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For sale is my beloved but now superfluous to requirements HEQ5 Pro for £650
It's in a used condition as you would imagine. I've had it for about 4 years and found great success with this mount. Ideal for those beginning astrophotography and also good for visual users.
I'm calling it "deluxe" due to the upgrades I've had done.
- It's belt modified
- It's had brand new bearings and grease
- The backlash has been expertly setup
- It has the latest polar scope
- The power port has been replaced with an aviation style port which is a lot more secure
It'll come with the hand controller and at least 1 counterweight (if I can find the second it'll come with both). The polar scope cover has been lost. The counterweight is rusty as always. There is some marring on the counterweight bar housing as shown in the photos.
It also will come with the modified power cable required also.
Note: the power LED sometimes doesn't illuminate but the mount is still powered (please see the photo with the hand controller).
Collection or local delivery within Northampton
With new mount and upgraded scope features, now looking to venture into imaging.
Before I start, I'm not looking to get feedback on polar alignment, mono guidecam, better imaging cameras, etc; this is more a 'dummies guide' setup discussion! I'm not expecting to get great images at this stage, just more the options available, getting over some issues, so that I can jump outside on a clear night with an ideal, foolproof(!), setup for either imaging or visual as time would permit and what may work best for me. As you may guess from the topic name, I'm a mac user (Macbook Pro) and would rather keep to this if possible (whilst I do have Windows (and Ubuntu) via parallels, I'd rather not use these).
I've got a setup which has worked well for visual, and obviously want to have a couple of 'staple' setups that I can use depending on expectations of night observing or imaging. So far, the best one for me has been the Skywatcher Wifi Synscan controller, which has worked a treat with my Android phone - I use the Synscan app to complete alignment and GOTO stars/planets/DSO etc, or Stellarium_plus after completing alignment. This removes the need for the Synscan Handset and any USB cables to the mount altogether. But I don't know if this will work for guiding.
That then brings me to my issue on mac - connecting USB(A) between Macbook and Handset, I've attempted to control the mount through Stellarium. Trying each of the available connections (/dev/tty.usbsetial-1420, /dev/cu.usbsetial-1420, and just for sake of it, the /dev/tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port and /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port) in the dropdown menu under DeviceSettings/SerialPort, I cannot get the mount to connect (well, more like selecting the telescope and clicking the "Start" on the TelescopeControl just results in the spinning icon and I have to Force-Quit Stellarium and start again with the same result each time. Annoyingly (for fellow mac users!), Parallels/Windows/Stellarium connects and controls the mount fine! As the mount is the newer "pro" type, I also have a USB connection directly under the hand-controller RJ45 and AutoGuider ST4 sockets, but using this still results in the same issue. Another issue I have seen is that when I unplug the USB from the computer when connected to the handset, the date on the controller jumps significantly - for example, last night at ~23:30, I was transported through the local wormhole galaxy to Jan 2048 according to Synscan! Obviously unplugging isn't going to happen during a genuine session, but just wondering if this is a possible issue somewhere?!
Any other mac users connecting USB directly to the SW 'Pro' mounts?
Software wise, would folks generally suggest steering away from Stellarium towards KStars or SkySafari(Plus) for controlling the mount?
Can the Wifi dongle be used for controlling mount from computer (any OS) or do I need to go USB either to handset or directly to mount?
Is there an issue in using Mac USB to the telescope compared to 'straight' Windows (i.e. PC/laptop with Windows instead of virtual)?
Anyway, back to topic... I've a Nikon DSLR to use for primary camera at this stage, which would be triggered independently from guiding software. PHD2 is my hopeful choice of guiding software (is EKOS with KStars similar?), with T7C guide-camera on 240mm f/4 guidescope, and at this stage, I can confirm PHD2 at least connects to the camera on OS-X. There is an ST4 port on the camera, but having read several topics, I think I want to pulse-guide directly - is this correct or is ST4 best for this setup? This sorta comes back to software and connections - my understanding is one of the following cable setups for guiding (as a minimum) :
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => SynscanHandset => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => Wifi => SynscaWifi Adapter on AZEQ6
[using ST4: ST4_on_AZEQ6 => Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2] (no additional connections needed if ST4 is used)
Additionally, I'd like to use an observatory package, say Stellarium/KStars/SkySafari, to select objects and drive the mount, then use guiding software to keep good 'tracking'.
Where in this train does EQMac fit in, or when is it used?
What about the 2019 addition to EQMod (ASCOM Alpaca)? Can this be used or is it already in other packages?!
For Windows users, how does EQMod fit in (if I go down route of getting Windows laptop for controlling things, is the setup similar to above?
There may be bits in the above that repeat, and for that, I'm sorry, just want to get across the message that I'm new to the guiding but haven't quite settled down into the software/hardware I'm expecting to use for 'goto' and 'guiding'
For a mac user, what setup and software are folks using for guiding and observatory softwares for the newer USB-on-mount 'AZEQ6/EQ6-R Pro' mounts from SW?
Vixen Polarie Star Tracker with Vixen Quick Polaris Locator Compass in mint condition - For Sale.
This mint condition Polarie Star Tracker and Vixen Polaris Locator Compass have only been used during the course of a review that I carried out for Vixen UK and will be supplied in their original boxes with manuals.
This tracker is the ultimate in portable camera tracking mounts being lightweight yet manufactured to Vixen’s usual exemplary high standard and the additional Vixen Polaris Locator Compass makes polar alignment for wide field imaging quick and simple.
The new price for the two items would be £399.00
For sale at £195.00 delivered. Payment by bank transfer - WILL NOT SELL OUTSIDE UK.
Polarie Star Tracker
Vixen Quick Polaris Locator Compass
Last week I discovered a reasonably wobble on the RA axis on my HEQ5 which ended up causing lots of double stars on my subs (i am guessing because the mount kept wobbling between the two positions.) So I did the worm gear adjustment and the wobble seems to have disappeared. I did a full slew rotation check and couldn't tell any binding/grinding (I had binding at 1st attempt but was resolved after further adjustments).
Thanks to the clear skies last few nights, I had it running throughout the night 3 times now. My overall guiding is much better than before, averaging between 0.6 and 0.8 Total error. However, when the mount gets closer to the home position (usually after 2-3am), I seem to start having tracking issues. I have attached screenshots to show examples; sometimes it's trailing, sometimes it's double stars, and sometimes it makes a u-turn to track back to the original position.
PHD log files from another night are here: https://openphdguiding.org/logs/dl/PHD2_logs_tych.zip
Is this a balance issue that becomes apparent when the mount is more vertical? I'm relatively new to using this mount, so most of my previous sessions have been closer to the meridian. Or is my worm gear tightened just a bit too much and causing issues? I can't really hear anything wrong when slewing at high speed.
Only other thing i can think of is, I sometimes get error messages on PHD but pulse command being ineffective, but these happen at other times as well without causing any issues.
It's losing me 7-8 frames over the span of 2.5 hours, so it would be nice to get it resolved if anyone has any ideas?