Copyright Jack Russell 2012
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As I’ve explained, the EQ6 gear train seriously limits the mount’s imaging potential. Everyone wants a PE like this one on the right. 5 arc secs peak to peak, almost nothing with PEC applied.
But an autoguider can’t provide updates quickly enough, and the mount can’t correct quickly enough to cope with high frequency noise superimposed on the worm produced periodic error. This is what you get from the EQ6 gears.
By the time it’s correcting, the mount has already changed direction. This gives you photos which look out of focus, or worse.
The Belt drive conversion won’t take you from curve 3 to curve 1, but it should get you to curve 2, which you can then guide out…
But you could image quite well with a PE going from +20 to -20 arc secs, with decent autoguiding. The guide cam picks up the error and corrects it before it has allowed your stars to spread over too many adjacent pixels.
I’ve had an unfortunate experience recently, when a chap ordered a kit, and supplied his worms so I could ensure the pulleys were a tight fit and well centred. I took great care, turned the order around in an afternoon, only to be accused of swapping his worm with that from my dec axis, which isn’t quite true (as I’ve reported on here!). He believed that the ones he sent looked the same, but those returned were different. Perhaps I had done it by accident? (of course, accidentally stripped my only Eq6 and left the worms lying around).
I found this more than a little frustrating, especially as he had apparently re-built the mount (without the belt kit) found that it sounded like it was binding, and decided therefore that I must have sent him my dec worm (which is still in my mount and causing no problem at all in that axis). This was, by the way, on the night I took my best ever photo so far (Crescent Neb). Using my old, slightly wobbly dec worm…
I was really hoping he would do the conversion, rave about it and convince more people to do it. I even supplied better pulleys than those I had in my mount at the time. (I have since done new ones for mine, I’ll admit).
I can still supply kits, but you must be confident with the work involved, and understand that there can be any number of very minor issues in a mount which can cause headaches. If you want a kit, they’re £60 per axis, or £110 for both. If you want to supply your worms, please etch/engrave them with your initials maybe, or write it on them and put lacquer or (nail varnish) over it. I don’t want to go through that scenario again.
If the guy concerned is reading this - please do the mod, and set it up as I’ve suggested here. It will be miles better - I promise.
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