I decided to go with this mount based on the reputation and reviews of the older NEQ 6 and my experience with the HEQ5 that I had for several years.
I also confess to being sick of hunting for objects. I wanted a go to for some time now so I can take my interest in astrophotography a step further.
I can also mount a serious sized reflector on this mount for visual use in alt azi mode.
I did give up some pretty sweet gear to finance this purchase. One LX 200 Classic, and my older non go to HEQ5.
My first night was a bit of a failure. I could not get this guy aligned at all.
My mistake was not starting from a well established home position. After I leveled, balanced and polar aligned, and then "Parked" the mount, powered down,
and restarted,from the "Parked" position, it pretty much aligned itself. My first star was off by very little, the second was bang on.
The "go to" was dead on with the exception of the moon. I also disengaged the clutches and free wheeled for awhile so I could test out this "never loose it's place" feature.
After 10 minutes of free style I typed in M57, and it was right in the center.
Features I really like are the clutch mechanisms. What a fantastic idea. A lever and three pronged captain's wheel.
The altitude adjustment bolt. Another great idea.
The load capacity. About 50 pounds for visual.
The build is amazing. Solid. Strong. Heavy.
The threaded counter weight bar extension rod.
The ease at which it lines itself up. I practiced a few times last night, no problem......anymore. The trick....A well established, level, polar aligned home position!!!
The power cord connection is top notch.
This mount is very quiet and slews extremely smoothly.
The synscan hand controller is a breeze.
Illuminated polar scope. With brightness adjustment.
The camera port.
The dual mode is another reason I purchased this mount. A reflector on an alt-az mount is a bit easier to get along with than on a EQ mount.
Converting to alt-azi couldn't get any easier.
The dual saddle. They should all be like that. And an additional one for dual scope mode. Bonus.
Things that I don't like....
who here has a PC with a serial port? Really....the serial to USB cable should come with the mount.
The Eye piece for the polar scope is sloppy. I used the astronomy shed fix. A nice thick O-ring.
The polar scope reticule is NOT aligned. You have to do this yourself and it can be tricky.
The tripod is NOT as sturdy as my Meade tripods that I had. And the levers are on the inside of the legs. It is still a good tripod though.
I use a carpenters level when setting up, as the built in bubble is off by a bit.
I am NOT an expert.
Over all, this is one sturdy, easy to use, well thought out mount. It has many features that I haven't touched on yet, but they are all designed to make this mount a professional piece of equipment that simply makes life easier.
And I sure am looking forward to letting the mount do all the driving in the coming years.
AZ NEQ 6 GT
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