Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_beauty_night_skies.thumb.jpg.2711ade15e31d01524e7dc52d15c4217.jpg

Lee_P

Advice needed: HEQ5 or NEQ6

Recommended Posts

Hi SGL Hivemind, I’m after some advice: specifically, whether to upgrade my mount to an HEQ5 PRO or an NEQ6 PRO. I’m interested in astrophotography rather than visual. I currently image with an ED80, QHY8L, and a guided EQ3 PRO. It’s been an ok set-up for me so far, but the mount is the weak link.

I’m sure an NEQ5 PRO would be sufficient for my current kit. But thinking longer-term I’d like to upgrade, perhaps to mono imaging and a bigger telescope. So in that regard an NEQ6 PRO would be a good choice for future-proofing. But I’m concerned that the sheer weight of an NEQ6 PRO, plus telescope, might deter me from actually setting it up in the first place! I do all my imaging from my garden and what's really handy about my current set-up is that I can just about pick all the kit up in one go, carry it a few metres from shed to garden, plonk it down, and go.

In case it’s useful, these are the results I’m getting at the moment:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lee_pullen/albums/72157624700448482

And thoughts / comments / advice would be most welcome!

Thanks,

-          Lee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lee

I can just about lift my NEQ6 with ED80, ST80 guidescope and weights and carry it about 25 ft to the back door and into the garden, but it is very heavy and I wouldn't recommend it. I suspect it is also not good for the mount. To be honest, I tend to carry just the mount and tripod when setting up so remove the weights and the scope and then it is fairly easy to manoeuvre - it doesn't take long to set it all up again. My ED80/ST80 are permanently clamped together with camera in place etc, so it is just a matter of slipping the dovetail into the saddle. Even with all this, I can be outside and set up ready to polar align in about 15 minutes, so it isn't a massive problem.

If you have the money I would go NEQ6 and then you are covered for the future in terms of upgrading scopes etc. I have managed 20 minute guided subs so far, and am sure I could go higher. I also upgraded from an EQ3 and the NEQ6 is a beast, but you will soon get used to it. I also use it for a C9.92 SCT which sits on it comfortably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, that's very helpful! Did you find any other differences going from an EQ3 to an NEQ6?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the NEQ6 is a massive step up from the EQ3. I had the basic EQ3, so it was only motorised in RA and I couldn't guide. It is so much more stable and solid. It is a shock at first when you see the size of the thing, but you soon get used to it...if you want to get into long exposure imaging it really is a great upgrade for the price. The AZEQ6 is also available for a bit more but then you can just keep adding a bit more to your budget and eye up biger and bigger mounts!

Keep an eye out for second-hand and clearance items too. I got mine for 750 as an ex demo from Astroboot, which was a fair bargain if you ask me! :-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the eq5 pro and then upgraded to a neq5. It really is a bit of a shock.

The neq6 made my eq5 feel like a camera tripod in comparison. I would say its like jumping out of a fiat panda straight into a tank.

The heq5 is well respected but he the neq6 will be more future proof (depending on your long term plans).

cheers

spill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the future involves carrying on imaging because it isn't too much hassle then the HEQ5 might be the more future proofed! For some people, but not all, the extra portability of the smaller mount makes a big difference to practicality. The mounts are equally accurate, which is important.

There are some larger scopes which would certainly be better on an NEQ6 but there are also lots of larger scopes with longer focal lengths for which I would want a significantly more accurate mount altogether. 

Olly

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If, like me, you have to travel to a dark site to do anything else other than NB, then I'd highly recommend the HEQ5 due to it's portability.

I only tend to shoot widefield, so the payload aspect isn't really a problem for me :icon_biggrin:

The HEQ5 is a fantastic mount that can be picked up very cheaply second hand!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I also use a HEQ5 Pro with an ED80, Finderguider with GPcam and a DSLR and I can carry it out into my garden fully set up, I chose this for the portability as I tried the NEQ6 but could only just about lift the mount on its own.  I find the HEQ5 easy to use and set up.  I also have a Skywatcher 200P which I mainly use for visual work and the mount handles it.

If all your imaging is going to be from your back garden then you may be able to handle the NEQ6 but if you are going to take it out and about in the future then I would suggest the HEQ5 Pro.

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your useful advice! I found an upgraded HEQ5 for a decent price second-hand, so have opted for that. It should handle all my kit, and still be portable. If I find I need an EQ6 then it shouldn't be too hard to sell the HEQ5, as people are always after them! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I down graded last year to a Heq5, ive still got the eq6 my son uses it but ive bad knees and carnt carry much weight without the fear of droping the mount or droping me, I can just about manage the heq5 if I spit tripod and weights, the only differents is the weight thay both do the same job only the eq6 could carry more gear.. goodluck charl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By GiovanniF
      Hi to everyone, I used to do some astrophotography in the past with a Celestron AVX and DSLR but after few month had to give up for several reasons, including light pollution (I'm living in zone 3 east London), and also working shifts. Now I want to start again, and this time more serious. I've been searching around for a couple of months to choose all the gear and I'm quite happy with the list so far although it's a bit over the price I planned at first.
       I will get an William optics Z73 with his 50mm guide scope, a flattener/reducer 0.8, light pollution filter IDAS D2 and as camera I will use a Canon 600D modded and I will buy a ZWO 183MC Pro, after so much research, I'm very happy with the scale and framing I will get with this combo, but I'm starting to get confused with the mount.
      My first idea was to go for an HEQ5 Pro, as my previous experience with the AVX has been awful, then I realized that the FLO, sells that mount with belt modification and also some cleaning and tuning if required, I heard that it's a big improvement over the stock one and the price it's ok, but another important factor for me it's portability. Unfortunately, my garden doesn't allow me to do much so I will need to carry around on trolley, for a km walk, I'm a strong person and been doing plenty of time with the AVX, so my confusion came recently when the iOptron mounts entered my radar. I start comparing the heq5 pro with belt, with the iOptron cem25EC and the CEM40 without encoders, and I'm so unsure of which to buy, the cem25 seem to be the equivalent of heq5 at least speaking of payload, but in some threads I read people saying it's a bit fragile so kind of remove it from the equation although the weight it's interesting for my situation, then the cem40, seem to be quite similar on weight to the heq5 but with higher payload and that's interesting too as I will buy a C11 at some point.
      Now it will all come down to the accuracy of tracking I guess, how the heq5 and cem40 would compare on tracking and guiding? If the cem40 it's better, I would probably go with that since it holds more and would last longer as I don't plan to get anything bigger than a C11, but if the skywatcher it's better, I could decide to go for that, and when I move to a place with better garden then get a second mount with higher payload.
      Apologise for the long post and my english.
      Kind Regards,
      Giovanni. 
    • By JamesAstro2002
      Hi people,
      So I've been a bit of a fool and managed to drop my entire HEQ5 Pro mount head on my foot (Ouch). I was carrying it upstairs 'attached' to the tripod so I could make some adjustments to the DEC axis since there was a slight amount of play. So I set the tripod down and bam, the head rolled off and landed right on my foot. Silly me didn't realise the head screw wasn't done up all the way!
      So I gave it a test to make sure it was okay, got the hand controller out and moved it in both RA and DEC and it seemed fine.
      Then I decided to proceed with what I was going to do in the first place, adjust the worm gear engagement for DEC since there was a bit of play. After following astro baby's guide, I can hear this awful clicking sound when rotating the DEC axis a certain direction. I've attached a video below to show what I mean:

      HEQ5 Video.mp4 Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, I really hope I haven't messed it up too bad.
      Cheers,
      James.
    • By greeno76
      Hi,
      I've just ordered a Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO from FLO. It will replace my wonderful 250px which is simply taking up too much room amongst my kids' growing population of Peppa Pig and friends!
      Will I miss the wider field of view and the light gathering capabilities of the big(ish) dob in my little backyard in averagely light polluted Bedford?  I've read good things about the MAK but I'm nervous!
      Part of my motivation was that I want to be able to share the joy of the night skies with my young kids (6 & 3). The dob is fabulous but it's not that easy for them to see through the eyepiece without knocking it off target. I have an HEQ5  Pro mount (which I've never used). I'm hoping that, along with the MAK, the kids might have a better chance of seeing things and being inspired rather than frustrated.
      I'll almost certainly sell the 250px asap and free-up the space for 'Peppa Pig land'.
      I hope I'm not making a grave (and expensive) mistake!
      Best wishes,
      Jason
    • By Xiga
      Hi guys!
       
      Well, while I was out recently trying to shoot NGC 7000, I ran into a pretty serious problem.
       
      I have a 3 or 4 yr old HEQ5 Pro (Orion Sirius in the states) and i did the Rowan Belt Mod about a year ago. It's been working really well for me since, i and i usually get great guiding. Well, on this occasion, after i powered everything on, i could smell something burning, so i quickly turned everything off until i could find what it was. Turns out, it was the EQDIR cable, which had a hole melted right through it! The laptop is fine though, no damage done to any of the USB ports.
       
      I can still power on the mount, the red light comes on and if i connect the Synscan hand controller i can slew the mount in RA just fine. However, i can't slew at all in Dec. There isn't even a sound as though it is trying. What's more, as soon as i press either the Up or Down arrow on the hand controller, nothing else will then work, not even slewing in RA. It's as though it's crashed, and only power cycling will let me slew in RA again (I can also scroll through all the handset's settings, and I’ve tried doing a factory reset but it didn’t change anything). Also, while the mount is powered on, if I plug in the old fried EQDIR cable into the mount, but leave it open at the other end, i.e not plugged into the laptop, then as soon as it clicks into place the red power led on the mount starts flashing really quickly. When I unplug it, it goes back to being solid. If I plug in the hand controller the light doesn’t flash at all, it stays solid.
       
      I opened up the mount and had a good look around. The Dec motor cabling is definitely connected (i re-seated it just to be sure). If i rotate the cog & pulley, the mount does move in Dec, so the gear is definitely engaged. I did think it felt a little stiff when i undid the clutches and tried to rotate the mount in Dec, but not so much that it would cause it to not work. I tried loosening & tightening all sorts of screws but to no avail. It's almost as though the Dec motor has given up the ghost entirely (although apparently that’s virtually unheard of).  
       
      Note, i'm using the celestron 7ah lithium power tank to power the mount alone. The laptop and DSLR just run off their internal batteries. I like the lithium battery as it’s small & light, can be run down to near empty without issues, and is more than enough to give me a full night of imaging considering the mount uses very little power while tracking.
      I should also mention, up until about 9 months ago I used to power the mount from a celestron 17Ahr power tank, but after going through a couple of power cables (suspiciously since i did the belt mod) i switched to the Lithium battery and i've had no problems ever since. I suspect i may have done something when i did the belt mod, but i know next to nothing about electronics or mounts, i simply followed the instructions to the letter and it seemed to work ok. I now only use the 17 Ahr power tank just for my dew heaters.
       
      I heard back from the guys at FLO, who I ordered the mount from originally. They seem to think that it’s the motherboard that has gone, so I’ve ordered a new one, along with a new EQDIR cable (according to the engineer at FLO's supplier, the Control Panel board either works or it doesn't, so it's unlikely that it is the reason). I hadn’t properly considered the motherboard to be the problem tbh, as I can still power on the mount and slew just fine in RA. I thought if the board was gone then the whole thing would just be completely dead.
       
      Does anyone have any input/experiences with an issue such as this? Does this sound familiar at all? The motherboard arrived today but without any instructions at all. Having done the belt mod before, I am at least somewhat familiar with the insides of the mount, but I would still have liked some instructions. Having looked online, the best I could find are the pictures I’ve attached below that come with the Synscan Upgrade Kit for a basic EQ5 Mount, but if anyone has anything better I’d love to see it.
       
      One last thing, ever since doing the Rowan belt mod, when I screw on the big plastic spacer that comes with it (to raise everything up over the cogs & pulleys) I always had a small gap left over no matter how hard I tightened the screws (see the picture below). Could this small gap have been enough to let moisture get in during cold weather, and could that have led to the problems I’ve had? I might try and insert something that’s thin and malleable, yet not porous, in the gap before I screw the bracket back on next time, in the hope I can keep any moisture out. Anyone got any non-destructive ideas as to what to use?
       
      If anybody has any thoughts/help/suggestions on any/all of the above then I’d be very grateful indeed.




    • By lnlarxg
      Hi, Please please please need some help on my NEQ6,  its more about polar alignment on goto EQ mounts in general probably.  Please allow me to list all the things I have done because l really want to know if I have done anything wrong during my polar alignment....as my goto can't find anything  . It was last night 14th oct, my first time ever with clear sky with my first ever outdoor dressed rehearsal with my NEQ6 purchased circa 4 was ago
      so I did the polar alignment, i.e. I levels the whole mount first (i.e. Using a spirit leveller to make sure I have the home position of the mount 99.999% correct), found Polaris somewhere in my polar scope, centred it on my reticule cross hair, used the NEQ6's altitude (so I am only adjusting the mount vertically) nob to move Polaris on to its orbit (printed in the polar scope sight) around NCP, rotated the polar scope around its RA so the Polaris circle has Polaris inside. Rotated the polar scope again so the RA clock on the mount reads polaris's last transit (a read out from my NEQ6 handset's Hour Angle reading, verified with my polar align iOS app), and finally using both my Alt & Az bolts to again place Polaris within the Polaris circle printed out in the polar scope sight.  By the way, I did all of this while the mount is switched on, mainly because I need the polar scope to have the LED on, and the handset to tell me the HA of Polaris 
      anything wrong so far? So I at that point turned off my mount,  my telescope was at a strange and awkward angle.  I returned the mount to the home position by disengaging both clutches of RA and Declination  (i.e. Manually returning my telescope pointing straight up).
      i then turned my mount back on, re-entered all the date/time/long&lat...etc, then did a 2 stars alignments , chosen my 1st star (Vega) , the mount started to slew and BOOM....., only that it ended up pointing towards something completely different.....:( 
      i was very saddened... because that whole process took my novice self good 30-40 minutes, only to find I probably did soemthing wrong.
      experienced SGL'ers, help me! All I want it to take some short light frames so I can start enjoy astrophotography like your guys ?
       
       
       
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.