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iEQ45 AZI Surface Modification

The iOptron iEQ45 is a good medium range GoTo equatorial mount for both visual observing and astrophotography. However with a few tweaks it can be improved.

We began with modifying the fine adjustment bolts.  Now finish off your azimuth mod by sanding the paint off of the contact surfaces between the mount and the tripod. Use painter's tape to mask off the surfaces you don't want to sand. I also put the mount in a bag to keep it clean. Put a thin film of super lube on the surfaces to help protect them and reduce friction. Makes it much easier to adjust. Proceed at your own risk.

 

Our first target is the ridge around the top of the tripod.  Notice after about a dozen uses the paint is starting to wear off.  So let's help it along.

 

First remove the alignment pin.  Insert a small screw driver through the hole turn counter clockwise.

I put painters tape over the hole but in hindsight I would have put it over the whole inside surface.  I used a sander with increasing grits, 250, 400, & 600.

The finished result.  I put a thin layer of super lube to help protect the surface and reduce the friction even further.

 

The bottom of the mount I wrapped in a plastic back to protect it and prevent grit from getting into the gears and electronics.

Update:  Several people have pointed out I could have removed the base from the mount to avoid potential problems. I didn't think about at the time and you may want to make sure you avoid getting grit in the worm gears.  So you can find instructions for removing the  base here, (Thanks Andy!):  http://www.ioptron.com/manuals/8050_iEQ45_EQ_to_AZ_Conv.pdf

 

Thanks to my friends at Cloudy Nights for the original idea.