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AndrewLincs

EQ5 Goto upgrade

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I purchased an EQ5 late last year , and also bought the goto upgrade kit. At that time I enlisted the help of the retailer to help in the installation of the upgrade. We sat on the shop floor and fitted it up!!

After using this for nearly a year I would not want to be without goto. With an ok polar alignment and a 3 star alignment the goto puts all objects within the FOV of a 25mm eyepiece on my 6" f/8 frac. I do not always use it , but , I would not want to be without it. I live in an area with bad light pollution and would struggle finding faint fuzzies any other way.

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Yep, I fitted one to my old EQ5. Easy as pie to fit, worked a treat afterward. Highly recommended upgrade.

Any specific questions / worries?

Mike.

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Thanks for the replies ...

I've just upgraded from a 150p to the 200p and EQ5. I had RA drive on the old scope, I've always fancied GOTO, so thought this was the time to try it, always seems impressive at the star parties I've been to, but normally on EQ6's.

So just wondered if a upgrade goto on the EQ5 was as effective as the EQ6 pro.

The one highlighted in the link is the one I've been looking at, use would be visual observation, no real imaging plans at this stage.

Also concerned about how easy it would be to fit and then set up and use.

Regards

Andrew

Edited by AndrewLincs

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Thanks for the replies ...

I've just upgraded from a 150p to the 200p and EQ5. I had RA drive on the old scope, I've always fancied GOTO, so thought this was the time to try it, always seems impressive at the star parties I've been to, but normally on EQ6's.

GOTO is nice from a sky-wandering point of view. It's nice to be able to range-around lookng at various objects with no particular observing plan in mind.

So just wondered if a upgrade goto on the EQ5 was as effective as the EQ6 pro.

Well, it's acutally the same handset / firmware - but different motors / gearsets.

The physical parts in my experience do nothing to change the GOTO accuracy. My EQ5 with the GOTO kit added was pretty spot-on. Everything I asked for was centre-of-eyepiece once I'd got it aligned.

The one highlighted in the link is the one I've been looking at, use would be visual observation, no real imaging plans at this stage.

GOTO has little influence for imaging. Imaging is more about accuracy of tracking - which in itself is more about accurate polar alignment and mount quality/engineering. Initial location of an interesting target by GOTO is one thing - tracking it accurately enough for good imaging is something else entirely.

Also concerned about how easy it would be to fit and then set up and use.

I consider myself moderately mechanically adept - and I found it a breeze to fit / adjust / use. If you can use an Allen key and a Phillips screwdriver - you'll find it similarly easy. If you struggle to tell one end of a hammer from another - perhaps someone else should do it for you. :D

In all, I found it a very easy upgrade, which worked exceedingly well once I'd fitted it.

Go for it, do it. There are plenty here that will be willing to help if you hit problems. If you buy it from FLO - you'll also have the backup of the most helpful and professional astro-enthusiasts I've had the pleasure of dealing with. :)

Hope that helps.

Mike.

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Thanks Mike

Its seems that GOTO is really just what I want, it will make my observation sessions more productive and enjoyable.

I am reassured by your comments regarding the accuracy and ease of use of the system and I feel confident in my abilities to install it.

Unfortunately, the problem now is finding one, FLO do not have one nor do other retailers they recommended, it looks like I may have to wait a while for availability!

I'm interested in your comments regarding correct polar alignment, I have never bothered with this (My EQ3-2 did not have a polar scope) However I used to set the alt with a wixey gauge and aimed the mount with the aid of a compass. I used to find that the RA drive would track objects quite satisfactorily. I appreciate that this procedure would be totally inadequate for imaging, however it was ok for my visual observations.

I assumed that a GOTO system, set up in a similar way, and then 3 star aligned, would keep the target in view with sufficient accuracy to image? From your comments it would seem not! I appreciate I have a lot to learn and I do not doubt your advice and I have no immediate imaging plans, but I would like to try and understand the limitations of the GOTO system!

The EQ5 is fitted with a polar scope which I am sure I can use for a more accurate initial set up, I've not tried it yet, but I will if necessary.

I would appreciate your comments, I think the learning cure may just have got a little steeper!

Regards

Andrew

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I bought and fitted the SyncScan GoTo upgrade to my EQ5 just a few months ago. I've been imaging with it and my 200p the results you can see in the DSO section. I'm still learning AP techniques but found the tracking capabilities of a well polar aligned mount sufficient for 2 min subs (unguided) depending on the seeing of course. I found it easy to install with one little gotcha, it's possible to fit the gears incorrectly which will not damage the mechanism but will produce wildly erratic GoTo results. I posted an image of the gears in the correct position

Cogs.jpg

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm interested in your comments regarding correct polar alignment, I have never bothered with this (My EQ3-2 did not have a polar scope) However I used to set the alt with a wixey gauge and aimed the mount with the aid of a compass. I used to find that the RA drive would track objects quite satisfactorily. I appreciate that this procedure would be totally inadequate for imaging, however it was ok for my visual observations.

I assumed that a GOTO system, set up in a similar way, and then 3 star aligned, would keep the target in view with sufficient accuracy to image? From your comments it would seem not! I appreciate I have a lot to learn and I do not doubt your advice and I have no immediate imaging plans, but I would like to try and understand the limitations of the GOTO system!

Sorry to repeat this but GOTO has no influence over the tracking, just the initial location of the object - "pointing accuracy" is a term you'll find bandied around a lot, and is different to tracking accuracy. The various alignment methods 1 star, 2 star, 3 star, PAE (ad nauseum) - only serve to accurately align the OTA for the pointing model programmed into the computerised handset. As we're talking about a GEM mount, tracking accuracy is entirely governed by polar alignment of the mount and RA drive accuracy.

Your existing polar alignment procedure is fine for visual use, after all - one can always nudge the OTA a smidge one way or the other if the object is drifting slightly. :)

For imaging, it depends on the duration of the sub exposures you are aiming for more than anything else. For longer exposures (say, more than a minute or so) accurate polar alignment becomes more and more important (as do other factors, like periodic error and the mount's resistance to vibration) - otherwise what should be pinpoint stars in the image become elongated blobs.

Even if you're autoguiding - accurate polar alignment when imaging is important because it'll reduce the workload the guider has to cope with.

The EQ5 is fitted with a polar scope which I am sure I can use for a more accurate initial set up, I've not tried it yet, but I will if necessary.

Indeed it does - and Astro Baby's guide on how to set it up and use it is the best I've come across:

Clicky - Astro Babys HEQ5 Polar Alignment

I would appreciate your comments, I think the learning cure may just have got a little steeper!

My apologies, I didn't mean to pollute your mindset with thoughts of imaging. It's where my mind is right now because I'm just getting into it. The learning curve is indeed steep, although not as steep as the downward slope in your bank balance that it tends to induce!

Hope you can lay your hands on an upgrade kit - and have fun when you do.

Mike.

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This is a good thread, appreciate the contributions.

I'm saving up for the GOTO upgrade right now. I've had my telescope since last winter and having found some objects and hooked myself on astronomy I'm in need of more finding power.

Similar problem with light pollution - I find it near impossible to find fuzzies.

I'll post results when I do finally install it. Birthday coming up in November so hopefully will have buy it around then - always a good excuse to buy astronomy gadgets.

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Please let us know about your experience of the iOptron, I've read a few people mention this.

Where in the UK could I buy this?

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I have ordered the iOptron NOVA GoTo for my EQ5. I will let you know how I get on with it.

I have ordered the iOptron NOVA GoTo for my EQ5. I will let you know how I get on with it.

I am really interested how did work out the NOVA on the CG-5.

Could you post some pics and opinnions about the instalation ?

thank you.

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