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Analysis Paralysis

Visual observing on HEQ5 pro.

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Please can I have your opinions on how easy/pleasant it is to use this mount for visual observation? I've heard some views that it is a pain? I'd like to do both visual and imaging.

Thanks for any opinions

Mark

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EQ mounts can be daunting for people just starting out in the hobby and the HEQ5 is no excemption but give it time and with patience it's pretty easy to use. I must admit though I do prefer the Alt/Az mounts for visual.

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My Astro' mounts are all EQ. No problem at all.

I even occasionally use the EQ3/2 for wildlife photography. Try tracking a swimming Duck in RA/DEC with the hand controls whilst gripping a cable DSLR release between your teeth!

Most times, folk stop to ask questions and see if they can have a go through the view finder.

All good fun. :)

Rich

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I have an EQ5 but only used for visual observing. I like it mostly for easier tracking than alt az (I only have the RA motor fitted) and I like it sometimes for a different finding experience because you can hop in straight lines of right ascension and declination and sometimes this makes for easier star hopping.

The HEQ5 is more weight but more stability and load carrying capacity - it's just a trade off of one thing against another to suit what you prefer. My criteria were that it didn't have to be good enough for photography but did need to be good enough to take a 180mm Maksuov which would be the heaviest thing it would ever have to cope with. Within those parameters I wanted the lightest mount I could get away with and although I looked at the HEQ5 I ended up going for the EQ5 and am happy with it. I've not tried a big makstov on it yet but it takes a C8 easily.

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Hi Mark,

Overall, very easy once you get used to it. Getting used to it takes a little bit of work, but not as much as all that (you should be pretty used to it after one pretty fiddly session, and comfortable after two or three). Unless you are using goto, in which case trivial once you have that working.

In my experience it is excellent for high magnification work (esp. lunar and planetary) where the ability to keep the image dead centre and relax as you watch the target is worth 2 inches of aperture easy. Less of an advantage for wide angle scanning or DSOs in my experience (unless you want to sketch them, in which case it is useful, especially if you draw as slowly as I do). Also makes non-goto star hopping pretty trivial since, once you have your scope on a bright star, the movements to hop to the target are always exactly the same (i.e. they don't change depending on the time of night or the seasons). For example, if I sight on a star of the same RA or DEC as my target and move the scope on the other axis, I will always alight on the target.

One tip - for visual, don't get too hung up on alignment. I usually keep my mount outside and permanently aligned, but for visual (provided you have at some point aligned properly so the alt is set right) all it takes is to plop the mount on the ground with the North leg pointing a Polaris. Total alignment time should not be more than a minute, and only that long if you want to get it really spot on.

Different people seem to get different mileage from EQ mounts - personally, I would rather use a 6 inch reflector mounted on an HEQ5 than an 8 inch Dob on planets, but others will prefer the alt az, and I'm mostly with them when it comes to DSO visual. Give it a go and just see how you get on.

Billy.

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Wonderful mount for visual. It's sturdy enough to take weight without being too heavy to move in one unit, which I can't do with the eq6. Nick.

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15 minutes ago, billyharris72 said:

Hi Mark,

Overall, very easy once you get used to it. Getting used to it takes a little bit of work, but not as much as all that (you should be pretty used to it after one pretty fiddly session, and comfortable after two or three). Unless you are using goto, in which case trivial once you have that working.

In my experience it is excellent for high magnification work (esp. lunar and planetary) where the ability to keep the image dead centre and relax as you watch the target is worth 2 inches of aperture easy. Less of an advantage for wide angle scanning or DSOs in my experience (unless you want to sketch them, in which case it is useful, especially if you draw as slowly as I do). Also makes non-goto star hopping pretty trivial since, once you have your scope on a bright star, the movements to hop to the target are always exactly the same (i.e. they don't change depending on the time of night or the seasons). For example, if I sight on a star of the same RA or DEC as my target and move the scope on the other axis, I will always alight on the target.

One tip - for visual, don't get too hung up on alignment. I usually keep my mount outside and permanently aligned, but for visual (provided you have at some point aligned properly so the alt is set right) all it takes is to plop the mount on the ground with the North leg pointing a Polaris. Total alignment time should not be more than a minute, and only that long if you want to get it really spot on.

Different people seem to get different mileage from EQ mounts - personally, I would rather use a 6 inch reflector mounted on an HEQ5 than an 8 inch Dob on planets, but others will prefer the alt az, and I'm mostly with them when it comes to DSO visual. Give it a go and just see how you get on.

Billy.

Thank you all for your a answers especially you Billy for a particularly interesting reply. I currently have a secondhand 80 ed refractor and intend to use it for DSO imaging. But I also would like to do visual on doubles, planets and moon, and brighter DSO. I'd like to avoid 2 mounts. I am thinking of the heq5 pro with goto and  WiFi control and Rowan belt mod for quiet accurate tracking.  Given the cost of that lot, I'm looking for inclusivity of visual and imaging! I would like to add a 150 mm F12 or 180 mm F15 mak to the collection later on to compliment the 80 mm refractor. Again you can see I'm looking at visual and imaging with these choices ( although I am going to have a crack at the impossible task of trying the Mak at DSO too!).

About 30 years ago I had a dark Star 8.75" dobsonian. I could never get on with having to push it around and view at same time especially as the magnification rises. For me, tracking is absolutely essential in my next choice! No doubt whatsoever. I want to observe rather than constantly battle to keep on target. But also options for astrophotography like we see now were way beyond most amateurs reach 30 years ago, so I fancy my hand at this now! Before I am too old to lug a mount around.

Thanks

Mark

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I use the 150 Mak on mine and it works a treat. It's not half bad on DSOs either - I use a 34mm ES 68 degree eyepiece when I want a wide-ish field and it's alright. For planets though the 180 sounds perfect.

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