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Scopetech Zero - stiff Alt axis


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Overall I'm loving my new Scopetech Zero - however I can't get past the Alt axis being much tighter than the Az.  If I loosen the Az clutch then the mount turns very freely, and I can adjust the clutch to be reassuringly present while still allowing for slo-mo control.  All as I expected.  The slo-mo controls on both axis seem to be similarly set, if slightly tight, but I also don't have anything to compare this to and doesn't seem to cause any problems.  But the Alt axis is altogether stiffer.  With the clutch fully disengaged it still takes noticeable force to move.    Any guidance on how I can adjust this?

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You might want to check out the post on this ScopeTech Zero thread, @Stu details a small adjustment he made to the Az axis, which was stiffer for slow motion control. I had the same issue on my Az axis and resolved by doing this too.

However, please note, I did have a major issue with my Alt axis on the first mount I received, which may have been a manufacturing issue, where I experienced extreme tightness on the axis and eventually it seized solid. Now there is a warning on the translation page supplied with the manual, which does indicated not loosening the axis with a heavy load onboard. As a result I now keep my Alt axis just beyond finger tight at all times, which seems to provide smooth movement still when using free movement as well as allowing the slow motion controls to work perfectly too. It also means I can't inadvertently swap my scopes whilst the axis is loose (I do check always anyway). Basically if it starts to really get stiff... don't force it, follow the instructions supplied, unload the clamp and let is settle back into place first.

One additional point of note, these are very sensitive to balance in Alt, so check that your scope is moved fore/aft in the clamp and confirm that you can move it up/down in Alt with the slow motion controls with equal ease in both directions. Easy way to tell is if you can move one way easily and the other seems to be struggling, you have balance issue. As a result of this, I usually use eyepieces that are similar (ish) in weight only on my heavy StellaMira refractor (6.5kg), so I don't have to re-adjust each time. My Pentax WX 40mm does required and adjustment, but I can live with that.

There's also more information on this mount here too, including my mini review and description of the issue I had with the first one:

Hope this helps

Gary

Edited by HollyHound
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Thanks Gary (@HollyHound), I've read through those threads and noted the slo-mo adjustment, but wasn't sure this would help with my situation.  As it turns out, while it does still feel a little stiff, it's noticeable with the FS-60CB (because it's so tiny and light I assume) and much less noticeable when I use the FS-76Q configuration.  I'm as sure as I can be that this is not the alt axis / heavy loading problem, so I think I'm going to leave it alone for now.  I still love this little mount!

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3 minutes ago, jadcx said:

As it turns out, while it does still feel a little stiff, it's noticeable with the FS-60CB (because it's so tiny and light I assume) and much less noticeable when I use the FS-76Q configuration

That could indeed be it, I do find the free movement is a bit easier when using the long StellaMira refractor than when using the C5, probably due to the increased moment arm. Good luck with it, I love mine and use it more than any other mount now, even managed to zip out quickly last night and sneak a quick peek at Mars between the clouds... first time ever 😀

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3 minutes ago, HollyHound said:

That could indeed be it, I do find the free movement is a bit easier when using the long StellaMira refractor than when using the C5, probably due to the increased moment arm. Good luck with it, I love mine and use it more than any other mount now, even managed to zip out quickly last night and sneak a quick peek at Mars between the clouds... first time ever 😀

I'm very jealous that you got a break in the clouds - I was poised for hours but it was not to be 🙄

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1 minute ago, jadcx said:

I'm very jealous that you got a break in the clouds - I was poised for hours but it was not to be 🙄

It was very brief and would not have been possible without the C5 plus 8-24mm zoom being ready to go on the ScopeTech/Report... the ideal grab and go usage scenario 👍

Better luck for you too soon hopefully 🤞

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