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Squirrel-Labs

Skywatcher EQ5 Deluxe with Enhanced Dual-Axis DC Motor Drives for Guided Astrophotography

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Hello good folks of SGL,

I was curious to know if anyone who has the Skywatcher EQ5 Deluxe with Enhanced Dual-Axis DC Motor Drives fitted have set it up for Guided Astrophotography, and if so what weight have you been able to get away with mounting and how good are the results (resulting photo's would be great to see).

The reason I am asking is that like many others that have dipped their eye into astronomy (visual) the EQ5 seems to be a very popular and accessible mount and tripod to get and with good reviews (at least that was the reason for me) and the Enhanced Dual-Axis DC Motor Drives now come with a auto-guiding port and as such could be a possible entry point to guided astrophotography. I am aiming to get a HEQ-5 or an EQ6 Syntrek (not sure which as I will want to travel to dark skys occasionally) when funds allow and is something to aim at for sure but would be very curious to see what others have been able to achieve with this very popular mount.

Many thanks and clear skys to all :-)

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I used to use an eq5 with my 200p  for guided astrophotography and aslong as I took my time to polar align correctly and made sure everything was balanced perfectly then I could always get 300 second subs (as long as it wasn't windy)

I should probably re-visit the Leo triplet as this one is an old photo. Just posting to show the star quality really (also bad processing) 

trip.jpg

processed ha.jpg

m42 finished.jpg

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1 minute ago, geordie85 said:

I used to use an eq5 with my 200p  for guided astrophotography and aslong as I took my time to polar align correctly and made sure everything was balanced perfectly then I could always get 300 second subs (as long as it wasn't windy)

I should probably re-visit the Leo triplet as this one is an old photo. Just posting to show the star quality really (also bad processing) 

trip.jpg

processed ha.jpg

m42 finished.jpg

Geordie, can you confirm that a SW 200p OTA which is on a Dob mount at the moment will produce the above stunning work if mounted on a eq5 ?

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oh wow! I wasn't expecting to see such good results or as long as an exposure, very encouraging indeed. Polar alignment and balance is something I need to get better at for sure.

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3 minutes ago, geordie85 said:

I used to use an eq5 with my 200p  for guided astrophotography and aslong as I took my time to polar align correctly and made sure everything was balanced perfectly then I could always get 300 second subs (as long as it wasn't windy)

I should probably re-visit the Leo triplet as this one is an old photo. Just posting to show the star quality really (also bad processing) 

trip.jpg

processed ha.jpg

m42 finished.jpg

Nice photos! Do you use the EQ5 pro synscan? And would you recommend this over the NEQ5 pro synscan with a skywatcher 150PDS if you are just starting out in deep sky astrophotography?

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I would get the best mount you can afford. I got my eq5 and 200p 3 years ago. Started taking photos after buying the synscan upgrade for tracking and just recently bought an Neq6. 

 

Aslong as your able to mount and balance your 200p then there's no reason why you can't produce better photos than those shown above as that's the setup I used and I still have alot to learn.

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I have been using a SW 200P with DSLR on an EQ5 with the added motors for a little while now.  

All the images in my album (https://stargazerslounge.com/gallery/album/3751-my-quest-for-dsos/ ) were taken on this mount (couple of them are wide field with a 200 mm lens rather than the scope).

I initially used the handset with the modification (http://www.store.shoestringastronomy.com/eq_mod.pdf) and the GPUSB interface and was quite pleased with what this allowed.  Guiding followed, using a £14 web cam on finderscope using PHD.  the maximum sub length achieved was 360 secs but under my light polluted suburban skies even with a light pollution filter this was  longer than is really needed.  I have recently switched to Tom Carpenter's Astroeq (https://www.astroeq.co.uk/about.php) using stepper motors and belt drives as this gives goto ability as well as cutting out some of the backlash issues.

If you have an EQ5 mount I'd say give it a try.   

 

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I am amazed what stunning photos you guys produce using the equipment you have it just goes to show that you don,t need a second  morgage to do astrophotography and I struggle with visual only.Hats off!

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indeed; stunning images, much better than I would have expected at this level of mount. I think for me its definitely worth having a go. I am thinking of using an Orion 50mm mini guide-scope and I am giving serious thought to a Synguider 2.

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