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John

Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5GT or HEQ5 ?

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I'm kicking around ideas for an equatorial mount for my APM / TMB LZOS 130 F/9.2 apo refractor.

I want to keep the weight to the minimum needed to do the job for visual use. The scope weight is 8kg including rings, diagonal etc and the tube is 1200mm long with the dew shield extended.

For weight reasons I'm looking towards the HEQ5 rather than the EQ6 and similarly at the AZ-EQ5GT rather than the AZ-EQ6GT.

The AZ-EQ5GT is a new product and, on paper, would seem to be upto the task on the weight side of things but how would it fare in reality with the length of the scope ?. Would I be better to look at the established HEQ5 ?

I'm not actually bothered about the GOTO capabilities of either mount but as long as the setup times are not too lengthy I can live with it.

With the long tube I'll also probably use an HEQ5 pillar extension.

All thoughts and alternative suggestions welcomed ! :icon_biggrin:

 

 

Edited by John

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John, i seem to remember you are well sorted in the Alt Az mount depertment, so you maybe dont need the AZ capacity of the AZ EQ mount so i would be looking at HEQ5 and if your not bothered for goto then see if you can source a Syntrek version used but in good nick then you will have a great tracking mount, i had this version and it was a good performer

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Would you miss AZ mode if you didn't have it? Given that your Giro is not entirely up to the task?

Edited by iPeace
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Thanks for the replies so far :icon_biggrin:

My current alt-az mounts are great (Giro II and an Altair Sabre) but not quite up to the TMB 130 F/9.2.

Also, with the high magnification capability of the scope, I'm wondering if having a driven mount would have some benefits re: relaxed high power observing.

The T-Rex is on my list as is an Ercole but I'm keeping my options open at present.

Having owned an EQ6 I'm very aware that, while extremely capable, they are really heavy lumps !

I don't want set up / tear down to become a chore.

 

 

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I'd go for the established Heq5 with a 16" pillar extension. It just about handles my C6r , a heavier lump eith a 1200mm ota. My mate has an eq6, it's just too heavy for me to lug around,

Nick.

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I personally would go for the AZ-EQ5GT John and reasons for that are: (based that you are purely visual observer same as me)

1.I dont like EQ mode for visual as that can and will put scope in awkward position for observing,where in AZ it will always be seated observing position regardless of target and you will not need to rotate your OTA when it lands in silly position.

2.In AZ mode your long frac will be more stable then in EQ as you are only rotating in one axis. ( I use Vixen F9 on Skywatcher Az-EQ6GT in AZ mode)

3.In AZ mode you can parallel mount 2 scopes if you so desire where that cant be done in EQ.

4.AZ mode has better carry capacity then EQ.

5.Tracking mount for visual i found to be an absolute necessity if you really want to squeeze out that extra detail as you dont need to touch the scope once  your eye piece is focused,mount is tracking your target and if required,you can slew the mount on slowest speed without disturbing the image.(sometimes required on very large targets). It is by far more relaxed and rewarded viewing then manually tracking your target.It will become more obvious when you are using high powers and speciality eye pieces with narrow FOV.

AZ-EQ5GT same as its larger brother has the new encoders,where you can manually push the scope and then encoders will take over.(well you know the bla bla bla).

Actual weight difference between HEQ5 and AZ-EQ5gt will only be 2kg max but you are gaining far more versatile mount.

Set up will actually be the same(time wise) as for AZ so for EQ,as if you do not want to do the allignement for go-to,then all you will need to do is :

1.Put the mount out,

2.connect your battery and fire up the mount.Alternatively,dont use any battery/electricity and use mount in full manual mode .(wouldnt make any sense as tracking an object with go-to capability will greatly enhance your observing of critical detail and in general)

3.Put your OTA on the mount and you are ready to go.

Will take 5mins or depends where you store your mount and OTA,but will not be any longer then you are setting up your current NON-electrically powered manual mounts.Not really a chore job if you ask me.I have to carry out and remove everything when i observe and we are talking about AZ-EQ6GT + EP case+battery+ the "beast" 6"ED.Still takes me maybe 15mins max what i found not that bad.Some larger dobs take far more :)

Most of this you know anyways,just giving you my 5p.

I have been using my AZ-EQ6GT for 2 years now and cant be any happier.It is permanently set to AZ mode so i dont need to do any adjustments,just take the mount out,put OTA on,fire up and off you go(obviously wait for OTA to cool down).Before that i had EQ mount and hated the guts of that thing.In Az mode i do 3 star alignment what takes a couple of mins.Tracking is spot on.

Clear skies.

 

Edited by Dude_with_the_tube
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4 minutes ago, John said:

Thanks for the replies so far :icon_biggrin:

My current alt-az mounts are great (Giro II and an Altair Sabre) but not quite up to the TMB 130 F/9.2.

Also, with the high magnification capability of the scope, I'm wondering if having a driven mount would have some benefits re: relaxed high power observing.

The T-Rex is on my list as is an Ercole but I'm keeping my options open at present.

Having owned an EQ6 I'm very aware that, while extremely capable, they are really heavy lumps !

I don't want set up / tear down to become a chore.

 

 

I can certainly imagine such a capable high-power scope coming into its own on a driven mount, and I'm sure there are many here with the actual experience that would agree.

While teardown is primarily a matter of weight and bulk, setup would also involve alignment, which I assume you can live with...

:happy11:

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Am I right in thinking the only reason you are considering an EQ mount is so it will track? The AZ EQ5 pro will track in both AZ and EQ, the EQ mode for imaging without field rotation.

For a pure visual observer like yourself I would pick the AZ EQ5 out the two. 

I wish Celestron would do a version as I much prefer their Goto with SkyAllign - you can pick any stars you like not just the ones suggested like with Synscan. 

This might not quite suit your needs John, but I've been seriously considering one of these just for the mount! It has an integrated lith ion battery, Wifi for easy setup via a tablet or Android phone, and brass worm gears for accurate tracking. Minus what you would get for selling the C6 it would be around £700 :)

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/nexstar-evolution-telescopes/celestron-nexstar-evolution-6-telescope.html

Edited by Chris Lock
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More interesting input - thanks !

I must say that I find the AZ-EQ5GT increasingly interesting :icon_biggrin:

On the other hand, for the price of the above, I could pick up a used HEQ5 (non-goto) plus a new Berlebach UNI 28 tripod or a Uni 18 and use it with the HEQ5 Pillar.

 

Edited by John
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You seem to have a tough decision to make re the new mount, i would take a little while and not rush into a decision, we are still a good few weeks away from "astro season" but the AZEQ5does seem to tick more boxe`s than i first thought

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3 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

You seem to have a tough decision to make re the new mount, i would take a little while and not rush into a decision, we are still a good few weeks away from "astro season" but the AZEQ5does seem to tick more boxe`s than i first thought

I'm in no particular hurry Jules - just kicking ideas around :icon_biggrin:

The Giro II and Sabre mounts do carry the 130 F/9.2 OK and I've had some good views with them. Ultimately I'd like to go a little better and have drives on the axis without a massive weight and set up time penalty.

 

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Hi all,

Just to extend the original question a little...I recently picked up an old Meade AR6 achromat. It wasn't something I was particularly after, but opportunity arose and hey ho it's in my shed. I have an AVX mount which my ED100 sits on beautifully, but it struggles with the Meade - the dec clutch slips and I lose goto alignment pretty quickly.

I've been pondering upgrading to an NEQ6, but have been put off by the size and weight. The Meade plus diagonal/rings etc. is coming in weight-wise at around 12kg. If I recall, the AZ EQ5 handles 15kg. Is this enough tolerance or should I be looking at the NEQ6. Of course with the AZ I've the added bonus of alt-az observing.

What are people's thoughts?

Cheers,

Tom

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21 hours ago, orley said:

the dec clutch slips and I lose goto alignment pretty quickly.

With the AZ-EQ5/6 you have encoders.

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