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HEQ5/EQ6/NEQ6 tripod upgrade for Astrophotography


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Hi Everyone,

I'm having some issues with guiding my HEQ5 pro mount. I've posted a recent topic in the 'Getting Started With Imaging' section.

I'm going back to basics and looking at all areas that could cause issues or where improvements might be made.

Has anyone upgraded their HEQ5/EQ6/NEQ6 tripod and seen improvements with guiding over the stock tripod?

I see FLO stock Berlebach Tripods, which from the pictures and descriptions seem very good, but I'm wondering if they would make any difference when it comes to guiding.

Any experience would be very welcomed.

Andy.

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I have a NEQ6 Tripod i use with a Star Adenturer, it seems a solid tripod to me, the cost of the one you mention is quite a lot and i'm not sure you will benefit, have you checked out flexture on the dovetail ect maybe a Loosmandy plate might do better....

 http://www.firstlightoptics.com/adm-losmandy-type-d-series/adm-losmandy-style-universal-dovetail-bars.html

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Looking at Jupiter on a live webcam, I discovered that just by shifting my weight between my feet I could move Jupiter up and down the screen. The movement was very large, while stamping caused a smaller, short lived vibration of the image.

To me that means the grass beneath my feet wasn't as rigid as the stock EQ5 tripod.

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I've thought of upgrading the saddle, possibly to this one:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/adm-dual-saddle-upgrade-for-heq5-neq6-avx-zeq-ioptron.html

So I could then use a Losmandy type bar.

I see Skywatcher also do a stainless steel tripod for the HEQ5 which might be worth considering too.

I use a tablet to control my mount and imaging software from within the house, so that avoids vibration from me being near to the mount.

Andy.

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If you have an HEQ5 then probably your tripod is the SW 1.75" stainless steel one already. If you wanted to get a sturdier 2" stainless steel one then either a used CG5 which is a 2" leg version but fits HEQ5/EQ5  - can be hard to find, or the EQ6 one but that needs a £50 adapter.

Are you using the legs fully extended? Perhaps consider keeping them short and buy an eq5 extension pillar to fit on your existing tripod.

 

 

 

 

 

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The factory tripod of the heq5 pro is problematic for astrophotography in my opinion. I upgraded mine to a used berlebach planet tripod last summer and the guide graph improved exponentially. The main problem of the tripod is that it has no leg spreader or better yet it has a very small one (the eyepiece tray) which doesn't give much stability when the mount is loaded. Also the metal legs are prone to vibrations. Finally once the mount head is tightened at the tripod it is very difficult to adjust the azimuth which might damage the threads of the head. Since money is always an issue and everybody can't buy a quality tripod at the following videos you can see how to improve the tripod

 

 

At 24:30 is the most interesting bit if you don't have a pier extension

 

 

 

 

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i read your other topics to have a better picture of your problems. When it comes to tune your equipment here's a link of tuning my mount hope it helps. as for the belt mod it improves guiding but it does not remove the backlash. the backlash needs to be adjusted, see astrobaby's guide

 

 

 

Edited by kookoo_gr
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Thanks kookoo_gr that's a very useful link. Eventually I plan on travelling to a dark site for imaging so I think I'll always have a need for a good quality tripod. Therefore I think I could justify an upgrade to a Berlebach.

I've read some articles and posts to get a better understanding of my HEQ5, including the excellent Astrobaby guide.

I'm thinking of attempting the strip down and clean of the dec axis and ra axis and also the worm engagement adjustment.

Andy.

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I'm going to try the mod at 24:30 in the second video posted above.

I've ordered a 5 kg and 2.5 kg disc weight and will get the other bits and bobs off Ebay next.

The spreader featured in the videos seems quite pricey at $240.

http://www.tpiastro.com/Pricing_and_shipping.htm

I think I'd rather save for a Berlebach upgrade instead.

Andy.

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A Berlebach upgrade is well worth the price. It'll probably last forever.

Just take into account that your whole setup then probably will look a bit undermounted, as mine did ;- )

 

21_scope_ready.jpg

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Looks really good!

I see on the Berlebach website there is an option to select the tripod head to match the mount. So if I did change my mount at some point in the future I could just change the head.

Andy.

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Yes, that's correct. I just ordered a new head for my new-to-arrive GM 1000 mount. The price was about $ 150.

When I switched from the ED100 to the somewhat heavier TSA-120, replacing the tripod was the first step for continued stability and to at least have a base as long as I couln't afford the new mount. To be clear: I didn't replace the tripod to overcome guiding problems. Having read through your PHD2-guiding-thread I doubt that these spikes are caused by the tripod. As I'm using a MGEN guider I can't comment on that further (except recommending the guider of course ;- ).

Good luck!

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I've now put together the various bits and pieces to add extra weight to the heq5 tripod. Here's a picture.

With the 7.5kg of extra weight the tripod feels alot more solid. I still need to get the pvc tubing for the tripod legs to aid with damping vibration.

20160311_181829.thumb.jpg.0316d30678b7e7h

Andy.

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  • 4 years later...
On 09/03/2016 at 16:51, Gucky said:

A Berlebach upgrade is well worth the price. It'll probably last forever.

Just take into account that your whole setup then probably will look a bit undermounted, as mine did ;- )

 

21_scope_ready.jpg

Can I ask you the model name/number for that Tripod please?

 

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