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200p EQ5 mount help, please?


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:)

HI,

I'm hoping someone can give me some much needed advice regarding my newly aquired SW EQ5 200p newt/reflector.

First of all its huge. Bigger than I'd imagined. Is there any way I could keep the mount outside, bring just the OTA in and out each session? I have a groundsheet/cover that is waterproof, considering the weather and such could i just wrap the groundsheet around the mount section? Would it be safe from the elements?

Would it wear out the set-up to constantly re-attach the OTA all the time?

Also, polar alignment - I only have a clear view of polaris from the wrong side of my home. For many reasons it wouldn't be the right place to observe from, but how else can i polar align it? I'm aware that when I decided to learn the EQ mount I left out some vital aspects of basic EQ usage, but I have it now and still want to learn. Besides, other than a dob there isn't another mount that will hold my 200p that I would have access to.

I would be really gratefull if someone could share their knowledge of this set-up and help to find answers to the above questions.

Many thanks to those who can help,

Jay

:)

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Do you have the manual or motorized/GOTO version of the EQ5? If you have the GOTO version, you could use the latest beta handset firmware to help you polar align. For more info, see my thread here: http://stargazerslounge.com/discussions-scopes-whole-setups/183490-synscan-3-28-beta-polar-re-alignment-feature.html. Or you polar align the mount as close as you can "by hand" as it were, and then drift align.

As for keeping it outside, on a pier would probably be best. I'm not not sure I'd be very keen on just covering the mount with a groundsheet or something, I think I'd prefer something a bit more substantial, but that's me. I did see a thread once where an SGL'er even protected his pier with an upturned dustbin, which I thought was quite neat! :).

I'm sure others will be along who may offer more useful advice.

Edited by Black Knight
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Jay,

I have just bought a SW200P/EQ5 so I know what you mean, it was a bit of a shock to me how big the whole thing is and I have to pack it all in the car to take to my observing site.

As for leaving the mount outside I'll leave that question to folk with more experience of that sort of thing.

As for polar alignment, if you are just going to be visually observing then polar alignment isn't as critical as it is with imaging. What I might be tempted to do is take the mount out the front once to polar align to get the altitude correct. After that take it round behind your house and see if you can determine an accurate true north, maybe use maps, objects on the horizon and your experience at the front to establish this. For visual observing this would be fine. If you want a more accurate alignment you could use the drift method (not that I have attempted that yet). Once you have an alignment then mark where your mount is on the ground and make a mark on your house maybe as a reference.

Just some thoughts, maybe the experts have an easier way.

Pete.

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Somewhere I remember seeing a pier with ornamental dovecote on top. I once wondered about a sundial to disguise the pier.

For purely visual use, alignment based on compass for north and angle gauge for latitude will be more than adequate.

If you do leave the mount outside. Make sure all the nuts, bolts, etc are well greased. consider replacing visible standard rustable steel fasteners with stainless steel.

I would not be happy about leaving most motorised/goto kit outside as the build standard is not up to withstanding the damp.

Hope there is something useful in there.

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Thats awesome help. Thanks guys, at least I can set up and start the learning curve now. I have the non motorised, basic EQ5 mount with reflector 200p, one day will get goto but not today...

Yes I can get limited access to the front - to aim at polaris but dont know how to preserve alignment when i move it out the other side (its hard to move at all to be honest!) As for keeping it out side, I'm not worried over it being seen as my area (cant call it a yard lol) is not very exposed. I was thinking of not having to carry it all set up in and out each time, wondered if just part of it could be shuttled in and out.

Thank you all for the replies - big help , much appreciated.

I'm gonna give it a go in a bit, wish me luck.

cheers

Jay

ps. i have a compass. that may help.

Edited by Aenima
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Hello Jay,

What I was thinking was that when you set the latitude screws, looking at polaris through the alignment scope, and do them up snugly (but being careful not to over tighten in case the screws bend) then there is no need to redo this setting. As long as you level the head before polar aligning and the level again using the bubble when you have moved around to the back of your house then the latitude setting will be preserved.

If you are trying for the most accurate alignment then don't forget to allow for magnetic variation, the mount needs to point to true north not magnetic north.

Have fun, learn new stuff and enjoy yourself, that's what it is all about.

Best wishes,

Pete.

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NICE1. Thanks Peter, i will learn soon enough, I hope. I'm currently trying to balance the scope for 1st time. Can't believe how massive it is, how does a shortarse like me reach the eyepiece comfortably? Being five ft 8ish i would need a highchair!

Looking at my little 130p is strange now, I used to moan about carrying it around - now i really like its portability. AND miss the goto AZ mount. I just finished modding an xbox live webcam so hopefully get to use it with the 200p soon. Many thanks for your input, and everyone who posted help, it would have been a struggle learning EVERYTHING by trial and error(s), clear skies.

Regards

Jay

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Hi and welcome from me a observatory sounds the way forward ,my scopes are not that bad the c gen mount weighs a ton and is a pain I would not leave it outside all night security reasons and the elemnts unless you store it securely in a shed

Cheers pat

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Hi Jay,

I'm pretty new to my EQ5 mount as well - and I'd agree with all the comments above. If you do end up leaving it outside then I suggest that you check it regularly for any initial signs of rust. If you find some then you'll know that you will have to review your storage arrangements!

I keep the OTA in the box it came in with the tube rings attached. This makes a useful carrying handle - I've got fairly long arms but its still a bit awkward to carry the OTA without the 'handle'. To be honest, it only takes a few seconds to set up the mount, and it folds down quite nicely to fit into the cupboard under the stairs or somewhere like that. Now that you've got your new scope you won't have time for much cleaning so you could probably chuck the vacuum clear to make room for it!!

One small problem which some people (including myself) have encountered with the EQ5 is that the altitude adjustment t-bolts are quite soft and prone to bending inside the mount. Once this happens they are difficult to get out. You may wish to consider replacing the factory bolts at some stage. You'll find custom made and diy alternatives on the internet, along with lots of videos on how to set up your scope. This is one of my personal favorites:

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hi i left my eq3/2 standard mount outside for a couple of months covered with waterproof sheet it still started rusting the standard bolts,,,my astro insulated shed is its new home now.

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@caldwell

yeah, man. T'is definitely something i'm now thinking, albeit a little late. Thing was, i had been looking at the 10" dob - for the aperture and ease of use, but after thinking about photography opportunities i went with the better (and bigger!) mount. However, if i find it too much i will be looking to swap for the more basic set-up.

It's a good example of why its better to try your kit out before you buy, not easy for everyone though. Dont know any stargazers within under 5 miles away...

But yeah, the bigger isnt always the better.

Good point there.

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Ta for the link, they are expensive though aren't they? One would think they'd just supply the right bolts with the mount to begin with, its pretty reasonable considering the price to have the product complete, without bad parts that will be problematic and even damaging. Wah! 'Can't have nice things!' lol , allways need to buy something more with stargazing equipment.

Will one day be happy with my set-up and hoping it'll be sooner rather than later.

Thank again,

Jay

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