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Suggestions for EQ mount adjustment screws

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23 replies to this topic

#1 Overtime

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 11:33 PM

Any suggestions on how to improve my adjustment lock screws on my eq mount I have issues keeping it on target.

Yes I am a nOOb. Comments / suggestions? I did change it to alt az mode but it' still difficult. I tighten the heck out of the screws and if I bump it lightly I have to re-target it. My guess is I need more practice and stop bumping it.


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#2 PirateMike

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:42 AM

What mount are you using?

 

Miguel   8-)

 

.



#3 woodswalker88

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 06:37 AM

What kind of scope? I have the same problem with my Orion Observer. It's awkward to find the target, reach over & tighten the locknuts. If I polar-align, I can't reach the locknuts, can't reach the slo-mo cables. Is every scope awkward to use?



#4 Echolight

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 07:14 AM

Your f8 114mm 900mm focal length newtonian is a little too big for the EQ-2 mount that it was sold with.

 

They do this to meet a price point. And it is not uncommon across the industry with various combinations of scopes and mounts.

 

There's usually nothing particularly wrong with either the telescope or the mount.

But when combined, these  have led to the creation of the term... "hobby killer".

 

Your particular mount, (speaking to Overtime here, so there's no confusion), an EQ-2, is actually about ideal, or at least super sturdy with a smaller f4 or f4.5 114mm scope like an f4 Orion Starblast 4.5" or similar.

So if you could happen to find a deal on one of these, or an f4.5 114/500 newtonian, which come with a 1.25" focuser also, you would have a more ideally matched scope and mount. As the shorter 114 would fit perfectly in the eq-2 clamshell.


Edited by Echolight, 27 May 2024 - 07:15 AM.


#5 Echolight

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 07:39 AM

What kind of scope? I have the same problem with my Orion Observer. It's awkward to find the target, reach over & tighten the locknuts. If I polar-align, I can't reach the locknuts, can't reach the slo-mo cables. Is every scope awkward to use?

No, not every scope is that awkward to use.

Was the tabletop mini dob that you had on loan that awkward to use? Possibly for a different reason, like needing a stable table to set it on.

 

I know you saw this video.

https://youtu.be/4MB...m2LvBWg_oGHTfyu

 

And participated in many threads on your particular scope and mount combination before buying it.

Including this one

https://www.cloudyni...bserver-134-eq/



#6 radiofm74

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 08:01 AM

Any suggestions on how to improve my adjustment lock screws on my eq mount I have issues keeping it on target.

Yes I am a nOOb. Comments / suggestions? I did change it to alt az mode but it' still difficult. I tighten the heck out of the screws and if I bump it lightly I have to re-target it. My guess is I need more practice and stop bumping it.

I had one of those and it was not great – but even on one of those you should never have to "tighten the heck out of the screws" to lock it. Are you sure you're locking the right thing?

 

I am particularly well-qualified to ask the question. The EQ2 was my first astronomical mount and at first… well … I used the altitude and azimuth locks to (try to) track objects tongue2.gif

 

On a more general note, If I may say so, using that mount as AZ is likely complicating things for you rather than facilitate them. The one saving grace on that mount for me was that, once I learned how to use it, and once on target, I could track the object just by turning cautiously the RA cable. That was far less "shaky" than putting my hands on it to track.



#7 Overtime

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 10:20 AM

What kind of scope? I have the same problem with my Orion Observer. It's awkward to find the target, reach over & tighten the locknuts. If I polar-align, I can't reach the locknuts, can't reach the slo-mo cables. Is every scope awkward to use?

Look at my signature for the scope info its also the profile avatar ( waiting to take a better one just need the right location )



#8 Overtime

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 10:49 AM

Your f8 114mm 900mm focal length newtonian is a little too big for the EQ-2 mount that it was sold with.

 

They do this to meet a price point. And it is not uncommon across the industry with various combinations of scopes and mounts.

 

There's usually nothing particularly wrong with either the telescope or the mount.

But when combined, these  have led to the creation of the term... "hobby killer".

 

Your particular mount, (speaking to Overtime here, so there's no confusion), an EQ-2, is actually about ideal, or at least super sturdy with a smaller f4 or f4.5 114mm scope like an f4 Orion Starblast 4.5" or similar.

So if you could happen to find a deal on one of these, or an f4.5 114/500 newtonian, which come with a 1.25" focuser also, you would have a more ideally matched scope and mount. As the shorter 114 would fit perfectly in the eq-2 clamshell.

How would I determine one mount from another? Are there tell tail signs to look for. I wish manufactures would tag there product. I have wondered how determine the age of my scope. The only thing I have thought of was .965 eyepiece but that would only help ballpark the year.



#9 Echolight

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 11:07 AM

Your scope and mount were likely made by Towa. Although it could be one of several optical plants in Japan from the 20th century. It probably has some makers mark on it somewhere. Maybe the tag, or on the focuser knobs.

Towa is a circle-T.

 

As far as identifying the mount. It's just by the size.

An eq-1, like comes with a Starblast 4.5 or many small achromats, is smaller and lighter.

Regardless, many or even most package deals seem to come with a mount that is a size too small.

Although some of the higher end manufacturers like Vixen or Mizar, sometimes offered from Celestron or Meade in the last century, often paired their scopes with more appropriately sized mounts.

 

Today, you'll see Celestron or Orion offering a variety of scopes on the same mount. Usually the largest scope offered for a particular mount is too big. But are better matched to the smaller scopes offered on the same mount.

You'll see this even on expensive goto mounts like the AVX, Evolution, and SE.

 

Although for the sake of portability, I often live right on the edge, using mounts that are just good enough. Sometimes I'll use mounts that are bigger than they need to be. But never too small if I can help it.

 

The 3 pound ST80 on this mount and tripod is plenty solid.

IMG_20230329_183057084~6.jpg

The 4-ish pound but longer and wider Starblast 4.5 is right on the edge. But works fine. 

IMG_20230625_204950989~3.jpg

This tripod is much stronger than the thin and light extruded aluminum tripod with plastic clamps that are used with the EQ-1 mount that this scope came with.


Edited by Echolight, 27 May 2024 - 11:41 AM.

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#10 dmgriff

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 11:10 AM

Any suggestions on how to improve my adjustment lock screws on my eq mount I have issues keeping it on target.

Yes I am a nOOb. Comments / suggestions? I did change it to alt az mode but it' still difficult. I tighten the heck out of the screws and if I bump it lightly I have to re-target it. My guess is I need more practice and stop bumping it.

You can swap out the axis lock bolts with some longer knob bolts off Amazon or ebay if you find the length too short to find in the dark. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...d_source=1&th=1

 

Match the thread with a check from your hardware store. They may not carry a knobbed machine bolt. Get the length you want off Amazon etc. Just do not get the length too long that it interferes with anything. I use 1.25in length screw with added knob on my old style Orion EQ1.


Edited by dmgriff, 27 May 2024 - 11:14 AM.


#11 dmgriff

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 11:22 AM

How would I determine one mount from another? Are there tell tail signs to look for. I wish manufactures would tag there product. I have wondered how determine the age of my scope. The only thing I have thought of was .965 eyepiece but that would only help ballpark the year.

From the pics in a earlier post the mount is a EQ2.

 

This 28 page Meade pdf manual covers the same 114/900 clamp mounted eq2 sytle telescope and mount that you have.

https://www.meade.co...nual_030311.pdf

 

Download a copy and save to your pc and or phone. It is a good reference for your use.


Edited by dmgriff, 27 May 2024 - 11:23 AM.

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#12 Sky Muse

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 11:58 AM

Try not to over-tighten the RA and DEC axis locks, as the tips of the screws may dig into the drum or shaft of the axis.  I place short rods of brass, or bronze, in between the screw-tips and the shafts, to buffer and protect.  My EQ-1 came with steel or iron inserts.  I replaced them with brass, although bronze would be best, and phosphor-bronze rods of varying diameters are readily available online...

 

DEC clamp pin.jpg

 

The RA and DEC axis-locks are for when using the slow-motion cables, for a specific target.  Do you have the slow-motion control-cables that originally came with the mount?  Perhaps not, as they are easily separated from the mount, and often flung into that place where missing socks dwell.  If you don't, you will need them for that mount; not absolutely, mind, but they can be of great help.  They are sold online.  You would need two, and perhaps of varying lengths, depending.

 

For cruising round the sky, the telescope tube is balanced, and with no locks engaged.


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#13 Sky Muse

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:02 PM

This is what you don't want to do...

 

spare damage.jpg

 

That was damage done to the RA-axis of a spare mount-head, for parts, that was sent to me.  Someone just kept tightening and pushing, and tightening and pushing.



#14 Overtime

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:25 PM

From the pics in a earlier post the mount is a EQ2.

 

This 28 page Meade pdf manual covers the same 114/900 clamp mounted eq2 sytle telescope and mount that you have.

https://www.meade.co...nual_030311.pdf

 

Download a copy and save to your pc and or phone. It is a good reference for your use.

Believe it or not I got this last week but thanks anyway.



#15 Echolight

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:48 PM

Believe it or not I got this last week but thanks anyway.

He must have been confused by you asking how to tell one mount from another today.



#16 Sky Muse

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 07:34 PM

I can't help but sit here and wonder as to the primary-mirror.  I'd have to doubt that Towa had provided a parabolic-primary.  Wouldn't that have been marvelous?  But as with my own, a spherical-primary provides very good if not excellent images at its 900mm focal-length, and if that isn't enough, less-expensive eyepieces are the norm with this configuration, even relatively inexpensive wide-field eyepieces.

 

Another, perhaps fun, activity is: collimation.  At f/7.9, it's easier, than at f/5 and shorter.  It also helps to center-spot the main, primary mirror, and regardless of its curvature.  Why, the telescope itself will make for an excellent practice, and in learning how to collimate a Newtonian.  The mirror has a center, therefore center-spot it...

 

https://garyseronik....primary-mirror/



#17 Overtime

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 03:24 AM

I can't help but sit here and wonder as to the primary-mirror.  I'd have to doubt that Towa had provided a parabolic-primary.  Wouldn't that have been marvelous?  But as with my own, a spherical-primary provides very good if not excellent images at its 900mm focal-length, and if that isn't enough, less-expensive eyepieces are the norm with this configuration, even relatively inexpensive wide-field eyepieces.

 

Another, perhaps fun, activity is: collimation.  At f/7.9, it's easier, than at f/5 and shorter.  It also helps to center-spot the main, primary mirror, and regardless of its curvature.  Why, the telescope itself will make for an excellent practice, and in learning how to collimate a Newtonian.  The mirror has a center, therefore center-spot it...

 

https://garyseronik....primary-mirror/

I have collimated it several times. It hasn't been checked to see if I did it properly yet. I had to remove the primary to put a dot on it, while it was out I cleaned it. After reading another thread I wonder how close I got it? He did steps I didn't do and hope I don't have the issues he did. Most of it I understood but some of it was over my head. I was hoping to have it checked when I went to the star party but it didn't happen. The people there were nice but I still felt like an outsider so I waited for them to ask if I needed help , they never asked. I think they should include a minor questionnaire asking a few questions and to know what to expect. 



#18 Overtime

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 03:29 AM

I am thinking of how to mod this mount to work better. The ways some of the lock screws are are just dumb. I wish I had some of the tools I used in HS. We had a metal lathe but I never learned how to use it. I wish I had. With any luck perhaps I will re-invent the wheel.

Yes it still has the Control cables and knobs. I use them quite often even though is in Alt AZ mode.

As to the dot the other day I think I saw it when trying to locate a star I was attempting to use as a alignment for my viewfinder. I am thinking of flocking the area of the tube around the eyepiece. I thought someone had told me I shouldn't see the dot so I am wondering if it was due to some bad reflection in the tube? I figure it can't hurt. Except in the wallet.


Edited by Overtime, 29 May 2024 - 10:08 AM.


#19 Sky Muse

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 03:05 PM

I have collimated it several times. It hasn't been checked to see if I did it properly yet. I had to remove the primary to put a dot on it, while it was out I cleaned it. After reading another thread I wonder how close I got it? He did steps I didn't do and hope I don't have the issues he did. Most of it I understood but some of it was over my head. I was hoping to have it checked when I went to the star party but it didn't happen. The people there were nice but I still felt like an outsider so I waited for them to ask if I needed help , they never asked. I think they should include a minor questionnaire asking a few questions and to know what to expect. 

 

I don't know of any collimation tools in the .965" format.  The tools are plentiful in 1.25" and 2" sizes however.  If you had a .965" plug for the visual-back, to ordinarily keep the dust out, you could make a collimation-cap out of it, if it's of hard plastic.  You would need aluminum foil as well, the dull side, a circle of it. 



#20 JOEinCO

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 04:53 PM

I don't know of any collimation tools in the .965" format.... 

 

Polaris. grin.gif 



#21 Overtime

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 01:59 AM

I don't know of any collimation tools in the .965" format.  The tools are plentiful in 1.25" and 2" sizes however.  If you had a .965" plug for the visual-back, to ordinarily keep the dust out, you could make a collimation-cap out of it, if it's of hard plastic.  You would need aluminum foil as well, the dull side, a circle of it. 

O bought a .965to 1.25 adaptor and a laser collimation tool. @ days later I made a collimation  cap from a Gatorade bottle. 



#22 Overtime

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 02:07 AM

Polaris. grin.gif 

What about ski-doo? lol


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#23 Sky Muse

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 10:28 AM

O bought a .965to 1.25 adaptor and a laser collimation tool. @ days later I made a collimation  cap from a Gatorade bottle. 

One like this...

 

laser-collimator.jpg

 

...for round $35-40, or less?  If that's the one, or similar to it, at that price-point it will need to be collimated itself, checked at least, and before inserting into a telescope.  A mis-collimated laser can wreck havoc inside a Newtonian.  You can make a jig for it...

 

laser-collimator stand11.jpg

 

It has been opined that spherical primary mirrors don't need to be aligned, as the center of the mirror is actually anywhere you might point at the mirror's surface whilst blindfolded.  Yes, most anywhere, but not too far askew, lest there's vignetting at the eyepiece.

 

For the bottle cap, a 2mm hole is drilled directly in the center, the underside lined with the dull side of a circle of aluminum foil, adhered with double-sided clear tape, and the 2mm hole carefully cut out of the foil from the underside with an X-Acto knife.  That's based on the factory-made that came with my 6" f/5 Newtonian...

 

collimation cap2.jpg


Edited by Sky Muse, 30 May 2024 - 10:29 AM.


#24 Overtime

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Posted 31 May 2024 - 02:43 AM

One like this...

 

attachicon.gif laser-collimator.jpg

 

...for round $35-40, or less?  If that's the one, or similar to it, at that price-point it will need to be collimated itself, checked at least, and before inserting into a telescope.  A mis-collimated laser can wreck havoc inside a Newtonian.  You can make a jig for it...

 

attachicon.gif laser-collimator stand11.jpg

 

It has been opined that spherical primary mirrors don't need to be aligned, as the center of the mirror is actually anywhere you might point at the mirror's surface whilst blindfolded.  Yes, most anywhere, but not too far askew, lest there's vignetting at the eyepiece.

 

For the bottle cap, a 2mm hole is drilled directly in the center, the underside lined with the dull side of a circle of aluminum foil, adhered with double-sided clear tape, and the 2mm hole carefully cut out of the foil from the underside with an X-Acto knife.  That's based on the factory-made that came with my 6" f/5 Newtonian...

 

attachicon.gif collimation cap2.jpg

Yes and no. The parts I bought from Amazon and were separate. You don't have to make a  tool to check if the tool is collimated. I lightly clamped my adaptor, making sure the laser shined on the floor. I put a piece of white paper on the floor to draw on but after I checked it it was perfect. I made my siht cap outta a Gatorade bottle lid. 




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