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Upgrading my gear to take better photos

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Hey guys,

I currently have a couple of scopes (a 10" Skywatcher Dob, and a 6" Orion EQ mount). Neither of which are any good for taking photos. At best I can get a 1" exposure on the dob, and never been able to get the tracking to work properly on the Orion, so all of my photos are taken at a really high ISO to get any depth, but naturally that brings much unwanted noise into the picture.

What I'm looking for is something that I can use decent exposure times with, and portable. I don't want a huge behemoth with guidescopes, laptops and cables everywhere, since I am always mobile. I never use the scope at home.

I'm not expecting hubble quality images, but I am looking for something better than I have. I don't have fortunes to spend, so I will have to sell all my current gear to help fund this.

Any suggestions?

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If you want portable then the astro trac is the way to go. There are several smaller mounts that can track but have to keep the weight to a minimum. Like the CG-5 with an ED66 and a DSLR.

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You say 6" Orion EQ mount - if the problem is you cannot get the EQ to track then I would say you have to work it out before you do anything.

AP is really based around using an EQ mount, so swapping one EQ mount for another if you cannot get them the track is pointless and a waste of money and time.

Portable means different things to different people - are you carrying everything or is it going in a car?

The astro trac is fairly costly and you still have to have a tripod/mount for it.

If it was to be a complete change then the basic equipment I would consider is the EQ5 with dual motors, and a short refractor - look at the TS or WO 70-72mm offerings. An EQ5 with goto may help and once set it will locate, more or less, objects and it has then the option for guiding if the weight is kept down - think OAG here.

Problem as ever with AP is that you could want to upgrade again, that means better mount and scope - where does it end?

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You say 6" Orion EQ mount - if the problem is you cannot get the EQ to track then I would say you have to work it out before you do anything.

"Work it out" in what sense?

I have the Orion Accutrack SVD, I set the scope in the centre of the mount to point to Polaris, set the Accutrack to "N" for northern hemisphere, RA at 55.7º, fresh battery, no matter what speed I set it to, objects disappear out of the eyepiece at the same rate. What else do I need to "work out"?

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...besides, there is another fault with the Orion, the focuser won't go in far enough, so the camera will never focus...

I will look into the astro track. Seems the best option for me.

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