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The Exquisite and Venerable EQ-1


Alan64
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Really great project!. Now this is Astronomy.. The joy of modding and perfecting the equipment is a huge part of the hobby.

I had a Helios 114 Skyhawk on a Eq1 around 25 ish years ago. That scope & mount gave me so much joy. It was the Cat Newt style also with the lens in the focus tube. I managed to mod  it by retro fitting the mount head to some sort of survey tripod (I think it was?.. long time ago)

This is indeed a very interesting thread. Thanks & well done so far :)

Best Rob

Edited by Rob
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14 hours ago, Stu said:

How do you shape all these lovely washers and shims Alan?

After the drilling and cutting-out, you tidy up the rough edges, oft very rough, with a rotary-tool and a small sanding-drum; then sandpaper and steel-wool to smooth and polish, and by hand.

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I did the last three in one fell swoop, whatever a fell swoop is. Now, those overlays are lighter than the legs, and I want them inconspicuous, so they'll get a double dose of the dye...

1773088584_woodenlegs11.jpg.e86a20df83789a8b6ffd94563fe63385.jpg

Now for epoxying the brass...

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On the flip side of those overlays, the brass, but the edges of the wood must be dyed first, as there'll be no dyeing where that epoxy touches; same with wood-glue, but I didn't want to dye around the maple overlays, as the glue might not hold in that instance.  Why take the chance.

I cut the dye, half to half, with denatured-alcohol, and it's still a bit dark...

brass.jpg.932c7f7aa0c030f02c3e40a27f14cd20.jpg

I may use two parts of the alcohol to one of the dye, but I'll need to test that first.

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  • 1 month later...

Springtime chores had placed this project on hold for a spell -- milking the cows, repairing the ox-cart and the stone wall round the homestead -- those sorts of things.

The new-old legs finally received their first coat of satin spar-urethane...

1434496738_woodenlegs17.jpg.c4994fbd5edc076aa9e8fc45d4993b63.jpg

...then a second coat on select areas, and where wood does not contact wood...

1986886583_woodenlegs18.jpg.751eb34c69f55ea9107b55023c317cd8.jpg

After the varnish cured, brass was placed on the tops of the center-legs, and to protect the wood when slammed up against the edges of the yokes of the tripod-hub...

161724375_woodenlegs19.jpg.9422909ea6ff404fb495cdf4045ac84e.jpg

1570509089_woodenlegs20.jpg.1439e338d2d50b49a159395ce44ebc0e.jpg

I considered aftermarket tips for the legs, but upon closer inspection, and after a trip to town, the original tips will be fine.  But instead of re-stapling them, I decided to secure them a bit better...

1466807296_legtips2.jpg.34c5dcf132bcfb5c7a03c178231f4958.jpg

...and of stainless-steel.

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The most challenging aspect of this part of the project was in the marrying of the old hardware of the wooden legs to the spreader-assembly of the much newer kit.  I removed the steel-pins of the old braces, then went to my local hardware...

tabs2.jpg.e79f3bd25917443e1bded614c888acd2.jpg

237924600_spreaderfix2.jpg.3a1688bb32bea697e3e8a4665a926432.jpg

After I set to work from there, I realised that the loops at the ends of the arms had to go...

spreader4a.jpg.7c54e42f954fc27c7ff8a095c1070a77.jpg

The ends were hammered flat and smoothed.  You can see there at upper right where I needed to batten down a lock-nut, yet the loop was in the way.  Scoring with a diamond-wheel, then a hacksaw, removed them rather quickly.  As a result of using said tools to prepare these parts, a nick here, a scrape there, all got a fresh spritzing with satin black, and to prevent rust...

spreader10a.jpg.42721530d93fe840562aa78abc7660f9.jpg  

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I had a hiccough, and a fortunate one...

1460701069_spreaderpoints2.jpg.d9fadae131d4bd2816588f0c75bf4aa5.jpg

Well, would you look at that.  The attachment points differ in position. 

I've got to know how exactly where to attach the braces' tabs to the arms of the spreader, and so to preserve the same angle of the wooden legs as those of the aluminum when folded outward, or near enough.

I then made a diagram with my old "CAD" programme, Paint Shop Pro 6.  I tried version 7, long ago, then went back to 6.  When you've already got a good thing going...

1947103842_legangles3.jpg.34e0f878e6f4cf487f3f03590d930a6f.jpg

The arms of the spreader must be somewhat longer.

From that, there, and indeed near enough...

575930120_legangles2.jpg.df78eb6006fca8e1848a38c8c9c12cb2.jpg

...or 25.4mm.

<hiccough>

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Done...

spreader14.jpg.9a854b12878ffee0d29677298f3e6d3a.jpg

One last hurdle to overcome, and where the pins of the old hardware were removed, as the threaded holes of the lock-nuts rose above the ends of the screws...

spreader15a.jpg.3dcccf2947521274111f8f58f6c55ae9.jpg

What to do about that?  Where there's a will there's a way. 

I simply ground down one of the six flat sides of the lock-nut until it lowered into position...

spreader19a.jpg.7c49b33fca8682bd7661e4b9b85b0950.jpg

Also, the diameters of the screws' heads required reducing, and to clear the surface of the braces as they slid into place.  You can see there on the right where the paint had been scratched before.

Gone is that ubiquitous slack and slop that plagued these older mounts(the current ones as well), and right up to the eyepiece of a telescope...

spreader18.jpg.1a1fc3646ecbb159548067ea4c5e9a67.jpg

The lock-nut for the larger screw is a good bit thicker.  I couldn't find jam-type lock-nuts for that size, only for the smaller as seen.  They are available online however; perhaps one day.  Lock-washers instead of flat-washers were integrated with the lock-nuts, and for peace of mind.

Done...

spreader21a.jpg.94ad7162d9675169af1a92fafd797dec.jpg

Edited by Alan64
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Glamour shots...

725689490_woodentripod11.jpg.4541815ad20eacb82309e37a01d441f2.jpg

I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.  The unions throughout are wonderfully rigid and tight, yet requiring little effort to set them into motion...

1049193833_woodentripod12.jpg.6922f4ac9933fa860690edfc5b15ff9c.jpg

1060464410_woodentripod15.jpg.d0f8ce67cf573b12c58d775ce9f9217d.jpg

I don't think that I'll ever extend the legs farther than that.  I may even install stops, and as my larger wooden tripod had been originally equipped, but something a bit more effective than just screw-heads.

1789497519_woodentripod14.jpg.7c04ecd3de3cac0ca8bc8cdb64d44fd3.jpg

I now have a can of Diet Coke® as my new prop; for perspective, a sense of scale.  Just how small is the tripod?  

1322513182_woodentripod9.jpg.478db61070fcbe06066d299a1fee902e.jpg

I am toying with the idea of a pier, but perhaps not quite 8"(20cm) in height as two of my other mounts possess; perhaps 6"(15cm) instead...

988758601_woodentripod10.jpg.0c0b5c0563f374f5e7188ef5acaef9f4.jpg

Now to finalise the mount-head.  I'm also waiting on a 5"(13cm) anodised-black dovetail-bar from China for this mount's telescope.  I just can't and refuse to use this one...

sealed2.jpg.d6f9829052abf84a6442870f3852c0c3.jpg

...that from a modern Meade achromat.

Edited by Alan64
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The final images to conclude this thread; I used my relation's Celestron C90 for the photo-shoot.  The mount is practically finished.  I do plan to eventually to make an eyepiece-tray for the tripod, but not at this time...

kit.jpg.5454253bfd7286312c1188d0eea57710.jpg 

I'm also wanting to fit a knob onto the RA worm-shaft in lieu of the slow-motion cable.

There, the sunlight illuminated the bottom of the front leg; rather lovely...

kit3.jpg.3f6d60021fa28a7d5b24c77adf1296de.jpg

kit4.jpg.70b9587ebe9f7fe17ca9f06b83b99eb3.jpg

kit5.jpg.c98ab7058e96b30217f95568d9ba04fe.jpg

Clear skies to all, and thank you for looking...

kit2.jpg.2a9fe63c6c5357a0784e9dfe8a3a9763.jpg

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On 19/03/2019 at 23:46, Alan64 said:

494602003_woodenlegs2.jpg.8203faade9b16ae7e2f0aa3591feed76.jpg

2139037299_woodenlegs3.jpg.0c235d821fc4c36d2c885ad01f7b7025.jpg

What an amazing amount of work you have done. And the final product looks great. But you still have the plastic wing nuts! Mine split as soon as I tightened them.

Very good luck,

Steve

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Bit late for the party.

What a fantastic restoration/'re-mod' you done @Alan64:thumbsup:

 

On 19/03/2019 at 10:38, LukeSkywatcher said:

EQ1.....

The stuff of my nightmares.

*Shudder*

Many, many, years ago, I purchased a Prinz Astral 500. I could not get on with the EQ1 mount. In the end I gave the whole setup away to a neighbour. I said to them that I would never ever  get a 'scope with an EQ mount again.

Twenty years ago I purchased a TeleVue Ranger and used to mount it on a camera tripod and various heads. Then I purchased a Tele-Optic Giro ten years ago and about four years ago I purchased a secondhand Vixen GP.

How wrong was I! ...:evil62:

Edited by Philip R
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6 hours ago, SteveBz said:

What an amazing amount of work you have done. And the final product looks great. But you still have the plastic wing nuts! Mine split as soon as I tightened them.

Very good luck,

Steve

Thank you, sir.  I'm not quite done with the mount however.  There are a few more things to do, and one of those may be in the getting of stainless-steel hardware for that very thing.  When I had fastened that hardware, it did feel as though it were in a pinch. 

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