Topics

iEXOS-100 RA axis motor struggles, doesn't track #iEXOS-100 #goto #tracking


Rix Yarbrough
 

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix


 

Rix,

Can't speak to your iExos-100 problem specifically (cos' I don't have one), but as to WD-40 as a gear lube...

No..no..no....  It's good for lots of things (just like duct tape), but a grease substitute it's not.  Heck, I use it to clean the grease OFF my gears when I'm servicing my mount.

Here's the thing.  Worm gears tend to wipe the grease off their teeth as they work.  You want something sticky enough to resist that over time.  I think my mount came with a lithium grease on its worm.  I replaced that with LiquiMoly + MnS02 (basically, ball joint grease).  Messy, but tenacious.  Some here like Superlube + Teflon.  Other candidates as well.  Lots of vigorous debate on what's best for a grease, but I think we'd all agree that WD-40 is not a good choice for that application.

HTH...



On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 16:28, yarbroughrix@... wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix



--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Rix Yarbrough
 

Very good to know, Rob. I will look into it. Wondering if anyone else has had the same issue, or if there are good resources as to what the gears should feel/sound like when turned by hand to test. How much resistance should I feel, etc.. just so I know this is actually the problem. Also wondering if and how previous lubricants should be stripped away first.

Rix 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:57 Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:
Rix,

Can't speak to your iExos-100 problem specifically (cos' I don't have one), but as to WD-40 as a gear lube...

No..no..no....  It's good for lots of things (just like duct tape), but a grease substitute it's not.  Heck, I use it to clean the grease OFF my gears when I'm servicing my mount.

Here's the thing.  Worm gears tend to wipe the grease off their teeth as they work.  You want something sticky enough to resist that over time.  I think my mount came with a lithium grease on its worm.  I replaced that with LiquiMoly + MnS02 (basically, ball joint grease).  Messy, but tenacious.  Some here like Superlube + Teflon.  Other candidates as well.  Lots of vigorous debate on what's best for a grease, but I think we'd all agree that WD-40 is not a good choice for that application.

HTH...



On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 16:28, yarbroughrix@... wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix



--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


 

Rix,

Assuming that you have a decent gear mesh, do not be surprised if the gears are quiet and smooth when LIFTING weight as you turn by hand, yet chatter when LOWERING it. 

When lowering, the worm is acting as a brake, and you can get a stick-slip action (chatter).  If that's when you're hearing odd noises, it's normal and nothing to worry about.  Just the nature of the beast.  Balance East-heavy during your session and you're good.

HTH...


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 17:03, Rix Yarbrough wrote:
Very good to know, Rob. I will look into it. Wondering if anyone else has had the same issue, or if there are good resources as to what the gears should feel/sound like when turned by hand to test. How much resistance should I feel, etc.. just so I know this is actually the problem. Also wondering if and how previous lubricants should be stripped away first.

Rix 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:57 Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:

Rix,

Can't speak to your iExos-100 problem specifically (cos' I don't have one), but as to WD-40 as a gear lube...

No..no..no....  It's good for lots of things (just like duct tape), but a grease substitute it's not.  Heck, I use it to clean the grease OFF my gears when I'm servicing my mount.

Here's the thing.  Worm gears tend to wipe the grease off their teeth as they work.  You want something sticky enough to resist that over time.  I think my mount came with a lithium grease on its worm.  I replaced that with LiquiMoly + MnS02 (basically, ball joint grease).  Messy, but tenacious.  Some here like Superlube + Teflon.  Other candidates as well.  Lots of vigorous debate on what's best for a grease, but I think we'd all agree that WD-40 is not a good choice for that application.

HTH...



On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 16:28, yarbroughrix@... wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix



--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64





--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Matt Hallett
 
Edited

Rix,

Had/have exactly the same issue. Went through a very similar series of troubleshooting, including a similar post on this forum. Came up with two key bits of useful information.

1. You absolutely must balance your mount perfectly. Chances are this will solve most/all your issues. If you have an unbalanced mount then the gear will either be working too hard to hold the unbalanced weight back, or needing extra torque to drag that weight up. If you're balanced then there will still be load put on the gears at points...I've noticed a change in the tone during slewing when the load increases as the weight (and thus centre of gravity) moves around...but it shouldn't be so much that everything crunches up together. Here's an example of the problem I was having - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPROlB3gjSc - but I realised during troubleshooting that I had a counterweight on the mount but nothing at the other end to balance it out. So the moment the counterweight bar went beyond about the 5 o clock mark the worm gears didn't have enough torque to pull the weight up and the teeth meshed together.

2. If you're still having chugging/grinding/crunching noises when slewing and then the wheel flips back and forth when tracking then you probably need to adjust the worm gear. This video will tell you all you need to know - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLXE_BMKVAw&t (worth watching the whole thing but it's the bit from 3:48 - 5:26 that you mainly want to watch). If you do this then be careful. First time I did it I made the worm gear too tight and the whole thing seized up. Then I adjusted it and made everything too loose, so there was a loads of movement in the gears. It really is about moving the gears and wheels by fractions of mm.

I pretty much have my mount working smoothly now. Still the occasional issue when slewing from one point in the sky to a completely different point but that can normally be resolved with a spot of manual tracking and re-syncing.

Good luck!

-------------------

Mount: iexos-100 with PMC-8
Scopes: Startravel 102
Camera:  Nikon D7500
Software: Deep Sky Stacker, Siril, Photoshop


Rix Yarbrough
 

This is also good to know.. however it is clear that RA motion is not actually occurring as the explorestars app reads the RA as changing back and forth rapidly by 1 arcsecond or so, never actually progressing at a constant rate as it should, although I can check again.

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 17:17 Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:
Rix,

Assuming that you have a decent gear mesh, do not be surprised if the gears are quiet and smooth when LIFTING weight as you turn by hand, yet chatter when LOWERING it. 

When lowering, the worm is acting as a brake, and you can get a stick-slip action (chatter).  If that's when you're hearing odd noises, it's normal and nothing to worry about.  Just the nature of the beast.  Balance East-heavy during your session and you're good.

HTH...


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 17:03, Rix Yarbrough wrote:
Very good to know, Rob. I will look into it. Wondering if anyone else has had the same issue, or if there are good resources as to what the gears should feel/sound like when turned by hand to test. How much resistance should I feel, etc.. just so I know this is actually the problem. Also wondering if and how previous lubricants should be stripped away first.

Rix 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:57 Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:

Rix,

Can't speak to your iExos-100 problem specifically (cos' I don't have one), but as to WD-40 as a gear lube...

No..no..no....  It's good for lots of things (just like duct tape), but a grease substitute it's not.  Heck, I use it to clean the grease OFF my gears when I'm servicing my mount.

Here's the thing.  Worm gears tend to wipe the grease off their teeth as they work.  You want something sticky enough to resist that over time.  I think my mount came with a lithium grease on its worm.  I replaced that with LiquiMoly + MnS02 (basically, ball joint grease).  Messy, but tenacious.  Some here like Superlube + Teflon.  Other candidates as well.  Lots of vigorous debate on what's best for a grease, but I think we'd all agree that WD-40 is not a good choice for that application.

HTH...



On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 16:28, yarbroughrix@... wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix



--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64





--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


 

Rix,

This was specifically about what you should expect when turning the gears by hand, during adjustment - and that illustrating one of the reasons why balance is important during a session (whether using Explorestars or anything else to control the mount).  The worm doesn't know or care what the control program is... 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 17:36, Rix Yarbrough wrote:
This is also good to know.. however it is clear that RA motion is not actually occurring as the explorestars app reads the RA as changing back and forth rapidly by 1 arcsecond or so, never actually progressing at a constant rate as it should, although I can check again.

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 17:17 Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:

Rix,

Assuming that you have a decent gear mesh, do not be surprised if the gears are quiet and smooth when LIFTING weight as you turn by hand, yet chatter when LOWERING it. 

When lowering, the worm is acting as a brake, and you can get a stick-slip action (chatter).  If that's when you're hearing odd noises, it's normal and nothing to worry about.  Just the nature of the beast.  Balance East-heavy during your session and you're good.

HTH...


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 17:03, Rix Yarbrough wrote:
Very good to know, Rob. I will look into it. Wondering if anyone else has had the same issue, or if there are good resources as to what the gears should feel/sound like when turned by hand to test. How much resistance should I feel, etc.. just so I know this is actually the problem. Also wondering if and how previous lubricants should be stripped away first.

Rix 

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:57 Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...> wrote:

Rix,

Can't speak to your iExos-100 problem specifically (cos' I don't have one), but as to WD-40 as a gear lube...

No..no..no....  It's good for lots of things (just like duct tape), but a grease substitute it's not.  Heck, I use it to clean the grease OFF my gears when I'm servicing my mount.

Here's the thing.  Worm gears tend to wipe the grease off their teeth as they work.  You want something sticky enough to resist that over time.  I think my mount came with a lithium grease on its worm.  I replaced that with LiquiMoly + MnS02 (basically, ball joint grease).  Messy, but tenacious.  Some here like Superlube + Teflon.  Other candidates as well.  Lots of vigorous debate on what's best for a grease, but I think we'd all agree that WD-40 is not a good choice for that application.

HTH...



On Tue, Dec 29, 2020, at 16:28, yarbroughrix@... wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix



--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64






--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64





--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Wes Mcdonald
 

Rix:

IF your are tracking the explorestars display might flip back a forth 1 arc second.  What you have to watch out for is the RA changing every second in a consistent  way increasing or decreasing.  Realize that when you are tracking the mount is constantly moving, but the RA is not changing if the ount is tracking.  The az and el are constantly changing while tracing in an equatorial mount.

So if you are saying the RA is flipping back and forth by one second while tracking then things are working fine.  Remember it is displaying stuff with finite precision so if you are right on the edge of the round off you are gonna see flipping around..
wes.


Virus-free. www.avg.com

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Joe Izen
 

Rix,
Adding my voice to the chorus about the criticality of balance.  An 80 mm refractor + iExos100 is my littlest. I thought that because it is so little, the motor would overpower minute weight imbalances.  Not so.  A 2” diagonal+2” wide field eyepiece is a substantial fraction of the weight of the scope. Ditto a reducer/corrector+a DSLR.  I find I have to focus and then balance, because the act of focusing can disturb   the balance badly enough to upset the drive motors.  Of my 4 telescopes (6” newt, 127mm refractor, C14) the 80mm refractor on the iExos100 is the monest finciky about balance. I wouldn’t have thunk it.
Joe

On Dec 29, 2020, at 4:45 PM, Robert Hoskin via groups.io <devonshire@...> wrote:

This was specifically about what you should expect when turning the gears by hand, during adjustment - and that illustrating one of the reasons why balance is important during a session (whether using Explorestars or anything else to control the mount).  The worm doesn't know or care what the control program is... 



Rix Yarbrough
 

Just to update- still have not resolved my problem. I have adjusted backlash and balance to hell and back but no luck at all. Here is a video of the problem, which I hope will help someone identify it exactly. 
As you can (sort of) see; the RA motor is only able to chug the gear forward bit by bit, making an awful sound in the process. The payload is balanced in my opinion perfectly, but to be sure I have also tried moving the CW’s back and forth both tiny and large amounts, but in the very best circumstances the motion only becomes a slight bit more constant. Still it chugs and the noise continues. It is possible that I have messed something up in the gear adjustment process- I sometimes get side/side movement of the worm shaft which according to the tutorial aforementioned is solved by tightening a screw in the right block. However, my screw feels completely impossible to move, so my solution has been to loosen the blocks holding in both ends of the worm gear shaft, move them to one side, and tighten them again- which seems to fix the problem. I say seems because although the back/forth motion goes away, it *could* create some directional strain or make the gear meet the belt at a bad angle, but I have really no idea. The gear doesn't feel too tight to turn, so I sort of doubt it.
So what the actual hell is going on here? Open to crackpot theories, although I’m hoping the answer is simple and obvious to someone more knowledgeable than myself. 

Rix


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:28 yarbroughrix via groups.io <yarbroughrix=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix


Dino Monaco
 

Sorry I just joined the group and late to what you have already tried.
A curious question: if you remove the belt completely so that you can isolate only the motor,  
Then activate the RA do you still hear the sound?
If yes then motor is perhaps the issue.
If no, then try like you said and realign the worm not too tightly. 
Is the sound happening under full payload with all gear attached only?.
How about without the payload.
My apologies if you have already tried these simple checks


On Jan 10, 2021, at 3:22 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


Just to update- still have not resolved my problem. I have adjusted backlash and balance to hell and back but no luck at all. Here is a video of the problem, which I hope will help someone identify it exactly. 
As you can (sort of) see; the RA motor is only able to chug the gear forward bit by bit, making an awful sound in the process. The payload is balanced in my opinion perfectly, but to be sure I have also tried moving the CW’s back and forth both tiny and large amounts, but in the very best circumstances the motion only becomes a slight bit more constant. Still it chugs and the noise continues. It is possible that I have messed something up in the gear adjustment process- I sometimes get side/side movement of the worm shaft which according to the tutorial aforementioned is solved by tightening a screw in the right block. However, my screw feels completely impossible to move, so my solution has been to loosen the blocks holding in both ends of the worm gear shaft, move them to one side, and tighten them again- which seems to fix the problem. I say seems because although the back/forth motion goes away, it *could* create some directional strain or make the gear meet the belt at a bad angle, but I have really no idea. The gear doesn't feel too tight to turn, so I sort of doubt it.
So what the actual hell is going on here? Open to crackpot theories, although I’m hoping the answer is simple and obvious to someone more knowledgeable than myself. 

Rix


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:28 yarbroughrix via groups.io <yarbroughrix=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix


--
Dino Monaco


Rix Yarbrough
 

Dino-
Hm. Just took the belt off, powered on, connected. I hear the sound from the motor even though it now has literally zero payload to move. This is concerning. Unless this is a problem with firmware, and software, or the connection, this motor could be the issue. I did buy this mount used...
Anyone know what I should do next? Contact ES, ask for a new motor? Play around with firm/software?

Virus-free. www.avast.com

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 3:40 PM Dino Monaco via groups.io <Dinomonaco=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Sorry I just joined the group and late to what you have already tried.
A curious question: if you remove the belt completely so that you can isolate only the motor,  
Then activate the RA do you still hear the sound?
If yes then motor is perhaps the issue.
If no, then try like you said and realign the worm not too tightly. 
Is the sound happening under full payload with all gear attached only?.
How about without the payload.
My apologies if you have already tried these simple checks


On Jan 10, 2021, at 3:22 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


Just to update- still have not resolved my problem. I have adjusted backlash and balance to hell and back but no luck at all. Here is a video of the problem, which I hope will help someone identify it exactly. 
As you can (sort of) see; the RA motor is only able to chug the gear forward bit by bit, making an awful sound in the process. The payload is balanced in my opinion perfectly, but to be sure I have also tried moving the CW’s back and forth both tiny and large amounts, but in the very best circumstances the motion only becomes a slight bit more constant. Still it chugs and the noise continues. It is possible that I have messed something up in the gear adjustment process- I sometimes get side/side movement of the worm shaft which according to the tutorial aforementioned is solved by tightening a screw in the right block. However, my screw feels completely impossible to move, so my solution has been to loosen the blocks holding in both ends of the worm gear shaft, move them to one side, and tighten them again- which seems to fix the problem. I say seems because although the back/forth motion goes away, it *could* create some directional strain or make the gear meet the belt at a bad angle, but I have really no idea. The gear doesn't feel too tight to turn, so I sort of doubt it.
So what the actual hell is going on here? Open to crackpot theories, although I’m hoping the answer is simple and obvious to someone more knowledgeable than myself. 

Rix


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:28 yarbroughrix via groups.io <yarbroughrix=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix


--
Dino Monaco


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Dino Monaco
 

Ok. That’s interesting. So now we know it’s not the mechanicals.
Some more questions:
What type of power source? Direct AC or battery?
If your powering the system from an ac outlet then that rules out current fluctuations.
If software related then check in the settings for correct RA Steps for your mount. 
See if you could increase or decrease the step values and try running the motor without the belt attached. Does this alleviate the noise?
If no then I would swap out the motor.




On Jan 10, 2021, at 3:48 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


Dino-
Hm. Just took the belt off, powered on, connected. I hear the sound from the motor even though it now has literally zero payload to move. This is concerning. Unless this is a problem with firmware, and software, or the connection, this motor could be the issue. I did buy this mount used...
Anyone know what I should do next? Contact ES, ask for a new motor? Play around with firm/software?

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On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 3:40 PM Dino Monaco via groups.io <Dinomonaco=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Sorry I just joined the group and late to what you have already tried.
A curious question: if you remove the belt completely so that you can isolate only the motor,  
Then activate the RA do you still hear the sound?
If yes then motor is perhaps the issue.
If no, then try like you said and realign the worm not too tightly. 
Is the sound happening under full payload with all gear attached only?.
How about without the payload.
My apologies if you have already tried these simple checks


On Jan 10, 2021, at 3:22 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


Just to update- still have not resolved my problem. I have adjusted backlash and balance to hell and back but no luck at all. Here is a video of the problem, which I hope will help someone identify it exactly. 
As you can (sort of) see; the RA motor is only able to chug the gear forward bit by bit, making an awful sound in the process. The payload is balanced in my opinion perfectly, but to be sure I have also tried moving the CW’s back and forth both tiny and large amounts, but in the very best circumstances the motion only becomes a slight bit more constant. Still it chugs and the noise continues. It is possible that I have messed something up in the gear adjustment process- I sometimes get side/side movement of the worm shaft which according to the tutorial aforementioned is solved by tightening a screw in the right block. However, my screw feels completely impossible to move, so my solution has been to loosen the blocks holding in both ends of the worm gear shaft, move them to one side, and tighten them again- which seems to fix the problem. I say seems because although the back/forth motion goes away, it *could* create some directional strain or make the gear meet the belt at a bad angle, but I have really no idea. The gear doesn't feel too tight to turn, so I sort of doubt it.
So what the actual hell is going on here? Open to crackpot theories, although I’m hoping the answer is simple and obvious to someone more knowledgeable than myself. 

Rix


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:28 yarbroughrix via groups.io <yarbroughrix=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix


--
Dino Monaco


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--
Dino Monaco


Rix Yarbrough
 

Yeah, AC cable. Also using the explorestars app set to iEXOS-100. Should be fine settings. I also heard the same noise when I tried ASCOM control, so I doubt it’s software- especially since slewing works fine and the dec motor sounds fine when it’s running. Might be time for a new motor. 

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 17:06 Dino Monaco via groups.io <Dinomonaco=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok. That’s interesting. So now we know it’s not the mechanicals.
Some more questions:
What type of power source? Direct AC or battery?
If your powering the system from an ac outlet then that rules out current fluctuations.
If software related then check in the settings for correct RA Steps for your mount. 
See if you could increase or decrease the step values and try running the motor without the belt attached. Does this alleviate the noise?
If no then I would swap out the motor.




On Jan 10, 2021, at 3:48 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


Dino-
Hm. Just took the belt off, powered on, connected. I hear the sound from the motor even though it now has literally zero payload to move. This is concerning. Unless this is a problem with firmware, and software, or the connection, this motor could be the issue. I did buy this mount used...
Anyone know what I should do next? Contact ES, ask for a new motor? Play around with firm/software?

Virus-free. www.avast.com

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 3:40 PM Dino Monaco via groups.io <Dinomonaco=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Sorry I just joined the group and late to what you have already tried.
A curious question: if you remove the belt completely so that you can isolate only the motor,  
Then activate the RA do you still hear the sound?
If yes then motor is perhaps the issue.
If no, then try like you said and realign the worm not too tightly. 
Is the sound happening under full payload with all gear attached only?.
How about without the payload.
My apologies if you have already tried these simple checks


On Jan 10, 2021, at 3:22 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


Just to update- still have not resolved my problem. I have adjusted backlash and balance to hell and back but no luck at all. Here is a video of the problem, which I hope will help someone identify it exactly. 
As you can (sort of) see; the RA motor is only able to chug the gear forward bit by bit, making an awful sound in the process. The payload is balanced in my opinion perfectly, but to be sure I have also tried moving the CW’s back and forth both tiny and large amounts, but in the very best circumstances the motion only becomes a slight bit more constant. Still it chugs and the noise continues. It is possible that I have messed something up in the gear adjustment process- I sometimes get side/side movement of the worm shaft which according to the tutorial aforementioned is solved by tightening a screw in the right block. However, my screw feels completely impossible to move, so my solution has been to loosen the blocks holding in both ends of the worm gear shaft, move them to one side, and tighten them again- which seems to fix the problem. I say seems because although the back/forth motion goes away, it *could* create some directional strain or make the gear meet the belt at a bad angle, but I have really no idea. The gear doesn't feel too tight to turn, so I sort of doubt it.
So what the actual hell is going on here? Open to crackpot theories, although I’m hoping the answer is simple and obvious to someone more knowledgeable than myself. 

Rix


On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 16:28 yarbroughrix via groups.io <yarbroughrix=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Got a used iEXOS-100 and was finally able to diagnose my issue: it seems that the RA motor, in particular, is struggling to move the mount. When connected to the app and tracking, the motors can be heard "chugging" as if they are struggling. The explorestars app shows that when tracking, the RA axis just flips back and forth one arc second at a time rapidly (38, 39, 38, 39, etc), leading me to believe the motor is not putting out enough torque to turn the axis. When I attempt to slew at a high speed, and motor sounds like it is struggling, making a bad racket, but is able to rotate the axis. Seems like it's just facing more friction than it is expecting, perhaps? I've tried adjusting the backlash at three levels (tight, loose, medium) but it seems not to have an effect. Maybe I need to relubricate the RA gear teeth? Is WD-40 recommended, or something else? I'd like to not experiment much more until I know a fix, as I am worried about damaging the motor. Any advice is welcome.

 

Rix


--
Dino Monaco


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--
Dino Monaco


Wes Mcdonald
 

Dino.  

That sounds actually ok.  Put the explorestars into P mode and see how it changes sound.  That funny chugging sound is not unusual, at least I ha e heard it too.  But in truth seems like is is softer

Wes 

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Rix Yarbrough
 

When putting it in park it definitely doesn’t sound right- don’t know how to explain it. Sound comes back when I unpark. Even if this sound isn’t abnormal I sure know it’s not normal to hear nothing but it. It’s the same when connected via ascom as well, so I don’t think it’s an issue with explorestars. 

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 20:22 Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Dino.  

That sounds actually ok.  Put the explorestars into P mode and see how it changes sound.  That funny chugging sound is not unusual, at least I ha e heard it too.  But in truth seems like is is softer

Wes 

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Rix 

I mean press the T button in explorestars which puts the mount into point mode not park.  

The sound is caused by a resonance that seems to happen with the motor assembly and the pulses driving the stepper motor.  At least that has always been my theory.  See if they
Change in P mode.  

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Dino Monaco
 

Rix.  I don’t think you can try this on the PMC8 system 
That is to swap the RA & Dec cables. Although I’m familiar w the EOS system, I’m not sure if this can be done.
I’m  still waiting for mine. Back ordered.

Anyway, My thought was that if if there is a way to exchange the cables to the drive motors and run them, you can determine once and for all if the noise is isolated to the RA motor or something along the com path.



On Jan 10, 2021, at 10:08 PM, Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:


When putting it in park it definitely doesn’t sound right- don’t know how to explain it. Sound comes back when I unpark. Even if this sound isn’t abnormal I sure know it’s not normal to hear nothing but it. It’s the same when connected via ascom as well, so I don’t think it’s an issue with explorestars. 

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 20:22 Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Dino.  

That sounds actually ok.  Put the explorestars into P mode and see how it changes sound.  That funny chugging sound is not unusual, at least I ha e heard it too.  But in truth seems like is is softer

Wes 

--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


--
Dino Monaco


Rix Yarbrough
 

If I press [Tr], changing to <P>, the chugging continues but is now more irregular and less rhythmic. What should I be looking/listening for? I can see the motor moving normally, but only every chug, there is no constant motion. There is constant motion and it sounds ordinary while slewing, but while tracking the issue persists no matter what.


On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 10:20 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Rix 

I mean press the T button in explorestars which puts the mount into point mode not park.  

The sound is caused by a resonance that seems to happen with the motor assembly and the pulses driving the stepper motor.  At least that has always been my theory.  See if they
Change in P mode.  

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Rix

To what Dino said:

On the iexos you can’t swap the drive cables but you can, if you want to, swap the motors.   But without thinking much more about it I feel the motor is fine.  I don’t think you could see the pulley chug along at sidereal rate.

I will fool with my iexos today and see if it looks like it jerks along 

But not round stars are usually ultimately caused by a combination of issues not the mount motors.  Btw what focal length was your scope?  Remind me we’re you guiding?  If so what was the rms error reported by PhD.

Wes

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 10:47 PM Rix Yarbrough <yarbroughrix@...> wrote:
If I press [Tr], changing to <P>, the chugging continues but is now more irregular and less rhythmic. What should I be looking/listening for? I can see the motor moving normally, but only every chug, there is no constant motion. There is constant motion and it sounds ordinary while slewing, but while tracking the issue persists no matter what.

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 10:20 PM Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:
Rix 

I mean press the T button in explorestars which puts the mount into point mode not park.  

The sound is caused by a resonance that seems to happen with the motor assembly and the pulses driving the stepper motor.  At least that has always been my theory.  See if they
Change in P mode.  

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired