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Upgraded from CG-5 to EQ6R-Pro...tips?

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#1 JeffreyHorne

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:09 AM

I’ve read every article I can find, and watched every YouTube video I could find about the EQ6R-Pro, and I pulled the trigger on it yesterday (thanks to all of those that helped me with that process.)

 

Have any of you moved from a CG5 to the EQ6R-Pro? Are there any tips, tricks, or peculiarities that stick out to you? I just want to be as ready as I can be when it arrives. 😊


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#2 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:35 AM

Read about and understand EQMOD and how the Shoestring cables work with that mount, assuming that you want to do astro-photography with it. I recently set one of these up and we had trouble until we bit the bullet and bought the cable, downloaded EQMOD and set that up. After that smooth sailing!

Rgrds-Ross


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#3 JeffreyHorne

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:40 AM

Read about and understand EQMOD and how the Shoestring cables work with that mount, assuming that you want to do astro-photography with it. I recently set one of these up and we had trouble until we bit the bullet and bought the cable, downloaded EQMOD and set that up. After that smooth sailing!

Rgrds-Ross

 

Thanks, Ross! 

 

I ordered the “new” version that has USB B on the mount underneath the HC and ST-4 outlets. I believe I can use a regular USB B cable with that, but I have to get a serial to USB driver, and set baud rate to 115k in EQ mod. 



#4 Gary Z

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:59 AM

Well, before long you'll be the expert and giving advice on EQMOD and the EQ6 R Pro.  If I could lift it without hurting my neck and back, this is the one I would have bought.  While I have not seen the video, Chuck's Astrophotography YouTube channel reveals his use of EQMOD.

 

Hope you will enjoy this mount.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Gary



#5 JeffreyHorne

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:10 AM

Well, before long you'll be the expert and giving advice on EQMOD and the EQ6 R Pro.  If I could lift it without hurting my neck and back, this is the one I would have bought.  While I have not seen the video, Chuck's Astrophotography YouTube channel reveals his use of EQMOD.

 

Hope you will enjoy this mount.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Gary

Thanks, Gary! I’m hoping the weight won’t be a hassle...I only move my telescope about 25 feet, so that should be tolerable. 

 

I did watch Chuck’s EQmod video...invaluable, as he has the newer EQ6R also, with the USB port on the mount. 

 

The support gentleman at Highpoint recommended, hands down, using EQMod and the onboard USB over plugging into the hand controller.  



#6 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:15 AM

Jeff ---

 

Better talk to Skywatcher directly about that USB port. My understanding is that it's only currently supported use is for a Bluetooth dongle to allow for wifi control using an iPad or similar device. I think that they told us that it would be some "future" time when the mount can be controlled correctly. If that's wrong I'd love to know about it.

 

Rgrds-Ross



#7 JeffreyHorne

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:28 AM

Jeff ---

 

Better talk to Skywatcher directly about that USB port. My understanding is that it's only currently supported use is for a Bluetooth dongle to allow for wifi control using an iPad or similar device. I think that they told us that it would be some "future" time when the mount can be controlled correctly. If that's wrong I'd love to know about it.

 

Rgrds-Ross

 

Skywatcher told me that it’s for some future use, but you can also control the mount with it. 

 

Check this out:

 

https://youtu.be/csRSXBvQixg



#8 rgsalinger

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:35 PM

That video shows controlling the mount using EQMOD and the USB connection seems to work with it. Good to know for the future. We tried to use the Skywatcher supplied driver and got nowhere with it.

Rgrds-Ross



#9 EFT

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:24 AM

... Are there any tips, tricks, or peculiarities that stick out to you? I just want to be as ready as I can be when it arrives.

Just be prepared for a much better mount experience.  There is nothing particularly unique to the EQ6-R other than it being a far superior mount to the CG-5.  The Synscan hand control will take a little getting used to but that is not a huge deal.



#10 rgsalinger

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:37 AM

The biggest annoyance using the hand controller is that it doesn't remember the date and time. There's no battery in it or the mount. I found that really annoying when I just wanted to use the mount to look at  (say) Jupiter. Look into getting a GPS for the mount. I think that they have one that works?????

Rgrds-Ross



#11 Woodbridge_Dave

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:14 PM

I just received my EQ6R-Pro a week ago.  I can confirm the USB port allows mount control via EQMOD.  One problem I have is the stiction in the axes.  They are so stiff, they stay put when I rotate the head.  Some advocate a full tear down and replacement of grease and smoothing of internal parts, but I've done that before with EQ6's to find little improvement.

 

According to an email from Skywatcher, the solution to stiction this is to loosen the retaining nut on the RA and on the Dec.  These nuts are usually tightened too much at the factory.  Loosening them requires very little work, and seems to free up the rotation.  Skywatcher wants me to send it back to them for servicing, but shipping and lost time make that option undesirable.  I'll just do the work myself. 



#12 Jeff Lee

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:17 PM

I don't have the EQ6R-PRo, but I have the Sirius AZ-EQ and yes you can control the mount from the USB using ASCOM, I use SkyTools and SharpCap and both can drive the mount.



#13 EFT

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:29 PM

I just received my EQ6R-Pro a week ago.  I can confirm the USB port allows mount control via EQMOD.  One problem I have is the stiction in the axes.  They are so stiff, they stay put when I rotate the head.  Some advocate a full tear down and replacement of grease and smoothing of internal parts, but I've done that before with EQ6's to find little improvement.

 

According to an email from Skywatcher, the solution to stiction this is to loosen the retaining nut on the RA and on the Dec.  These nuts are usually tightened too much at the factory.  Loosening them requires very little work, and seems to free up the rotation.  Skywatcher wants me to send it back to them for servicing, but shipping and lost time make that option undesirable.  I'll just do the work myself. 

Adjusting the tightness of the axis nuts can reduce some of the stiffness if they are way to tight to start with, but it may do nothing at all.  It just depends on what person put the thing together in the factory.  Besides too much preload on the axes, stiffness in the mount when the clutches are released is a result of the overabundance of grease used, the quality of grease to a lesser extent, and the fit of the ring gears in the housings.


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#14 rgsalinger

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:45 PM

I would not keep this mount. If it has these kinds of problems then it's a bad example of the mount. Send it back and get a new one. I've recently set up two of these (bought in the USA) without any issues like this. It seems as if there is just no quality control on mounts in this price range.

Rgrds-Ross



#15 EFT

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:54 PM

I have worked on a number of EQ6-R's now and they exhibit and the ones that I have seen so far have all had the normal range from stiffness as all the Atlas/EQ6/CGEM mount, i.e., from not bad to pretty bad.  The internals of all these mounts are essentially identical with the except of the use of servo vs. stepper motors and spur gears vs. belts (i.e., the EQ6-R).  It's always possible to have a particularly bad example, but it is just as likely to get one that might not be tremendously better if they exchange it.  The one thing they would be unlikely to do is actually fix it.  That's not really something they are set up to do.


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#16 Jim Cauthen

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:36 PM

I recently de-forked my CPC9.25" and tossed it onto one of the newer (USB Port) EQ6-R Pro mounts and haven't looked back! In the beginning I was a bit dismayed with the hand controller - compared to the Celestron controller, the SynScan controller leaves a lot to be desired. But, I'm slowly learning more about EQMOD and I'm pretty sure the hand controller will end up being one of those odd accessories that rarely ever gets used again

 

When balancing the mount, the RA & Dec are a bit tight, so it takes a little guessing to figure out where 'perfect' balance is, but its not a deal-killer for me as I haven't seen any major negatives yet of being in the 'close enough' range for balance.

 

Over all, I'm more than happy with this mount and haven't second guessed the purchase at all.



#17 Wintermute

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:52 PM

I just received my EQ6R-Pro a week ago.  I can confirm the USB port allows mount control via EQMOD.  One problem I have is the stiction in the axes.  They are so stiff, they stay put when I rotate the head.  Some advocate a full tear down and replacement of grease and smoothing of internal parts, but I've done that before with EQ6's to find little improvement.

Mine had this same issue; got it back from a Hypertune @ Deep Space Products earlier this month and it's now buttery smooth and even the slightest adjustments impact balance. 


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#18 MikeECha

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 06:58 PM

Skywatcher told me that it’s for some future use, but you can also control the mount with it. 

 

Check this out:

 

https://youtu.be/csRSXBvQixg

I think you spoke with a spammer or someone who has no clue of their own equipment.

 

Read the manual and you will find it says the USB is used to control the mount with third party software or something to that extent. I can assure you the  USB port works with  EQMOD flawlessly. My HC stays in the box for ever.

 

Just get the communication down thru the ASCOM platform and you ASCOM clients and you will love it.

 

If your mount does not sound like in Chuck's vid, then get your power supply up to 13.5-14Vdc and as many amps as you can. The other reason for coffe grinder sound is axis stiffness. That is very easy to fix.



#19 JeffreyHorne

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 12:01 AM

Thanks for your tips, everyone! I got the mount today, got it setup, and tested using USB directly into the side of the mount.

 

I used Stellarium to slew over to a few stars, and it pointed in the direction it should! :) It sounded great, too. I can hear a tiny bit of stiction at the very end of slews, but I'm going to try it out in the real world before I make any decisions about that.

 

One remaining question that I have, especially coming from the CG-5:

 

The CG-5 has index markers to show you where "home" position is. I always lined those up perfectly before doing my polar alignment (I use SharpCap and my guidescope.) Does it matter that the EQ6R-pro doesn't have these same "built in" physical index markers? Will my polar alignment be off if I don't have the scope mount perfectly placed with counterweights pointed directly down and the DEC axis centered perfectly? I can do my best by sight, but it's not going to be as perfect as the CG-5 was, with its index markers.

 

Thanks to all of you, I have had such a seamless transition (so far!) I didn't think I'd be this far along after only half a day!

 

Jeff



#20 MikeECha

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for your tips, everyone! I got the mount today, got it setup, and tested using USB directly into the side of the mount.

 

I used Stellarium to slew over to a few stars, and it pointed in the direction it should! smile.gif It sounded great, too. I can hear a tiny bit of stiction at the very end of slews, but I'm going to try it out in the real world before I make any decisions about that.

 

One remaining question that I have, especially coming from the CG-5:

 

The CG-5 has index markers to show you where "home" position is. I always lined those up perfectly before doing my polar alignment (I use SharpCap and my guidescope.) Does it matter that the EQ6R-pro doesn't have these same "built in" physical index markers? Will my polar alignment be off if I don't have the scope mount perfectly placed with counterweights pointed directly down and the DEC axis centered perfectly? I can do my best by sight, but it's not going to be as perfect as the CG-5 was, with its index markers.

 

Thanks to all of you, I have had such a seamless transition (so far!) I didn't think I'd be this far along after only half a day!

 

Jeff

Great to hear that the mount is good right out of the box. The mount has one index arrow on the left side. Since you use SC for PA you can use that for home/0 position to go back to. But I find the arrow location a bit inconvenient.

 

Based on videos on youtube, i did this

 

1 Rotate RA to CW bar horizontal with scope on east side. Use a bubble level on the bar to find level and lock RA Clutch.

2 loosen the thumb screws on the RA scale ring and align the 6h mark (6:00 am). The tighten the tumb scres. You shoul see the 12h mark right at the top. There I put a dot with a sharpie to return to when PA is done.

 

That dot is my home/0 position. 

 

3 Put RA back to home/0

 

4 rotate DEC 90deg with the fixed/solid edge at the bottom and put the bubble level  on that edge. When the level indicates horizontal, lock the DEC.

 

5 now adjust the DEC scale rign such that the 0 deg aligns with the arrow on the mount DEC. 

 

6 now rotate DEC to align the 90 deg mark on the ring with the arrow on the mount. Done!

 

Hope this helps.


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#21 EFT

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:56 PM

The arrow has only one use and that is to make it easier to find the first alignment star.  These mounts have no true zero position and no shaft encoders so when you turn the mount on it has no way to know where it is pointed so it must assume a position at 0,0.  You can start the alignment from any position in either or both axes.  Because the mount assumes that you are starting from 0,0 it slews the appropriate amount and direction to the first alignment star to have selected, so the further from 0,0 you start, the further off that first star will be.  But once you center that first alignment star, then the mount has a rough idea of where it is really pointing after which it will get much closer to the second alignment star.  That's also why you can have poor polar alignment but still have good goto's.




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