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2nd light with SW 250 Flextube Auto - oh dear


solarwallace
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Well that was a bit of a disaster.

The scope just falls forward if the alt angle gets too near the horizontal. There's a lot of play in the az so you can nudge it with you eye hitting the eyepiece and the object you're viewing disappears completely not helped by the fact I have to bend over at 90 degrees to see through the eyepiece. Oh for the days when I could twist the tube in it's rings. I need to get a high chair otherwise I'll end up a cripple. I've also read there's a way to increase the tension on the mount in both alt and az to decrease the slack and stop the clutch slipping so easily.

Another oddity when in guide mode is that sometimes when using the middle speed (2) the button does absolutely nothing at all. Other times both the up and down arrows just result in the end of the scope going down (in the same direction) :icon_eek:

So I've given up for tonight and will seek to tighten my tension nuts tomorrow and hope the cloud stays away.

I'm sure I'll be happy when I've sorted these little niggles out...

Steve

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I had (have some of the same problems). Tightening tha az clutch bolt may help it lift up the tube (you only need a tiny adjustment in the bolt) but might not help the nose dive much. I find putting tracking on engages the gears and that supports the weight of the tube for lowish (less than 20 degrees for me)

Putting tracking on (and moving the scope a bit to take up the slack) should prevent the az movement too.

I don't have a fancy observing chair, I use a garden chair....the seat for low down, the arm for mid hight and leaning against the back for near zenith!

And always fine tune your approach to objects with tracking on using the right arrow and up (east) or down (west) otherwise the scope will spend all night slowly winding in the slack gears and not moving the tube.

it took me a while to get used to it's idiosyncrasies.

Hope things improve soon

Edited by WayBig
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Ive owned my flextube now for 6 months and I can safely say the mount is absolutely aweful. I ended up tightening the clutch, changing the caphead screws holding the AZ motor in place (too small to hold the motor rigidly, they cut into the body!). Also you have 2 nuts on the inside of the OTA, holding the dovetail thing for the ALT motor, you would be wise to get some washers and tighten these nuts up. These 3 measures reduced the play on my mount by about half.

Then I built a platform with 3 bolts going through like a low profile tripod, and use a spirit level to level the base, set your local altitude with a digital spirit-level rather than skywatchers stick on scale, its horribly inaccurate (mine was 2 degrees out). All in all I can hold an object in the eyepiece for an hour or so now, but putting a camera on is still no good, with a 1/2'' CCD you will still be tracking manually to correct the autotracking. Too be honest for the 200eur extra I paid for this feature I am very upset at the extra work I had to do to enjoy my scope.

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Hi

Thanks for your comments guys. I'm going to have a look at the mount tonight in daylight. I though it best to not start trying to fix it last night.

I'll have to dig out a garden chair too :D

It's got to be better than this though otherwise I'll be changing it quicker than I thought and going back to an EQ mount. I'll update when I've looked into it. Hopefully if I document this it will help anyone else with similar issues in the future.

Steve

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Well I've tightened things up earlier by taking off the two black covers which go over the motors and tightening the nut that lives under there. It certainly feels better now and lifts the scope with no problems. There's still play in it but we'll see how I get on later :D

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Ok well tonight has been a lot better. Yes theres some play in the mount but it feels more like a quirk rather than an issue. Tracking M37 and Saturn tonight no real problems. Shame the batteries had gone on my laser collimator earlier as you do need to collimate this scope (like any large newt I think) every you time you use it - I'm only talking a tweak to the primary but it's not so easy with a Cheshire when you're at the wrong end of a 10" newt! Still, I'm sat in the garden with a nice glass of red watching Saturn no worries. What a relief. Panic over :D

Weather's looking good for tomorrow so hopefully off to darker skies to make some real use of the optics. M37's amazing. A real star fest. I keep thinking I know what I like up there and then I find something else eg. I like planets, then I found M51. I like galaxies and planets, then I found nebulae. I like ... Then I found M37. Pretty good stuff.

Peace is restored.

Clear skies.

Steve.

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I have an Orion XT 10" with Intelliscope, and I have to say it's better than the Skywatcher 250PX Flex Tube with Auto. I've used both. The quality especially the parts and overall manafacture is just not as good as the Orion. Just my personal opinion. The Orion is practically the same cost as the Skywatcher too. Plus, from the one I used - that belonged to my friend, he's had to fiddle with parts too, to adjust the alignment, mirrors lose collimation frequently. The EPs are not as good; and the nuts need constant tweaking. I have to say that I have had to do none of the above since purchasing and using my Orion XT10i. It's excellent. I recommend anyone to get one. I got mine from SCS Astro...

Orion SkyQuest XT10 IntelliScope - SCS Astro

Regards

Stella

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Sounds good Stella. One of the reasons I like the SW is that it will fit across the back seats of my car once it's 'stowed'. I only have to tweak the primary so it's not a burden as long you have the laser to do it with :D The SW it also over a £100 cheaper but I guess with the Orion the cost possibly goes on the scope, not on the Flextube. Once the SW is collimated the optics seem very nice. If I had better conditions in my back garden I might have gone for a solid tube but I definitely need to move the scope to get decent seeing.

I'm also a bit against anything that 'helps' me find targets. I like to struggle to find stuff - as long as the struggle isn't down to faulty kit :rolleyes: I'd probably see more though. :hello2:

I think this all confirms that it's a good idea to get your hands on the scope you're going to buy and make sure it's right for you.

I think my problem as well is that I wanted the biggest aperture I could get with some tracking ability. Ideally this would have been the same size newt on an EQ mount but that would have bumped the cost up to beyond what I can currently afford. Lot's of people say dobs are easy but I actually feel more at home with an EQ because that's what I've been used to. Plus with an EQ I can manipulate the tube in the rings to get a comfortable viewing angle.

For me no scope is perfect and I think I'm pretty happy with this one for now. When we move next year I might change it for something bigger (!) and solid if the location is right!

Steve

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