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Trying Superlube

 

My tracking was getting a bit off, wasn't sure why, and I was wondering about how the Liqui Moly + MoS2 was holding up on the gears.  So, time to break out the hex wrenches and take a look.  
 
The Liqui Moly was holding up nicely on the gears.  Funny stuff - it is soft, and it can make peaks when you wipe it.  Comes off...almost in strings. How long ARE those grease molecules, anyway?  
 
Anyway, I'd resolved to replace it with Shelley's favorite Superlube and try that.  Funny pricing on it - a can of Superlube + PTFE that, as she says, WILL last a lifetime, is not much more expensive than a small tube.  Huh.  Anyway, it's white, and a bit stiffer than the LiquiMoly.  No doubt it will be fine.  Rated for winter temps as well.  
 
As to the tracking, I did find just a tiny bit of lateral movement in my DEC worm, and my RA belt looked like it was rubbing, so everything ended up being adjusted.  Wish I could test it out tonight, but conditions aren't good enough.
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Jennifer Shelly
 

Hopefully it improves your tracking.  The RA axis was much smoother on my EXOS-2 after I made the switch to SuperLube, but that may also been attributed to polishing the RA axis gear to a mirror shine.  I used Chemical Guys Heavy Metal Polish Restorer and Protectant.  A bottle of that will last a lifetime too.
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements

 

On Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 09:53 AM, Jennifer Shelly wrote:
polishing the RA axis gear to a mirror shine.  I used Chemical Guys Heavy Metal Polish Restorer and Protectant.
Interesting!
 
Did you polish the ring, the worm, or both?  Lapping, or just hand-polished individually?  
From the product description and applications described, it almost looks like it must be using some kind of non-embedding abrasive.  Do you know?
 
Thanks!
 
- Bob
 
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Trevor B
 

Out of curiosity, what part number for the superlube did you end up acquiring ?  I ended up getting the 21030, which is the small tube of  NLGI2 Multi purpose synthetic with PTFE but it is not white in color.

 

Trevor,

I got #41160.  Amazon says it's "clear", but translucent would be a better description.  Clear enough in a film, but as a 400g glob in a can, it does look white. :-))
As far as I can tell from the product page, they're all the same.

https://www.super-lube.com/multi-purpose-synthetic-grease-with-syncolon-ptfe
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Vince White
 

When you replaced the RA axis gear ring after polishing, what lubricant did you apply to around it?  Specifically, I'm talking about the interface outside and inside the RA axis gear ring and not where the worm gear interfaces.

Thanks,
Vince
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak
Cameras:  Canon 5DmkII, Canon EOSm
Misc: 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom

Jennifer Shelly
 
Edited

Bob:

I polished the ring gear, but not the teeth and the shafts of the worm. For the worm gear it was the inside and outside.  Before I polished I used micro-mesh 1,000 to 12,000 grit to make the inside smooth.  Don't over do it.  Just a several passes for each grit.  You don't want to sand too much and change the fit on the axis shaft.  Then I finished it off with the metal polish.  Make sure you clean each tooth with a toothpick afterwards. If the axis shaft has some rough spots I very lightly and carefully smoothed those out. Again taking care not to change the shape and fit between the worm gear and axis shaft.
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements

 

Jennifer,
 
Not the teeth?  I would have thought that they would have been your target!  :-)
 
I had mine apart about a year ago, due to a ring gear that was so tight that I was unable to balance the mount in RA. 
 
No idea how the factory assembler got it on the axis in the first place, as once I got it off, it was so tight I was unable to get it back on again!  I buffed out the ID of the ring to get it to fit, so improving that fit was an objective for me and I wasn't pursuing a mirror finish.  A bit of a pain to do, but it worked out well in the end, and balancing is fine now.  
 
Tracking, for me, has been mostly a matter of doing the things that are in my tuning doc, although I do harbor a secret desire to do *something* with those gear teeth.  :-)
 
Regards,
 
- Bob
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

 

Vince,
 
You asked about grease... 
 
Not sure what Jennifer did for hers, but my mount had the famous 'sticky Chinese grease' that you read about, on its internals.  The worm and ring teeth were greased with something white - I assume a lithium type grease.  The sticky grease is, as you might expect, fairly awful to touch, but giving credit where credit is due, the stuff maintained a heckuva film, despite the tight (factory) fit of my ring gear.  Respect.
 
The ring gear slides very slowly around the axis during balancing, with a close fit that gets even closer when the brake presses down on it and locks it to the rotating bits.  So for that, you'd particularly want a grease that (like the factory grease) will maintain a film between slow-moving surfaces, no matter what.  I used Liqui Moly MoS2 for that, because it appeared to me to be basically a ball joint grease and so had to deal with similar requirements, including winter service.
 
The worm gear drive has somewhat different requirements.  Worm gears like to wipe their grease off - just visualize the worm as a sort of auger, and that's easy to see.  I used the Liqui Moly MoS2 on those as well, because that's what I had on hand at the time.   When I opened things up a few days ago, it looked a bit thin in some places on the teeth, but had mostly held up pretty well.  
 
But I wanted to try Jennifer's Superlube on the gears, and switched for that.  After all, who can resist Teflon?  I do have a tiny tube of crazy-expensive DuPont Kryox PTFE grease that I've used to lubricate freezer parts, and the stuff's magic.  But for the gears, something with a bit more body would be better, hence the Superlube.
 
 
- Bob
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Jennifer Shelly
 

Bob:

The only thing I did with the gear teeth was feel for burrs with my fingers and very gently and ever so slightly filed the burs with a diamond file and use a tooth pick to remove any debris in the teeth.  

Generally speaking I don’t think it is a good idea to mess with the worm gear/wheel’s teeth or the worm’s teeth.  I am pretty sure that the mesh would be affected and there is significant risk to render both parts useless.  

Additionally I do not think polishing the teeth is a good idea either because the teeth are designed to catch or grip one another.  Polishing would reduce the grip and cause slipping which would introduce additional tracking errors and in effect would be counterproductive to what you are trying to accomplish.

--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Here is a link to an article in Astronomy Technology Today magazine from 2012 about how the company Deep Space Products does it's Hypertune service on telescope mounts.

https://www.deepspaceproducts.com/docs/ATT_HyperTune_Article_Sept-Oct_2012.pdf

--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!

 

Jennifer,
 
Yes, "First, do no harm".  :-)  Burr inspection, yes, ditto.  Mine were fine that way.  
 
You see many stories about folks lapping, polishing, etc., but while I do think that it may be possible to *improve* the fit of those teeth, I've not yet been convinced of a safe and effective method to do so.  
 
So no, not happening unless and until I do, and I'm not holding my breath.
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

 

Jerry,
 
Thanks!  That was an interesting read.  

The author was happy that he could guide out his periodic error.  We can do that without replacing factory bearings and gears.   Just keep the power train adjusted, manage balance, and you're pretty much good to go.  Can you improve tracking beyond that?  Sure, but you're already ahead of the game.   

Not bad. Not bad at all.  :-)
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64

Jennifer Shelly
 

Thanks Jerry.  I purchased the DIY video (no parts) from DeepSpace when I worked on my Exos-2.  The video was for the LDX-50 which is essentially the same as the Exos-2.  
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, Meade APO 70 MM Astrograph, QHY Mini Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY168C, ZWO ASI183MC-P, ZWO ASI183MM, Nikon D5600
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance
Imaging Software:  APT, BYN, SharpCap Pro, ASICap
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements