Flintstone Stargazing

January 31, 2008

Hypertuning my mount

Filed under: Observation Journal — Ed @ 12:22 am

The newly smooth and shiny gears

I’ve spent the past two nights “hypertuning” my mount. I got the DIY Hypertune DVD and followed the instructions to completely take apart my mount and then rebuild it better than before. Above are the gears that I worked on – they all started with a dull aluminum finish and now they are shiny! Actually, now they are greasy and back inside the mount, but they are working much better. The Right Ascention axis is still having a bit of a problem, but it’s much better than it was. I found the big problem it was having was that (most likely at the factory) someone dropped a small washer into the gear and it was just scraping away inside there until I found it. The washer isn’t used anywhere on my scope and based on where it was, I don’t think there was any way it got there after construction. I believe that I may need to work further on that particular axis, but the whole mount runs much, much more smoothly now. I’m going to need to get the polar scope realigned and re-train the motors, but after I take care of that, I should be able to start taking some long-term images. Let’s hope it stays clear for tomorrow.

Oh, and I’d highly recommend the hypertune DVD. They guy does a great job of explaining what he’s doing as he videos himself doing the work. My only suggestion would be to have specific instructions for the different mount types (he uses an LXD55 which is slightly different than my LXD75). It’d be nice if there was at least something printed that explained the few small diferences but otherwise, it was great. Fortunately for those differences, I was able to find this page which had an exploded view of all of the LXD75 mount parts.



  1. That’s obsession with a capital “O”
    but I’m glad you are 🙂

    Comment by stelmodad — February 1, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

  2. So what is your verdict on the hypertune?.Did you buy the kit or just the DvD?.After the tuneup,were you able to achieve longer exposure times?.HEHEHEHE,lots of questions…how about the goto accuracy and tracking?.Were they greatly improved?.

    Comment by Andrew — May 10, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  3. I just bought the DVD. In terms of longer exposure times, I haven’t really figured out drift alignment yet and so the couple times I’ve just lucked into really, really precise alignment, I’ve been able to take 2-3 minutes subs without noticable star trailing, but that’s only taken place a couple times. The bigger issue has been that now that I’ve really locked down the gears, the telescope doesn’t stop working all of a sudden because a gear has come loose. It does move really smoothly now, but I think the biggest advantage so far has really been that I understand my mount much more. We’ll see – once I figure out drift alignment to get really good alignment, then I’ll know. I’ll probably just need to devote a night to working that out and not try to do anything else.

    Comment by Ed — May 10, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  4. Heh,easier said than done I would say?!.
    So,I would assume the scope is nice and tight now?.I need to buy a lighted reticle for drift alignment but,2-3 minutes is decent non the less!!.I have the kit and new encoder wheels on the way.Hopefully it will be here by the middle of the week.How many actual hours did you spend on the tuneup?.I will be going to a friends house,who also has a LXD75 and wee will upgrade both scopes at the same time .I just don’t want to make it a whole weekend upgrade 🙂 .

    Comment by Andrew — May 11, 2008 @ 9:46 am

  5. Well, I watched the DVD just sitting on my couch (around 3 hours – I did fast forward a couple times, but pretty much watched it). The next day, I actually did the hypertune, split up between two evenings. It was a couple hours maximum. I did not replace the encoder wheels, but mine looked fine and I hadn’t had any issues with that before so they’re original on mine. I’ve got an illuminated eyepiece and have played with drift alignment a couple times, but I’m never quite sure if I’m adjusting the correct way or not… Like I said – I’ll need to figure that out better. I was very happy with 2-3 minute subs. With autoguiding (I have a 70mm refractor mounted piggyback), I expect to be able to get some very long subs. Not tonight though – the wind is like 25-30mph.

    Comment by Ed — May 11, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  6. Thanks for the imformation!!.I wasn’t going to replace the encoder wheels at first but,decided that while I had the mount torn apart,I might as well change them as well.I have been having a slight problem with slewing.Nothing serious but,annoying.I just tap the left arrow on the handcontroller and the object slews right out of FOV.I then tap the right arrow and it slews the object back to it’s original position.This will happen several times in a row before I finally get the object centered.Depending on the encoders condition,I will save them in case I need to replace the new ones.Hey,just curious….did you find the your scopes goto anymore accurate after the tuneup?.Right now I am not very confident with my goto and it centering on the object.

    Comment by Andrew — May 11, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

  7. That sounds like a drive training issue – where you point the scope at a terrestrial landmark and then you click the enter and it moves to one side and you move it back to center, then it moves it the other way and you move it back to center for both axis. It helps take up slack in the motion of the mount. Goto accuracy seems much more dependant on alignment accuracy than anything else to me. I’ve actually gone to using High Precision Pointing (HPP) mode when doing DSO’s because it allows me to center the targets with the camera still attached. It’s worked really well. Someone on the CloudyNights.com forum suggested it.

    Comment by Ed — May 12, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  8. I too have the thoughts of a drive train issue as well.Since I will be replacing the encoders,I will need to retrain the drives anyway so,with luck it will cure the issue.I myself don’t really understand the concept of drift alignment.I need it to be (not so much dumbed down)but,rather worded a bit different.My brother,who is also a astronomer is going to lend me a hand at learning the procedure and says that once it is learned,it turns into more of a pain in the butt than anything else.Regardless,I am optimistic with the soon to be summer season! 🙂 .

    Comment by Andrew — May 12, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

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