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Which OTA and mount to get.


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Well I'm still pretty new and a little confused with a few things. Before i start thank you for your replies and hope everyone had a lovely new year and a safe Christmas.

Well i have came across some money and been wanting to upgrade my Sky-watcher 15PL EQ3 for a while now to start taking some shoots. Its a good little thing and had some fun with it but got a itch for something better.

I have two in mind at the moment. After doing some research and still finding myself abit confused I found the Skywatcher AZ EQ6-GT with Skywatcher 200P-DS. But I feel I might be thrown into the deep end with this mount. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-az-eq6-mount.html

And then there is something different. The skywatcher 200P on a EQ5 GOTO. Would really love to try out a GOTO mount would be a lot more easier to find and shoot objects. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-200p-eq5-goto.html

So do I play it safe and go for 200P or the 200P-DS.

Thank you in advance for your help and advice. 

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Be warned, a 200p or p ds is going to be a pretty big and awkward scope on an EQ mount, i bought a used nice 200p and hung it on my skytee AZ and hated it, so its going and i will be sticking with my 150p ds

If you are doing visual, get a dob

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Good choice of mount- the EQ6 should handle most things and you'd have to spend a lot more to better it. GOTO is really really handy for finding objects and not wasting too much hunting for a target.

A 200PDS is really only a medium sized scope on an EQ6 mount, the 200PDS is much the more versatile scope. The EQ6 will handle Newtonians up to 12" (but probably not reccomended for beginers though.....). For ease of handling 8" or 10" is the maximum size for breakdown each observing session. The 12" scopes are best reserved for permanent obsy set ups- believe me you don't want to be carrying a 12" scope in and out the house each time, enthusiasm will soon wane!

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From an operating point of view there is little difference between the EQ5 and the AZ EQ6-GT when the later is used in EQ mode. The handset and controls are the same.

It has the added benefit of being able to operate in ALT/AZ mode if you so choose.

The 200P or PDS would be better suited to the larger mount... it would be at the maximum capacity of the EQ5.

My choice would be the AZ EQ6-GT and the 200PDS scope... which is a better scope if you ever decide to do astrophotography at a later date.

Hope this helps.

Best regards.

Sandy. :grin:

Edited by Lonestar70
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Thank you for the advise. Its going to be my first time using a GOTO mount. Would have to learn everything such as balancing the scope and polar aliment which i have only done once :S like you said would be worth it when i do go into astrophotography.

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The HEQ5 is a very nice mount and would be the minimum one recommended for Astrophotography use.

Similarly the 200 P-DS is a very capable scope and also well suited to Astrophotography.

This combination would be fine for learning Goto and also for viewing a good many subjects... also for taking Video of the moon.

However, when it comes to deep Space Astrophotography, especially if you are using a DSLR camera then you will quickly run into the problem of mount carrying capacity.

When you add all the additional weight of a DSLR, Coma Corrector, Guidescope and Guide camera to the 200P-DS then you will be above the maximum recommended for the HEQ5 mount. (11kg).

This would either mean getting a different scope for astrophotography (e.g an ED80 refractor) or a larger mount (HEQ6 or AZ EQ6) with a higher weight carrying capacity... neither of which is a cheap option.

So... the questions you need to answer for yourself are... what do I require from this purchase and when would I require an upgrade to do Astrophotography.

If you can afford a larger mount now, I would go for it... the 200P-DS would be a great scope on an HEQ6 or AZ EQ6 and would do pretty well everything you need for many years.

If, on the other hand, finances are limited, then I would suggest perhaps the HEQ5 Mount with the smaller 150P-DS  scope.

If you are considering going down the Astrophotography route at some point then I would suggest that you get hold of a copy 'Making Every  Photon Count' by Steve Richards (Steppenwolf on this forum) and available from FLO... read it a couple of times before making your final decission... it can save you from making a costly mistake by purchasing the wrong equipment in the first place. 

Take your time the stars will still be there.

Best regards and good luck.

Sandy. :grin: 

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