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Hi there Everyone, I experienced an issue with my Sphinx SXW Mount this past weekend at a dark skies event I was attending.  When I came to set up the mount I noted that the declination axis rotation was obstructed, basically you could rotate about 90 degrees and then it would suddenly come to hard stop, knowing this was just not right, I immediately halted my setup and packed the mount away, with a plan to carry out some diagnostics today once I got home.   Once home, I set the mount up, and discovered the following
1/.  The declination axis was now freed up..., most puzzling.  With the RA clamp disengaged I rotated the mount in RA, and thought I heard something rattling inside the central housing.  Further movement through 360 in both directions confirmed this.
2/. I then decided to see if the mount electronics would still engage, so connected up the power and Starbook controller.  Everything seemed to operate as normal.  Carried out a couple of Gotos and manual slews successfully and tracking seems to be fine, though unable to confirm due to cloud filled skies at the moment.  However I did notice that the declination clamp, although in theory engaged, seemed loose.  A little more experimentation showed that although engaged, the clamp moved independently by a couple of millimetres in either direction, it seemed that all that was keeping the clamp from moving was the shaft of the declination clamp itself.  I can’t be sure, but I seem to remember in previous use, that the entire unit was locked when the clamp was engaged.
I have attached a couple of videos showing the behaviour detailed above.  Hopefully somebody  can provide some insight into these issues, and if necessary a way forward to resolution.  I was unable to replicate the behaviour described at the dark site.
Paul J.



Edited by DeepSkyMan
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Philip and Stu

Thanks for your feedback, have since spoken to Rob Laughton at Vixen Uk, prognoses is that something has come loose from the declination shaft/clamp ?.    Vixen have recommended that I send the Sphinx into them for diagnostics and repair.  Mount and Starbook all packaged up now and ready to send, though probably won’t ship until Saturday now.

Would still be interested in feedback from other Sphinx users.  Have they experienced anything similar?  The Sphinx has been a reliable platform since I acquired it in Feb 2014.

On the plus side, (always look for the positive), I’ve asked Vixen to adjust the tension on the RA and DEC axiis to facilitate easier balancing ?


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