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SW Explorer 150P DS and EQ3 Pro Goto


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Hi

i am just starting out and have bought a second-hand SW EQ3 Pro Goto mount with aluminium legs.  I have ordered a SW Explorer 150 P DS telescope as I want to view and attach a mirrorless camera for photography.  I am now concerned that this may be too heavy for the mount.  I’ve checked SW website and whilst they say the max load for the mount is just 5.5 kg and the scope itself weights 6kg, they also suggest this EQ3 mount for this telescope.  I’m confused.  
 

Do any members have this set up already?  Appreciate any comments.  Thanks

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I am no expert, but I went for the 150P-DS with the HEQ5 mount. My thinking was that the OTA is already 6kg, so by the time you add a finder, a decent eyepiece, a DSLR (if you’re into photography), and a few adaptors, filters etc, you are way over the capacity of the EQ3. Luckily I had enough to fund it due to saving some cash during lockdown!

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From what I could gather most people say it's ok for visual but not photography. However on the basis of money being tight I got the 150p on EQ3 have ordered motors and intend having a go with my dslr. 

I won't be the first look around and others have had good results. 

Not everyone can afford expensive kit and fair play I'm going to have to accept my results won't be spectacular. But then again they will only have to please me my friends and family and I'll have fun trying 

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My setup is similar, but not identical - a 150PL on an EQ3 Pro, and that's quite heavy enough thank you, to carry as one item. Yes you can take the tube out seperately, and each time you do this the angled screw on the mount takes another chunk out of the dovetail. Mine's already graunched quite badly, and I've already had it almost fall off the mount when fastening it in place. I never figured a method of adding a decent dovetail clamp to the EQ3 that won't foul up the DEC motor mounting.

The big improvement I managed was getting an electric focuser (the so called Skywatcher auto-focuser). This stops all the wobble you get when trying to focus manually, which makes it much easier to live with.

That said, I now tend to use one of my Maksutovs for most sessions, as they are so much easier to carry outside fully assembled. I suppose french doors in preference to sliding patio doors might make it easier, but that's yet more expense.

David

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1 hour ago, MrFreeze said:

My setup is similar, but not identical - a 150PL on an EQ3 Pro, and that's quite heavy enough thank you, to carry as one item. Yes you can take the tube out seperately, and each time you do this the angled screw on the mount takes another chunk out of the dovetail. Mine's already graunched quite badly, and I've already had it almost fall off the mount when fastening it in place. I never figured a method of adding a decent dovetail clamp to the EQ3 that won't foul up the DEC motor mounting.

The big improvement I managed was getting an electric focuser (the so called Skywatcher auto-focuser). This stops all the wobble you get when trying to focus manually, which makes it much easier to live with.

That said, I now tend to use one of my Maksutovs for most sessions, as they are so much easier to carry outside fully assembled. I suppose french doors in preference to sliding patio doors might make it easier, but that's yet more expense.

David

Thanks for that info, I think I need to go for the 130 now even more.  We live on a boat as it is so won’t be able to leave the scope mounted permanently, just don’t have the space. I will look into the electric focuser though.

 

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14 hours ago, Karen Johnson said:

Hi

i am just starting out and have bought a second-hand SW EQ3 Pro Goto mount with aluminium legs.  I have ordered a SW Explorer 150 P DS telescope as I want to view and attach a mirrorless camera for photography.  I am now concerned that this may be too heavy for the mount.  I’ve checked SW website and whilst they say the max load for the mount is just 5.5 kg and the scope itself weights 6kg, they also suggest this EQ3 mount for this telescope.  I’m confused.  
 

Do any members have this set up already?  Appreciate any comments.  Thanks

Thanks, this just reinforces what I thought.  Given my space issues I am going to change my order and get the 130P DS instead, I don’t want to set myself up to fail before I even begin.  

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19 minutes ago, Pain in the Neck said:

Hmmm. Living on a boat might make life interesting for both observing and imaging!

Next too impossible, we will take the gear ashore but mainly it will come with us when we go camping in our motorhome to some dark sky areas.  At least I can practice the principles on a still, calm night as we do get some of those but the boat does still swing a bit on its berth.  Still, nothing ventured..........

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You’ve made a wise decision, the EQ3 is not substantial enough for a 150 PDS and all the associated paraphernalia even without adding photo gear. I don’t do Astro photography but I believe the the SW 130 is an excellent choice. Even so, my next upgrade of any item would be the mount, it’s more important than the scope and it’s always a good idea to future proof because if you get hooked, you WILL want to increase the size/weight of the scope and accessories 

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I'm not that convinced that a 1.3Kg weight saving between the 150PDS and the 130PDS will make that great a difference in stability (obviously there will be some improvement, just not as much as you think). For planetary work a 127 Maksutov might be a better bet, as due to it's much smaller size, it will be much more stable.

 It's a common misconception that you can't do astrophotography with an EQ3 - I would refer you to the following thread : 

David

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5 hours ago, MrFreeze said:

I'm not that convinced that a 1.3Kg weight saving between the 150PDS and the 130PDS will make that great a difference in stability (obviously there will be some improvement, just not as much as you think). For planetary work a 127 Maksutov might be a better bet, as due to it's much smaller size, it will be much more stable.

 It's a common misconception that you can't do astrophotography with an EQ3 - I would refer you to the following thread : 

David

Thanks for the link, brilliant thread and inspiring too

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Karen, 

I have the EQ3 with 130pds and my understanding is that part of the weakness is the rather flimsy tripod that comes with it. I have my mount on the eq5 tripod which is a lot more substantial and find stability pretty good and it does increase the maximum weight you can use - by how much I dont know though. A possible upgrade that may be worth making and you can find them second hand. 

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