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Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro Power Connector and the Resulting Anger


Gib007
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Ever since I first bought all my equipment back in August 2012, I have been constantly made very angry by the Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro mount's power connector. You connect it up to the battery, switch it on and begin your polar alignment. If you're lucky not to move the power cable around accidentally whilst polar aligning and thus losing power, you polar align. Once polar aligned, the dangerous part begins - star alignment. You select a star, the mount slews the telescope to its approximate location and before it gets there, puff, your mount is now dead. The cause is simple - the power cable was slightly moved when the mount was slewing. Back to the home position and start over, but for what? Another power loss when slewing, of course!

Goodness knows how many times I have lost power this way and how much anger I have conjured up inside as a result.

Last night was the last straw. I had looked forward to the weekend for a while and Saturday night, despite being a tad windy, was going to be very clear indeed. I drive an hour up to a nearby mountain and start setting up. After numerous power losses (they seem to get worse as the power connector has clearly become more sensitive to cable movements over time), I packed up and returned home with absolutely nothing but the burning anger.

Anyone else experienced these issues, perhaps even with other mounts?

I think the quality of construction on these mounts is superb but the power connector is an ultimate fail. Who on Earth thought that a thick and heavy, dangling cable with a very insecure connection to a very fiddly port would hold up when slewing quickly?

I'm severely disgusted at Skywatcher's oversight/incompetence on this regard, after spending around £1,000 for the mount alone. Some people are even drilling into the casing and soldering their own, more secure power connector on to the PCB. My solution (one hopes it holds up nicely beyond my household tests) is to connect the power cable in there and using power tape, tape it down across the front of the mount and let it dangle below (as I always place my battery between the tripod's legs). Since the taping is very secure and very tight, it holds it together without the slightest movement even when slewing quickly. Of course, this is just a work-around to the issue (photographs below).

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The mount is or at least was supplied with a cable clip that provided some strain relief on the connector. It's worked fine on my mount and I haven't had any problems with the power connector.

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It's certainly known the be a sore point on the mount, but I've never had the power drop out that much, maybe once or twice in the last couple of years. Nothing an easy fix with tape or a clip with resolve :D

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The mount is or at least was supplied with a cable clip that provided some strain relief on the connector. It's worked fine on my mount and I haven't had any problems with the power connector.

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I don't think mine came with one of those, either that or I threw it out with the box in my excitement, lol..

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I don't think mine came with one of those, either that or I threw it out with the box in my excitement, lol..

Haha I agree, it might have gone out with the boxes and packing material... I too have never seen that clip. Nevermind, my taped solution has withstood all tests I have given it. I have however bought a 12V to 15V transformer for it as with my imaging camera on the battery as well, the voltage drop makes the power light blink often. I will have to tape that on to the mount instead! :)

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It might just be poor quality control when it came to the power connector and the contact it makes with the power cable. Perhaps it also varies from country to country. Nevermind, the 12V to 15V transformer comes with numerous connectors so I can choose that one that fits most tightly and then tape down the whole thing to the mount to stop it moving around. Two birds with one stone - a nice, higher voltage supply to the mount and no power connector issues.

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I had a similar issue with my HEQ5. After about a year the power started to turn on and off thus re-setting the mount. To check that it was a mount issue rather than the lead or powertank, I used the power connected to the handset only. That was fine so it was a mount issue.

Having only basic soldering skills I resildered the joints to the power jack inside the mount - the joints did look a bit dry but unfortunately this did not solve the issue. In the end I contacted OVL who were able to supply me with a new circuit board for £30 or so. This did the trick and Ive not had a repeat of the problem since (about a year and a half)

Skywatcher at the time were in the process of changing their colours from black to white so they could only supply me with a white unit but to be honest I quite like it.

I'd recomend having a word with OLV. If its still new they should do it for free I would have thought!

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Andrew

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Mine was the same so I taped it too.. & also did it with the maplins psu I used to use.. adapters were either too tight or slightly loose. When I got a mount hub pro I found the supplied cables were a much tighter fit so no problem now. Just different tolerances between manufacturers.

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