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EQ5 Upgrade Options?


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I bought a 200p and EQ5 as my first scope and mount a few weeks back, now that I've used it quite a bit, I find that constantly tweaking the RA axis is getting a tad boring, particularily for planetary and lunar observing.

I don't want a GOTO mount as I prefer finding my own way around but I do want something to allow me to track automatically, does such a beast exist?

From what I can see I have a few options (cheapest first):

1 - Get the flexible axis adjusters to make them more accessible (£)

2 - Get the dual axis motor kit and do it by pressing a button rather than turning knobs (££)

3 - Get the EQ5 SYNScan upgrade Kit and resist using the GOTO (£££)

4 - Get a HEQ5 SynScan mount (££££££)

5 - Get a HEQ6 or EQ6 Synscan mount (£££££££££££)

I think I might have answered my own question but is the reason I need the advanced handset for this because accurate lunar and planetary tracking requires mainly RA but also small DEC adjustments too?

Some thoughts would be nice, I don't want to buy more stuff I might end up selling. I didn consider this all before purchasing the EQ5 but as I'm new to this I wanted to see if it was something I enjoyed before going too mad. But now I'm hooked!

Many thanks

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I'm with you on the whole GOTO thing, and I bought the single axis RA drive.

It's cheap, easy to install, and for visual it's more than adequate. As long a you have even a basic polar alignment you won't need to move the Dec knobs much at all for tracking purposes, and in all honesty the electronic RA controls are so slow, even at highest speed, that I usually just undo the clutch and do it by hand, so not having them on the Dec axis is no loss at all.

Tim

Edited by West End Wendy
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Thanks for that, nice to hear from someone using the same mount. Polar alignment is an issue as I'm West facing and setup on my Patio and cannot see Polaris to accurately align, so I'm using a compass and the North Leg to roughly get it right for now, I find that I can get away with one DEC adjustment for every 10 or so RA adjustments right now.

Does the single axis RA motor and supplied basic handset allow you to set it to track or is it designed just to save you twiddling?

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I'm the same, part of the fun is finding stuff yourself!

I have the Dual Motor kit on my EQ5 and it works a treat. Once polar aligned and turned on it will track for you, so as above you shouldn't need to keep pressing the buttons every minute but rather every 10-20 mins at worst if using high magnification, if your alignment is out.

Although, if you have deep pockets, get the HEQ6!! (i wish i could) lol

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Thanks, what does the DEC motor do when tracking, surely if its aligned you'd only need the DEC motor for moving to another location, which would be slower than just releasing the clutches and slewing.

I didn't know that it tracked, I looked at a video of the handset but didn't see tracking options, do you just switch it on and it does it?

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...so the additional dec motor will not compensate for inaccurate polar alignment..

Not without a guiding camera / scope being used in conjunction with the main scope.

But then again unless you have a light main scope (sub 200P weight) the mount isn't really up to all that on top anyway :D

Edited by Stephen
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It can be done though, with good results :)

Back on to topic though, i think it's worth getting both motors. If your gonna spend £70ish quid on a single and it's only £90ish for dual.....

Agreed :)

Granted I don't have an EQ5 but with my HEQ5 and the "basic" motors (non goto) I tend to release the clutches to get close to the target, and slew in both RA and DEC to fine tune the positioning.

Much easier :D

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Thanks everyone, ill order the dual axis motor kit as ita only a little more than the single. If I get into imaging ill get a new mount then.

Never knew the motor tracked so thats a bonus

Dave

Sent from myv GT-I9100 using Tapatalk

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I've got this setup, and with decent polar alignment you can run for hours on the RA motor without adjusting the DEC. All the motor does when switched on is turn the RA at a slow constant speed matching the earths rotation. It works surprisingly well and makes a huge difference to observing (and imaging). I find a target manually, engage the motors then mess about with different eyepieces and reading up about the target on my iPad, it's a pleasure!

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Great alternative :D no price on the site and no answer on the fone but as soon as they are open I'll have one on its way :)

Just found the guiding mod you mentioned aswel. Feels like Christmas again :)

No doubt the clouds will be staying put a little longer now!

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Thanks for that, nice to hear from someone using the same mount. Polar alignment is an issue as I'm West facing and setup on my Patio and cannot see Polaris to accurately align, so I'm using a compass and the North Leg to roughly get it right for now, I find that I can get away with one DEC adjustment for every 10 or so RA adjustments right now.

Does the single axis RA motor and supplied basic handset allow you to set it to track or is it designed just to save you twiddling?

There is a way to get accurate polar alignment even if you cannot see Polaris. The method is called drift alignment. In fact it's more accurate than using polar scope. Many people use polar scope for rough alignment and then fine tune it using the drift alignment method.

Andy's Shot Glass - Drift Alignment for Amateur astrophotography,ccd, Neutonians and Refractors, amateur astronomy

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Evening all, it's been useful reading all these posts, I currently use the sw8" on an eq5, as you can see from my albums I hae been lucky to get some great lunar shots buy 'hand drive' but it is most exhausting. If it is possible, is there a motor drive kit I can get for my eq5 which I could attach a laptop to and use stellarium etc.

Grateful as ever for any views

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You'll need £300 for the goto kit for starters. I can't you give you anymore advice apart from that as it put me off straight away LOL!

You can still connect the EQ5 dual motor handcontroller to the laptop with modifications but the slewing speed (max x8) is just not enough for goto capability and Stellarium. Although, with the modded EQ5 hand controller modded setup (which i have now) it's perfect for guiding through PHD :p

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