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Pier time today


david_taurus83
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  • 3 weeks later...

Have decided to swap out the Redcat today. Was going to leave it a few more weeks to try and finish my current target but temptation to upgrade is too strong! Got the top plate all drilled out and fitted on top. Needed to order some 1/4 UNC countersunks for this as the Esprit tube rings are in imperial 🤷

Also added a scope handle to make lifting a bit easier 👍

 

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Bit of fettling today with the OAG. Noticed it had a bit of a wobble on the Redcat though it didn't seem to affect guiding. Put it under the drill today and made way for a grub screw to tighten down the stalk.

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And all mounted up! Ready for some testing tonight if the forecast is right. Hope to get focus all setup including on the guidecam. 

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  • 2 months later...

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The AZEQ6 hasnt been performing as good as it should be lately and with astro darkness at an end I thought it give it a good service now. Its been on the pier since October anyway. First thing I noticed was the rough finish of the belt gears and bits of rubber crumb off the belts in the teeth. Anybody know what belt size these are and if can get a better make?

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Lots of excess grease as expected!

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Only had time to strip the Dec head this evening. Will be replacing the worm bearings and all needle roller thrust bearings and the washers for SKF. It bugs me that the pressed needle rollers in the shafts can't be removed easily. The cage is plastic and had a lot of lateral play though I don't think these affect performance much. There's also a few rough edges and specs of swarf left over in the castings so these will be sanded and cleaned out before reassembly. 

 

Top tip for getting that pesky lower RA locking nut loosened. Reinsert the Dec shaft and put 2 M5 bolts into the holes of the locking nut. Use a pry bar between the bolts (or a metal file in my case) and use the counterweight shafts to lever it off.

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These came Friday but only had a spare hour or 2 this evening. Managed to get the RA put back together. I put less grease (purple lithium stuff) on the bearings and it certainly feels a bit looser when I spin the RA axis. Will see how it is loaded up. 

For forum search purposes:

AZEQ6 bearing kit:

Upper RA and Dec needle roller thrust bearings: AXK6590 SKF Needle Roller And Cage Thrust Assembly Bearing 65x90x3mm (2 no.)

Upper RA and Dec needle roller thrust washers/raceway : AS6590 SKF Needle Thrust Washer 65x90x1mm (4 no.)

Lower RA and Dec needle roller thrust bearings : AXK4060 SKF Needle Roller And Cage Thrust Assembly Bearing 40x60x3mm (2 no.)

Lower RA and Dec needle roller thrust washers/raceway : AS4060 SKF Needle Thrust Washer 40x60x1mm (4 no.)

RA and Dec worm bearings : 608-2RSH SKF Sealed Deep Groove Ball Bearing 8x22x7mm (4 no.)

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All put back together. Just waiting for a couple of upgraded belts and we're away. Those of you that have an AZEQ6 will know how stiff they are out of the box. When I first put my Redcat on there the Dec axis wouldn't even move with the clutch undone. Balancing should be much more intuitive now. That said, I haven't actually plugged it in yet to see if its still working and I haven't broke it lol

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Proof is in the pudding, as they say. Moment of truth last night whether the bearing upgrade and work was worth it( @ONIKKINEN). I bought one of those Prologik balance meters to help get near perfect balance and tune out any remaining backlash in the worms (thanks @Glennbloke for the very helpful Youtube video). I initially thought the price of the meter was a bit expensive for what is basically an ammeter but I am happy to admit I was wrong. Very well built and very accurate! Made balancing and tuning backlash very easy, though time consuming as you need to make very minute adjustments.

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Spot the new camera :)

 

First clear night here for a while last night as well.

 

Initial PHD calibration, near perfect first time.

 

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Guiding results throughout the night. I'm very pleased! Who says mount tuning cant be done by us 'forum experts'? Don't send it off to be 'Hypertuned' for £££

Do it yourself for less and get better results!

 

 

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Looks like the work paid off with how small your total guide error is now, what was it before the mount surgery? Mine is at around 0.7" now and am hoping to get under 0.5" after i get around to doing a similar process.

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2 hours ago, ONIKKINEN said:

Looks like the work paid off with how small your total guide error is now, what was it before the mount surgery? Mine is at around 0.7" now and am hoping to get under 0.5" after i get around to doing a similar process.

Here was my last calibration before I decided to strip it. Guiding was hit and miss, sometimes ok, even great but next evening could be rubbish without changing anything. I'm hoping for repeated reliability now.

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