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Swift Audubon focus shaft problem..


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Hi all

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Swift Audubon Mk2 binocular locally, I tried them at the house and they were bright and crisp, The focus was very smooth but as soon as I arrived home and looked down the garden, The focus developed a stiff spot which became quickly to a full on jam!, It seems to me that something is stuck in the threads of the shaft, maybe a bit of muck held in the grease!

Has anyone split binoculars on the shafte before?, I'm wondering if i'll do them in completey if I try to clean and re grease the shaft!! I found a shop locally that say they repair binoculars but i'm not sure if they're open due to covid!!!

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Cheers, john 

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Hi John

I've yet to pull the pair of those I have completely apart, the focus movement is a little scratchy so must get round to doing that one day. One thing worth checking is are the two eyepieces straight and level and securely held by their centre clamp bolt at the pivot. If they are free to tilt/rock then they can bind on the tube they ride over and can give the impression of the focuser mechanism binding.

I've only taken these apart as far as removing the eyepieces and top plates, then the prisms & carriers so I could do a full clean of the glass surfaces at this time. Given the big improvement and that the focuser was working ok I've not gone any further yet, I believe there is a pin in helix type arrangement under the large focuser wheel so its possible that pin has come loose. I recall some information on that somewhere on the web, will post if I do find it in case it helps.

Yours do look in pretty good shape otherwise, they are a very nice bino and very solid build quality so hopefully you can get them sorted to enjoy them properly 🙂 

Edited by DaveL59
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here you go, not swift in this article but I expect they are a similar arrangement and it explains how the focuser is put together.

Help repairing focuser - Binoculars - Cloudy Nights

Looks quite fiddly to do and the rubber grip would need to be slid off to access. Probably why I didn't worry to do it at the time as mine were working. I just ran a couple drops of oil into the end which eased things up and figured I'll get round to doing a full strip down later.

 

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On 25/12/2020 at 08:56, DaveL59 said:

Hi John

I've yet to pull the pair of those I have completely apart, the focus movement is a little scratchy so must get round to doing that one day. One thing worth checking is are the two eyepieces straight and level and securely held by their centre clamp bolt at the pivot. If they are free to tilt/rock then they can bind on the tube they ride over and can give the impression of the focuser mechanism binding.

I've only taken these apart as far as removing the eyepieces and top plates, then the prisms & carriers so I could do a full clean of the glass surfaces at this time. Given the big improvement and that the focuser was working ok I've not gone any further yet, I believe there is a pin in helix type arrangement under the large focuser wheel so its possible that pin has come loose. I recall some information on that somewhere on the web, will post if I do find it in case it helps.

Yours do look in pretty good shape otherwise, they are a very nice bino and very solid build quality so hopefully you can get them sorted to enjoy them properly 🙂 

Hi Dave

Both parts look to be nicely tight and moving squarely fore and aft, They will actually get past the tight spot with a bit of extra umph but I dislike forcing them!, It appears that the shop I found has actually closed down, I looked on the google maps and it's just not there any more (Signs are removed from the shop front), Couldn't even find the website when I looked for it again! 😥 - If it wasn't for bad luck i'd have no luck at all!! 😂😂

I'll wait and find someone else as I opened a set up years ago, They went in the bin!! 😊 I used to take watches apart, Clean them in a parts cleaner and rebuild them lubricating as I put them, together as a hobby but bino's scare the life out of me!! 🙄


John 👍

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East of England are well regarded but with C19 they're not doing much at the moment from what others have said, worth a try tho
East of England Binoculars, Binoculars, Spotting Scopes, Monoculars, Tripods (eebc.co.uk)

I don't think they'd be too hard to take apart, just watch out for the little grub screw in the large brass end screw on the centre pivot, under the trim plate with the IPD marker. Just a case of working slowly and methodically, upside being you're only really working on the mechanicals not taking the glass out.

In essence:

  1. remove the IPD trim plate
  2. undo the little grub screw (no need to remove fully) and unscrew the large brass clamp screw
  3. slip the eyepiece carriers off the focuser shaft
  4. probably need to do similar at the other end of the focuser (remove clamp screw)
  5. separate the two sides to get access to the focus wheel and mechanism, note any shims and position of
  6. service the focuser (slip the rubber grip off, dismantle, clean out old grease, reassemble with new grease)
  7. refit in reverse.

Thing is without a nice pictorial guide it can be a bit of a voyage of discovery in how some bits come out, sometimes easier to let someone else do the work 🙂 

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About 20 years ago I used to have the Swift-Newport Mk II 10x50, which is the big sibling of the Audubon (no, the damage was not caused by me; it was the reason I got them for a fiver 🙂 ). These pics may help - I'm not certain that they are constructed the same, but I'd be surprised if they weren't.

Remove the cover cap at the distal end of the hinge:

image.thumb.jpeg.842e8b25187f626a8e2aa6f61fae98eb.jpeg

Use a screwdriver with a bit of blutac on to remove the screw in the shaft:

image.thumb.png.a3c510fb0e1fc4be8febdf840c8db0e6.png

 

Use the focus mechanism to drive the eyepieces and shaft clear; use two hands to support the eyepieces while you do this:
image.thumb.png.61b82802314697d6c71ddef5b4e9036e.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 31/12/2020 at 16:06, BinocularSky said:

About 20 years ago I used to have the Swift-Newport Mk II 10x50, which is the big sibling of the Audubon (no, the damage was not caused by me; it was the reason I got them for a fiver 🙂 ). These pics may help - I'm not certain that they are constructed the same, but I'd be surprised if they weren't.

Remove the cover cap at the distal end of the hinge:

image.thumb.jpeg.842e8b25187f626a8e2aa6f61fae98eb.jpeg

Use a screwdriver with a bit of blutac on to remove the screw in the shaft:

image.thumb.png.a3c510fb0e1fc4be8febdf840c8db0e6.png

 

Use the focus mechanism to drive the eyepieces and shaft clear; use two hands to support the eyepieces while you do this:
image.thumb.png.61b82802314697d6c71ddef5b4e9036e.png

They look identical, I nay have a go now!!

 

Thanks, John 👍

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Well!

I had a go and they were still doing it with the shaft out!!, I put a small amount of oil on the tube and it seemed to do the job! For five minutes!!, It needs the whole tube taking apart!

I'll wait until East Coast repairs are taking work again although i've had OptRep recommended recently so may have to get in touch with them!!


Regards, John 🙂

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