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Alan64

The Exquisite and Venerable EQ-1

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I recently acquired a new kit, and my very own "Bird Jones", at long last...

box4.jpg.fff167bce991397d310fd45b7dd11c35.jpg

But this thread is not about the telescope.  That will come in future, and once I set to "fix" it.

The kit came with a genuine Celestron CG-2, or EQ-1.  The mount has been described, among other adjectives, as "spindly", and indeed this one nigh disappears among the spindly, wintry branches of the trees surrounding it...

mount3.jpg.8ccf6f4687ed92c471b55384c186404d.jpg

If I had a nickel, or a five-pence, for every EQ-1 upended in landfills all around the world, I could buy, well, this mount, and the telescope to boot...

yerkes_2009.jpg

There's a reason for the castaway nature of an EQ-1, especially the modern ones, not least of all these plasticky, soft and spongy washers...

1203476669_plastickyspongyrubbery.jpg.814e3c49e1736f66f52459d56dfe28b9.jpg

But it doesn't have to be so...

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6 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

There's a reason for the castaway nature of an EQ-1,

... A further reason is included in your first pic... A 127 newt on an EQ1? REALLY? ? 

Manufacturers have the use of undermounting their scope, but this is extreme even visually. 

If used visually with a very small scope, it makes sense and allows one-handed following of the sky rotation. 

But if proposed for imaging or to hold a heavy or long focal scope well, it's the recipe for frustration. 

Fabio

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2 minutes ago, FaDG said:

 

... A further reason is included in your first pic... A 127 newt on an EQ1? REALLY? ? 

Manufacturers have the use of undermounting their scope, but this is extreme even visually. 

If used visually with a very small scope, it makes sense and allows one-handed following of the sky rotation. 

But if proposed for imaging or to hold a heavy or long focal scope well, it's the recipe for frustration. 

Fabio

Actually it's not a Newtonian, but a catadioptric, and in the case of the 127mm an economical alternative to a 130mm Schmidt-Cassegrain, and by virtue of this, its "corrector"...

1998077796_doubletcorrector2.jpg.3a3b26c2afe8f24e7ae2ae3a41cabd10.jpg

...a doublet-lens integrated at the bottom of the drawtube of the focusser.  One method of collimating the telescope involves the removal of the lens, whereby it may then be collimated in the manner of a classical Newtonian.

No, the mount, and the subject of this thread, will not be hosting the telescope in question.  I do have a few smaller telescopes that will be mounted upon it, however; one in particular: my "Floating Achromat"...

1852218323_FloatingAchromat2.jpg.fec577dfbab9856267f244d0c78b8c92.jpg

specs-label2.jpg.1b9f4a2fec87f0764c723506548dde7e.jpg

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43 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

..a doublet-lens integrated at the bottom of the drawtube of the focusser.

Yes, yes, I know. A friend of mine had one of these 130 (1000 fl, i think) on the equivalent of a Lidl mount (Bresser skylux), and it was already undermounted: in fact it broke after some time. The barlow-like doublet is used to keep the tube short and yet extracts the focus. 

I'll be interested in your opinion on the scope, let me know! 

And yes, for your 600 f12 the EQ-1 will just be fine! ?

 What I dislike is the choice of proposing it to newbies saving on the mount, with the result of frustrating them out of the hobby. 

Ah, I forgot: i have one of these EQ1 myself, which i bought for its wooden tripod. 

The head was close to useless, but I'm trying ti get something out of it anyway. If i succeed I'll let you know! 

Edited by FaDG
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8 hours ago, FaDG said:

Yes, yes, I know. A friend of mine had one of these 130 (1000 fl, i think) on the equivalent of a Lidl mount (Bresser skylux), and it was already undermounted: in fact it broke after some time. The barlow-like doublet is used to keep the tube short and yet extracts the focus. 

I'll be interested in your opinion on the scope, let me know! 

And yes, for your 600 f12 the EQ-1 will just be fine! ?

 What I dislike is the choice of proposing it to newbies saving on the mount, with the result of frustrating them out of the hobby. 

Ah, I forgot: i have one of these EQ1 myself, which i bought for its wooden tripod. 

The head was close to useless, but I'm trying ti get something out of it anyway. If i succeed I'll let you know! 

I would be very interested in seeing an EQ-1 with a wooden tripod, as I've never seen one before.  Do you have a photo of it to share?  

After I illustrate what I've done, and what I am to do further to this one, it is my earnest desire and hope that others will renovate theirs similarly, and then to make practical use of them.  

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8 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

I would be very interested in seeing an EQ-1 with a wooden tripod, as I've never seen one before.  Do you have a photo of it to share?  

Only tripod still available. The head (an old japanese model, even without elevation screw and bolts to fix a motor) has been dismantled and I'm reusing some of its elements in another Project. 

But the tripod is really sturdy and ideale for the Star Adventurer. No small photo tripod goes even close to this for its stability. Here is a pic. 

_20190224_225708.JPG

Edited by FaDG
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There, among the debris and refuse within the landfill, it's usually the upended tripod that one first encounters...

1319723877_upendedtripod.jpg.d79874302cc85a501650bdf87d56dc02.jpg

But where's the mount-head?  It's nowhere to be seen.  Alas, I suspect it was utilised for some non-astronomical project or other; a pity, sad, that.

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22 minutes ago, FaDG said:

Only tripod still available. The head (an old japanese model, even without elevation screw and bolts to fix a motor) has been dismantled and I'm reusing some of its elements in another Project. 

But the tripod is really sturdy and ideale for the Star Adventurer. No small photo tripod goes even close to this for its stability. Here is a pic. 

_20190224_225708.JPG

I must be psychic, as it was after I had posted my most recent post that I read yours, and there you state that you had used the mount-head for a project.  Incredible!

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The only pressing, real problem with the aluminum tripod, is the spreader...

1580977419_spreaderanchoring.jpg.35b1254238917e4c8c4f5e2000c97075.jpg

It's no wonder it shakes and wiggles at the slightest breeze or bump.

Now, I have a few wooden tripods, and from smaller, older kits, but this arrived along with the telescope, and I don't want to throw it away.  The hub of the spreader...

1586244343_spreaderanchoring2.jpg.d5ab6ef88a51e5a36df087613ef1f293.jpg

The arms are anchored onto the hub with rolled, stamped pins.  What might be done with that?

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36 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

and there you state that you had used the mount-head for a project.  Incredible!

He, he... I wrote: "some of its elements". 

Actually only the Gear and worm wheel (which has a measured PA of about 150arcsec! ?). 

Not completed yet, so I don't know if I can get anything usable out of it. But I'm trying to convert it to an astro tracker. If I succeed you'll find some info in the DYI section. Else, only some time lost. 

Fabio

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33 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

What might be done with that?

3D printing a support to keep it blocked while in use? 

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Those rolled-pins came out easy enough...

458474566_hubremoval.jpg.da6f189150b5128ccf2a05abad661b40.jpg

Where the arms attach to the legs, the supplied stainless-steel screws and lock-nuts were a refreshing discovery, albeit skimpy.

I went out the other day to my local hardware at the county seat, whilst on another day also to the big-box hardwares near the state line, and got non-metric, #8(quite close to 4mm) stainless-steel(always) screws and lock-nuts, and #6 washers of nylon and stainless...

1928367668_spreaderanchoring3.jpg.221e0833fb88f5773f7ff6bce3002945.jpg  

I had to squeeze the rolled holes at the six anchoring points to as small a diameter as possible, and for a tight fit, but there at the legs I had to insert brass sleeves to fill the holes further for the screws, as shown.

The tripod completed...

tripod.jpg.cf4fc10e14f611416bfe04bc68765a6f.jpg

tripod2.jpg.6b562a9308baa0d76a6edafee21211b5.jpg

The tripod now snaps open and closed like one of those collapsible top-hats...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0MG6F2WjBk

Now, elsewhere someone suggested filling, the center legs at least, with sand, but that would make the tripod heavier.  The thing I like about this tripod is that it's ever so light in weight, so I won't be doing that.  Another suggestion was insulating-foam, from a spray-can, and to fill with that.  That would be in keeping with the lightness of the tripod, but I can't see or understand the benefit of that at present.

Edited by Alan64
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The suggestion to fill the legs with Sand is actually aimed at increasing the weight and reducing the centre of mass when loaded. 

Can't imagine the benefit of the foam: maybe reduce vibrations? 

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Just now, FaDG said:

The suggestion to fill the legs with Sand is actually aimed at increasing the weight and reducing the centre of mass when loaded. 

Can't imagine the benefit of the foam: maybe reduce vibrations? 

Yes, and in the hanging of a weight from the bottom of the tray as well; and yes, the foam to dampen.

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The eyepiece-and-accessory tray screws onto the hub...

1586975167_eyepiecetray.jpg.c3810bf5bd9fd7cd0eac6bbe9015964c.jpg

...and with provision for your favourite 1.25" and .965"(!) eyepieces and accessories...

1469726088_eyepiecetray2.jpg.5d1bb762355e26c3ac97a81b2be706a0.jpg

I may make another tray for it, and on a rainy day.  I've had LOTS of those hereabouts, and over the weeks and months.

This is a nice touch: angled feet...

1096004883_angledfoot.jpg.a3cb730a5709176b210ed6283d4cfebd.jpg

I wonder how well those will keep the legs from sinking into the mud...

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33 minutes ago, FaDG said:

He, he... I wrote: "some of its elements". 

Actually only the Gear and worm wheel (which has a measured PA of about 150arcsec! ?). 

Not completed yet, so I don't know if I can get anything usable out of it. But I'm trying to convert it to an astro tracker. If I succeed you'll find some info in the DYI section. Else, only some time lost. 

Fabio

Ah, but you are using it for an astronomical project still; good that.

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Now for the mount-head, and the star of the show...

I had gotten this "AstroMaster Deluxe" CG-2 last July...

892435354_DeluxeCG-2.jpg.fe4a02d652fa766d012bce35916ff3b1.jpg

But since that time I've come to judge it a bit too garish and tacky in appearance; too moderne.  It does, however, come with a Vixen-style mounting saddle.  Still, I now prefer the old-school, far more tasteful and subtle appearance of the basic CG-2...

2089511666_originalmount-head.jpg.a6ba21c3fed637b3d185869c6db26537.jpg

Why, I could grey-scale that image, and you couldn't really tell the difference...

42130273_originalmount-head-bw.jpg.454aa82c3fd9005936c62c9baabe56c1.jpg

See?  I like that.

This basic CG-2 comes with painted, rudimentary thumbscrews to clamp down the axes, and a bolt-on mounting-saddle...

237656213_mountingsaddle.jpg.b412e08c3d3bec125e8ba0218722099e.jpg

It's 2019, and it still comes with that archaic, draconian saddle.  Those are really the only two aspects that are more "deluxe" on the "AstroMaster" variant.

During the interim, between the acquisitions of the two CG-2 mounts, I had submitted a warranty claim with Celestron, and ended up with a spare "AstroMaster Deluxe" mount-head, and somewhat stripped.  Are you thinking what I'm thinking...

650423561_basic-deluxeCG-2.jpg.7bdf39fd9f61011c492e0edee1fb5fcd.jpg

Shall I, or shan't I?

Edited by Alan64
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I shall, and I did in fact.  At first, I had gotten this 73p rattle-can of gloss-black, and from my local department store...

1084594577_glossblack.jpg.cb424e1606af81f323147728598e4d9e.jpg

But later, I discovered this...

hammered.jpg.3f44a6866e18cc06ad5d559708f70d48.jpg

The mount, the black paint, has a hammered finish.  The dark-grey of the "AstroMaster" saddle does not however, so I had to go out and splurge...

1249299830_hammeredblack2.jpg.544e2e178f7b51d35d374d57a797f129.jpg

1560653558_hammeredblack.jpg.f1775ee076d7aaedac566ed3958be02d.jpg

I would never do that.  

I didn't want to paint over where the dovetail-bar would slide and be clamped into position, so I masked that portion off...

1483869901_Vixensaddle5.jpg.57ffea90f99cde06723a18cf2e060a4e.jpg

There, that's done...

1914113638_Vixensaddle11.jpg.889cdacd1107057fa8c642d21e422073.jpg

Incidentally, throughout this whole project, I've had to remove the paint from all of the bearing surfaces, where metal moves against metal.  To wit, Synta's painting methods are one of the major banes of my existence.

What, is paint lubricating?  Who paints bearing surfaces???

Edited by Alan64
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A very entertaining read so far Alan! Looking forward to watching this progress 

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

A very entertaining read so far Alan! Looking forward to watching this progress 

Thanks, Stu.  I do hope that folks look upon this smallest of equatorials in a whole new light once I've completed its hyper-tuning, and as a practical mounting solution, albeit for the smallest of telescopes.

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I got to use a CG3 (EQ2 equivalent) sold with an Astromaster 130 newt, a few years back. 

It has the same new look as your CG2 but it also had a BIG design flaw: the saddle is not centered on the axis (your seems to be), thus balancing the relatively heavy 130 just wasn't possible. 

Are you planning to add a small motor on it? 

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On 25/02/2019 at 07:55, FaDG said:

I got to use a CG3 (EQ2 equivalent) sold with an Astromaster 130 newt, a few years back. 

It has the same new look as your CG2 but it also had a BIG design flaw: the saddle is not centered on the axis (your seems to be), thus balancing the relatively heavy 130 just wasn't possible. 

Are you planning to add a small motor on it? 

Hmm, that's odd about the saddle placement.  I have this Meade EQ-2 that I got last year, and it seems to be centered...

saddle.jpg.31ec9375ade60df4b514f9028c63d458.jpg

Oh yes, I have this Celestron 9V-battery motor-drive for the mount.  It can be used on a CG-4(EQ-3) even...

7a.jpg.d060e47a91342f898b2e998b24c16041.jpg

The worm-shaft must turn easily with the fingers before using the motor-drive, lest the plastic gears inside lose some if not most of their teeth.  I'll be seeing to that.

Edited by Alan64

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Tsk, tsk, tsk.  An instance of where paint needed to be removed, of the saddle, and before I had masked and painted it...

482484082_Vixensaddle2a.jpg.510cc23042cb8b0e0adb162b1366c1a9.jpg

Casting burrs were also filed down where needed.

The RA-axis, exploded...

1998928866_RA-axisinternals.jpg.2ae83489575476fac2a70a2f1bddb3b1.jpg

:help2:

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The aft RA bores, one stepped, were stripped...

1998162457_RAbores.jpg.64b231ab0ba8be4a392a5170b47063be.jpg

The other side, and where the lock-nut goes, was particularly gruelling, as I not only had to remove paint and smooth the metal surface, but I had to do all of that from the top of a deep well...

1867143196_RAaftsubstrate2a.jpg.268251fe9d63a0b44286997ce181c7a2.jpg

On the left, that's after I had removed most of the paint; on the right, where more paint was removed whilst sanding and polishing the surface.  That's about as good as it's going to get.  In that that's the butt-end, so be it.

Edited by Alan64

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Lastly, in preparation for the hyper-tuning, these surfaces were stripped of their paint as well, inside and out here...

1910842038_DECcontrol2.jpg.2cc44b1fddc6ddccc2979e569a5640f8.jpg

That brass rod will replace the rusty, steel clamping-pin, after it's cut to length of course.

The flange of the DEC shaft was also stripped...

1389300900_DECshaft2a.jpg.2c0849e4fdcdc2f76292f80eb83dd4e5.jpg

Rust at the tip of the counterweight-shaft, inside...

rust.jpg.4103620bcaf0384ed491a935708b31a6.jpg

That has been rectified.  There are also portions of the DEC control with rust, and those will be cleaned and lubed as well.  Thankfully, those are only two instances of rust that I've found within this mount-head.  In addition, those instances were not surprising, expected even.

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