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Storing Scope\Mount with weights on


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Hello,

When not in use I tend to remove my scope from my EQ6, but leave the counterweights attached to the bar. The weights are only a couple of inches down from the mount head, but I was wondering if this is adding unnecessary strain, and that perhaps I should remove them ?

Thanks

Alistair

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It is not about the strain on the central bolt, but about the strain on the drivetrain, caused by a massive imbalance.
So yes, it would be better to take them off.

Edited by Waldemar
typo
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Unless 'weights down' meant perpendicular with the floor, then there must be strain on something - as your equatorial mount is actually perpendicular to the polar axis there must be some strain on the RA bearing...

Confession; I never remove the cw from my EQ5, but will start doing so from now - I expect the strain would be within tolerances, but why take the risk?

Edited by adyj1
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The problem IMHO is not the static weight of the counterweight, but an unbalanced weight potentially causing the mount head to swing about as you carry it to storage, with possibly negative consequences. Since you have to take various items off (OTA, spreader-tray, cabling) in order to put the mount away, why not take off the counterweights as well and reduce the weight you have to carry?

I always take the counterweight off my EQ-5 before putting it away.

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Yes, I always remove my counter weights when lifting my AZ-EQ6. I'd do myself a mischief otherwise.  I also loosen both clutches so the mount is free to swivel in both axes when I put it down where it's kept. 

But if I was going to leave the mount assembled without the telescope on for some reason I would not worry about leaving the weights on as long as the mount was in the home 'weights down' position i.e. the weight rod pointing north. After all that's where the mount would naturally come to rest if the RA clutch were disengaged. Maybe I'm missing the point here. 

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why would you want to take any riscs with counterweights?  Just because you can?? Take them off and be on the safe side! 1/2 a minute more wortk... so what?
If it is about keeping balance then just mark the bar.

Edited by Waldemar
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On 09/10/2018 at 15:38, Ouroboros said:

Maybe I'm missing the point here

Maybe I'm not explaining it very well ? 

in the weights down position there will be no tension on the ra clutch, but the fact that those weights were counterbalancing 5 kilos or more of OTA (say) means that there will be an unbalanced load on the ra bearings.

Now I accept that the bearings are probably easily within tolerances and should take this unbalanced load all day long, I'm just thinking with the older second-hand mounts that I tend to have, a bit of mollycoddling wouldn't go amiss ? 

Edited by adyj1
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"...bearings are probably easily within tolerances...".  I should hope so. After all those bearings are designed to  'bear' the weight of the weights and the telescope all day and all night long. I'd expect the bearings to be well within tolerance of bearing half that weight, albeit unbalanced. The designers will have factored in brief imbalances every time a mount is set up and torn down again, probably many times during its lifetime. But hey! If people want to remove the telescope for any period of time and feel better taking the weights off, go for it! 

Edited by Ouroboros
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Id remove them. I had a 90 EQ scope with counter weights which i left on all the time.

Cant remove them now. The bar is bent. I left the scope and CW in the horizontal position.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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People keep them in observatories with the weights on - and I haven't seen any reports of failures because of this.

My Eq6 has spent more than three years on the patio.  I take off the OTA when I finish observing. 

 

It used to get covered with a black bin bag, but I have recently upgraded to a golf bag cover.  A bad back means that I really couldn't carry it out and back in every session.

I'm not recommending that anyone do as I have done - but these mounts do seem to be pretty tough.
 

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Also with the weights down there will be strain. And not only to the main bearrings, but to the whole construction.
A mount is made to have the load balanced, not just on one side. Whatever side that may be.

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