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FLO

Welcome to FLO Rowan Astronomy

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You can now buy Rowan Belt Mod kits¬†at FLO ūüôā¬†

Rowan Belt Mod Kit for Sky Watcher HEQ5 Pro

Rowan Belt Mod Kit for Sky Watcher NEQ6 Pro

Rowan Belt Mod kits replace the mount's spur gear drive train with timing belts. This reduces spur gear errors, which reduces tracking errors. 

Slewing is also quieter - the 'grinding' associated with regular spur gears is significantly reduced. 

The pulley ratio is the same as the factory gears so Sky Watcher's SynScan hand controller functions are unaffected. 

 

Rowan_belt_modification_kit_for_neq6_pro

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Everything is in stock. The Pinion Extractor, bearing tool and spare belts will be added to our website later today ūüôā¬†

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If you could take¬†the practical skills and confidence needed for the upgrade, put them¬†in a box and sell that as well, I‚Äôd be interested. ¬†Alas...ūü§™

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1 minute ago, Hallingskies said:

If you could take¬†the practical skills and confidence needed for the upgrade, put them¬†in a box and sell that as well, I‚Äôd be interested. ¬†Alas...ūü§™

If you lack the necessary Blue Peter skills, or simply don't have time to fit a Rowan Belt Mod kit, we will soon be offering HEQ5 & NEQ6 mounts with the kits pre-installed ūüôā¬†

More about that soon... 

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A very nice addition to your website. Can you recommend a decent grease to accompany the belt mod?

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15 minutes ago, geordie85 said:

A very nice addition to your website. Can you recommend a decent grease to accompany the belt mod?

The chap at Rowan Engineering is Dave Rose. We will ask him ūüôā¬†

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2 minutes ago, FLO said:

If you lack the necessary Blue Peter skills....

Joking aside, the Rowan mod doesn’t look that difficult, though getting the worm alignment and belt tension right looks a bit hit and miss.  I do plan to have a go sometime, so FLO stocking the kit is worth knowing about.  I’ve just treated my dear old Vixen GPDX to a Synscan upgrade kit, so once I’ve done some trials to see how it all reacts to EQMOD/PHD guiding (goto is not too bad) I will swop out my NEQ6 and take it to bits if all goes well.  My NEQ6 is ten years old and still works and guides OKish but oh, that gear clatter. That can’t be right...

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Hope you don't mind linking one of my previous thread to all the videos that show it actually being done. I'm a lot less scared of (maybe) trying this at some point having watched them.

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56 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Hope you don't mind linking one of my previous thread to all the videos that show it actually being done. I'm a lot less scared of (maybe) trying this at some point having watched them.

No problem. Thank-you ūüôā¬†

I see the chap who made the videos is also here at SGL¬†ūüėé

Steve 

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It really is not that bad to do. I found once you have stripped and assembled a couple of times you realise how little there is to doing it.

You just need a few hours some basic tools and a nice clean area to work.

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17 hours ago, Hallingskies said:

Joking aside, the Rowan mod doesn’t look that difficult, though getting the worm alignment and belt tension right looks a bit hit and miss.

I did the mod a while ago (pretty easy with the pinion extractor) but did not spent a lot of time aligning anything... I just made sure there was enough tension on the belt. What is there to align, I am not sure I see what you are referencing to. You got me worried I did not do a good job ! ;)

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On 24/07/2018 at 16:18, geordie85 said:

A very nice addition to your website. Can you recommend a decent grease to accompany the belt mod?

 

On 24/07/2018 at 16:30, FLO said:

The chap at Rowan Engineering is Dave Rose. We will ask him ūüôā¬†

For lubricating the steel wheel and brass worm gear Dave recommends Aeroshell 33 (not 33ms!). Designed originally for the aerospace industry (of the 359 grease application points on a Boeing 737, AeroShell Grease 33 lubricates all but 9!) so works very well with mount gears. 

For the bearings, any good quality medium grease will work. FWIW Dave uses and recommends SKF LG MT2. Apparently it is good for bearings running at up to 20,000 rpm so will have no difficulty lubricating a mount's slow-moving bearings! Clean the bearings with white spirits, turp' substitute or any other good degreaser then apply a small amount of the new grease. Not too much, about twice the amount of toothpaste you'd put on a tooth brush. 

We hope to source both and make them available at our website soon. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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A quick note regarding the Rowan NEQ6 Belt Mod Kit.

The surface finish of the components in our product photo¬†differ to those shown on the Rowan Astronomy website only because theirs were photographed immediately after they were machined, while still nice and shiny. After machining the components are put in a vibratory finisher -¬†a¬†vibrating bowl with a mix of liquid and abrasive media. As the machine rotates, the media¬†rubs against the components¬†to remove sharp edges. They then look like the ones shown in our photograph and are ready for delivery¬†to customers¬†ūüôā¬†

Rowan_belt_modification_kit_for_neq6_pro

HTH, 

Steve 

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On 24/07/2018 at 16:36, Hallingskies said:

Maybe some decent replacement bearings as well....?

The HEQ5 Pro already has decent SKF bearings that are more than adequate. 

There is a lot of smoke and mirrors around mount 'tuning' so it is important to note the days when you might open a HEQ5 and find swarf particles and thick black gluey grease are long gone. Sky-Watcher's manufacturing has improved significantly over the years. If you open a new HEQ5 Pro mount it will be clean and the grease will be of good quality. If you fit a Rowan Belt Mod kit to a new HEQ5 Pro mount and also remove, clean, regrease and refit the gears and bearings, over 90% of the improvement will come from the Rowan upgrade alone. In particular, because the mount's middle transfer gear (it's periodic error is out of phase with the worm error) and the pinion motor's 12-tooth gear (adds a slight ripple that can be difficult to guide out) are both removed. And, of course, the Rowan Belt Mod upgrade eliminates the grinding chatter that comes from the mount's original spur gears. 

Having said that, if your mount is several years old then it probably is worth you cleaning and¬†regreasing the gears and bearings when fitting the Rowan upgrade kit. But don't get carried away ūüôā¬†

HTH, 

Steve 

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On 07/08/2018 at 12:34, FLO said:

The HEQ5 Pro already has decent SKF bearings that are more than adequate. 

There is a lot of smoke and mirrors around mount 'tuning' so it is important to note the days when you might open a HEQ5 and find swarf particles and thick black gluey grease are long gone. Sky-Watcher's manufacturing has improved significantly over the years...

Having helped an equally mechanophobic friend replace the bearings in his old and rather abused EQ5 that had pretty much disintegrated, your assurance that things have improved is welcome.  Between us we got the job done, should have done the belt mod at the same time as it’s a cinch on the EQ5.  We got the bearings we needed from RS, I think they were SKFs.  

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9 minutes ago, Hallingskies said:

... his old and rather abused EQ5 that had pretty much disintegrated

EQ5 or HEQ5? 

My understanding is today's HEQ5 uses SKF bearings. 

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It was the boxy-looking one, like a smaller EQ6, so must have been the HEQ5?  It had been left out in all weathers, amazed the electrics survived, the mechanicals definitely needed some TLC.  I suppose it’s not worth carrying spares for rare cases such as that.  Not like GEM bearings do a lot of work, really.

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