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Advice needed: HEQ5 or NEQ6

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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:

And thoughts / comments / advice would be most welcome!


-          Lee

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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.

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

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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! :-)

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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).



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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. 


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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!

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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.


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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! 


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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.

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