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souls33k3r

New mount suggestions

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Hi All,

I am about to sell my trusted NEQ6 which has served me well over the last few years. I works like a dream and i think i'm being slightly silly selling it because it just works day in and day out.

Now i'm in the market for a new mount. I do not want to be spending silly money on a mount but i do want to spend on something that will be as reliable. Saying that MESU, Avalon, 10 Micron mounts are out of the door.

The only two mounts that do come to my mind. I'm sure this has been discussed to death but the reasons why i have both of these mounts in mind are for the following reasons:

1) EQ6-R (Belt driven, handle for easier carrying and slightly increased payload)

2) iOptron CEM60 (Magnetically loaded gear system, lighter, increased payload)

The EC version is out of the question just because i really don't see the point of spending even more money with only limited sky time that we get. 

My concern around EQ6-R is how good is the build quality, does it (not that i've ever experienced with my trusted NEQ6) the bearing issue, bad grease used, and how good are the belts?

My concern around CEM60 is the new balance system. I know it's smooth but i've seen people really have issues balancing this mount and have to add washers and whatnot at the from but on the side of the dovetail to make it balanced.

So my question is that is there anything else that i'm not looking at within this price range that i should look at or am missing?

Thanks in advance.

 

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I'm not sure there really is any extra payload capacity with the EQ6-R and not much in the weight either, so certainly not enough to warrant ditching what sounds like a decent NEQ6. All you would gain here is a carrying handle and the belt drive and if you want a belt drive you can modify the NEQ6 yourself. The CEM60 seems like a step up and does appear to a have a genuine payload capacity and weight advantage over what you already have. The ability to get a decent balance with the CEM60 sounds like a great advantage to me, even if it can be tricky. I've always struggled with my own EQ6 with overly tight axis affecting the ability to balance properly and to me this at least sounds like a big plus. Factor in some of the claims for tracking performance and this mount starts looking very attractive, at least in my book.

I personally would be considering either the CEM60 or even the EQ8, particularly from a payload perspective, but then the the EQ8 is at a price point higher then the standard CEM60 and of course it is a much heavier beast. Again, at a higher price point is the CGX, but I have to admit I don't really know too much about that mount.

 

I've probably been no help at all.....but will be interested to see which way you eventually jump.?

 

Steve

 

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2 minutes ago, SteveA said:

I'm not sure there really is any extra payload capacity with the EQ6-R and not much in the weight either, so certainly not enough to warrant ditching what sounds like a decent NEQ6. All you would gain here is a carrying handle and the belt drive and if you want a belt drive you can modify the NEQ6 yourself. The CEM60 seems like a step up and does appear to a have a genuine payload capacity and weight advantage over what you already have. The ability to get a decent balance with the CEM60 sounds like a great advantage to me, even if it can be tricky. I've always struggled with my own EQ6 with overly tight axis affecting the ability to balance properly and to me this at least sounds like a big plus. Factor in some of the claims for tracking performance and this mount starts looking very attractive, at least in my book.

I personally would be considering either the CEM60 or even the EQ8, particularly from a payload perspective, but then the the EQ8 is at a price point higher then the standard CEM60 and of course it is a much heavier beast. Again, at a higher price point is the CGX, but I have to admit I don't really know too much about that mount.

 

I've probably been no help at all.....but will be interested to see which way you eventually jump.?

 

Steve

 

Cheers for your input Steve. Well it's stated to have 2kgs more extra payload but that in my books is negligible of course but the belt drive will minimize the backlash and smooth guiding and handle to easy carrying in and out which is one of the reasons why i'm parting ways from my trusted NEQ6. I've looked after that beast so no wonder it's still in good nick. The belt drive option on doing it by myself has always put me off if i'm being honest. Anyone who i've known in person if have done it are having to strip their mounts every now and again to adjust and i don't think i have the right mindset or the DIY skills to be able to do it. So if i were to have it done, i'd have to send it off to some professional which then puts me right at the EQ6-R category. Hence the reason why i asked if the belts of the current EQ6-R are as good as the rowan belts?

CEM60 is on the lighter side of things, it's easier to carry with more payload but does indeed come at a crazy cost and the EC version even more. My mind says EQ6-R because it's sensible choice, my heart says CEM60 or EC because you only live once. The clash is real and i'm struggling.

EQ8 like you said is out of the price point but then even if it was, it's heavy beast and i'm trying to stay on the lighter side of things.

The balance of CEM60 i think i've had it somewhat understood and got a reasonable idea how to counter it but i'm not sure if id like to be adding washers or clamps to do it. You buy a mount and it should work rather than buying more of something to make it work.

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Posted (edited)

Hi again mate...
I am also on the same route ;) 

Thinking of getting rid of my NEQ and step up... 

My investigations lead me towards CEM60 without alternatives. Skywatcher again? No... Thank you, I had some quite painful experience with it.

Plus CEM60 = nice internal cable management, + USB and Power Ports, plus Lighter. In other words, it is much up to date mount than any other in this class.

And finally, guiding specs are also better than EQ6-R

Edited by RolandKol
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3 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

Hi again mate...
I am also on the same route ;) 

Thinking of getting rid of my NEQ and step up... 

My investigations lead me towards CEM60 without alternatives. Skywatcher again? No... Thank you, I had some quite painful experience with it.

Plus CEM60 = nice internal cable management, + USB and Power Ports, plus Lighter. In other words, it is much up to date mount than any other in this class.

And finally, guiding specs are also better than EQ6-R

Good God man! people will have a different idea about us if you keep following me to my thread ? Let's be sure, we don't have anything between us and you're definitely not stalking :D

The only reason why i was thinking of the CEM60 is because it's lighter and i'm not getting any younger and with all the back pains that i've been having, it makes sense to go on the lighter side of things. 

I really don't know if i would ever say no to SW because it's a mount that has given me joys and trouble free nights so i personally don't have a bad experience with it. Like i mentioned in my other post, just went 20hrs of imaging on 6 different nights and not a single sub thrown away due to guiding and that too was 5 min sub exposure. 

The itch want me to spend and live free but then i have explaining to do to my wife as well. Last night when she realised i was selling the mount and how much i originally bought it for, she went in a shock. You don't want to know what she wants me to get before any astro gear comes but i'm hoping a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers might sweeten the deal. If you don't hear from me in a few weeks time, i'd be happy if you come to my funeral ?

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

Good God man! people will have a different idea about us if you keep following me to my thread ? Let's be sure, we don't have anything between us and you're definitely not stalking :D

The only reason why i was thinking of the CEM60 is because it's lighter and i'm not getting any younger and with all the back pains that i've been having, it makes sense to go on the lighter side of things. 

I really don't know if i would ever say no to SW because it's a mount that has given me joys and trouble free nights so i personally don't have a bad experience with it. Like i mentioned in my other post, just went 20hrs of imaging on 6 different nights and not a single sub thrown away due to guiding and that too was 5 min sub exposure. 

The itch want me to spend and live free but then i have explaining to do to my wife as well. Last night when she realised i was selling the mount and how much i originally bought it for, she went in a shock. You don't want to know what she wants me to get before any astro gear comes but i'm hoping a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers might sweeten the deal. If you don't hear from me in a few weeks time, i'd be happy if you come to my funeral ?

hahaha, I am sure she will keep you alive till you get the car! :)


to sum up:

EQ6-R - guiding acc 0.14 arc-second, PL 20kg = £1,182 (nothing in addition, empty as a bucket or my wallet...)
CEM60 - guiding acc 0.06 arcsec (on the paper... probably 0.1), PL 27.2 kg = £1,599 , but.. +GPS, + cabling, -5kg weight.

Difference £417.

CEM60 is better by all means, keep in mind, the better the guiding, the better your images, stars become smaller, nicer  and etc and etc and etc :)
but is it worth extra £££ ?

For me yes... I would go for CEM even if guiding and weight limits would be same.

(not sure if you seen my Mount cabling at the moment! Spider-Net!)

Edited by RolandKol
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5 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

hahaha, I am sure she will keep you alive till you get the car! :)


to sum up:

EQ6-R - guiding acc 0.14 arc-second, PL 20kg = £1,182 (nothing in addition, empty as a bucket or my wallet...)
CEM60 - guiding acc 0.06 arcsec (on the paper... probably 0.1), PL 27.2 kg = £1,599 , but.. +GPS, + cabling, -5kg weight.

Difference £417.

CEM60 is better by all means, keep in mind, the better the guiding, the better your images, stars become smaller, nicer  and etc and etc and etc :)
but is it worth extra £££ ?

For me yes... I would go for CEM even if guiding and weight limits would be same.

(not sure if you seen my Mount cabling at the moment! Spider-Net!)

Car has to be in before mid june or i'm a dead souls33k3r.

You do know you're a bad influence don't you? making it a lot easier for me to spend my children's inheritance money :D

But you do make some valid points there mate.

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Plus, swapping NEQ6 to EQ6-R, is almost the same as buying the same car but with the additional door handle!

No fun! :)

 

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If you go the CEM60 route, how are you going to mount it? I only ask, as I have a home built pier, with a pier adaptor specifically engineered for the EQ6 and IF (big IF that is),  I went the same route would need some kind of adaptor to convert to the iOptron format. I've been looking and I'm not sure there is anything available off the shelf?

Steve  

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1 hour ago, SteveA said:

I'm not sure there really is any extra payload capacity with the EQ6-R and not much in the weight either, so certainly not enough to warrant ditching what sounds like a decent NEQ6. All you would gain here is a carrying handle and the belt drive and if you want a belt drive you can modify the NEQ6 yourself. The CEM60 seems like a step up and does appear to a have a genuine payload capacity and weight advantage over what you already have. The ability to get a decent balance with the CEM60 sounds like a great advantage to me, even if it can be tricky. I've always struggled with my own EQ6 with overly tight axis affecting the ability to balance properly and to me this at least sounds like a big plus. Factor in some of the claims for tracking performance and this mount starts looking very attractive, at least in my book.

I personally would be considering either the CEM60 or even the EQ8, particularly from a payload perspective, but then the the EQ8 is at a price point higher then the standard CEM60 and of course it is a much heavier beast. Again, at a higher price point is the CGX, but I have to admit I don't really know too much about that mount.

 

I've probably been no help at all.....but will be interested to see which way you eventually jump.?

 

Steve

 

The EQ8 is not an upgrade over the NEQ6 except for the payload.
It might have less periodic error, but it has a lot of backlash, it's so bad that of all the people i know buying mounts in in the first couple of years after release has sold their EQ8 or just stopped using it for imaging.
I've had 2 EQ8's myself, sent the first one back because of backlash and the new one was just as bad. I ended up selling it. A friend sold his EQ8 because of the same reason.

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8 minutes ago, SteveA said:

If you go the CEM60 route, how are you going to mount it? I only ask, as I have a home built pier, with a pier adaptor specifically engineered for the EQ6 and IF (big IF that is),  I went the same route would need some kind of adaptor to convert to the iOptron format. I've been looking and I'm not sure there is anything available off the shelf?

Steve  

iOptron themselves have a pier plate available.
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1 minute ago, Xplode said:

The EQ8 is not an upgrade over the NEQ6 except for the payload.
It might have less periodic error, but it has a lot of backlash, it's so bad that of all the people i know buying mounts in in the first couple of years after release has sold their EQ8 or just stopped using it for imaging.
I've had 2 EQ8's myself, sent the first one back because of backlash and the new one was just as bad. I ended up selling it. A friend sold his EQ8 because of the same reason.

I had heard some poor reports on the EQ8, but I thought that these issues had been addressed to some degree. Sounds like you have had a really bad time with it though. I have heard other people and a few on here who rate this mount quite highly. Of course this is the conundrum  with Skywatcher  with what is  essentially a mass produced mount and clearly inconsistent  quality control...basically its a gamble...you  either get a good one or not.  I 'm not sure where iOptron sit in this respect, though at the price point of this mount I suspect they may suffer similarly.

Steve

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3 minutes ago, Xplode said:
6 minutes ago, Xplode said:

iOptron themselves have a pier plate available.
 Ah...very interesting!!

So I take it that the central bolt that normally screws into the base of the EQ6 goes into the base of this adaptor? 

Steve


 

Oh yes! Now that would be really handy.......

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, SteveA said:

I 'm not sure where iOptron sit in this respect, though at the price point of this mount I suspect they may suffer similarly.

When I purchased the iEQ45 some years ago iOptron QC appeared to be  non existent, they seemed to employ the MS philosophy of letting the customers do the beta testing then after a while the mount reappeared as V2 as it should have been to start with once all the faults had been pointed out to them.

Hopefully they've improved since then.

Dave

Edited by Davey-T
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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, SteveA said:

If you go the CEM60 route, how are you going to mount it? I only ask, as I have a home built pier, with a pier adaptor specifically engineered for the EQ6 and IF (big IF that is),  I went the same route would need some kind of adaptor to convert to the iOptron format. I've been looking and I'm not sure there is anything available off the shelf?

Steve  

I will be looking to mount it on a pier which will be ready during the summer. Altair does a nice pier adapter which i already own https://www.altairastro.com/Skywatcher-Celestron-iOptron-Pier-Adapter-CNC.html

13 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

When I purchased the iEQ45 some years ago iOptron QC appeared to be  non existent, they seemed to employ the MS philosophy of letting the customers do the beta testing then after a while the mount reappeared as V2 as it should have been to start with once all the faults had been pointed out to them.

Hopefully they've improved since then.

Dave

I've heard nothing but good stuff about the QC so far especially with the newer CEM60's

Edited by souls33k3r

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I'm selling my eq6 because upgraded it to a Cem60. I've spent the last few days setting it up. I've got it mounted on the Tri-Pier which is very solid, much more so than the eq6 tripod. As to balance, I was worried about that. I've just finished balancing for the moment but I made sure the focuser on the scope was close to the eventual position for my camera etc. There was some tendency for sideways movement when in zero position which I fixed by rotating the focuser slightly and fiddling with the filterwheel and finderguider until everything stayed straight. I was also quite surprised how much having the focuser 2.5 cm out had on Dec balance. I ended up having to put a Primiluce balancing weight on the objective end without the counterweight! I've never had to do that with my 4 inch refractor before. 

The saddle plate is very long which could cause issues with motorfocus brackets.

Now all I need is a clear night to polar align and fine tune my focus so I can check balance again!

I wanted more payload to run two telescopes and cameras eventually.

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10 hours ago, souls33k3r said:

My concern around CEM60 is the new balance system. I know it's smooth but i've seen people really have issues balancing this mount and have to add washers and whatnot at the from but on the side of the dovetail to make it balanced.

The balance of CEM60 i think i've had it somewhat understood and got a reasonable idea how to counter it but i'm not sure if id like to be adding washers or clamps to do it. You buy a mount and it should work rather than buying more of something to make it work.

Hi,

This is wrong what you are thinking. The need for adding extra weights laterally does not come from the mount . It comes from asymmetric weight distribution of the telescopes or the equipment you put on top if the saddle plate.

For example a reflector with a attached finder scope will always be heavy to one side if you do not put the finder scope exactly on top of the scope, but then you will not be able to look through the finder scope ?

That is the reason why people add extra weights in different positions.

regards Rainer

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Quote

If your guiding your exposures then there's no advantage in the EC version as the guiding will override the encoders. If your doing unguided then the EC version is said to be better. Still waiting for my standard version to arrive....

 

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49 minutes ago, Anne S said:

I'm selling my eq6 because upgraded it to a Cem60. I've spent the last few days setting it up. I've got it mounted on the Tri-Pier which is very solid, much more so than the eq6 tripod. As to balance, I was worried about that. I've just finished balancing for the moment but I made sure the focuser on the scope was close to the eventual position for my camera etc. There was some tendency for sideways movement when in zero position which I fixed by rotating the focuser slightly and fiddling with the filterwheel and finderguider until everything stayed straight. I was also quite surprised how much having the focuser 2.5 cm out had on Dec balance. I ended up having to put a Primiluce balancing weight on the objective end without the counterweight! I've never had to do that with my 4 inch refractor before. 

The saddle plate is very long which could cause issues with motorfocus brackets.

Now all I need is a clear night to polar align and fine tune my focus so I can check balance again!

I wanted more payload to run two telescopes and cameras eventually.

I'm still debating between a CEM60 and the EC version because i don't think there is any other mount within this price range that can preform as good as the CEM60 or the CEM60EC version. I shall wait to be corrected on this. Thank you for the insight Anne, i've got my focuser upside down on my scope because it used to hit the saddle plate. Also at one point i had the Dec shaft so loose that my dec used to notice the slightest of movements so i got in the habit of tinkering with the position of FW. Also while saying that i've just thought about a rotator .... God that would cause some serious issues if your FW starts sticking to one side :D

49 minutes ago, Rainer said:

Hi,

This is wrong what you are thinking. The need for adding extra weights laterally does not come from the mount . It comes from asymmetric weight distribution of the telescopes or the equipment you put on top if the saddle plate.

For example a reflector with a attached finder scope will always be heavy to one side if you do not put the finder scope exactly on top of the scope, but then you will not be able to look through the finder scope ?

That is the reason why people add extra weights in different positions.

regards Rainer

Point taken :)

 Sorry @fwm891 i can not quote your post so i'm tagging you instead :) That is how i've been thinking but what i've also heard is that the EC version seems to be better for longer FL scopes. Also the encoder on RA axis and not absolute so i'm not sure how unguided imaging is possible. The RA will keep on correcting itself and then only axis you have to worry about is the Dec. That's how i've understood the EC mount so far.  

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My eq6 is belt drive modded, you should see the effect hanging cables has on the images. The cem60 will be the same.

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9 hours ago, SteveA said:

If you go the CEM60 route, how are you going to mount it? I only ask, as I have a home built pier, with a pier adaptor specifically engineered for the EQ6 and IF (big IF that is),  I went the same route would need some kind of adaptor to convert to the iOptron format. I've been looking and I'm not sure there is anything available off the shelf?

Steve  

Take a look at the Altair Astro pier adaptor, does a few mounts in one

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2 hours ago, Anne S said:

My eq6 is belt drive modded, you should see the effect hanging cables has on the images. The cem60 will be the same.

Even though my NEQ6 isn't belt modded but at one point I did have to loosen the shaft a bit and I immediately saw and realised I now had to worry about this balance as well because even the slightest of touches would make the mount move and subsequently not stay upright if the balance was out. I found a solution and to this day I implement it as part of my scope balancing routine. 

2 hours ago, omo said:

Take a look at the Altair Astro pier adaptor, does a few mounts in one

Yup, that's the one I've got. Bought it for NEQ6 but since the only choice I have is the CEM60/EC, I'll be reusing that. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Xplode said:

The EQ8 is not an upgrade over the NEQ6 except for the payload.
It might have less periodic error, but it has a lot of backlash, it's so bad that of all the people i know buying mounts in in the first couple of years after release has sold their EQ8 or just stopped using it for imaging.
I've had 2 EQ8's myself, sent the first one back because of backlash and the new one was just as bad. I ended up selling it. A friend sold his EQ8 because of the same reason.

I wouldn't agree with that. A few folk on here may know me as the chap that developed retrofit antibacklash gearing for the EQ8 - in response to my own experience with severe Dec backlash. which was similar to yours. 
I studied the mount in detail, visited the factory where they are made and consulted with the design engineers about it. They are not engineered like 10Micron mounts, but then again they cost only a quarter as much, and they are solid and serviceable for long FL imaging once the backlash problem is tamed.

2015-on EQ8's are much better than the original ones in respect of Dec backlash, even if not as good or as reliable as genuine anti-backlash mounts. What's more, they have big accurately hobbed worm wheels and ground worms which generate low PE and are easy to autoguide with substantial payloads. There is a good ecosystem of community-designed extensions to the rather basic Synscan motion control system, e.g.  EQMOD, Green Swamp, Wifi dongles and an engineering diagnostic tools. For those who can see beyond the 'rough and tough' cost-optimised persona of this product, and are willing to make allowances for its funny little ways (e.g they come in a huge flight case, but have no reverse polarity power protection or motor short circuit protection), EQ8's are a solid workhorse at a bargain price. There are several people on this forum who rely on one for much of their imaging work.

Incidentally, no mounts of this weight class are mass-produced. The global market for such items is very small. All are built in small batches.

Tony Owens

Edited by tonyowens_uk
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13 hours ago, RolandKol said:

Hi again mate...
I am also on the same route ;) 

Thinking of getting rid of my NEQ and step up... 

My investigations lead me towards CEM60 without alternatives. Skywatcher again? No... Thank you, I had some quite painful experience with it.

Plus CEM60 = nice internal cable management, + USB and Power Ports, plus Lighter. In other words, it is much up to date mount than any other in this class.

And finally, guiding specs are also better than EQ6-R

As much as the USB ports seem like a bonus, don't rely on them. I've had constant issues with connections being dropped, as the hub is not powered. I ended up getting a powered USB port which works well.

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29 minutes ago, SyedT said:

As much as the USB ports seem like a bonus, don't rely on them. I've had constant issues with connections being dropped, as the hub is not powered. I ended up getting a powered USB port which works well.

Thanks for the heads up SyedT, much appreciated. I have a Pegasus UPB any way so will be using that but I am interested in knowing if your mount was from the days of CEM60 getting the bashing or was it one of the recent models (less than 2 years old?). Besides. The USB hub fiasco, any other issues? 

Some days I wish I could just ditch everything and go for an Avalon mount and be done with it :D

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