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Hi chaps,

I got myself an EQ5 and Skywatcher P200 on ebay. Figured it'd be a great non portable scope to start with in the garden (with my skymax 102 idea portable for when I get away in motorhome).

So.. of course I've downloaded the manual to read, but sky watcher hardly know for their concise documentation...

It's had motors fitted to it. But alas, no cables or controller.

So dunno if motors work. Hopefully, all looks if good nick, though a bit unloved and maybe old (how old can one with motors be ?)

Now, seems like there's a few options:

1. get the full kit with new motors and controller and no need to worry motors are knackered.

2. just get the controller. if doesn't work, get motors.

3. Look at one of the 3rd party ones like EQStarEQ5 or summit - which is goto, wifi and all the goodies..but only seems like you can buy from ebay from ukraine!! - and not sure about synscan compatibility, etc even though it says it is - docs are a bit poor.

4. synscan goto + wifi upgrade. not happening - costs a fortune.

Now, there are two skywatcher controllers available - the regular one and the 'enhanced' one - is the main thing the enhanced one can move motors quicker ? seems a bit of a con...

Am I missing any options ?

I'm not too fussed about goto, but if I went that way, I'd want wifi.

But frankly I just want the motors working and RA sidereal tracking working. But regular controller says works at 8x.. which is pretty useless if its gonna take me hours to turn the thing round 180 ?

Oh.. and one more thing for those that made it so far...I've got myself a very nice 2" EQ6 tripod.. which of course won't fit an EQ5 on. Is there some sort of official adapter do you know ? or is it time to get the drill and angle grinder out ?

stu

 

Edited by powerlord
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There are several motorising options, and the cheapest motor option is the RA-only variant.  The deluxe motor controllers are intended for use with guiding for imaging, I think.  But you will not be doing any guiding with that mount and scope - the combo is just barely adequate for visual use.

I would not bother transferring the mount on to the EQ-6 tripod, but it is up to you.

Re the max speed being x8, for major moves you are supposed to release the clutches and move the mount by hand. Unlike with a GoTo you are not losing anything by doing this. 

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I imaged for quite a while with my EQ5 and SW200p. 

I initially added the Skywatcher motors (the mount was purely manual to start with) but ditched those in favour of stepper motors and an AstroEQ.  This gave horizon to horizon slewing in under a minute and guided at just over 1" oscillation.  I still use the EQ5 when imaging with a 200 mm canon lens as its performance is more than adequate, it weighs a good deal less than my AZEQ6 and takes only a few moments to set up.  

 I don't think Tom Carpenter (AstroEQ's inventor) is selling ready made units at the moment, but although my soldering skills are nothing special, I found building my own was not too great a challenge.  Another advantage of the AstroEQ is that it runs at a nominal 12 volts which is easier to supply than the 6 volts that the Skywatcher kit motors required.

Edited by almcl
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Hi, I also have a 200p on an EQ5 and have been really pleased with it.

The first upgrade I made to the mount was fitting the RA motor drive and did so just to make visual use more comfortable. The flexible cable slow motion controls are worthwhile as well.

Visually I find the mount and OTA to be a very useable combination and struggle to understand some of the negative comments Newtonian reflectors on EQ mounts attract. Bang for buck they’re pretty good.

However it is not so good on windy nights, the OTA being relatively large the view through the eyepiece wobbles a bit. This also affects the dob so I switch to using a 150 SkyMax on an EQ5 if I’m still wanting to stay out. 

If it were me I’d just remove the existing motors and fit a new RA motor with basic hand set. At the moment I think you might struggle to get a replacement controller for the existing motors, new or second hand.

I’ve attached an old SLR to it as well and found it a lot of fun with surprisingly interesting results, though nothing compared to others on this site who are well down the AP rabbit hole. Frankly, AP beyond a bit of fun expanding the visual experience, the mount is not meant for serious AP.

If the livery is black, white and green I think the scope will be relatively new.

Also, as Cosmic Geoff says, I’d not bother fitting the mount to the EQ6 tripod. The standard one with the stainless 1.75” legs is quite ok.

Good luck and hope you enjoy it.

Steve

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thanks Steve - my use is certainly including AP - but 'numpty AP' - not 'this is useless -  you need a 3k supercooled CCD and tracking laptop to do AP'. It a Helios job - so pretty old. but in good shape. don't know if need collimated yet, but seems nice and clear in the 30 secs I've looked through it at the backgarden so far.

Almcl - I was sort of put off by the DIY route. If he had a ready to go solution I'd buy it.

Geoff - I've no aspirations to do guiding, but do want to be stuffing my DSLR on the end of it as I do on my skymax102/az gti. And of course will be trying the 102 on the Eq5 too. Why do you say it's barely adequate for visual use ? And mount wise, its on an ali mount just now, not the 1.5" stainless. the stainless EQ6 is much more solid and was available 2nd hand, so that's what I've got- I purchased it as it was recommended when I asked on SGL here:

 

As pointed out its all just experimenting and a bit of fun. I've had nice results (that im happy with) with DSLR on 102. I'm interested to see what I get on P200. I've got a nice Canon EF F4 L coming from Japan to use for DSO with my (back ordered) adventurer 2i wifi.

I've no plans to try to go any further down the AP rabbit hole than that frankly. What's great to me, is undoubtedly pants to the pros, but thats fine 🙂

Edited by powerlord
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3 hours ago, powerlord said:

Why do you say it's barely adequate for visual use ? And mount wise, its on an ali mount just now, not the 1.5" stainless.

I had a f5 203mm Newtonian on an eq-5 with the 1.75" stainless steel tripod.  That was adequate in a sheltered garden, but using it with a f6 Newt or in an exposed location would be pushing it.  The mount had some backlash with the RA electric drive I first had on it, and also with the Synscan GoTo upgrade kit I put on it later. The mount has a nominal capacity of 9KG (visual) which is what my Newtonian weighed.

It seems you have the aluminium Helios tripod, which by all accounts will not be adequate.

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Thought I would chip in as an EQ5 owner, and a dabbler in the entry end of DSLR imaging.

Firstly I have the EQ5 with the big stainless legs. I think this is marketed as the EQ5 Pro. I added (later) the Goto SynScan V5 kit and motors, and I think for the cost, it is great.

I understand the question about putting the EQ5 mount head on an EQ6 tripod. I have one of those and would consider it if I was on the non PRO tripod (alu).

As an aside the EQ5 can be made to do AP without guiding as long as 60 second exposures are the max. If using a newt then windy conditions will be a problem, but this is well known.

It is just a personal perspective but I consider the SW EQ5 Pro to be a perfect intermediate mount. However, I think for AP a 150PDS with all the add ons is the max, but for EP whatever you are comfortable with.

I often think that at this stage in mount, tripod and desire to observe and get some imaging done it is the perfect entry model. We would all love to gate crash in on a pier mounted CEM70 with a great OTA and do narrow band, but for most that is in the future. For me well in the future🤣

All power to those that are already there, we love your images. It is the mountain we are climbing with the kit we have, to try and get somewhere close.

Marvin

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thanks chaps. it was the EQ5 I really wanted for my skymax 102 sometimes. As I got the lot (EQ5 with motors, ali tripod, helios 200 and finder, pole finder) all for 250 quid I figured I'll probably end up selling the P200 eventually, keeping the mount and adding controller, etc (controller and motors ordered now!).

I didn't factor in the crappy tripod, hence the need to do something, and as a local SGLer was selling a 2" it seemed sensible to grab it.

Having played this evening it's gonna be easy enough to fit it - its standard metric bolts - I've already test mounted it with a long bolt. I'll CAD up and 3d print a collar and it'll be good to go.

Clear skies here around 11pm on... so will get a chance to try it tonight !

stu

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Nice one. Getting the EQ5 head on the EQ6 tripod will do you a giant favour compared to the alu EQ2 tripod. Whatever you decide to do with motors and/if Goto option is your decision.

That is one of the great things in Astro, you can ask questions but you can choose to listen or ignore depending on your needs.

I hope you get a great hybrid setup. Perhaps you will have something to report to all of us. Clear skies, and please post up anything you capture AP, I need to have something to compare against as an EQ5 owner.

Mavin

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If you've already got the motors then if you can find a second handset I'd start there. Astroboot used to be good for that kind of thing, but Brexit appears to have killed it. 

The main difference in the the handsets is that the advanced red one allows guiding via an ST4 cable. 

I thought long and hard about upgrading my un-motorized EQ5 to GoTo but in the end I went with a second hand Skywatcher upgrade kit, because there wasn't anything else that seemed particularly cost effective.

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Just an update. enhanced motor kit arrived today. Turned out installed motors fine, but swapped for new ones and new gears anyway.

Its hard a hard life - RA screws were bent, so replaced them with sold bolts (one smoothed at the end with grinder), and refitted worm screw as it had massive backlash.

by time i did all that I'd ran out of time to align finder.. but didn't want to let that stop me, so I set it up anyway... first time polar aligning, first time newtonian... and only used a telescope for first time 4 weeks ago.. so bare with me.

Took me about 45 mins to polar align.. shining red light down to see markings.. def need to get an illuminator.

then i must admit to being quite out my depth and moving it around, which way, etc - kept getting wires all tangled or ending up with it pointing right way, but with viewfinder inaccessible..

of course with no finder just finding something to focus on took a while but got something in the end, and watched it for a bit - loved just seeing it not moving!!! yeh!

tried camera, but it was too faint and just couldn't focus and with no hope at all at finding a bright star randomly pointing at stuff, I called it a night.

tomorrow - get the fecking finder aligned !!

but impressed - not play at all in motors. very quiet, etc.

Need to find a tutorial on actually using a newtonian now I think......

stu

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