Skywatcher AZ 3 tripod servicing/upgrading.

Just those little hints and tips that make things easier.

Skywatcher AZ 3 tripod servicing/upgrading.

Postby Marmot » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:35 pm

Having recently purchased a (used) telescope that came with a Skywatcher AZ 3 mount and tripod, I set about generally seeing what I could do to give it a little TLC. Whilst searching on the net I came across a very useful item from the ‘Highlands Astronomical Society’. It can be found by searching on ‘AZ-3 servicing’.
For anyone with such a mount the article is well worth reading as it goes through how to service the mount and a couple of simple upgrades to improve its performance. To summarise:
The tripods rigidity is slightly improved by using a few washers to take up some slack in a few bolted joints.
All existing Chinese grease is removed and replaced with something a little lighter (lithium or Teflon based grease readily available from cycle shops).

I have systematically followed all the recommendations and it took me approx two and a half hours. When I dismantled everything I found the existing grease to be extremely thick and in places it appeared to have hardened slightly so it wasn’t of an even consistency and certainly did little to reduce drag.
Having carried out all the recommendations the operation is definitely lighter and smoother and the tripod seems that little more rigid.
I recommend the article and the servicing to any AZ 3 owners.

There is another section on improving the performance by adding a counterbalance. I fancy a go at this but need a wieght if about 1.5 kilo so if anyone has one spare?? ;)

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Marmot
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