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Worm gear wear out/ replacement normal?

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Dave Compton Posted: 04-01-2019 3:01 PM

I’ve been trying to do my due diligence before committing to buy a MyT.  In this and other forums I’ve seen people talk about their RA or DEC worm gear needing replacement  every 1 or 2 years. 

is this a normal part of maintenance for an Paramount?

can this be avoided with proper care/ lubrication?

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Posts 3,761
Software Bisque Employee

Thank you for your interest in the Paramount MYT Robotic Telescope Mount!

Dave Compton:
…people talk about their RA or DEC worm gear needing replacement  every 1 or 2 years.

This is likely a misunderstanding and exaggerated extrapolation from a very small number of irregular cases.

It is very rare that a worm gear needs replacing, and then would likely be due to gross abuse. More commonly, though still unusual, is a need to replace the worm, which is typically achieved by replacing the worm block assembly. Proper maintenance of the worm and gear, which includes annual re-greasing, should provide many years of trouble-free operation. Most Paramounts never require a worm replacement, and many have been used for a decade, or more.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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Posts 26

Thanks, that's reassuring. 

 

Related... This may have been already asked and answered on this site so pardon if I'm being redundant. From what I've seen about your company, Paramount MyT are made there in Colorado.  Is my understanding correct that before a mount is shipped to the customer, it is run-in and inspected by your staff to verify everything in good working order, with proper setup, gear backlash, tuning, lube, everything ready to work upon receipt? 

To contrast with my previous Celestron experience where mounts are drop shipped from out of country straight to my door, often with little and sometimes big problems, which requires the mount to travel to California for a tweak, and then back to me, resulting in a month of downtime before it is in usable condition?

Can I expect my Paramount to be ready to mount up the first day and be running the first night to factory spec?

DC

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Universal Subscription Licensee

I think you maybe misunderstanding the requirement. Every year or 2 remove the worm gear assembly to clean and change the grease. I have a 17 year old paramount ME That still has original worm and gear and works fine. Gear damage can occur if   the mount with gearsare left engaged are during abnormal situations  (carrying, shipping, very unbalanced loads  can over ride the spring plunger and cause teeth to ratchet as the mount moves to neutral position). THe easy solution is to simply make sure the gears are not engaged until after system is roughly balanced. The MYT has a system where one can pull the worm back away form the big gear (turn the knob to point at the see saw) and then a pin can be engaged to lock the big gear while mounting gear. Once ready to balance, pull the pins and balance. Then engage the worms by simply turning the knot to point at the "Star" position. The motor controllers will not let the system damage gears from collisions or leaving the pins engaged,  it monitors the current the motors use and will shut them down if abnormal resistance is detected.

Roy

 www.roystarman.com

I am not employed by Software Bisque, but I am a satisfied customer.

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Posts 3,761
Software Bisque Employee

Dave Compton:
From what I've seen about your company, Paramount MyT are made there in Colorado.

Correct.

Dave Compton:
Is my understanding correct that before a mount is shipped to the customer, it is run-in and inspected by your staff to verify everything in good working order, with proper setup, gear backlash, tuning, lube, everything ready to work upon receipt?

Yes, we test and exercise each mount before shipping. If you'd like us to give your mount special attention, for an additional fee we will star test it (that is, put it through its paces under actual operating conditions). This can delay shipment, as it is subject to scheduling and weather constraints.

Dave Compton:
Can I expect my Paramount to be ready to mount up the first day and be running the first night to factory spec?

How quickly you get it operating is of course out of our control. Someone familiar with our mounts and TheSkyX software should be able to have the mount operating the same evening, provided an appropriate means of mounting the OTA (e.g. dovetail or rings), sufficient counterweight, the correct AC power cable (we supply a North American type) and either a mount-ready tripod or pier are also at hand.

Someone unfamiliar with our mounts, and especially TheSkyX software, may require a little more time. When, or shortly after, you order a mount, you can request that we provide advance access to download TheSkyX Professional Edition software so that you may begin familiarizing yourself with it. You might also want to preview the Paramount MYT Unpacking Procedure and Paramount Software Suite Quick Start Guide.

We guarantee that the mount will perform to specifications with a properly-balanced load and proper configuration.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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Posts 26

Thanks for all the good intel.

i tried to find it on the site but could not locate a cost for the star testing fee. I’d be very interested, but how much?  And I realize that would add a delay for scheduling and sky conditions there, but are we talking a couple weeks or months typical lead time?

is that fee something you just see further along the ordering process? 

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Posts 3,761
Software Bisque Employee

I will need to verify all of this, but my understanding is that the star-test fee is USD $500, that training the PEC (periodic error correction) is part of that process, and that shipping could be delayed by a couple of weeks.

Dave Compton:
is that fee something you just see further along the ordering process?

If you order the mount through our online store, you can add a request for the star test to the Order Notes box on the order page. The cost won't be reflected in the order total you see there, but will be added by our staff when finalizing the order, which is when the shipping charge is also adjusted to actual, rather than the standard estimate. If you forget to include the note, you can email or call us before the mount ships to add this service to your order.

(See also Roy's input above, which had been awaiting moderation until a few minutes ago.)

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

Not Ranked
Posts 26

Yes, thank you for replying.

I would expect that with normal wear and tear if properly cared for, those worm components would last for a decade or more. That's why I was surprised to see on this and other forums customers saying that they had to replace the worm block every year or even at all. That's why I was wondering if the worm block is made to wear down for some reason or if there was some aspect of this I was missing before committing to such an expensive mount.  I've always heeded the 'emperor's new clothes' and that just because a connoisseur says something is great doesn't make it so.

But it appears that those complaints are the few and vocal minority.  I would expect a Paramount product to be hardy and long-lived (based on reputation because I have not owned onw yet).

Glad to hear your mount has served you so well. That's encouraging.

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Posts 5,807

Dave Compton:
I would expect that with normal wear and tear if properly cared for, those worm components would last for a decade or more.

All our legacy ME's are going on 15+ years now with just normal maintenance (annual greasing and look over).  Still running the same belts as well.  They are remote setups and run every clear night.

Dave Compton:
I was surprised to see on this and other forums customers saying that they had to replace the worm block every year

Just like any support forum for any product, you're gonna see what has gone South.  Replacing the block every year would be a very special case indeed.

Tom

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Posts 27,395
Software Bisque Employee

Dave Compton:
That's why I was surprised to see on this and other forums customers saying that they had to replace the worm block every year or even at all.
To ensure longevity, proper Paramount care and maintenance is strongly recommended.   Many Paramounts have been in service for more than a decade without issues.

If a Paramount mount (or any gear-driven mount) is left outside, uncovered (or even partially covered) in a windy, desert environment, and not routinely cleaned and/or maintained, the wind-deposited dust in the grease will cause premature wear to the brass worm.   Here's one example, there are others.  The good news is that in the event this happens, the worm block assembly can be replaced to restore the mount to the original specification.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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