I have an EQ6-R Pro, six months old. Mounted on top is a 80mm refractor and DSLR. Until my guiding equipment arrives I've been imaging unguided. I first brought this issue up in the EQ6-R Pro Owners thread but got no takers. I'm feeling a bit panicked. This is an edited copy+paste:
Is it possible for the Altitude bolt(s) to slip? By now I've had 7+ successful nights of imaging in a row and I've never seen this happen.
Thursday night after slewing to my target (Heart Nebula) and starting the session, my first sub looked like I had taken a picture of multiple satellites. Every star was trailing REALLY bad. The first culprit is usually poor polar alignment? When I checked it, Polaris was nowhere near where I had left it. So I put it back where Synscannit wanted it, Redo the whole process and the same thing happens (bad trailing). I then figure it could be tracking related. So I reduce the exposure down from 180" to 30." This time my stars were eggs. I took 10 min to cool off and came back to check PA. Polaris had moved 1hr up from its last position. I decided to fix it, then check, repeat and take pictures.
Each of the pics (inside polar scope) I took was 10-20 minutes apart. Inbetween each pic I put Polaris back where its supposed to be and walked away. On the last attempt I tightened the Altitude bolt (non spring-loaded) so hard I needed a tool to back it off and Polaris STILL moved UP 10 minutes later!
-The mount was leveled.
- Tripod was settled
- Ground was stable
- I never bumped anything
- No cables are catching
- I've done 3-5 minutes unguided without issues thus far
- Mount is slewing fine in both RA and DEC
- Azimuth bolts were tighted down firm
- I SPUN RA 360 DEGREES and Polaris DID NOT move. The PA scope came great out of the box
- I did get one 30"sub looking ok within 5 minutes of re-doing a PA. Thats it.
-Neither alt bolt is "unwinding" (I think)
- My Altitude is 45 deg. To get Polaris in view I need to be at 49 deg. This is how it was out of the box
I noticed that after the altitude bolt (non spring-loaded) becomes flush with that "tab" that I can continue to turn it all the way around 3-4 times. I dont remember if it could do that before Thursday night - I don't believe so. When I do twist it tight, Polaris will shoot down the screen from 0-6. I tried testing PA using both methods - flush & those extra turns and everything inbetween. Same result. Polaris moves down considerably.
During my search I noticed the alt bolts are more of a problem on the EQ6 and that SW improved the issue in the Pro model. I did notice some grease on the end of the bolt and on the tab where it looks coagulated, also some circle gouges. Is that normal? Here's some pics:
Thank you for reading my long post