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DarkKnight

Help please with new EQ6

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I'm beginning to think I should just go back to photographing birds and landscapes and forget this astronomy stuff !

After a disastrous start with an HEQ5 which was faulty and returned, I have just taken delivery of a new EQ6.

The un-boxing didn't start well when I discovered that I had a black mount and a white tripod. OK, I can live with that, the white tripod ends will be easier to see in the dark.

Um, where are the counterweights ?  Where is the other mounting plate lock knob ?

Shouldn't there be some instructions included ?

I've contacted the seller and he is sorting the counterweights and the lock knob but I'd really like some instructions for the basic handset.

I've scoured the internet for some instructions, found heaps, but none for the basic handset although plenty for the SynScan unit.

I'm attaching some pics and I'd really appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction to get some info on this very basic handset.

post-46050-0-00679300-1440128616.jpg

post-46050-0-86752400-1440128659.jpg

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Somewhere you will have a battery pack, takes 4 (I think) D cells, if I recall you can plug in an alternative 6 volt supply - NOT 12 VOLTS

N/S is Northern or Southern hemisphere = seems to be set for Southern on the pic.

2z, 8x, 16x is simply the speed that the mount will slew at when you press the L/R/U/D button.

16 to move "fast" to the object then slow it down for finer movement = 16x is still slow.

Picture seems to be set at 8x.

Bits on the side:

Standard thing of reverse the RA and Dec movement so that pressing the Left button means the image in the eyepiece moves a bit more as the human brain expects = press Left button and the scope appears to slew from Right to Left = some people prefer that and they offer it.

When you let go of all buttons the mount just trundles round at Sidereal in RA, nothing in Dec.

That is it.

Edited by ronin
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Right under our collective noses, I found the following:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/blog/eqmod-controlling-the-heq5-neq6-and-other-mounts-directly-from-a-pc.html

I'm not sure it covers, or directs one to, your specific concern. But it looks like some good info for the owner of one of these beasts. Have you checked out the Yahoo astronomy groups? Seems there's one for this specific line.

Good luck,

Dave

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Somewhere you will have a battery pack, takes 4 (I think) D cells, if I recall you can plug in an alternative 6 volt supply - NOT 12 VOLTS

You have thrown me with this statement.

Every spec sheet I've looked at says " Power Supply: 11 to 15 V DC 2Amp (Tip positive)"

Now I'm really concerned because I have run it off my 38AH 12v battery via a cigarette lighter socket.

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Right under our collective noses, I found the following:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/blog/eqmod-controlling-the-heq5-neq6-and-other-mounts-directly-from-a-pc.html

I'm not sure it covers, or directs one to, your specific concern. But it looks like some good info for the owner of one of these beasts. Have you checked out the Yahoo astronomy groups? Seems there's one for this specific line.

Good luck,

Dave

Cheers Dave.

Unfortunately my budget only allowed me to purchase the basic mount without SynScan.

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I would of thought the obvious place to look  for manuals is the Skywatcher website

http://ca.skywatcher.com/_english/05_service/01_download.php?ccid=11

http://ca.skywatcher.com/upfiles/en_download_caty01316546253.pdf

Covers all HEQ5 and EQ6 non- sysnscan mounts.

You are absolutely correct Mal !

However what those downloads don't do is give any info on the basic Non-SynScan handset.

I may be a bit thick but I sussed out that the Up and Down DEC buttons move the mount Up and Down and the RA buttons move the mount sideways, the 2x/8x/16x switch is obviously for speed control and I'm guessing here that the N/S switch is for North or South Hemisphere locations. Now I'm guessing again but I figure that the RA/REV and DEC/REV switches on the side reverse the direction of the front buttons.

What my tiny brain has trouble understanding is how you set the mount to slew. Do you have to stand there with your finger on the button?

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You have thrown me with this statement.

Every spec sheet I've looked at says " Power Supply: 11 to 15 V DC 2Amp (Tip positive)"

Now I'm really concerned because I have run it off my 38AH 12v battery via a cigarette lighter socket.

Every EQ6 variant I've ever seen has been 12 volt.

Olly

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You are absolutely correct Mal !

However what those downloads don't do is give any info on the basic Non-SynScan handset.

I may be a bit thick but I sussed out that the Up and Down DEC buttons move the mount Up and Down and the RA buttons move the mount sideways, the 2x/8x/16x switch is obviously for speed control and I'm guessing here that the N/S switch is for North or South Hemisphere locations. Now I'm guessing again but I figure that the RA/REV and DEC/REV switches on the side reverse the direction of the front buttons.

What my tiny brain has trouble understanding is how you set the mount to slew. Do you have to stand there with your finger on the button?

Yes, I guess so.

Olly

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I think, although cannot be 100% sure, that the hand controller pictured was the predecessor of the new "enhanced" item, Motor-FLO

The enhancement being it will drive at a Sidereal, Lunar and Solar and has a port for guiding as well.

Actually thought it went at higher then 16x as 16x is still slow.

If you visit the link the bag on the left is the battery pack.

Equally everything says EQ5 and HEQ5 I was not aware that there was an EQ6 version - however never actually looked for one, I do have the older on an HEQ5. Everything always says 6 volt as people have a habit of putting 12volt in.

When I initially posted I was a bit concerned that a set of 4 D cells just would be insufficent for an EQ6, and the idea of one of these kits on an EQ6 seemed a little strange. Just too small with respect to the mount and the use the mount is targetted at.

12 volt would be more sensible but as said everything I have read on the motor upgrade with that handset have always been 6 volts, but was not expecting that motor upgrade to have been offered for the EQ6. So I am sticking to 6 volt until someone shows me evidance otherwise. :grin: :grin:

The non-goto manuals on the Skywatcher site appear to use the Syntrak handset, so they are not goto but not the same handset - that was just from a quick look and from the first pages that show the handset. Not going to read every page.

Hate to ask this but someone has not sort of made an HEQ5 motor kit fit on to an EQ6, have they ?

I am really most puzzled by there being a kit.

Fancy emailing FLO and asking if in the past there was a basic motor upgrade kit for the EQ6 to change from manual to a basic driven set up, do you ?

Hopefully a motor kit was produced and being a heavier mount it could therefore have been 12 volt

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Just seen Olly's post's - without knowing the EQ6 variants, did the EQ6 ALWAYS come with motors never as a manual mount?

The basic one therefore being with the motors built in, the old handset as pictured and without therefore a battery pack?

In which case Skywatcher may have made it 12 volt to maintain commonality with other EQ6 options.

P.S. Just sank in that you are in Aus, forget the contact FLO bit, although email is sort of easy and they may answer.

Edited by ronin

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I think as soon as you switch it to north or south the mount will track at 1x speed, thats what my eq5 does anyway.

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@ ronin,

The mount I received has motors and came with a battery pack for eight (8) batteries so I guess it's safe to assume that it requires 12V to operate.

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If it take 8 then it will be 12 volt.

The reason I mentioned is that the upgrade from manual to the basic motor kit for the EQ3, EQ5, HEQ5 is that the pack is for 4 D cells and you are always warned that it is 6 volt not 12 volt. And the basic kit used that handset, so it was for safety.

There have been a few people that assumed 12v and used a DC supply at 12 volt and it meant a dead unit.

12 volt makes more sense - it is a fair chunk to drive, and then we go add scopes and bit to it as well.

Bet the pack is a fair size with 8 in it.

Edited by ronin
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What my tiny brain has trouble understanding is how you set the mount to slew. Do you have to stand there with your finger on the button?

Yes !

The handset is that basic.  You set the speed and then press the RA+/- and DEC +/- buttons until the scope is pointing to the position you require.  That is the difference between the syntrek handset (the one you have) and the synscan handset (the one that contains the database of objects).  The handset you have is just a dumb handset.  It has no idea where it's pointing, has no database of objects, it just runs the RA axis at siderial rate unless those RA+/- and DEC +/- buttons are pressed, and then it advances in the selected direction at the selected 2x 8x or 16x rate.

Edited by malc-c

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Yes !

The handset is that basic.  You set the speed and then press the RA+/- and DEC +/- buttons until the scope is pointing to the position you require.  That is the difference between the syntrek handset (the one you have) and the synscan handset (the one that contains the database of objects).  The handset you have is just a dumb handset.  It has no idea where it's pointing, has no database of objects, it just runs the RA axis at siderial rate unless those RA+/- and DEC +/- buttons are pressed, and then it advances in the selected direction at the selected 2x 8x or 16x rate.

The mount is the original basic EQ6 mount not even Syntrek, which is just the Synscan mount without the goto handset. The Syntrek can still slew at a maximum of 800x whereas rhe original could only slew at 16x max.  To slew the mount any great distance it is easier to unlock the clutches and manually swing the mount to somewhere near to the target and then use the handset to centre the target in the finderscope.

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The mount is the original basic EQ6 mount not even Syntrek, which is just the Synscan mount without the goto handset. The Syntrek can still slew at a maximum of 800x whereas rhe original could only slew at 16x max.  To slew the mount any great distance it is easier to unlock the clutches and manually swing the mount to somewhere near to the target and then use the handset to centre the target in the finderscope.

I was looking at that.  Most of the images on the net seemed to match a motor upgrade type handset rather than the smaller rounder syntrek handset, which may go some way to explain the lack of a manual  / instructions. So the mount the OP has purchased must be one of the 1st generation mount prior to the syntrek / synscan versions?

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I may be a bit thick but I sussed out that the Up and Down DEC buttons move the mount Up and Down and the RA buttons move the mount sideways, the 2x/8x/16x switch is obviously for speed control and I'm guessing here that the N/S switch is for North or South Hemisphere locations. Now I'm guessing again but I figure that the RA/REV and DEC/REV switches on the side reverse the direction of the front buttons.

What my tiny brain has trouble understanding is how you set the mount to slew. Do you have to stand there with your finger on the button?

It will save some hassle in the future to stop thinking about up-down and left-right. Equatorial mounts don't move like that. They move celestial north-south (Dec) and then round and round (RA). Not the most intuitive, but okay once you get your head round it.

As said above, Yes you just stand there with your finger on the button to move it and 16x is painfully slow to move any great distance. Slip the clutches, move it by hand to the right general area and then use the motors for the last little bit and to keep it tracking. You may find a red dot finder or even better a Rigel QuikFinder or Telrad will be a great help to confirm where you are pointing the thing.

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Firstly, thank you to all who have offered advice.

The manual that Peter linked me to has been a HUGE help. It answered all my questions.

Phil (Phil-lost!) was spot-on with his comment. The N/S switch is also the On/Off switch, and when activated the mount starts tracking at the set sidereal rate. Phew, I don't have to stand there with my finger on the button.

And yes Rik, I'll have to learn 'Astrospeak' and re-train my old brain to think in astronomical terminology.

There seems to have been many iterations of this mount since inception and mine is different again to any pics or illustrations that I've seen in that it has an illuminated polar scope with a brightness control on the motor panel. No shining a red flashlight down the front end of the polar finder to illuminate the reticule as per the Atlas manual.

Next is to align the polar scope and chase up a suitable dovetail plate to mount my camera on. I'll just be doing basic tracking at this stage till I save up the readies for the GoTo upgrade kit.

I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing what you are working with sure helps.

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Oh, and my polar scope definitely doesn't have a lady's handbag stuffed in it.

See Rik, I am paying attention. Just found out that a reticule is a lady's handbag whereas the cross-hairs in my polar scope are known as a reticle.  :grin:

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Glad to see you're picking up the jargon already :D

It wasn't a dig about the language Kev :) I've just seen plenty of folk new to EQ mounts struggling with: "I want to point it up there but it sort of moves diagonally and now I have to flip the whole thing over... that's just weird". It's easier to accept if you are expecting it :)

Good luck with the imaging. Keeping to a shorter focal length while you are learning will help you get good results more easily. It places less demands on your polar alignment and tracking accuracy, while you hone the camera side of things. Once you have a solid understanding of that, it frees you up to look at the mount accuracy. That will allow you to increase focal length and increase sub exposure time, and then look at image processing (when it's cloudy).

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Only one of the two counterweights arrived today, no surprise there.  :sad:

Anyway here is a pic of it set-up and one of the camera mounted on a Wimberley Sidekick and a Kirk monopod head. Oh and I changed the old original puck to the later one.

And apologies Mods, I seem to have two overlapping threads going.

post-46050-0-34928400-1440992570.jpg

post-46050-0-34191700-1440992587.jpg

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