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Lubricating an old mount

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#1 Handeman

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 05:34 PM

I bought a Celestron C-5 scope 20 years ago.   It's been sitting stored in a corner for about 15 years now.  Although it moves freely, or seems to, it is a little stiff.   The grease that seeped out on the RA and Declination shafts is sticky.  I can't really balance the ATO on the mount because I can move the counter weight about 4 - 5 inches along the shaft without any movement.  I believe the old thick grease it the issue.  The motor drive doesn't seem to work well either.

 

Is there a quick and easy way to lube the axis?  How is this mount disassembled?  Tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks...

 

Jeff

 

20210305_171846 s.jpg


Edited by Handeman, 06 March 2021 - 05:35 PM.

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#2 Handeman

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 05:28 PM

Moderator.

 

Please move this post to a thread where I can get an answer.

 

Thanks...


Edited by Handeman, 07 March 2021 - 05:29 PM.

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#3 ram812

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 12:06 AM

If that mount is indeed a CG5, you may try posting up in the Celestron specific forum here on CN! I hope that helps. You're not a tinkerer? I'd dismount the scope, counterweights, disconnect the drive from the RA attach point, start popping or unthreading axis end caps to allow access to it's pivot points. Minimal tools are needed but mechanical aptitude is a plus. I'd think on Celestron's site if you navigate it to the "Manuals and Drivers" page, scroll down and maybe you can find a CG5 manual. But I don't know if they get involved enough for a tear down. You Tube may have something.
Wish I could help you more! I know if I had it in front of me I'd have it laid out on a table making sure to have a camera (For reference stills) to help put it all back together. Keep everything oriented proper and don't over torque stuff. Good luck!

CS, Ralph

Edited by ram812, 08 March 2021 - 12:08 AM.


#4 orlyandico

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 02:04 AM

That's not a CG-5. It looks like an EQ-2/CG-3.

 

You could try shooting some WD-40 into the axes to flush out the old stiff grease.

 

Or - https://stargazerslo...g3-disassembly/



#5 Handeman

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 05:01 PM

Ralph & Cosmos,

 

Thanks for the advice.   Yes I did find one place in the owner manual for the G-3 and G-5 Telescope where it called it a CG-3 Equatorial Mount Model 91503-A.

 

I shouldn't have too much trouble taking it apart and getting it back together.  I was wondering if there were any tips and tricks involved, like left handed threads anywhere, or other little gotcha's like that.



#6 ram812

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 06:06 PM

Well, it's all metric, and the only real good advise also would be to make sure, if you disassemble, is keep any of the flat plastic washers in order. I have an old mount similar to yours from a "Tele-Astromaster" I bought 15 or so years ago. It started getting tough to rotate (It used a drive on RA only, 9volt) so I took it apart and got all the old goo out of it completely and replaced it with lithium (It was handy!) and it functioned as good, if not better than new when I finally tested it out. I ended up changing the little drive motor out to a wall plug 9vt. converter so I could ditch the batteries. More reliable. Post up any questions you have no matter how you go about a lube job. I tried the WD40 and regretted it... caused all the little flat-plastic washers in the axis to grab and jitter necessitating a clean out. Not that it won't work, just depends on the type of washer material is in there and how WD would mix with it's current lube. Hope this helps!

CS, Ralph

#7 Handeman

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 10:13 PM

Well, I'm all done and that turned out much easier than I though. 

 

Everything came apart pretty easy until I got to the RA axis.  One end had the shaft housing for the declination shaft and the other seemed to have a pressed-in metal cap covering that end.  Turned out it was a plastic cap glued in place and it popped off with little trouble.  That uncovered a 17mm lock nut on the end of the RA shaft down inside the housing.  I had to go out and buy a thin wall deep well 17mm socket.  Fortunately Home Depot is 1/4 mile away and had one for less then $4.  

 

The worst part was cleaning the old grease out.   It was like contact cement, thick and sticky.  I reassembled everything with a thin coat of Super Lube and even without the scope back on it, I can tell it will work much more freely.

 

Ralph, thanks again for the helpful advice!

 

Jeff


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#8 ram812

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 10:49 PM

You bet! Superlube is the stuff I need to pick up next time the manual mounts need service. Being a tinkerer type helps😁. The 3 I have get used rarely but are nostalgic and practical. I learned to read star charts and find objects using RA/DEC coordinates with a manual mount, but eventually went to go-to, less stuff to pack around 😁!
Glad to help, clear skies and stay safe, Ralph

#9 ram812

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 10:53 PM

By the way, nice scope!πŸ‘


CS,Ralph

#10 Handeman

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Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:46 PM

Thanks Ralph.

 

I took the scope out and the mount works so much better.   The drive actually does the 2X and +- 4X the way it should.

 

I set it up, leveled it, centered on Polaris and collimated the scope.

 

As bad as it was tonight, could barely see the belt of Orion, I was able to get a relatively decent look at Mars.  Even with the 2X barlow and a 25mm eyepiece (100x total) the image wasn't too bad.   It resolved to a red disk at least instead of blurry thing it looked like before collimation.

 

The mount worked great and tracked very well.  It is going to take some getting used to how loose it is when the locking knobs are loosened and you are moving it to a new location.  I think I have the RA scale adjusted right, but it only shows 5 marks between hours so it's not very accurate.  It will get me in the neighborhood.

 

No I just need to get to a dark site on a night with clear skies.

 

Thanks for all the help.

 

Jeff


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#11 ram812

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 01:09 PM

Right on, Jeff! Less time indoors and more scope time outdoors is the best medicine right now. I'm glad this all worked out. It's also a good learning experience for when you (If you) step up in mount or OTA size. The basics remain the same.
Star hopping can be frustrating without go-to, on the other hand it has been done for years and can be quite accurate when used in conjunction with a good planisphere or a program like Stellarium to get more "In the ballpark". You have good optics, so enjoy to the fullest, stay tuned as it won't be too long and Jupiter/Saturn will make their spring time appearance!
CS, Ralph

Edited by ram812, 10 March 2021 - 01:09 PM.


#12 Handeman

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 04:49 PM

Thanks Ralph,  I do have the 2000.0 Sky-Atlas 2nd edition.   I bought that back when I got the scope.  I haven't checked if there is a newer version out there.  I've got an old Sky Map app on the phone, that at least shows me what's where.  Between the two, I'm able to find my way around pretty well.

 

I'll check out Stellarium.

 

Jeff


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#13 ram812

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Posted 10 March 2021 - 06:42 PM

Jeff: Having the reference close to hand is a +. I ended up trying out Skyportal on my CGEM, and while it's neat being able to slew with a phone, I ended up ditching it so I could hard wire the mount and controls indoors. I'm at the next step of pier- mounting my kit, you see. And doing my EAA/AP from indoors(I'm spoiled to go-to after 35 or so years of star hopping!) But the "Plus" is though I don't use Skyportal anymore I still use it's planetarium program to see what's near my night's interest. A degree here or a degree or two over there, and 9 times out of 10 there will be something interesting to see! I found, in an off-hand way, it really has helped with mount longevity too, in that I'm not slewing all over the Lord's Heavens looking for something interesting. I'll pick a sky quadrant to examine, or constellation, and go to it. One other note about star hopping. I found, after many seasons, my knowledge has grown so much about finding targets that I've just about remembered every visible named star in all the constellations available from my home! What great fun!
Don't say you can't teach an old dog new tricks! Woof, woof!😁. Enjoy to the fullest and key up if something occurs you'ld like to share. I'm always glad to help, if I can! And CN has so many members that can help out, too.

CS, Ralph

Edited by ram812, 10 March 2021 - 06:44 PM.


#14 YourNotSirius

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Posted 11 March 2021 - 09:20 PM

Good job in dealing with that Chinese tar! Oh that stuff is nasty! We've dealt with it enough to have nightmares about it. LOL

 

The other thing that gives us fits is WD-40! YEECH! That stuff does nothing well. You may as well use tap water!

 

You have discovered that SuperLube is one of the best inventions of the 20th Century. Welcome to the club. It's just about perfect for any astronomy related equipment. Although, for roller bearings we prefer ZEP-2000. It can be sprayed into places that one cannot reach and has a wider temperature range than SuperLube. Either are excellent choices.

 

I kind of snickered when you noted that you had to go buy a 17mm deep well socket so that you could get the nut loose. Since we have five roll away cabinets that are five or six feet tall and full of tools, we forget that not everyone has every tool readily at their finger tips. LOL

 

Anyway, good job on getting the mount cleaned out and working. Not everyone can do that the first time around so you've earned one "Attaboy!" applause.gif

 

Q


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