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Feasability of EQ1 mount mods?


vince1976
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I've currently got a SkyWatcher 130P on a GOTO AZ mount.

I'm very happy with the OTA and the GOTO mount is great fun once aligned but want a cheap manual EQ mount to play with, largely because I feel the GOTO mount just provides so much hand-holding that I don't feel like I'm learning enough about the sky when using it.

Without a pressing requirement for this though it's hard to justify shelling out too much cash on a whim.

I notice that my OTA is often also supplied on an EQ2 mount. Although I can buy an EQ2 for £112, I can buy a small refractor on an EQ1 for £90 or less (for example, this).

Obviously this suggests value for money to me as I get a cheap equatorial mount, refractor, star diagonal, red dot finder and a couple of spare eyepieces for less than the cost of the EQ2 mount alone.

Comparing the EQ1 and EQ2 via Google shows what looks like only a very slight increase in sturdiness (compared to the EQ3 which is a much more sturdy but expensive setup).

My query really is what the practical difference between the EQ1 and EQ2 is and whether I would stand any chance of success in buying an EQ1 and manually hacking it to be at least as sturdy as an EQ2?

I don't imagine any issue in mounting my tube as I'm sure I can butcher together a mounting using stuff lurking around the shed but I don't want to go down that route without some degree of confidence that the stability of the EQ1 mount can be improved on via a strip down and rebuild.

I was hoping to find guides or YouTube videos of such mount modifications but the the scarcity of results for EQ1 mount mods worries me that there may be some practical limitation that prevents enough improvement being made.

Any suggestions are appreciated (apart from shelling out hundreds on an EQ3 - my other half would surely kill me).

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EQ1 capacity 3KG

130P weight 4.1KG

Then add on the weight of the tube rings, dovetail, EP ....

The rule of thumb is the lowest mount supplied with a scope is just capable of holding it (so in this case the EQ2 is the min mount for the 130P.)

I'm not saying don't try it, but I don't think the results will please :D

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EQ1 capacity 3KG

130P weight 4.1KG

Then add on the weight of the tube rings, dovetail, EP ....

The rule of thumb is the lowest mount supplied with a scope is just capable of holding it (so in this case the EQ2 is the min mount for the 130P.)

A very good point Do you think that the weak point would be the mount itself or the aluminium telescopic tripod legs?

If it's the tripod I'm sure I could replace the legs with something a lot sturdier, especially as I don't envisage moving it further than my back yard so portability can certainly be sacrificed.

If it's the mount itself though, the required structural changes would certainly exceed my metalworking skills and budget.

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Reading up seems to confirm that its the mount itself that will be overloaded, not the legs.

Not to worry, I'll carry on enjoying my GOTO AZ and maybe manage to pick up a 2nd hand EQ3 sometime.

Thanks again for the advice.

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My two pennies~I'd avoid the eq1 with your scope.Period.

Worth considering the eq2 or 3 can be picked up with an ota attatched for not a great deal more than the mount alone.

Replacing the Ali legs on these with something more robust would be well worthwhile IMO.

How's your woodworking skills? :D

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