Last updated: 26 December 2002
Loose GEM Head
I decided to raise the LXD55 tripod height so that I would not have to get on my knees to look through the eyepiece when the telescope was pointed towards the zenith. When I finished adjusting the leg extensions I just happened to notice that the GEM head was tilted!
I immediately retightened the head locking bolt. It turned and turned. It finally reached a point where turning was difficult and then it passed through that "region of resistance" then it continued to tighten down the head. It finally reached what I think is the secure, fully tightened position.
I think what happened is that when I first attached the GEM head a month ago and tightened down the bolt, it got to the "region of resistance" that I noticed tonight and I thought it was tight. The head did not move so I assumed all was correct. There had been no movement of the GEM head and OTA as I moved the telescope and tripod around.
I obviously could have had a disaster should the bolt have come fully loose.
So, heed this warning and check your GEM head to be certain it is fully secure.
Subject: [LXD55telescopes] Re: GEM head warning! Sent: Monday, December 23, 2002 07:59:28 From: mvannorman Make sure that the bolt turns freely BEFORE you try attaching the head. The threads have a habit of engaging the tripod when you take the head off and if you don't free the bolt before the next attachment of the head you will have this problem. If you do this, you won't have any "region of resistance" and the head will attach much more firmly and rigidly to the tripod. /Mike
Subject: [LXD55telescopes] Re: GEM head warning! Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2002 05:58:33 From: gemmalady A quick and cheap fix for this problem. 1. Loosen the azimuth bolts (all the way) when removing the mount head first. 2. Rub a little candle wax on those bolts and also on the main bolt that holds the mount to the tripod. This seems to "loosen" the region of resistance that you "feel" when tightening down the mount head and ensures proper tightening of the mount to the tripod. The candle wax is harmless and also protects the metal from leaving marks...smells good too! As it "wears" away, you can always add more. Plus I don't worry about transfering "goo" to other parts of the scope (I once touched the goo that the focuser has on it and had to really clean my hands to avoid transfering it to my eyepieces and other parts). Clear skies and ho ho ho! Lynn AR-5, C-90
Return to the top of this page.
Go back to the Warnings Page.
Go back to my LXD Home Page.