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Old 20-09-2021, 10:42 AM
pan_ik (Nick)
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pan_ik is offline
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Leura
Posts: 2
HEQ5 and 8" Newt - Counterweighting

Hi All,

New to the Astrophotography hobby. Have had smaller GOTO MAK's over the years but after moving away from Sydney to the Mountains, I finally invested in a decent mount and was playing around with just my D7000 + 210mm lens, with a 60mm GuideScope + ASI120MM-S.

Researched the weight limits on the HEQ5 during lockdown and wanting to show my wife the planets, and maybe pick out some more faint DSO's, suffice to say I think I may have been overexcited, I purchased a 200mm Newt to mount on the HEQ5. Tests on the Moon, plus Jupiter and Saturn went great. Best I have ever seen them through my own gear!

However I've found than even with both weights fully extended, if the object is close or just over the meridian, she goes over the rest of the way. luckily both times I have been just next to the scope running a plate solve so was able to catch and turn off the mount quickly.

Am I overloading the HEQ5? OTA is 8.75Kg, plus 780g for the D7000. Around the same again for the Guide + ASI120MM-S.

Can you purchase extending poles for the counterweights? Part of me thinks I should have instead waited for a APO Refractor for Astrophotography and a MAK for my wifes viewing pleasure? I have seen great images from similar sized Newtonians, but I can't really upgrade the mount anytime soon, so thinking I would switch it over to a non tracking for just visual, and stick with the light camera and lens for photos.

Appreciate any advice.
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