Hey Folks,
I hope all is well after the horrible weather we've been having in the South. Not very awesome for those of us trying to look up.

However, the last few days before the storms were pretty good viewing, right up until the day the rain started. It gave me an opportunity to get out, change things up and do some observing. Still being close to the city, I wasn't able to capture what I was looking for. I was looking for good long exposure of Andromeda, and the Pacman Nebula. I got neither. But I did find a little slop/slack in my Skywatcher AZ-EQ6. Now I already know that I'm pretty close to the weight limit, but I don't think that's the issue, for a few reasons.

So I went off and did some research on the mount's mechanisms. I actually found some pretty good resources and a full break down of the unit. Nice!

I didn't have to tear down the whole hefty chunk of metal, motors and gizzards. After taking off each of the side panels I could see how things were laid out and after looking at the break down, the unit seems to have some pretty robust but pretty elegant adjustments.

One thing I noticed was that one of the servos was rubbing against one of the side panels...not good. This was kind of a pain, because I wasn't really planning on doing surgery...the pinion gear was too far up the shaft and causing it and the belt to rub. This required popping the servo out of the other side and adjusting the pinion. Pretty simple but more involved than simply adjusting the gear or servo... Unfortunately, that was for the RA access and not the DEC, which is the axis with the slop/backlash.

I know the AZ-EQ6 has a software controlled backlash adjustment, however this seems to really be a hardware problem (says Me - the hardware guy). As a hardware guy, I have this funny thing against fixing stuff that should be fixed in the hardware - in software...probably a longer story.

Anyway, I was able to adjust the slack out of the DEC axis and now just waiting for some clear dark skies to check it out and maybe get some good pics. I am going out to Joshua Tree in a few weeks. I'd love to bring my LX200, but I have some concerns with shipping it across country and back...

I'd love to hear any thoughts on shipping equipment, or anything else here.


PS: A few pics of the gizzards.