Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


Recommended Posts

Pardon my ignorance in the matter, but I was wondering if I could get some tips as to what I would need if I were to buy either HEQ5 SynTrek or similar mounts. Not sure if I would upgrade my 6" very soon, maybe to an 8" in the future.. Maybe I'd go for a NEQ6. But anyway.. Lets leave guiding out of the equation for now, what would I need to be able to track? Do I need some sort of USB > ST4 cable and a laptop? Or is the SynGuider a better option?

If I'm leaving stuff out, please let me know, cause I have no clue as of yet. Oh, and I probably need some heavy batteries as well. How do you hook that up by the way?

Lots of question, hoping for lots of good answers. Which I know I'll get from you magificent people ;)


- Ken B.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The HEQ5 comes with a dc power lead that plugs into a cigar lighter socket and a lead that goes into a laptop, i think this is a serial lead.

You would need a power source, i got a 12v battery from a scrapyard 26 amp hour in tip top condition for £15, a word of caution, the mount power lead is tip positive, if this is not observed, the mount will blow

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you go for the HEQ5 or NEQ6 Pro you do not actually need anything on order to "track". The mount, once setup (date,time,lattitude&longitude details inputted into handset) and polar aligned properly will automatically track the target object. This is fine for visual use. My understanding is that autoguiding is required for astrophotography as the accuracy and correction that autoguiding offers ensures better photos as the chip on a camera picks up everything, even the slightest inaccuracy in tracking.

As others above have said you will need a field battery. I use a 65amp/hour battery in a very good box that I purchased off the bay at the following link: http://bit.ly/11YufKi

It's worth putting some form of insulation in the box around the battery also for when you are out in colder temperatures as the cold effects battery performance. Another accessory required is a multi cigarette socket adaptor as the battery box (should you wish to use it) only has the one one female cigarette style socket.

Then if course there is dew prevention. So depending on what scope you go for (I have an 8 inch Newtonian reflector on an NEQ6 Pro) so I have just ordered (should arrive today!) a Kendrick 4 port dual channel dew heater controller, and dew heater strips for the objective and eyepiece ends of my 9x50 Right Angled Correct Image (RACI) finder scope (the RACI finder scope is a useful accessory if you don't have one already-a real neck ache saver when compared with the straight through version that came with my scope). Also I purchased a dew heater strip for my eyepieces as sometimes when it's cold just the heat of my eye has dewed up the eyepiece. Keeping in line with dew prevention a dew shield is a good idea. I made mine from an old camping Mat and some heavy duty self adhesive Velcro, although you can buy them. They also help keep out stray light. The one thing that is hard to source for an 8 inch reflector is a secondary mirror heater, so I am very lucky in my local observing group in that a member is helping me make one as he is good with electronics.

Other things you may need that you may not think of immediately if you're upgrading your mount/scope are a compass, spirit level. Velcro cable tidies (to keep things neat so you don't trip over them in the dark). One other thing that I bough from Dion (the brilliant man who invented this site and tinkerer extraordinaire) is a cooling fan system for the primary mirror of my scope. It simply velcros on to the back of the primary and takes its power from the battery and cools the mirror an keeps the surface of the primary mirror cool and reducing turbulence caused by temperature difference and improving the view.

Hope that helps. I should add I have only just entered the world of EQ mounts so I am still learning them and their accessories myself. All the above listed are what I have purchased so far. Before that I mounted my scope on a Dobsonian mount.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry edit for above-Dion is inventor/administrator of astronomy shed site not SGL. Got mixed up as to which forum I was on as am using tapatalk on iPhone-Doh!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, and thanks for all the great advice catman161! Lots of stuff I hadn't thought of.

I see.. So I probably need to get guiding asap then. I thought tracking increased your exposure times to some degree, maybe they don't, I'm not sure..

But how good of a scope do you need for guiding really? I'm guessing very faint stars could be a problem without a fairly good scope. I've seen a few cameras out there for guiding, any idea on which one to get?

And as far as I understand it shouldn't take much to run a tracking software on a laptop, so the laptop doesn't have to be very expensive..?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Corpze
      Made a new video, this is a Astro Systeme Austria specific video, which has direct driven servo motors.
      To get them to perform perfectly and be able to track unguided, you have to tune theese motors.

      I made a quick video of how the three different methods is working in the "Autoslew" software to run theese mounts.
      Maybe this method of tuning mount motors is related to other brands which has direct driven mounts? 

      Best regards / Daniel
    • By deanchapman2705
      Hi guys, hoping you can help with the tracking problems I'm coming across with my astrophotography setup. I've been using it since August 2020 and have kind of put up with the problem until last night where I think it's getting worse...
      Specs below (let me know if you need anything else):
      William Optics Zenithstar 61 II (360mm F6.1) - Zenithstar 61Adjustable Field Flattener iOptron SkyGuider Pro Camera Mount Full Package K&F Concept Aluminium Tripod with 2kg weight Canon EOS 250d (cropped sensor 1.6x) The problem:
      I take roughly 40 pics with each being 1 minute long at 1600 ISO and stack them on DeepSkyStacker. From a few people I know on the internet, it seems as though, with a very similar setup and same focal length, they can get around 3 mins of exposure with no problem. And that's without a guide camera.
      With my 1 minute exposure, roughly 10 of 40 images are reasonable but the rest have star trailing or double stars (see attached downscaled, unedited pics of Orion nebula)
      What I think it could be:
      My first idea was the tripod, it's not the best but it's not cheap plastic, and it should be fine for a 1 min exposure. Then I thought it could be the iOptron tracker that could be faulty?
      Every screw has been tightened, there's no play in any of the adapters/mounts.
      I thought I'd post this here to see if anyone else has the same problem or has more experience/knowledge that could help. Also to see if there's an obvious problem before I spend hundreds on a new tripod or send the tracker back for a replacement.
      Any help would be much appreciated!

    • By James1967
      Ok, after lots of research, I finally decided on the above and just ordered with FLO.  Now got a few weeks wait so can keep exploring the sky manually with by binoculars and learn as many pitfalls as possible about the Evo 9.25”.  The only accessory I ordered for now is a dew shield, but I’m expecting I will want to get a 2” visual back, star diagonal and wide angle eyepiece (possibly 0.63 focal reducer too) to get the max field of view possible when I so choose.  Any views on whether StarSense is worth it - it seems pretty simple to align without it (I may come to regret saying this)
      So why am I posting?  Just after any and all advice for a beginner, in particular regarding maximising field of view down the line (the relatively narrow FOV was the only real downside of the Evo 9.25” for me) and any recommended accessories to enhance my viewing pleasure over time.  Any other general top tips also very welcome. 
      I look forward to being able to help others in due course when I have something more than roughly zero knowledge and experience!
    • By Quentent
      So just today i got my new EQ3 mount and tripod delivered.
      Brought it out, balanced it leveled it etc etc.
      So i polar aligned it,  and selected 2 Star Alignment.
      1st star to align to: Betelgeuse.
      As soon as i hit confirm align the motors kick in but as soon as the mount starts to rotate the motors stop and the hand controller resets itself immediatly and starts initializing all over again.
      I discovered that moving Ra on its own works just fine as does moving Dec on its own but whenever i press for example the left and Up arrows at the same time the mount stops and the hand controller resets.
      Could this just be a problem with power draw? The Synpro box takes 12V DC and is supplied by a 12V DC car outlet type power source. However i changed this to a 3 Pin UK 12V 1A DC & AC plug.
      Im hoping the power supply is the issue and not something else.
    • By Paul779
      Hi all
      New to the astrophotography game. Looking to get into guiding now.
      Looking for an EQ3-2  with enhanced dual motor drives or synscan system would also consider barebones EQ3-2/EQ5 to upgrade, not minted right now can offer £150-200.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.