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cleaning azimuth bearings

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  • jstephens00
    Last night the azimuth motion on my XT8 (purchased in 2002) for the first time exhibited some serious stiction issues. I have never cleaned or modified the
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 14, 2013
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      Last night the azimuth motion on my XT8 (purchased in 2002) for the first time exhibited some serious stiction issues. I have never cleaned or modified the azimuth bearings. I live in Phoenix and the scope did get dusty on my last trip out to the desert. So I figure some sand/dust must have gotten into the bearings.

      Any advice on cleaning the azimuth bearings and adjusting the tightness of the center blot. Thanks.

      Jim

      [Edit: I meant to say I hadn't cleaned or modified the azimuth bearings, also updated my email address]
    • PhilL
      Jim, A couple tips that I have learned over the years. First off if you aren t using something on the ground under the scope you should be. I have a 5 foot
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 17, 2013
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        Jim,

        A couple tips that I have learned over the years.

        First off if you aren't using something on the ground under the scope you should be. I have a 5 foot square rubber backed carpet runner I place under my scope. This goes a LONG way to preventing sand and dirt from getting into your azimuth bearings. It also protects the base from moisture from the ground or damp grass. Finally its a lot nicer to drop an eyepiece on a carpet then into the dirt or worse!

        You should check out the bearings every few uses, even if performance hasn't degraded yet. The Teflon pads are soft and bits of sand and grit will embed into them and start to chew up the laminate they rub against. Keep them clean! The grit is easily dislodged by scraping across the surface with a knife edge etc. I have also sanded the pads to clean them.

        I wipe down the laminate frequently. I have had good results with using Pledge but I concur with recommendations not to use Armor All or Silicon, especially so as these can stay damp and attract dirt. The XT10 classic I have has a triangular ground board which is handy as I can wipe down the bearing circle without removing the ground board.

        A few moments wiping every other use or so goes a long ways to minimizing bearing wear and keeping the base working correctly.

        CS

        Phil Lefever
        Burnsville, MN

        --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "jstephens00" <jstephens00@...> wrote:
        >
        > Last night the azimuth motion on my XT8 (purchased in 2002) for the first time exhibited some serious stiction issues. I have never cleaned or modified the azimuth bearings. I live in Phoenix and the scope did get dusty on my last trip out to the desert. So I figure some sand/dust must have gotten into the bearings.
        >
        > Any advice on cleaning the azimuth bearings and adjusting the tightness of the center blot. Thanks.
        >
        > Jim
        >
        > [Edit: I meant to say I hadn't cleaned or modified the azimuth bearings, also updated my email address]
        >
      • Mark Maxwell
        I guess I ve been lucky... I ve not experienced a noticeable increase in dust/dirt. Because of Armor All.... Not disputing the possibility, just haven t seen
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 17, 2013
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          I guess I've been lucky... I've not experienced a noticeable increase in dust/dirt. Because of Armor All.... Not disputing the possibility, just haven't seen that. I do use a mat while on grass or dirt and I give the Az bearing circle a wipe with a micro fiber towel regularly. Also it could help that when I've used the AA it's been a very small amount and I polish most of it up. No visible amount, just a clean look and enough (I thought) to add some slickness to the bearings.... I'll try the Pledge suggestion though. I think prevention, regular wiping/attention to keep the bearings clean has been my success. Thanks for the info

          Mark's iPhone

          On Jul 17, 2013, at 7:49 AM, "PhilL" <kb0nes@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > Jim,
          >
          > A couple tips that I have learned over the years.
          >
          > First off if you aren't using something on the ground under the scope you should be. I have a 5 foot square rubber backed carpet runner I place under my scope. This goes a LONG way to preventing sand and dirt from getting into your azimuth bearings. It also protects the base from moisture from the ground or damp grass. Finally its a lot nicer to drop an eyepiece on a carpet then into the dirt or worse!
          >
          > You should check out the bearings every few uses, even if performance hasn't degraded yet. The Teflon pads are soft and bits of sand and grit will embed into them and start to chew up the laminate they rub against. Keep them clean! The grit is easily dislodged by scraping across the surface with a knife edge etc. I have also sanded the pads to clean them.
          >
          > I wipe down the laminate frequently. I have had good results with using Pledge but I concur with recommendations not to use Armor All or Silicon, especially so as these can stay damp and attract dirt. The XT10 classic I have has a triangular ground board which is handy as I can wipe down the bearing circle without removing the ground board.
          >
          > A few moments wiping every other use or so goes a long ways to minimizing bearing wear and keeping the base working correctly.
          >
          > CS
          >
          > Phil Lefever
          > Burnsville, MN
          >
          > --- In skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com, "jstephens00" <jstephens00@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> Last night the azimuth motion on my XT8 (purchased in 2002) for the first time exhibited some serious stiction issues. I have never cleaned or modified the azimuth bearings. I live in Phoenix and the scope did get dusty on my last trip out to the desert. So I figure some sand/dust must have gotten into the bearings.
          >>
          >> Any advice on cleaning the azimuth bearings and adjusting the tightness of the center blot. Thanks.
          >>
          >> Jim
          >>
          >> [Edit: I meant to say I hadn't cleaned or modified the azimuth bearings, also updated my email address]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skyquest-telescopesYahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • jstephens00
          Phil, Thanks for the advice and all of your contributions on this message board. I have been reading it on and off since 2002. It doesn t get the traffic it
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 17, 2013
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            Phil,
            Thanks for the advice and all of your contributions on this message board. I have been reading it on and off since 2002. It doesn't get the traffic it once did but it is still a good resource. I am thinking of doing some upgrades to my scope but first I want to get it cleaned up and the azimuth bearing working properly again.

            I will follow up with a report.

            Jim Stephens
            Chandler, AZ
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