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.


EQ2 Mount - Do I need a counterweight?

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 NeoMoses


    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2020

Posted 05 December 2020 - 11:40 AM

I am a newbie and just picked up a used Celestron Firstscope 114EQ for $90.  I'm trying to get into the hobby for a minimum cost to try it out, then maybe pick up a nicer scope later.  My first look through this scope is promising.  However, with this being a used scope, it was missing the counterweight shaft and weights when I got it.  I've been researching a ton and trying to figure out how to use this, but one thing I'm wondering is, do I NEED the counterweights?  I'm pretty sure I need them if I want to polar align the mount, because it falls down when I have it in a rough alignment right now.


However...  I have been able to manually adjust/point the scope and it seems to be working OK at the moment, just not really taking advantage of the EQ mount.  Below is a quick pic of my scope, I'll try to get a better pic of the mount but I'm pretty sure it's an EQ-2 from the descriptions I've read.  


I think I've figured out that I need a 12mm smooth shaft, likely with an M10 thread.  I can't find anything used that fits the bill without spending at least $40-$50.  Right now, the cheapest option looks to be buying a second used scope and using components from that.  If not that, I'll probably try to find some M10 threaded rod and make my own counterweight shaft and counterweights.  I'm guessing I could do that in the $10-$20 range.


First real question:  will I do any damage to the mount if the scope isn't balanced?

Second question:  without any drive motors, is there a large benefit to polar align a scope?  Or should I just keep manually pointing it at targets without worrying about polar alignment?


Thanks for the help!


Celestron FirstScope 114


#2 Couder


    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 741
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Mansfield, Missouri in the Ozarks

Posted 05 December 2020 - 12:00 PM

You need the counterweight. You should be able to put the scope in any position, point it anywhere, and have it stable. Try placing an ad in Cloudy nights classifieds and see if you can get a c/w shaft. If you can make your own, it will probably be cheaper. Metric threaded rod is difficult to find, at least around here. you might have better luck finding a long metric bolt and use it. 

Polar alignment makes it a lot easier to move the scope around. you don't have to be exact, if you are able to use it now by moving it around having it close to alignment will make it so much easier.

#3 sg6



  • *****
  • Posts: 9,629
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 05 December 2020 - 12:18 PM

They were intended to have one. Without one you cannot balance it fully - the weights are to balance out the scope, as you have a scope so you need a counter weight.


Likely 10 or 12mm threaded rod. Better ask however as you likely want to just buy the one correct item. Guess 24" or 60cm would be enough however if like here you probably have to get 1 meter.


Proper would be that the rod is whaicher diameter and unthreaded, and just the end section threaded.


Doubt you will damage the mount but if released then things will swing around and out of control. Could hit some bit of the mount and the item that is likely to hit the mount is the scope.

#4 Stefano Delmonte

Stefano Delmonte

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 146
  • Joined: 17 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Salou (Spain) & Broni (Italy)

Posted 05 December 2020 - 12:49 PM

As far as I know you'll always need a counterweight in a equatorial mount in order to balance your scope.


In your case in need also the bar to hold the weight.



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