Jump to content

740427863_Terminatorchallenge.jpg.2f4cb93182b2ce715fac5aa75b0503c8.jpg

Which Mount


 Share

Recommended Posts

Now returning to imaging, after several years out of the hobby.

My needs have now changed in that I plan to use something like a 115mm APO refractor, weighing in the order of 7kg.

In my previous astro imaging days,  I had a permanent Pillar,  with an NEQ6 mount, carrying a heavy SCT and 110mm APO refractor. All in an observatory with attached warm room.

Now in a different location, I am looking just to use a Tripod based Mount, that I can deploy the garden when I need to.

It needs to be GOTO, guiding capable, and remote PC controllable. 

The NEQ6 would now be very much overkill, and the HEQ5 is probably bordering on overkill, and not that portable. The EQ6  has a very limited payload.

On paper, the EQM 35-PRO seems to 'fit the bill' perfectly.  GOTO, guide capable, and with a 10kg payload.

Has anyone used one, and is it good at what it does. The NEQ6 was excellent, and gave many years of problem free service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, City9Town0 said:

I have an HEQ5 and it is portable from the house/garage to garden. I wouldn't fancy going 100m with it... How long is your garden?🤔

Not as long as at my previous house, but then it was all permanently installed in an observatory. At the moment its all about fact finding, as there isn't any stock anywhere, so no rush. BTW, I'm in IP9

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having now read several user reviews, many from the US, it seem seems that with a 7kg, or there about's scope, plus maybe a finder, or small guide scope, and a camera. It would be over the EQM-35 payload rating. Albeit I would probably use a OAG, as opposed to a guide scope.

As such. I might need to go up to the HEQ5, which has a 11kg payload rating for imaging.  Didn't really want to lugging that around the garden, but it might be the safer option.

Just need to find one, as I guess due to Covid, there aren't any in the country. At least I can't find any.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stay away from the EQM-35 PRO with anything other than a very low weight and focal length scopes if you wish to do reliable long exposure imaging. The payload ratings are just the maximums the motors can be expected to slew without slipping, i would place the EQM-35 PROs reasonable payload range at no more than 5kg, ideally less. Really what the mount is meant to do is to hold your typical 50-80mm short refractors or camera/lens setups. Pixel resolutions better than 2 arcseconds/pixel are probably not going to happen reliably tracking-wise with larger scopes.

Its not impossible to use for astrophotography as im imaging with a technically within payload limits scope and can get some results, but only if there is no wind (at all) and i still have to throw out most of my guided subs. But if you have a choice to not buy the mount, then get a better one.

Overkill with mounts is really not a thing, a better mount will be a better mount, with any scope. 115mm refractors are pretty long and hefty, which effectively reduces the mounts payload capabilities. I dont think the HEQ-5 is overkill, especially once you mount cameras and all other astro gadgets on top. It might actually be underkill.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

It seems that the Widescreen Centre have the HEQ5 Pro in stock (if their website is up to date) at the same sub £1k price as FLO, and RVO.

However, they are not on my favourites list, because I once bought  £2k  SX H16 camera from them, as at the time they were the only place with one in stock.

Goodness knows how long it had been in stock, as it was from a very early production run (confirmed by Starligth Xpress). It leaked light, and to go back to SX to be brough up to the latest spec.

I note that 365 Astronomy are offering the HEQ5 Pro at £955 Inc delivery. That's if they have stock of course.

Edited by centroid
Update
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, ONIKKINEN said:

Stay away from the EQM-35 PRO with anything other than a very low weight and focal length scopes if you wish to do reliable long exposure imaging. The payload ratings are just the maximums the motors can be expected to slew without slipping, i would place the EQM-35 PROs reasonable payload range at no more than 5kg, ideally less. Really what the mount is meant to do is to hold your typical 50-80mm short refractors or camera/lens setups. Pixel resolutions better than 2 arcseconds/pixel are probably not going to happen reliably tracking-wise with larger scopes.

Its not impossible to use for astrophotography as im imaging with a technically within payload limits scope and can get some results, but only if there is no wind (at all) and i still have to throw out most of my guided subs. But if you have a choice to not buy the mount, then get a better one.

Overkill with mounts is really not a thing, a better mount will be a better mount, with any scope. 115mm refractors are pretty long and hefty, which effectively reduces the mounts payload capabilities. I dont think the HEQ-5 is overkill, especially once you mount cameras and all other astro gadgets on top. It might actually be underkill.

 

Thank you for that input, much appreciated. I think I had come to that conclusion, and the EQM 35, is now off my 'shopping list'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, centroid said:

Thank you for that input, much appreciated. I think I had come to that conclusion, and the EQM 35, is now off my 'shopping list'

Have you considered a Celestron AVX? I only ask because there is one in stock at FLO! Similar class to the HEQ5 although the latter has the advantage of the belt mod which can be applied at some point in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

Have you considered a Celestron AVX? I only ask because there is one in stock at FLO! Similar class to the HEQ5 although the latter has the advantage of the belt mod which can be applied at some point in the future.

No I hadn't considered that one, but I will have a look. I guess that having had such success, and reliable service from the Skywatcher NEQ6, I have been thinking "better the devil you know". 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you considered buying second hand from SGL classifieds or Astro buy sell?
The HEQ5 with and without belt mod seem to come up quite regularly.

I have imaged with a 102 mm APO on a belt modded HEQ5, it guided at 0.6-0.7” RMS all night long. I found it quite manageable to carry and set up, I even took it on holiday in the UK on one occasion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, tomato said:

Have you considered buying second hand from SGL classifieds or Astro buy sell?
The HEQ5 with and without belt mod seem to come up quite regularly.

I have imaged with a 102 mm APO on a belt modded HEQ5, it guided at 0.6-0.7” RMS all night long. I found it quite manageable to carry and set up, I even took it on holiday in the UK on one occasion.

Yes,  I have looked but they are usually too far away, and I wouldn't buy without seeing the goods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since your days with CCD, pixels have become much smaller in CMOS cameras. With a 115 APO you are likely to be working at around 1 arcsec per pixel, which is a galaxy imaging resolution of the kind that used to require a long focal length to achieve.  This matters because it makes a higher demand on your mount.  To support your image scale a mount needs to run an RMS of not more than half that of the image scale, so that would be 0.5". A good EQ6 or HEQ5 (the top versions) can achieve this with care but not with much left in reserve, so I wouldn't go below that.

Alternatively, given the small size of modern pixels, you might feel that a shorter focal length would still give you the resolution you'd like while being less demanding of excellent guided tracking.

Olly

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

because it makes a higher demand on your mount. 

Although it is quite easy to bin the smaller pixels of a modern CMOS sensor to get back to the same sort of resolutions as before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, pete_l said:

Although it is quite easy to bin the smaller pixels of a modern CMOS sensor to get back to the same sort of resolutions as before.

Software bin, yes. However, since the instrument will probably support the higher resolution, it might be a shame not to use it. Or, to put it another way, you could get the reduced resolution more cheaply and with more portability with a smaller scope and mount. My main point was to to draw the OP's attention to the changes brought by reduced pixel sizes since these can lead to both mount and scope being smaller.

Olly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, wornish said:

If portability is your primary goal then have you looked at the RST-135.  It is highly portable and can carry 13.5Kg load with no counterweights.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/rainbow-astro-rst-135-mount.html

 

Only downside is its not cheap!

Lovely piece of kit Dave, and in the days when I had a fully equipped observatory, with a lot of expensive gear, then maybe. Now it just going to be a mount deployed in the garden. Having recently spent £53k on a new Motorhome, £3k+ on a mount would be step too far. 😵

Edited by centroid
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Since your days with CCD, pixels have become much smaller in CMOS cameras. With a 115 APO you are likely to be working at around 1 arcsec per pixel, which is a galaxy imaging resolution of the kind that used to require a long focal length to achieve.  This matters because it makes a higher demand on your mount.  To support your image scale a mount needs to run an RMS of not more than half that of the image scale, so that would be 0.5". A good EQ6 or HEQ5 (the top versions) can achieve this with care but not with much left in reserve, so I wouldn't go below that.

Alternatively, given the small size of modern pixels, you might feel that a shorter focal length would still give you the resolution you'd like while being less demanding of excellent guided tracking.

Olly

Hi Olly, its been many years since we conversed 🙂. Thank you for your knowledgeable input. much appreciated.  I have decided on the HEQ5-Pro, and am currently trying to track one down. I was thinking of using something like a 0.8 Focal Reducer with the Altair Astro 115 f/7 Triplet. Back in the day, I was using a WO 110mm f/7 Triplet, on an NEQ6 mount, guided of course, and that worked very well indeed. I don't know whether the HEQ5-Pro is inferior to the NEQ6, or whether it just down to payload.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, decision made, and a HEQ5-PRO Syn Scan ordered. I think I managed to track down the last one in the UK. Had to pay £30 more than the FLO, Altair, and RVO price, but of course they don't have stock. One dealer told me that the predicted date for a shipment, is October 1st, and that date could well be pushed back, because of the shortage of electronic components, and shipping delays. I wouldn't be surprised if the price will go up too, so "a bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush". Just need to decide on a scope, and camera, although I have a good idea which.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back.. & well done on finding the mount. For portable, mine has had much more use than the NEQ6 has the last few years. So much easier on the back to move about and just works.. I did a belt mod on it which I recommend, a lot easier than on the 6. It'll be perfect for the motor home trips to dark skies 😁 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Sp@ce_d said:

Welcome back.. & well done on finding the mount. For portable, mine has had much more use than the NEQ6 has the last few years. So much easier on the back to move about and just works.. I did a belt mod on it which I recommend, a lot easier than on the 6. It'll be perfect for the motor home trips to dark skies 😁 

I might well look into the belt mod, at a future date, at least once the warranty has expired.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well done... I leave my kit fully set up and just have to get it a few metres out of the garage or lounge. Manageable with the HEQ5PRO and ED80 DS PRO, flattener, and Canon 450D (+ guide etc).

Look forward to seeing the results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.