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About 8472

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    Star Forming

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  1. 8472

    Mount grease

    Well today i had a bit of free time, so I only went ahead and stripped down the Dec assembly, as outlined in several readily available online guides. Cut a long story short, the entire internals were smothered all over in grease - no wonder the Dec was so stiff. Bear in mind I removed most of it before I took these photos. Plenty of fine metal particles between the gears too, so a good soak and clean in solvent got everything sparking again. There were three alarming fragments of swarf sandwiched between a pair of mating UHMW "bearings". Left undiscovered, I've no doubt they would eventually cause serious damage to the washers, possibly shredding them to bits, seeing as they are only plastic. Obviously, not great quality control at initial assembly then. Also probably explains why i felt the Dec felt graunchy, in certain positions. I also fine grit wet-and-dried a conspicuous rough spot on the worm-wheel body (not on the actual teeth). I don't think it has any affect on performance, but i did it anyway. Dried off then sparingly re-greased all the mating surfaces with the ever popular Loctite Super Lube. Re-assembled everything, adjusting worm and spur gears. Powered up, and re-adjusted the anti-backlash settings in the handset. Job done. Dec axis is still stiffer than RA (it always will be, as there's no proper bearing), but to my eyes it is an improvement on before, and no more "graunching". Got an impressive total RMS of 0.48" before the Dec stripdown (over a 2h+ run) a few days prior just by cleaning, re-greasing and adjusting out the backlash on the RA and Dec spur gears. Hopefully guiding will be at least as good again with this full Dec axis service. Kev
  2. 8472

    Mount grease

    Pretty much sums up what I've been led to believe. I went to my local motor factors yesterday and looked at some silicon grease. Ruled that out, as it appeared to separate at room temperature. I'll consider all the above suggestions. As regards disassembly, I only removed the RA and Dec gearing, not the entire mount. I'm a tinkerer, so only a matter of time before I do - if I find guiding not as good as I'd like it to be. To be honest, it's good enough now for my current setup. Kev
  3. 8472

    Mount grease

    Cheers, Dave! Graham looks busy with that awesome project of his. Be interesting to know what he uses.
  4. 8472

    Mount grease

    Nice one. Never thought about using push bike lube.
  5. 8472

    Mount grease

    Hi I have just stripped down, cleaned the gears and eliminated the RA and Dec backlash in my AVX. I've also fine-tuned the anti-backlash values in the hand controller. As a temporary measure, I've sparingly applied some general use lithium grease I found in my garage to the gears, but I'm now looking for a more permanent solution. I've read everything from lithium, PTFE, silicon, Teflon and who knows what else all being the right choice, but can anyone definitively point me in the right direction (preferably with a link where I can purchase at a reasonable price in the UK) as to what I really should be using? Cheers, Kev
  6. 8472

    Connecting a mount to PC

    It's an all in one, as far as I know.
  7. 8472

    Connecting a mount to PC

    Hi Louise, I've ordered an FTDI cable, as recommended by a well known vendor, so hopefully that does the job. I went the ST4 route last night (same as my Star Adventurer) and it seemed to work satisfactorily. Thanks, Kev
  8. 8472

    Meridian flip limitations

    Yes, I'm aware SGP will do it, but I really didn't want to deal with yet another layer of software. I guess it comes with the territory. Can APT do the same?
  9. 8472

    Meridian flip limitations

    Hi Rainer, I'm not sure what you mean, here. I have the same collision issues as any regular GEM owner - I have had to make a few mods on my setup to counter this (power source timer and an extended dovetail for mounting between the tracker and the wedge). But then again I have the full astro package. I guess you are referring to just using a ball head to attach a camera to the mount?
  10. 8472

    Connecting a mount to PC

    Hmm, wasn't aware of that! That said, I got 120s subs 1000mm FL with my 1100D, about 70% keepers, unguided. The other eggy ones I put down to PE. Only had it a few days, but clearly there's a lot more to it than using a camera tracker!
  11. It's not perfect, but I don't think it's too bad for the price for astro work. Stopped mine down to F/4 to get a nice Cygnus region shot a few months ago. Focus by wire system has severe limitations to me, though.
  12. 8472

    Connecting a mount to PC

    Thanks. I'm nowhere near the mount's payload so no issue there. Not a fan of Polemaster (tried it), Display Align told me I got perfect alignment last night, just using my attached imaging scope and camera's 10x live view, so good enough for me.
  13. My first couple of imaging sessions with my AVX have been mysteriously cut short for reasons I initially didn't understand. For some reason, the final third my lights all suffered terrible trails, much like the mount had stopped altogether. I've since learned, these goto mounts don't like going past the meridian without a flip. To my understanding, this has to be initiated manually. Coming from a Star Adventurer, which will happily track in RA until the batteries go flat, this was a surprise ( I also fitted a timer on the power supply to cut power as and when I wanted). I totally get the reasoning, in that it's a safety feature to stop the mount lunching itself unattended, but it kind of kills the idea of running the mount all night without me watching over it until it nears the meridian, which could be at any ungodly hour. I've set the slew limit to 20 degrees past the meridian, but that is the limit. Not far enough for my needs. Is there any simple way round this feature other than having to install and run another piece of astro software? Cheers
  14. 8472

    Connecting a mount to PC

    So you have two cables going to the PC?Shouldn't the guider be connected to the mount?

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