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Post Info TOPIC: EQ1 Motor Drive


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MD-EQ1 Motor Drive

These single axis (R.A.) DC motor drives are powered by 4 "D" cell batteries (not included). A set of batteries will allow several nights of observing. 2x and 8x tracking speeds (2x and 4x for EQ1 model) are available through the hand controller. Motor, hand controller, and battery case are included.


Available for , EQ2, NEQ3/EQ3-2, and EQ5 mounts




Posts: 131433
EQ1 Motor Drive

The EQ1 Motor Drive can be fitted to any EQ-1 or EQ-2 equatorial mount. The Battery-powered motor (9volt PP9) provides single-speed (1x Sidereal) tracking in the R.A. axis. Simply, it will compensate for the Earth's rotation.

The drive slots into the slow motion control mechanism of the telescope mount so basically† replaces the manual slow motion control for the R.A. axis. It should be noted that the motor drive is primarily a visual not a photographic tracker.
The bottom line is that this, once set, will allow for higher magnifications to be comfortably used without constantly disturbing/shaking the mount.

There is of course only the need to buy one Motor Drive - the equatorial mount, if set up correctly, only needs to move in Right Ascension to follow any object across the sky.

Depending on which way the mount has been constructed the drive can be connected to either side of the mount (The locking bolts holding the polar alignment section of the mount can just be swapped around - this entire process takes less than 5 minutes).
The metal bracket at the back of the Motor Drive holds the entire housing in position with a small bolt attachment to the Latitude Adjustment Knob of the Mount.


For northern hemisphere observers it is preferable to attach the motor on the right side (looking north: see above image). A drawback is that the physical size and position of the motor housing may interfere with the movement of the telescope (the telescope body physically bumping into the motor), especially so if fitted to the opposite side, (incidentally, the above picture had to be reversed as the motor was fitted to the 'wrong side').† However, those with the mount fitted with adjustable telescope mounting rings just need to keep the telescope tube on the opposite side to the motor drive and simply rotate the telescope tube (and avoid all the above hassle).

The controls on the drive housing are simple and mostly self explanatory.
The N-S can be set for what ever hemisphere you are observing from, but effectively becomes a 'reverse' gear to center an object. (It has to be remembered that by switching positions on the mount, the motor is now going 'backwards', so youll have to flip the N-S switch).
A small thin knob below the red power light fine tunes the RA motor speed; ie you can control the actual speed (Turn the small thin knob clockwise to increase the motor speed - up to 2x Sidereal).††


To set the proper rate of speed, the telescope should be roughly polar aligned to Polaris.† With the drive 'switched on', track a star on the celestial equator for 1 or 2 minutes; If after a few minutes, the star drifts way from the center of the eyepiece (ignore any drift in declination), the motor speed needs to be adjusted accordingly.†† This process needs to be repeated until the star remains centred in the eyepiece for several minutes.†
It should be noted that non-stellar objects like the Sun, the Moon or asteroids move at a slightly different rate than the stars.

Another point to note is that the telescope should be fairly balanced by moving the counterweight so as not to overstress the motor.†

Two small screws on the front hold the plastic housing in place, and allow access to change the PP9 battery (the battery will last for ~40 hours).

The back of the motor drive is open, and slightly unsightly, with a crude but effective metal bracket and motor spindle (with a docking attachment) sticking out.
The motor is relatively quiet but still noticeable.

(A small sheet of stiff plastic can be cut to size and fitted, with holes for the motor spindle and two holding screws, to fully enclose the housing).
The docking mechanism to attach the motor spindle to the mounts worm wheel is a slightly flexible metal spring/tube with a two screws on either side to lock it into position.

The manual slow motion control can still be fitted to the other side of the worm mechanism (but can only be used if the worm lock screw holding the EQ1 Motor Drive is released)
Using the slow motion control with the motor engaged may damage it.
To reengage the motor just align both the lock screws together and tighten.


Read more

Modifications to the Eq1 "Simple Type" RA Drive
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