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HEQ5 How do you Balance yours?

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#1 Prima Luna

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 12:33 AM

Hi, First time with a mount that uses weights.  Wondering if there is an issue with it and when you balance yours, which side do you balance your telescope on?

I'm using it with the Astro-Tech AT72EDii.

 

Manual says to R.A. balance the scope so that the rod stays parallel to the ground. 

So when facing the mount so it looks like in the photo, the manual shows the telescope in the 9:00 position and weight at 3:00. - I can easily balance it like this.

Even with no scope on, I can balance the mount in this position.

 

But if I swap positions (scope to 3 and weight to 9), the weight side it too heavy.

So eventually I took the scope and weight off to investigate.

Here is where I think I have an issue:

When staring in the position as in the photo (with no weights, no scope), with dovetail mounting plate as 12, I start to rotate it clock-wise and then let go a little after 1, the mount will continue to move on its own to 3.

But when I push it counterclockwise from 12 towards 9 and let go and any position between, it will just stay there.  

So what I am saying is that rotating by hand from 9-12, the mount is Tight.

From 12-3, the mount is Loose.

Is this normal?  If so, which position should the scope be when balancing?

 

 

The manual does not state which position the scope & weights are to be at, nor does it state that they need to be positioned just like in the diagram.  See page 8 in the link for the user manual:

https://inter-static...01461887945.pdf

 

1554372922_IMG_1166193.jpg


Edited by Prima Luna, 27 February 2020 - 01:17 AM.


#2 DSOs4Me

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 01:15 AM

I had the same situation with my CGEM DX mount when new. As I used it more the problem became less and less. What I did was to balance my mount so it stays where you put it on the loose side. Make sure you have all your equipment on it that you are going to use before balancing it. As for the weights I try to keep them middle up on the shaft.


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#3 Prima Luna

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 01:33 AM

I had the same situation with my CGEM DX mount when new. As I used it more the problem became less and less. What I did was to balance my mount so it stays where you put it on the loose side. Make sure you have all your equipment on it that you are going to use before balancing it. As for the weights I try to keep them middle up on the shaft.

Thanks.  I just got the scope and mnt new this week.  It's a small scope so was thinking maybe I needed to get a smaller weight (it's up as far as possible on the pole).  I'm using only 1 of the 2 that came with it and after adding an EP it's so close to being balanced on the loose side.  

 

Probably after adding a finder or just replacing the plate with the longer one that came with the mount will help (the green one - wasn't sure if it was going to be included because it's not mentioned at any of the online stores).

 

So do you think it's an actual defect, or just designed that way (to loosen over time) where all of them are like that and it's nothing to worry about?

 

Also, was thinking to ask, when releasing the RA and Dec, can something get damaged if you manually keep rotating it (past 360 degrees)?  My fork mount ETX has wires inside that can get pulled if it goes past a point.  I thought maybe with the HEQ  there were wires, gears or something inside causing it to tighten so I rotated it the other way but it still got tight when it rotated 360 back to the same position.  I'm not sure if it got wound up to many times - hopefully it doesn't matter.



#4 DSOs4Me

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Posted 27 February 2020 - 02:03 AM

Your mount and mine are mass produced so I am not surprised about the drag. Unless you send the mount out to be hyper tuned or by an 8K mount like Astro Physics or Paramount there will always be something with mass produced mounts. For the most part they get the job done and I'm sure your will loosen over time as it breaks in. When I balance my mount I keep it ever so slightly off balance to help with backlash in the gears.


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#5 MalVeauX

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 02:59 PM

Heya,

 

Does this happen when you have the same weight on both the scope saddle and the counter weight shaft? It should naturally of course fall to the heavier side. Keep in mind the counter weight shaft itself is a moment arm with weight to it and on its own may completely counter-weight the small 72mm ED scope mounted in the saddle close to the RA axis. Lock DEC and rotate your RA with no scope, no counter weights, just the shaft installed to 9pm/3pm position, if the clutch is loose, the counter weight side should fall to gravity back towards 6pm. Put your 72ED in the saddle now with all pieces you plan to use. Install anything you will be using completely fleshed out for the total weight on the saddle. While holding it rotate it again to 9pm/3pm and see if its heavier than the counter weight shaft side (without weights). If it is, good, add a counter weight. Slide the counter weight as close to the RA as possible and then gently slide it away until the weights on both side balance each other. The farther the weight gets from the RA axis, the more of a moment arm it will make and it will counter balance significantly more weight than the weight of the counterweight itself; two weights will be way overkill for a little frac.

 

The HEQ5 is a beast of a little mount. It may be mass produced, but it's a significantly better mount than what some may give it credit for compared to a premium class mount where you get what you pay for. The HEQ5 is inexpensive for what it can do and really has great guts. Well balanced and pier mounted, that little mount head can handle full capacity loads and image.

 

Very best,



#6 Prima Luna

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 09:58 AM

Heya,

 

Does this happen when you have the same weight on both the scope saddle and the counter weight shaft? It should naturally of course fall to the heavier side. Keep in mind the counter weight shaft itself is a moment arm with weight to it and on its own may completely counter-weight the small 72mm ED scope mounted in the saddle close to the RA axis. Lock DEC and rotate your RA with no scope, no counter weights, just the shaft installed to 9pm/3pm position, if the clutch is loose, the counter weight side should fall to gravity back towards 6pm. Put your 72ED in the saddle now with all pieces you plan to use. Install anything you will be using completely fleshed out for the total weight on the saddle. While holding it rotate it again to 9pm/3pm and see if its heavier than the counter weight shaft side (without weights). If it is, good, add a counter weight. Slide the counter weight as close to the RA as possible and then gently slide it away until the weights on both side balance each other. The farther the weight gets from the RA axis, the more of a moment arm it will make and it will counter balance significantly more weight than the weight of the counterweight itself; two weights will be way overkill for a little frac.

 

The HEQ5 is a beast of a little mount. It may be mass produced, but it's a significantly better mount than what some may give it credit for compared to a premium class mount where you get what you pay for. The HEQ5 is inexpensive for what it can do and really has great guts. Well balanced and pier mounted, that little mount head can handle full capacity loads and image.

 

Very best,

Hi, Sorry to get pack so late.

 

So I tried the red font suggestion above and it only drops to around 5:30PM. This is with the counterweight rod pushed all the way in.   With the rod all the way out and no weights, it doesn't go anywhere no matter what time position I release it from.

 

The RA is also super tight.  

 

I just put in a RMA to get an exchange.  Hopefully the new one will be good.

 

Thanks for your help, everyone!



#7 macdonjh

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 11:08 AM

Prima Luna,

 

It sounds to me like your clutch is dragging on one side (DSOs4Me, too).  For the time being I'd follow DSOs4Me's advice and balance on the "loose" side.  As you use your mount, the clutch will slowly wear and it should free up on both sides.

 

Your clutch levers move a brass screw in and out and that screw pushes on a plastic "button" which then pushes on the worm wheel.  If the "button" isn't fully released when you loosen the clutch lever there will still be friction against the worm wheel, perhaps enough to prevent your mount from moving freely.


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#8 Prima Luna

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 11:29 AM

Prima Luna,

 

It sounds to me like your clutch is dragging on one side (DSOs4Me, too).  For the time being I'd follow DSOs4Me's advice and balance on the "loose" side.  As you use your mount, the clutch will slowly wear and it should free up on both sides.

 

Your clutch levers move a brass screw in and out and that screw pushes on a plastic "button" which then pushes on the worm wheel.  If the "button" isn't fully released when you loosen the clutch lever there will still be friction against the worm wheel, perhaps enough to prevent your mount from moving freely.

I've seen others with the same issue but I feel mine is worse.  Plus, it looks like maybe someone already returned the one i got.  I only have a couple more days to return it.  I'll post a video today showing the issue.  


Edited by Prima Luna, 16 March 2020 - 11:30 AM.


#9 macdonjh

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 02:44 PM

Prima Luna,

 

If you bought it "new" and have the option to return it, perhaps you should.  I've taken an HEQ-5/ Sirius apart and wouldn't hesitate to try to fix yours if it were mine.  But then, I enjoy tinkering and I've never had a new HEQ-5/ Sirius to void a warranty on.


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