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Grumpy Martian

Sky-Watcher AZ EQ5-GT Go-To GEQ & Alt-Az / VERSUS / encoded push to alt/az mounts.

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I am strongly thinking of buying an electronic mount so as I can find faint objects in my light polluted area. I can no longer star hop. I am not keen on equatorial mounts. So my options are an encoded push to mount or the Skywatcher AZ EQ5-GT Go-To GEQ & Alt-Az. I understand that this can be used as a type of push to mount. Reasonably priced. 

Other mainly encoded push to mounts look great. But they all seem to cost an arm and a leg. 

Any thoughts and experiences would be welcome. 

Edited by Grumpy Martian

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The silence of an encoded push to counts for a lot... As does having a visual display of the sky on the connected phone or tablet. The number of objects we have stopped and observed after seeing it on the display while "pushing" from one object to another is considerable... 

We no longer use our AVX because of the above two reasons. All our scopes now sit on push to encoder equipped mounts, even when we're travelling...

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I've got an AZEQ5 mount and it's pretty decent, not a mesu, but it gets the job done either for visual or A.P. while standing at the borderline of portability. Now, although I've been using it with a wifi adapter and my phone&skysafari, I've never used it as push to, because it still needs power for the the encoders to work. And since it's powered, there really isn't a reason to push to instead of goto, but yes it can be done.

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41 minutes ago, Stargazer McCabe said:

The silence of an encoded push to counts for a lot... As does having a visual display of the sky on the connected phone or tablet. The number of objects we have stopped and observed after seeing it on the display while "pushing" from one object to another is considerable... 

We no longer use our AVX because of the above two reasons. All our scopes now sit on push to encoder equipped mounts, even when we're travelling...

I must admit that push to mounts are appealing. Any tips on companies that supply of the shelf setups would be appreciated. Thankyou. 

Martin

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I purchased one recently as a quick 'grab and go' mount for my ES 127 Refractor and quite pleased with it, reasonably portable, although a bit fiddly going through all the settings when all you want to do is place it roughly in a north-south direction and switch on the motor drive. For what I wanted the HEQ5 mount would probably have been just as good, but it didn't cost much more than the version of that with a Rowan Belt modification, and worth having the added flexibility of the AZ function, and also being able to mount 2 scopes on it in AZ mode. 

For further details see my posting on 'AZEQ5 First Impressions' dated 31 October under the Equipment-Discussions-Mounts heading

John 

Edited by johnturley
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The one obvious benefit of the AZ-EQ5 is that you get tracking which is very useful for higher power observing. Outside that, I'm with Simon in that a manual mount with encoders is actually quicker and quieter (silent) and just being able to pan around the sky at will, picking off objects showing in Skysafari (or Nexus DSC) is really relaxing. You can use the assistance when you want it, and be purely manual when that is what suits your mood.

The AZ100 maybe expensive when fully loaded, but the slow motion controls are very good, and effectively give you smooth tracking at high powers too. I have found that in AltAz mode, the AZ-EQ5 can suffer from backlash, particularly in Az which affected viewing particularly at high powers.

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If the C9.25 is not in use sometimes I use a small refractor 80mm class on the Evolution mount and its very useful and easy to set up. All my other scopes are mainly used on a AYOII with encoders because like yourself star hopping here is difficult with LP skies. I like the silence of it all and the minimal power needed, no need to drag power out with you. I also prefer the much greater options and choices you have with DSC than with Nexstar or SW. You do still however need good alignments on two stars for accuracy. I would say from my own experience accuracy is about the same as Nexstar. I can get a lot more done with push to than without. I nearly went for the SW AZ EQ5 but what put me off was the play reported by many in AZ mode. 

I don't think one system is better than the other, its really just preference. If you want tracking then goto is the way forward, I think if I was buying today I would seriously consider the Ioptron AZ Pro. I'm not sure there is a great deal of choice with encodered mounts, the new Rowan one will have the option and with slow mo controls but total cost will be a lot higher than a SW AZEQ5 or the AZ pro. £1585 with encoders, Nexus and a saddle, you may also need counterweight bar and weights depending on set up, more dollars. My AYO was just shy of a grand with encoders, then you need to factor in the cost of the DSC unit £430 for the full beans version but less for the wifi non keyboard Nexus which you can then link to Sky Safari. Or the Argo Navis, about £215 if customs don't pick on you, add another £70 approx if they do. Ultimately what it tells you is that goto is cheaper than push to in almost every single case and with some obvious advantages if you require them. Not all mounts and push to's are equal, AYOs and Rowans being hand built are bound to have some sample variation, there may be a requirement to delve deeper into the DSC systems to correct fabrication or alignment errors.

I recommend you see a set up before progressing, if you passing by let me know and drop in to have a look. 

 

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