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AZ EQ6 in the US?

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#1 Kevin Lahey

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:43 AM

Argh, after reading some of the LX80 threads, I should really know better than to put off purchasing a mount in favor of a mount to be released later, but I'm just curious about when folks think the AZ EQ6 will be available in the US. I think I could be happy with an Atlas, but it would be kind of frustrating for Orion to introduce the AZ EQ6 as an "Atlas II" in November for a little bit more, or, worse yet, drop the price of the Atlas by a few hundred dollars in January.

Any wisdom to share? I'm interested in an astrophotography mount to use with my Canon T3i for wide fields or my William Optics ZenithStar II 80mm. I imagine a CG-5 might do for that, although I could see myself playing around with my C-8 at some point as well, so the Atlas seems like at least a little bit of future-proofing.

Thanks!

Kevin

#2 johnpd

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:35 AM

Hi Kevin,

I was also interested in the LX80, but as you found out, the comments about that mount makes it no longer a viable prospect. I have also been following posts on the future Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount. It looks like a potentially great alternative. However, it appears that it will cost twice as much as the LX80 and whether it will be available in the U.S. is another issue. Hopefully, Orion will carry it because, from the number of people who ordered or were interested in the LX80, there appears a demand for a mount like that. Possibly some vendor will have one at the Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo here in Tucson in November.

JohnD

#3 EFT

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 10:40 AM

Kevin,

From the sounds of it, you really would not need the convertable features of the AZEQ6 so it would be a waste of money. While the Atlas/CGEM are definitely overkill for your AP plans, they are far superior mounts to those in the CG5 range and, if you don't mind the wieght, you are always better off over mounted than under mounted. In addition, if you do move to the C8, you will be much happier with the larger mount. As to whether there will be a price drop in the Atlas, you never know, but I doubt it.

#4 astro_baby

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:23 PM

A UK dealer has expectations of the new mount in November but cautions that supply will be limited.

Price is set at £1,395 Sterling

As a comparison the NEQ6 sell for £960 so thats quite a bit of difference. The AZ EQ6 also has encoders in it so its pretty snazzy.

Is the LX80 a dead duck ? I gave up on the threads some time back but kind of imagined its teething troubles were sorted out.

Two UK dealers I know of have dropped the LX80 from their list of 'things to come'.

#5 Midnight Dan

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:38 PM

Kevin:

Have you considered the iOptron iEQ45?

-Dan

#6 EFT

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:55 PM

The AZ EQ6 also has encoders in it so its pretty snazzy.


I had not noticed before that the AZEQ6 has encoders in it. That sets off some real bells and whistles. One of the things that makes a real difference between the Atlas/EQ6 and the CGEM is the use of stepper motors without encoders in the Atlas/EQ6 as opposed to servos with encoders in the CGEM. I personally prefer the servo/encoder setup, but using CNC machinery I understand the benefit of the stepper systems.

Now, if they have gone to a closed-loop stepper system with encoders on the stepper motors, that could be very good. However, I would be very surprised if that was the case. Far more likely would be that they switched over to the less expensive servo motors used in the CGEM and there have been issues with those motors.

It will be very interesting to hear what is inside once the mount hits the market. That price difference is painful.

#7 astro_baby

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:02 PM

Heres the spec I have seen.....

Payload Capacity: 18kg for imaging and 25kg for visual
Driving Resolution: 0.1436 arc second
Go-To Capability: EQ and AZ modes
Synscan Handset Database: over 42,900 celestial objects
Tracking Speed: sidereal, solar & lunar rates
Tracking Mode: EQ or AZ, dual or single axis
PEC control in EQ mode
Autoguider Port : Yes
DSLR Electronic Shutter Release Port: Yes
Motor Type: DC12V stepper motors
Patented Dual-Encoder design allows manual movement without losing positional information
Polar alignment: via software control or supplied polar scope
Alignment methods: 1, 2 or 3 star alignment (EQ) / brightest star or 2 star alignment (AZ)
Telescope Connection: 2 x dual-fit saddle plates supplied accepting 45mm & 75mm dovetail bars
RA/DEC Worm Gears: D=92.5mm, 180 teeth, brass
RA/DEC Axes: D=40mm, steel
Tripod: 2” Stainless Steel
Counterweights supplied: 2 x 5kg
Counterweight Bar: 25mm Diameter
Mount Body Weight: 15.4kg, Tripod Weight: 7.5kg
Power requirement: 12V DC 3A (Sky-Watcher 17Ah Power Tank recommended)

So it seems its steppers with encoders. I know someone who has one on order so if I get to see it I'll let you know.

#8 EFT

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:32 PM

That will be a definite improvement and one they could easily add to the Atlas/EQ6 to really upgrade it as well. Might actually be worth the price for some people. Hopefully it will actually be releaseed on time.

#9 Kevin Lahey

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:01 PM

A UK dealer has expectations of the new mount in November but cautions that supply will be limited.

Price is set at £1,395 Sterling

As a comparison the NEQ6 sell for £960 so thats quite a bit of difference. The AZ EQ6 also has encoders in it so its pretty snazzy.


I guess I was trying to figure out whether £960 was a decrease in the price over there. At current exchange rates, it doesn't seem like it ($1547), although the same dealer was charging £1790 for a CGEM DX, so I was a little confused.

I guess I don't mind at all sticking with the EQ6/Atlas rather than getting the extra features of the AZ EQ6 (although it could make solar observing a lot more fun). I just don't wanna deal with a huge price cut (thanks, Ed, for your thoughts on that).

Thanks,

Kevin

#10 TMSP

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:19 PM

Any guesses on if this will be available from a US dealer? One dealer rep told me they did not think this would be sold in the US (or suggested such). From what I can tell from the web sites and guessing - Celestron has the exclusive deal for the US and can determine what they want to sell. I would guess this was done before Skywatcher began feeling their oats.

Anyway, this looks like a beaurty and with the encoders, free form movement tracking, autoguider and GPS capabilities, it looks like a great machine. If the reviews are positive, I would spring for one of these. Yes, I cancelled my LX80 order. Well see if they can beat the 6 month after promised ship date with a viable machine.

#11 EFT

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

Any guesses on if this will be available from a US dealer? One dealer rep told me they did not think this would be sold in the US (or suggested such). From what I can tell from the web sites and guessing - Celestron has the exclusive deal for the US and can determine what they want to sell. I would guess this was done before Skywatcher began feeling their oats.

Anyway, this looks like a beaurty and with the encoders, free form movement tracking, autoguider and GPS capabilities, it looks like a great machine. If the reviews are positive, I would spring for one of these. Yes, I cancelled my LX80 order. Well see if they can beat the 6 month after promised ship date with a viable machine.


Actually, Celestron is not the one with the exclusive deal in this case, Orion is. This is an EQ6 which is the same as the Atlas. EQ6 mounts are only sold outside the US while Atlas are sold inside the US. So in a lot of respects, it depends on who is behind the whole thing.

#12 TMSP

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:29 PM

Thanks EFT. Right, I am hoping someone can bring this in. Or, is Orion going to re-brand? I guess time will tell. If this is a good mount, it should have some play here.

#13 neotesla

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:44 PM

Starting to see pre order listings at one or two retailers in Canada... The only price I have seen is the Canadian Skywatcher site, MSRP $2199.

#14 rmollise

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:36 AM

If you want the mount, it won't be hard to get one from Canada.... BUT...my advice is wait a while and see what happens in the U.S., which could save you some money.

#15 martl

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:44 PM

Hopefully I will get this mount in about 2 weeks. The guy in the store seemed rather glad about the performance, he measured the pec to be about 5 arcsec peak-to peak and judged it to be a little more stable than the old EQ6. Although I can not validate his data right now, I have no reason not to trust the measurement (of course, pec is not all, more important is the behaviour in Dec with autoguiding). If I have it in hands, I will keep you informed about the performance, the new features (better altitude adjustments, slip clutches and encoders) sound promising if executed properly.

CS
Martin

#16 TMSP

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:27 PM

Thanks Guys. Does the orignail EQ6 have decent reviews? Anyone know about the handbox? I am now using a Celestrone after a Meade. In some ways I like the Meade better, but it may be a matter of use. How does this handset program compare? Thanks for any comments. I am seriously thinging about "investing" and appreciate any backstory on this maker and brand.

#17 Lee Jay

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

Thanks Guys. Does the orignail EQ6 have decent reviews?


Do a search for "Atlas", as it's the same thing. Lots of people have those and my read on those posts is that they are generally well-respected given their cost and capacity.

#18 oxygen

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:20 AM

An Australian dealer has one in stock and they love it. Price is going to be about $2300 where the EQ6 sells for $17-1800. Not sure on when it will be sold though. The shop is Bintel and there is more info on there facebook page.

#19 andysea

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Guys. Does the orignail EQ6 have decent reviews? Anyone know about the handbox? I am now using a Celestrone after a Meade. In some ways I like the Meade better, but it may be a matter of use. How does this handset program compare? Thanks for any comments. I am seriously thinging about "investing" and appreciate any backstory on this maker and brand.

I had an EQ6 in the past and It worked well. I wasn't very happy with the tripod. I sold it mostly because I wanted more payload. The steppers are notoriously very strong. I would wait for the new Alt-Az version as the dual encoders sound like a great improvement. The tripod can easily be upgraded.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Atlas weighs about 40lbs for the head only...not sure if that would be an issue.
I also really liked Eqmod and it's polar alignment routine.
The PE of the atlas always seemed very easy to guide out.
Orion has also very good customer service. I have no experience with Meade or Celestron.

Andy

#20 Lee Jay

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:47 PM

The tripod can easily be upgraded.


How?

#21 EFT

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:08 PM

The tripod can easily be upgraded.


How?


With an aftermarket spreader or a wooden tripod.

#22 Lee Jay

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:24 PM

The tripod can easily be upgraded.


How?


With an aftermarket spreader or a wooden tripod.


Oh, I was thinking someone made compatible replacement legs.

#23 andysea

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 11:50 PM

The tripod can easily be upgraded.


How?


With an aftermarket spreader or a wooden tripod.


Oh, I was thinking someone made compatible replacement legs.


I was thinking that Rob Miller could probably make a tripod for it.


Andy

#24 astro_baby

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:40 AM

Tripod upgrade here....these are quite popular in the UK if you want to spend big.....

http://www.berlebach...sprache=english

Also here for the model numbers that fit the EQ6

http://www.firstligh...om/tripods.html

#25 andysea

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

Those are excellent tripods.
The Rob Miller that I have weighs 8 lbs and is just as stable.
The price is about the same.
Andy






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