Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

EQ6-R PRO Owners' Club

eq mount star party
  • Please log in to reply
207 replies to this topic

#26 Mike from W.A.S.

Mike from W.A.S.

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Southern Connecticut

Posted 22 April 2020 - 07:24 PM

I just purchased an EQ6-R Pro (like...an hour ago smile.gif) as it's the platform I'll be building my DSO rig around. I'll be taking baby steps with my gear, and starting by using my Nikon D7100 and a 200mm F/2.4 lens. The step after that will be a guide scope and camera, then I'll grab a better telescope to replace the 200mm camera lens, and finally I'll get a dedicated astro camera (likely a ZWO something).

 

My current problem is trying to figure out how to attach my DSLR to the mount in such a way that would allow for a guide scope to be used as well. The current thought is to use something like this: https://www.admacces...-small-version/ or maybe even this: https://www.admacces...connecting-bar/

 

The problem with the above solutions is that (as far as I can tell) this would position the camera (and eventual scope) 90-degrees off of where I'd guess I would want them to be.

 

Does anyone know if it's possible to somehow tell the mount that the lenses are positioned at 90-degrees?

If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if you can mount your cameras aimed 90 degrees to the long axis of the dovetail saddle and still have the mount function properly. 

Both of the axis have clutches that allow them to rotate freely.  You release them to balance your scope.  Before you polar align and star align the mount, you firmly lock down both clutches.  The mount doesn't care how that saddle is positioned when you lock it down.  The dovetail saddle can be at any angle, just don't release it after you align.

Did I get the question right?


  • EFT likes this

#27 jacob_b

jacob_b

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Denver Area, Colorado

Posted 22 April 2020 - 10:56 PM

If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if you can mount your cameras aimed 90 degrees to the long axis of the dovetail saddle and still have the mount function properly. 

Both of the axis have clutches that allow them to rotate freely.  You release them to balance your scope.  Before you polar align and star align the mount, you firmly lock down both clutches.  The mount doesn't care how that saddle is positioned when you lock it down.  The dovetail saddle can be at any angle, just don't release it after you align.

Did I get the question right?

It certainly sounds like you did - and that's good news! Thanks!



#28 kel123

kel123

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 736
  • Joined: 11 May 2019

Posted 22 April 2020 - 11:13 PM

I'm new to this thread and new to Cloudy Nights. I stumbled across this topic while searching for fixes for my EQ6-R tripod pier extension.
I bought my EQ6 mount at NEAF 2019 and had it running on Starry Night 6 software a few hours later. I immediately ordered the pier extension. I love the mount, I'll give it an "excellent" rating, the tripod is "good", but the pier extension, well, it has design issues. I believe I fixed the issues but I plan on making some additional improvements.

I control my EQ6 with Starry Night Pro 7 and PHD2. Much to my surprise, both work flawlessly right from the start, as did the non-SkyWatcher GPS.

I consider myself a "beginner". I'm mostly interested in science stuff, variable stars and occultations, not so much AP.
Too many hobbies, not enough time... ;^)

Congratulations on your mount. Please which non Skywatcher GPS are you talking about?

Edited by kel123, 22 April 2020 - 11:15 PM.


#29 Mike from W.A.S.

Mike from W.A.S.

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Southern Connecticut

Posted 22 April 2020 - 11:43 PM

Congratulations on your mount. Please which non Skywatcher GPS are you talking about?

The GPS is a StarGPS NX.  It's somewhat less expensive than the Skywatcher brand and it works great.  They make two or more different models so if you order one, make sure you get the one that includes "Skywatcher SynScan" in the fine print.



#30 kel123

kel123

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 736
  • Joined: 11 May 2019

Posted 22 April 2020 - 11:46 PM

The GPS is a StarGPS NX. It's somewhat less expensive than the Skywatcher brand and it works great. They make two or more different models so if you order one, make sure you get the one that includes "Skywatcher SynScan" in the fine print.

I know about the brand. But i actually that that one works for both skywatcher and Celestron.

#31 Mike from W.A.S.

Mike from W.A.S.

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Southern Connecticut

Posted 23 April 2020 - 12:01 AM

I know about the brand. But i actually that that one works for both skywatcher and Celestron.

The one that works with Celestrons has a different part number, it's not the one that I have.

 

The instruction sheet warns about similar connectors that are wired differently.

I just checked their website, they make over a dozen unique cable for different mounts.  The one that works with Skywatcher also works with some Orion mounts.


Edited by Mike from W.A.S., 23 April 2020 - 12:16 AM.


#32 jacob_b

jacob_b

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Denver Area, Colorado

Posted 23 April 2020 - 12:48 AM

Jacob,

 

There are a number of ways to do this without turning your scopes perpendicular to the mount's pointing direction.  Peter Zelinka shows a couple options here.  I chose to mount my guide scope underneath my rail, as shown in the attached image.

Thank you! After looking over that link, I think this may actually be a more cost effective way of proceeding.

 

In case anyone else has a similar need:
This would be the L bracket  in question (or something very similar; just make sure to get the right one for your camera body): https://www.amazon.c...uct/B077JXMVGV/

This would be a good example of the clamp that slides on to the side of the L bracket. It's purpose is to provide the same style of mounting hole that the camera itself is built to accept: https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B071WK5NQQ

Finally, you'll need to find a way to mount your particular guide scope either to that clamp mentioned above, or directly to the L bracket.


  • Domer likes this

#33 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 303
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Denver, Co

Posted 23 April 2020 - 01:16 AM

Had a couple firsts tonight with the mount... finally got the oag going, I think! Didn't see any serious error messages after I got guide. Will know more when I'm awake enough to pull images off the camera.

Also aside from using the hand controller to move the mount during my pole master alignment routine, afterwards, I ditched it and managed to control the mount with ekos. It was a bit awkward and weird, but the mount seemed to operate a bit smoother?

I also had an issue with the counterweights sliding down the shaft no matter how much I tightened, so popped the bushing out of one, seemed to help some, then tried masking tape which also seems to help so far, just couldn't get the shaft back into the mount with the tape but it wasn't too bad to peal away.
  • sabersix likes this

#34 JerryWise

JerryWise

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,733
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2003
  • Loc: Lexington, SC

Posted 23 April 2020 - 04:37 AM

I had an opportunity for a great session last month but my main mount shorted out (my fault, left it on after observing and it pinched the motor wires).  In a hurry I ordered the EQ6-R Pro from Amazon to get the fast delivery.  Several other post and the Amazon reviews mentioned partial shipments had occurred.  Sure enough, only the head arrived.  No tripod or counterweights.  After two weeks of back and forth with Amazon they could not locate the original or second shipment and said to send it back.  So with the session I needed it for long gone I returned the head.  Then did what I should have done originally and ordered another one from Astronomics.  Even with the shutdown Astronomics had me one in short order.  Got it all set up and it really looks like a great setup.  Not a premium mount but for the money a good deal.  Only problem was the South button not working on the hand controller and a long journey getting the mount to work from a computer with PHD2 and others using the hand controller connection.  Ended up making my on cable and finally got it to work.  (Few will be able to make it work without Cloudy Nights and Google searches I bet.)  With the shutdown, Astronomics was very responsive but Celestron/Skywatcher was closed so no hand controller.  I was able to get a good feel for the operation with the failing hand controller and, well, I like the old Celestron hand controller much better.  Just me but the SkyWatcher window seems awful small and hard to read.  Mike at Astronomic was very helpful and long story short, a Celestron CGX-L is on the way and the Skywatcher EQ6-R has been returned.  I know It is an outstanding deal and a good product cause I've had two of them to look at.  Especially if purchased from Astronomics with the service and Cloudy Nights discount.  Was it worth twice the money to get a CGX-L mount with nearly twice the capacity and a legacy I'm familiar with (had a Celestron CGE for years and that thing just worked even overloaded)?  We'll see. 


  • eros312 likes this

#35 Jarrod

Jarrod

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,310
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2013
  • Loc: SE USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 12:11 PM

And Register on their site for Warranty as well with in the required time frame. 

Is this a required thing?  Because I've looked for a way to register and was not able to find one so far.



#36 Jarrod

Jarrod

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,310
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2013
  • Loc: SE USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 12:39 PM

  I was able to get a good feel for the operation with the failing hand controller and, well, I like the old Celestron hand controller much better.  Just me but the SkyWatcher window seems awful small and hard to read.  

I agree, I much prefer Celestron's HC.  Really like everything about my AVX, except the DEC axis and payload issues.  Thought hard about getting the CGEMII instead of jumping ship to Skywatcher.  Decided that in the end I don't interact with the HC for all that much once things are aligned.  And I *think* that with EQMOD I don't even need to plug the darn thing in, everything can be done from a laptop.  That's very appealing for a lot of reasons.


Edited by Jarrod, 23 April 2020 - 04:54 PM.


#37 Domer

Domer

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 02:06 PM

I agree, I much prefer Celestron's HC.  Really like everything about my AVX, except the DEC axis and payload issues.  Thought hard about getting the CGEMII instead of jumping ship to Skywatcher.  Decided that in the end I don't interact with the HC for all that much once things are aligned.  And I *think* that with EQ6MOD I don't even need to plug the darn thing in, everything can be done from a laptop.  That's very appealing for a lot of reasons.

Sorry for the noob question, but what is "EQ6MOD"?



#38 Domer

Domer

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 03:33 PM

I've only been doing AP for about 9 months and am considering upgrading to the EQ6-R.  I currently have a SkyGuider Pro mounted on a Manfrotto tripod, autoguided with a ZWO scope and PHD2 running on a Raspberry Pi 4.  But I'm growing weary of the agonizing polar alignment process, inability to maintain PA after repointing the lens, lack of DEC tracking, and unacceptable results with a large (heavy) 600 mm lens on my camera.  The SGP is great for Milky Way shots and generally anything under ~135mm, but I'd like to get crisp images of DSOs at 600 mm.

 

Most of the reviews I've read are highly favorable, but are there any significant issues I should be aware of?  Is polar alignment easier with the EQ6-R adjustment knobs and does it retain the alignment after repositioning the scope?  Will my RPI4 running PHD2 be able to connect to it with ASCOM drivers to control both DEC and RA?

Do any EQ6-R owners have any comments, suggestions, advice, or warnings?


  • sabersix likes this

#39 kel123

kel123

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 736
  • Joined: 11 May 2019

Posted 23 April 2020 - 03:58 PM

Do any EQ6-R owners have any comments, suggestions, advice, or warnings?

It is heavy. And you need a good power supply source. If you are using battery power, make sure it does not go below 12V.

You can get something like this to achieve that. You connect it between the mount and the battery source and it will give you constant 12V.

https://www.amazon.c...=8-1&th=1&psc=1

Edited by kel123, 23 April 2020 - 04:00 PM.


#40 Domer

Domer

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 04:16 PM

It is heavy. And you need a good power supply source. If you are using battery power, make sure it does not go below 12V.

You can get something like this to achieve that. You connect it between the mount and the battery source and it will give you constant 12V.

https://www.amazon.c...=8-1&th=1&psc=1

Most of the time, I would just be pulling it from the trunk of my car and setting it up on a concrete slab right there, so I don't anticipate the weight being an issue.

 

I was planning to purchase this supply based on the advice by "NoDarkSkies" earlier in this thread for when I have AC power available.  For more remote sessions in the middle of nowhere, I was thinking about this device to power the mount and all my other accessories.  The DC car port jack can output up to 10A, which I think should be more than adequate.  And if the EQ6-R has a continuous draw of 2A nominal (when not being manually slewed), that battery pack should be able to provide a full night of power.

 

My main concern is that I want to get away from the polar alignment problems I have with the SkyGuider Pro.  The tiniest adjustments throw off the PA.  For example, after spending an hour getting the PA dialed in, locking down the azimuth or altitude adjustments will throw off the alignment.  Ditto for loosening the clutch to slew the camera & lens around to point at my subject.  Plus, the SGP has RA tracking only so near-perfect polar alignment is mandatory for long focal length, long exposure shots.  I'm hoping that the EQ6-R will be easier to polar align and will not get mis-aligned so easily.  And with the DEC tracking, it should be able to compensate if the alignment is slightly off, right?  I realize that there will be some field rotation on subjects near the poles if the PA is off, but that's the least of my concerns right now.

 

But I don't want to spend $1750 for a new mount and power supply if it's not going to solve these issues, so that's why I'm asking for feedback and advice.



#41 kel123

kel123

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 736
  • Joined: 11 May 2019

Posted 23 April 2020 - 04:40 PM

Most of the time, I would just be pulling it from the trunk of my car and setting it up on a concrete slab right there, so I don't anticipate the weight being an issue.

I was planning to purchase this supply based on the advice by "NoDarkSkies" earlier in this thread for when I have AC power available. For more remote sessions in the middle of nowhere, I was thinking about this device to power the mount and all my other accessories. The DC car port jack can output up to 10A, which I think should be more than adequate. And if the EQ6-R has a continuous draw of 2A nominal (when not being manually slewed), that battery pack should be able to provide a full night of power.

My main concern is that I want to get away from the polar alignment problems I have with the SkyGuider Pro. The tiniest adjustments throw off the PA. For example, after spending an hour getting the PA dialed in, locking down the azimuth or altitude adjustments will throw off the alignment. Ditto for loosening the clutch to slew the camera & lens around to point at my subject. Plus, the SGP has RA tracking only so near-perfect polar alignment is mandatory for long focal length, long exposure shots. I'm hoping that the EQ6-R will be easier to polar align and will not get mis-aligned so easily. And with the DEC tracking, it should be able to compensate if the alignment is slightly off, right? I realize that there will be some field rotation on subjects near the poles if the PA is off, but that's the least of my concerns right now.

But I don't want to spend $1750 for a new mount and power supply if it's not going to solve these issues, so that's why I'm asking for feedback and advice.


If your concern is polar alignment, then you should rest easy. The mount has no issues that I know of when it comes to that. I have never read any complaints about polar alignment.
  • Domer likes this

#42 Jarrod

Jarrod

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,310
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2013
  • Loc: SE USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 04:55 PM

Sorry for the noob question, but what is "EQ6MOD"?

My bad, EQMOD.

 

http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/


  • Domer likes this

#43 Domer

Domer

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 23 April 2020 - 07:56 PM

My bad, EQMOD.

 

http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/

Got it - thanks!



#44 Domer

Domer

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2019
  • Loc: San Diego, CA, USA

Posted 01 May 2020 - 07:53 AM

Question - Does the EQ6-R have the ability to read the date, time, and GPS coordinates from your phone/tablet over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?  Or does all of that information have to be entered manually?



#45 montygia

montygia

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2020

Posted 01 May 2020 - 04:27 PM

I've had my EQ6-R for about 4 months and am happy with it so far. 

The Polar Align reticle is different than the one that comes with the EQ5. I haven't found a really good explanation on correct Polar Aligning.
From what I've read, this is what I do now with pretty good results -

 

1. Level the tripod, load the mount in it's home position, place my dslr camera in the dovetail, balance the mount.

2. Turn on the mount to light up the polar reticle - do the initialization with the hand controller.

3. Rotate the DEC axis 90 degrees.

4. Use the knobs to place Polaris in the center of the reticle circle.

5. Adjust the altitude knobs only to place Polaris at the top of the circle.

6. Use the hand controller to rotate RA only so that 12 oclock is over Polaris. At this point the reticle should be straight up and down.

7. Then I use the knobs to move Polaris to match what I see using Polar Finder.

 

Does this seem correct ???

Thanks in advance.


Edited by montygia, 01 May 2020 - 04:38 PM.


#46 EFT

EFT

    Vendor - Deep Space Products

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5,764
  • Joined: 07 May 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 01 May 2020 - 04:35 PM

Question - Does the EQ6-R have the ability to read the date, time, and GPS coordinates from your phone/tablet over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi?  Or does all of that information have to be entered manually?

No, it does not.



#47 Sitt

Sitt

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2019
  • Loc: Perth, Western Australia

Posted 04 May 2020 - 04:25 AM

I just took delivery of my EQ6-R Pro two days ago, not had a chance to use it yet apart from trying to get familiar with the settings etc as I'm coming from a CPC 925 background.

 

I did try to upgrade the hand controller firmware but kept getting errors saying that the hand controller could not be found. I followed the instructions on several times but still kept getting the same error. My EQ6-R Pro is the newer model with the USB on the mount head and I used two different USB Type B cables but still no joy.

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.



#48 RickDawg

RickDawg

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 80
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Gloucester Point, Virginia

Posted 04 May 2020 - 05:14 AM

I just took delivery of my EQ6-R Pro two days ago, not had a chance to use it yet apart from trying to get familiar with the settings etc as I'm coming from a CPC 925 background.

 

I did try to upgrade the hand controller firmware but kept getting errors saying that the hand controller could not be found. I followed the instructions on several times but still kept getting the same error. My EQ6-R Pro is the newer model with the USB on the mount head and I used two different USB Type B cables but still no joy.

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

I had same issue, contacted Sky-Watcher and they sent out a new HC and a label to send the defective one back to them, new one works just as it should.



#49 jdupton

jdupton

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,535
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Central Texas, USA

Posted 04 May 2020 - 07:15 AM

Sitt,

 

I just took delivery of my EQ6-R Pro two days ago, not had a chance to use it yet apart from trying to get familiar with the settings etc as I'm coming from a CPC 925 background.

 

I did try to upgrade the hand controller firmware but kept getting errors saying that the hand controller could not be found. I followed the instructions on several times but still kept getting the same error. My EQ6-R Pro is the newer model with the USB on the mount head and I used two different USB Type B cables but still no joy.

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

   I probably should not jump in here as I do not have an EQ6-R Pro. (I do have an EQ6 and EQ8 so am familiar with SynScan operation.)

 

   I may be confused by your wording of the problem but if you are trying to update Firmware by cabling between the PC and the USB Port on the Mount body, that will not work to the best of my knowledge. You must update all Firmware through the Hand Control. (At least that is how it has been since I got my first SynScan Mount twelve years ago.)

 

   I think the process should go like this: Start with the mount powered off. Connect your USB cable between the PC and the USB Port on the bottom of the Hand Control. Hold down the "0" and "8" Keys on the Hand Control. While still holding both keys down, power on the mount. Release the keys, Now run the appropriate Firmware Updater program on your PC.

 

   You really shouldn't need to update the Firmware on a brand new mount. It should be ready to go.

 

 

John



#50 Sitt

Sitt

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2019
  • Loc: Perth, Western Australia

Posted 04 May 2020 - 04:47 PM

Thanks Rick & John, to be clear im plugging the USB into the port at the base of the hand controller. I even tried with the hand controller not plugged into the Mount, I get the update message on the hand controller but the same error on the pc that the hand controller can't be found.

Why wouldn't I update the firmware as the hand controller as it has 04.39.03 and the latest is 04.39.10


Edited by Sitt, 04 May 2020 - 04:48 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: eq, mount, star party



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics