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Help - Flextube GOTO base assembly


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I have just bought one of the new 14" Flextube GOTOs. There is one part of the base assembly instructions I am unsure of.

Between the upper and lower base plates there is the motor, which when the base unit is unpacked (it unpacks all as one piece), seems to be surrounded by a high density polestyrene circular sleeve. My initial thought was that this was simply packing and I should remove it. However, it appears to be stuck to the lower part of the lower base plate. It would be very difficult to get into the one inch gap between the lower and upper base plates to remove this. The instructions don't mention this at all, and that may be because you leave it in situ, but it seemed weird to me.

Anyone who has one of the other GOTOs, (8", 10" or 12") or has just bought a new 14", can you help? Do I try to remove this or not?

I will complete the build (and not remove this polystyrene surround), but am really nervous that this (if it is packing) will stop the GOTO functioning, as moving the two plates by hand is quite an effort.

As the 14" GOTO has just arrived and FLO has sold a few, I may get Steve to ask the question of another buyer. But any advice another Flextube GOTO owner can give me here would be very welcome.

Tom

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While I've not seen the GOTO the Auto tracking dob also has this white foam and it's essential that it is left in place as it keeps the dirt etc. out of the motor / bearing assembly.

Here's a photo of a damaged 250PX Auto base that shows the white foam ring quite clearly.

John

Edited by johninderby
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Thanks John, I am glad that I didn't try and remove it. Your image is exactly what I see. You have save me an evening of worry, as once it was all set up i would have been nervous to switch on whilst the foam was there.

It took me an hour to assemble the base unit, although 10mins of that time was puzzling over why I didn't seem to have six hex screws and their washers, that the instructions said I should have. But having read the instructions again I realised that the 14" uses bolts rather than the hex screws - but the parts list was wrong.

Now that the base is assembled I manhandled it from the living room to the kitchn. It was a squeeze through the doorway. The carry handles are at each side and the 26Kg is very akward to lift that way. This beast of a base unit will be moved as small a distance as I can. Garage to car and car to 6ft away for set up. the base is on the limit of what I can manage, and I am 5ft 10 inches and reasonably strong. It would be way beyond a smaller guy or most women.

Now to put the mirror cell in the OTA - never done that before and there are no instructions (panic, panic!) - but it seems to be secured by 3 bolts with washers and springs, so I am assuming that it is reasonably easy - any advice you can give me on this?

Thanks for your help

Tom

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The mirror cell is mounted on 3 spring loaded bolts - I can confirm that. There are also three locking bolts alongside each one to keep the OTA in collimation.

My 300P base came pre assembled - so did the OTA come to think of it - feel like I'm missing out on a good learning experience - but also a big headache lol

Good luck with it Tom - if I can help then I will :(

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Thanks Brantuk, I seem to have the same setup as you describe, with the locking bolts as well. The only thing I am unsure of is which end of the spring the washer goes on. What does it look like on yours?

I must admit, once it is all done I will probably be glad of the learning experience, but at the moment, with no instructions or pictures to look at - it is an experience I could do without.

Off to eat a late dinner now, and hopefully you or someone else can give me the advice needed above. I will check the thread after eating, then, advice or no, i will set to with the mirror.

Cheers

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Here's some pics that I hope will put your mind at rest. Washer goes on the bolt first it seems - then the bolt through the frame with the spring on next - then screw into the mirror assembly. I loosened one bolt too far once and had to get it back in - it was a pig - I don't envy you having to do three at once - take care with it :(

(It'll take me a short while to get them in here but they are coming - or you can look at bottom of main forum page straight away)

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Thanks Brantuk, that really helps me. Bolt - washer, through hole, spring and then screw onto missor cell.

I had 2 glasses of wine with my Spag. Bol. Not sure if I should attempt this now. The wine could either make it easier (more relaxed) or much more difficult (pi**ed).

I will post again once I have put the mirror cell onto the OTA, but that might end up being tomorrow.

Thanks again - your explanation and images have made it much easier for me.

Tom

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I bought the 8" Flextube GoTo dob from FLO last week and wasn't sure about that packaging' between the base plates as it was stuck to the bottom plate as well.

I needed to speak to FLO (Martin) about a different matter and asked him about the packaging and after contacting the importers/suppliers he called back and said that it should be removed - which I did with some difficulty.

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Albireo - good decision - do it tomorrow and get really relaxed now with more wine lol You're very welcome - when it's all together you might like to join the "Dob Users" group and relate your experiences building the beast (just click the link in my signature). All the best to ya! :(

REB - interesting point you make there - I just checked mine and there is some polystyrene packing around the base motor on my preassembled mount (though not as much as shown above).

It is often suggested with dobs to put some sort of material in that position to add a bit of friction to the azimuth and help reduce any backlash - particularly on the motorised ones. I do know SW refined the new "big" dobs for increased accuracy before releasing them - maybe thats one of the refinements :(

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