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I'm seriously thinking about splashing out on a HEQ5 mount, but having only used a Dobsonian mount before, and never even polar aligned a mount, I'm a little worried I might be confused by the setting up. How awkward is it? I'm not asking for a tutorial, just a hint as to how long it takes to set up, and the basic procedures you have to go through after getting it out the car, before you can start using the handset.  I looked for a tutorial on youtube, and there's loads of techy stuff about changing parts on it, but I can't find owt on setting it up from scratch, for observing.

 

 

 

Edited by Swithin StCleeve

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5 minutes ago, Swithin StCleeve said:

I'm seriously thinking about splashing out on a HEQ5 mount, but having only used a Dobsonian mount before, and never even polar aligned a mount, I'm a little worried I might be confused by the setting up. How awkward is it? I'm not asking for a tutorial, just a hint as to how long it takes to set up, and the basic procedures you have to go through after getting it out the car, before you can start using the handset. 

There will be a learning curve involved, but once scaled, the setup procedure will be below ten minutes to turning on. The rough steps involved (as far as I can remember - I am no longer a regular HEQ5 setter upper as I have a lovely observatory these days - highly recommended!) are: put out tripod pointing North, level up, attach mount head, attach telescope, attach weights, balance, plug in handset, plug in power, switch on. Next you are in to the realms of polar alignment and star alignment, then you can slew away. Astro Imp's question of visual or AP is very valid and will influence the time required for PA. Polar Alignment is not a complex process, though again, there is a learning curve. It is definitely worth having some kind of Polaris Hour Angle app, if you are an app kind of a person. There is a fair deal of kneeling and craning of neck to look up the polar scope, but is all very do-able.

Good luck and I can vouch for the HEQ5 being a great performer.

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Visual about 5 mins. If you going to do AP you might need to put aside 1/2 or more. It seems you will be using it as mobile mount so it may be worth thinking about a polemaster.

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17 minutes ago, Astro Imp said:

Are you thinking of visual or AP ?

I didn't realise the setting up was different for either. I'll be doing more visual to start with, put it that way!

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Astroholic, thanks for that response. I'm not an app person at all. If the truth be known I don't really like technology, but after all these years with a dob I'm ready to go to the next level. Luckily, I'm in a society where I can ask more experienced people too.

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12 minutes ago, spillage said:

 It seems you will be using it as mobile mount so it may be worth thinking about a polemaster.

Sounds like a male porn star. What is it and what does it do?

  • Haha 2

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I am an HEQ5 pro user but this applies....

The legs can slide up the tubes if not nipped up just enough. The leg points sink in to soft ground so cut out some wood pads to stand them on.

Remember to pull out the counterweight shaft as it blanks off the polar scope................:hiding:

Everything else has been said in these posts.

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My local astro society has a new observing place with hard-standing. This is one of the reasons I'm thinking of splashing out on a decent mount.

I see you're in Shropshire! I do a lot of observing there, around Craven Arms and Bishop's Castle. Lovely part of the country.

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9 minutes ago, Swithin StCleeve said:

Would you have a quick look at this please...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263315265676?clk_rvr_id=1386838973045&rmvSB=true

Does that seem like a good buy?

Used astro stuff is usually pretty good but I always check what New Deals are available as you get a warranty. All the HEQ mounts I have seen are white so is this an early one?

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4 minutes ago, Swithin StCleeve said:

My local astro society has a new observing place with hard-standing. This is one of the reasons I'm thinking of splashing out on a decent mount.

I see you're in Shropshire! I do a lot of observing there, around Craven Arms and Bishop's Castle. Lovely part of the country.

Wolverhampton Astronomical Society member.........

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The polemaster is basically a web cam that sits in the hole you use to see through the polar scope. The bit at the top with the black blanking cap.

You use this cam with their software to help align PA.

You can use simple apps for both a mobile phone or pc/laptop to show the position of polaris.

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Get the SynscanInit app if you have an Android phone (not sure if available for iOS?). Has everything you need to enter when setting up.

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You know what? I've already got a EQ5 mount. I'm here asking you guys how easy it is setting up the HEQ5, but it's not that different to setting up the EQ5 when it comes to polar aligning. I ought to try and polar align my EQ5 first.

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2 hours ago, Swithin StCleeve said:

You know what? I've already got a EQ5 mount. I'm here asking you guys how easy it is setting up the HEQ5, but it's not that different to setting up the EQ5 when it comes to polar aligning. I ought to try and polar align my EQ5 first.

Setting up the HEQ5 will be no easier / harder than setting up your EQ5, it's just a bit bigger.

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But it'll have electronics, (my EQ5 insn't GoTo), and there's this 'two star/four star' alignment think going on. I need to practice setting up polar aligning my EQ5 anyway, because that will be the same process, won't it?

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Goto isn't difficult. The best thing to do is set the mount up indoors with the manual in front of you and practice using the handset before going outside in the dark, in the cold.

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On 08/12/2017 at 14:06, Swithin StCleeve said:

I'm seriously thinking about splashing out on a HEQ5 mount, but having only used a Dobsonian mount before, and never even polar aligned a mount, I'm a little worried I might be confused by the setting up. How awkward is it? I'm not asking for a tutorial, just a hint as to how long it takes to set up, and the basic procedures you have to go through after getting it out the car, before you can start using the handset.  I looked for a tutorial on youtube, and there's loads of techy stuff about changing parts on it, but I can't find owt on setting it up from scratch, for observing.

 

 

 

And so you should be. I have had an Equatorial mount for over a year. Still haven't managed to align it properly yet.

They are a nightmare.

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I’ve never had a dobsonian, I started with an equatorial. I would first put it all together and get it level. Then I would balance the scope and put it in the Home position. Polar alignment was just point it at Polaris and get it in the polar finder circle and a star alignment for the goto was just point at 1 star, centering it. Goto a 2nd star and center it in the eyepiece and then off you go. Probably 15 minutes worth of effort. The goto was 75% accurate I would say and it would track perfectly for hours. The most awkward part was carrying an neq6 down the stairs and outside to set it up. Thankfully the heq5 is much lighter

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I changed from an Evolution 8 to an HEQ5. Because I liked controlling the Evo using SkiSafari on my ipad, I bought a SkiFi unit from the Widescreen Centre. The only extra I needed was a cable to run from the handset to the SkiFi unit. I found the necessary information on the SkiFi website, and made up a cable which plugs into the bottom of the handset and then into the SkiFi unit.

I had to learn how to polar align, and for that I use a free app for my iphone (you can get them for android as well). I set the tripod to north, level it (roughly) and attach the mount. Then plug in battery and all leads etc. The polar aligning now takes about 5 minutes, and most of that is me crawling around on the ground trying to look up the polar scope, and not bashing the tripod when I extricate myself from under it. Then I use a one star align with the handset (apparently you can't use the ipad initially), and from then on I use the ipad for the rest of the evening. I can add more alignment points from the ipad if necessary.

I guess from starting to take stuff outside to starting to observe takes about half an hour, but that will be reduced once I get myself organised properly.

If you're just using the handset then use a 2 or 3 star align. I reckon with practice I should be able to get the setting up time down to 20 or even 15 minutes.

Eric

Edited by ejp1684
Can't spell my own name!

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