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Upgraded latitude adjustment bolts for EQ6


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I am looking at replacing my EQ6 latitude adjustment bolts. I have read about the astro-developments bolt upgrade and they seem like a good choice although I cant seem to fathom how the lower bolt actually turns, it looks from the images as though it would catch on the polar scope!

Can anybody who owns a pair of these help clarify for me how they work? I can't seem to find any information online! 

To clarify I have attached a picture of the mount with the upgrade.

post-42326-0-67817000-1424502772.jpg

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You need to be very careful with the upgraded bolts as they are much stronger than the metal the mount is made from. If you don't slacken one before tightening the other, they will wear through the mount & cause serious damage to the ALT adjuster. I would also recommend doing only small tweaks with a scope on for the same reason, any major adjustment should be done with your scope off the mount.

The reason for the weak bolts is because the metal used to make the mount is soft, the bolts are designed to bend before the mount gets damaged. If they used a stronger metal for the mount, the cost would be significantly greater than what it is.

I know this because it happened to me & Steve at FLO told me about this. This is also the reason that FLO have no intention of offering the bolts for sale.

Jeff

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Push the red button in and the black handle turns, but the bolt doesn't; release the red button and turn the handle and the handle and the bolt rotates. Designed as there is minimal room right next to the polar scope. The ones I got for an HEQ5 were far too long, and I had to hack then end of one. AS said above, the bolts eat into the projection of the mount, and there is a modification people are doing to reinforce that projection:

http://darrenjehan.me.uk/skywatcher-eq6-altitude-mod/

James

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You need to be very careful with the upgraded bolts as they are much stronger than the metal the mount is made from. If you don't slacken one before tightening the other, they will wear through the mount & cause serious damage to the ALT adjuster. I would also recommend doing only small tweaks with a scope on for the same reason, any major adjustment should be done with your scope off the mount.

 

The reason for the weak bolts is because the metal used to make the mount is soft, the bolts are designed to bend before the mount gets damaged. If they used a stronger metal for the mount, the cost would be significantly greater than what it is.

 

I know this because it happened to me & Steve at FLO told me about this. This is also the reason that FLO have no intention of offering the bolts for sale.

 

Jeff

Good advice above.

Always release the bolt in the direction you wish to go, then take the weight of the mount in your hand and push it to the new postion, then follow up

with the second bolt. Never use the bolts as jacks.

The bolts should then only be lightly nipped up.

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Technically there's nothing wrong with the supplied Skywatcher adjustment bolts. The real problem is the design of the mount, in particular the position of the lug the latitude bolts act upon. The mount seems to be designed for observers less than 40 degrees north. By the time you reach UK latitudes the bolts are hitting the lug at a rather silly angle and thus inclined to bend with heavy handed use. 

So stronger bolts are nice but could chew up the lug or damage the thread into the mount head if used with force. The best engineered solutions involve modding the lug position so the bolt hits the more orthoganally.

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Technically there's nothing wrong with the supplied Skywatcher adjustment bolts. The real problem is the design of the mount, in particular the position of the lug the latitude bolts act upon. The mount seems to be designed for observers less than 40 degrees north. By the time you reach UK latitudes the bolts are hitting the lug at a rather silly angle and thus inclined to bend with heavy handed use. 

So stronger bolts are nice but could chew up the lug or damage the thread into the mount head if used with force. The best engineered solutions involve modding the lug position so the bolt hits the more orthoganally.

I fitted the Gunnar mod to my mount for this very reason, it makes polar alignment a breeze & gives you peace of mind at the same time.

Jeff

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Agricultural at best - one reason to suspect that EQ6s should be used and left on a pier.

If I have to adjust, I support the weight of the OTA and supported structure on my shoulder and move it up to the required position then tighten the bolts - though I do allow it to fall if the required movement is downwards.

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The real headache is the skywatcher bolts can start to deform with almost no use at all.  I was very careful with my HEQ5 but the back bolt ended up starting to deform under just the weight of the scope hence changing the bolts out.

Skywatchers view that they have to use soft metal to reduce the risk of the bolts chewing the mount to bits seems a bit weak to me...there have been plenty of cases of peoples mounts being chewed up with the soft supplied bolts plus a bent bolt can cause problems all of its own as tyro users are inclined to try and force the bolt out causing even more damage.

The better solution would have been inserts in the mount made of something tougher plus a better tongue design or better still a rotating block but then the mount would cost more.

Gently does it is the word and when polar aligning I always slacken the top bolt entirely away from contact and use only the lower bolt to get adjustment and only gently tighten the top bolt when is all done.

Something else that puts an additional strain on these bolts is that from the factory the actual movement in the altitude of the mount is VERY stiff.  You can reduce the pressure on the mounts head by giving a tweak to the friction adjusters but messing about with that can cause you to mess up the side plates with the logo/scale on.

When all is said and done though these mounts are a very good bang for the buck plus they software has been continuously upgraded for almost 10 years (a wee bit longer than Microsoft or Apple ever support for) and getting a mount as good as the HEQ5/EQ6 is not so easy as it seems as Meade could tell you for sure :)

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I have had my EQ6 for 5 years now and the Lat bolts are the only thing I have not bothered to upgrade, they seem (in my case) to do the job fine.  They have not bent or stripped the thread of the mount, and I always polar align fully loaded.

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I'm sure a tougher bolt and a hard metal insert on the tongue wouldn't be a financial burden on the makers.

There is a mod you can get that externalises the adjustment to a screw/ block  arrangement but it's a fair proportion of the initial investment.

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