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HEQ5Pro or IEQ30?

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#1 Cow Jazz

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

OK, the questions on mount choices continues. I am looking to upgrade from an older LXD55, and want to do some astrophotography as well as visual, and want GoTo and the option of autoguiding. I currently have an 80ED, but want to go larger with that as well, possibly up to 120mm refractor or 8" Newtonian or SCT, and camera is a T1i. I have a bad back, so the EQ6 class of mount is out. Also, since both of these mounts come with 1 1/2" legs, can a Celestron ASGT tripod (2" legs) be adapted for these mounts (as I did with the LXD55)? So folks, what are your pros and cons for HEQ5 or IEQ30?

#2 RandallK

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:19 PM

I can only speak for the HEQ5-Pro. There IS a difference between the HEQ5 and the HEQ5-Pro. You'll have to consider your maximum payload, not just for now, but also in the future. So think BIG as much as you can afford. For A.P. your payload should be no more than 1/2 of the mounts rated max. I have broken this rule on my HEQ5-Pro for my 8" SCT. With both CCD, Guide Scope, and Finder Scope, I weigh in at 23.4 lbs...2/3 of the max payload of 17-18 Kg but I don't have any problems. Any more weight with the SCT though, would necessitate a heavier mount. When it comes to my 80mm APO refractor, I am well within limits. I have had my HEQ5-Pro for 5 years now and as I get older, I'm still glad I got it rather than the EQ6. It's a lot easier on my back carrying it out to the back yard each starry night. You can't go wrong with either. They're both built like brick "you know whats".

#3 Pat at home

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

As far as adapting a different tripod to fit a particular mount I'd have to say 'of course'. Should not be so big a problem that a bit of ingenuity and a bit of skill can't solve it.

#4 Cow Jazz

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:19 AM

You're right, Randall, I should have stated HEQ5PRO in my post.

#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:26 AM

HEQ5 Pro.

There are 1000x more HEQ5 Pros in production as there are all iOptron mounts combined, yet there are only 1/10th the number of complaint/problem threads about the HEQ5 as there are about iOptron mounts. Nuf said.

- Jim

#6 groz

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:11 PM

I have to agree with the folks on the HEQ5-Pro.

We have an EQ6-Pro and an HEQ5-Pro. If you look around our local astronomy club, there are a few EQ6 mounts, but the vast majority are the HEQ5. I cant speak for the IEQ mounts, have never seen one.

The load on our HEQ5-Pro started out as a williams 80 with KwiqGuide and dslr. Over time it was upgraded, until it was carrying a Williams 110 with KwiqGuide, and a ccd with filter wheel. We never had an issue with that setup, it 'just works'.

I have to echo what Jim says above. When we are out and about at star parties, we see _at least_ as many HEQ5 mounts as EQ6 or larger. Now count the threads on problems with the HEQ5, and your answer will jump out and speak for itself.

Overall, the HEQ5-Pro was probably our single best value astro purchase over the years, but, it has recently become surplus to our needs, the wife got an upgrade for her birthday, and the TOA-130 is to much telescope for that mount after we add the camera and filter wheel, she now has her telescope on the EQ6.

#7 Cow Jazz

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:40 AM

Thanks for comments and advice, folks. Keep 'em coming, because I always like learning of other peoples' experiences. Its starting to look like the HEQ5Pro so far.

#8 psandelle

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

Can't comment on the HEQ5-Pro (other than everyone seems to like 'em), but I have the iEQ30 (had one of the first), and it's excellent for me. Very good polar scope and polar alignment routine. HC works well and is fairly easy to menu through (it has a warmer if you're into that). Very easy on the batteries. Has a built-in GPS (which I do like).

I have it on the pier, so it's solid and for visual I use an ES AR152 achro, which is just pushing its limits, and for AP I have a 6" PowerNewt with Borg 50mm guiderscope atop, which is nowhere near the limit.

Tracks well for me with the guider, but can't give you quantitative data at the moment; hopefully when I get out there next weekend (though I'm selfish and hate to give up imaging time for a bunch of numbers... :) ).

Customer service is excellent and quick (for even the silliest of questions). It's also VERY light - I can one-hand the mount head, no problem.

Paul

#9 Cow Jazz

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

Thanks, Paul. Please spend you time imaging next weekend, as I don't really need the actual "data", just you thoughts on the pros and cons of the mount. I look forward to hearing more.

#10 Midnight Dan

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:40 PM

Hi Cow:

I also have a bad back which is why I ruled out the Atlas/CGEM mounts too. But, the iEQ45 has the same capacity as the Atlas and CGEM, while weighing only a little more than the HEQ5Pro. For the scopes you mention, you might want to consider it.

Keep in mind that these types of mounts are rated for visual load, and for astrophotography they should generally be derated to 1/2 to 2/3 of their capacity for best results. That means that the iEQ30 or HEQ5Pro should be loaded with 15 to 20 pounds of gear. When you add up the scope, mounting rings, finder, camera, guide scope, guide camera, cables, dew heaters, etc., using an HEQ5Pro for something like an 8" SCT and all the imaging goodies can be a bit much.

If you can swing an iEQ45 financially, I think you'd be pleasantly surprised at the weight. Especially if you've had any experience with an Atlas or CGEM. And its a mount you can grow into in terms of capacity.

-Dan






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