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Old 23-03-2011, 11:11 AM
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Gem (Grant)
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HEQ5 Pro - carrying weight question

Hi all!

First post here. I might have accidently repeated this... not sure.

I am looking at purchasing an 8 inch Skywatcher on a HEQ5 Pro goto mount. I have an 80mm f/5 refractor that I want to piggyback on it in the future with either a CCD or DSLR camera. I am interested in hearing from any HEQ5 owners as to whether the weight should be fine. I would prefer not to get the EQ6 (due to weight and budget) unless I have to. Should the HEQ5 handle the above proposed set up?
In addition, in the past there has been stories of problems with the lubrication of the HEQ5. Is this a thing of the past?

Thanks!!
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:30 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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My HEQ5Pro chugged along quite happily with an RC8 and a light weight 80mm iOptron refractor (guide scope) I had them up set up on a side by side plate though.
I wouldn't go any heavier than this.
My current imaging set up is an ED80 with the iOptron piggy backed on top.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for that!
Do you find for general visual observing that is only needs a rough polar alignment for the goto to work ok?
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Old 23-03-2011, 12:04 PM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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ummm I'm not really to person to talk to about visual Astronomy.

But I start each new imaging session with a general alignment using a compass and a level to start me off. That, along with a 1 or 3 star align should do the trick.
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Old 24-03-2011, 05:39 PM
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Hi Grant.

I have the same set up you mentioned. For visual it's perfectly fine but for imaging your at the very limits of the mounts capabilities, so consistency is going to be an issue. I now image whith 102 refractor and 80mm st guide scope because I got fed up inconsistent results.

My advice would be to go with a smaller scope for imaging, it can be done with an 8" but if you just starting out nothing will put you off the hobby quicker than technical difficulties and it's challenging enough as it is.

If you can get past the learning curve, it'll blow your mind...
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Old 25-03-2011, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the info.
I was thinking maybe a GSO 200mm f/4 reflector OTA might be a bit lighter (due to the shorter focal length) than a Skywatcher 200mm f/5 reflector. 20% shorter has to be a bit lighter! The problem is most of my observing in the past was through a 10inch dob (which hasn't fitted into the car for 14 years - why didn't I buy a car based on my telescope???). So I am a bit reluctant to go down to a 6 inch, since I might be visually dissappointed and pine for larger apperture. It is all about walking a tightrope. I know my wife will only allow ONE scope, not one now and another one in a couple of years! After all she often points at my 80mm refractor and says "you already have a telescope"... *sigh*
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Old 25-03-2011, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem View Post
After all she often points at my 80mm refractor and says "you already have a telescope"... *sigh*
Open her closet and point to her shoes and say "you already have a pair of shoes".


A scope for every occasion is a must if you're serious.
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Old 25-03-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem View Post
Do you find for general visual observing that is only needs a rough polar alignment for the goto to work ok?
If the alignment procedure succeeds goto will be fine, but tracking won't. Decent tracking requires accurate polar alignment (unless you want to keep pushing the Enter button to re-centre the object).

Before getting the HEQ5 Pro I was under the misconception that goto mounts will track using both motors by simply keeping to go to the selected object. It turns out they (or at least the SynScan based ones) don't.

Cheers
Steffen.
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Old 25-03-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
Open her closet and point to her shoes and say "you already have a pair of shoes".
.
in my world i refer to this as GST (Girlfriend Shoe Tax) a little costly, but very effective...
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Old 25-03-2011, 02:09 PM
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I know you would prefer not to get the EQ6. But if in anyway you can i recommend it.. yes its heavy and big but its solid!.

Imagine 12" newt with orion 80mm guidescope and Dslr.. solid as rock.

if not from what i have seen around the place your arrangement should be fine.
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Old 25-03-2011, 03:58 PM
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I do agree Steve that a bigger scope and mount would be great, but I need to think in terms of what gets the most use. Living in town, I will be just moving it in and out of the house on most week nights with the kids. Then on weekends, it needs to be easily put into the boot of a Camry. My 10inch f/5.6 dob doesn't fit (and hence is still in QLD and not with me!). I don't want to make the mistake of getting something big or heavy and then not using it much.
I also don't want to go too small on the aperture after having many long nights of observing through the 10 inch in dark Narrabri skies - a 6 inch would disappoint me I think... It all seems to be a balancing act!!
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Old 24-04-2011, 10:56 PM
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I realize I'm bumping up an old thread, but I want to relate my experience with the HEQ5 Pro mount. For me it is fine with a 4" refractor, cameras, etc, but I just got a TEC140 which weights around 9.5 kg with a finder, and more with 2" diagonals, etc. Even without a CCD camera I felt the mount was struggling for visual work. In fact after trying this combination 2x I've decided not to try again and to just be patient until my new mount arrives. It's not worth destroying the gearing!
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Old 25-04-2011, 11:05 AM
pjphilli (Peter)
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Hi Grant

I have a HEQ5Pro mount. Luke at Lee Andrew's told me that the max carrying weight is specified as 14KG. I currently load it with 12.5Kg all up.
This works fine but I found that I had to add a third weight on the balance arm to achieve decent balance. Nice way that the balance rod can be retracted up the mount but it means that it is pretty short. I have seen
on other threads where some have extended this rod to give better leverage for the balance weights.

Cheers Peter
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Old 25-04-2011, 01:07 PM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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Hi Grant
Agree with others that an HEQ5 pro is on the limit with the setup you are contemplating. I have a HEQ5, EQ6 and a GSO f4 8inch. I would recommend the EQ6 and an f5 scope - you will have a much more enjoyable time imaginging with this setup, rather than trying to work out why the lighter setup or the shorter scope is not producing round stars. It's not that the HEQ5/f4 system cannot work well, but everything is much less forgiving than with the larger mount and an f5 scope. Regards, Ray
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Old 25-04-2011, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem View Post
I do agree Steve that a bigger scope and mount would be great, but I need to think in terms of what gets the most use. Living in town, I will be just moving it in and out of the house on most week nights with the kids. Then on weekends, it needs to be easily put into the boot of a Camry. My 10inch f/5.6 dob doesn't fit (and hence is still in QLD and not with me!). I don't want to make the mistake of getting something big or heavy and then not using it much.
I also don't want to go too small on the aperture after having many long nights of observing through the 10 inch in dark Narrabri skies - a 6 inch would disappoint me I think... It all seems to be a balancing act!!
I have the same size Dob and it fits across the back seat in my camry
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Old 25-04-2011, 01:52 PM
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Gem (Grant)
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lol
If a 10 inch f 5.6 fits across the camry that would be funny! I bought a Mazda 626 in 1997 and it DIDNT fit. So I let my brother in law take the scope to QLD (mistake!!), thinking I would get it back one day... It would be funny if it did now fit into my camry (which I got last year). However, I wouldn't travel to Kingaroy unless I had the rest of the family (since that is where my wife's family is), so the back seat would be taken up! Oh the irony! It ain't worth a trip to QLD from Canberra for an old dob.
An f/5 is that crucial bit shorter than an f/5.6. Ideally (in wishful thinking land), I would love to get a CGEM 1100 - 11 inch of transportable SCT on a eq mount that does its own polar aligning! Pure heaven!! More aperture than my old dob, better quality optics and a mount that can image nicely. Makes you want to cry just thinking about it....
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