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WARNING - Bendy EQ6 Altitude Bolts

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155 replies to this topic

#61
astroimpulse

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Sorry Sy if I sounded stroppy


No no..you didn't, not at all :D No apology needed. Seriously. Someone who's as passionate about their hobby as you should be encouraged :) (edit...and thanked :o )

I agree with the mount and costs too. Excellent bang for buck. Although the budget bearings are my personal irritation.

If they'd hit the alt design at the beginning though it wouldn't cost much more to produce. If the chassis holder was cast (looks like it's cast...may be wrong) with the arced grove I reckon it could be adapted easily (tap the current alt stop). But that's without looking properly so I can easily be full of it here! lol

To mod it now I would need a cnc machine. I'd love to have ago though! :o

Edited by astroimpulse, 15 January 2011 - 09:36 PM.

I WILL BE BACK :icon_salut:

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#62
AndyH

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..........The design (from someone who used to spend a lot of time bashing metal) looks really, really poor. it looks like a cheapo Chinese made G-clamp. Anyone who has ever used one will know what I mean........



Oh yeah :)

Guarranteed to snap or bend after one use. We always used 'record' ones. Expensive, but surprise, surprise, they worked even when cranking them up uber tight.

Andy.
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#63
Zakalwe

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Hey, A-B I wasn't having a moan. I, for one, am blumming grateful that the Chinese are prepared to build industries and supply this stuff. Like you say, the stuff we have access to as amateurs is amazing, especially at this price point.:D

Sure they could have improved it. But then, the costs go up, which makes the kit more inaccessible.

I have come back to stargazing after being away for years. I remember peering at a tiny smudge that was Saturn with a 3" frac over 20 years ago, and being knocked out 'cos I could just about discern that the oblong shape was the rings. It amazes me that I can now do the same with a computerised 8" reflector. That I can contemplate building a small obsy and fit it out with a mount with the capabilities of the EQ6 is nothing short of amazing.

My other hobby is motorbikes. I have spent 500 notes on a replacement rear shock absorber, £hundreds improving the brakes, £hundreds more on different exhausts. Tweaking is half the fun.....I see this gig as being no different.:)

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#64
star.scope

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More proof if any were needed of the reasons why anyone with an EQ6 or HEQ5 should ditch the Synta supplied altitude bolts....

Heres a pic of an EQ6 I am working on. The mount was jammed at 30' latitude and here's why.


Hi, my altitude t-bolt has bent and I need to access it and cut it to remove it as you explain. I cannot work out how to remove the base as cannot get the discs off either side (one with NEQ6 logo and one being the scale). Can you help please??

#65
RogerTheDodger

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..... a whole day filing until my hands have dropped off may have made me a bit tetchy. I am there though know - bolt removed and threads seems ok in the mount. I cant test that out yet though cos the other bolt is also a bit curly and I am not inclined to risk having to file another one out.


I'd use a rotary tool and cutting disc like in one of these kits Compact High Speed Rotary Tool and 90Piece Accessory Set : Rotary Tools : Maplin you would cut through that bolt in a few seconds. Wear safety goggles though as the discs shatter easily.

roger
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#66
Astro_Baby

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Theres two ways of tackling this.

Method 1 cut the bolt end off, the bit on the outside of the mount, with a hacksaw, then cut a slot inro the end of the bolt with a hacksaw or file and then screw the bolt all the way into the mount, it will then drop oit of the slot at the bottom of the mount.

This will only work if the bent element of the bolt is on the outside of the mount.


Method 2 for this you need to remove the logos on either side of the mount and there is a good chance these will be destroyed in the process.

Try the altitude scale first, on the two mojnts I have had to do this to the alt scale comes away a lot easier. Use a super sharp craft knife to genty pry away at the alt scale but sliding it between the plastic scale and the mount. Work carefully round the scale and you will most likley find its held on by only a couple of dabs of glue with any luck.
It should if your careful and lucky simply pop away from the mount.

Now extract the three small friction screws which are hex ended grub screws that surround the central bolt of the mount. This may be able to be extracted at this point, bear in mind the bokt is held with a thread thats tapped into the mount under the eq logo and also a locking nut.

If you can extraxt the bokt then you can try to tap the eq logo off by using a thin dowel of wood from the other side of the mount. Chances are it will break, try to get under it with a craft knife same as the alt scale and chances are yo will wreck the mounts paintwork cos the eq logo is glued on tight.

Lets assume you can get the eq logo off, from there its simply a case of filing or hacksawing the bolt away. Go slow and careful cos you dont want to cut inro the mount in any of this.

Thats it really, FLO should be able to get you a replacement eq logo but they are often tough to get and you may wait a few months.
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#67
Astro_Baby

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Rog i didnt have one of those, my sister has a dremel but i have used it befre and its uselee you end uo busting disks all the time and they aint cheap. A neele file does the job anD i have those from my old career as well :glasses1:
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#68
Psychobilly

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The maplin kit often has a mix of disc type including some larger diameter reinforced ones.. the non reinforced types are pretty much useless...

The best (but they are expensive) cut-off discs are the Dremel original reinforced ones...

Billy...

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#69
star.scope

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Hi, thanks very much, very helpful indeed. Option 2 is appropriate for me, but it's a little destructive. I can just see the bent bolt without removing the base, so I wonder if it is possible to leverage the bolt back to be straight enough to at least unscrew and replace?

#70
RogerTheDodger

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^^ as billy said, I've used these to cut down masonry nails which are just about as hard as you can get. You just need a steady hand and a little patience.
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#71
star.scope

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Hi, I managed to remove the bolt without removing the base (and therefore destroying the scale & logo badge). I slipped a hack saw blade down the thin gap between the base and the part above and with gentle sawing for about 4 hours the bolt was cut! I have left some scuff marks on the base so will need to touch up at some point. I've now installed new stronger £25 bolts from Ian King Imaging.

#72
George

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The problem is not the bolts but the castings themselves being too soft for the loads that are inflicted on them during adjustment. I redrilled mine oversize then made a small threaded steel plate that went over the oversized hole, this was then araldited and drilled and tapped into place. The knuckle casting they push against is the same **** metal and I plated them with a small 1/8 inch steel plate again araldited into place......never had a problem since.

If I can find the photos I'll post them here.
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George

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#73
IvanT

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Well, I went for it and replaced mine tonight. Glad I did, the longer of the two altitude bolts was quite stiff over the last cm when unscrewing it, so it had obviously started to bend. This from a mount that was purchased this time last year and hasn't had a lot of outings due to that grey fluffy stuff.
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#74
philming

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Hi all !
So as someone stated in the first posts of this thread, the problem doesn't come from the screws on the EQ6, but on the basic design of the mount. It's built primarily to be used in asia, where the altitude setting can be way different from europe. So when set under our altitudes, the south screw needs to push the mount "rocker" (let's call it like this) way further than it's intended to be. (See the figure 1 below).
So the solution, better and cheaper than buying overpriced screws, is to add some kind of "shoe" to correct the angle at which the north screw is going to push the rocker (figure 2).
I personally used some fixing material to be found in car-repair centers (you must have these in the UK), some kind of clay that you mix and shape and hardened very quickly, and adheres to about anything. Moving about the rocker at this stage becomes easy and smooth, even with the original screws.
Posted Image

Edited by philming, 30 August 2011 - 09:26 AM.

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#75
George

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I made 2 small steel plate which I screwed and araldited to the rocker as they were badly scoured, I also made my new bolts with a domed tip.......never had a problem since.

TBH its a bad design as the soft alloy casting was always going to come worse off when its trying to be pushed with a steel bolt.......bad engineering.
George

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#76
UHF

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I just found this thread after making a right royal mess of my new EQ5, I only found out that the bolt was bent when I look up the end of the mounting screw hole that holds the head onto the mount and noticed the thread dancing around.

I ended up clamping the bolt into a vice in my shed and twisting the head off as I didn't know how to get to the back of the bolt. Luckily the thread in the head remained healthy but the bolt is seriously butchered.

Does anyone know what thread this is, looks metric but I have nothing that size to try it in.

Looking at that diagram and comments, its a pretty shoddy design and will get worse with time even in hardened bolts as its such a long bolt.

I understand that the altitude only needs adjusting if you move around with your scope, so for my back garden and local club/field, I can set and forget, or just remove it every now and again for inspection or the inevitable replacement!

Really not something I expected when paying so mnumch for something, and I thought I was buying decent kit for my first scope and mount.

#77
Ubbe

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I have done the same with my bolts on the CG5!!
Replaced them with RF steelbolts, no more probs! :)

/Jonny

#78
ajohnson

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I think what philming is reffering to is an epoxy putty like Milliput. I don't know if it's still made in the UK but it's blooming hard, though I still feel a steel face plate could work here to stop the epoxy being scooped out under load. I have a 300PDS and it needs all of it's weights to balance. OK once set up the counterbalance etc should neutralise the load a little but that's a lot of point pressure even for an epoxy putty.

I bought my NEQ6 2nd hand and despite the seller telling me some story about how his dad (who owned it) had died before he got to use it I note that some gorilla has had what looks like pliers on the ALt bolt, this is bent all to hell and I have a concern the thread has been damaged, I also think it's been dropped or had a weight dropped on it in storage. For me the AD bolts seem to be the starting option here as replacements, for those who have found cheaper alternatives, by all means share the supplier's name with us.

For now I have the "locking" bolt screwed right in and have placed a small plate on the lug to get the mount to 52 degrees as a temporary fix, I may not be 100% alligned for the next week or so but close enough for observing at a star party tomorrow, though tonight is looking good.

I have closely looked at the rocker at the bottom of the mount and note the bolts seem to have ridden over it and chewed it at some point echoing many of the observations here so thanks for the suggestions on Aralditeing a plate on here, any recommendations on thickness? Should this also be filled as a wedge to improve the angle? The diagram on philming's post makes this look like a quite a big wedge and taking it on a step, I'm almost inclined to use epoxy putty and push the end of the bolt into the block while it's soft to mark out a cup for the bolt to keep it in line.

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Telescopes: Skywatcher 300 PDS, Quattro 10S, ST80 & Infinity 76
Mounts: Skywatcher NEQ6, EQ1
Cameras: Canon EOS 60Da, QHY5L II, Microsoft X-Box Live Webcam (Modded)


#79
fwm891

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Are the EQ6 azimuth bolts just as soft as the altitude bolts?

My new mount came with the bolts out anyway. I've changed mine to allen headed machine bolts, so much easier with two allen keys to adjust either axis.

Francis
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#80
laser_jock99

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........for those who have found cheaper alternatives, by all means share the supplier's name with us.


Clamp handles from RS p/n 478-692 £2.78 each
Posted Image

http://uk.rs-online....7633D4E4F4E4526

Plus you'll need some M10 x 120 high strength bolts to saw to length and fix into the female clamp handle. As has been previoulsy said the end of the new bolt needs to be shaped into a dome with a file or bech grinder and preferably smoothed off with fine emery cloth.

The EQ6 uses M10 bolts, I think the EQ5 might be M8 bolts.

I can confirm the above clamp handle mod makes for much easier altitude adjustment. Also I replaced the South bolt, the North adjuster is fine as shipped and should take no load.
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