Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Terry,

Same thing happened to me on my brand new AP-900.
It seems that the adapter isn't torqued strongly enough during assembly. Luckily, I didn't screw in the shaft too tightly, and this was in the house, rather than in sunlight.

I suggested to AP that they apply a bit more pressure on the adapter with their wrench, during final assembly. I think mine was barely finger tight - I figured mine was an exception, possibly something missed in QA before shipment.

Second suggestion was to add a Teflon washer to the threaded end of the counterweight bar, so that the bar and adapter don't seize together in a death grip, as has happened in your (and my) case.

In your case, have you tried a fine machine oil, to see if it would unlock the two pars? WD-40 might work, but don't keep it on very long, since it is mildly corrosive - then again, it really shouldn't mar a black anodized part.

If the Mach1 adapter is like the AP-900, you might be able to fashion a "huge spanner wrench". My adapter has two diametrically opposed holes (about 1/4" diameter) for AP's spanner. Take a length of 2x4 (say a couple of feet long). Drive two heavy nails, along the length, into the end to fit into the "spanner holes" of the adapter. Or, a couple of machine screws bolted through the 2x4, and into the adapter (flange) with rubber or plastic washers under the nuts to prevent marring the adapter - this would be a very solid spanner, where the nails might just twist under torque.

With the shaft covered in rubber, cork, or some other protective material, locked in a vice, try to use the 2x4 to twist off the adapter. A 2 foot length of 2x4 should give you plenty of leverage.

That's what I would do to mine, if it ever locked again. I'm still looking for a suitable diameter Teflon washer, but even a margarine tub lid cut to size, will do in the short term. Perhaps AP, on request, could mail their customers a couple of these Teflon washers, to prevent future lock ups.

Good luck,
Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "TerryLO" <terry@onset.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2008 11:48 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


I need some assistance. My counterweight shaft (1.875" x 10.7")
is "stuck tight" in the Mach 1 counterweight adapter (the part of the
Dec. Axis portion into which the counterweight shaft is threaded).
The shaft is attached externally (in its normal use position) to the
adapter and not internally (in its optional storage position).

At a public star party Saturday evening, I set up the Mach 1 for use
about an hour before sunset. I hand-screwed the counterweight shaft
into the Mach 1 counterweight adapter and stopped when snug-tight as
usual. (It was in direct sunlight on a warm evening.) When I
dissembled the scope, mount and tripod about 1:00 AM Sunday morning
to go home, I noticed that when I unscrewed the counterweight shaft,
the counterweight adapter unscrewed from the mount attached to the
counterweight shaft.

Not thinking that anything significant was amiss, I wrapped the shaft
and the attached counterweight adapter in large sheet of bubble wrap,
placed in a carrying case and drove home, thinking I would make
everything nice during my usual morning-after clean-up.

But alas, the shaft will not cooperate and separate from the adapter.
I tried several things (using the screw head in the center of the
shaft with an Allen wrench for leverage; soaking the shaft in ice
water while keeping the adapter warm, having two people try to turn
the parts free;.) but nothing has worked. I am cautious about getting
too aggressive with the adapter for fear of damage or disfigurement.

I now have a pretty black machined aluminum adapter firmly apart of
my counterweight shaft and a large opening on the Mach 1. It is
possible to be could used like this (the adapter does have thread
that screw into the body of the Mach 1). But I don't think the
delicate threads of the adapter are meant for frequent use in the
field, it leaves a large opening for dirt on the mount, and it makes
storage of the counterweight shaft awkward.

So.

First, Roland, Wally, other Mach 1 users, what should I do?

Second, have others had this problem with their Mach 1? (I have not
had this problem in 7 years of use of my 600EGTO, but then it is
constructed with different materials and machining than the Mach 1.)

Third, what should be done to prevent this in the future? (E.g. Not
allowing the shaft/adapter to get direct sunlight? Put a washer on
the end of the shaft to allow some play? Get a modified Mach 1
adapter? .)

Thanks for your help

Terry Opdendyk



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Rich N <rnapo@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@rogers.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2008 9:25 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


Hi Terry,
Same thing happened to me on my brand new AP-900.
It seems that the adapter isn't torqued strongly enough during assembly. Luckily, I didn't screw in the shaft too tightly, and this was in the house, rather than in sunlight.
I suggested to AP that they apply a bit more pressure on the adapter with their wrench, during final assembly. I think mine was barely finger tight - I figured mine was an exception, possibly something missed in QA before shipment.
Second suggestion was to add a Teflon washer to the threaded end of the counterweight bar, so that the bar and adapter don't seize together in a death grip, as has happened in your (and my) case.
In your case, have you tried a fine machine oil, to see if it would unlock the two pars? WD-40 might work, but don't keep it on very long, since it is mildly corrosive - then again, it really shouldn't mar a black anodized part.
If the Mach1 adapter is like the AP-900, you might be able to fashion a "huge spanner wrench". My adapter has two diametrically opposed holes (about 1/4" diameter) for AP's spanner. Take a length of 2x4 (say a couple of feet long). Drive two heavy nails, along the length, into the end to fit into the "spanner holes" of the adapter. Or, a couple of machine screws bolted through the 2x4, and into the adapter (flange) with rubber or plastic washers under the nuts to prevent marring the adapter - this would be a very solid spanner, where the nails might just twist under torque.
With the shaft covered in rubber, cork, or some other protective material, locked in a vice, try to use the 2x4 to twist off the adapter. A 2 foot length of 2x4 should give you plenty of leverage.
That's what I would do to mine, if it ever locked again. I'm still looking for a suitable diameter Teflon washer, but even a margarine tub lid cut to size, will do in the short term. Perhaps AP, on request, could mail their customers a couple of these Teflon washers, to prevent future lock ups.
Good luck,
Joe
----- Original Message -----
From: "TerryLO" <terry@onset.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2008 11:48 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.
I need some assistance. My counterweight shaft (1.875" x 10.7")
is "stuck tight" in the Mach 1 counterweight adapter (the part of the
Dec. Axis portion into which the counterweight shaft is threaded).
The shaft is attached externally (in its normal use position) to the
adapter and not internally (in its optional storage position).
At a public star party Saturday evening, I set up the Mach 1 for use
about an hour before sunset. I hand-screwed the counterweight shaft
into the Mach 1 counterweight adapter and stopped when snug-tight as
usual. (It was in direct sunlight on a warm evening.) When I
dissembled the scope, mount and tripod about 1:00 AM Sunday morning
to go home, I noticed that when I unscrewed the counterweight shaft,
the counterweight adapter unscrewed from the mount attached to the
counterweight shaft.
Not thinking that anything significant was amiss, I wrapped the shaft
and the attached counterweight adapter in large sheet of bubble wrap,
placed in a carrying case and drove home, thinking I would make
everything nice during my usual morning-after clean-up.
But alas, the shaft will not cooperate and separate from the adapter.
I tried several things (using the screw head in the center of the
shaft with an Allen wrench for leverage; soaking the shaft in ice
water while keeping the adapter warm, having two people try to turn
the parts free;.) but nothing has worked. I am cautious about getting
too aggressive with the adapter for fear of damage or disfigurement.
I now have a pretty black machined aluminum adapter firmly apart of
my counterweight shaft and a large opening on the Mach 1. It is
possible to be could used like this (the adapter does have thread
that screw into the body of the Mach 1). But I don't think the
delicate threads of the adapter are meant for frequent use in the
field, it leaves a large opening for dirt on the mount, and it makes
storage of the counterweight shaft awkward.
So.
First, Roland, Wally, other Mach 1 users, what should I do?
Second, have others had this problem with their Mach 1? (I have not
had this problem in 7 years of use of my 600EGTO, but then it is
constructed with different materials and machining than the Mach 1.)
Third, what should be done to prevent this in the future? (E.g. Not
allowing the shaft/adapter to get direct sunlight? Put a washer on
the end of the shaft to allow some play? Get a modified Mach 1
adapter? .)
Thanks for your help
Terry Opdendyk
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Rich N <rnapo@...>
 

Sorry about the "empty post".

Once you get the shaft un-stuck, a little Chapstick on the threads
works wonders.

Rich


Joe Mize
 

Or wrap a couple round of Teflon Tape onto the threads....joe :)


"May You Go Among The Imperishable Stars"
Joe Mize www.cav-sfo.com
Chiefland Astronomy Village, Fla.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich N" <rnapo@znet.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


Sorry about the "empty post".

Once you get the shaft un-stuck, a little Chapstick on the threads
works wonders.

Rich

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

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links




Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Rich & Joe M.

I don't think that the threads themselves are actually the cause of jamming the shaft stuck to the DEC shaft adapter (mating) flange.

When this happened to my AP-900 mount, it seemed to me that the "flat end annulus" at the end of the shaft was jammed up against the similar flat surface of the adapter. Effectively, this is surface to surface "stiction". Perhaps applying Chapstick to the flat mating surfaces might prevent a reoccurrence of this, acting just like a Teflon washer. Then again, I wonder if something equally nasty might happen with frozen Chapstic in winter. However, I don't like the idea of anything greasy on parts that an errant hand or fingers could contact during mount set-up, and might transfer to optics, etc.

Joe Z.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich N" <rnapo@znet.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


Sorry about the "empty post".

Once you get the shaft un-stuck, a little Chapstick on the threads
works wonders.

Rich


Joe Mize
 

JoeZ, I understand your problem better having read the other posts. I had thought the shaft was stuck into the mount.

Not being argumentative but have you thought about what's actually holding those two flat surfaces together? In my mind's they cannot be holding themselves together with stickon alone, something must be keeping them pressed against each other. The only candidate are the threads, just like jamming two nuts against each other on a bolt. You'll have to lubricate the threads with something like WD-40 or warm in the Sun to get them free, probably both.

I don't envy your problem, have fun with the mechanical side of our hobby...joe :)


"May You Go Among The Imperishable Stars"
Joe Mize www.cav-sfo.com
Chiefland Astronomy Village, Fla.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@rogers.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


Hi Rich & Joe M.

I don't think that the threads themselves are actually the cause of
jamming the shaft stuck to the DEC shaft adapter (mating) flange.

When this happened to my AP-900 mount, it seemed to me that the "flat
end annulus" at the end of the shaft was jammed up against the similar flat
surface of the adapter. Effectively, this is surface to surface "stiction".
Perhaps applying Chapstick to the flat mating surfaces might prevent a
reoccurrence of this, acting just like a Teflon washer. Then again, I wonder
if something equally nasty might happen with frozen Chapstic in winter.
However, I don't like the idea of anything greasy on parts that an errant
hand or fingers could contact during mount set-up, and might transfer to
optics, etc.

Joe Z.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich N" <rnapo@znet.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1
counterweight adapter.


Sorry about the "empty post".

Once you get the shaft un-stuck, a little Chapstick on the threads
works wonders.

Rich


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

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links




Charles
 

Joe-

I experienced a similar issue with my 900 QMD; the c/w shaft was
stuck in the encoder housing and no attempt to remove it worked until
I spoke with Wally at AP. His solution worked like a charm: I bought
a rubber strap wrench at a local plumbing supply store (about $10),
put a layer of rubber padding around the c/w shaft, held it in a vise
and applied the strap wrench to the encoder housing. With
surprisingly little force applied to the wrench the housing loosened
and I easily separated the two parts.

I didn't apply any lubricant or use a washer when subsequently
threading the the shaft into the encoder housing and have not
experienced the problem again.

Good luck!
Charlie


--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
wrote:

Hi Rich & Joe M.

I don't think that the threads themselves are actually the
cause of
jamming the shaft stuck to the DEC shaft adapter (mating) flange.

When this happened to my AP-900 mount, it seemed to me that
the "flat
end annulus" at the end of the shaft was jammed up against the
similar flat
surface of the adapter. Effectively, this is surface to
surface "stiction".
Perhaps applying Chapstick to the flat mating surfaces might
prevent a
reoccurrence of this, acting just like a Teflon washer. Then again,
I wonder
if something equally nasty might happen with frozen Chapstic in
winter.
However, I don't like the idea of anything greasy on parts that an
errant
hand or fingers could contact during mount set-up, and might
transfer to
optics, etc.

Joe Z.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich N" <rnapo@...>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1
counterweight adapter.


Sorry about the "empty post".

Once you get the shaft un-stuck, a little Chapstick on the threads
works wonders.

Rich


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Charlie,

I haven't had a repeat either, but the mount is still young. Anyway, I gave the aluminum adapter flange an extra strong torque when I put it back on the DEC end. I would hate to add a strap wrench to my field kit. I really don't know why AP assembly doesn't put a lot of force on the adapter when the new mounts are put together. We don't need to completely disassemble the DEC axle, so it is something only a service call would get into, if ever.

Then again, if this problem ever repeats in the field, with the adapter firmly attached to the mount, it might be a real bear to take off the DEC shaft for the trip home. At least with the adapter loose, you could still remove the two joined parts and finish packing up. Maybe this was AP's reason for keeping it loose.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "ryderc1" <ryderc1@aol.com>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 10:28 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


Joe-

I experienced a similar issue with my 900 QMD; the c/w shaft was
stuck in the encoder housing and no attempt to remove it worked until
I spoke with Wally at AP. His solution worked like a charm: I bought
a rubber strap wrench at a local plumbing supply store (about $10),
put a layer of rubber padding around the c/w shaft, held it in a vise
and applied the strap wrench to the encoder housing. With
surprisingly little force applied to the wrench the housing loosened
and I easily separated the two parts.

I didn't apply any lubricant or use a washer when subsequently
threading the the shaft into the encoder housing and have not
experienced the problem again.

Good luck!
Charlie


--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
wrote:

Hi Rich & Joe M.

I don't think that the threads themselves are actually the
cause of
jamming the shaft stuck to the DEC shaft adapter (mating) flange.

When this happened to my AP-900 mount, it seemed to me that
the "flat
end annulus" at the end of the shaft was jammed up against the
similar flat
surface of the adapter. Effectively, this is surface to
surface "stiction".
Perhaps applying Chapstick to the flat mating surfaces might
prevent a
reoccurrence of this, acting just like a Teflon washer. Then again,
I wonder
if something equally nasty might happen with frozen Chapstic in
winter.
However, I don't like the idea of anything greasy on parts that an
errant
hand or fingers could contact during mount set-up, and might
transfer to
optics, etc.

Joe Z.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rich N" <rnapo@...>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1
counterweight adapter.


Sorry about the "empty post".

Once you get the shaft un-stuck, a little Chapstick on the threads
works wonders.

Rich


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

To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gtoYahoo! Groups Links




Joe Zeglinski
 

You may be right Joe, but the threads are not that tight going on, so I assumed it must have been stiction. Of course, in reality it is a combination of both causes. In a warm environment like direct sunlight, the aluminum disk adapter, will expand quicker and to a larger extent than the steel shaft, so the bind will be reinforced when things cool down. My case was in the house with the entire mount at room temperature. I also didn't torque the shaft on, more than finger tight, since at the time it happened, I was trying something temporary, for a few minutes, and really didn't need the shaft on very firmly. Thus, I don't think the cause was the threads. Mind you, my adapter wasn't on in a death grip, and with a bit or work, I eventually managed to separate the parts. A Teflon washer really should be applied to the shaft's end. Imagine being in the field, and you couldn't dismantle the mount. The entire DEC assembly would ride home in the back seat.

Anyway, I think we have all come up with some good approaches to the problem, and perhaps raised it up a notch for AP's attention.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "JoeMize" <jmize@svic.net>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, June 09, 2008 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Help - Counterweight shaft stuck to Mach 1 counterweight adapter.


JoeZ, I understand your problem better having read the other posts. I had
thought the shaft was stuck into the mount.

Not being argumentative but have you thought about what's actually holding
those two flat surfaces together? In my mind's they cannot be holding
themselves together with stickon alone, something must be keeping them
pressed against each other. The only candidate are the threads, just like
jamming two nuts against each other on a bolt. You'll have to lubricate the
threads with something like WD-40 or warm in the Sun to get them free,
probably both.

I don't envy your problem, have fun with the mechanical side of our
hobby...joe :)


"May You Go Among The Imperishable Stars"
Joe Mize www.cav-sfo.com
Chiefland Astronomy Village, Fla.