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#1 northernontario

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:27 AM

Hello again.

Well I am still mountless,mostly due to indecision and a shortfall in financial resources. But fear not, income tax time is apon us in Canada and this workin guy should get a few loonies back.

I wanted a nice simple unistar. It's too bad we can't get this in Canada because by the time I get it here, the duties and tarrifs and sales tax will add about 20 percent to the cost. gggrrrr.

I may have found something local. (local is less than a 12 hour drive for us).

I would like your opinion on it because you are the guys with the knowledge and experience.

It is a HEQ5 with a meade heavy duty tripod. It is about 8 years old, had a wide saddle (losmandy D ?)

It is a NON GO TO (which is what I want) but it has tracking motors. (which I am not so sure about).

The seller will throw in the power supply, and the other saddle to accomadate my vixen style bar, the gears have been lapped? grease is low temperature. 700 dollars.

Am I backwards on this motor thing? Can I never use the motors and still achieve good results and balance and just nudge the scope as required?

My refractor is very heavy. Over 25 pounds with EP, diagonal and telrad.

I also have a desire to learn polar alignment and learn to use a GEM. It looks like fun to me.

any thoughts, reccomendations?
is it still possible to get a GEM that hold 30 lbs and does not have a single motor on it?

thank you...now I am off to work to earn the money that pays for the things in life that I like...food warmth..roof..clothes..cars...gas..dentists...braces..insurance..education funds....wife happy makers...and finally telescope stuff.

jake

#2 Cotts

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:27 AM

Jake: The motors are important, whether you have GOTO or not. Especially the R.A. motor which will track objects for you nicely (once you have a decent, < 1 degree, polar alignment). You don't want to manually keep a target in the field, do you? To slew the scope loosen the clutches and 'PUSH-TO'. Use both motors and the hand control to precisely center the object. Also, with an autoguider the same motors will be very useful for photography, should you want to enter that field.

I'll bet that you can get GO-TO as a retro-fit but an actual HEQ5 owner will know better than I.

Finally, a GEM without at least an R.A. motor is really a waste of technology - the whole idea being tracking in R.A. I seriously doubt you can find a GEM on the market today without motors....

Dave

#3 Phil Sherman

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:18 PM

The Meade tripod should add value to the mount. EQ5 class mounts are rated for a maximum of 30 lbs, which places you near the upper limit. If you end up getting into photography, you'll discover that the mount is too light for your current equipment and the additional stuff you'll be adding. I know this because I just went through this with my Orion Sirius and an 8" Newt.

If the mount has stepper motors in it; then it's likely a model that will accept a goto controller. I wouldn't purchase one for the mount because it would bring the total cost to the same price as a new one, but you could run it using your computer with EQMOD and a hardware adapter that costs less than most eyepieces.

The price seems a bit high for the mount but the tripod adds value to it. The lapped gears indicate that the current owner is using it for photography, where that's a good enhancement to the mount. The cold weather grease is an obtuse way of stating that the original "tar" grease that turned to stone when it got cold has been removed and replaced; another good thing.

Phil

#4 northernontario

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 04:57 PM

This is getting difficult.

What to do?

Keeping in mind, I do have a Meade Heavy Duty tripod ( the one with 2 inch legs) which holds my SCT.

I DO NOT want a go-to, but the I am now convinced the tracking motors are good.

The HEQ5 Skywatcher is rated at 30 lbs.. My refractor weighs over 25 pounds...

maybe I should look into just the mount and never mind a tripod?

What would you suggest? I definitely am not interested on the go-to thing...

thank you

jake

#5 vinnie

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 05:41 PM

Hi Jake

The motors in the HEQ5 are integral to the mount. ie there is no manual version, no slomo cables etc. Since its introduction there have been three basic versions of this mount. The earliest is a purely tracking mount with a very restricted slew range. From memory it slews up to a max of 16x which is pretty slow, so practically speaking with one of these you release the clutches and manually push the scope around until you are close to target, then lock the clutches and use the nav keys on the hand controller to slew in the last bit, then let it track from there.

The two later versions are the Syntrek and Synscan. The Synscan is the full on Go To version, the Syntrek is non Go To but has high speed slewing (up to 600x IIRC, bit hazy on that as I haven't used one for a long time). So with a Syntrek you can slew conveniently by hand control nav keys without having to release, manually slew, and re lock the clutches.

Since you don't want Go To then the Syntrek version would be your preferred option. Its easy to determine if the mount you are considering is a Syntrek, just ask the seller what the slew speed numbers on the hand control go up to.

#6 northernontario

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:58 PM

The first mount you describing is exactly what it is. The slew rate is 16X. It is a skywatcher HEQ5. An older model.

Push to, lock down, fine tune and track.

I am concerned about the weight.

This mount seems like something I would like. Mostly manual.

thanks

jake

#7 Trev

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:18 AM

The Science shop in Edmonton lists a new Skywatcher EQ-5 with steel tripod (no motors or goto) for 409.00, you can also just buy a mount from them and make an adapter for you Meade tripod. http://www.thescienc.../sky_mounts.htm

#8 northernontario

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:28 AM

Thank you for the advice. I simply want to make sure I get what I want. As we don't have an astromony store here, it is difficult to navigate through all the available options and sort them out.

Is there a difference between a EQ5 and an HEQ5?

Are they both rated at 30 lbs?

jake

#9 alpal

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:35 AM

The HEQ5 is too small for your needs.
Even my NEQ6 is not really big enough for a 12Kg load
for astro photos.
I am having all sorts of trouble guiding it properly.

#10 Trev

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 10:03 AM

The EQ-5 is rated for 30lbs.

#11 northernontario

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:27 AM

With my biggest eye piece, telrad and diagonal the refractor weighs 26.2 pounds.

If an EQ5 or HEQ5 supports 30 lbs, and given a heavy duty meade tripod, would the EQ5 or HEQ5 not be sufficient for visual observing?

thanks

jake

#12 stevenf

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 12:10 PM

Hi Jake

If you're not taking astrophotos then I think the EQ5 will be fine. They are solid mounts. I love mine, especially with the motors, which you only really use for tracking once you've manually lined up your target. I just "rebought" one for $350 after selling my old one several years ago for the same price. $700 for a used HEQ5 sounds a bit much to me.

I also just purchased, as of yesterday, a Skywatcher HDAZ mount and it is superb. Well made, smooth and simple. Have you considered a good alt-az?

best of luck!

Steven






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