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Balancing


Guest Mr T
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Do you balance the scope before you add eyepiece, camera etc, or after they have been attached?

I have always balanced at the start of a session and then during the course of a session added bits and pieces to the set up - like camera etc. I t occurs to me a dslr is pretty heavy and would make the scope unbalanced, although I haven't noticed any problems.

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Good one Felix. Balance is something I never take enough time over.

No probs. happy to help. Since going equatorial I have been watching/reading any tutorial I can to get a handle on the mount!

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"You balance it with all the gear that you are going to be using for the session."


 


Sound advice - if it's an observing session I use a medium weight eyepiece so it's close to all the others in my collection. :)


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If you balance it before you load it, then you put it out of balance by adding stuff.


This can cause real problems with the drive motors, as they have to lug whatever the weight you have added round. With big eyepieces, such as the UWAN 28mm this is a whole kilo, and probably about the same with a DSLR, and it's gubbins.


If you balance it after it's been loaded, then the motors should have next to no load to move.


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If you are imaging and guiding then always leave the mount slightly out of balance.  That way the drive gears keep meshed.  I balance and then unbalance by moving things 10mm or so on my dual bar to keep the drive train under tension.

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It keeps the motors pushing constantly on the gears to turn the rig so there's no slop and the image stays uniformly in place on the chip. If it slips back a tiny amount it can ruin a sub. I imagine going past the Meridian the cogs loosen up a bit - is that what they call "meridian flip"?


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The meridian flip is when the EQ mount reaches the meridian and then swings the scope all the way round to the other side of the pier/tripod.


You start with the scope on the west side and after the flip its on the east side of the pier/tripod.


Meridian flip = Pain in the a**e!


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Guest ollypenrice
If you are imaging and guiding then always leave the mount slightly out of balance.  That way the drive gears keep meshed.  I balance and then unbalance by moving things 10mm or so on my dual bar to keep the drive train under tension.

 

Indeed, but make the east the heavy side so that the gears and on the pushing side of mesh. You don't need much imbalance to reduce backlash.

Friction drive has to be the way, though. The Mesu is fabulous to use. No backlash whatever.

Olly

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Thanks all for your great advice, I'll adapt my routine to balance when everything is attached, and I guess re-balance if I change what I'm doing during a session. And I'll try to leave it slightly unbalanced on the east side.....so how do I do that? Do I achieve east side unbalancing by sliding the counter weights up or down, or by sliding the tube up or down in the rings?

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