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Mount Overhaul


Clarkey
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I thought I would drop this on the forum as an encouragement to anyone thinking about servicing their Skywatcher mount.

Over there summer I stripped down an rebuilt my HEQ5 and AZ-EQ6 too. I replaced all the bearings in the HEQ5 but kept the original bearings in the other mount. Other than a good degrease and re-grease I did nothing more, other than careful setting of the worm gears.

Now the important bit - the difference in performance is STAGGERING! Both mounts were ok before, but the improvement in guiding and tracking  has been phenomenal. Last night the total RMS for the AZ-EQ6 was 0.11. Previously it was never less than 0.3. The HEQ5 is not quite so good, but still twice as good as before. The backlash is also much better.

All I can say is that if you are considering a mount strip down, DO IT!

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As long as you are systematic it is ok. I laid everything out on newspaper in the order it was removed so putting it back together was pretty straightforward. The only real issue is removing the RA lock nut. I made a tool out of a piece of metal bar and a couple of bolts which worked fine.

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On 28/08/2022 at 22:57, Clarkey said:

I thought I would drop this on the forum as an encouragement to anyone thinking about servicing their Skywatcher mount.

Over there summer I stripped down an rebuilt my HEQ5 and AZ-EQ6 too. I replaced all the bearings in the HEQ5 but kept the original bearings in the other mount. Other than a good degrease and re-grease I did nothing more, other than careful setting of the worm gears.

Now the important bit - the difference in performance is STAGGERING! Both mounts were ok before, but the improvement in guiding and tracking  has been phenomenal. Last night the total RMS for the AZ-EQ6 was 0.11. Previously it was never less than 0.3. The HEQ5 is not quite so good, but still twice as good as before. The backlash is also much better.

All I can say is that if you are considering a mount strip down, DO IT!

Is that pixels or arc seconds. That's into £££££ territory hardware if arc seconds..

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2 hours ago, david_taurus83 said:

That's into £££££ territory hardware if arc seconds

Yes I should have been more specific. The RMS in arc secs was around 0.4" and a bit more for the HEQ5. However, for 'cheap', portable mounts I still think this is pretty good. The seeing was quite good which would also help.

Ultimately it was the 50%+ reduction in RMS that was the most surprising. Not only this, but the guided peak to peak errors gave even better improvements. I think the use of quality grease instead of toffee made the difference.😆

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