Adjusting and maintaining the damping control levers

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alt-az-builder
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:12 pm

Adjusting and maintaining the damping control levers

Post by alt-az-builder » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:15 pm

The Hitch Hiker has two control levers that regulate the degree of damping applied to each of the two rotation axes. The up/down rotation is named the altitude axis -- and the left/right rotation is called the azimuth axis. Here are a few notes about adjusting and maintaining these control levers.

The controls are design to apply resistance and damping to the axis rotations. They are NOT designed to act as locks for the axes. But they can apply rather heavy damping to the axis rotations. However, it is advantageous NOT to apply more resistance and damping than is needed -- especially at the maximum. The maximum damping can be adjusted by turning the pull-screw -- the head of which is on the opposite side of the damping-collar tangs from the lever. I would recommend setting the maximum amount of resistance/damping only tight enough to prevent uncontrolled swinging of your camera or scope when carried over your shoulder with the Hitch Hiker. Not setting the maximum resistance/damping higher than needed makes the action of lever smoother and finer -- increasing the ability to set just the right amount of damping for any situation. Also, reducing the pull-screw tension will decrease wear on the cam lobes of the control levers. You may end up loosening the pull-screws as you gain more experience with the Hitch Hiker.

The control levers can be spun around the pull-screws to set them at different angles to keep them from interfering with you camera or scope in whatever you are doing at the moment. There is a small set screw on the side of the damping-collar tang -- near the head of the pull-screw. This set screw can be lightly tightened against the shank of the pull-screw to hold the angle that you set. But don't set it so tight that it restricts rotation of the pull-screw.

The damping control levers are the only mechanisms on the Hitch Hiker that require periodic lubrication. Keep a thin grease film on the cam lobes of the control levers to decrease wear and to improve the smoothness of the control. The type of grease is not particularly important -- although it's good to keep in mind that silicone grease will attack optical coatings if you accidentally get some on an optical surface.

I will post annotated photos when I have the time to develop tutorials -- but I hope these notes help in the meantime.

Charles

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