Jump to content


Old VS new HEQ5


Recommended Posts

I found some topics explaining the differences of the old black HEQ5 and the newer white ones. I learned that the newer ones have different stepper motors, and faster slew speeds. Obviously the old one doesn't have GOTO. My knowledge wasn't sufficient to deduct what all this means in practice, however.

So my question is: I want to use the HEQ5 with EQMOD through a laptop, with GOTO functionality. Also I'm interested in making a belt mod for the mount. Does the lack of GOTO in the black model prevent me from using EQMOD in the way I described? I have seen black HEQ5 operated with a laptop but I don't know if they had the GOTO upgrade installed. Does the old model have the same tracking performance, and ability to be belt modded as the new one?

Thanks for the help. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The old HEQ5 stepper motors aren't just slower - they're worse resolution.  I don't think the original HEQ5 motors would be compatible with the belt kit (but you should ask Rowan Astronomy http://rowanastronomy.com/products.htm if you're determined to try, though I don't think it'd be worth it with the original HEQ5 motors).  Really if you're interested in astrophotography (which you don't say but it is implied by the belt mod) the proper upgrade kit - which replaces all the motors and electronics is the way to go but not exactly cheap (~ £325).  However, to get a simple goto upgrade (i.e. to be able to do GOTO using a laptop connected to the mount), the cheapest option is probably to get an AstroEQ kit http://www.astroeq.co.uk/ , discussed here: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/188877-astroeq-for-eq-mounts/?hl=%20goto%20%20upgrade%20%20kit  or on the AstroEQ forum http://astroeq.co.uk/forum/

, which is less than a third the cost (£84).

Edited by Joseki
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The older black ones were non-Goto with tracking motors only so no use for anything except visual.  Some older black ones which were usually badged as HEQ5 - Heavy Duty  (like mine) have upgrades in them to turn them into GoTos.  I gather American mounts under the Orion badge were all black whether GoTo or non-GoTo originally.

If your interested theres a potted history of the mounts under my EQ6 strip down guide here http://www.astro-baby.com/EQ6%20rebuild%20guide/EQ6%20Development%20and%20Software%20Releases.htm

The mounts are now getting on for 14 years old each which is a pretty impressive run when you consider stuff like iPhones which change spec every other week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My HEQ5 pro is an old black one but it has GoTo. The Rowan belt mod works fine but you either have to drill out the holes for the idler motor shafts with a 5mm drill or cut the shafts down. Derek at Rowan engineering cut the shafts down for me before they sent the kit. You then use a drop of loctite or epoxy to hold the shaft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I recently purchased an old 'black model EQ6 heavy duty mount'. It has the basic RA/DEC hand controller and have been also considering upgrading it but at what cost ?

I believe maybe the best thing for me to do is leave it alone and if I really want GOTO and better slewing speeds + better tracking, then it would probably be as cheap to invest in an already converted model or factory produced model. 

Any advice or information regarding any options I might have that would be considerably cheaper than 300+ for an upgrade would be most welcome and hope this also addresses any other questions any other member of the forum might have with a not to dissimillar mount. 

Many Thanks



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.