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I decided a couple months ago that i am going to upgrade to an EQ mount. I am currently imaging with an Astrotrac but as much as i like it, i have outgrown it and am wanting to move onto building up a proper imaging rig.

My plan is to buy a mount within the next couple of months and use my DSLR and 200mm lens for imaging until next year when i will be adding a scope to it, or i may even buy an autoguider before that. I want the mount to be reasonable, meaning i want it to be decent with enough features and payload capacity that i won't have to upgrade it for at least a couple of years. I have narrowed it down to 3 mounts: The Orion Atlas EQ-G, Skywatcher EQ6 and the Celestron CGEM GOTO.

I understand that the Orion and SW are the same mount. Both are just under £1000 which is my budget. The CGEM is about £300 more, but i am willing to stretch to that is it is worth it.

So what would you get if you had to make the decision? Are there any major differences between the EQ-G and EQ6 other that looks, and what does the CGEM have thats worth the extra £300 on the price tag (other than good looks).

Would be great to hear from someone who has had experience with any of these mounts. Also, if anyone has another mount they would recommend then i'm all ears!

Cheers

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I think your future scope + imaging gear will be the deciding factor...

Buy the BEST mount you can afford..

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Just for something really different for you to have a look at. It is possible to obtain s/h a GM8 Losmandy for something in the region of £750 - £900, payload just over 13 kilos, not GOTO though, that upgrade could set you back another £350 - £500. Most excellent workmanship and high quality engineering. Just shove the scope to where you want to be and the scope will keep tracking all the time in RA, though it is motorised on both axis, controllable through a keypad. The only draw back is finding one for sale :)

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The NEQ6 SynTrek has the gearing and options available for guiding etc, ready for a Goto handset to be added or a laptop hookup. All I can say is that it's a heavy beast, no breeze is going to blow this thing around! Comes in at about £850 new, comes with illuminated polar scope so you can spend your remaining budget on an observing chair or dew heaters etc. Oh, and the 'shwish shwish' sound the motors make when tracking is quite relaxing to listen to.

Edited by jonathan

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I second the EQ6 suggestion. Nice mount for the money with a good history and tons of online support. Lots of payload to handle imaging gear and can easily be auto-guided either by itself or through some good free computer based applications. It might not be the most refined looking piece of kit but it does work. IMHO the next best buy is the EQ8.

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Agreed. NEQ-6 is the best mount in the price range if you're aware of it's quirks.

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NEQ6.

Unless you're never going to put more than 10kg on top of it (including camas, mounting bars, etc) - in that case I'd save money, and more importantly the difficulty of lugging it around, and buy the lighter HEQ5 instead.

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