Scope balancing question


Quick question. I have tried to be very careful in balancing my one month old
600 prior to each use, but I might be doing something wrong.

The challenge I'm having is that the instrument I'm using is fairly light (an AP
Traveler) and the bearings on both axes of the 600 are really quite stiff (much,
much more so than on my Great Polaris). Even with the clutches fully
disengaged, it takes a fair amount of force to rotate the mount on either axis.
I had my ten year old son try to rotate the dec axis by simply turning the
counterweight shaft and he had to try pretty hard to do it with only one hand.

Given that there's a lot of resistance to rotation, I'm not sure I've gotten an
exact balance. I can move the 9 lb counterweight an inch or so up or down the
shaft with no real noticeable difference in the balance point, mainly due to the
stiffness of the bearings.

Is this level of "stiffness" in the bearings typical? Should plus or minus one
inch on counterweight position be considered sufficiently precise? I'm also
having problems with the clutches slipping (I don't want to over-tighten them),
and I'm wondering if this is due to poor balancing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Best regards,

Paul Schroeder

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