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HEQ5 Belt mod?


hix
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Hi,

I've an old HEQ5 for which I've just ordered the synscan upgrade.

I am getting back into things and I'll be using the mount for astro imaging. Either hyperfocally with a WO 80 480 f6 or just a Nikon with a feature lens options. 

I have no plans to auto-guide so was wondering if the belt mod would actually be of much use? 

As I understand it there is likely to be some improvement in PE, but over jwhat time period I'm blind on.

Just putting the question out there as to whether it is worth the mod, or just see how it goes.

I'm all ears.

Edited by hix
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Alternate take, based on experience for an EQ6. The belt mod:

- makes the mount quieter

- makes GOTOs more accurate

- improves tracking a little. Maybe an improvement of 0.1" on a given night. 

 

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How do you control your mount?

Do you have means to perform PEC (periodic error correction)?

EQMod + computer control has that feature but I'm not sure about latest handset (there might be option).

In any case - belt mod is worth it, but there is a chance P2P on periodic error will in fact increase - but will become smoother and easier to correct with periodic error correction.

+1 to guiding.

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My barrier to guiding is mostly that I plan to image whist out in the wilds as I live in an urban space. 

I have limited electrons at my disposal and running a laptop isnt high on my list of priorities. 

I

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2 minutes ago, hix said:

My barrier to guiding is mostly that I plan to image whist out in the wilds as I live in an urban space. 

I have limited electrons at my disposal and running a laptop isnt high on my list of priorities. 

I

Fair enough, but that will limit you on exposure length, if you guide that limitation isn't there

There are standalone guiders, no need for a laptop

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14 hours ago, hix said:

My barrier to guiding is mostly that I plan to image whist out in the wilds as I live in an urban space. 

I have limited electrons at my disposal and running a laptop isnt high on my list of priorities. 

I

Options for guiding:

  • Autoguider - £280  to £800 (Skywatcher to StarAid) - No need for any  laptop or software - totally standalone
  • Basic finder guider - £190 to £220 - Required a computer of some description to run free software to track and command the scope
  • Guidescope / camera - £300 - As above, a computer of some description is needed to run the free software
  • Finder Guider with dedicated astro PC - £500 - products like the ASiair plus
  • Off axis guider - £100 to £250 + camera - Requires some form of computer or dedicated astro PC
  • Off axis guider and illuminated eyepiece - £250 - manual guiding (ie the old fashioned way :) )

 

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There is another option that currently exists only in my head - but it is cheapest of the lot :D and most portable.

Finder scope converted to guide scope with 3d printed adapter + web camera, Raspberry PI Zero 2 and custom guide software (or maybe even adaptation of PHD2) that is controlled via smart phone :D

 

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47 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

There is another option that currently exists only in my head - but it is cheapest of the lot :D and most portable.

Finder scope converted to guide scope with 3d printed adapter + web camera, Raspberry PI Zero 2 and custom guide software (or maybe even adaptation of PHD2) that is controlled via smart phone :D

 

I thought I covered that 

1 hour ago, malc-c said:

Options for guiding:

  • Basic finder guider - £190 to £220 - Required a computer of some description to run free software to track and command the scope

 

 

😉

Joking apart, there are lots of possibilities

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Ok  so for guiding, what would people recommend in terms of software? I've got a small scope I could use as a guide. I've got a range of RPis and I can design and 3D print anything I need.

So using Pi could be an option with the HiQ camera as a guider? 

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You should be able to use RPI.

PHD2 is usually weapon of choice for guiding (it works under linux as well).

Main problem with RPI / linux and PHD2 is that you'll need some sort of terminal to RDP or VNC into RPI session and calibrate and operate PHD2.

Look into astroberry for full featured setup.

Alternative is to use IndigoSky

https://www.indigo-astronomy.org/indigo-sky.html

It works on RPI and you can use smart phone / tablet to access simple web interface and operate mount / guider / camera (not sure if DSLR is supported).

11 minutes ago, hix said:

So using Pi could be an option with the HiQ camera as a guider?

Guiding software works even with modified web cameras (just removed lens so it can be put in prime focus of guide scope). As long as there is driver - it can work as guide camera.

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