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kbrown

Improving NEQ6 Counterweight Set up

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Last weekend I was at the European Astrofest and saw this AZ EQ6 Pro mount. Does anyone know if the second saddle on the counterweight shaft is something you can buy as an upgrade or if this is a DIY mod? 

I have and old NEQ6 Pro mount so it probably would not fit directly but ideally I'd like to have something like this. Also at the same time I'd like to upgrade the shaft locking mechanism which isn't stable and causes wobble/shift when the DEC axis rotates. 

I'm aware of this but it seems a little pricey for what it is: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p3025_Counter-weight-bar-for-EQ6--chrome-plated--with-5-kgs-counter-weight.html

Has anyone gone the DIY way on the subject? 

 

IMG_20200201_160854.jpg

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I have been pondering on a DIY system for doing this, both on my HEQ5 and Star Adventurer.  Not got any further than that, though.

James

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1 hour ago, kbrown said:

Last weekend I was at the European Astrofest and saw this AZ EQ6 Pro mount. Does anyone know if the second saddle on the counterweight shaft is something you can buy as an upgrade or if this is a DIY mod? 

The second saddle comes with the original AZ EQ6 mount. 

You might find someone who only uses the mount in EQ mode would be prepared to sell?

Edited by almcl
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yes i have the same one with the 10 kilo counterweights.

it is a great upgrade. the only downside is that with the counterweights being chrome they eventually pit. i also have a 5 kilo stainless steel which i prefer.

875410839_IMG_8085(1).thumb.JPG.eb94e1eaadfc6b012cad84095b08eea2.JPGpost-3028-0-70072600-1380218217_thumb.jpg

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Coincidentally, I've just tried the same thing with my EQ6.

I noticed someone selling the secondary saddle from their AZ-EQ6 quite reasonably, so I thought I'd give it a go.

The counter shaft on the EQ6 does rotate in step with the Dec axis, so that makes it plausible.

The biggest problem is that the counter shaft on the AZ-EQ6 is 25mm diameter, so the hole in the secondary saddle is also 25mm, but the EQ6's counter shaft is only 18mm diameter.  It could be sleeved (25mm OD and 18mm ID), but it would need to be very precisely made.

The remaining problem would be locking the saddle to the shaft and the shaft to the EQ6 so that neither can rotate if the scope is knocked or out of balance.

I decided to not use it that way but I just found that the az-EQ6 secondary saddle unit contains exactly the same dual Losmandy/Vixen saddle as the EQ6's saddle, fitted with three allen grub screws around its rim. 

My EQ6 however, had a cruder saddle with two bolts that marked my saddles.

..so it made a nice upgrade to my EQ6.

 

Edited by Astro-Geek

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A DIY counterweight bar and weights are a fairly easy project if you have a lathe, a pillar drill and a few other tools. Could be an interesting little project.

The bar might  have to be something like chrome alloy steel with all the weights hanging off.  Possibly even go up to 30mm depending on how and what is attached at each end.

Large diameter stainless steel rounds are pretty expensive, smaller diameters could be drilled and filled with lead. Delrin could be used with lead slugs, they won't rust.

Attaching the saddle to the shaft so it doesn't come loose has various solutions, threaded in with a locking nut, cross pinned, loctite...

The main question, is it worth the faff in time and effort or easier to pay the 169 Euros.

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17 hours ago, MarkAR said:

A DIY counterweight bar and weights are a fairly easy project if you have a lathe, a pillar drill and a few other tools. Could be an interesting little project.

The bar might  have to be something like chrome alloy steel with all the weights hanging off.  Possibly even go up to 30mm depending on how and what is attached at each end.

Large diameter stainless steel rounds are pretty expensive, smaller diameters could be drilled and filled with lead. Delrin could be used with lead slugs, they won't rust.

Attaching the saddle to the shaft so it doesn't come loose has various solutions, threaded in with a locking nut, cross pinned, loctite...

The main question, is it worth the faff in time and effort or easier to pay the 169 Euros.

I'd have to get the 10kg version which is 232 euros and might even have to add an extra weight on top as I'm not sure if the shaft is long enough. At the moment I use an extension to the stock shaft and two 5kg weights sometimes almost at the end of it. I know I'm pushing it but it's been okay as long as the whole shaft assebly doesn't wobble and jolt as it sometimes does in certain DEC angles.

Maybe I could get the cheaper 5kg version and drill the centre holes of my existing 5kg weights so I can add them on the upgraded shaft too... Hmm...

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Lots of people seem to have used bar bell weights to good effect.

James

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16 hours ago, kbrown said:

I'd have to get the 10kg version which is 232 euros and might even have to add an extra weight on top as I'm not sure if the shaft is long enough. At the moment I use an extension to the stock shaft and two 5kg weights sometimes almost at the end of it. I know I'm pushing it but it's been okay as long as the whole shaft assebly doesn't wobble and jolt as it sometimes does in certain DEC angles.

Maybe I could get the cheaper 5kg version and drill the centre holes of my existing 5kg weights so I can add them on the upgraded shaft too... Hmm...

If you're not too far from Guildford, you could always bring parts over and I can do the machining on my lathe. Might even be able to improve the locking mechanism.

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Thanks Mark. That is very kind of you! I'm in SE london so not crazy far away. First I have to decide what I want to actually do about this.

My long term plan is to get a lathe as well but that'll have to wait until after we've reinstated a garage in our garden first but that's a whole other topic :)

Clear skies.

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On 04/02/2020 at 20:24, m.tweedy said:

yes i have the same one with the 10 kilo counterweights.

it is a great upgrade. the only downside is that with the counterweights being chrome they eventually pit. i also have a 5 kilo stainless steel which i prefer.

 

Can't tell for sure from the photos but is that shaft permanently fixed on the orange collar or does it slide in and out like the stock shaft?

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Looks like there's a grub screw or pin in the side.

Edited by MarkAR

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The Orange collar is fitted permanently to the NEQ6 but the counterweight shaft unscrews. It is easy to remove but does not slide in to the body of the NEQ6. I have to say it is a nice solid counterweight shaft-much more sturdy than the stock one.

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On 16/02/2020 at 13:11, m.tweedy said:

The Orange collar is fitted permanently to the NEQ6 but the counterweight shaft unscrews. It is easy to remove but does not slide in to the body of the NEQ6. I have to say it is a nice solid counterweight shaft-much more sturdy than the stock one.

Went ahead and ordered the 5kg version in the view of enlarging the bores of my old weights so I can add them onto the new shaft too. 

Couple of questions though. Is the kit supposed to come with a safety screw that goes onto the end of the shaft? Mine didn't. Also is it supposed to come with scrub screws for locking the collar in place? These are missing too 🤔

 

IMG_20200310_220547.jpg

IMG_20200310_220639.jpg

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I would have thought they would be included. 

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On 04/02/2020 at 20:20, almcl said:

The second saddle comes with the original AZ EQ6 mount. 

You might find someone who only uses the mount in EQ mode would be prepared to sell?

the counter weight bar is a different diameter than the other SW mounts.

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On 11/03/2020 at 00:37, MarkAR said:

I would have thought they would be included. 

They were on mine. I suggest you contact the supplier

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1 hour ago, m.tweedy said:

They were on mine. I suggest you contact the supplier

Thank you! I did yesterday. Still waiting for an answer 😕

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