My equatorial mount telescope seems unsteady, how can it be stabilized?
Properly balancing the scope will make it easier to work with. Use the following steps to help you out.
1. Arrange the telescope so that the telescope body is horizontal to the floor (latitude of 0 degrees). Loosen the R.A. (right ascension) lock-knob. With R.A. lock loosened, the telescope mount will turn freely about the polar axis. Rotate the telescope about the polar axis so that the counterweight shaft is parallel to the ground (horizontal).
2. Loosen the counterweight's lock screw, and slide the counterweight along the shaft until the telescope remains in any given position without tending to drift in either direction. Then re-tighten the counterweight lock screw to lock the counterweight in position.
3. To balance the telescope about the declination axis. First loosen the declination lock knob, then slightly loosen the clamp ring screws so that the telescope main tube can slide inside the rings. Slide the main tube up or down inside the rings until the telescope is balanced about the declination axis. Re-tighten the clamp ring screws. The telescope is now balanced.