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Martthebass

AZ-EQ5 the wise choice?

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Posted (edited)

After a long lay off from observing due to aggressive light pollution a house move to a better site has encouraged me to get back into the fray.  Previously I was visual only as time was at a premium and I didn’t think I could give it the time required to look into AP. To that end I managed, as a first step to pick up a nice WO 81GT and the next step is to acquire a suitable mount.

I'd pretty much decided to go with the HEQ5 pro mount with the Rowan belt upgrade, I had considered the very pretty iOptron alternatives but the mixed views on these put me off a bit (the QC mainly).  As I expect to have some bother with set up, etc I've decided to buy new, probably from RVO as it’s local. The thing is I find myself thinking that, whilst a bit more expensive, the AZ-EQ5 might be a bit more useful?  I'm coming around to thinking that I may well do some visual as well as AP (especially in the frustrating moments) and I may add a second larger Mak/SCT or ED scope to do this and I know from experience that playing with Alt-Az is easier than EQ for visual.  If anyone has gone through the same thought process and come to a decision I’d appreciate any comments.  Sorry if this topic has been covered before please feel free to direct me to a suitable thread should that be the case.

Edited by Helen
change font colour to white for easier reading

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Posted (edited)

I bought my AZ-EQ5 as I wanted something simple to set up for planetary observing. Simply using solar system align is good enough for observing the moon or Jupiter etc. without having to do a proper alignment. 

For more serious observing then doing a proper align is needed but easy in ALT AZ mode. For AP then set up in EQ mode. It’s the flexability of the mount that I like the most. You can use it in the way you want to.

BTW please use white text in your post. Much easier to read than the colour you have used.

EDIT

Mine has no slop in the AZ axis in AZ mode. Fine for high power planetary use. It is however harder to reach the AZ clutch to tighten it up properly when setup in ALt Az mode which can lead to it not being properly tightened. Use both hands and no problem. I also have my suspicions that the older mounts seem may have been  harder to tighten the clutch properly. 

1D7249F9-FB4D-4F49-8E00-203AD533D326.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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Posted (edited)

I got an AZ-EQ5 on the back of the exact same thought process. Unfortunately, I find performance in AZ is frustrating. It works, but there’s quite a lot of slop in the AZ axis that can’t be tweaked out. It’s OK for low power, but it’s irritating trying to focus at high power when the object disappears out of the FoV with the slightest touch. If you search in these forums you’ll see it’s a fairly common - although variable - feature of the design. This is much less of a problem in EQ mode because it’s possible to unbalance a little in RA to neutralise the problem and minimise the sensitivity to touch induced wobble. So in practical terms I use it almost exclusively in EQ mode. It’s really easy to do a polar alignment that’s sufficient for visual use with the new sky watcher polar alignment scope and the polar clock from the SynScan app- it takes no more than 5mins. There are still some advantages over the HEQ5- ability to use USB natively to control the mount, belt drive etc, but the Alt-Az mode isn’t one of them in my view.

Edited by catburglar
Corrected typos
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I did find this with my AZ-GT5 too, when used in AZ mode with two scopes side by side, at high power there was enough slack to be frustrating. I mainly used it for solar white light and Ha observing. It's a nice mount apart from that.

I did like the pillar tripod it used to be supplied with.

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