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EQ6 alt/lat improvement DIY

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#1 Prudentis


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Posted 06 May 2021 - 08:21 AM

Hi folks,


a while back I got a used NEQ6 pro and used it with my GTF 81 with some success. The best guiding performance I could get out of it, was however pretty mediocre so I thought, I might try to tune it.

So I got the Rowan belt mod and Zero Backlash Worm for RA and started the process. After disassembling the wedge, I was immediately confronted with, what in my eyes, is the worst part of the old EQ mounts: the polar alignment bolts and assembly.

I always struggled with the bolts and the PA on this mount, but I somehow thought, this was just a minor problem, that could be fixed with grease and a bit of WD40.

This is how my rear DEC bolt looked like after disassembly:

IMG 6299
It was bent even worse inside the wedge and I had to streighten it to even be able to unscrew it without damaging the inside thread.
So immediately, the fix for that became another very crucial part of my tuning.
I thought, probably the best way to go about it, would be to throw that whole piece of garbage away and just mount the Vimech Wedge replecement (https://www.teleskop...-stability.html).
However, I didn't know at that time, if my tuning would bring my mount to the needed tracking leves, so I didn't want to spend 440,- EUR (more than the mount cost me used) and then end up having to return it.

The second thing I considered, was the EQ6 Rail Kit. This onewould set me back 160 EUR, which isn't that much, however I found this to be a bit too steep a price for such a small piece of hardware, so I thought of something else.

There are quite a few DIY threads that include some kind of custom made parts and boring through the lower wedge ... With my limited machanical skills and lack of propper tools, this was also not an optimal solution for me.


So what I did instead, and what I want to suggest as a very easy and quick fix for everyone, who just wants a better adjustment on the stock wedge, is the following little adjustment consisting of two things, you can get for around10-20 $.

What I used was:

1. a set of clamp levers, bought from any hardware store: 

This is for easy turning obviously. An added benefit is, that you can "counter-turn" the az bolts simultaneously much easier. Prior to the change, I had to unscrew one of the alt-bolts and then turn the other one until, most of the times I would overshoot, and reverse the process. Now it's really easy to fine tune using the az-bolts simultaneously.

2. a set of m10 plastic or metal caps:

IMG 6301
This is, admittedly, only a small improvement, since on higher longitudes, you still end up with the wedge in a very awkward, almost lateral position, and the contact angle is bad. It is still an improvement over having only the tip of the clamp lever touching the wedge and carving through it after some time.
I am using the plastic ones for now to see, if they hold. This is mainly, because my old bolt alredy carved a rill into the wedge and I want the contact area to be bigger and the plastic to give rather then the wedge.
I tried those first:
IMG 6300

But sadly, they are too big and the wedge wouldn't fit between those threaded on the alt bolts.


This is how the assembly looks now:

IMG 6297
IMG 6298

The az-bolts should be shorter, but this is a minor problem for me.


So after my first tests the last few nights, I can tell, that this little "fix" already improved my PA significantly! It is by no means a perfect fix and I will probably still end up buying the Vimech Wedge if my mount keeps performing as well as it does now.

However it is something, everyone with EQ mounts, who faces the same problems, can benefit from on a VERY small budget.

This is, why I wanted to share this with you guys. I hope someone will find my ramblings informative.


Now: where do I get replacement caps for the wedge, that I destroyed during the disassembly proecss ... grin.gif

Edited by Prudentis, 06 May 2021 - 08:27 AM.

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#2 Prudentis


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Posted 09 May 2021 - 01:22 PM

I have now a few more nights of imaging and PA with my small fixes to the lat/az knobs and I can tell you, it is a real improvement.

So if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new wedge and still want a smoother PA routine, go ahead and try it out.

I regularly get my PA withing 10'' with the Sharpcap routine in under 5 minutes.

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