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Safely Moving an Equatorial Mount

04 Oct, 2019 12:52
I recently acquired an iOptron CEM25p to go with my Takahashi FS-60CB/Q. I'm still very new to the hobby and I'm wondering if there are any special considerations when moving an equatorial mount. The instruction manual doesn't necessarily address this, but it does say enough that I'm concerned about preserving the worm gears in the mount.

As a prof, I always tell my students that there are no stupid questions… so here is my question:

Do I need to remove the telescope and counterweight before moving the mount? Or can I move the entire thing assembled, knowing that my small telescope is very light? What is best practice?

04 Oct, 2019 14:49
Hi JW,

If  you can safely move it without throwing out your back or tripping, then I think it would be fine to pick the entire assembled rig up and move it. With my very light setups (e.g. iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ mount), I often do this without a second thought. That said, I don't know if the "CEM" mounts are more sensitive to moves because of the unique way they are balanced. You may want to contact iOptron just to make sure.

I think the biggest danger to your equipment is falling/tripping while trying to move your rig and the whole thing smashing to the ground in some unfortunate way. Depending on how the rig landed from a fall, it could damage the worm gears. Some people with garages use heavy duty wheeled trays (sometimes called 'wheely bars'smile to move their assembled rigs in and out.

Cheers, Nico
04 Oct, 2019 15:46
Hi Nico,
Thanks so much for letting me know. I think the biggest danger for me is a trip and fall, as I have to go down a few steps onto my patio. That would be unfortunate!

I was surprised at the weight of the CEM when it first arrived, but I am thankful for that weight at the same time because of the stability it will provide to my light setup.

05 Oct, 2019 04:08
I have moved entire imaging systems like this in the past but I do not recommend it for the reasons Nico listed above. I have a Rainbow Astro RST135 and a small refractor on a light weight tripod and the whole thing weighs less than 20 lbs. It's super light but it's expensive. All it takes is one clumsy step and there goes 10K of equipment on the ground.
05 Oct, 2019 15:59
I will be getting the very same mount shortly. From what I have read NEVER MOVE THE CEM25P with the drive engaged, because there is no clutch like with usual EQ Mounts and while the worm gears are precise, they are fragile and bend easily. So if you have to move it as a whole better balance it slightly counterweight-Heavy and disengage The RA drive and be very careful not to put to much force on the Dec axis as well. But from what I have learnt it is better to assemble it on the spot.
Edited 05 Oct, 2019 16:00
06 Oct, 2019 19:12
Thanks everyone for the feedback and the advice. You surely have saved me from great heartache. It sounds like assembling on the spot is the best way to go.

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