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I have had a Skywatcher Skyliner 200p Dobs for a couple of years and am thinking about whether upgrading the mount is worthwhile. On another thread I asked about imaging and the HEQ5 came up. I can't/don't want to spend £800 so are there any cheaper mounts that would improve my enjoyment?

I've only observed visually so far, but trying photography is always in the back of my mind and have decided to get a webcam to try some planetary pictures.

For example, what would a Skywatcher EQ5 Deluxe mount allow me to do? At around £260 it is within my budget and I notice you can buy motors so there is an expansion route.

Any other mounts under £300 worth considering.




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You can pick up second hand HEQ5 mounts for between £300-400.  Failing that I would go for a second hand CG-5 mount with the 2" steel legs if you can find one.  Uses the same motors as the EQ5.  

I myself use a 200p dob OTA on a CG-5 mount with an RA tracking motor.  The Saturn image  in my avatar was taken with that exact setup (with a QHY5L-iiC  camera and Baader 2.25x barlow).

Don't forget you need to factor in the cost of tube rings and a decent dovetail bar.

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This photos shows tube rings and the dovetail bar beneath, which you will need to fix your telescope tube to the mount head:


Be aware that most Dob tubes have a longer focal length than most telescope tubes originally intended to be mounted on tripods. While this certainly doesn't mean you can't do it, a problem with 200mm aperture reflectors for photography is that they can vibrate with quite slight wind and the longer the tube, the more potential for this problem.

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14 hours ago, doctortim said:

Thanks Craig.

Can you explain what the differences between the CG-5 and HEQ5 are? And what about the differences between the HEQ5 and EQ5?

Tuberings and dovetail bar? I have so much to learn :)


The Celestron CG-5 and Skywatcher EQ5 are essentially the same mount, and they're both copies of the original Vixen Great Polaris.  the main thing is that the CG-5 came with 2" steel legged tripod as standard, whereas the EQ5 came with the 1.75" version.  Doesn't sound like much but it does make a difference to the stability.  I originally bought a CG-5 head second hand and had it mounted on and EQ5 tripod that I already had initially, then I bought a 2" leg tripod second hand which was better, now I have a Berlebach Planet Ash wood tripod which is miles better still.  Still have that tired old CG-5 mount head though!  I don't have goto or even dual motors, just a cheap RA tracking motor which I got for £49 in a clearance sale IIRC 

the HEQ5 is a step up from both the EQ5 and CG-5 in terms of carrying capacity, stability and functionality.  If you decided you want to get into deep sky imaging at some point in the future the HEQ5 would be a good mount to start with. If you could get hold of a second hand HEQ5 within your budget that would be your best choice.

You'd need the 235mm tube rings which are about £40 I think, and a good dovetail bar from William optics or ADM or the like so budget another £40 for that at least.  It's a big heavy tube so you really don't want to skimp on the dovetail bar!

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