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How portable is the EQ3-2 synscan mount?


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The handset is exactly the same as the other synscan mounts to the best of my knowledge. My non-GOTO EQ3-2 is relatively easy to get out onto the patio or into the car fairly quickly, but with the weight(s), OTA and other bits I'm not sure I'd want to carry it any significant distance. I'd be tempted to replace the tripod with a steel tube version if possible, but that will probably increase the weight further.

James

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Does accessories mean a DSLR ?

Either for visual:

80ED + 2" diagonal and big eyepiece + Altai Astro RACI finder

Or imaging

80ED + DSLR Canon 110D + Altair Astro RACI finder

or Planetary imaging

80ED + planetary camera (IMG132E) + 2" diagonal + RACI finder

Either combination of the above shouldn't exceed 4.5Kg. I'd like to think that I can assemble everything inside and just carry the whole lot outside and then all I need to do is plug in, align and then go...

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The handset is exactly the same as the other synscan mounts to the best of my knowledge. My non-GOTO EQ3-2 is relatively easy to get out onto the patio or into the car fairly quickly, but with the weight(s), OTA and other bits I'm not sure I'd want to carry it any significant distance. I'd be tempted to replace the tripod with a steel tube version if possible, but that will probably increase the weight further.

James

Mmm...then this defeats the purpose I'm after. It seems I might go back to my first choice: the Skywatcher Allview mount :)

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FLO state 4Kg for the Allview.

SW say 2.5Kg for the "Tube Weight" - does that include the focuser ?.

It will not include the diagonal.

If you add a DSLR at around 1Kg and a diagonal you are getting very close to the 4Kg.

Odd no Allview on the Skywatcher site, equally their site says 6 goto's and lists just 4.

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I also wouldnt underestimate the weight of the whole set up if you want to set it up inside and carry it outside. It will be more awkward than anything i imagine, but a expensive mistake if you trip etc.

It doesnt take that long to set up outside.

Edited by Matt Scunthorpe
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Either combination of the above shouldn't exceed 4.5Kg. I'd like to think that I can assemble everything inside and just carry the whole lot outside and then all I need to do is plug in, align and then go...

I don't think I'd be happy doing that myself. It's probably better to do the alignment with nothing on the mount too, then just check that it hasn't been disturbed once the kit is in place (or drift align for the final adjustment).

I think if I wanted to achieve a quick setup like that I'd probably put the mount on a pier and leave it outside under a waterproof cover, then just mount up the OTA and other kit when I wanted to use it.

James

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Ronin,

I know the Allview can handle the visual accessories pretty well. the 4kg is basically a safe bet.

The reason I'm also considering the EQ3 is that I'd prefer an equatorial mount as opposed to an alt-az like the Allview.

Then again, I like the versatility of the allview, but not very keen on the limited exposure time it provides --- then again, I've got the NEQ6 and my original look for portable mount was mainly for grab and go visual. I sound totally allover the place, don't I?!

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I don't think I'd be happy doing that myself. It's probably better to do the alignment with nothing on the mount too, then just check that it hasn't been disturbed once the kit is in place (or drift align for the final adjustment).

I think if I wanted to achieve a quick setup like that I'd probably put the mount on a pier and leave it outside under a waterproof cover, then just mount up the OTA and other kit when I wanted to use it.

James

This certainly the ideal situation. However, if I could do that I would've built an obsy and just forgot about a second mount. I can't change the status quo of the property I'm living in at the moment - first thing I'll do once I miraculously managed to plunge into the property market is build an observatory :D

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If it helps... For comparison I can carry (very carefully) my SW 150 Mak on an EQ5 about 10m into garden up and down a couple of steps, its awkward and slightly scary but very doable

I had an EQ5, it was manageable except when I had to dodge stuff in the kitchen on way to the garden. Since I've become an NEQ6 owner portability just jumped out of the window :D I wouldn't try carry it with the counter weights on, I'm still traumatized from the last accident :D :D

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How secure is your observing site? I have before now considered making a pier by setting a post (or pipe filled with concrete) into an old car tyre lying on its side and also filled with concrete. It's free-standing and movable if you absolutely have to, but won't go anywhere in a hurry :)

James

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How secure is your observing site? I have before now considered making a pier by setting a post (or pipe filled with concrete) into an old car tyre lying on its side and also filled with concrete. It's free-standing and movable if you absolutely have to, but won't go anywhere in a hurry :)

James

Mmm...I don't see why not. The area is relatively secure.

Oops!!! Update: I forgot I also need to mount for star parties...Doh!! Unless I'm Hercules of course :D

Edited by emadmoussa
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Trying to change the latitude that the mount is looking at would very tough with the scope and weights on

There are people who do this. However I'm reasonably convinced that it's at least partly the cause of the "bendy Skywatcher alt bolt" syndrome and so I try to avoid doing it. Replacing the bolts is an option, but that just seems to me to transfer the load to the threads the bolts screw into. Given that it's only a tapped out aluminium casting I'd prefer to bend the bolts than to strip the threads.

James

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I'm not sure why I would need to adjust the bolts repeatedly. With the EQ5 and ST80 combination I just carried the whole lot into the garden many times and the bolts stayed fixed in place - no change in coordinates.

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Agreed James. To be honest, my bolts are quite tough to move on my HEQ5 (reasonably new) even with one fully loosened off, with no weights or scope, so couldnt imagine trying to shift it with them on it.

It is sometimes the case that the alt pivot clamp bolts are rather tight. The only way to loosen them off that I'm aware of requires removing one of the circular panels either side of the alt pivot though, and they don't always come off in one nice piece.

James

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Hi

The EQ3-2 pro is what I run.

I moved to this from a nexstar 6SE.

I'm moving slowly to imaging and now have a WO Megrez 72 sitting on the EQ.

I'd say the mount is at the limit of easy portability, but a bit of struggle with all the "accessories" attached!

Just posted an image of my setup in my gallery.

The pain with this mount, and I don't know why they never sorted it, is the control box bracket being only for the tubular tripod legs and not the rectangular as shown in the image you posted.

It makes the setup look a bit bodged to be honest.

As my mount was 2nd hand and well out of warranty, I stripped the controller out and mounted it in a larger project box with a 6 port usb hub.

Then secure this to the tripod leg.

Time will tell how well it all works, but so far very happy.

But sorry, I don't think you'll be in the 5 sec GOTO area :grin:

Neil

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I'm not sure why I would need to adjust the bolts repeatedly. With the EQ5 and ST80 combination I just carried the whole lot into the garden many times and the bolts stayed fixed in place - no change in coordinates.

I don't have a level observing area. It's a rather scabby crazy-paved patio. It's nigh on impossible to get the mount back in exactly the same orientation every time. Even drilling holes doesn't work because the paving material is so soft it just breaks up. I check polar alignment every time I use the scope and it almost always needs adjusting fractionally unless I leave the mount in place.

James

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Mmm...I don't see why not. The area is relatively secure.

Oops!!! Update: I forgot I also need to mount for star parties...Doh!! Unless I'm Hercules of course :D

I think for that you'd take the mount off and use it on the tripod. At a star party it can probably stay set up for the duration anyhow. Then you just have to remount it and align again when you get home.

James

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I'm not sure why I would need to adjust the bolts repeatedly. With the EQ5 and ST80 combination I just carried the whole lot into the garden many times and the bolts stayed fixed in place - no change in coordinates.

I meant in terms of getting Polaris into the circle in the finder. Depending when you set up, sometimes it at the top or bottom, depending on how far past transit it is, so need to make slight adjustments as James said to bring it back into a good accuracy for imaging.

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