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AZ EQ6GT vs EQ6-R


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What are the advantages of the AZ EQ6GT over the EQ6-R? Bearing in mind that I would only be using it in EQ mode and for imaging.

I ask because I can get a good price on a AZ EQ6GT making it similar in price to the EQ6-R, are there any advantages to the EQ6-R over the AZ EQ6 GT?

I would be running an Esprit 100 with the possibility of getting a refactor of up to 130mm in the future.

Cheers.

Adam

 

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As discussed the CEM60 is not really an option due to price. In general so long as the AZ EQ6 GT is going to outperform my HEQ5 pro in terms of payload, tracking on heavier loads then I think Ill

The AZEQ6 -GT have 2 nobs one each side  and the cables  do not run over them   I made 2 cones to go over the top .

I must be one of the lucky ones....... I've used the HEQ5 as my portable mount for over ten years, I primarily do spectroscopy and solar imaging. No issues, no drama, no rebuilds, no grease......

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The EQ6-R mount weighs around 2kgs (just under I think) more IIRC.

15 and a bit (AZEQ6) vs 17 and bit (EQ6R).

Just spotted you have a ROR observatory so weight is prob not a factor for you if it's on a pier! 

Edited by geeklee
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9 minutes ago, Starlight 1 said:

The AZEQ6 -GT have 2 nobs one each side  and the cables  do not run over them   I made 2 cones to go over the top .

Hi am not really following, can you expand on this?

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26 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

According to this:

http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/prerequisites.html

same gear train, same stepper motors and same resolution.

I do believe that AZEQ6-GT has some sort of encoder and has PPEC - not sure about EQ-6R, so that could be advantage. It looks like EQ-6R also has PPEC, but not dual encoders.

 

Thanks for that, would you say that PPEC would significantly improve guiding in RA?

I keep seeing this mount called: AZEQ6-GT or AZEQ6-GT Pro and even AZEQ6 Pro......whats the difference?

Adam

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58 minutes ago, Starlight 1 said:

I did not like my AZEQ6-GT  and sold it after 5 hours of use  for 40% of list price.

Any particular reason that you did not like it? I think a statement like that needs expanding on.

Edited by Adam J
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1 hour ago, Adam J said:

Thanks for that, would you say that PPEC would significantly improve guiding in RA?

I keep seeing this mount called: AZEQ6-GT or AZEQ6-GT Pro and even AZEQ6 Pro......whats the difference?

Adam

Have no idea about different mount names - as far as I can tell there was only one AZEQ6 model, so I assume every one of those names is for the same mount.

I don't know exactly about PPEC. What I do know is following: I do VS-PEC on my HEQ5 mount and yes it is very beneficial to guiding results. Since it reduces total P2P RA error and smooths things out - it enables me to use longer guide exposures without fear of mount drifting too much away from target position - smaller P2P in one worm period means smaller RA drift rate. Longer guide exposure means less variation due to seeing. It helps both with how aggressive corrections need to be and with longer exposures for seeing.

Issue that I have with my HEQ5 is that it does not have encoders - on RA nor on motor shaft. That means that PEC relies on EQMod tick counting (micro step counting) to determine where in worm cycle mount is currently - which in turn means that I need to park mount after each session - so that EQMod/VS-PEC is properly initialized next time with tick count of 0.

It takes me about 2 hours to record PEC data and power outage when you are in the field - not only ruins session but makes your mount do power cycle without parking to home position - thus loosing PEC sync. It also means that I can't use my mount for visual without computer - with hand controller only as it has no park to home feature. For this reason I prefer the idea of PPEC, although I have not worked with one so far.

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@Adam J

From what I can see in your signature, you own a Heq5 mount? Are you looking for an upgrade? Not sure what your budget is, but if I were looking for an upgrade from my Heq5 - I would aim at Mesu200, but that's not the point :D - mount in between, much closer in budget, that I would consider would be Cem60 (non-ec version). Have you considered that one?

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9 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

@Adam J

From what I can see in your signature, you own a Heq5 mount? Are you looking for an upgrade? Not sure what your budget is, but if I were looking for an upgrade from my Heq5 - I would aim at Mesu200, but that's not the point :D - mount in between, much closer in budget, that I would consider would be Cem60 (non-ec version). Have you considered that one?

I am looking for an upgrade, I am having issues with my Esprit 100 setup as its nudging towards 10kg and I have not been able to get consistently round stars, my pixel scale being 1.42"/pixel.

Its possible that this issue is backlash in the RA axis, I do have a perceivable wobble, perhapse 1-2mm at the end of the counter weight shaft. I am not sure if that's normal or not, I do know that its not advised to have the worm too tight. Any advice is appreciated.

On my 130PDS I used to get total RMS errors of 0.6 consistently, now I am struggling to get below 1.0 with most of that being in the RA axis hence that number being deceptive. I would say that the new setup is 3-4Kg heavier though.

For the most part I am looking second hand and CEM60's are very rare, I also like using EQmod.

Adam

Edited by Adam J
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  my old Heq5 pro mount  was very good I could do a 1 shot for  1 hour  spot on (on a good day)  So may be the nobs I said about was one thing that was a down side and the  encoder  the way it  work   just  did not like it  so sold it . So it work out at £100 a hour  and I got to the point  trying to  set it up  as I wanted it to do   I  pack it up and back in the box  for the next  2 years  and said I not going use that any more.

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I have the AZ-EQ6-GT. (That's what is says on the side) and the Esprit 100.

Have used the combination for about 2 years and it works great. Getting the guiding right took a bit of  trial and error but in the end I can't complain at all. Isn't getting the best out of your kit part of the challenge of astrophotography?

I regularly achieve FWHM of 4 arc secs or even less in a bortle 5 location on 300sec  and longer exposures. 

The GoTo accuracy is not brilliant but with the use of plate solving it doesn't really matter anyway, it simply takes a couple of moves and the target is bang on.

I really don't understand someone selling the mount after one 5 hours trial ??

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Adam J said:

I am looking for an upgrade, I am having issues with my Esprit 100 setup as its nudging towards 10kg and I have not been able to get consistently round stars, my pixel scale being 1.42"/pixel.

Its possible that this issue is backlash in the RA axis, I do have a perceivable wobble, perhapse 1-2mm at the end of the counter weight shaft. I am not sure if that's normal or not, I do know that its not advised to have the worm too tight. Any advice is appreciated.

On my 130PDS I used to get total RMS errors of 0.6 consistently, now I am struggling to get below 1.0 with most of that being in the RA axis hence that number being deceptive. I would say that the new setup is 3-4Kg heavier though.

Adam

Well Heq5 is rather basic mount - which means you'll need to get your hands greasy if you want to keep it running in a good shape. Have you done any modding to it?

I changes bearings, did tuning and re-greasing, belt modded and changed tripod and saddle plate on mine and now its decent :D - but not as good as I wanted. I have a feeling that Cem60 would be as good if not better without all the fiddling about. I'm against the EC version as I think it is too expensive for what it brings and I also heard that people had issues with it when guiding (probably sorted out now). EC version is probably very good for anyone not guiding, but if you guide - you won't tell the difference in performance to regular mount, and cost of EC version is very fast approaching mounts like Mesu200.

What I'm trying to say - if you don't mind DIY and want so save some money - do a round of tuning on your Heq5 and possibly belt mod if you have not done it yet. If you don't want to mess around and have the budget - I think Cem60 is better solution.

EQ6 class of mount (regardless if it is AZ or regular 6 or 6-R) I see as same performance as Heq5, only higher payload capacity. Cem60 is a bit better than these from what I see.

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I must be one of the lucky ones.......

I've used the HEQ5 as my portable mount for over ten years, I primarily do spectroscopy and solar imaging. No issues, no drama, no rebuilds, no grease....... Usually with various ED80 scopes. Did have a C9.25 on it for a while - worked well.

I also have a "standard" NEQ6pro in the observatory handing a +/-17 Kg load - C11 plus four cameras, spectrograph etc etc using EQMod. Never felt the need to do anything with it other than use it!

 

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2 hours ago, vlaiv said:

Well Heq5 is rather basic mount - which means you'll need to get your hands greasy if you want to keep it running in a good shape. Have you done any modding to it?

I changes bearings, did tuning and re-greasing, belt modded and changed tripod and saddle plate on mine and now its decent :D - but not as good as I wanted. I have a feeling that Cem60 would be as good if not better without all the fiddling about. I'm against the EC version as I think it is too expensive for what it brings and I also heard that people had issues with it when guiding (probably sorted out now). EC version is probably very good for anyone not guiding, but if you guide - you won't tell the difference in performance to regular mount, and cost of EC version is very fast approaching mounts like Mesu200.

What I'm trying to say - if you don't mind DIY and want so save some money - do a round of tuning on your Heq5 and possibly belt mod if you have not done it yet. If you don't want to mess around and have the budget - I think Cem60 is better solution.

EQ6 class of mount (regardless if it is AZ or regular 6 or 6-R) I see as same performance as Heq5, only higher payload capacity. Cem60 is a bit better than these from what I see.

As discussed the CEM60 is not really an option due to price.

In general so long as the AZ EQ6 GT is going to outperform my HEQ5 pro in terms of payload, tracking on heavier loads then I think Ill be going for it.

Adam

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I've had the AZ EQ6 GT for a few years and then last year got an EQ6R and I've been running these side by side over a few dozen nights. Each is similarly loaded - the AZ EQ6 GT has a WO FLT110 and the EQ6R carries a WO ZS103. Ancillary equipment is the same on both scopes but the FLT110 is a fair bit heavier than the lightweight ZS103 so the AZ EQ6 GT is carrying the heavier load. Tracking (with guiding) is slightly better on the EQ6R. I have some intermittent DEC stiction on the AZ EQ6  which has always been there but not so severe as to tempt me to try to fix it. The EQ6R has been very clean, although it is still quite new. In the battle of the knobs the EQ6R wins: the altitude adjustment on the AZ EQ6 is better but the azimuth adjustment and the saddle knobs on the EQ6R are better.  The AZ EQ6 is a big lump to lug around and awkward to get hold of, the carry handle on the EQ6R really helps. I've used both rigs exclusively for imaging and I've never tried the AZ EQ6  in AZ mode but I've read others praise that mount in that mode. 

John

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On 24/02/2020 at 20:48, Adam J said:

Thanks for that, would you say that PPEC would significantly improve guiding in RA?

I keep seeing this mount called: AZEQ6-GT or AZEQ6-GT Pro and even AZEQ6 Pro......whats the difference?

Adam

Have a look at my post regarding the naming schemes. I was confused about the naming as well, before I bought my mount in Jan 2020.

The NEWER mounts have a USB port on the mount head, and now it is called: AZ-EQ6 Pro. No "GT" anymore in the branding.

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I bought an AZEQ6 Pro in 2018. It was the version without the USB port so only a name change from the GT version. With a Sharcap polar align I could get regular guiding average of 0.6/0.8" RMS with about 1.5/2.0" peak errors. 15 to 20 minute images were fine, round stars at 2.38" per pixel. I had it set up on a tripod and carted the whole assembled lot in and out of the house every session! If set up on a pier the guiding could probably be fine tuned a bit more. For imaging at around 1.5 to 2 arc seconds, it's a good mount. It's a SW mount, so we all know the limits. If you went up to 1000mm focal length and sub arc second image scale then you might not be too pleased with guiding results. Both axis are also quite stiff so difficult to balance properly. My main gripe with it was a minor one but the latitude bolt sticks out way too far and if your using a short refractor then you need to orientate your filter wheel upwards and route all cables so theres no risk of snagging. Theres also loads of backlash on the same latitude bolt so when polar aligning it's best to make your last latitude adjustment upwards. If you need to go down it tends to jump due to the counterweight.

I even dabbled with a dual rig and there was no discernible difference with guiding due to extra weight. Actually improved as I added an OAG into the mix.

I sold mine recently due to downscaling a lot of astro stuff as saving up for a house move but I'd own one again no probs. If I had to choose between the AZEQ6 or the EQ6R, I'd go for the EQ6R purely because of the long latitude bolt on the AZ but it wouldn't be a deal breaker.

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  • 1 year later...

For me the selling point of the AZ EQ6 is the encoders and what makes it worth it is, can do alighment when done can manually move mount to any object, faster and more natural than having to wait for the mount to slew, so better and faster  that alone is the selling point for me

Edited by denodan
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I was after an EQ6R but I ended up with an AZ-EQ6 Pro as it was the only one in stock and glad I did too. I "try" (ineptitude and no fault of the mount)to image with it but being able to use it in alt-az mode for visual is great...

Edited by scotty38
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I had an AZ EQ6 GT for a few years and it was a good step up from my old EQ6 Pro.

The encoders are very low resolution and I had much better guiding guiding with them disabled.  EQMOD was even modified by the author to allow them to be disabled.  I can see the benefit for visual use, but for imaging they're worse than useless.

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19 minutes ago, Starflyer said:

The encoders are very low resolution and I had much better guiding guiding with them disabled.  EQMOD was even modified by the author to allow them to be disabled.  I can see the benefit for visual use, but for imaging they're worse than useless.

This!

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I can't really comment on the difference between AZ EQ 6 GT and the EQ6-R, but I can tell you some of my experience of the AZ EQ 6 GT since I bought mine beginning of 2017.

First, when reading different threads on this mount when I considered buying it in 2016, it stood out that there were large differences in performance of the mounts out of the factory. I decided to go for a vendor with a documented expertise in characterizing and tuning Skywatcher mounts. Since I am imaging in France, I went for PierroAstro that has a very good reputation. I discussed with them and told them I wanted a particularly good example as I wanted to do fairly high res imaging (I’m now at 0.9”/pixel). PierroAstro always checks, tunes and measures the periodic error, and at delivery I got a report with a measured PE curve showing a smooth curve of about +-7“ peak-to-peak oscillations. My own measurements of the PE has confirmed this several times. If you can get your Skywatcher mount from such a vendor I think this is much preferred than buying a mount that is coming directly from factory without any check.

I now have a permanent setup, with a RC8 on top, and if seeing permits I normally get a RMS of 0.6-0.7” on the RA, and 0.5-0.6” on the DEC. The guiding has been extremely stable since I bought it 4 years ago. The periodic error as measured from the frequency analysis tab in the PHD2 logviewer shows a main peak at a period of 480s, as expected for this mount. Below you see a particularly good guiding session, but my normal performance is only very slightly worse:

image.png.5b2969f118247bbbc70262cb65a1c701.png

 

As for the “auxiliary encoders”, I quickly turned them off as they really reduced the accuracy of larger slews. They appear to “resync” the mount after large slews, and platesolving sometimes failed due to a large initial offset (PlateSolve2). Since turning them off I always has the object close to center on my sensor (Atik460ex), and platesolving always centers in 2-3 iterations to below 20 pixels. As I only image I don’t see the use of them. As pointed out they can easily be switched off/on from EQMOD.

I did also experiment with PEC under EQMOD for almost a year. It worked very fine, as I could strongly reduce that peak at the 480s period as measured from the PHD2 log. But, after long testing I could simply not see any improvement on the guiding on my particular mount, probably as the PE is pretty low to start with and guides out easily. So now I simply run without PEC.

So generally I’m more than happy with my AZ EQ 6 GT, but I would strongly suggest to get a mount that has been checked in terms of PE by the vendor, not to end of with a particularly bad example of the mount.

Mikael

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