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Taliesin

SW HEQ5 mount with EQMOD

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Hi all...well I have to say after joining here and the initial advice in the Welcome forum (which I have to say was so welcoming - the best welcome I have had bar no other forum) and some reading, i'm looking to do planetary as well as deep sky...

Initially before the reading and advice I was set on a Nexstar 8SE then found out that it's not great for deep space due to it's mount. So then had my heart set on the C8-SGT as that has an equatorial mount. But on asking FLO, refractors and a sturdy mount is the way to go for best of both.

1st question is has anyone used the C8-SGT with the mount it comes with for deep space

2nd question is what are peoples opinions on the SW HEQ5 with Syntrek using EQMOD to control the mount.

I want to go for the better mount but can't afford the full whack but know my IT so was hoping to use the EQMOD software for all the GOTO and tracking etc

Any advice will be appreciated :)

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I have the HEQ5 Pro, these are very sturdy mounts, as for EQMOD, not got that...YET but it is a great way to control the mount, what are you going to be using...scope wise if you get the HEQ5

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Hi buddy :eek:

Are we talking visual or imaging here? If it's imaging, the HEQ5 Pro or SynTrek would be a good choice. If you're gonna be using a permanent setup the EQ6 might be better, but they're heavy if your wanting a portable rig. If you're gonna control either through your PC, which is what I do, then you don't need the Pro, just get the ST and something like a HiTec Astro adapter.

If it's for visual use you don't need fancy mount. A EQ5 may do.

EDIT: Oh yeah, in answer to your question, a HEQ5 ST (+adapter) running through a PC with EQMOD and Cartes Du Ciel is awesome :)

Edited by Revs

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I use an HEQ5/EQMOD for imaging with my ED80PRO and it works very well. I've just started guiding with a QHY5 attached to a 50mm finder and again it works well. The HEQ5 seems an exellent mount for the sort of smaller refractors that are popular with imagers. I have mounted my 200P on it for visual work and it is fine but I suspect that this would be pushing the mount for imaging.

For Deep Space you need a short focal length (so called "fast" scope) so something like the ED80PRO is an exellent starter. For more info you could buy "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards available from FLO - this tells you all you need to know to get you started as well as many of the (expensive!!) pitfalls to avoid.

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Biz, I have a similar setup, ie; QHY5 through the finder plus the 8" newt and the mount copes really well. I've not had to scrap any subs whatsoever due to bad tracking, but I am in a well sheltered area. The Newt with guiding bits and wiring weighs under 10kg, which is in the upper limits but fine unless you're in a breezy area.

Edited by Revs

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Thank you for your advise so far:

Haven't decided on the scope yet but swinging towards the SW ED80 DS-Pro as I wish to do both observing and imaging (thought the imaging will come after, I want to have the mount to avoid selling and buying again)

Portability will be important as I live in the heart of Birmingham so will need to drive out a lot of time so have ruled out EQ6

Revs: Funnily enough thats the exact mount I'm thinking of getting so you saying works great is very encouraging...Thank you!

Buzibilder: I am looking at the setup you have and may also get the 200p or similar for the visual work...I'm glad to hear I'm not far off. When you say its a starter...what would I get if I wanted to go to the next level?

I'm in the process of purchasing the book...as I've heard so many good things about it I figured it will be more than money well spent! So that's going to be on the way.

So am I right in thinking that the HEQ5 will accept most of the amateur telescopes on the market as long as its not a heavy bulky thing like the C8-NGTs?

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Taliesin - I called the HEQ5 a starter as it is generally considered the "entry level" for serious astrophotography. Mine is on a permanent pier in an observatory and so is well aligned and absolutely solid.

The next step up is an EQ6 (or similar) which for most folk is the "standard" these days for imaging. There are mounts out there that sell from £3k to £10K+ that a few wealthy folk use but for us ordinary mortals the EQ6 is the one to aspire to!

The HEQ5 can hold 18Kg in theory so, to follow the "imaging weight rule" (which states you should not load the mount to more than half its design load) 9Kg - is about the weight limit for the mount.

Some use the HEQ5 and 200P for imaging and I have sucessfully done so for unguided images. I have not yet attempted guiding with that set-up.

Edited by Bizibilder

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I use the HEQ5 and EQMOD with cartes du ciel and it's fantastic. I bought a Syntrek and added a USB EQDIRECT adapter from HiTec Astro.

I'm using an ED80 Pro dual mounted with an ST80 with QHY5 for guiding which I'm still testing and not used in anger yet.

I also mount the 127 Mak on the HEQ5 and it works very well.

Work and the elements have conspired against me of late and it hasn't had much use in the lighter nights.

You could mount a C8 on a HEQ5 and at a later date guide through the finder. But when you add a DSLR I'm guessing it's got to be pushing things weight wise and may cause issues. It would be fine for visual use though.

The SW 150p is an alternative that may tick both boxes for you without breaking the bank. Mike Wilson has done some fantastic images with his mounted on a HEQ5 and they are also good for visual use.

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Bizibilder/ Spikey, thank you for your comments and reviews. I think things for me at the moment point to a HEQ5 using EQMOD. I currently live in an apartment so don't have a garden as such where I can set up so most of my observing would be somewhere else which means portability is important. I'm thinking of a refractor specifically the Exostar ED80 DS-Pro as this seems to be a versatile telescope for both planetary and DSO both interms of imaging and observing. I hope to add scopes and accessories but ideally I want to get started with actually owning one and starting to view things up there close up.

Before I make my actual decision, I ordered Making Every Photon Count from FLO so once I have read that I will make a final decision...but the HEQ5 seems to be the way

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