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Swithin StCleeve

Upgrading EQ5 with 'go-to'

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Has anyone got any experience fitting a go-to device to a EQ5 mount? I've got an 8" Skywatcher on this mount, and I've been told it'd be tricky making it a 'go-to', but there seems to be some kit available that'll fit. About £300.
I'm not to savvy on the terminology on mounts, (I've used a Dobsonian for years, this is my first EQ mount).

 

This is my scope & mount

https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/skywatcher-explorer-200p-eq5-telescope.html?gclid=CjwKCAiApJnRBRBlEiwAPTgmxGjbb1ZVUgY9cErE1unKD2YPYq8Aqoq99OOXKypOUGpwUw7ij0vSOxoCSz0QAvD_BwE

Cheers!

Edited by Swithin StCleeve

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Depending on what you want to do with the mount, but if you are going to spend £300, then have a look for a 2nd hand HEQ5.....

I've modified an EQ5 by replacing the existing motors & fitting belt drive, driven by an AstroEQ device (https://www.astroeq.co.uk/tutorials.php) This works quite well, but note that a PC is required to provide the 'goto' as the device is just a motor driver....

  • Like 1

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I'd rather not use a PC when I observe. The less techy it gets, the happier I am.

Good point about the £300. If it means getting another mount, and spending the same/similar money elsewhere, perhaps I should think about that?

Off to work now, but I'll type up a bit more later about what I'm wanting to do. Thanks for the quick response!

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Faced with this very choice, whether to get the GoTo pack for my EQ-5 + 200p Helios or do something else, I decided that I was not so keen on creating something that would be a mix of new and second-hand parts, had the problems of polar alignment, and would remain big, bulky and awkward to set up. What I really wanted was a bigger edition of my 127mm Nexstar SLT at 8" aperture, even if it cost a lot more.

So I got a used 203mm Celestron 8SE SCT. I have never regretted it.

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So if I bought a go-to thing for my mount, it'd be awkward to set up and the polar alignment would be a problem?

I'll tell you my story. I've had a dobsonian mount for years, and I've been quite happy doing solo observing with maps and star-hopping. I bought the EQ5 mount and scope three years ago, but I've been using it like my Dob. Not polar aligning it or anything. My local society (Wolverhampton) has started up observation sessions, and two guys there had 'go-to' mounts. When I saw the ease of how they were able to find things, (Uranus - I couldn't even find the stars of Pisces with the moon out!), I realised, I'm going to be left behind on these observation sessions if I don't get a go-to.

I bought my scope from Wex at the International Astronomy Show, and I went on their website after the first observation session, and they do a go-to kit for an EQ5 mount for £300-ish. Okay, if that's what I've got to spend, fine. But an astronomer buddy says I'd be best getting a new mount. I'm pleased enough with the scope.

Here's what I want.

1) Easy set-up (obviously), but I don't want to mess about with a laptop/wifi/gps stuff. I do a lot of observing in the sticks, without wifi signal, or even mains electric

2) I'd like to do some longer exposure photography. Nothing amazing, just guided well enough for 30 seconds or so.

I don't really know my options. Could I get a bees-knees mount that tracks good enough for serious astrophotography for £500? (and sell my EQ5)?

Edited by Swithin StCleeve
sp

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That does look good. I've also been looking at this..

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

It looks just like my existing mount, but with bits added.  I suppose that's the same mount that I'd end up with if I updated mine with the upgrade kit that's £300, right?

I suppose the question is simple. If you had an EQ5 mount, and wanted to upgrade to a goto, and had £400-500 quid to spend, what would you go for?

That second hand mount in Bangor looks nice, but I'm a bit wary of buying used when I'm not too sure what I'm buying.

 

Edited by Swithin StCleeve

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49 minutes ago, Swithin StCleeve said:

It looks just like my existing mount, but with bits added.  

That's right, it is,

(I have been there with the EQ5 and 200P,) it is doable but it comes with a lot of hard work and frustration,

But, and there is always a But :icon_biggrin: if you are serious about astrophotography then as good as the EQ5 mount is, especially with the 200p you really need to be looking at The HEQ5 mount as the minimum to get, 

you also need to be prepared for the fact that £500 is just the tip of the iceberg :icon_biggrin: where astrophotography is concerned, 

if you haven't got or read "Making Every Photon Count" i would recommend you do as it gives a wonderful insight to the world of astrophotography  (it is available from FLO)

I wish you well with whatever you decide to do,

 

Regards
James

 

 

 

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Thanks. I've got that book actually, it's on loan to a friend. Does it cover mounts?

And am I right in thinking HEQ5 isn't the brand of a mount, it's a type?

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So the HEQ5 tracks the stars much better than the EQ5, making it a better mount for astrophotography. So instead of spending £300 on upgrading my EQ5, it'd be better getting a second hand HEQ5 (like the one in the link in Bangor Space Cowboy put up?).

I can't run to a new HEQ5, but I could stretch to the £500. You're all saying it's worth the stretch. That's the same advice I had off a mate at the Astronomy club.

Really appreciate this help.

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I've got the EQ5 pro Goto, I bought a new one last year and I've had nothing but trouble with the tracking, had to send it back for a replacement and that's been trouble too. I too was worried about buying used but after this experience I would have gone for a used HEQ5 which is a stronger mount and would certainly handle your 8" scope better than the EQ5.

That eBay HEQ5 looks a great buy!

It says the tripod is from an NEQ6 which is even stronger!

Edited by Space Cowboy

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I have the CG5 (EQ5 clone) with the stepper motor belt drive AstroEQ mod. It's good, and as other above have said it can be frustrating at times. If I had the choice I'd jump at an HEQ5 There's one with the Rowan belt mod on eBay at the moment £380 buy-it-now.

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