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#1 Lee Diggle

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:24 PM

Is the EQ6 PRO Synscan really worth the extra £180 over the HEQ5 PRO Synscan?

I have done a lot of research into mounts over the past month and have narrowed it down to the EQ6 PRO or HEQ5 PRO. Price is not an issue however if I can save £180 by not buying a mount I dont need then that means I can put it towards other accessories such as eye pieces.

As it stands I have a scope (4" reflector) which I plan to keep using for now, but in the future I may get heavily into AP and therefore a guidescope and camera will be added to the mount, possibly with an upgraded of the scope to either an 8" or 10" reflector. Imagining will primarily be done with my D200 until I find better ways of improving. So what I suppose I am asking is for a saving of £180 will the HEQ5 PRO take all the above in future and not overstrain it?

TIA

:)

#2 Luigi

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 01:51 PM

The HEQ6 is a much more capable mount and definitely worth the extra outlay if you don't mind its larger size and heavier weight. In my experience, a 10" Newt is at the very limit for even the HEQ6. Actually, over the limit IMO, especially if you're planning AP. Somethings like keeping the tripod short and beefing up the dovetail and saddle do help.

#3 Bill W.

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 02:07 PM

The EQ6 is worth every penny... :D

-Bill

#4 Rusty

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:31 PM

I have the West-of-the-Pond version of the HEQ-5 EQ-G, the Sirius EQ-G. It would handle an 8" of short f-ratio (f/4) for AP, but I can't see it being stable enough for imaging with anything larger. The weak link on mine is the tripod. For 180, the EQ-6 is worth the difference IMHO.

#5 groz

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:53 PM

Is the EQ6 PRO Synscan really worth the extra £180 over the HEQ5 PRO Synscan?


Opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one, but, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here's our mount setup, and, as you see we have both.

Is the EQ6-Pro worth the extra $550cdn I paid for it, over the price of the HEQ5-Pro? Yes, every penny of it, if you have a load that's to heavy for the HEQ5-Pro. I do, chris doesn't, she got the HEQ5, I got the EQ6.

There will be lotsa folks saying 'maybe, I think, etc'. I think this photo says it all, we have both, and I'm not guessing.

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#6 Lee Diggle

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:19 AM

Hi guys, many thanks for the input it is much appreciated. I was kinda expecting the EQ6 to win but just wanted confirmation.

Groz, you are exactly what I am looking for - someone who has both the mounts I have been looking at. One question - are the mounts side by side here? If so this is also a good indication of the size difference of the two mounts. Do you have any shots that can give me a sense of scale of these mounts? Also are these the PRO models? They look like they are.

Cheers once again guys :-)

#7 neptun2

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 03:14 AM

I have heq5 with 8" f5 reflector and when you add to this camera autoguider and guide scope it is really on the edge for astrophotography. So you better buy eq6.

#8 Cyclop_si

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 03:52 AM

I would go with EQ6 as well.

However, just for info, Mar09 DSLR Challenge winner has done his wining photo with 8" Newton on top of HEQ5...

#9 John J

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:45 AM

IMO you cannot over mount a telescope. The heftier the mount the better. The EQ 6 is well worth the money. A friend has the HEQ 5 and it is half the mount that my EQ 6 is. The HEQ 5 is also very noisy when slewing where my EQ 6 is almost silent.

JJ

#10 groz

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:24 AM

Groz, you are exactly what I am looking for - someone who has both the mounts I have been looking at. One question - are the mounts side by side here? If so this is also a good indication of the size difference of the two mounts. Do you have any shots that can give me a sense of scale of these mounts? Also are these the PRO models? They look like they are.


These are both the -Pro models, and were set up in the living room, side by side, specifically to take this picture one evening. The photo accurately represents the difference in size. The angles appear a bit decieving in the shot, because I was not quite square on to them taking it, I had moved back beside the couch to get it all in frame. The EQ6 is _slightly_ closer to the camera because of the angle, but, they are sitting side by side in the living room. The EQ6 appears closer, because the tripod is cut out of the frame at the bottom, but, that's really because the tripod doesn't stand as high as the one under the HEQ5. It's 'shorter and squatter', which translates into 'much more stable'.

A few other differences. The HEQ5 is _slightly_ louder than the EQ6. The reason is simple, one of the pieces of the housing is plastic on that one, where it's solid metal on the bigger brother. The plastic allows for a little more motor noise transmission. Both are an order of magnitude quieter than our EQ3 (not in the photo), which is about the same sound level as the CG5. FWIW, the EQ3 was our first mount, and came on the same tripod legs as the HEQ5, with black instead of white paint.

I've never actually put them on the scale, to get exact numbers on the differences in weight, but I have a very simple 'real world comparison'. When we set up today, our configuration is a little different than when the photo was taken. Today, the HEQ5 has the Williams 80 mounted directly, without the side-by-side bar, and it's guider is the Kwiqguide, which is a 9x50 with QHY5. For the last winter I had ditched the mak beside the SCT, and moved the ST80 from the HEQ5 over to the EQ6 beside the SCT. A couple weeks ago, we got another Kwiqguide setup, so, now the SCT mounts directly to the EQ6, and the KwiqGuide goes on into the finder shoe, just like any other 9x50 finder would. In this configuration, when we are at home, and going to set up on the back deck, procedure for the two goes like this.

Chris picks up the HEQ5, complete with telescope and guider attached, walks it out to the back deck, sets it down in position. It's not a struggle, actually an easy carry, and she's ready to start polar aligning. For my kit, I take the SCT off the mount, then pick up the mount on it's tripod, and carry it out to position on the back deck. It's a serious struggle to carry, and if I'm going more than about 10 feet, the counterwieghts have to come off too. My mount head + trippod weighs more than her entire kit, mount head + tripod + counterwieghts + telescope.

Looking carefully back at the photo, I see the photo doesn't well display the differences between the tripods. The EQ6 tripod has shorter legs, and is made with 2 inch tubes. The HEQ5 tripod has longer legs, from 1.75 inch tubes. The tripod under the EQ6 is SUSTANTIALLY stronger than the one under the HEQ5, and equally more stable, altho the stability may be partly due to the shorter legs, so, it cannot sit up so high. FWIW, when we are doing photography, we never extend the legs on either of them. Another subtle difference, the HEQ5 tripod is configured with a north facing leg, while the EQ6 tripod is configured with a south facing leg. If you are at a very southern location, this will make a difference for counterweight clearances, the EQ6 should operate correctly much farther south than the HEQ5.

And just to put some idea onto the vintages of these mounts pictured, the EQ6 was purchased new in january of 2008. After struggling with the EQ3 for the smaller kit during our summer vacation last summer, the first thing I did when we got home, was order up the HEQ5 for the smaller kit. We had it out for the first time in september of last year.

Some other points you may be interested in. Both of our mounts came with two of the nice white counterweights, the eq3 came with a single black one, half the weight of those that came with the -Pro series. We have interchanged them all, and today, I dont think I could tell you which of the white ones came with which mount. When we go on a trip, all of them store together in the van, and, we've long ago lost track of which is which. When we bought the HEQ5, there was a special on, and it came complete with the gps. We use that gps on all 3 of them.

Another detail, the EQ6 lattitude adjustment screws are VERY hard to use, if you dont use them correctly. When polar aligning, to adjust lattitude, I use one of two methods. If I am starting setup, and polaris is already visible in the polar scope, I do the polar scope alignment with no telescope or counterweights on. If I've already got all the equipment on, then this next detail is VERY important. To lift the kit in lattitude, first you must LIFT on the counterweight bar, to take the weight off the adjustment bolts, then the bolts turn easily. If you dont, the bolts do not turn easily, and, they will bend. I always start by getting it 'slightly high' using the up adjustments, then fine tune in the 'down' direction using the bolt in the front, which doesn't require me to be lifting the counterweight rod. Polar alignment is another places where our mounts have just been stellar, the polar scopes in both of them came well set, and we normally get within a few arcminutes of ncp with just a quick look thru the polar scope, and the illuminated polar scope makes this simple and easy. Our EQ3 came with basically the same polar scope, but, it was not aligned nearly as well, and it's not illuminated. It's actually quite a fuss to get that one aligned with the polar scope because it's not internally illuminated to see the reticle. The illuminator in the EQ6 is brighter than the one in the HEQ5, and visible in broad daylight. When we first got the HEQ5, I thought the illuminator was bust, couldn't see it when we set the mount up in the living room. After it got completely dark outside, and we turned off the inside lights, low and behold, there it was. After using an illuminated polar scope, dont know how we ever did without.

When we set up at star parties this summer, our planned configuration is like this. HEQ5 and EQ6 set with a table between them, and they will be doing photography all night using the Williams 80 and the SCT. Some distance away from them will be the EQ3, which gets the 127mm mak and/or the short tube 80 (we have the side by side bars). That'll be used for 'looking thru eyepieces' with a herd of neices and nephews.

#11 Lee Diggle

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:14 PM

I would go with EQ6 as well.

However, just for info, Mar09 DSLR Challenge winner has done his wining photo with 8" Newton on top of HEQ5...


Hi David,

I might be being a bit thick but I cant seem to see the competition winner entry, could you point me in the right direction.

Groz, I very much appreciate your thorough reply, it has certainly clarified a few things for me and thanks for taking the time to compose it. I think my mind is made up and it was good to find someone how has both the mounts I was looking at and was willing to spend some time giving some input.

:bow: :)

#12 Cyclop_si

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 02:10 AM

I hope link will work:

http://www.cloudynig...sb/5/o/all/vc/1

I would go with EQ6 as well.

However, just for info, Mar09 DSLR Challenge winner has done his wining photo with 8" Newton on top of HEQ5...


Hi David,

I might be being a bit thick but I cant seem to see the competition winner entry, could you point me in the right direction.

Groz, I very much appreciate your thorough reply, it has certainly clarified a few things for me and thanks for taking the time to compose it. I think my mind is made up and it was good to find someone how has both the mounts I was looking at and was willing to spend some time giving some input.

:bow: :)








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