I got a note back recently that indicated you don't service your mounts. That if repairs are needed the customer will need to perform the repairs themselves.
I don't know where you got that information, but that's totally wrong. Of course we service our mounts.
As far as raking the gears when releasing them, it might cause an issue with guiding in RA because it would affect the periodic error during sidereal tracking. The Dec axis doesn't track, so any tooth damage would probably never show up during normal tracking and guiding. If it's just a minor amount of damage, the gears repair themselves during normal slewing to the point where nothing is affected. They lap themselves in if the damage is minor.
Major damage occurs when the user forcibly jams the gears back together when they are not aligned tooth top to tooth bottom. In other words, the tops of the teeth are jammed together and crush each other. The best way to re-lock the teeth of the worm to the worm wheel is to 1) always do it in Park3 position, both RA and Dec, and 2) move the lever half way and let the gentle spring pressure push the teeth back together while gently rocking the axis back and forth a slight amount until the worms mate fully. Then gently turn the lever the rest of the way to fully lock them in place.
In the case where the worm teeth have been crushed, there is no other fix than replacing the worm gears.
From: Andrew Jones <andjones132@...>
Sent: Fri, Feb 26, 2021 12:27 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Clutch Knobs vs. the Gearbox Release Levers
Let's say that I did damage the worm gears on my Mach over the years by using the gearbox release levers. I know there has been times when I felt the gear rake across the worm gear before it fully engaged. I also know that have been having issues guiding on my DEC Axis. The mount is on a permanent pier in a dome and I recently verified both the PEC and my polar alignment using PemPro so I should not be having guiding issues. Which makes me suspect that I may have damaged my DEC Axis worm gear. Does AP offer an inspection/repair service for their mounts? Can I send the mount in to be inspected and serviced if needed?
Not only is this question important for getting my Mach1 fixed, I just put down my deposit for the 1100 GTO AEL with accessories and weights plus a 10" ATS Pier. Combined this is north of $20K. Which I am ok with as I know I am buying a quality mount that should last 20 - 30 years. That said, before I spend this kind of money I need to know that if I have issues with the the 1100 like i have with my Mach1 that I that I can send it to be serviced. I got a note back recently that indicated you don't service your mounts. That if repairs are needed the customer will need to perform the repairs themselves. I need to get confirmation that you do service your mounts after the sale.