I have a fine Vixen GP that I've bought new in 2001 and have been quite happy with. It's not motorized, but I'd like to change that. I have three options:
1: Basic dual motor drive from Teleskop-Service (same as Orion EQ-5 drive): https://www.teleskop...g-fuer-EQ5.html
2: Basic dual motor drive from Vixen: https://www.teleskop...ith-motors.html
3: Sky-Watcher SynScan GOTO upgrade: https://www.teleskop...-EQ-mounts.html
4: Something I have overlooked, but which you can point me to.
Pros and cons:
1: Very cheap, but somewhat flimsy, according to some sources. Works well, though.
2: No issues with fitting it to the mount, but as expensive as the SynScan GOTO upgrade, but without GOTO.
3: GOTO, if I so desire. More expensive than #1, but with many more options.
Before you all scream to me to get the GOTO, be aware that I am an incarnated starhopper, that would only occasionally need the GOTO, but that I am honest enough with myself that I've realized that there are situations, where it might be very useful, for example in our bright summer nights, where starhopping can be a little challenging. Thus I have some questions regarding the SynScan:
I know from the manual (freely downloadable) that I do not need to activate the GOTO align, but can skip it and just have RA tracking. This is just what I need. But the manual states that I need to move the scope with the motors, instead of by hand. Why? I can't see why this should be necessary, when I want to hop across large distances. The scope will obviously no longer know where it's pointing, but since I was not using the GOTO anyway, that doesn't matter. Or does it want to know where it is, so it can avoid bumping into the tripod? Might I get a false alarm, if the scope thinks it's somewhere, where it really isn't?
Should I also not be able to get RA tracking and manual slewing, even if I've engaged the GOTO? Let's say I've aligned the mount and activated the GOTO function and let the scope aim automatically on an easy to find object, such as M31 (or a star or whatever). If I want to, I should now be able to aim manually on any object, by loosening the clutches and aiming manually, and still have tracking, as long as I don't change the object that the mount THINKS it's aimed at. This includes using the motorized slow motions. If I want to use the GOTO again, I can just turn back to the initial object manually, retighten the clutches, and ask it to aim at a new object. Alternatively, it should be possible to loosen the clutches, ask the mount to find a new object that is easily visible, let it turn to it, wait until the mount stops, then aim at the object manually and tighten the clutches. I should then be aligned again and GOTO should work as intended again.
Thoughts? Experiences? I would also be very interested in knowing how the SynScan tracking performs at very high magnifications. I am specifically interested in knowing whether there are any stepper motor vibrations visible, because my first EQ-6 suffered badly from these.