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Aenima

EQ5 - goto kit vs dual axis motors

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I want to upgrade my EQ5 with motors of some kind, and cant really get a budget to allow the HEQ5 / or EQ6 pro's so would the goto upgrade or dual axis motors end up - all things considered - the better addition to my set-up, looking at accuracy reliability etc.?

I know the bigger mount would make a much better imaging set-up but I cant really afford to go that route and prefer not to buy used.

Many thanks for any suggestions,

Regards

Aenima

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I have dual axis motors for my EQ5 which I use for Solar photography in the winter months when the Sun is too low (or obscured) from my observatory. They work very well and, with good Polar alignment will hold an object centered for quite a long time - certainly fine for visual work. As to goto? I would say it all depends on how good your knowledge of the sky is. It is expensive and you have to consider whether it would be worth it if you can find your way around anyway. If you are not so sure, or maybe want to show friends or children around the sky then having goto may be very useful indeed.

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I want to upgrade my EQ5 with motors of some kind, and cant really get a budget to allow the HEQ5 / or EQ6 pro's so would the goto upgrade or dual axis motors end up - all things considered - the better addition to my set-up, looking at accuracy reliability etc.?

I know the bigger mount would make a much better imaging set-up but I cant really afford to go that route and prefer not to buy used.

Many thanks for any suggestions,

Regards

Aenima

Why are you asking the same question in several different threads.... I and several other folk have already given you our opinions

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/163292-eq-5-pro/

To be honest... you will have to make up your own mind as to which option you can afford.... or just save up and when you have the funds for an HEQ5 see if you are still as keen as you are now to venture into astrophotography

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This is a good point malc-c,

I have been through this and other forums a few times now and only really had one issue to ask help on, like - there is no stupid questions except the ones you dont ask, kind of thing?

That is whether the dual ax motors hold and move the mount better or more accurately than goto kits?

Otherwise I have found your's and other's help very useful and am grateful for the input. Thank you. :)

Really, i'm hoping someone who's done one or both upgrades can give me an experienced judgement on the two different motor systems and the various applications they can work with re the pc. etc.

Sorry if it sounds repetitive but now that I ruled out upgrading the entire thing, I only want some idea of which will suit me best.

Many thanks, all who supplied opinions, knowledge and other helpful stuff.

Regards

Aenima

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I want to upgrade my EQ5 with motors of some kind, and cant really get a budget to allow the HEQ5 / or EQ6 pro's so would the goto upgrade or dual axis motors end up - all things considered - the better addition to my set-up, looking at accuracy reliability etc.?

I know the bigger mount would make a much better imaging set-up but I cant really afford to go that route and prefer not to buy used.

Many thanks for any suggestions,

Regards

Aenima

If you search the forum there is a long thread about the dual axis motors and the st4 guiding mod. I have done the mod and will hopefully get out over the next week or so to try it out :) Lots of people have had some amazing results from it. Hope it helps you make a choice

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Here's a quick comparision between the DA system and the Synscan upgrade.

The maximum slew rate of the DA system is 8x sidereal rate (about 135 deg/hr) compared to 800x for the Synscan. Basically, if you want to slew the telescope to another part of the sky using the DA motors you will need to unlock the clutches an manually move the telescope and the relock the clutches to continue tracking. As Roger said above, if the mount is accurately polar aligned the DA motors should be good enough to track at sidereal rate. If you only need the motors for basic tracking then the DA system is the one to go for. If you want more from the mount chose the Synscan upgrade.

Peter

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Personally I don't think you'll get a concise answer, because to do so would imply that the person with a non-powered mount would first shell out the £95 for the dual axis upgrade, then shell out £300 on top for the goto upgrade and compare their performance, Clearly anyone who is thinking of motorising the mount will choose either the dual axis kit or the goto depending on the funds that they have available and or whether the goto functionality is required. Both will drive the RA in sidereal time thus keeping the target in the field of view. However, given the gear train on the EQ5, the precision of the motors and the requirement of good Polar-Alignment, the amount of drift that will occur over a period of time can be noticeable (more so at high magnifications).

As already stated, the dual axis drive requires DIY modification if you want to control the mount from a PC. The goto upgrade can be controlled in one of two ways, either via the serial programming lead with the handset in PC-DIRECT mode or with the handset removed and a USB EQDirect cable used. The PC can be running free software such as CdC and EQAscom (EQMOD) to drive the mount. The goto upgrade also has an ST4 guide port should you later want to connect as guide camera to a guidescope and do some auto guiding... However as also stated in previous posts, the 200P on an EQ5 is on the weight limit for the EQ5, and whilst fine for visual, is not ideal for astro-photography, especially if you add on the weight of additional guide scopes etc, hence the suggestion that the HEQ5 is the more suitable mount.

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I have ordered a iOptron NOVA GoTo for my EQ5. When it arrives I will have a dual motor drive for sale.

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Get the goto option, it will do what I suspect you ultimately want.

For accuracy I have the idea that the goto motors are better.

Which one to get at this time I would check out the iOptron system, Synta QA on their electronics seems a bit questionable at present and the iOptron cannot be worse and every chance of being better.

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From my limited research (google) the dual axis kit uses DC motors where as the goto upgrade uses stepper motors....

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In my opinion it's probably best to save the 300 quid you would spend on the goto and put it towards a second hand heq5. Much more accurate steppers. That's my plan anyway after lots of research. I just got the dual axis motors for 95 quid to put me on till the money builds up for the heq5. Hope fully ill get that little bit extra for my mount when i come to sell it. From what I've read the heq5 has the same accuracy as the eq6.

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Get the goto option, it will do what I suspect you ultimately want.

For accuracy I have the idea that the goto motors are better.

Which one to get at this time I would check out the iOptron system, Synta QA on their electronics seems a bit questionable at present and the iOptron cannot be worse and every chance of being better.

Thank you Capricorn, and many thanks to everyone for posting and advising on the matter.

I'm finding myself a bit stuck with the excellent suggestions of saving up for the HEQ5, however, even with selling my EQ5 it would be well into the new year before I could combine my resources in this way, and with Orion nicely placed in my visible sky I lack the necessary patience as well as the funds at the present time :(

Also I am breaking my back trying to hunt for objects via my straight through finder at strange angles and often waste hours of precious observing time looking for the target instead of looking at it, this is why goto is just as important as tracking in my case.

After seeing the difference in mount stability and weight limits of the bigger EQ6 or HEQ5, I would be crazy to turn them down in favour of the EQ5 but with goto (pro versions) added into the equation the HEQ5 pro/NEQ6 pro EQ6 pro, etc run into the thousands of pounds and I doubt my 300 plus another 200 at the most from selling my EQ5 is enough to reach those prices unfortunately, though I fully agree and appreciate the well meant advice regarding the suitability of a decent stable mount as a foundation for a better imaging set-up.

I know it's the better option, but I'm just gonna have to compromise on this (yet again) due to poor finances, and hope that determination will make up for the loss.

Many thanks, it is appreciated. :)

Regards

Aenima

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Which one to get at this time I would check out the iOptron system, Synta QA on their electronics seems a bit questionable at present and the iOptron cannot be worse and every chance of being better.

If you can find one - I wanted the iOptron NOVA system but all stockists seem to be out of them. I have had to accept a Skywatcher GoTo system. Just to get someting up and running this year.

Get the goto option, it will do what I suspect you ultimately want.

For accuracy I have the idea that the goto motors are better.

Which one to get at this time I would check out the iOptron system, Synta QA on their electronics seems a bit questionable at present and the iOptron cannot be worse and every chance of being better.

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Sorry, mangaed to make a mess of that post - but cannot edit it as I do not have 2 million posts or some other stuoid number.

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And managed to put a couple of typos in that one as well. Ditto comment about editing.

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Update-

In the end I got the synscan upgrade for the EQ5 and am quite pleased with the results, though being my first effort at anyrthing beyond webcam planetary imaging the results dnt fully express the goto's capabilities. But if I managed to fit the upgrade and after just a 1-star rough alignment take some basic DSO images, then anyone can.

With my 130p I had to at least identify and locate the first star before manually slewing to it to begin 2-star alignment, I was happy to just quickly polar align and choose the first star and watch the scope seek out the star in the right part of the sky only needing a nudge or two to center it - and I was done :)

That night I tried out a 300D body I'd been given, and found the goto reliable enough considering the rough alignment. And tracking was fine with 30sec exposures, maybe longer but not tried it yet.

I certainly didn't like the cost but hopefully the extra features will make up for that. But in general i'm glad I went for the 'goto' instead of just RA and dec motors, especialy when looking for faint objects.

Regards

Aenima

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But if I managed to fit the upgrade and after just a 1-star rough alignment take some basic DSO images, then anyone can.

I do hope so!! I am doing just the same.

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Yeah you should be fine. :)

JNC's instructions are spot on, and my first ever time using eq-goto and 1 star alignment resulted in some usable images (I was happy with them anyway.).

I just roughly polar aligned - got polaris somewhere in the polarscope - and straight from home/start, or whatever its called, position, I selected a bright star nearby (i think Capella) and it slewed towards it. A little nudge, i'm told you need to un-clutch it for that, then maybe a 'pointing accuracy enhancement' (hold down ESC for a few seconds) to be sure, and your off.

No reason why you can't get a better alignment later in the night, but I only had an hour or two so rushed it a little. :)

Best of luck

Aenima

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Now mine is ready for its first light, rain has moved in, forecast for the next 3 days. But here in Spain we do get a LOT more clear nights than in the UK. My other hobby is growing cacti - conditions here suit that as well.

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Good news. :)

Wweather sounds typical, when u get new stuff to try. I only had one night so far that was clear since I fitted the goto. :)

Aenima

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Good luck with your cactii. Here in the UK we specialise in damp fungus and mildew(world class)

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I have ordered a iOptron NOVA GoTo for my EQ5. When it arrives I will have a dual motor drive for sale.

Hi. Im looking at purchasing the SkyWatcher Explorer 200P EQ5 for observing and some imaging with my 300D. I dont suppose you still have those motors? If the price is right you have a buyer as I also live in Spain on The Costa del Sol. I find it difficult to find a good range of second hand astronomy gear out here so was glad to stumble accross this post.

Clear Skies.

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Hi. Im looking at purchasing the SkyWatcher Explorer 200P EQ5 for observing and some imaging with my 300D. I dont suppose you still have those motors? If the price is right you have a buyer as I also live in Spain on The Costa del Sol. I find it difficult to find a good range of second hand astronomy gear out here so was glad to stumble accross this post.

Clear Skies.

Hi there :)

It really does look like you have - apart from a few details - the same kit as me, and with a 300D to try imaging, and it sounds like you had some trouble.Similar to some of the things i've seen on the web, probably same as that soon to be my figuring out.

How do you control the camera (300D)? :)

Best of luck

Aenima

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