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Steve_Mcclure

Mount advise for astrophotography.

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Hi there, I am new to the forum and would like to say hello to you all.

I am after some advise regarding a mount for astrophotography and auto guiding. First off I am somewhat of a novice so will outline what equipment I currently have and the options I have come up with from researching on the Internet.

I have an Orion st120 refractor (which I originally bought for dso's) sat on an Orion AstroView Equatorial Mount, this is equipped with the EQ-3M dual axis drives. Currently with a reasonably good PA I am getting 30-60 second exposures. Now after playing around with this setup for the last 2 years I feel now I want to take things further and start using auto guiding for much longer exposures. Now the first option I have come up with is to modify my EQ-3M hand controller to add an auto guide port, use my Phillips spc900 on my finderscope for a guide camera and buy the necessary leads etc. This just leaves the mount, I understand that when auto guiding you should have no backlash in the mount gears, unfortunately this mount is quite bad, and I really want to know if it is worth stripping down this mount, cleaning and re greasing the gears and trying to take out the backlash for what I want to do above?

Or my second option is to buy a new mount that is designed for AP and have auto guiding, if that is the case then I would need to know what you consider a good mount upto £700. Any help or advice on the best course of action would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Steve.

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Now that looks and sounds good, goto which i like the idea of, as it should mean less time me searching for things, and more time observing and photographing, and an autoguide port, sounds like a winner.

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Hi

Welcome to SGL.

I think long term if you want to guide, then a mount upgrade is a good idea.

I tried for over a year to get into astrophotography with an eq3-2.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great mount, but I was just overloading it with OTA, DSLR, Focuser, Guidescope.

One day it gave up on me and I then decided to "go for it" and upgraded to the neq6pro.

The mount linked by Tinker will do you just fine by the way.

I currently guide with a 9x50 finder - qhy5 and use PHD.

I'm easily getting 5min subs and can go way past that if I want to.

Obviously you need good seeing, good PA etc, but I'm very happy with the results.

I foolishly tried to ignore the comments about the mount being the most important thing about imaging.

I've now come to realise that I was perhaps mistaken.

Good luck with guiding and if you get the mount mentioned I'm sure you'll be pleased.

Regards

Neil

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Thanks for the warm welcomes  :smiley: Its nice to join a community with such friendly informative people.

I think that settles it, I shall go for HEQ5. If only when I first bought my set-up I knew I was going to enjoy it this much and get into auto guiding!

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+1 for the heq5....... great mount, I have imaged with a 8" newt and zs66 guide scope in the past with mine. Currently using a ed80 and finder guider on it......

Sent from my Tab 3 using Tapatalk and fums.....

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Another vote for the HEQ5. Pretty much the mount of choice for beginners in AP

Edit:

And welome to SGL!

Edited by DaveS

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The HEQ5 is an excellent starter for AP - it has graced many people's setups. If you want new, then with your budget it's bang on the nose. If you don't mind buying second hand, you could pick up an NEQ6 for that budget. I think I'd do that. You can never be over mounted and if you have really been bitten by the bug you may find that you'd like to consider a new scope in the future - in which case, you may find the HEQ5 needing an upgrade.

Having thought that the HEQ5 was all I'd ever need, I upgraded after thinking I wanted more. If I'd have got an NEQ6 in the first place, I'd still have it :grin:

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I am also think about doing the same. I have had the EQ3-2 for a few years now and started to feel like it's holding me back with my AP. I can get round 30-60sec frames but any slight wind in the air or if the scope is slightly over weighted with scope and DSLR then it adds a blur/drag to pictures.

I think I will go for the HEQ5 as it will give me lots of room to move forwards and learn more with guiding ect. As well as a lot more stability for AP.

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Will you also need to upgrade your power supply (if its a power tank of course) for the HEQ5? Guess if you are using a mains connected power supply it will be fine of course. Also assume you have a copy of Steve Richards book, Making every Photon Count? Seems as though this is somewhat of a bible for budding imagers and might help guide future purchases as well.

Good luck!

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