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Author Topic: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification  (Read 3657 times)

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Offline psjshep

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Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« on: 13:18:18, 09 May, 2015 »
I finally took the plunge recently, along with a number of the UKAI Admins & mods, to install the Rowan Astronomy EQ6 NEQ6 NEQ6Pro Belt Modification Kit

Find following photos from some of my steps (although, the Installation PDF is perfect for use and you can zoom in for more detail :thumbup: ) along with a few thoughts from some of the people who have completed the installation.

Big "Thanks" to Chris Bailey who's mod (Click on this link) inspired me to do mine :clap:

Phil
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Offline psjshep

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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #1 on: 13:58:00, 09 May, 2015 »
The kit comprises of :

2 x 47 tooth pulleys. 2 x 12 tooth pulleys.
2 x timing belts.
4 x intermediate rollers and mounting shafts.
2 x RA motor and idler mounting plates.
2 x Dec motor and idler mounting plates.
Stainless steel socket head bolts.
A pulley "tweezer"
Printed B&W instructions
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Offline psjshep

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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #2 on: 14:16:28, 09 May, 2015 »
Suggestions:

  • Use this as an opportunity to clean all worm wheels & worms & then re-grease. Also check and/or replace any worn (gritty) bearings especially the tapered ones
  • Place an old towel under the EQ6 to not only cushion it but also allow you to place the greasy component without marking anything.
  • Have a good amount of kitchen towel available to clean the original parts
  • A can of aerosol engine degreaser can be very handy to clean greasy parts
  • An old toothbrush can be used to clean old grease off the worm & worm wheels
  • Have an oil-filter removal strap handy - useful for polar finder removal & polar scope mounting collar
  • Needle nose plies with the point made "pointier" helps with removal of worm bearing end covers & internal slotted nut
  • Label the RA & DEC motors for confidence when re-fitting (the circuit board is already labeled)
  • Take note of the section which says to gently file down any rough surfaces on the motor shaft - the original gear grub screws will have marked it. The new gears are VERY precise
  • When inserting the bolts to hold in the motors, note the handy tip of using one of the plastic bags to trap the bolt head onto the hex key
  • An alternative method is to use a blob of Blu-Tack to hold the bolt and/or washer
  • Nipping the belt with the supplied tweezers is better supplemented by using a small elastic band over them to keep the tweezers clenched - can free up both hands when fitting the fiddly idler rollers
  • Make sure the groove on the main worm assemblies, where the RA & DEC lock nuts fit, is completely free of grease - else the axis won't properly lock when re-assembled. Also, remove & clean the bolt & small stud
  • It is useful to v-e-r-y lightly grease the parts on the shafts which are slightly raised - these are typically where the bearings fit and are VERY close tolerances - this will ease removal & re-insertion.
  • Don't over tighten the worm end float nut or the main RA and Dec locking nuts. Tighten just enough to remove any play and no more
  • Inspect and remove any sharp edges etc from the aperture that the timing belt feeds through
  • The main casing material is quite soft. Don't over tighten any bolt threaded into it. If you have a set of taps, it is worth running one through the thread before re-assembly
  • Remove any paint overspray and clean up mating surfaces for worm assembly plates before re-assembling on to main casing. It will make subsequent worm engagement adjustment a lot smoother
  • On completion exercise the mount by slewing from limit to limit several times to ensure that no binding occurs and distribute grease evenly. If carried out inside, repeat outdoors after allowing the mount to cool down

 
  • Suggested grease: This can be subjective, but a number of people use the following:
          Lubriplate 105 Engine Assembly grease - this appears very thin with the texture of very soft butter (This is the grease recommended by Bisque for their mounts) - I find this grease VERY good for those close tolerance fits like where the shaft fits into the bearings
          An alternative for the worm, worm wheel & bearings, which I use, is FINISH LINE Teflon Grease
 
 
  • Also, as per a great article from a few years ago for EQ6 strip-down, this is the recommended way of greasing the bearings
  • These are the pages written about getting rig of the over-paint & calculating the proper spacing to get a good gear mesh (they are for an Atlas mount but applicable here)
  • The Dec assembly page has tips on how to get the correct spacing for the gear mesh.

 
  • Finally, here are the SKF replacement part numbers for the various bearings :

Bearing Location
Part Number (SKF)
Upper Axis and Worm Wheel Caged Ball Bearings - sealed (3 each axis, 6 total,  only two need replacing!!)6008-2RSJEM
Lower DEC Taper Bearing30206-J2Q  *
Lower RA Taper Bearing32208-J2Q  *
Worm Shaft Caged Ball Bearings - sealed (2 each axis, 4 total) 608-2Z  (OR 608-2RS)  **
 
Note numbers corrected (9/29/2007)
** the RS bearings have the rubber covered metal seal plates, the Z bearings have a metal shield.
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Offline psjshep

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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #3 on: 14:23:45, 09 May, 2015 »
Labelled RA & Dec motors
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #4 on: 14:27:06, 09 May, 2015 »
Oil filter strap removal tool (got mine from B&Q) to remove the end bearing
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #5 on: 14:35:03, 09 May, 2015 »
Engine degreasing spray & kitchen towel to remove old grease
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #6 on: 14:42:54, 09 May, 2015 »
Needle nose pliers to remove bearing end cap, and remove the bearing retention nut

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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #7 on: 14:49:49, 09 May, 2015 »
When fitting the replacement tooth pully, ensure there is a gap between it & the housing - using a plastic shim is one way of doing it.
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #8 on: 14:53:59, 09 May, 2015 »
One of the suggested grease (note the worm wheel has been re-greased prior to fitting back together)
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #9 on: 14:57:48, 09 May, 2015 »
Ensure the inner housing and the locking stud for both RA & Dec axis are completely  free of grease, else your axis will not lock down when required.
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #10 on: 15:06:17, 09 May, 2015 »
When I was removing both the RA & Dec gear from the motor shafts, they required gently prising using the shaft of a screwdriver.

NOTE: do not skip the step requiring you to gently file down any marks on the motor shafts using a needle file - the replacement gears have very close tolerances.
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #11 on: 15:13:18, 09 May, 2015 »
Motors with they new belt gear & mounting plates, next to their idler plates - take careful note from the instructions on the exact orientation of each plate.
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Re: Review: Rowan Astronomy EQ6 Belt Modification
« Reply #12 on: 15:22:09, 09 May, 2015 »
Conclusions:

  • The fitting of the kit to my EQ6 Pro took about 3 hours, but I was taking photos as I went. I probably could have completed in 1.5 hrs.
  • The PDF instructions were very good & comprehensive enough in my opinion. I have taken my EQ6 apart before so did have a working knowledge of it
  • The supplied parts are of the highest quality and everything fitted together perfectly. I was MOST  impressed :clap: :clap:
  • I have already replaced the taper bearings as well as those from the worm shaft so there was no need for me to do anything further to these.
  • I have spent time in the past getting the exact shims on the worm shaft to get perfect meshing so nothing to be done there.
  • Once it was all meshed after the re-fit, I ran each axis individually more than one rotation in both directions.
  • The overall slewing sound was noticeably less than before, and without that "noy-de-noy-de-noy" sound from the transfer gears
  • As an EQ6/NEQ6 modification, I would say this ranks up with using EQMod.
  • 10 out of 10 in my books.... well done Rowan Engineering
Phil

p.s. When I have used it in the field, I will report back further.
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