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Mount upgrade!

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I'm currently using a skymax on an Eq3-2, I'm messing around with a flashed spc880 at the moment and eventually I want to use my DSLR on some DSO's. In the meantime I've been thinking about upgrading my mount and really not sure what to go for in terms of stability (minimum vibration) longevity if i decided I wanted a newt at some point in future. What do people think is mininum you need in terms of astrophotography?

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Hello Bootsclan

The general concensus seems to be a HEQ5 as the minimum for imaging. You can get the Syntrek or Synscan version, the difference being that the latter has the full GoTo functions.

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I agree HEQ5 minimum. I use an ED80 + 80mm guide scope on mine with no problems. My SW200P or 180 Mak-Cass on their own are pushing things for long exposure imaging but fine for visual and snapshots/videos of the Moon and planets

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Thanks guys for the advice! This is such a place to learn!:D

Well I'll be using the mount with my skymax and hopefully a refractor if imaging gets a grip of me. But I do need something pretty soon as the eq3-2 is not so hot. What is the main difference between the HEq5 and NEq6 then?

One question I also have is about the syntrek? models as they don't come with a Goto Hand controller can you use Laptop to control the aligning with Eqmod. Not really sure how that works? Anyone give the basic gist of how?

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The syntrek mounts can be used with EQMOD (I operate my HEQ5 with it - its exellent!). All you need is an adapter cable - from FLO (you can make one if you are electronically minded). This gives you full goto and lots of other functionality that you don't get with a hand controller AND its free!! The EQMOD site is here:


Also watch Chris shillito's tutorial video's on Youtube - exellent again.

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HI Bootsclan,

I've just posted above in this same section about a mount and 'scope as my upgrade. I mentioned just the items you are moving up from!

I'm considering the EQ3-2 or AZ4. One is equatorial the other has steel legs!

I'm betwwen the two. If you were not moving into imaging would you be satisfied with the EQ 3-2 as a sturdy visual mount? IOW would I be happy with the EQ3-2!

Fun this - isn't it - looking for the next inevitable upgrade!


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Yet anopther saying HEQ5 minimum. The difference between 5 and 6 is just payload. They are equally accurate, which is to say quite decent once autoguided.

Don't assess payload in terms of weight only. (The rule of thumb with budget mounts is to halve the quoted payload for imaging.) You also have to factor in tube length and bulk, bulk affecting performance in the wind. Longer tubes have more moment and so are more demanding.


Edited by ollypenrice
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