I have the same mount and operate it with different setups, the smallest a prime lens and a finder scope, the largest an RC8. Both axes are a bit stiff but the movement is smooth, no stopping or rubbing. It indeed feels like it is filled with grease up to the top. When I balance with drives off and clutches open, I give it a go in one direction and watch how the movement slows down and stops. Then tha same in the opposite direction. So my balancing is based on the slow down of the movement not on checking if it starts moving from the unbalance. Works well for me. When the seeing is good the autoguider has almost nothing to do compared to the AVX. Thanks to Ed for recommending it, I'm very happy with my mount and I have no desire to tune it. I'm imaging at 0.85 arcsec/pix or 1100mm focal lenght with a DSLR and guiding if fine, imho. Example: (don't mind the poor collimation of the scope, fixed by now)
EQ6R-Pro balancing and guiding issues
Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:10 PM
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.
My eq6-r pro just arrived yesterday and like yours both axis feel stiff or sticky. DEC more so than RA. RA isn't too bad really but noticeable. It looks like you are getting good performance out of the mount now after some use. Have you also noticed a significant difference in motion on the axis when the clutches are released? This is my first mount so I don't have really any knowledge on how things SHOULD feel. But it does make balancing DEC a bit difficult as it doesn't move as freely as I thought. But maybe after use the grease is distributed more evenly.
Bad weather here so I wont get a chance to actually use it for a few days it looks like.
Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:38 PM
For now, I would not worry about it much. While this can be fixed, it you are not trying to do some difficult imaging at this point, just getting the balance relatively close is enough. If or once you start pushing the mount toward more demanding use, then you might look at working on this.
Posted 24 June 2019 - 03:56 AM
where does more demanding begin in your eyes? I got a new FWHM record last week, PI's subframe selector reporting 2.45 arcsec with the RC8 at 1100mm focal length. I'm wondering if this is the scopes limit, my seeing or the mount. I'm also considering a Berlebach ash-wood tripod. Thoughts?
Posted 25 June 2019 - 04:55 PM
I was talking with someone else the other day about this. While the FWHM can be an suggestion of potential quality, it is not the determining factor by itself. I don't believe on relying on a "simple" number to evaluate the performance of a mount. The true test is the quality of the end result and whether it meets your needs or expectations. At 1100mm you may be at the limit of your particular mount, but it will vary between mounts. The important determination is not resolved by pixel peaking, it is whether the image looks good for what you want to do with it. Our eyes can accept a fair amount of out-of-round stars. An image viewed on a monitor may look just fine even though the program measures it a poor FWHM. But if that is are all you are ever going to do with the image, why worry about it? If you want to blow up the image to eight feet across (which I have done with some images taken on the CGEM) or have it published somewhere in full resolution, or shoot very small dim objects with long focal lengths, then the performance has to be better and the FWHM may be of more interest, but again, it is only an suggestion of potential quality.
The Berlebach tripods are probably the best aftermarket tripods available for a wide range of mounts. There are other good tripods and portable pier out there, but they are generally either purpose designed for a particularly company's mounts or they are custom made and very expensive.