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After a long think I spent my money on a mount rather than a big Dob. 

Mainy a visual observer I do have a a DSLR and realise I might be seduced by the photographic side. I decided on an AZ EQ mount for flexibility abd dithered between the 5 and the 6 Skywatcher offerings. 

I'm no spring chicken at 73 so was a bit worried about the weight. 

Availability was a huge issue and when I sourced an Azeq6 Pro I ordered it. 

Two big boxes arrived and I set about putting the mount onto the hefty tripod. BIG AND HEAVY. 

It sat in the dinning room as I pondered it's weight vs my age. 

It's a lovely well made mount and it just kept whispering to me "keep me". 

It made tha short journey to the garage to meet its family of tripods and astro stuff and I started building. 

IMG_20210107_112548.thumb.jpg.f163abb70acea9066bf47c48fb1b600e.jpgIMG_20210107_112548.thumb.jpg.f163abb70acea9066bf47c48fb1b600e.jpgIMG_20210107_112425.thumb.jpg.89ac4722adacf2b9a3844cbe811ceefc.jpgI just love it.

A planet killer and wider views available in seconds and the flexibility to rejig if the astro bug really bites. 

With regard to weight, with the scopes pointing streight up I can pick up the mount and move it 10 yards or so. 

Just make sure everything is tight before trying that. 

I tried the mount with the Skywatcher WiFi dongle and it was very smooth and quiet.. 

Looking forward to lots of use with this rig. 

As for appature fever..... Well if the right 12" Newt turns up I have a mount that will handle it..... Now where's my credit card..... 

IMG_20210107_112502.jpg

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You're obviously a stronger man than me!  I briefly considered one but cam to the conclusion that as a one man lift (including the OTA) I'd do my back/shoulder/other bits in so I caved and went for the more diminutive AZEQ5.  I suspect I'll never use in in AZ mode though.

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Nice to see this mount is still popular.  I too have only used mine in equatorial mode. But it looks good with two scopes on it. 
 

It is a bit of a beast weight-wise.  18kg is it? Something like that.  I keep mine 10m or so from my set up site. I would not wish to carry it far.  It’s a potential back breaker if lifted awkwardly. You wouldn’t want to drop it on your foot either! :) I tend to leave it set up for a few days if I think there’s the prospect of some clear nights. I’m glad I invested in a scope  cover a few years ago. Covering two scopes might present some interesting problems though.  For me at my age and strength I think this mount is really an observatory mount rather than a set up and tear down type of mount. It’s a different matter if you’re younger and fitter. 

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Love mine. Had it for around 5 years now (predates the new "pro" branding and green setting circles). Used to use it in AZ mode with an 8" SCT and 80mm refractor. Nowadays I mainly use it in EQ mode, to get my long refractors a little higher off the ground :). Manages even my 6" f8 'frac with little problem. I've found mine to be robust, accurate (well, certainly enough for my needs as a mainly visual user) and easy to use. I tend to leave mine set-up in the garden under a scope cover for long(ish) periods of time. I think these mounts are fantastic value for money. I am tempted to get that wooden tripod set-up JeremyS has in his photos though... .

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Lovely setup @Bigwings. That is a fairly heavy lift, do be careful. I used to have one and really rated it, only ever used in Alt Az mode but it makes a great visual mount for side by side viewing. Very capable mount, I used to have a 6” f9 Vixen refractor which weighed 20kg and it handled that quite well!

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F0F81029-4A57-42EF-9401-2EC995B66DE7.jpeg

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On 08/01/2021 at 10:50, Voyager 3 said:

One thing is sure , your are a skywatcher fanboy! 

I do like Skywatcher and the rig is nicely colour balanced essential for astro 😉

The finders are Baader as are a lot of my EP's

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Referring to the OP's comment about the possibility of using a 12" Newt on an AZ-EQ6...I've run an OO CT12 on mine  successfully for visual but it's on the ragged edge. The OTA plus rings weighs in at about 16 kg. Add the Paracorr, and an Ethos 21 and you are are at the limit. And you need steps to reach the eyepiece because the OTA centre of gravity is biased heavily towards the mirror. It's not just the weight..the 12" OTA is so wide the centre of gravity is offset a long way from the mount requiring the use of the counterweight extension bar and 4 by 5kg weights. 

It does work, but it's not an easy setup. Skywatcher OTAs are usually a bit heavier...

YMMV...

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On 07/01/2021 at 12:12, Bigwings said:

BIG AND HEAVY. 

That's a great looking set-up. And I admire your stamina. 

I have the NEQ6 Pro and over the last year have started separating the mount from the tripod to carry them from the garage. I used to manage both together but I can't seem to get a secure grip these days. Even when separated the mount head is about as heavy as I'd care to carry.

I'm about at the limit of my mount with my 250P DS. Not only from a performance point of view but manually handling the scope to get it on the mount. But what to do? I still have raging aperture fever! 🤩

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Paul M said:

That's a great looking set-up. And I admire your stamina. 

I have the NEQ6 Pro and over the last year have started separating the mount from the tripod to carry them from the garage. I used to manage both together but I can't seem to get a secure grip these days. Even when separated the mount head is about as heavy as I'd care to carry.

I'm about at the limit of my mount with my 250P DS. Not only from a performance point of view but manually handling the scope to get it on the mount. But what to do? I still have raging aperture fever! 🤩

 

 

A big Dob with a set of wheels on its own platform and 3 screw Jack's for levelling I guess

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1 hour ago, Jonk said:

I once had a SW 300pds on mine in eq mode and it worked fine with a couple of counterweights.

 

Bet it was fun turning the tube to get the EP and focuser in a usable position 😜

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1 hour ago, Jonk said:

I once had a SW 300pds on mine in eq mode and it worked fine with a couple of counterweights.

 

This is music to my ears.

I’ve had smaller newts on EQ mounts all my life and listening to dob fans you’d think I was mad wanting to put my OO VX12L on an EQ6. 

I can’t get over how many think it’s an effort to rotate the OTA in the rings when moving positions.

The best things in life come with a little effort. 

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1 hour ago, Bigwings said:

Bet it was fun turning the tube to get the EP and focuser in a usable position

I must admit, I don't remember but probably yes!

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1 minute ago, Captain Magenta said:

 

 

0CFD33C8-081B-4D6D-AC3B-8F148398267C.jpeg

I had to do a double take on that pic Magnus. Thought your main mirror had dropped out for a moment!

😊

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1 hour ago, Bigwings said:

Bet it was fun turning the tube to get the EP and focuser in a usable position 😜

When I got my main kit I never intended to use it for imaging. But as I had been warned on this very forum, big newts on an EQ mount are best suited to teenage contortionists!

Now I have a camera in the focuser and on occasions I have to circle the mount a couple of time to find it! 🤪

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