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jrastro

EQ5 mount weight limit

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I am thinking of buying a Skywatcher EQ5 mount for astrophotography with 8 inch newtonian.  Its payload capacity is 10kg, very similar to the weight of the 9kg newtonian.  I am aware that some people say that you should not go so close to the upper weight limit to get good results.  Does anyone have any experience or advice?  

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If the figures you quote are correct then the mount will be overloaded. For example, my astrophotography set up weighs in at about 9kg once all the peripherals are attached. This is right on the limit for my HEQ5 Pro mount. Rules of thumb carry a lot of personal opinion but if I were yo I would aim for about 50% of the mount capacity for an imaging set up. In addition, an 8 inch Newtonian presents a large surface area in even slightly windy conditions.

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Hi

The payload for the EQ5 is approximately 6.5kg for imaging and 9kg for visual.

I think you will be pushing it with an 8 inch Newt, and will end up having to ditch more subs than you collect. Which probably will make it more frustrating. Also it will be affected by the slightest breeze.

My first set up was the EQ5 and SW 150pds and I quickly realised that it was too heavy when the camera and guiding was all attached. I now use my Equinox 80 on the EQ5 and performance is 100 percent better although by no means perfect, as it is so much lighter.

If not already purchased 'Making Every Photon Count' from FLO is an excellent book to get you started.

Hope that helps a little :)

Edited by VikN46
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From experience, if you can, go for the HEQ5. The EQ5 is a great wee mount, I still use mine with my other smaller scopes, but I also ended up buying an NEQ6. Some folk have had good results with the EQ5 and 200p but it is an up hill struggle, the slightest whisper of a breeze will have it moving. If an EQ5 is all you can budget for then go for it, but eventually you WILL be looking at a heavier mount, I wish I had bit the bullet and gone HEQ5 straight away.

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Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful. The reason I am not looking for an heq5 mount is that all I can find the goto ones, putting them well out of my price range.

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If the EQ5 is at the top end of your budget then why not downsize on the OTA and get something like a 130P-DS? Plenty of great images have been produced with this great little scope  http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/210593-imaging-with-the-130pds/page-1That tube with a light finder guider on it would be a lot easier going on the mount than something the size of a 200p. 

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No way will you be able to image successfully with an 8" newt on an EQ5. I have an EQ5 purely for visual and stick my C8 on it and there it's on its limit for visual (never mind AP) even with the short tube once it's got the accessories on it. If you're starting AP I'd highly recommend a small short focal length refractor and guiding. Perhaps look for 2nd hand mount to upgrade to a heq5?

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Just to confirm what our friends already said - I have the EQ5 with a 200mm OTA on it - and while it's perfectly fine for visual and some basic photography ( moon, orion etc ) - it's at its limit already, so if you add guiders, scopes etc to it - it's going to be well beyond its limit.

Either downsize the OTA or go for a mount with more payload capacity.

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I'm currently using a 150pds on an eq5pro. I'm just going to order an Heq5 as I'm losing a lot of subs, particularly around the zenith/meridian. My payload, with guidescope, camera and dew shield is nearer 7kg so I would echo the advice to either go for a lighter scope or save pennies for an Heq5 or an AVX.

Tim. 

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Although I do agree with most of what the others have said you can still achieve some good results with the EQ5 and 200mm reflector. It does take a lot of prep/good weather and scope balance however.

If you have a look at the link below it shows what can be done with this set up. A lot of his early stuff was done using the set you mention, have a look through the blog. But even he eventually (after a couple of years) went for the HEQ5. Hope this helps a bit.

http://astrocasto.blogspot.co.uk/

regards

Tim

Edited by Cozzy
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Going to run counter the flow here, but in my experience (limited) you can image successfully with a Skywatcher 200P (8" Newtonian) on an EQ5. Nearly all the images in my album were shot with just such a set up. While a mount with higher capacity would undoubtedly be easier, as Tim says above, with careful preparation, the EQ5 can be made to work and for far less money than, say, an EQ6 or similar.

"http://stargazerslounge.com/gallery/image/27029-m51b/"http://stargazerslounge.com/gallery/image/27029-m51b/

Edited by almcl
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The HEQ5 really would make life easier and GoTo is not so much a luxury as a near-necessity for imaging because you will often want to image things not visible in the scope. It also saves vast amounts of your most precious commodity - time. To be honest even the HEQ5 doesn't take you into the comfort zone with an 8 inch Newt for imaging.

There is more to this than payload. It's also about accuracy. The HEQ5 has stepper motors which will respond accurately to autoguiding. Have you thought of looking for a second hand HEQ5? People do upgrade regularly.

Olly

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Anwering to Helite here, the 130 pds does not seem a lot lighter than a 200p

Don't quote me on figures here but I would guess the 130 OTA would be about 25% lighter than the 200p, not only that there is less surface area for wind to catch etc making it much more manageable for the mount if you were to go down the EQ5 route.Yes there has been some fantastic images produced with the EQ5/200p combo but I would bet my boots the majority then progress to heavier mounts. As Olly says why not look at the second hand market, there is a HEQ5 with belt drive mod on the classifieds here for a good price and less than the price of a new EQ5 pro, and they regularly pop up used on ABS. You could also see if you could source the HEQ5 syntrek and then use a PC with EQmod to control it.  

When it comes to the crunch you will spend your money how you please, and asking for advice will usually end up giving you varying opinions, some of which you may not agree with. My first "real" scope was a 200p on an EQ5 pro because I thought I would get away with it as others seemed to have, 12 months down the line I ended up buying the NEQ6, could have saved myself a lot of cash by waiting a bit longer and getting a more suitable mount off the bat. And in AP the mount is really more important than the scope attached to it.

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I've got a 150pds on an eq5 pro. I dont have any guiding equipment as of yet, my thinking was to spend the first few months learning the ropes of ap and doing visual before moving up to guiding and a more expensive mount. With guiding i can imagine things get a bit heavy but i've still seen some really amazing images - on the eq3-2 actually (

). 

at the moment the best i'm getting is around 2 minute unguided subs before i get trailing (got this yesterday!), which i'm more than happy with right now. once i decide to upgrade i'll most likely keep this ota and upgrade the mount to a heq5 or get the 130pds and keep the current mount

good luck!

Ali

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Just for my two pennies worth. I use an EQ5 with goto, 200p and Canon 1000D. No guiding scope but I think my results are good. To say that "no way will you be able to image successfully" is a massive generalisation as there are so many other factors in play. I would love an HEQ5 but it's a lot of money. Go with what you can afford or look second hand. There's a lot of good things being said about the 130 just now.......

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Lovely image Cozzy, and I can fully endorse Steviemac. I started with a 200p on a EQ5 and even without guiding you'll find that you'll be able to image possibly up to 120 sec exposures. I can't upload any of my own images but have a look at Doug German's stuff at Budget Astro. Not only that, you will learn so much without too much expenditure, but beware, if you're bitten by the bug you're going to want more and more........

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