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Question Linear belts are falling apart

  • jarno_c
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24 Sep 2021 19:28 - 25 Sep 2021 19:35 #682 by jarno_c
Linear belts are falling apart was created by jarno_c
Recently I started noticing that guiding and tracking in the RA direction were showing strange behaviour. Then one night the RA axis stopped responding completely. I thought this was an Asiair bug so I sent the mount to the home position to reset everything. The mount then started to make a grinding noise so I immediately aborted the slew and went inside to inspect the mount. When I opened it up a handful of debris came falling out. To my shock one of the belts had completely disintegrated:

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Upon further inspection the other belts are showing cracks and damage too:

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This is in both the RA and DEC axis but only the yellow belts are affected, not the larger transparent belt. The mount is approximately 5 years old, has never been overloaded or suffered impacts, and is always stored and transported in a Pelican case with foam inlay. I asked another Avalon user to check his mount, and he's seeing cracks in the belts as well:
At the right you can see the other type of belt which has no damage at all. This indicates that there's a quality issue with the yellow type of belt.

I contacted Avalon support and at first I was told that the mount had to be shipped back to Italy which is expensive and risky, and only after return of the mount would I be given a repair cost. Since this is obviously a production error in the belts I would have expected this to be a warranty issue, even if the mount is (just) out of the warranty period - especially since this is a 5K mount and Avalon is proudly exclaiming how long the belts will last. I replied that I can't agree with this since the shipping costs will be a multiple of what the belts will cost. Avalon then replied that they can send the belts to me, for a "mere" 98 euro per axis, excluding VAT and shipping. These are fairly standard tooth belts with MXL profile which cost a few euro's each but even if they were 10 euro each, total cost would be just 60 euros.

I am extremely disappointed by the lack of support from Avalon and the grossly inflated prices for these belts, especially considering that this is obviously a quality / manufacturing issue. I recommend that everyone inspects the belts in their Avalon mount for this type of cracks and request replacement belts if necessary.

Jarno
Last edit: 25 Sep 2021 19:35 by jarno_c.

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  • Stefano82
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29 Sep 2021 14:00 #706 by Stefano82
Replied by Stefano82 on topic Linear belts are falling apart
Dear Jarno

We already answered on your topic opened on the CloudyNights forum ( www.cloudynights.com/topic/790745-avalon...elts-disintegrating/ ) and we are going to answer here, in the same way, as well

Below we are going to clarify some importants points:

-In cases of out-of-warranty assistance, Avalon Instruments, as first option, suggests to return the mount at our headquarters in Italy as it allows us a complete check, in addition to identifying the cause that generated the problem, replacing the damaged components (in agreement with the customer) and then return to the customer the fully functional mount with a renewed 5 years warranty on the replaced parts.

- If the mount is under warranty, the customer only bears the shipping costs

- Answering to the asked question , about the belts replacement, the operation is quite simple and you can do it by yourself, because it does not require special mechanical skills, moreover, if necessary, we can provide technical information on how to do it, but we certainly cannot offer guarantees on the outcome of the final work

-The 8x belts (3 different types of belts per axis) complete kit necessary for the full replacement, even if not in the catalog, was offered at 98.70 EURO for both axis, VAT excluded (that is not 10 times the market price .....)

-All spare parts relating to Avalon Instruments products in the catalog include management costs and five years warranty (2 years on electronic parts), so, it is normal that the costs of spare parts cannot be comparable with those that you can find on the web, this is important for every company if you want to ensure the immediate availability of all spare parts required by the end user, also after many years, as Avalon Instruments currently does

We are always open to any kind of support

Stefano
Avalon Instruments Team

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15 Oct 2021 17:01 #729 by Stefano82
Replied by Stefano82 on topic Linear belts are falling apart
Dear Jarno

As already explained on the CN forum on the CloudyNights forum topic ( www.cloudynights.com/topic/790745-avalon...page-4#entry11428895 ), in case your degraded belts are the one with the internal plastic wires instead of steel, you can send them to us and we will replace them with the new polyurethan/steel version for free.

Furthermore, having back the degraded belts, surely help us to have more information about the problem from the manufacturer.

In case you prefer to contact us directly via Whatsapp, you can do it by using the following number: +39 327 034 5131

Kind regards

Stefano
Avalon Instruments Team

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15 Oct 2021 18:26 - 17 Oct 2021 06:30 #730 by Daan
Replied by Daan on topic Linear belts are falling apart
Reply deleted. Misunderstood, all clear by now.
Last edit: 17 Oct 2021 06:30 by Daan. Reason: Misunderstood, all clear by now

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