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Craney

EQ6 Rail.... Anybody got one ??

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Hello everybody,

I recently had an issue with my EQ6 where the latitude bolt had chewed through the block of alloy metal on the polar axis... you know the one that is used for precise polar alignment !! 

The upshot was that the mount had polar adjustment in one direction in one axis only.   I improvised a fix using a nyloc nut on the thread which now hits the block more squarely....

Anyway, my research led to a solution called an EQ6 wedge, which looked a nicely engineered piece of kit, although pricey. UK distributers are few and far between. One of them at the time, (Modern Astronomy)  left a tantalising message that a new version was imminent.  Well here it is..

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/accessories/mount-accessories/eq6rail/

 

Image result for EQ6RailImage result for EQ6Rail
 
 
Anybody used it yet ??   Any feedback  ??
 
Cheers, Sean.
Edited by Craney
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Yes, I saw that too, and am looking at getting one, but wanted to see some feedback first, it’s looks a simple fix, just not exactly,ty sure what stops the block coming away from the end of the bolt, as I pack my mount away in the summer with bolts removed, don’t think you can with this.. :(

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Interesting looking product.  Trying to get my head round how it actually works, from the pictures.

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1 hour ago, r3i said:

Interesting looking product.  Trying to get my head round how it actually works, from the pictures.

Yes,  and how it attaches to the mount. There seems to be no locating screw holes.    Does it stay put by being 'wedged' in  (  no polar axis pun intended !!)  and the applied force of the  tightening bolt ??

 

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42 minutes ago, Craney said:

Yes,  and how it attaches to the mount. There seems to be no locating screw holes.    Does it stay put by being 'wedged' in  (  no polar axis pun intended !!)  and the applied force of the  tightening bolt ??

 

It comes with adhesive pads apparently... ?

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26 minutes ago, LightBucket said:

It comes with adhesive pads apparently... ?

 There are products out there where  the words  'adhesive pads'   and   'confidence'  go together well........  not too sure about this application.....

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I suppose at least two of the pads will be to affix the new engraved caps to the sides of the mount. 

To fit the older EQ6wedge I think you had to prise the old plastic caps off the mount to access some fixing bolt/screws, which usually ended in some form of damage to them...

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52 minutes ago, Craney said:

I suppose at least two of the pads will be to affix the new engraved caps to the sides of the mount. 

To fit the older EQ6wedge I think you had to prise the old plastic caps off the mount to access some fixing bolt/screws, which usually ended in some form of damage to them...

Maybe, but the block is held in place with adhesive pads, but agree, I am not convinced by the whole thing to be honest, the more I look at it the more I think not...

For instance what happens when the bolts are loosened and comes away from the hole in the slider block, you have to dismantle it all again to get it back in, as it is not fixed for obvious reasons...you would have to make sure even when storing the mount head that there was pressure on the mount adjuster tab at all times...or maybe I am missing something...

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Yes, I agree.   The effectiveness of adhesive pads is vulnerable to humidity and condensation. Any lapse of tension in the system will consequently give you movement, a wobble and a rattle which will lead to components not sitting exactly as they were before.

We really need a field test.  The advert does not state that any light engineering is required, hence fitting or removing must not be harmful to the  mount apart from the exterior side plates. 

It is a lot cheaper than the previous 'fix' .... and the advert says it is more precise... hmmm ?? ....   curiouser and curiouser......

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Mine arrived yesterday. I already had the plastic side plates removed as the grub screws that adjust the tension needed adjustment. 2 were over tight and 1 was really loose. Having adjusted them, my new neq6 was working much better, but with the plastic covers removed it seemed an ideal time to upgrade.

I ordered the eq6 rail on Sunday, it was dispatched on Monday and arrived on Tuesday. The instructions said that I needed 2 17mm spanner to remove the pivot bolts, but mine needed 16mm spanners. The rail dropped straight in and was a perfect fit, so I didn't use anything to glue it in place. I greased the rail and bar where they slide on each other with the provided grease and seated the bar on the bolt. The bolt doesn't fasten in, but sits probably 1cm inside the bar so shouldn't come apart unless the bolt is removed fully, or the head is shaken violently with the bolts very loose. After putting the head back together which was the hardest part (getting the washers back in place and the pivot bolt holes lined up) and adjusting the grub screws for what I think is an ideal resistance, the alt adjustment seems very smooth. Total job took about 15 minutes.

I'll report back if we ever get a clear dark night on how it works in practice, but I'm confident that it will be a vast improvement.

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Excellent news Bruce.  This sounds very promising for EQ-6 users. I suppose the proof of the pudding is when setting the Polar angle and then letting the GOTO system go to work.....

I use SharpCap Polar alignment tool which is fantastic.  Alas it is my mount is a bit wallowy when it comes to getting it spot-on.   

Getting an 'Excellent' alignment is trial and error with the mount slightly overshooting the perfect angle by lessening amounts each time.  All this takes  about 10mins more than it should.

Anyway, looking forward to 'first-light' .....  (if that is appropriate for something that is locked away in the bowels of the metal work)

Cheers,

Sean.

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Yes I brought one and fitted it in about 15 mins there were not any adhsive pads with my kit but they were

Not really needed .I have not refitted my scope yet but the movement is very smooth time will tell how

good it is.

Do think it is a bit over priced  but I suspect the price will drop when they start selling lots of them.

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Overpriced....??   ... good point.

Well my mount has some serious polar issues with the original bolts chewing the metal work.  Considering the hassle and possile DIY skill needed to correct the problem and enhance the axis movement, the price is possibly justified.   It's predessessor was about twice the price, but did look like a piece of well engineered artistry.

Will be interested how you get on with it.

Cheers,

Sean.

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Well cranny if we ever get any clear weather I will say how things perform I

.but I must say  movement is very smooth compared to the original.

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On 07/06/2018 at 22:12, Craney said:

Overpriced....??   ... good point.

Well my mount has some serious polar issues with the original bolts chewing the metal work.  Considering the hassle and possile DIY skill needed to correct the problem and enhance the axis movement, the price is possibly justified.   It's predessessor was about twice the price, but did look like a piece of well engineered artistry.

Will be interested how you get on with it.

Cheers,

Sean.

I have the predecessor.....it was expensive, but it was also a huge lump of superbly engineered aluminium. I was surprised to see  it being no longer made. Despite a few small issues it was a great bit of kit?

Steve

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Well I had time today so loaded up my equinox 120 but to lighten the load a little I changed my setup and did away with my duel mount bar and st80 guide scope this saved 3kg and only used the 120 with a spotting scope as guide scope.. Moving the latitude  bolts was a dream I could do micro adjustments with ease .So If I get time this weekend will try with my usual setup and the extra weight but after today's trial I am sure it will be fine. So it looks like the eq6 rail was a good purchase.

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@mog3768 How do you Polar align ?   I use SharpCap and find it works very well for my HEQ5, but with the bigger mount (NEQ6) I found it a struggle and then discovered the bolt issue.    Heavy payloads tend to take things to the extreme and any slight imbalance, loose bolts or wobble is exposed.    

Hopefully this new design will make it as easy as on my HEQ5.

Thanks for the continuing info.  I am hovering over the purchase button.

Sean.

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Carney I use PhD to drift align and am fortunate to have a permanent setup but I was having problems one of my bolts had badly scored the wedge so kept loosing alignment. I did make steel plates that I drilled and tapped out and fixed to the wedge this worked fine but I still had the problem of the bolt being at an angle to the wedge. The new wedge has an angled plate and over comes this problem there by taking a lot of strain of the South bolt. I will look into the new one as and when it becomes available but the only reason would be it looks really smart.In the mean time I am very happy with the rail system.

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So the bolt that still pushes directly against the tab on the mount head, does this still not score the tab and cause issues...as on the new rail only one bolt fits the new rail assembly....so do t see how this helps, as it only affects one bolt...!!!

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Yes light bucket  I do wish I had taken photos when I fitted mine as they would explain a lot anyway after the tapered base unit is in place a cylinder shape piece with grooves lays on the tray which you grease this cylinder has a hole for the bolt to fit into it then pushes against the South side of the wedge  because of our latitude this is the side that bares most of the weight the north bolt then locks everything down the idea is that the direction of push is straight thereby stoppng the bolt from bending. Don't know if I have explaned it well do know I have not put any comers or full stops. I have just spent a while outside it is far to light here to test the drift align but looking through the eye piece onto a just visable star I could move the star around with ease using the bolts.

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10 hours ago, mog3768 said:

Yes light bucket  I do wish I had taken photos when I fitted mine as they would explain a lot anyway after the tapered base unit is in place a cylinder shape piece with grooves lays on the tray which you grease this cylinder has a hole for the bolt to fit into it then pushes against the South side of the wedge  because of our latitude this is the side that bares most of the weight the north bolt then locks everything down the idea is that the direction of push is straight thereby stoppng the bolt from bending. Don't know if I have explaned it well do know I have not put any comers or full stops. I have just spent a while outside it is far to light here to test the drift align but looking through the eye piece onto a just visable star I could move the star around with ease using the bolts.

So when locking the north bolt down, won’t that bolt still score the original tab on the mount head and cause issues..?.as that one has no modification done to it....

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Yes mine has a small delve on the north side but it is the South side that takes all the load not perfect but much improved on the original sorry light bucket have just read your original post no you could not remove the bolts to pack your mount away as I said the South bolt fits into a hole on the cylinder part and you might have a job realiging this without dismantling your mount. Can't you leave the bolts in place when you pack away.

Edited by mog3768
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There is an manufacturers advert on Astro B&S that explains a few details.

"Introductory"  price as well..... hmmmm?? 

and a HEQ5 version is also on the cards.

Edited by Craney

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If this works well then the price is very good. I love my eq6 wedge and the movement when tightening it all down is easly dealt with especially when using the polemaster.

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