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A Restoration


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Now on to next order of business(busyness): the RA setting-circle assembly; the assembly consists of the primary dial; glamour shot...


...and the secondary dial...


...albeit my sample with a broken screw, but no matter, as we will soon see.

The reverse of same...


Note the three clear-plastic washers; combined, they are 0.039"/0.97mm in thickness, but no bronze washers to be made there.  Note also the triad of "cushions" round the centre.  

That part, however, is dispensable, utterly useless.  The inner portion, with the three foam pads, is intended to hold/stabilise a polar-scope which is no longer extant; this one...


When I bought my Celestron CG-4/EQ-3 back in 2012, I got the polar-scope for it, too...


That's Celestron part # 94223, but it will not fit my LX70/EQ-5.  I would need part # 94224 instead.   The Sky-Watcher polar-scopes for an EQ3-2 or EQ-5 are the same, and made by Synta as well.  The polar-scope for an EQ3-class mount-head screws ONTO the rear of the RA-shaft...


Conversely, that for an EQ-5 is screwed INTO the rear of the RA-shaft...


I make mention of this as there has been considerable confusion online as to which Synta polar-scope fits which Synta mount.  Perhaps now the confusion will come to an end.

Whilst there is the Celestron polar-scope, "tried and true", there is also that by Astromania, for an EQ-5, and reputedly with a more accurate, precise reticle.  The two reticles compared...


The Astromania polar-scope is also 33% less in cost, and for which I have already placed an order.

This is the order for assembling/re-assembling the RA setting-circle for an EQ5-class mount-head...


Fairly simple, eh?  But in my case, I'm going to have to figure out how to enhance the assembly.  I know of at least one bronze washer to be incorporated, and perhaps a second once the polar-scope arrives. 

To top it all off, the cap for the polar-scope, and the RA-screw...


Said screw is much mysterious.  I'll have to research that.  The cap; glamour shot  :D  ...


Have a look at this...


That's a bit of thick felt there, a small bit, and I'm rather surprised to see it included, but I'm going to replace it with considerably thinner flocking material, as the cap fits too snugly, making it difficult to place.  I may be able to flock it all the way round, or at least halfway round, and for an improved fit.  We'll see.

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It's a shame that I can't make another washer smaller than this one(58mm x 55mm)...


...but I may have a use for that centre portion in future, for whatever that might be, resting there within a crystal ball.

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*EDIT: Scratch that washer, as the primary dial rises 2mm above it; back to the drawing-board.  I'm going to have to wait until the polar-scope arrives before I go any further.


That washer, for the primary RA-dial...


...is most reminding of this...


...my largest alt-azimuth, an Astro-Tech "Voyager I", manufactured by GSO, and the alt-azimuthal equivalent to at least an EQ3-class mount, or perhaps even an EQ-4, if an EQ-4 is somewhat more substantial.

If I remember correctly, it has six plastic washers within, and all six the same size.  Here's one of them...


Those two axes were very difficult to crack open, as they were super-glued shut at the factory in Taiwan.  You can see the mess at far left at the bottom within that image.

Guess what it's going to get, and in the near future.

Edited by Alan64
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The polar-scope arrived...





You can't get one of these from too many places.  I got it from Amazon, for about US$42, with free shipping, for about $20 less than the Celestron(without the dial and retaining-rings), and almost $40 less than that peddled by Orion(of California).  The unit is well-made, and most likely made in the same factory overseas as the aforementioned.  Perhaps the Astromania-branded units are factory-seconds, but I can't tell, not at present anyway.

The lenses seem to be coated quite well...


Not a single speck of debris to be found on or within, throughout.  Incidentally, Agena Astro, of California, stated this about the Celestron polar-scopes...

"Please note: It is rather common to have a few or many teeny-tiny dots or dust particles on the reticle glass in this and other Celestron polar finders. These are not made to the same optical standards as eyepieces and other accessories. However, these will have no practical impact on the operation and use of this accessory, and they will barely be visible in the dark, if at all. What we sell is a new, authorized Celestron product but please do not purchase this item if you are not comfortable with this issue."

Needless to say, I am not comfortable with that, and its lack of a dial, at all, but I said it anyway.

Alas, I got one with the older reticle...


It was supposed to come with a new type of reticle, according to the listing...


I suppose I could consult charts, maps or what-not to nigh precisely place Polaris round its circular path.

Still, I may take that up with Amazon; or with the horse's mouth, Astromania.  But then, it's just like the one within the polar-scope for my old CG-4(EQ-3)...


A pity that that one wouldn't fit my new mount.  SYNTA!

The polar-scope screwed into the RA-shaft of my Meade LX70/EQ-5 with no problems...


...save a 3mm gap between the dials.  I could fill that in with something or other, and I will.  It turns out that the Meade LX70 polar-scope, and specifically for my mount, both of which are longer extant, has that same gap; from the instruction-manual...  


The only other alternative, for myself, would be the Orion, but it would most likely result in having a gap as well.  The gap allows the larger dial to fall towards the thinner dial, which unseats the larger from its cavity; a wonky prospect if I don't fix it.

The Meade-blue cap fits over the end of the Astromania like a glove, most thankfully...


I'm glad that's out of the way, almost.

Edited by Alan64
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Yeah I think there's always a bit of a gap between the setting circle and front dial, its certainly a bit disappointing
how it flops forward when the lock knob is slackened but I was never convinced how usuable the EQ5 setting
circles are anyway.

So you must be getting near completion with the project now Alan, are there many things that you have left to do with
the mount bar fitting your motor drive ?


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1 minute ago, SpookyKatt said:

Yeah I think there's always a bit of a gap between the setting circle and front dial, its certainly a bit disappointing
how it flops forward when the lock knob is slackened but I was never convinced how usuable the EQ5 setting
circles are anyway.

So you must be getting near completion with the project now Alan, are there many things that you have left to do with
the mount bar fitting your motor drive ?


Oh, I know that the setting-circles are going to be useless, in the end, but I want to, for the first time ever, actually try to use them to find something, and beforehand I need to get them working properly.

No, I haven't set about fiddling with the motor-drive yet, and the manner in which I will attach it, but all of that will be forthcoming.

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Brilliant absolutely brilliant it has been a real treat reading this and seeing all the photos,  I suspect my RA and DEC clamps are slipping slightly on my EQ5 goto I can do a 3 star alignment and centre everything go to objects they are in the centre of the FOV other times they are not either bottom right or top left depending on what part of the sky I am viewing.

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Alan's obviously more qualified to offer advice but that doesn't look good, have you tried to undo the philips star screw to remove
the clutch lever just to make sure that the screw can be tightened in the threaded hole on its own, as the video alost makes it look
like the threaded hole is too big for the bolt.

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Paul, that is the clamp for your RA-axis.  Make certain that you screwed the brass bolt all the way in, first.  After that, you then attach the lever in its best position.

I'm thinking that you have already done so, and yes, yours seems to be exactly as my own was, slop in the lever when unlocked. 

What you need is 0.005" aluminum or brass sheet.  In height(yellow), you cut a piece from the bottom of the threaded fitting to the top, and in width(green), to halfway round the fitting...


You'll need to measure all of that, the height and circumference.

Then, insert the shim into the hole, all the way in until it almost touches the button(red).  You don't want the shim to touch the "button", nor for the shim to rise above the edge of the hole.  You then press it into place, into the threads of the hole.  You want to begin seating the shim into the threads, and for the bolt to complete the seating afterwards.  Add a bit of grease to the hole and threads of the bolt.  You then insert the brass bolt and screw it in slowly, all the way down, then all the way back out.  You may add grease to the hole afterwards, carefully, over the seated shim and threads of the other half of the hole, all round, then reinsert the bolt, then the lever.  Done.

Brass... https://hobby.uk.com/sheet-metal-brass-005.html

Or... https://www.amazon.co.uk/PRECISION-METALS-250-Brass-Metal/dp/B002ZSGDVU/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=k%26s+metal+brass+.005&qid=1628749309&sr=8-4

Brass may be a bit more difficult to seat, when pressing it into the sides of the hole initially.  Then screw in the bolt slowly.  Brass may be more durable, and therefore, nicer.  But if you want to play it safe, and easy, get the aluminum.  Aluminum is within my own, but I may try brass in future.

Aluminum... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Metal-Roll-12X30-Aluminum-005/dp/B0006N6W4Y

That is the exact same pack of brass, and roll of aluminum, that I have.

If it's still too loose, then go all the way round the hole with the shim, but without the ends overlapping.  You can try all manner of widths: halfway round, 3/4 round, or all the way round.  You can even use two layers, if necessary.  For example, one all the way round, then one 1/4 round, halfway round, or 3/4 round, but those partial widths should be placed behind the first one that runs all the way round.

Round and round we merrily go...


Please update upon your success, whether yea or nay.

Edited by Alan64
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I have finally decided on a solution for the 3mm gap, between the time-dial and date-dial of the RA setting-circle assembly...


Previously, I had made two, 0.040"/1.01mm thick, aluminum washers for the latitude(altitude)-axis...


...but at the time, the order came with two of those sheets.  One is unused, and it would be a shame to just set it aside for something unknown in future.  However, I need three circles for a 3mm spacer, and the three epoxied together into one.  I've now reordered same, from the same seller, and for the third circle required.

There will be no bronze washers for this, I'm sorry to say. :crybaby2:

Now, I could've gotten a 3mm-thick sheet, but it would've been more difficult to cut, and would've cost a little over twice as much as the 1mm-thick sheet I just ordered.  Then, I have the other 1mm-thick sheet left over from the first order; waste not, want not.

Something special is on its way, for the mount, but I can't reveal what it is quite yet.  At this point, it's up in the air, literally.

Edited by Alan64
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I contacted Astromania via e-mail on August 8th, 2021.  On the following day, August 9th, I received this reply...


It was a 50/50 chance prior to opening the box.  It was either going to be the good, new reticle...or the bad, old reticle...








...the new reticle, with the clock-markings for Polaris, and reputedly more accurate.

I now have two, new, differing polar-scopes for this mount.

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"The new Skywatcher Polarscope only has the Octans constellation on it."

No, not true.

That was very good of Astromania to correct their error, but now I've ruined the chances of others, elsewhere, getting one with the newer reticle, and for a song, a dance...


I've replied to Astromania, to thank them, but also to urge them to replace the part boxes or trays on the factory-floors overseas that, collectively, contain perhaps a staggering surplus of the older reticles.


A 3mm gap, still...


I'm still waiting on the extra 0.040" aluminum to arrive.  As I type, USPS states, "In Transit, Arriving Late".  That was to be expected, whilst watching its progress otherwise up to that point.

No, there will be no glamour shots or a photo-shoot, outdoors, with this and that telescope taking their turn upon the carousel, and until all is completed.

Edited by Alan64
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15 hours ago, Alan64 said:

I'm still waiting on the extra 0.040" aluminum to arrive.  As I type, USPS states, "In Transit, Arriving Late". 

Perhaps they're in cahoots with FLO's round sticker labels.

I tell ya it's a conspiracy!

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5 minutes ago, reezeh said:

Perhaps they're in cahoots with FLO's round sticker labels.

I tell ya it's a conspiracy!

No conspiracy, of course not; it's simply that the U.S. Postal Service is a mere shadow, a tattered remnant, of its former self.  Ahhh, how I yearn for the good ole days...


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5 minutes ago, johninderby said:

I wonder if anyone in the US post office nowadays remembers their motto. 🤔

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

I wish that was their official motto, but it never has been.  That saying was applied to the postal service by an outside party.

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14 minutes ago, reezeh said:

You do know that old saying don't you:

Philately gets you nowhere! 

One of the reasons that this stamp came into being...


...is because living, breathing people were actually being mailed; not enclosed within an envelope or other, of course.  The franking was more like a bus ticket.

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Yes not an official moto although the public think it is.

“While the Postal Service has no official motto, the popular belief that it does is a tribute to America's postal workers. The words above, thought to be the motto, are chiseled in gray granite over the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Avenue and come from Book 8, Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers who served with great fidelity.”

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