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Walking on the Moon

HEQ5 Pro Altitude Adjustment Difficulties


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I've recently aquired a second hand HEQ5 pro mount.  I'm struggling to easily make adjustments to the altitude using the T bolts. Seems much easier to lower the altitude than raise it. I applied some WD40 to the bolts which has helped a bit but its still very difficult. I think I've followed the instructions in the manual about loosening one side before tightening the other but still feels very stiff to me. I'm wary about over tightening.

Has anybody got any tips for making it easier?

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Lowering , by definition will be easier as gravity gives you a hand . Those bolts are not the best and some people change them . You could loosen both bolts then unscrew one of them and manually raise the mount . Its not ideal but it works , then you can tighten them enough so you can make fine adjustment . ( sorry if i havent't explained this very well ... its easier to say it rather than write it ;) )

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8 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Lowering , by definition will be easier as gravity gives you a hand . Those bolts are not the best and some people change them . You could loosen both bolts then unscrew one of them and manually raise the mount . Its not ideal but it works , then you can tighten them enough so you can make fine adjustment . ( sorry if i havent't explained this very well ... its easier to say it rather than write it ;) )

Thanks, yes, I think I know what you mean. I'm really only interested in making fine adjustments. 

I've seen some upgraded bolts on EBay but some people seem to suggest they might foul the polarscope?

 

 

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40 minutes ago, malc-c said:

Most of us with HEQ5's remove the soft adjustment bolts and fit aftermarket ones 

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The one with the red button uses a ratchet mechanism so it doesn't foul the rest of the mount. 

Thank you. That was the one I had looked at but I hadn't twigged there is a ratchet mechanism.  Do you find it significantly better than the standard bolts? 

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1 hour ago, Sarek said:

Thanks, yes, I think I know what you mean. I'm really only interested in making fine adjustments. 

I've seen some upgraded bolts on EBay but some people seem to suggest they might foul the polarscope?

I've not found that the bolts foul the polarscope, but the one's I got from ebay do stop you from putting the polar scope cover on. I tend to stick the telescope on the mount then polar align so the bolts do have to move a fair amount of weight, the ratchet adjustment type are a lot easier to use but at the same time if you take the weight of the telescope whilst adjusting, I found that helps. 

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A bit of a letdown when one purchases items at inflated prices and they come equipped with sub standard bolts. Sighs.. I have 'moaned' elsewhere about goods made within China, to the consternation of some.

I did purchase a SW HEQ6-P (I was intoxicated) and have regretted it ever since (not the intoxication 🙂 ). Probably sell it off for 50% of the purchase price.

^^ My views only, totally subjective. Many others find the goods I grumble about totally satisfactory and a joy to work with 🙂 

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The problems of poor latitude bolts and mount threads have been known for several years.
At one time there was a lot of SGL discussion about solutions.
Basically when the mount is new, buy decent bolts instead of the chinese bolts that are made from stale cheese.
Early replacement means you stand less chance of wrecking the female threads in the mount.

My solution was to use decent quality standard bolts, cut to length for my approximate latitude, then use a spanner for fine adjustment.

I believe newer mounts are supposedly OK - out of the box.

@SthBohemia I share your annoyance at sub standard fixings - not just on astro kit. Frequently replacing chinese screws with something better.
This assumes threads in the equipment aren't a weird off tolerance size🤨
My biggest gripe is cross head screws that don't seem to be philips or pozidrive.
Maybe there is a pizips or polips that I have yet to learn about 🤣

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My mount was second hand when I purchased it in 2011, so the bolts were the old soft metal.  I can't vouch for new mounts.  My mount is also permanently set up in an observatory so (in theory) doesn't need PA on such a regular bases compared to someone who sets up each session.

You can obtain the ratcheted bolts a lot cheaper if you shop around, buying from a hardware supplier rather than a "dedicated" astro supplier or e-bay.  it does make fine adjustments a lot easier.  

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2 hours ago, malc-c said:

My mount was second hand when I purchased it in 2011, so the bolts were the old soft metal.  I can't vouch for new mounts.  My mount is also permanently set up in an observatory so (in theory) doesn't need PA on such a regular bases compared to someone who sets up each session.

You can obtain the ratcheted bolts a lot cheaper if you shop around, buying from a hardware supplier rather than a "dedicated" astro supplier or e-bay.  it does make fine adjustments a lot easier.  

I found these which I think are the right size but I guess you'd also need to round off the end 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/sourcing-map-Adjustable-Clamping-Threaded/dp/B07KFSNBP1/ref=sr_1_11?adgrpid=109777792523&gclid=Cj0KCQiA37KbBhDgARIsAIzce17UOAQ_z0jPofOP1ueDREttAryOHpAzPGT_WnqckOdBcAktaxTYa1gaAlR_EALw_wcB&hvadid=606129319843&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9045580&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=16767790949660279268&hvtargid=kwd-618745151666&hydadcr=1601_2254867&keywords=ratchet%2Bbolts&qid=1668098039&sr=8-11&th=1

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Snap! I too recently bought a 2nd-hand HEQ5 Pro, it hadn’t been used for a couple of years.

I found the same problem as you and googled it a lot, decided not to take the side plates off.

One thing I did was, with just the mount on the tripod, undo both bolts quite a lot, drop the counterweight bar then carefully strong-arm it to move it up/down a few times. I think that helped.

Whether it did or not, it seems a bit better now I’ve used it 5-6 nights.

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I have a new HEQ5 Pro and the altitude bolts are rather difficult to use. I was thinking about alternatives and looking through this, I'm not the first and nor will I be the last to look at replacing the stock adjsutment bolts! I think I'll make a change rather soon so I don't end up wrecking or snapping any cheap metal whilst trying to make adjustments

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