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Heq5 or AVX?

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15 replies to this topic

#1 stars n planets

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:54 PM

So ive had a bit of extra cash come my way and am looking to get a new mount for imaging deep sky.i have a 6inch sct with focal reducer, which will have to do for now, as i know its not ideal for AP.

Ive seen posts from owners of these mounts and praising in general their experience their own mount.

What i would like is if someone who has had both these mounts could advise me.
I have seen both the tech specs on these mounts but need info on there hands on use.

I will be picking the new mount up this Friday and hope to make the right decision😁

Thank you

#2 petert913

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:40 PM

Both of those mounts are similar in operation and capabilities.  I had the AVX with an SCT 6" and liked it a lot.  But the Heq5 is a much quieter mount when it slews. 



#3 SonnyE

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:47 PM

I have a dead, 4 year old AVX I wouldn't recommend.

My next mount will probably be an Sky Watcher EQ6-R

 

The beefier the mount, the better the results.



#4 Stelios

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 01:48 AM

For *astrophotography* (for visual the AVX wins easy) the AVX is more of a gamble. They are inconsistent. When they are good, they are great--but they're not always good. By contrast the Sirius has a much more solid reputation for consistent tracking. 

 

I have not *personally* owned a Sirius, but have owned two AVX's--a good one and a bad one (which was replaced eventually by Celestron with the good one). I *have* followed the mount forum for many years--and the Sirius reliability is reflected in many postings.

 

Either mount will easily handle the C6 weight-wise. You already know that it's hard to image at longer focal lengths, but it's most definitely doable with care and experience.. 


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#5 RandallK

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 03:05 PM

Have had my HEQ5 Pro for 11 years now....yes 11 years and still doing astrophotography with it. I have a new CEM40 as well.



#6 tonyt

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 09:30 PM

HEQ5 is mechanically better, Celestron controller is nicer to use.

 

One option is to buy the AVX from OC telescope who offer to supply it with a bearing upgrade and adjustment for an extra $139: https://octelescope....=12380787146831

 

I started imaging with an AVX and it worked well but some of them don't; buying the upgraded AVX from OC would guarantee you got a good one.

 

I'm now using Skywatcher mounts with Celestron Starsense which combines the best of both brands.



#7 stars n planets

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 01:45 PM

For *astrophotography* (for visual the AVX wins easy) the AVX is more of a gamble. They are inconsistent. When they are good, they are great--but they're not always good. By contrast the Sirius has a much more solid reputation for consistent tracking.

I have not *personally* owned a Sirius, but have owned two AVX's--a good one and a bad one (which was replaced eventually by Celestron with the good one). I *have* followed the mount forum for many years--and the Sirius reliability is reflected in many postings.

Either mount will easily handle the C6 weight-wise. You already know that it's hard to image at longer focal lengths, but it's most definitely doable with care and experience..


Unfortunately the Sirius is an extra £300 more in the UK than either Heq5 or AVX which is already at a stretch of my funds. At the moment im leaning towards the Heq5. Maybe ive heard more ghost stories about the AVX than the Heq5???
I have until next week to decide otherwise.

#8 ThatsMyCoffee

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 02:26 PM

I picked up a SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro with the Rowan belt mod pre-installed for about 1,100 euro from FirstLightOptics in the UK.  It's smooth like butter and guiding is a dream, with about 9kg on it.  Slewing doesn't wake up the neighbours like my old Exos2 did.  I sometimes have to look to be sure it's moving (I am a bit hard of hearing...)

 

Can't recommend it enough.


Edited by ThatsMyCoffee, 05 December 2019 - 02:28 PM.

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#9 RandallK

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 03:39 PM

I have had my HEQ5-Pro now for 11 years!!! Never been opened up for servicing. Still image with it. Bought CEM40 simply for something new to play with. The HEQ5 Pro has been a real workhorse for me. I can only highly recommend it.



#10 pscm

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 09:09 PM

To clarify, Heq5 & Sirius EQG are all but the same.   have owned both and currently using an AVX. As previously stated by others, the HEQ5 is mechanically so much better built.  Even with the bearing mod which my AVX has, the HEQ5 is superior.  The software in the AVX is a bit better but they are not all that much different.  If it helps, I very much regret selling my HEQ5.  It was an impulse sell and shouldn't have done it.



#11 GoFish

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 09:22 PM

So ive had a bit of extra cash come my way and am looking to get a new mount for imaging deep sky.i have a 6inch sct with focal reducer, which will have to do for now, as i know its not ideal for AP.

Ive seen posts from owners of these mounts and praising in general their experience their own mount.

What i would like is if someone who has had both these mounts could advise me.
I have seen both the tech specs on these mounts but need info on there hands on use.

I will be picking the new mount up this Friday and hope to make the right decision

Thank you

Since you mention imaging, I’d choose HEQ5. I own both an AVX and a Sirius EQ-G (same as HEQ5, I believe). The HEQ5 is mechanically superior. 

 

For visual, closer call. But for strictly visual, I’d pick the AVX. 



#12 Auburn80

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:49 AM

So what exactly makes the HEQ5 better for imaging?

#13 frito

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 10:59 AM

So what exactly makes the HEQ5 better for imaging?

numerous things IMO. 

 

  • the DEC is just as well built as the RA axis on the HEQ5  full bearings everywhere, AVX has sleeve bearings in its DEC axis
  • HEQ5 uses good sized stepper motors just like the EQ6, AVX like many Celestron mounts use some sort of compact DC motors with an internal gearbox that is often a source of mechanical backlash that cannot be removed
  • HEQ5 uses a simple brass spur gearing that is user serviceable for the gearing between the stepper and the worm, additionally because of this simple but great design you can replace this with a belt mod kit to further increase the mounts guiding performance. 
  • HEQ5 can use EQMOD which for imaging is a lot more convenient to deal with than having to use a hand controller or mount specific software for PC control.  

Probably the most important factor though for imaging is how consistent a mounts performance is and the track record of the two designs on this front are night and day, the AVX is a update of the CG-5 AS-GT mount which is a clone of the original Vixen GP mount, their track record is very spotty and you will find plenty of owners that have tried and eventually moved away from using them for AP due to all these mechanical deficits in the design. HEQ5 on the other hand just like its bigger brother it was based off of the EQ6/NEQ6 etc has a solid reputation of being reliable workhorse mounts for many people over the years so much so modifications to both the hardware and software have come about to further improve their performance for imaging use. (Belt mod kits and EQMOD) 


Edited by frito, 07 December 2019 - 11:14 AM.

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#14 Auburn80

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 02:21 PM

Thanks frito for your very thorough response. I knew about the dec axis design and belt mods but not the other stuff.
Do you, or any other readers know if there are issues with the altitude bolts?

#15 stars n planets

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:30 PM

So clearly my order for next week will be the HEQ5. As a relative novice i have a lot to learn in using kit. So taking unreliable kit out of the equation is a must. I was considering a eqm35 pro for the 6inch sct, but concluded it may not be man enough for AP.

#16 GoFish

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:59 PM

Thanks frito for your very thorough response. I knew about the dec axis design and belt mods but not the other stuff.
Do you, or any other readers know if there are issues with the altitude bolts?

I’ve not had any problems with the altitude bolts on the Sirius/HEQ5. However, the reason I own an Atlas/NEQ6 is because the altitude adjustment design is poor.

 

A previous owner of my Atlas had managed to bind and badly bend the adjustment bolts and decided to sell it instead of attempt a fix. It was a difficult repair that required cutting one of the bolts inside the cast housing, but it is now fixed and working famously. 

 

I imagine the Sirius uses the same design, and if not updated, remains a weak point. 

 

The key is to be careful to not jam the south bolt (that raises the mount) into the tab in the mount casting at the same time as jamming the north bolt (that lowers the mount). If you are raising the altitude, then loosen the north bolt, turn the south bolt, then snug up the north bolt. Reverse the procedure to lower the altitude. 

 

If you encounter a lot of resistance in either bolt, then you are trying to raise the mount with too much weight on it, or the opposing bolt is snug, or some lube is needed. 

 

Since you are in the UK (I assume), then your latitude will put the adjustment system in an unfavorable part of its range. So you will want to use care, but I think you’ll have no difficulty if you follow the “rules.”


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