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Upgrading eq5 with the synscan upgrade


Quatermass
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Having got back into doing this all again and purchased a second hand eq5 mount and 200p I am about to upgrade it with the synscan go to upgrade. It was great fun working with my old eq5 mount back in 2013 using Tom Carpenters Astro EQ and the dual axis kit motors and eventually upgrading to an HEQ5 mount but thats was sold of and Im back to square one again. Upgrading the eq5 with the synscan you could argue is a bad move and it would be better to keep saving for an HEQ5 but as I have already done that in the past Im happy to get the synscan and use that but I would be intrested in hearing from those of you that have the eq5 pro and the 200p and are imaging with it. I managed to get 5 and ten minute subs with my old eq5 mount and the dual axis kit motors with guiding and a bit of tinkering so the new motors that come with the synscan upgrade should peform much better and it will be alot of fun retracing my steps. So if your imaging with the eq5 synscan upgrade and a 200p or whatever let me know how its going. Clear skies QM

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yet to try any imaging but good to know the Synscan on EQ5 might be able to achieve some results, I've been considering getting an RA drive for the other EQ5 just to make things easier when viewing too. I picked mine up used and then swapped the Goto kit to the other EQ5 that came with the TAL100RS as the mount it was on is a bit sticky on the RA axis, fine manually but  didn't run well with the motors, it'll be overhauled one day...

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I have yet to try out the synscan upgrade but having spent 4 years using the eq5 mount with the standard dual axis kit motors and a 200p I know just what that set up is capable of doing if you look through my blog you can see all the images I took with it during that time. It did take a bit of tweaking but it worked a treat for what I wanted at the time. Mind you if I had the eq5 Pro with the go to back then I could have done much better I think. Yes it is true that the HEQ5 is a better mount and has a better weight carrying capicity but its also a lot heavier and when I want to be taken the gear out to other locations this set up should be much lighter. A good overhaul and regrease does the world of good to these mounts for sure.

 

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5 hours ago, Quatermass said:

I have yet to try out the synscan upgrade but having spent 4 years using the eq5 mount with the standard dual axis kit motors and a 200p I know just what that set up is capable of doing if you look through my blog you can see all the images I took with it during that time. It did take a bit of tweaking but it worked a treat for what I wanted at the time. Mind you if I had the eq5 Pro with the go to back then I could have done much better I think. Yes it is true that the HEQ5 is a better mount and has a better weight carrying capicity but its also a lot heavier and when I want to be taken the gear out to other locations this set up should be much lighter. A good overhaul and regrease does the world of good to these mounts for sure.

 

@Quatermass  Hi Mark.

As you know, I followed your progress with your original EQ5 & 200p setup waaaay back in 2011/ 12 (or there abouts) & the images you were getting with less than ideal kit were outstanding.

I'm sure this time around with the added Synscan upgrade you'll be back up to speed in no time at all with equally impressive results.

All the best 

Steve

 

 

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Hi QM. I have an NEQ5 pro with a 150pds and do limited DSO imaging with a Nikon DSLR.

The SynScan upgrade kit is brilliant although the installation instructions were laughable.

I am limited to 60 second subs as I do not have any guiding kit as yet. I like the setup very much but tend to think that the 200p might be a step too far. I am sure the mount with a 200p would be fine for visual, but with guide kit and camera, maybe filter wheel might be pushing it too far.

I will say that my setup is troubled by a breeze. If it gets a bit windy then my stars turn to white tadpoles. The 150 is fair bit smaller than yours.

You have obviously had some success in the past, so I won’t say ‘no way’ but the 200 maybe pushing it a bit far. I have attached a pic of the dumbbell taken with mine.

Marvin

 

7C9AF4E4-B1FB-4D27-B3AC-E4B692CDFDEA.jpeg

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Cheers Steve it seems a long time ago when I did all that but it was a lot of fun building an observatory out of an old shed and chatting to everyone on this forum about Astro EQ and guiding set ups the many nights spent trying to figure everything out and dodging clouds to get an image from it all. I plan to do it all again now I have moved to a nice dark sky area but this time round I have all that early experience to draw from. Taking a good look at the motors that come with the eq5 synscan upgrade they look identical to the motors in the HEQ5 mount and having used the old dual axis kit motors with Astro EQ these ones should be much much better. I intend to use not just the 200p but also a 130p on this set up so lots of options to play around with. My plan is to cut a side door in my shed and have the mount in its own little boxed off area outside with a lift off roof as this area will be ideal for a clear view of the sky and I can then keep nice and warm in my shed. Here is a picture of my plans to convert my shed into an observatory I have trees blocking the view to the North East unfortunately. I love doing this sort of thing and as we are confined to our homes why not.

image.png.d662d927bc22f60a2070fe2be4c37e25.png

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Hi Marvin, that's a great image and your right the 200p is beast and will be pushing it a bit but I managed to tame it on the eq5 so feel confident that it will work for me again with the better go synscan upgrade I'm also going to do strip down of my eq5 maybe or at least a regrease of the worm gears and adjustments to get rid of slack when I fit the synscan.

Here is my image of the Dumbell Nebula taken with the eq5 and 200p taken in Jan 2011 but with just the dual axis kit motors and no guiding

image.png.8ba90a4b03f1695035b8142d8a88d1d2.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice post ,especially as i have an EQ5 with the dual motors and a 200p. Its nice to see that you had success with the combo .  I've only had the gear for one month (just managed one night of viewing .. without the motors as they are a brand new and only just installed) I intend to be mainly visual although  i will image .. but not to the standard of some of the wonderous photos i see on this forum . Like you,  i also had an heq5 and found it a lump to haul in and out of the house ...especially as my gear is stored upstairs . So , an EQ5 for me is the perfect weight /Size ratio . People have said that i am pushing the weight by using a 200p on the mount , but i think as long as its not too windy , its fine . I hope you have more great successes .. i will certainly follow your progress :)

 

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4 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Nice post ,especially as i have an EQ5 with the dual motors and a 200p. Its nice to see that you had success with the combo .  I've only had the gear for one month (just managed one night of viewing .. without the motors as they are a brand new and only just installed) I intend to be mainly visual although  i will image .. but not to the standard of some of the wonderous photos i see on this forum . Like you,  i also had an heq5 and found it a lump to haul in and out of the house ...especially as my gear is stored upstairs . So , an EQ5 for me is the perfect weight /Size ratio . People have said that i am pushing the weight by using a 200p on the mount , but i think as long as its not too windy , its fine . I hope you have more great successes .. i will certainly follow your progress :)

 

Well just to bring you up to date I received the Synscan go to upgrade kit last week and installed it on my EQ5 mount on the same day. It was easy enough to install on the mount despite the lack of instructions if you have installed the dual axis motors on this mount it will not be a problem. I also opted for a eq direct cable to by pass using the handset as I am using eqmod astrophotography tool APT and Cartes du Ciel to control the mount. The improvement made by installing this upgrade is totally worth it in my opinion and has made a massive difference to the eq5 mount. Tracking is improved the go to system is excellent and using it with eqmod and APT is a joy to use especially with the plate solving in APT. Having taken it out and given it a good testing on a few night here are some of the images I have managed to capture all of them have been unguided with a non modified canon 450d. Orion Nebula Rosette Nebula Casper the friendly ghost nebula and the Patrick star fish cluster. 30 lights 20 darks no flats or bias stacked in dss and processed in ps. Next on my shopping list will be a guide camera but more then happy with the synscan upgrade and looking forward to some more clear nights. QM

 

Orion-synscan-1.jpg

Rosette-Syns.jpg

Casper-friendly-ghost-nebula.jpg

Patrick-Star-fish-cluster.jpg

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