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By Martin AB Cohen
After trying and failing some time ago to find a video tutorial on how to strip-down my Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro mount, clean all the bearings and gears, re-grease them, and put it all back together again, I eventually learned how to do this from various other online resources and have now created my own video tutorial. For those of you with a Skywatcher HEQ5 or HEQ5 Pro mount, or indeed an Orion Sirius EQ-G mount (which is the same mechanically), this video can help you to keep you mount running smoothly through regular DIY servicing (~every 2 years). I hope you find it useful. Here is the link...
It figures! First clear night in ages and the pollen is as thick as..well, something really thick. Up to now, I have been fairly careful to avoid dust getting down the tube, but pollen is going to be unavoidable for the next several weeks.
So...what does one do? Are there some do and don't things I should be aware of? It looks like my mirror comes out fairly easy (SkyWatcher 10" ). I'm guessing "chuck into the dish washer on the pot scrubber setting" is probably a really bad idea.
What then, is the plan? What chemicals/detergents should be used...or maybe all chemicals should be avoided? Is it a no-touch surface? Is there perhaps some magic spray that one uses? I do have a can of electronics air that I plan to use from a safe distance to persuade away loose pollen, and that may be enough for the present.
Just spent 4 hours resurrecting my AVX mount, it had become so stuff in RA it just wouldn't track at all. Googled as much as I could find and used the http://rocketsparrow.blogspot.com/2017/01/how-i-made-better-celestron-avx.html?m=1 as a guide.
Decided to use a bearing as discussed in thread. I chose the https://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/p503131/32007-Premier-Budget-Metric-Single-Row-Taper-Roller-Bearing-35x62x18mm/product_info.html?backstep=1 as the dimensions were perfect ( almost perfect, bearing is 2mm too thick but works fine)
Cleaned all the gungy grease off and used thin layers of superlube.
It's so much smoother now and I can actually balance the mount.
Only problems I had were the 2 bolts that hold the RA and Dec assembly together stripped the mount ! Soft cast ally by the looks of it but there are 4 holes for 2 bolts (almost like Skywatcher knew 😂) and refitting the motor worm assembly is tedious to get backlash adjusted .
Can't wait to try it out.
Ps the new bearing wouldn't quite fit til I put the mount in the oven @ 80 degrees and the bearing in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Recently I opened my AZ-EQ5 mount for adjusting and greasing.
I did not find any complete tutorial for this nor worm or bearings dimensions. I plan to replace some of those if I have the chance.
Meanwhile, I will add some pics of the disassembly process.
Open the plastic top case. Please excuse the USB hub attached, I did not remove that.
Pull out the cable connectors. Put the top case with the controller board aside.
The bolt inside the green circle can help you remembering or adjusting the belt tension. Loosen down the RA motor screws. Remove the belt. Unscrew the bolts. Remove the motor.
The bolts inside the green circles can help you remember and adjust the worm distance to the RA main gear. Remove the bolts holding the worm case.
Parts: RA main gear, worm case.
Remove the screws holding the encoder board. You get access to the nut holding the worm in place. Remove this too.
Remove the bolts inside the driving gear attached to the worm. Sorry, not the best pic.
You can now proceed to push out the worm and the bearings. No pics for this, sorry.
The bearings are 688Z, 16mm outer diameter, 8mm inner diameter, 5mm width.
Worm dimensions measured with the caliper: 69mm, 36mm.
Hope someone finds this useful.
I'd be interested if the worm is identical to the ones used in the HEQ5.
I'm not sure how common knowledge this is as it happened a while ago, but judging by the research I had to do to find out, I guess it's not!
I'm 99% there with my new imaging rig and have just bought the final pieces - a guidescope and autoguider. As I am using a DSLR, I decided I wanted a stand alone guider thus avoiding the hassle of a laptop in the field. The usual candidates came up when searching - Skywatcher synguider, Baader LVI and Celestron Nexguide. Being a Celestron fanboy and not having the funds to splash on the highly rated Baader, I settled on the Nexguide.
However, a little research threw up a lot of bad reports on sensor sensitivity, failed guiding attempts & hot pixel tracking which was enough to put me off until I dug a little deeper. No doubt a lot of the bad experiences are due to user error but I noticed a lot of the posts were dated back around, or shortly after the initial product release date. What late came to light was that in 2012/13...
CLESTRON updated the Nexguide...and didn't tell anyone!!!
The chip was changed from a Sony CCD to an Aptiva CMOS with smaller pixels and more importantly, sub-pixel guiding software was added instead of peak-sensitivity. I initially came acorss the information on a CN thread where one particular user owns both pre and post-mod versions, claiming the newer one to be much better.
Subsequently I contacted Harrison telescopes and Ed was kind enough to open up a box to check the manual for sensor specs. Sure enough, the manual says V2.0 on the front and the sensor spec was Aptiva, however, the outer retail box still has the SONY specs and the part number hasn't changed?
So there you go, now you know. Just thought I'd share this incase anyone's been put off by early reports. Also, for me, the new chip was the difference in bringing the pixel scale closer to that of the imaging scope for better guiding...in theory.
CN thread: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/448573-standalone-autoguider-question/