” with too small number.

4.     Try lower guiding speed.(On SynScan hand controller, menu “Setup\Auto Guide Speed”)"


I responded

Seeing on all those nights I tried were good and I used a longer exposure 2.5 -3 seconds on my guide camera to eliminate seeing issues. My guide scope is 162mm and my main imaging scope is 480mm. I have used the guiding assistant to suggest MinMo settings. I have tried low aggression and high aggression. I have also tried 0.2x, 0.5x and 0.9x guiding speeds. I use sharpcap to get my polar alignment nailed down. I can usually get it to 5 arcseconds from what sharpcap tells me. The guiding assistant in PHD usually is higher, 0.5 to 1 arcmins. How do I correctly balance it if there is resistance or tightness? If there is tightness, there will always be some error in how good a balance I can get. For control I am using EQASCOM/EQMOD. I platesolve using SGPRO which allows me to skip any star alignment. 

I believe you still have to do at least 1 star for alignment...please correct me if I am wrong.



#12 StephenW

StephenW

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 824
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2005
  • Loc: San Jose, CA

Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:14 PM

re: Your guiding issues.  You will need to upload your guide log, including a calibration, GA and guiding run.  Even better, share it over on the Open PHD forum, and you can get the PHD2 devs direct help in figuring out how your guiding is behaving, and whether there is some inherent problem.

 

re: Balance - is the stiff axis actually causing any issues?  Or are you worried it may be affecting your guiding results?



#13 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:16 PM

EFT, yeah I know everything that is in my AVX from the bottom of the mount to the saddle. I've replaced my RA motor because the encoder failed, I have taken both motors apart to grease the internal gearing of them to make them smoother and lower the backlash that is inherent in spur gearmotors. I've replaced bearings and adjusted worm and spur backlash and all that actually made the mount run very smooth, a lot smoother than it was. It is now going to be used for my planetary and solar setup and wanted to upgrade to a better mount that is more hefty for deep sky. The EQ6R sounded awesome. It still is quite an upgrade over the AVX and I hope I can get the issues solved so I can realize the full potential of this mount. HOPEFULLY! By the way, since my last post I have been freely rotating both clutches quickly without any weight on it with one hand on the counter weight bar and the other on the saddle. One thing I noticed while doing so is the adjustable RA and DEC clock rings were rubbing on the housing of the mount. That might have been one of the issues and could have been why I was seeing some of the large RA spikes on my guiding. There is a loose gap between that and the housing so I just tightend the ring's set screws and pushed them up so they were not rubbing. My cable management is only two cables off my OTA, one is a USB 2.0 cable that is coming off a hub on my OTA to the mount hand controller and the other is a power cable that plugs into a power distribution box for all my equipment, simular to a rigrunner. I'm going to continue to break the mount in and see if that helps. I can't test it out until probably sometime next week or later because of weather.

#14 EFT

EFT

    Vendor - Deep Space Products

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 4960
  • Joined: 07 May 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:25 PM

The rings dragging would definitely be a problem.  It's not very common, but it's something that you have to watch for when you tune the mount.  I assume that you mean that you are spinning the RA axis with the clutch released.  Scope-top systems are the way to go.



#15 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:29 PM

Stephan, sure I can upload a guiding log. My last session I was playing with PHD2 settings massivly, and shifting my counter weights to east bias, toward the middle and end of my session, there was a large amount of DEC drift which was probably from bumping my polar alignment when I was shifting them. But I can send a couple logs from a few nights. Because of the resistance that the clutches have, it's hard for me to know if I'm getting a perfect balance, and maybe that is why I can nail down my guiding numbers.

#16 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:43 PM

EFT, yes freely by hand with the clutches released and with the mount powered off and no weight on it. I have one hand on the counter weight bar so it sort of offsets some of the weight of the head while rotating it left and right pretty quickly. That is how I heard the rubbing sound of the rings. That is gone now, but what's left is the grease stiction or resistance from the bearings.

Edited by thedudeabidez88, 14 May 2019 - 12:46 PM.


#17 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:04 PM

Randall, I missed your post. Hmm maybe, but on my AVX, all I did was an accurate polar align, gave the mount the correct latitude and longitude, and correct time and hit quick align without any star alignment. That was enough to platesolve and everytime it worked in SGPro. I am still learning EQASCOM/EQMOD and this new mount though. I have tested plate solving and it works great also on the EQ6R without star aligning. I downloaded Cart Du Ciel and did a 2 star sync to find the Moon and Mars since platesolving the Moon and Planets doesn't work, atleased not in SGPro.

#18 bryanphan

bryanphan

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2018

Posted 15 May 2019 - 12:45 AM

I have the same mount, and you're right, the stickiness on both RA and DEC axes makes it's really difficult to find the perfect balance, especially with a low load. I emailed SW and received some sort of your email. In the last two imaging sessions, I could see spikes on both RA and DEC while guiding with the same setup that I had used in the two sessions before, when I was able to achieve 0.8arc" and 10 mins sub with 300mm tube.

 

Hope you will find the root cause and resolve it soon.

 

Clear skies!



#19 Johnathan Edwards

Johnathan Edwards

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2017

Posted 15 May 2019 - 01:19 PM

My mount never tracked correctly- that's when I was lucky enough to get a 2 or 3 star alignment.  Even after using a new Polemaster ,  a successful 2 star alignment , the mount couldn't find any objects in the sky..  even pointing at the ground.  I reset the software and it worked for 1 night and then broke again.  I returned mine and am going to either  1- stop AP altogether because of so much frustration or 2- buy my way out of the problem....Losmandy, Astro-Physics, MyT.. we shall see.



#20 AhBok

AhBok

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2137
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Lakeland, TN

Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:18 PM

Interesting. I've had no such issue with my EQ6R Pro. I do not think it is the norm for these mounts at all. If under warranty, send it back, if not send it to Ed. These mounts are quite good and worth the effort to get it fixed. 



#21 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:10 AM

Combined with the RA ring rubbing issue which is fixed, plus the stiction in the DEC and RA clutches, by doing a bit of manual rotation of both axis with the clutches released it actually seems to have gotten a bit easier to balance and is a bit smoother as well to rotate. This is probably due to the redistribution of grease. I'm going to keep rotating them, but now I'm a bit curious to know how my guiding is now. Unfortunately it might be awhile to know because of bad weather. I have notified skywatcher support about how free it has gotten, and they gladly said keep them posted. If the issue is not fixed, they will if I send it back. But I'm feeling a bit better about it now. Thanks to everyone, I'll keep you posted how it goes when I'm able to get out and test it. :)

#22 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:58 AM

Here are some photos of my setup.

 

IMG_4633-2.jpg


  • StephenW likes this

#23 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:59 AM

IMG_4631-2.jpg



#24 Johnathan Edwards

Johnathan Edwards

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2017

Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:54 AM

Nice setup!  I wish I didn't have to return mine.  By the time my newer, more expensive mount arrives, I will have lost 6 months of AP.  My whole experience with this mount was extremely frustrating. I only have 4-6 years left, so every day counts.


  • thedudeabidez88 likes this

#25 thedudeabidez88

thedudeabidez88

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2018

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:36 PM

Here is the guiding logs of two nights of trying figure out the guiding issues.  As I said above, I have significant DEC drift on the night of the 10th which I attributed to me screwing up my polar alignment mid session while adjusting my counter weights. I gave up for the night since what ever I did even before, I couldn't bring my numbers down.

 

Attached File  PHD_Guidlog_logs.zip   240.11KB   14 downloads

 

 

 


Edited by thedudeabidez88, 20 May 2019 - 12:42 PM.



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