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Model: eq6-extension-tube-20857Part Number: 20857
The extension tube extends the height of the NEQ6 / EQ6-R / AZ-EQ6 mount by 8" so is a popular choice with owners of long-tube refractor telescopes as it places the eyepiece at a more comfortable height and prevents the telescope hitting a tripod leg.
I sorted the extension tube rotation issue by buying 2 x 200mm square sheets of neoprene rubber from Amazon one 2mm thick the other 3mm thick. From the 3mm thick sheet I cut two washers with on OD of 64mm and an ID of 32mm these are then placed or glued into the recess on the tripod top plate. From the 2mm thick sheet I cut one washer with an OD of 94mm and an ID of 32mm this can be placed under or glued to the black plate at the bottom of the extension tube. Before use roughen all the washers on both sides with sand paper. Cutting the washers from the neoprene sheet is easiest using a pair of engineers dividers initially (sharpen the points before use if necessary) and a craft knife. After this no more accidental rotation; an easy fix that took no more than one hour and that Skywatcher could/should have included especially in conjunction with the EQ6-R.
There are two really annoying design faults with this product. - the extension fastens to the NEQ6 mount with three (M5?) allen bolts. The holes in the tube are about 7.5mm, so lots of play, and the only thing stopping the mount rocking around on the extension tube is the pressure on the tiny heads of the Allen bolts. In practice I have found the mount rocking on the extension - the German EQ mount is inherently unbalanced on the N-S axis even without a scope. With a scope there is a lot of torque on that axis.My solution? Haven't got one yet. One option would be larger bolts with holes in the extension drilled to fit the bolts, and tap new larger holes in the base of the mount. Potential butchery ... Another would be sleeves for the current bolts, which would be easy if I was a machinist. I'm not. A mess of washers and lock washers perhaps?The second issue is the free rotation of the tube on the tripod. I use two sanding disks glued back-to-back as a friction washer. It works, but it is just another annoying thing when I'm positioning the mount on the tripod.
Delivery was fine, and the webpage video provided all the basic assembly instructions.Assembly was straightforward, although when the head was placed on the extension, it seemed that the alignment of the top holes was perhaps about 1mm "out". Despite this, securing and tightening of all the threaded bolts was straightforward.After full tightening, I did find, like another reviewer here, that when some lateral force was applied to the mount, it was possible to rotate the extension assembly. This was with no counterweights or telescope on the rig. Because of rain, I have not got much further in assessing whether this residual "slippage" will still be there when the rig is fully loaded. If this proves to be the case, then I'll try the suggestion of adding a rubber disc to increase contact surface area between the original head and the extension mating.I run Newtonians, and like refractor owners, I find that if I image well past the meridian, a point is reached where the rear of the 'scope impacts the tripod leg as the mount tracks the sky. The extension will sort this out for me, I think.Recommended, as long as the residual slippage is minimised.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the product which seems to work fine. Gave it 4 stars and not 5 because I think the design could be improved. The bottom of the extension (the circular disk inside the tube) attaches to the existing tripod/pier head using the main central bolt only. The extension tube bolts to this disk in 3 places, which is very secure, but there is nothing to stop the extension rotating around the central bolt. Even when tightened fully, it's still possible to twist the extension slightly if the EQ6 head is knocked. Following recommendation from another user who had the same issue, I put a rubber disk between the existing head and the disk inside the extension tube to increase the contact area and increase grip, to reduce the likelihood of the tube rotating if knocked. The design could be improved by the manufacturer fitting a pin or bolt to attach the disk to the mount head to prevent twisting.
Nicely made and it feels solid and gives extra height so I can fit my esprit 150 telescope and not to worry that the telescope might hit the tripod legs, very easy to fit!
Great bit of kit, might sound expensive but has cast heavy duty tube nicely powder coated in a texture finish, cast head, again coated and robust, has bearings and everything needed to attach between mount and tripod, no wobbles and vibration.. .. usage stops the scope from clanging into the tripod legs.. great for imaging when a camera is at the end of a refractor..and observing without getting wet knees ..
Yes, the Az EQ6 has the same mount fitting as the EQ6, the extension will fit nicely.
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