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Hi all,

I'm looking at acquiring my first goto mount and have decided on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO Go-To.  Stock seems to be low everywhere at the moment so I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

I have a few questions regarding alignment.

Although I will be taking the mount "out-and-about" I will mostly be using the EQ5 on my balcony at home; this will make alignment with polaris impossible.  I'm relived to see the EQ5 allowas bright star alignment (with the scope beginning at north) which is great for the location.

My question is; am I able to choose which bright stars the mount will align with? for example, if the mount asks me to confirm the position of a star I cant see at all from the balcony, can I choose stars that are visible from my side of the building?

I'm very new to astrophotography and would like to be prepared before splashing out!

S.

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Yes, when selecting stars, you can scroll though a list.

Somewhat annoyingly, it only gives the names of stars and often not with the same spellings in any of any of my planetarium programs, which can make working out which one it's offering tricky sometimes.

This is fine if you can remember the names of fifty odd stars (I think) but I tend towards alpha Cyg or similar so don't always recognise the one shown and get a bit surprised when the scope points into the trees (of which I have lots) for a target I thought was overhead.

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I to cannot see North from my back garden big object in the way I.E house from my patio. So I placed my tripod on the patio roughly pointing north then used a compass app on my phone attached to a piece of wood to the mounts dovetail to avoid any interference (Metal) then marked the patio floor once aligned. also double checked it with a compass with deviation from magnet to true north so I was not a million miles out. then for the inclination I already had an inclinometer  for that as the markings on the mount are not always 100%  . As you have the Pro version you can use the handset and select a number of alignment stars

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1 hour ago, almcl said:

Yes, when selecting stars, you can scroll though a list.

Somewhat annoyingly, it only gives the names of stars and often not with the same spellings in any of any of my planetarium programs, which can make working out which one it's offering tricky sometimes.

This is fine if you can remember the names of fifty odd stars (I think) but I tend towards alpha Cyg or similar so don't always recognise the one shown and get a bit surprised when the scope points into the trees (of which I have lots) for a target I thought was overhead.

 

48 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

I to cannot see North from my back garden big object in the way I.E house from my patio. So I placed my tripod on the patio roughly pointing north then used a compass app on my phone attached to a piece of wood to the mounts dovetail to avoid any interference (Metal) then marked the patio floor once aligned. also double checked it with a compass with deviation from magnet to true north so I was not a million miles out. then for the inclination I already had an inclinometer  for that as the markings on the mount are not always 100%  . As you have the Pro version you can use the handset and select a number of alignment stars

Excellent! Great tips too. 

Just need to find one for sale now... 

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Also, what targets (e.g. Moon, planets, Deep Space Objects)? Astrophotography from a balcony in a location where there could be local light pollution may be challenging, though it does depend on the target and imaging method.

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1 hour ago, bobro said:

Also, what targets (e.g. Moon, planets, Deep Space Objects)? Astrophotography from a balcony in a location where there could be local light pollution may be challenging, though it does depend on the target and imaging method.

I'd like to image deep space targets mostly. Planets would be good to although I the focal length of my current scope isn't ideal. I'm thinking of getting an lp filter at a later date but tracking is at the top of the agenda. 

1 hour ago, fozzybear said:

Ok

I have read your previous posts and would say a minimum of a HEQ5 going forward

Would this be because of the potential weight? I think EQ5 would be "future proof" should I start to exceed 5kg (I'm at 3kg now with just the camera and scope!) 

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An HEQ5 can make a great start to DSO astrophotography, especially where longer exposures and heavier carrying capacity are required.

When imaging from a balcony there can be a restricted view, plus in the UK good imaging nights are few. That means capturing what can be seen as quickly as possible. One way to achieve this can be to go for brighter objects and/or widefield targets. This tends to mean shorter exposures perhaps with a shorter focal length scope and therefore a less capable mount can meet the need.

One approach could be a Star Adventurer with a stock lens on your camera - good for widefield and shorter capture times. Also less sensitive to vibrations that could occur on a balcony.

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8 hours ago, bobro said:

An HEQ5 can make a great start to DSO astrophotography, especially where longer exposures and heavier carrying capacity are required.

When imaging from a balcony there can be a restricted view, plus in the UK good imaging nights are few. That means capturing what can be seen as quickly as possible. One way to achieve this can be to go for brighter objects and/or widefield targets. This tends to mean shorter exposures perhaps with a shorter focal length scope and therefore a less capable mount can meet the need.

One approach could be a Star Adventurer with a stock lens on your camera - good for widefield and shorter capture times. Also less sensitive to vibrations that could occur on a balcony.

I was initially thinking of getting the Star Adventurer or something more compact but I settled the more substantial EQ5 as the first purchase as for £300 more in getting something with much more power and versatility. 

I will likely get the Star Adventurer in addition. 

I assume I can attach my dslr straight to the EQ5 similar to the Star Adventurer with an adapter? 

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10 hours ago, SStanford said:

I assume I can attach my dslr straight to the EQ5 similar to the Star Adventurer with an adapter?

They are both equatorial mounts and can carry a DSLR. The Star Adventurer isn't GOTO, which can turn into a serious disadvantage: I upgraded from a guided EQ2 to a GOTO EQ5 mainly for this reason.

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