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I'm looking to buy a Goto mount for my small refractor (Horizon 60ED). I want to take more take more pictures of DSO but don't want to spend all night trying to find targets. I'm looking at EQ5 pro or should I pay the extra and buy a HEQ5? I like the idea of the more portable EQ5 but will it do the job?

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The EQ5 Pro is quite good. The HEQ5 Pro will take on a larger payload and its gear ratio is better. So your guiding will be better. If you have the funds go for HEQ5.

So consider what else you plan to add on to your 60ED - guidescope, cameras, filter wheels etc. Also consider your longer plans to upgrade. HEQ5 will have better longevity assuming you want to go to bigger heavier scope and add more equipment :)

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The HEQ5 has been the de facto starting mount for AP for years really. Nice little mount light enough but still sturdy and gets even better ( & quieter) with a Rowan belt mod. If it’s goto & getting framed correctly on target that you’re thinking about with minimal fuss you really need to be thinking about the capture process as a whole. Plate solving will do this for you. The mount is your foundation that you build upon. It needs to be able to carry the weight of your chosen imaging scope & kit and guide. The HEQ5 will do that for the scope you’re talking about & that’s your starting point. The no fuss “get on target” comes from a combination of goto & plate solving if you don’t want to manually tweak centring the target. More like a “Make it so”  button. So, back on topic.. I would still recommend the HEQ5 as the minimum to consider really.

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If you want portable mount that will be as precise as HEQ5, maybe check out this one:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/ioptron-mounts/ioptron-cem26-center-balanced-equatorial-goto-mount.html

It has step resolution that is closer to HEQ5 - 0.17", HEQ5 having around 0.14 and EQ5 having twice that at about 0.28". It is already "belt modded" - or rather it has belt transmission which smooths things out. It has built in Wifi so you can connect your laptop to it via wifi. It has USB port so you don't need special cable. It has spring loaded worm gear which reduces backlash.

It is very light weight compared to other two mounts (eq5 and heq5) and it has very good payload at 12Kg (a bit more then eq5).

 

 

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I use a HEQ5 with an RVO Horizon 72ED and the guiding is ~0.75". The 5kg counterweight is about half way along the bar. 

However, I use the same mount for a  SW 200PDS and I need both c/ws. They're right at the end of the c/w bar.

It's a chunky mount and tripod, it's intended for larger scopes. It can be moved around in bits, but I wouldn't want to move the thing fully assembled very often. 

I got it to take a larger reflector. It may be too chunky,  but it's a dream to guide with the smaller scopes

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13 hours ago, Bikingbill said:

Is the Celestron AVX a good option? It's has a good payload and seems for compare well to the HEQ5 but is cheaper and lighter

You have more control options with Skywatcher mounts than Celestron under a windows platform.  The method of control is varied and complicated, from using a small laptop or NUC PC running windows, through to raspberry Pi's or dedicated astro-PCs running linux, all of which can be found on the forum.  Most people typically use their existing laptop, install EQMOD, ASCOM, PHD2 and a planetarium application of choice.  Connection to the mount is normally via an EQDIR cable, although newer versions of their mounts have that built in so only require a USB cable.

Personally, having originally purchased an EQ5 and then got into imaging with a basic guidescope and DSLR camera (ie at the entry level), I soon realised that I needed to upgrade the mount so picked up a second hand HEQ5.  This was then belt modified (DIY which then led to the Rowan Kit being produced) which was a game changer.  

One less technical thing, it may have changed by now, but most celestron VX's were known as coffee grinders due to the sound they made when slewing... If you live in an area where your neighbours are light sleepers it might be worth considering if your nightly imaging sessions could result in fall out ?

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