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Old 15-08-2020, 08:39 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
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How tight to tighten the clutches up on the Skywatcher AZ-EQ6

Hi, I am new to these mounts, I have always used the goto mounts on Dobsonians.

So i just relieved mine yesterday, the Skywatcher AZ-EQ6

Telescope going on it is the Skywatcher Evostar 150ED


So i got everything mounted and gone through the process of balancing everything out to see how it all feels.

I nipped up both clutches so that the scope fall.

Then when i went to take a look through the eyepiece i found if i bumped it even slightly the telescope would move.

I know with the Dobsonian mounts that i tighten up the clutches and it stays fairly well solid and doesn't move even if you bump it slighty.


So my question is, how tight do i have to do these two clutches up?

I find that the RA Clutch is the main one that doesn't appear to hold tight.

Is this a common issue or do i have to really tighten it up?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:23 PM
nsavage (Nick)
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I could be incorrect but I suspect that the scope may be too heavy for the mount.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:43 PM
sunslayr (David)
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Don't worry the mount can handle that scope, but the ra is a little weird in the azeq6. You have to unscrew the handle and move it to another hole and tighten it a bit more until it doesn't move unless you push it hard.
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Old 15-08-2020, 09:45 PM
Craig_
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I am not sure about using it in AZ mode (which presumably you are for visual) but in EQ mode you may find that the clutches won't be enough to stop the scope moving if the balance isn't right. No idea if this is the cause of your issue, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsavage View Post
I could be incorrect but I suspect that the scope may be too heavy for the mount.
Google suggests this scope is about 10kg, which is well within the payload limit of the AZ-EQ6 (20kg.)
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Old 15-08-2020, 11:01 PM
nsavage (Nick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig_ View Post
I am not sure about using it in AZ mode (which presumably you are for visual) but in EQ mode you may find that the clutches won't be enough to stop the scope moving if the balance isn't right. No idea if this is the cause of your issue, though.



Google suggests this scope is about 10kg, which is well within the payload limit of the AZ-EQ6 (20kg.)
Apologies, I was working from the shipping weight which is apparently around 26kg. I also misread and thought that the OP was talking about a regular EQ6 mount and not the AZ-EQ6 (although the EQ6 would clearly handle the 10kg as well).
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Old 16-08-2020, 12:55 AM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Are you talking about the whole scope moving on the RA or DEC axis, in other words slipping and rotating around because the clutch locks aren't firm enough or just some vibration when the scope is bumped which dampens down in a few seconds.
Just make sure the scope is well balanced in RA and DEC and press the locking levers firmly with your thumb, that should be tight enough. I mount an 16kg 10" newt on my EQ6 and pressing the locks by thumb pressure is enough to prevent slipping. Vibration because of the "moment arm" of the scope is another issue for me.
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Old 16-08-2020, 07:41 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Thanks for the replies,
The scope itself weights in at around 10kg, so with a little gear around 12kg all up.
I am referring to the RA Clutch, the one that has a little handle that you can unscrew and move to a different hole.

For balance wise, i set it so that the counter weights are up nice and level, the scope is sitting up nice and level, then loosen of the Dec clutch and move the weights out so that it sits nice and balanced.

Tighten up the DEC clutch and loosen of the RA clutch and move the scope backwards and forwards until it sits balanced without tipping forwards or backwards, tighten the RA Clutch.

Now i find that i can very easily just with 1 figure make the scope tilt forward of backwards, I am a little concerned it i tighten this RA Clutch too much i will break of that little bolt, I thought just a snug press down with the thumb would be plenty tight enough.

Any thoughts what might be the issue?
It would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 16-08-2020, 09:04 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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They can need a firm press rather than what you might call snug. Just slowly tighten it until you need to give the scope a reasonable bump to move the RA axis. The AZEQ6 clutch design is totally different to the EQ6 and they do seem to need a little more force to lock them properly.

What you do not want to do is overtighten them though, if you monster them too much you will compress the clutch disc over time (It is a felt disc) and it can cause the fixed and moving parts of the mount to foul on each other and drag, when that happens the movement of the mount will become unreliable (Particularly in RA) and the tighter you do up the clutches, the worse it gets. I fixed mine by making clutch shims out of aluminium sheet to pack the clutches out by half a mm and it has been fine ever since, but I had been using it for a number of years at the time.

The other trick is balancing the dec axis, rather than rotating the RA until the dec axis is horizontal (Counterweights level) go a little further until the counterweights are above the telescope, maybe 10 degrees past horizontal. Due to the different clutch design, the weight of the telescope and counterweight is on the clutches when the counterweights are down and the clutches can stick a little until you go counterweights high and use the weight of the scope and counterweights to separate them. The axis can look like it is balanced, but move it a bit more in RA so the counterweights are above the RA axis and it releases the clutches better and starts moving. Unfortunately there is no equivalent way to do it in RA, which I balance counterweights heavy by just enough that the axis moves when released so at least I know which way it is balanced.
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Old 16-08-2020, 03:41 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Interesting idea there, I will give that a go when the weather clears up again.
Completely different from what i am use to, ( Dobsonian on a goto mount )
Also found the challenge now of storing it, was going to store it left set up, but looks like i need to remove the head from the tripod for storage, takes up way to much room left setup.
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