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Curious about AZ-EQ5 mount for imaging

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#1 Hilmi

Hilmi

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:43 AM

I'm not buying or anything. I have more equipment than I can shake a stick at. However, I do love equipment, it is part of my love for this hobby. I love the equipment we use to image just as much as I love imaging. So, I was pretty curious about the AZ-EQ5-GT as an imaging mount. When somebody already has a sleek high end mount and the "need" for a second mount arises, they don't necessarily want to buy another high end piece of equipment. They want something with a moderate price tag and reasonable performance as a secondary mount which they can occasionally image with or maybe use for visual while their primary mount does all the imaging. So I was looking at various options while taking into account various factors such as load capacity, quality control issues, guiding difficulty, weight and price point bellow $1500 including international shipping. Seems the AZ-EQ5 GT is an attractive secondary imaging mount. One where you would put your short focal length instrument while the big gun was hunting for long focal length targets. You could also have 2 instruments on the mount for visual observing during the day time. Maybe a white light filter on your SCT with an Ha scope on the other end.

 

Thing is, this mount is relatively new and I have not been able to find many in depth reviews in English. There is the thread in the mounts forum which says that you probably have to adjust the worm gear spacing to eliminate back lash, but not much else I could find.

 

Any users of this mount care to report on it's performance as an imaging mount primarily and a visual mount second?

 

One aspect I am curious about is the usefulness of the built in encoders, do you find them actually useful? I know I used to wish I had encoders on the G11 because occasionally after a pier crash the mount would get lost and I had to go out in the cold to physically reset the mount to counter weight down position and then I had to sync on a star. But after actually having the encoders in place, do you really find them useful? I know that for visual work I would definitely find them useful as I might want to disengage the clutches and manually roam around the night sky.



#2 entilza

entilza

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 09:47 AM

Hey Hilmi, I have the AZ-EQ5 it was my first EQ mount.  I waited for this specifically when I heard about it as it was around the time I was getting into AP.  I really like it, it's compact but heavy enough to be very sturdy.  Light enough to be able to carry outside complete, only 1 counterweight needed but I need the extension bar.   I have had no issues with it other than as you saw the previous thread I did adjust just the dec worm which was easy enough.

 

I've used it visually a couple times and each time it worked out, in fact I've had no issues with the mount when in use.  I regularly make use of the encoders, they just work, if I move an axis by accident I just re-slew to my original target and everything is well.  I've been using plate solving lately and that's been handy.  Also the built in USB port works flawlessly, previously EQMOD needed you to enter the settings manually, that's now been totally resolved with their latest version.

 

The hand controller works very well also, the alignment routine works great so no polar scope needed.  I always needed a 3 point alignment however to make it work well for me.  I've since then removed the hand controller with the plate solving and sgp.

 

If anything I would like the clutches to be stronger, but I haven't tried to over tighten them, I've never had anything slip when in use.  The clutches are not a on/off lever type system from what i see on others, they are dials that you turn to apply pressure.  I haven't played with another mount to really 'feel' the difference in how clutches work.

 

Let me know if you'd like any more info.  Maybe I could make an updated video of this mount one day.



#3 Hilmi

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 01:49 AM

Hi Martin,

 

Thanks for giving me a detailed answer to my query. It looks like a really sleek mount. I remember I saw it on display at a shop in London Last year January when it was just launched. If I ever manage to sell of some of the junk I have accumulated that I don't use, I just might go for one.




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