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AZ-EQ5 or HEQ5

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#1 ajreynolds

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 10:55 PM

It's time to finally upgrade my ancient Celestron Advanced GT mount.  I do some visual with a C8 and some AP using an AT72EDII.  I'd like to get better tracking and be able to do AP with the C8 as well.  I'm trying to decide between a Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 and HEQ5.  I like the idea of the quietness of the belt drive, so I'd probably add that if I got the HEQ5.  Ideally I'd get something like an EQ6-R Pro, but it's heavier than I'd like to deal with, since I'd have to set up and tear down each night in the back yard.  So that brings me back to the AZ-EQ5 and HEQ5 with belt mod.  I've always used EQ mounts, so I don't know if I'd ever use the alt-az mode.

 

I've read plenty of posts on both mounts, but am not sure which to go with.  Has anyone used both (or the Orion Sirius equivalents) and have some guidance?

 

Thanks,

Andy

 



#2 shivaram

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 11:58 PM

Andy

 

I have been researching on new mounts for my use and I must say I am pretty much sold on the HEQ5 with belt mod that hits the sweet spot price vs weight vs performance for both visual and photography.


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#3 LateViewer

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 07:28 AM

Andy

 

I have been researching on new mounts for my use and I must say I am pretty much sold on the HEQ5 with belt mod that hits the sweet spot price vs weight vs performance for both visual and photography.

It is well priced. 



#4 descott12

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 08:34 AM

I love my new az eq5. well made and works perfectly

#5 DRK73

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:42 AM

I love my new az eq5. well made and works perfectly

 

Not having a tripod spreader kind of weirds me out - is this really not a big deal?


Edited by DRK73, 19 October 2020 - 07:43 AM.


#6 DRK73

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 07:58 AM

Wrong post....


Edited by DRK73, 19 October 2020 - 08:52 AM.


#7 descott12

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 09:29 AM

Not having a tripod spreader kind of weirds me out - is this really not a big deal?

Actually mine is permanently pier-mounted so I don't know. I don't recall - it didn't come with a spreader?



#8 Jeff Lee

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 09:39 AM

The pier like "legs" have locking legs and are very steady, but I've found you need the pier extension to use the mount comfortable. Very sturdy, in az or eq.



#9 ajreynolds

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:27 AM

Thanks for the inputs.

#10 nikivan

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:27 AM

SkyWatcher shows zero stock for AZ-EQ5, according to my local dealer. 



#11 bignerdguy

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:19 PM

I have the HEQ5 version from Orion (Sirius EQ-G) and i love it.  I don't even use the belt mod I use it as stock and it works great.  FYI, if you wanted to get the EQ6 why worry about taking it down?  just wrap a small towel and a garbage bag around the head and cover the entire mount with a tarp.  it will survive just fine that way, its what I've been doing for the last year or so. I only bring it in if the weather calls for really large hail, like softball size since that *could* damage it. Otherwise I leave it out all the time with the weights added and it stays dry.  Of course I DO take the telescope and cables/electronics inside and only bring those out when I want to view or image.  Those can be damaged much easier. it also means that after I have polar aligned the scope the first time I do not need to adjust it at all or vary barely when I go to set back up thereafter.  If you are setting up on grass, then you could dig a small square out where the tripod legs sit and add sand (leveled out) then put a square 14x14 or 16x16 paver on each one to set the tripod legs on and keep it from sinking in the grass.  Makes for a really good and cheap platform to keep your scope on.  You only need 3 pavers and enough sand to fill a part of the cut out area to level it off, just pack the dirt down really good before you place the sand.



#12 DRK73

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:00 PM

The Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 is still exactly the same mount as the Orion Sirius Pro AZ/EQ-G, isn't it? I mean, except for the color difference? There's also like a $150 price difference between the two...



#13 ajreynolds

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:24 AM

I think I'll be going with the AZ-EQ5. The EQ6R would be nice if I could leave it up all the time, but I don't have a place I could do that. Everyone is out.

The AZ-EQ5 is out of stock everywhere, as are most mounts, but SW says they expect some next month. We'll see.

It's my understanding the SW and Orion versions are the same except the color, SW has a 2 year warranty vs Orion 1 year, and SW service vs Orion service.
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#14 descott12

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 06:15 AM

I think I'll be going with the AZ-EQ5. The EQ6R would be nice if I could leave it up all the time, but I don't have a place I could do that. Everyone is out.

The AZ-EQ5 is out of stock everywhere, as are most mounts, but SW says they expect some next month. We'll see.

It's my understanding the SW and Orion versions are the same except the color, SW has a 2 year warranty vs Orion 1 year, and SW service vs Orion service.

I think you are making a good choice. I would recommend NOT getting the optional polar scope. I think it is a horrible design and I couldn't even get mine calibrated after many frustrating nights. I just use the PA routine in SharpCap and I get a great alignment in just a few minutes.



#15 DRK73

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 07:22 AM

It's my understanding the SW and Orion versions are the same except the color, SW has a 2 year warranty vs Orion 1 year, and SW service vs Orion service.

 

Is Orion service that bad? Or Skywatcher's that good? I don't have much experience with either company. I used an Atlas for several years, but I'd purchased it used, and it never gave me any issue.



#16 ajreynolds

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 12:11 PM

I haven't had to deal with support from either company, so I don't have an opinion on it. All I can go by is what I've read from others.

I do like the extra year warranty from SW, and the cloudynights discount from Astronomics brings the price close enough that I decided to go with SW. (Gratuitous plug for our sponsor :) )


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