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Astro_Baby

WARNING - Bendy EQ6 Altitude Bolts

156 posts in this topic

Remember folkis if it gets very badly bent you may be into having to remove the base of the mount which means almost certain destruction of the plastic side plates with the logo on.

We have a CG5 mount with the cracked plastic side plate over the logo look, it is not quite William Optics finish quality.

The mount fell over indoors on soft carpet and the bolt went banana shaped. I don't know whether strong bolts would have avoided damage.

The CG5's never been the same since, it is a bit loose, that may be more down to how I took it apart than the damaged bolt though! :)

So, good thing or bad thing, we went for the firmer bolts when we got an EQ6.

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To be fair...nobody is saying/arguing the replacement is not worth doing, Mel. I did mine instantly as they came bent!!! :)

Just some of us are trying to make it clear you don't have to go to one person who sells one of the possible solutions just because you're being advised to do so. Zero wrong with those that do...zero.

Fair enough I think.

BTW: I'm sure you can spend £20 on mascara (like you say) but I bet you can't make it yourself. :o Plus if your mascara had 'Astro' on it...it would be 3 times as much :D Like those tents, for one :o hehe

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Well, as I posted earlier, I went for a replacement set from MA. Turned up in the post this morning which I am pretty chuffed about.

Having just spent the best part of 900 quid on an NEQ6, I can't afford for something as easily preventable as this to go wrong. I have neither the tools nor the engineering nous to fix it should the worst happen. So speaking for myself, it was a no-brainer.

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By the way, for those who misunderstand my good intentions...I actually think those ratchet handles are cool :)

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What I don't get is the design thought behind the main problem...which is the whole alt layout. If the stock bolts are made to bend (in order to save the threads) then they must know fine well they have a serious design flaw.

I can't see why they didn't mill an arced grove out of the sides and have side bolts like other mounts do. It could even be a mod that would be possible to do with the mount as it. Would need the equipment to mill it accurately and then tap the current block...but it would have been far better.

I believe many other mounts do it this way.

Example:

91527.jpg

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I guess it is cost that makes them make it that way. The design (from someone who used to spend a lot of time bashing metal) looks really, really poor. it looks like a cheapo Chinese made G-clamp. Anyone who has ever used one will know what I mean. At the very least there should be some sort of a "shoe" on the end of the bolt to prevent the bolt from digging in and "walking" on the surface as it rotates. This is what causes the long unsupported thread to bend.

I have just dropped nearly 900 notes on an EQ6 Syntrek with FLO. The very first thing that I am going to do is replace those bolts. £24 or not...... Hell, I have spent more than that on a tie for work plenty of times over.

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Actually - wayyyyyy off topic I was makeup buying first thing today and my Mascara cost £18.50 put together with a new eye shadow and a foundation the bill was £70 :)

Astro looks cheap by comparison :D

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Zak - I agree - but to be fair to Synta they have to get the price down. Stuff like the EQ6 was unimaginable 20 years ago for the amateur.

For the money asked these mounts are still the dogs dangly bits, a full GoTo heavyweight mount for a grand isnt bad.

I know it could be done better, and believe me there are times when I curse the 2.1mm DC power jack, the lack of a polarscope dimmer knob on the mount, the bendy bolts, the fact that the polarscope is a bit tacky, that the level bubble is duff, the latitude scales arent accurate - I could go on but these are really minor whinges - look at the upside 13,400 object database, relatively simple to set-up, powerful, fast slewing, very quiet, reliable and that almost all of the foibles can be tuned out or corrected quite easily.

Its still a miracle mount and Synta have taken a lot of stuff on board and improved it even over the last 2 years they have made changes that users have asked for.

I for one might have moaned a lot (though I'd call it constructive criticism :) ) when I stripped these mounts over poor lubrication and tuning but on the whole I am very glad Synta are around to make this stuff available (and no I havent just taken a bung to say that either :D )

Yes they could correct all the faults, make it from machined steel etc but what would that add to the price ? Besides when you read threads about other manufacturs (Losmandy, Takahashi, Paramount et al) all of whom are a lot more bucks you see users of those having just as many problems with stuff busting, bits dropping off and most of the ills that us humble SYnta owners face - I'd be a bit less inclined to be quite so charitable though if I had splashed out for some of the more exotic tin.

Sorry Sy if I sounded stroppy - a whole day filing until my hands have dropped off may have made me a bit tetchy. I am there though know - bolt removed and threads seems ok in the mount. I cant test that out yet though cos the other bolt is also a bit curly and I am not inclined to risk having to file another one out.

Edited by Astro_Baby

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Actually - wayyyyyy off topic I was makeup buying first thing today and my Mascara cost £18.50 put together with a new eye shadow and a foundation the bill was £70 :)

Astro looks cheap by comparison :D

I think my wife has been lying to me for over 28 years !!!!!!

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Sorry Sy if I sounded stroppy

No no..you didn't, not at all :D No apology needed. Seriously. Someone who's as passionate about their hobby as you should be encouraged :) (edit...and thanked :o )

I agree with the mount and costs too. Excellent bang for buck. Although the budget bearings are my personal irritation.

If they'd hit the alt design at the beginning though it wouldn't cost much more to produce. If the chassis holder was cast (looks like it's cast...may be wrong) with the arced grove I reckon it could be adapted easily (tap the current alt stop). But that's without looking properly so I can easily be full of it here! lol

To mod it now I would need a cnc machine. I'd love to have ago though! :o

Edited by astroimpulse

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..........The design (from someone who used to spend a lot of time bashing metal) looks really, really poor. it looks like a cheapo Chinese made G-clamp. Anyone who has ever used one will know what I mean........

Oh yeah :)

Guarranteed to snap or bend after one use. We always used 'record' ones. Expensive, but surprise, surprise, they worked even when cranking them up uber tight.

Andy.

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Hey, A-B I wasn't having a moan. I, for one, am blumming grateful that the Chinese are prepared to build industries and supply this stuff. Like you say, the stuff we have access to as amateurs is amazing, especially at this price point.:D

Sure they could have improved it. But then, the costs go up, which makes the kit more inaccessible.

I have come back to stargazing after being away for years. I remember peering at a tiny smudge that was Saturn with a 3" frac over 20 years ago, and being knocked out 'cos I could just about discern that the oblong shape was the rings. It amazes me that I can now do the same with a computerised 8" reflector. That I can contemplate building a small obsy and fit it out with a mount with the capabilities of the EQ6 is nothing short of amazing.

My other hobby is motorbikes. I have spent 500 notes on a replacement rear shock absorber, £hundreds improving the brakes, £hundreds more on different exhausts. Tweaking is half the fun.....I see this gig as being no different.:)

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More proof if any were needed of the reasons why anyone with an EQ6 or HEQ5 should ditch the Synta supplied altitude bolts....

Heres a pic of an EQ6 I am working on. The mount was jammed at 30' latitude and here's why.

Hi, my altitude t-bolt has bent and I need to access it and cut it to remove it as you explain. I cannot work out how to remove the base as cannot get the discs off either side (one with NEQ6 logo and one being the scale). Can you help please??

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..... a whole day filing until my hands have dropped off may have made me a bit tetchy. I am there though know - bolt removed and threads seems ok in the mount. I cant test that out yet though cos the other bolt is also a bit curly and I am not inclined to risk having to file another one out.

I'd use a rotary tool and cutting disc like in one of these kits Compact High Speed Rotary Tool and 90Piece Accessory Set : Rotary Tools : Maplin you would cut through that bolt in a few seconds. Wear safety goggles though as the discs shatter easily.

roger

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Theres two ways of tackling this.

Method 1 cut the bolt end off, the bit on the outside of the mount, with a hacksaw, then cut a slot inro the end of the bolt with a hacksaw or file and then screw the bolt all the way into the mount, it will then drop oit of the slot at the bottom of the mount.

This will only work if the bent element of the bolt is on the outside of the mount.

Method 2 for this you need to remove the logos on either side of the mount and there is a good chance these will be destroyed in the process.

Try the altitude scale first, on the two mojnts I have had to do this to the alt scale comes away a lot easier. Use a super sharp craft knife to genty pry away at the alt scale but sliding it between the plastic scale and the mount. Work carefully round the scale and you will most likley find its held on by only a couple of dabs of glue with any luck.

It should if your careful and lucky simply pop away from the mount.

Now extract the three small friction screws which are hex ended grub screws that surround the central bolt of the mount. This may be able to be extracted at this point, bear in mind the bokt is held with a thread thats tapped into the mount under the eq logo and also a locking nut.

If you can extraxt the bokt then you can try to tap the eq logo off by using a thin dowel of wood from the other side of the mount. Chances are it will break, try to get under it with a craft knife same as the alt scale and chances are yo will wreck the mounts paintwork cos the eq logo is glued on tight.

Lets assume you can get the eq logo off, from there its simply a case of filing or hacksawing the bolt away. Go slow and careful cos you dont want to cut inro the mount in any of this.

Thats it really, FLO should be able to get you a replacement eq logo but they are often tough to get and you may wait a few months.

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Rog i didnt have one of those, my sister has a dremel but i have used it befre and its uselee you end uo busting disks all the time and they aint cheap. A neele file does the job anD i have those from my old career as well :glasses1:

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The maplin kit often has a mix of disc type including some larger diameter reinforced ones.. the non reinforced types are pretty much useless...

The best (but they are expensive) cut-off discs are the Dremel original reinforced ones...

Billy...

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Hi, thanks very much, very helpful indeed. Option 2 is appropriate for me, but it's a little destructive. I can just see the bent bolt without removing the base, so I wonder if it is possible to leverage the bolt back to be straight enough to at least unscrew and replace?

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^^ as billy said, I've used these to cut down masonry nails which are just about as hard as you can get. You just need a steady hand and a little patience.

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Hi, I managed to remove the bolt without removing the base (and therefore destroying the scale & logo badge). I slipped a hack saw blade down the thin gap between the base and the part above and with gentle sawing for about 4 hours the bolt was cut! I have left some scuff marks on the base so will need to touch up at some point. I've now installed new stronger £25 bolts from Ian King Imaging.

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The problem is not the bolts but the castings themselves being too soft for the loads that are inflicted on them during adjustment. I redrilled mine oversize then made a small threaded steel plate that went over the oversized hole, this was then araldited and drilled and tapped into place. The knuckle casting they push against is the same **** metal and I plated them with a small 1/8 inch steel plate again araldited into place......never had a problem since.

If I can find the photos I'll post them here.

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Well, I went for it and replaced mine tonight. Glad I did, the longer of the two altitude bolts was quite stiff over the last cm when unscrewing it, so it had obviously started to bend. This from a mount that was purchased this time last year and hasn't had a lot of outings due to that grey fluffy stuff.

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Hi all !

So as someone stated in the first posts of this thread, the problem doesn't come from the screws on the EQ6, but on the basic design of the mount. It's built primarily to be used in asia, where the altitude setting can be way different from europe. So when set under our altitudes, the south screw needs to push the mount "rocker" (let's call it like this) way further than it's intended to be. (See the figure 1 below).

So the solution, better and cheaper than buying overpriced screws, is to add some kind of "shoe" to correct the angle at which the north screw is going to push the rocker (figure 2).

I personally used some fixing material to be found in car-repair centers (you must have these in the UK), some kind of clay that you mix and shape and hardened very quickly, and adheres to about anything. Moving about the rocker at this stage becomes easy and smooth, even with the original screws.

6096193192_f0c9bfe45e.jpg

Edited by philming
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I made 2 small steel plate which I screwed and araldited to the rocker as they were badly scoured, I also made my new bolts with a domed tip.......never had a problem since.

TBH its a bad design as the soft alloy casting was always going to come worse off when its trying to be pushed with a steel bolt.......bad engineering.

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