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Old 09-09-2019, 08:08 PM
nsavage (Nick)
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Modern Astronomy EQ6 Rail Mod

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with the EQ6 Rail modification and whether they would recommend it. Also looking to hear about any experiences with alternatives.

Thanks all.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:55 AM
nsavage (Nick)
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I guess no one has fitted the mod on this forum.

I went ahead and ordered one from another vendor who had the same identical item for less $ and with a number of different caps to choose from. Hopefully it is as good as people have said elsewhere.

Also ordered a Rowan Astronomy Belt Kit and some new shims. Will also be ordering some new worm gear bearings (the mount is only a year old so I assume the other bearings will be well and truly OK, probably a bit silly to do this while it is under warranty still but I am taking the risk).
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:19 AM
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Atmos (Colin)
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Some of the upgrades are well worth it. It’s not so much the age of your EQ6 but that the new ones are likely better quality and more accurate.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:58 AM
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billdan (Bill)
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I see that Rowan Astronomy now has a zero backlash RA upgrade for the EQ6.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:14 AM
nsavage (Nick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdan View Post
I see that Rowan Astronomy now has a zero backlash RA upgrade for the EQ6.
Pricy though although I have read good reports regarding similar kits that are/were available.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:34 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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I have never quite seen what the RA zero backlash kit would be a great benefit for, particularly when it comes to guiding it is the Dec that needs the help, and for visual use it would not make any practical difference on either axis.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:52 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Paul

On the AZEQ6 zero backlash in RA would be very helpful.

First, in equatorial mode, even though most will have it set up to have one side heavy, this reverses sides when the mount passes the meridian (more or less). If this occurs during the initial alignment routine it introduces a significant error.

Secondly during GOTOs if it flips across the meridian you bet your bippy it creates a big error.

Thirdly, when the mount is set up altaz mine has a slight wobble in azimuth which is due to the backlash. It affects alignment and GOTOs.

While many using shorter focal lengths may not notice or care much, on my scopes (3100 or 3200 FL) with a half degree max field of view it’s quite noticeable.

In dec the he same problem arises in equatorial mode, thoug( in altaz mode it’s irrelevant as generally I make sure It’s loaded slightly to one end.
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Old 13-09-2019, 11:15 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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I have never noticed it as an issue either using it in Alt-Az as I used to visually, or EQ mode since I took up AP. But in EQ mode I am using SGP and EQMOD and let it do it's own thing to point at targets (Which it rapidly does, usually on the first plate solving iteration, or after a flip, maybe two) But, I am currently imaging at 370mm which is very forgiving and even using the SCT I am nearly a full meter short of your FL.

In RA I was able to find a backlash compromise that does not exhibit any noticeable play and without binding, not so much in Dec.

Perhaps I should rephrase, for anything I have used my mount for I would not see a benefit. Unfortunately they replied (I asked) that it is not suitable for the AZEQ mounts anyway. I have not had the parts of the two side by side to see so I cant comment there, and they apparently don't (At least currently) have any plans for a Dec axis equivalent part.
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Old 22-09-2019, 05:08 PM
nsavage (Nick)
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I received both the Rail Mod kit and the belt kit last week. We are currently preparing to move house so the belt mod may have to wait a while.

I did install the rail kit this afternoon however. Relatively easy and simple process. There is no way of saving the original Skywatcher caps unfortunately however I was able to get them off without damaging the pain on the mount with a heat gun and some car panel removal tool (any thin plastic tool would work). Took me a little under 2 hours although I took my time and worked pretty slowly. I also went to the trouble of removing all the existing grease properly and re-greasing the relevant components. Could have easily got it done in an hour or so.

The replacement caps did not appear to come with enough mounting tape so I added more. I also took the trouble to trim the tape back nicely with a craft knife.

I am extremely happy with the final result. Altitude adjustment is a lot smoother and easier. The kit seems pricey (I paid just under $200 AUD) but in my opinion that is not too bad considering that i suspect that they are not mass produced and there is a relatively small market for them.

On a side note I did not get mine from Modern Astronomy and instead purchased form Dark Frame Optics. They had a wider range of plates to choose from (I went with plain black NEQ6 plates) and they were about $50 AUD cheaper.
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  #10  
Old 23-09-2019, 07:55 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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I finally looked in to what the rail mod was, that is finally a good sort of resolution to probably the worst design aspect of the Skywatcher EQ mount series. If I had one I would do that and also put a stainless thread insert in the head where the altitude "Up" bolt is fitted.
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