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mikey2000

EQ6-R owners club

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I was rather lucky with my Christmas Bonus and splurged on a new mount to replace my EQ3 Pro Synscan....  Yep, I took delivery of a shiny, new, heavy, glorious EQ6-R from FLO.

 

It's sort of hard to find much about this mount.  It's still rather new, in astronomical terms.     I thought I'd start a thread for EQ6-R owners to post there views and comments, hopefully for the benefit of those wondering about an upgrade.

 

 

I'm new to astronomy and astrophotography, having been given a 130P (on EQ2) in 2015, upgraded to EQ3 Pro SynScan (aluminium legs) (and 150PDS) in 2016 then finally buying myself the (hopefully) Final Mount Upgrade to EQ6-R for Christmas 2017.

 

I learned a lot from the EQ3 DSO Challenge thread and spent the last year learning to guide with my EQ3.   Super-thread, Super-Contributors.  I can't speak highly enough of that thread.  But my EQ3 was prone to dec 'leaps' and had an annoying short duration periodic errors.  It was limiting my photos.

 

So, after some research, I ended up buying an EQ6-R over a HEQ6, NEQ6 or whatever the AltAzEq6 mount is called.   The price jump to the AZ/EQ just pushed it out of my already broken comfort zone.

 

Then it arrived.  Blinking Heck - I knew it would be substantial but no photo can prepare you for the size-jump from EQ3 ro EQ6.  The tripod is much bigger, sturdier and of course, better (the leg adjustments are so much easier now!)  Then you unpack the actual mount head.  What a lump!  It's like comparing a lego motor to a v8 5.0.

The EQ6-R is not very portable.  I can get it from the garage to the garden with a little bit of effort.  I need to remove the OTA and I use the 500g extension bar for the counterweight (using the power of phyics to balance my OTA without needing to add another 5kg counterweight).    The EQ6-R has a carry-handle.  I've seen it mocked and questioned, even berated.    I love it.  It's the handle that allows me to move mount+tripod togerther.    The retactible counterweight bar is also very useful  - it allows you to centralise the weight before you have to lift it.

 

In context, I still have the EQ3.    Without OTA, I easily moved it one handed.  When I look at the EQ6-R, I know I can move it but I make sure that the move is necessary first:-)

 

So it's out in the garden.  What next?  Polar alignment?   I love the polarscope - it's the same as the EQ3 version but came perfectly aligned (luck?) and has a built in luxury illuminator.  Awesome. It just takes a few mins in SharpCap to finish the PA.  The screws for alt/az adjustment are streets ahead of the EQ3 PA screws.

 

The next major difference is the noise.  Slewing is *so* much quiter than EQ3.  It's a bit 'whiney' but orders of magnitude quieter.   Every EQ3 slew was a potential 'neighbour-waker' but the EQ6-R is quite sociable by comparison.

 

 

Accuracy?   I use eqmod and eyeball the home position.  I get slews accurate enough that astrotortillla can plate solve without issue.

Accuracy? Guiding just took a big jump.  Under my conditions, I can get PHD2 Total RMS 0.75arcsec or less, easily (and it doesn't glitch in DEC like my EQ3).  I guide with QHY-5Lii-c in 130mm/f5 guidscope then image at 750mm.  I tried the guide cam with the main scope and didn't see an improvement - this mount is seeing-limited.   I can now take an exposure of any length (I've only gone up to 10mins but the guide graph had no glitches for 2 hours). Lovely round stars.   The Dec guiding seems good too - the backlash is way way way less than the EQ3.  When you take this with the sturdy alignment bolts, suddenly every thing seems so much easier.

 

 

So many "pros"!!  But the "cons"? ....  Yep, it's much much heavier and bulkier.   Yep, it doesn't give alt/az movement.    There's something else I read about permanent encoders or something else technical like that.  But I don't miss it.

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Sounds like the EQ6R is a bit of a beast to move around, i'm sure the pro's will quickly outweigh the cons in practical use though, maybe you may want to explore some kind of dolly to lug it around? enjoy it while you can lug it around, i myself bought a CPC1100 last year and when i opened the box i was absolutely floored and could not take it out of the box without cutting the box open.

Sometimes the scopes we buy ultimately defeat us as i sold the CPC1100, outright dangerous to carry up and down my staircase.

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I am a fully paid up member of the EQ6-R club since the start of the year.

Very impressed with the build quality, looking through the polar scope cover the inside is clean and neat, and things seem to have been set up well (my polarscope is also aligned)

Naturally, the weather has been awful ever since but on the one night I got out and the seeing was actually decent I was able to test the mount and got similar figures to other reviews I have seen for this mount “out of the box”.

Guiding was under 0.8” RMS and I generated a PEC curve (5 full rotations of the worm) of ±6.5” 

Very happy with that and it can probably be improved on with experience.

Haven’t had the chance to image yet but on those stats I am very hopeful (I have ED120 & ED80 fracs)

EQMOD works without any issues and I have a gamepad working with it.

Goto has been very accurate after polar alignment with sharpcap pro. I do a 3 star sync with EQMOD and the first star is within a couple of degrees in the finder scope and the next two much closer and were visible in the main scope so I didn't need the finder.

The handle is a great addition, so much easier to move than an NEQ6 due to that simple addition. I found it fairly easy to move from the house to garden (via patio doors) with mount + tripod + 1 weight.

My only negatives –

1.      The home position markers – White on white ??? a job for a permanent marker here I think.

2.      The green clocks, while I quite like the 'jade' green colour however, it's very difficult to see the lines under red torch light.

 

Edited by Rob63
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Ha ha!  I never even noticed the home position markers.  Or the clocks...

 

I hope your weather improves soon, Rob.  For me the most significant upgrade is the sheer stability of guiding - so few "outliers" and zero glitches, even over an hour.  The guide trace just sits there, wiggling gently along with no big spikes.  As far as I can tell, the exposure limit is, well, unlimited.

 

My polar scope also seems nicely aligned. It's not quite 'vertical' but is almost perfectly centered. That's fine for me - I use the polar scope to get close then use software (sharpcap) for the fine tuning.  I like the built in polar scope illuminator too (asjustable by eqmod!)

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I got my EQ6-R in December. I have not tried guiding yet but I absolutely love the mount. I moved up from a CG5 AGT and the EQ6-R just blows it out of the water. I polar align using Sharpcap with a modified finder/guider and can get 5 minutes unguided with no trailing. I have all the equipment for guiding just haven't worked out how yet. I second everything that has been said about the EQ6-R.

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Hi guys,

 

Interesting read this! I am in the middle of planning my imaging rig. At the moment I have a small portable set up, consisting of the star adventurer, Zenithstar61 and a Synguider ll attached to a 50mm finder guider. Due to the weather I am yet to try the Z61 and guiding combo. I plan on keeping this portable set up for trips etc, however I am torn between an NEQ6-Pro with Rowan belt mod and re-grease, or the new EQ6-R-Pro. I plan on using the synguider with the big mount also. 

Would I be better off going for the EQ6-R-Pro? Also I plan on adding a 120mm refractor asap.

 

Thanks guys

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I'd go with the EQ6-R, the NEQ6-Pro + Belt mod is not going to be much cheaper than the EQ6-R and doing the belt mod yourself would invalidate the warranty.

However a 2nd hand NEQ6 + belt mod could be tempting if you are in any way mechanically minded, you will not find the mod difficult to do and you will really get an understanding of how the mount works as you try to tune it. I don't think the belt mod makes a huge difference to guiding performance but it certainly does to the noise level.

 

Rpb

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Hi Rob, 

Apologies I should of explained a little better. The modded NEQ6 has been already been done by Rother Valley, this comes with a their own warranty.

They have mentioned that many of their customers when guiding have more of a flat line on the PHD graph, compared to a stock guided EQ6-R Pro . The EQ6-R Pro does have a slightly heavier payload and is only £50 more expensive & has the stronger bolts. Price wise, if I bouhh the upgraded bolts the price would be the same.

It's a tough decision, Rother claim the upgraded Neq6 has better accuracy ehich is seaying me towards it. What do you think Rob?

Much appreciated

Ryan

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Hi Ryan,

interesting, It's a tough decision as a belt modded, stripped down, new bolts and tuned NEQ6 is essentially what the EQ6-R is (apart from the handle which is a simple but great addition)

Hard to say which would be the better performer without seeing actual RMS figures. I and others have been getting an RMS of around 0.8" out of the box with the EQ6-R (I won't be attempting to tune that before the warranty is up). 

I'd be tempted by the tuned NEQ6 though, I suggest you try and find actual reviews of an Rother valley tuned mount and also think about what payload you are likely to use in the next few years.

There is never a straight forward decision to make in astro imaging, I will be buying a cooled camera this year, that will be a real headache to choose as well!

good luck,

Rob.

 

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Here's a PHD Guide Log from my eq6-r.  The seeing was rather poor for an extended period around here - lots of twinkling.  Also, it was definitely a bit, erm, breezy.

 

I've had slightly better RA results on other nights but masked by persistent thin patchy clouds.  I've not done any tuning - it's out of the box.

 

There are two guide sessions in there - look at the 2h49 one.  RA RMS is 0.6" and Dec RMS is 0.45" (at a Dec angle of 22degrees, quite close to the equator)  There are some spikes up to 2", quickly corrected - I assume these are either wind gusts or 'super twinkles'.  I've not really had a good play with the PHD settings as I've been generally rather happy with the performance (the PHD support guys say I am now 'seeing limited')  I'd love to try this mount on a night of exceptional seeing to see what I get.

 

I also used EQMOD AutoPec and that only finds a very small amount of PE (approx +/- 3").  I suspect it doesn't even need correcting as I'm guiding and the RA PE swings are so gentle.

 

 

Don't forget - the EQ-6R has a carry-handle. This makes my life *very* much more straightforward as I can just maange to move the mount+tripod without dismantling the whole thing.

PHD2_GuideLog_2018-02-15_213830.txt

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I am not current user of EQ6-R, but I have this mount some time ago for testing. What I liked much was very low PE - for my EQ6-R it was less than +- 6", and tracking error with guiding less than 1" (with 13kg setup on it). While it has the same load capability as NEQ6, I think the precision of worm drive has increased significantly (for my EQ6 I have PE above +-20"). You can find my full review of EQ6-R at http://astrojolo.com/gears/sky-watcher-eq6-r-review/ 

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Hi.  I'm a new EQ6-R owner, having graduated from a Skywatcher Star Adventurer.

I have a couple of questions regarding the polarscope.  I live under quite dark skies - tonight I can make out the 4 stars of the Octans asterism. However I can barely see anything through the polarscope even though I have the DEC axis rotated correctly and can see through the shaft hole.  There's nowhere near enough star brighness to do any sort of visual polar alignment.   Am I missing something ?  Am I supposed to pull out the whole DEC head to see past the shaft ?

 The Star Adventurer was MUCH clearer and allowed me to get very accurate polar alignment.  

 

Thanks, Kelvin

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If the Dec shaft is rotated correctly, you can look backwards down the polar scope “sky hole” all the way without any obstructions. 

 

I’ve made the silly mistake of not extended the counter balance shaft and that also blocks the polar scope.  I felt pretty silly after that one :-)

 

is is the polar scope focused correctly ?(mine was fine straight off ...)

maybe also, turn down the brightness of the red illuminator (with the synscan handset or Eqmod).  As far I know, the Octans stars are rather dim.   I need to turn my illuminator down to 30% just to see Polaris clearly and that’s a relatively bright star...

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3 hours ago, mikey2000 said:

I’ve made the silly mistake of not extended the counter balance shaft and that also blocks the polar scope.  I felt pretty silly after that one :-)

Been there, done that - D'oh :icon_mrgreen:

 

 

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I bought one last year but haven't had much chance to use it and when I have my incompetence has made it quite frustrating. So on Sunday according to Clear Outside I would get about 2 hours of clear sky. So instead of rushing to get set up to try and capture a few bad pictures of distant objects, I decided to spend the time attempting to get a good PA and subsequently good guiding. Where I set up at home I can't see Polaris through the polar scope as my house is in the way, so I use Sharpcap PA utility. I also used Sharpcap Focus Assistant for the first time to focus my ZWO guidescope, it took me a while to get this sorted and the settings of my guide camera (ASI224MC) to see enough stars to be able to plate solve, once sorted it only took a few minutes to get excellent PA according to Sharpcap. I then launched PHD2 and ran a calibration, once completed I used the guiding assistant to obtain the optimum settings, then left it running for 10 minutes and the guiding graph was the best I'd ever achieved (sorry I should have taken some screen captures or noted down what I was getting) I could attach logs if anyone was interested. By now the clouds had started to roll in so decided to pack up. Overall I think it was two hours well spent, it is a lovely mount well made, a big improvement on the EQ5pro it replaced. Hopefully we will get some clear skys soon so I haven't forgotten everything I learnt on Sunday, thanks for looking at my ramblings.

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Have just joined the club. Ordered last night and am expecting to take delivery on Saturday. 

Need to clear it all fwmnnts of my celestron drivers and then get to grips with eqmod2and controlling this. 

Will be setup on my pier, so 1st order of the day is to get my pa spot on. 

Am contemplating getting pempro but will see how it performs out of the box before making that jump

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Well....this has to be a 1st in the world of astro.  New mount turned up today and so did the clear skies.

All was not good as did not get to mount on pier as adapter plates fitted to it are for my old AVX, so will need to look at getting a new one, but did put mount up on tripod and boy, what a beast she is.  Looks and feels so much more sturdy than my AVX.

Have managed to grab 10 x 600s Ha images of the Iris Nebula tonight.  Mainly went for that target due to where it was in the sky and making it easier on the temporary setup.  Had a small issue getting an image with PHD, but that was all down to focus issues.

Have put a screen grab of PHD below and this was after one iteration of using Polemaster.  Managed to swap the adapter from my AVX onto new mount and all works fine.

5aee3d4ba3e3c_1stGuiding.thumb.jpg.56febc558ed97280cf47ad6b02d764c7.jpg

Next is a single sub that has only had a very quick histogram stretch done to it.  Is typical that out of the 10, I pick the one with a sat pass in it.  This was taken without my filter wheel in place and had the Ha filter screwed directly to the front of the coma corrector.  Despite checking on the focusing with shorter exposres, this looks a wee bit out of focus to me.  May clear up after stacking, but not counting on that.  Will need to work on getting my head around the autofocus routine in SGP next.

5aee3e1910438_IrisHa.thumb.jpg.4c068ea06d86c267fff89821fd71357d.jpg

 

All in all am very very happy with the new mount and can see it getting some good use in the years to come.

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@Shelster1973  welcome to the club, you will have to let us know how you get on once mounted on the peir. Wish I had a permenant setup, as you said it's a bit of a beast to keep lugging outside, I can manage it at the moment with scope in place but it's a struggle, saves on gym membership :icon_biggrin:

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Cheers

I ordered the adapter plate from altair earlier today, so hopefully that will be here before the weekend

Was going to take a pic the other night of my setup but did not get around to it. Will take some after it is properly mounted. Did take a pic of it in the box though....

20180505_155112.thumb.jpg.87d37c02643b743d8c1486ca4b25aa97.jpg20180505_155117.thumb.jpg.087d4522381e476e771a50b2389edff3.jpg

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Welcome to the club.

Check out Chris Shillito's channel on youtube for everything you'll ever need to know about Eqmod.

looking forward to seeing how you get on.

No Astronomical darkness for me until September so I will be turning to the light side until then, assuming the sun comes out to play.

 

Rob.

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Hi everybody,

i'm expecting a EQ6R-Pro myself, can't wait to get in to longer exposure AP and learning more on Polar Alignment, guiding and what not.

I'ts going to be a steep learning curve but motivation is a good companion, and off course i'm hoping to gather some tips and advice here from you.

I've visited ATT in Essen (NEAF counterpart Germany) on may 5th together with some co-members of our local astronomy club, and there where 3 of us who bought the mount, so we've got a good deal on it (-15%).

Unfortunatly the stock was depleted, the vendor sold 10 mounts on one day :eek:  (and we left 3 hours before closing), so i'm still waiting.

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Hi fellow EQ6R-PRO-owners, 

Took delivery yesterday, i only had an hour or so until i had to leave for a marriage party, so i wasted no time and dived right into the boxes ? .

What a beast ! ?

And doesn't the Nexstar 11 GPS OTA look fine on it  ?

IMG_5771.thumb.JPG.4461563b5d77a2dcadda10052d9dcd10.JPGIMG_5772.thumb.JPG.3630d2b106ba75e03f87d6da9cf0c61d.JPGIMG_5774.thumb.JPG.abdb92f0f914d439e6fa23f3187d117b.JPGIMG_5775.thumb.JPG.bea7fd3f5d465f530fecf77733c79352.JPGIMG_5786.thumb.JPG.5763ea86255048ac4005e0b78f779eb7.JPG

I've ordered a 3th weight with it, and its just about balanced like this on the foto, so without the extension bar, that Meade eyepiece is one heavy sucker dough, weighing 1,25kg.

Now learning how to PA can start and adjusting coming from a AZ mount.

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Welcome to the club Miguel. You will love the mount

My pier adapter has turned up and have now fitted it

20180526_121805.thumb.jpg.6e4e96fbf0435b69ac604082f25d8f2b.jpg20180526_121746.thumb.jpg.fa979fa914847cd2045b305bbd7342a3.jpg

now just need a clear night and can get my pa sorted and possibly grab some imaging time. Will be using my D7100 for the while as want to feel the love again for imaging and there is just too much tweaking and fettling to get my ccd and filters all sorted

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Weird thing...when I put the adapter on the pier, I leveled it off perfectly using my DeWalt torpedo level, yet the bubble on the mount shows it as slightly off....have not tweaked to get the bubble in as trust the other level more.

@Miguel1983 that is one beast of a scope there....

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