Archive for May 24, 2023

Proper Balancing Of An Equatorial Mount Is Essential For Proper Tracking And To Avoid Excess Stress On the Motor Or Motors

May 24, 2023

I’ve had the following manual mount for 32 years, but have seldom used the RA motor, due to the difficulty of proper balancing with the “single 25-pound counter weight.” It is a medium duty, but of very good quality, made in the old Meade facility in Costa Mesa, California.

This mount is sufficient and very stable for this heavy 10-inch reflector, only due to the short pedestal, which also positions me perfectly at the eyepiece when using my astro-chair.

I’ve used it “totally manual” for all this time, as I thought just nudging with my nose to “visually observe” was sufficient, and it has been. But after using my Celestron CGE-Pro mount, over the past couple or so years, it has spoiled me. I’ve now found it almost essential to use RA tracking to properly make a pencil sketch, taking sometimes hours.

So, of only the past few days, I’ve decided to replace the single 25-pound counter weight with two 10-pound weights, and one 5-pound weight, from my gym. And with an extra 2.5-pound weight if needed.

As an adjustment, I’m using 1-inch collars, with a brass threaded rod and brass bolts, cut and filed to length, and a T-handle from Lowe’s Hardware. I’ll replace the brass “straight screwdriver” bolts, when I get another threaded handle, hopefully today.

I’m including some photos of my “multiple weights” for micro-adjusting, and better tracking, which I’ve yet to try out, due to smoke coming down from Canada.

Always use brass bolts as lock-downs against a steel shaft to avoid marring the shaft.

My other mount which I use for my very heavy “solid tube” 10-inch f/4.5 reflector

Note the extra Losmandy 11-pound weight, in addition to the 22-pound standard Celestron counter weight: