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New Skywatcher Mounts

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#1 astro_baby

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

DOnt know if anyone has posted this yet but Skywatcher seem to be on the verge of shipping the EQ-8 Mount - see here

http://www.firstligh...-eq8-mount.html

Price is being talked at around the £4,000 mark.

Also an Alt/Az version of the EQ6 with the new all singing and dancing hand controller.

http://www.firstligh...-eq6-mount.html

No word on the street about price on this yet.

#2 skybsd

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:29 PM

I'm curious as to where you got the expected pricing for the EQ8 from..,

Just curious.., :wron:

Regards,

skybsd

#3 astro_baby

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:49 PM

Its what was being touted at Astrofest - heard it from someone else as well as being posted as the price. It would sound about right - where I would expect Synta to pitch.

I saw the mount last year at Astrofest when it was still a prototype and dubbed as being the EQ-7 - about 4 grand would be about right - maybe a touch more. Last year Synta rep suggested it would land at about £5k.

Synta arent silly and my bet is they will aim it about 4k - it puts it far enough away from the EQ6 so it doesnt spoil any EQ6 sales and pitches it underneath most of the big league to do them harm - thats what I would do for sure if I were marketing it. I might even drop it down to £3700 to blow a hole right into the middle market in Europe at least.

On the other hand, depending on performance of it maybe Synta will go for some of the bigger league stuff and up the price like they have with their new Esprite series APOs.

£4k seems to be the beat on the street. How close that is is anyones guess right now until they are in the shops.

The new EQ6 is appealing to me depending on price. The existing EQ6 is too heavy for me but a 25% weight saving would bring it down to almost the weight of an HEQ5 (not including the comparative difference in tripod weights).
The basic guts will be tried and tested and of course Synscan is well debugged by now and with the sparkly new hand controller it might be just the bizz. They are probably geared up to give Meade a quick spanking and maybe kill off/damage/carpet bomb LX80 sales with the new EQ6 Alt/Az.

That might mean also the HEQ5 is due for removal from the line up depending on the new Alt/Az EQ6s price OR it could mean bargain HEQ5s and a big price drop on HEQ5s to hoover up the lower end sales.

Who knows - dropping the HEQ5 into a lower price band while punching hard with the new EQ6 might put a real crimp into Meades plans for the LX80 while the new EQ8 deals Meade another punch to its LX800. Its certainly interesting to sit on the sidelines and eat popcorn in the big fight :)

Give it another 10 years and this stuff will be in bubble wrap and carded for sale at the supermarket checkout and a £10k mount will buy you something like the stuff that costs £30k today. Alternately the oil could run out and we'll all be back to making our own mirrors and turning out wooden boxes to put them in :)

#4 ion

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:22 PM

Also an Alt/Az version of the EQ6 with the new all singing and dancing hand controller.


I've been going over the manual (22MB PDF) for the new hand control and it seems like a disaster.

Looks like a compact camera with little buttons near a tiny touch screen with no red mode and an easy to lose stylus for those cold nights when wearing gloves.

It has a rechargeable battery that can be charged via usb--or by the mount, if the controller is turned off.

It can be pointed at the sky to identify things like those other products that do not work anywhere near metal objects such as the telescope this thing is supposed to control.

The manual warns about a fragile serial port cover that "may break off".

It has bizarre features like audio/video player, IR triggered events, and "two fortune telling utilities" based on a "traditional Chinese" theory about lucky and unlucky directions in space.

The calendar, notebook and compass seem useful but...

:john:

#5 Dan Watt

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:41 AM

Looks like that manual is for a SkyScout sort of product, not a handcontroller to the mount.

#6 astro_baby

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:07 AM

I'd quite like a fortune telling ability....it might be more accurate at predicting the UK weather than anything else :)

#7 dvb

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:20 AM

Post deleted by dvb

#8 Cyclop_si

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:52 AM

EQ8 tripod looks to be a copy of the Hungarian G42+ or G53F mount tripod:
http://www.astronomy...s/GHS-MkII.html

#9 John Carruthers

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:59 AM

another interesting mount at Astrofest was the Astromount
http://www.astromount.co.uk/
No price yet but substantial shafts and motors. The prototype I saw a few months back had a very smooth PE curve.
Sprung worms and slip clutches to presrve the worms in the evnt of a knock or collision, I shall be watching these.

#10 FoxTrot

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:14 AM

Thanks for the info, and nice to see SkyWatcher upping the ante on Meade. I really wonder if Celestron will respond with a CG5 replacement... Fox

#11 EFT

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:43 AM

I saw this controller being displayed by a Chinese company a year or two ago and inquired into it out of curiosity. At that time, it had already been aquired by Synta. I'm surprised that it has taken so long for them to incorporate it into one of their products. It is obvious a response to things like the Starbook and everyone else's handheld devices these days. However, it seems that most of these things have not ended up being very popular so I wonder how good an idea it actually will be in the long run.

#12 ion

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:41 PM

Looks like that manual is for a SkyScout sort of product, not a handcontroller to the mount.


"Intelligent astronomic platform offering star charts driven pointing with a new Synscan Tour graphical handset":

http://www.firstligh...mount-news.html


#13 GlenM

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:10 PM

Hi John,

The mount looks similar to the one that Astro Engineering were working on a few years ago. I did not see the mount come to fruition though.

#14 rmollise

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:43 AM

Looks like that manual is for a SkyScout sort of product, not a handcontroller to the mount.


No, it's actually a SynScan compatible HC.

#15 TMSP

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

Well, if these guys ship on time, we should start hearing if this lives up to the pictures and the promise. Where do you think the news will break first? EU boards probably?

#16 BPO

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:22 PM

Well, if these guys ship on time, we should start hearing if this lives up to the pictures and the promise. Where do you think the news will break first? EU boards probably?


I think I read that someone in Australia has paid the deposit and is expecting an EQ8 "soon", so the first review may appear on the Ice In Space forums, or another Aussie site. I'm very interested in these new mounts.

#17 TMSP

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:26 PM

Thanks PBO. The 8 looks nice, but was dreaming about the AZ EQ6. Hopefully, one of the first adopters hits this list on both of these.

Anyone have an opinion on Skywatcher mounts in general and the Computer handbox?

#18 BPO

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

If you're at all familiar with Orion mounts you'll know the Sky-Watchers too. They are identical, from the same (Synta) factory.

The Atlas/EQ6 is, as described by Rod Mollise (?), "the AK-47 of mounts".

#19 EFT

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:10 PM

Thanks PBO. The 8 looks nice, but was dreaming about the AZ EQ6. Hopefully, one of the first adopters hits this list on both of these.

Anyone have an opinion on Skywatcher mounts in general and the Computer handbox?


The SkyWatcher and Orion mounts are identical (Synscan) so there is no difference. However, the AZ EQ6 is suppose to have the new graphic hand controller. This is a bit of a concern since the Synscan, while not great, is a know commodity and the Synscan mounts work with EQMOD. It is a big question how the new hand controller will work and whether there will be EQMOD compatibility. Thoughts of the Starbook come to mind and that would be unfortunate. Hate to go from robust and functional to pretty and stupid.

#20 TMSP

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

Looks like the fancy screen will be a 300 plus add on and the base product will have the usual Synscan. But check with your dealer. New page on the ca.skywatcher site.

#21 UnderTheWeather

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:35 AM

Hello
If you check out the Canadian site ca.skywatcher.com and look under the goto mounts, the AZ-EQ 6 still uses the traditional hand controller. :jump:

#22 rmollise

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

Thanks PBO. The 8 looks nice, but was dreaming about the AZ EQ6. Hopefully, one of the first adopters hits this list on both of these.

Anyone have an opinion on Skywatcher mounts in general and the Computer handbox?


The SkyWatcher and Orion mounts are identical (Synscan) so there is no difference. However, the AZ EQ6 is suppose to have the new graphic hand controller. This is a bit of a concern since the Synscan, while not great, is a know commodity and the Synscan mounts work with EQMOD. It is a big question how the new hand controller will work and whether there will be EQMOD compatibility. Thoughts of the Starbook come to mind and that would be unfortunate. Hate to go from robust and functional to pretty and stupid.


Hi Ed:

I've talked to a couple of folks overseas who've used the Tour, and their reports were very positive, including increased go-to accuracy. HOWEVER...I've also heard that Synta is NOT shipping the Tour with the AZ, "just" the good, old SynScan we know and love. We shall see... ;)

#23 TMSP

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:23 AM

So UR, is your know and love comment tong in check, or do you like the SynScan for real?

#24 rmollise

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:42 AM

So UR, is your know and love comment tong in check, or do you like the SynScan for real?


Not tongue in cheek at all. Oh, I used to dis it...but I stopped after:

1. I learned to read the manual. The SynScan is pickier about star alignment star choices than the NexStar. In the past you couldn't just accept the first two stars it offered. If you follow the advice in the manual as to alignment star choice, go-to performance is excellent. And the recent firmware brings the SynScan much closer to the NexStar as far as alignment stars goes. I DID just accept what the HC offered when I was testing the beta firmware down in Chiefland, and go-tos were usually good:

http://uncle-rods.bl...-ii-nights-1...

2. Continuing upgrades to the HC firmware have added an AllStar type polar alignment routine and other good stuff.

I do usually still use EQMOD for imaging, but, yes, I have made friends with the SynScan, finally. ;)

#25 astro_baby

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:09 PM

TMSP - nothing wrong with Skywatcher mounts really. Very fine bits of kit for the cash.

The Volkswagon of telescope mounts really. Dependable and reliable. Some of the earlier ones suffered from QC issues and even up to a few years ago most could be improved by judicious tuning. More recent ones seem to have better lube and QC.

The nice thing with their kit is the longevity of support, the EQ6 was firts shipped in Spring 2001 and its still being supported....the latest release in Beta gives it all star polar alignment for instance.

Its a very mature bit of kit and because of its widespread use there is plentyu of online information, mods, tuning guides, after market add ons etc.

Its not perfect by any means but its pretty close for the price and lord knows how many of these have been shipped so there isnst much wrong with it.

Its a heavy old beast though and fussy about power...you need a good solid 12v to drive it reliably.

Theres not much in its price band thats any better (at least in the UK) and I would expevt the Alt/Az EQ6 to be every bit as good a bit of kit.

Depending on final price and weight I might buy one. I owned an EQ6 but prefer the HEQ5 for its lighter weight.

I have an HEQ5 for maybe 5 years now, cant recall exactly how long, and its been a reliable and solid bit of kit.

Dont know how much of that is useful to you.






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