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DanLXIX

EQ5 Tripod Leg Fell Off

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So I was out trying to align my new polarscope (I've upgraded to the new reticle) and whilst moving the tripod around the north leg fell out!! Turns out both of the grub screws on one side are not biting the thread at all. Currently got gaffa tape doing the job of stopping a repeat performance, but anyone had the same issue? Will I need to tap out the hole and put in a bigger grub screw (something I've never done before)?

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Haven't had that particular issue but some parts of Skywatcher kit seem to be made out of a variety of soft cheese.

Re-tapping is probably the best option I think, vs epoxying etc. Unless you never plan on dismantling the tripod.

You can get a cheap tap and die set from Screwfix or MachineMart, they're not fantastic quality but will go for a few jobs and save buying new kit. I used mine recently to tap a dovetail bar with holes for my guidescope rings. The kit Instantly paid for itself vs buying a ready-made bar.

Edited by Yearofthegoat
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1 hour ago, Yearofthegoat said:

Re-tapping is probably the best option I think, vs epoxying etc. Unless you never plan on dismantling the tripod.

Now I hadn't thought of epoxy. That might be the simple solution.

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I had this same issue on a Celestron tripod. Gaffa tape was the first solution and worked well, but a more permanent solution (especially if you want to eventually sell it) would be re-tapping. It's not difficult, especially as the original grub screws were ludicrously small, and larger ones worked well.

Eric.

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23 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

I have an EQ-5 but I am not clear what you mean. Grub screws? Can you post a photo?

I don't have a specific one to hand, but this shows where a small piece of gaffa tape is covering the top screw, and the bottom one is under the full wrap of gaffa. There are two on screws on the opposite side of the leg.

46468124_10156893898319507_3746155962600259584_o.jpg

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4 minutes ago, ejp1684 said:

I had this same issue on a Celestron tripod. Gaffa tape was the first solution and worked well, but a more permanent solution (especially if you want to eventually sell it) would be re-tapping. It's not difficult, especially as the original grub screws were ludicrously small, and larger ones worked well.

Eric.

I suppose doing all of them would be prudent. Glue vs screw choice to make then :D

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49 minutes ago, DanLXIX said:

but this shows where a small piece of gaffa tape is covering the top screw, and the bottom one is under the full wrap of gaffa. There are two on screws on the opposite side of the leg.

I get it now.  I never noticed these before. Speaking as an ex-mechanical engineer, the grub screws look perfectly adequate to stop the leg falling out, or rotating. Little grip should be necessary to stop it doing either.  If they are not gripping, it could be either bad manufacture, or some previous owner tightened them in an overly manly fashion and stripped the thread.

The tidy solution would be to re-tap the holes in a different position, or for a larger gauge screw, and the quick'n dirty solution would be to Araldite the leg in place.  Since the components are not AFAIK available separately as spares, it seems unlikely that you would ever want to separate them. 

Edited by Cosmic Geoff

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Just a thought - does epoxy/Araldite crack in low temperatures or with flexing?

Yes I know the ideal is not to have any flexing, but the tripods do settle after setting up. The spreader plate usually needs re-tightening after cool-down, for example.

TBH I'd go for re-tapping. The tap kit is useful for other stuff too.

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2 hours ago, DanLXIX said:

So I was out trying to align my new polarscope (I've upgraded to the new reticle) and whilst moving the tripod around the north leg fell out!! Turns out both of the grub screws on one side are not biting the thread at all. Currently got gaffa tape doing the job of stopping a repeat performance, but anyone had the same issue? Will I need to tap out the hole and put in a bigger grub screw (something I've never done before)?

I got one second hand and several of the grub screws had been brutally overtightened and stripped (and dented the tubes) so they were doing nothing so two of the legs were 'flapping'.

I drilled holes on the opposite side of the socket, tapped them and reused the original grub screws.

Tapping is easy on the relatively soft alloy of the sockets so you can probably get away with a cheap tap and a little lubricant and some care.

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Thanks all, I think I'll go for re-tapping. That means I'll be buying some new tools... I hate doing that 🤣

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19 hours ago, DanLXIX said:

Thanks all, I think I'll go for re-tapping. That means I'll be buying some new tools... I hate doing that 🤣

Buy a 3in1 tap, also called a machine tap or speed tap. Use a bit of thin oil or a 1:1 mixture from oil and diesel fuel to get an easy and clean cut.
Be sure to get the right drilbit for the thread you are going to make, whether you will be drilling new holes and tap for the same grubscrews, or redo the existing ones with a bigger size screw. (which is the best I think)

Learned a new trade: tapping threads... :headbang2:

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8 hours ago, Waldemar said:

redo the existing ones with a bigger size screw. (which is the best I think)

I fear the metal is a bit thin and  a larger grub screw may end up proud of the hole.

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