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My HEQ5 Latitude Adjustment Mod (with pics)


Revs
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Hey peeps, I thought I'd share this successful (thank goodness :p) mod I've just been on with.

If you're an Sky Watcher EQ mount owner you'll be only too aware of the poor setup of the latitude adjustment with these mounts. I know that the norm is to replace the bolts with something better, but this doesn't eliminate the problem. So, having finally got round to getting a brand spanking HEQ5, after much saving up, I thought the best thing to do would be to take it apart and modify it :p

After setting up my mount for the first time it was evident that the southern-most bolt was pushing the paddle thingy at an angle and if I kept turning it, not only would it not tighten up, it was going to snap!...

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So here's what I did to remedy the problem...

I started off by prising the black caps off the side to allow access to the nut and bolt. Easier said than done, but I managed without snapping them (just a little crack in one :)). In there I also found 3 grommets which tension the latitude movement. I loosened the grommets, noting their original tightness. I loosened the latitude bolts a little, removed the nut (16mm) and unscrewed the bolt. The two halves of the mount now could be seperated...

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Earlier I had a play with the mount to see at what angle the bolt was contacting the paddle at various latitude positions and came to the conclusion that the shape of the paddle needed to be convex, not concave. Only a small concave at that.. about 10-12mm diameter. So I set about making something I could bolt on and came up with this...

(I don't know how control which attachments show at the bottom, sorry)

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Edited by Revs
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The part of the mount I wanted to attach the part to wasn't flat, so I dug out an old huge half round file and skimmed it. Then I drilled two holes in the part, wide enough to not interfere with the lat. bolt. Lastly I ground two flats for the screws I would be using, to seat on.

Next was the mount. After lining the part up on the mount (about a 1/16th too high up FYI :)) I marked the mount through the holes on the part, ready for drilling. Next, drilled and tapped the mount (3.2mm/4.0mm), screwed the bit on and hey presto. Job done!..

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Edited by Revs
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Before starting the rebuild, I ground a flat on the end of the lat. bolt, to make sure it didn't want to slip off the new rounded surface it was going to be seating on, which worked as intended.

I put the two halves of the mount back together and slid the main bolt through to check alignment. It was about spot on, as I said, ever so slightly high, but it worked! :p

Lastly, put everything back together with a good clean, re-grease and assemble. Be careful not to over tighten the main bolt through the head. I just nipped it up until a felt a little friction in the lat. movement, backed of a bit, put the locknut on and tensioned up the grommets. Feels like, erm... :)

So yeah, really pleased :)

..still gonna replace these crappy bolts, though :p

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Edited by Revs
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Done! :)

Hope that might be useful for someone. It now feels like it should. It would be so easy for whoever makes these (Synta?) to just change the profile of that paddle thingy and not have this problem.

BTW, it took about 2.5hrs. But having a workshop helped.

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