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EQ6 Drive Conversions Kit

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Grant Privett's picture
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EQ6 Drive Conversions Kit

As I'm forced to stay home for 12 weeks and I can only work from home so many hours a day, I was thinking of taking the opportunity to upgrade my Sky Watcher EQ6 Pro with a Rowan conversion kit.

I was wondering whether anyone on here had tried it and might relate their experience. Am also thinking of updating the worm bearings at the same time - its a 2008 vintage EQ6 and their manufacturing standards weren't great then (I seem to recall people dismantling theirs at the time found lots of swarf around).

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Problem removing old cogwheel

The other year I installed a Rowan conversion kit on an Orion Sirius mount (different conversion kit to yours). The only problem I had was removing one of the cogwheels that is replaced by the kit. The slot on the grub screw holding it in place was broken and I ended up using a drill and a hacksaw to remove the old wheel. But apart from that everything went fine, and wished I'd carried out the conversion earlier.

Grant Privett's picture
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Thanks

Thanks for the info. How long did it take you? I could be in trouble if the kitchen table is a telescope mount for more than a day or two... 

I will probably take the opportunity to do a general strip down....

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done in less than an afternoon

I did the whole modification within an afternoon (< 4hours) even allowing for the problem I had.

Just make sure you are fully familiar with the modification’s kit instructions (I had downloaded them before I brought the kit). Apart from the grub screw problem I had, the trickiest bit would have been removing the wiring loom to extract the motors, not difficult, mine were wrapped around other wires, a pair of tweezers were useful when putting the loom back. Without the grub screw problem it would have take just over an hour, and I was taking my time and double checking everything.

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Rowan conversion

Hi Grant.

I converted my NEQ6 pro with the Rowan kit. I was able to watch my good friend and telescope builder Len Clucas convert his. I am a total novice regards this sort of thing but even I was able to do it; slowly! It took me roughly a couple of days. The mount is quieter and smoother with improved pointing accuracy. My guiding graph on PHD is much flatter. It's been installed for a couple of years now with no issues. Good luck. Tom Moran.

Grant Privett's picture
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Thanks

Sounds very hopeful - I'm not finding many people saying "No, don't bother" so I have decided to go ahead. Thats going to knacker the kitchen table for a couple of days....

Yeah a MyT or Ioptron60 would be the obvious alternative but this option is a lot cheaper, so I will see how it goes - and report back.

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Replacing bearings

Hi Grant. The bearings that take a hit when the telescope is accidentally knocked are the 22mm dia ones both ends of each slow motion axle. The mount was designed with roller bearings in these positions and they do not cope well with large sideways forces. On the mounts we (AWR) have serviced ther ehave been distinct dinks on the rotation of some of the bearings we have removed. These must run smoothly else you will get unexplained jumps in the tracking especially visible in CCD work. I would not bother changing the large bearings on the primary axles. Certainly I would clean out the old grease. It is a magnet for contamination.

Grant Privett's picture
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Replacing Bearings

I purchased 4x SKF 608 2RSH bearings for the worms. Hopefully, they will do the job. 

Had heard the large bearings were best cleaned up rather than replaced. You hear stories of swarf and misplaced paint in EQ6 bearings, so a good clean may well be needed. I'm certain I have some lithium grease around here somewhere.

The PE for the mount has always been rather noisy with the occasional big unpredictable spike which meant 10 minute exposures often had elongated stars. Normally 5mins is sufficient, but it would be nice to have the option of 10 minutes for narrow band filtered images.  

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EQ6 Bearings & upgrade

You are on the right track!

Good luck with the upgrade.

Make sure when you fit the belts that there is absolutely no rubbing any side walls, the pulleys are in alignment and there are no tough spots when you try to move the belt by hand.

Grant Privett's picture
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Soon

Hope to have a bash at the weekend  - by which time I hope to have found the Lithium grease I bought a couple of years back.

The downside of being home for 2 weeks is l run out of excuses as to why I have not done the outstanding DIY jobs around the house...

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Video?

Are you you video it, Grant?

Grant Privett's picture
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Video

I could do some stills on any tricky bits perhaps.

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Video

Good idea, Grant. If you do do a video, you might want to turn the sound off at those tricky points :-)