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Advanced-VX vs HEQ5 Pro

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#1 Guest_84663

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:16 AM

I'm considering buying one of these two mounts (to pair with a SkyWatcher BDED100), but I can't decide which one. I know HEQ5 Pro is a well tested design and lots of people are very happy with it, but I've also heard that the Advanced-VX mount is a newer design than the HEQ5 Pro and the motors have improved tracking performance and provide more power to overcome minor load imbalances. The updated industrial design of the Advanced-VX also offers more rigidity, less flexure, and improved aesthetics. So, what are everyone's thoughts and experiences with these two mounts?



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:35 AM

I've researched this.

 

The big difference is that the AVX uses a plain bushing on the DEC axis, the HEQ5 a good bearing.  Some AVX owners are happy, some not.  The bushing can be a problem.  Or not.  The available data does not support making a judgment about how often it's an issue.

 

The HEQ5 is a safer choice.  Generally better reviews, as far as I've seen.  The advantages for the AVX you cite are very minor, if they are advantage over the HEQ5, at all.  Is "updated industrial design" from an ad?

 

I'd go for the HEQ5, hands down.  The good news about mounts is that you generally get what you pay for.  Of course that's also the bad news about mounts.  <grin>

 

Good idea to upgrade your mount for long exposure AP.  It's hard to see just how important the mount is with no/little experience.


Edited by bobzeq25, 30 November 2017 - 02:42 AM.


#3 rekokich

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:31 AM

In my experience the AVX mount is insufficiently accurate for AP with a 4'' telescope. I have a TSAPO100Q 100 x 580 mm, and routinely have to discard 50% of the subs due to star elongation. Regardless of PHD2 settings, my usual total RMS error at the celestial equator is 1.5 - 1.7 arcsec, most of it coming from stickiness and backlash on the RA axis. As bobzeg25 pointed out, HEQ5 is the better choice, however both of these mounts have very small worm wheels which inevitably results in less accurate tracking. I recently bought iEQ30 pro with belt driven worms, much larger worm wheels, minimal backlash, and much larger shafts on ball bearings. It routinely tracks better than 1 arcsec, with usually twice the accuracy of the AVX. If you are buying a mount purely for visual work, the AVX would serve you very well and save you a bit of money.


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#4 Whuppy

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:16 AM

+1 on everything above. I have an AVX, sent it back 3 times under warranty. The 2nd time I got it back, it had more problems than when I sent it in and immediately sent it back. Now it's sitting in its box, unused because I'd had enough and purchased an Ioptron CEM60. The AVX will do okay as long as...

you don't overload it (15-20lbs max) and you shoot at less than 600-700mm fl. If you exceed either one, it gets real difficult, real fast. The dec axis with its bushing can be very problematic. I don't have any experience using the HEQ5 so I can't speak to that. But as Bob mentioned...you get what you pay for.

The + side of the AVX, it's light and easily portable. The Nexstar hc is awesome, its easily aligned and goto's are very accurate. Celestron is very accommoding to warranty repairs as long as you don't try to fix problems yourself. Celestron has a way of making you send it back for the simplest of problems, leaving you without a mount for at least 4-6 weeks.

#5 mAnKiNd

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:48 AM

I started AP with an EQ-5 and a TSAPO60 & FFR @fl:260mm with DSLR and that was good. Upgraded to HEQ-5 and that was not good, all kinds of problems with tracking, drift and that whining hi-pitched noise this mount drove me nuts for four months and was ugly to look at(last note is obviously subjective). Sold it for an AVX, never looked back and will never look at another SW mount again. FWIW, in my books, the AVX is superior in EVERY way, super silent and smooth in operation and manages 60 minute exposures with the above scope and 30 minute exposures with an Esprit 80 (haven't tried longer with it yet). I wholeheartedly recommend the AVX over the HEQ-5 but YMMV. HTH, Minos.
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#6 rmollise

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:07 AM

Depends on your requirements. The mounts are really more alike than different, including their payload capacity.

 

The VX wins for goto accuracy using the HC, which is spot on. The Synscan controller is pretty primitive. However, the HEQ-5 can be used with a computer and EQMOD to even things up.

 

The HEQ-5 is better mechanically in that it has actual bearings on the declination axis. Most VXes guide well, however, and with a decent polar alignment, this is something of a wash.

 

Reliability? Both are OK. The HEQ-5, however, seems a little better in this regard relating to electronics failures. Mechanically? as you would expect from two mounts in a similar price range made in the same factory, that's about the same.

 

Me? If I were mostly visual, I'd get a VX. Mostly interested in imaging, an HEQ-5...


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#7 mAnKiNd

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:10 AM

With regards to computer compatibility I can do ~90% of what EQMOD and an HEQ-5 can do with Celestrons Unified Driver and SGP. Minos
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#8 Stelios

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:05 AM

For visual or planetary AP, get the AVX, don't even think about it.

 

For DSO AP... the problem is that the AVX is *quite variable* in quality. There's a subset of really good ones, a subset of really bad ones, and a middle "OK" group. My *pure guess* (out of reading the mounts forum for years) is that the ratio is 25% good, 20% bad, and 55% in the middle. 

 

I had a bad one. It had great GoTo's, etc., but also had uncontrollable DEC behavior. I am stubborn, and wasted months trying to make it work. Finally I sent it back, and got a brand new mount replacement. The new mount so far shows no similar problems, and can consistently do 180s subs with round stars, and stars are round at 50% of 360s subs. 

 

From what I know the HEQ5 mounts are far more consistent in their guiding performance. So you don't have to go (if  you're unlucky) through the period of diagnosing your mount and deciding whether to return it. 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

If I sound conflicted, I am. If I had got my 2nd AVX first, I would probably be raving about it. But I didn't. So I'm not. 


Edited by Stelios, 30 November 2017 - 11:05 AM.

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#9 Guest_84663

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:42 PM

Thank you everyone for your extremely helpful replies, lots to think about. laugh.giflaugh.gif



#10 bobzeq25

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 07:15 PM

Just wanted to second the recommendation you look at the iEQ30Pro. 



#11 terry59

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:51 PM

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated



#12 bobzeq25

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:05 PM

 

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated

 

Serious, respectful question.  What does EQMOD do that other third party software operating through ASCOM can't?



#13 terry59

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:23 PM

 

 

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated

 

Serious, respectful question.  What does EQMOD do that other third party software operating through ASCOM can't?

EQMOD and a planetary program together replace the hand controller. SGP does not perform those tasks. I use SGP but need either the HC or web interface through Gemini II to control my Losmandy mounts also.

 

See: http://eq-mod.source...t/eqaindex.html


Edited by terry59, 30 November 2017 - 10:54 PM.


#14 bobzeq25

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 10:55 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated

 

Serious, respectful question.  What does EQMOD do that other third party software operating through ASCOM can't?

EQMOD and a planetary program together replace the hand controller. SGP does not perform those tasks. I use SGP but need the HC or web interface through Gemini II to control my Losmandy mounts also.

 

See: http://eq-mod.source...t/eqaindex.html

 

Thanks.

 

I agree SGP does not do it all.

 

But I can replace the hand controller on my CEM60 with the iOptron commander program, if I choose.  There are a lot of software alternatives. 

 

I don't think EQMOD is antiquated, but I also don't think it's unique enough any more to be a mount selection criteria.  Some people will prefer it to the alternatives, some won't.


Edited by bobzeq25, 01 December 2017 - 12:03 AM.


#15 terry59

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:53 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated

 

Serious, respectful question.  What does EQMOD do that other third party software operating through ASCOM can't?

EQMOD and a planetary program together replace the hand controller. SGP does not perform those tasks. I use SGP but need the HC or web interface through Gemini II to control my Losmandy mounts also.

 

See: http://eq-mod.source...t/eqaindex.html

 

Thanks.

 

I agree SGP does not do it all.

 

But I can replace the hand controller on my CEM60 with the iOptron commander program, if I choose.  There are a lot of software alternatives. 

 

I don't think EQMOD is antiquated, but I also don't think it's unique enough any more to be a mount selection criteria.  Some people will prefer it to the alternatives, some won't.

 

 

Bob,

 

  I am unaware of any other program that could be used instead of EQMOD if one moves from the hc to the pc with the Sirius. Perhaps things have changed since I sold mine though


Edited by terry59, 01 December 2017 - 08:53 AM.


#16 rmollise

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 09:21 AM

 

 

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated

 

Serious, respectful question.  What does EQMOD do that other third party software operating through ASCOM can't?

 

 

It is free and allows you to do multi-star alignments (as many alignment points as you wish). And that is just for starters. wink.gif

 

The biggest plus is that it completely replaces the HC.


Edited by rmollise, 01 December 2017 - 09:23 AM.


#17 GoFish

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 09:25 AM

I own both mounts* (long story), but am still getting my feet wet with AP.  So I can't offer first hand tracking comparisons.

 

Echoing/reinforcing what has been written above, the AVX is hands down the winner if you don't want to include a laptop in your setup. The Synscan HC is a step down from Celestron, and GOTO alignment has been a little frustrating for me in Synscan due to sky view obstructions in my yard. 

 

OTOH, with a laptop running EQMOD attached, along with a wireless game controller, the HEQ5 is a joy to use!  Since a laptop is going to be involved anyway while imaging, this overcomes my only complaint about the mount if I'm imaging. 

 

The overall weight is basically the same. The AVX head is a bit lighter, but it's tripod is heavier, which balances things out. I can get by with a smaller counterweight on the AVX when using my 80mm refractor because the CW arm is a little longer on the AVX. Minor thing, but I really detest CW's. 

 

* my "HEQ5" is actually the identical Orion Sirius EQ-G. 


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#18 KemalOz

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:25 PM

 

 

 

 

Re EQMOD: This, once upon a time, was a great advantage of HEQ5. Today, it's antiquated--use a planetarium program and SGP and never look back. I'd say the advantage is with the AVX.

 

 

EQMOD, a planetary program and SGP are all required. It is not antiquated

 

Serious, respectful question.  What does EQMOD do that other third party software operating through ASCOM can't?

 

Dude we had this exact discussion before, why are you still doing this :)

 

EQMOD=Handcontroller/Driver for ascom

 

Synta mounts CANNOT connect to PC without it! It is not about being better, it is mandatory.

 

And for the OP I would say HEQ5 is a better design, this doesn't mean you can't get a bad sample though. But if you get a good one it is better than the AVX.


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#19 rekokich

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:17 PM

Here are PHD2 graphs taken with the iEQ30 pro. The first one is at Dec 60*, and the second at Dec 0*. Total RMS errors are 2.5 times less than the AVX mount. Load was 18-20 lbs. The atmosphere was quite turbulent, and I feel the mount can do even better on a calm night and with some tweaking of PHD2 settings. More will be revealed.

 

01 dec 60.JPG

 

04 dec 0.JPG


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#20 rmollise

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:03 AM

 

Dude we had this exact discussion before, why are you still doing this smile.gif

 

 

 

EQMOD=Handcontroller/Driver for ascom

 

Synta mounts CANNOT connect to PC without it! It is not about being better, it is mandatory.

 

And for the OP I would say HEQ5 is a better design, this doesn't mean you can't get a bad sample though. But if you get a good one it is better than the AVX.

 

 

To clarify...  The Synta mounts can be connected to a computer without it, but you have to go through the HC.

 

The point is well taken, however. Unless you want to involve the hand control in the mix, you need EQMOD. It is HARDLY obsolete. wink.gif


Edited by rmollise, 07 December 2017 - 10:03 AM.

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#21 Stelios

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:43 AM

I didn't think EQMOD is obsolete *for the Skywatcher mounts*. I think it's simply not a good reason to choose such a mount. In the past EQMOD served as an all-in-one control center for the mount. Today, other than for alignment, one has much more modern and complete software suites available. That you can align with EQMOD is a trivial advantage. Alignment is not really an issue on a Celestron mount. Typically after the first star, which you have to find in the finder, you can still finish alignment with the camera and HC.



#22 Boria0

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 03:37 PM

What would be an alternative to these two? By alternative I mean a better option even if more expensive.

#23 hampshireskies

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 07:40 AM

2 years later has anyone changed their mind on Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO Go-To  vs

Celestron Advanced VX Mount ?



#24 hampshireskies

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 07:41 AM

What would be an alternative to these two? By alternative I mean a better option even if more expensive.

Did you get to a conclusion ?



#25 OldManSky

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 07:56 AM

What would be an alternative to these two? By alternative I mean a better option even if more expensive.

iOptron EQ30Pro, CEM40, GEM45.  And if your payload is going to be less than 25 pounds, the CEM25P.




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