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Sturdy non-equatorial mount


dawson
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My Skywatcher AZ Goto mount is great, and last night it proved to me that it could track like a dream; but it's so unsteady.


 


The legs are quite flimsy, and I suspect one could do something to make them more sturdy, but then the arm of the mount itself is very flimsy and even when it's operating it is so easy to accidentally alter the altitude of the scope just by changing eye pieces or inserting the webcam (there doesn't seem to be any grip of gears).


 


I wonder, what Goto Alt-Az mounts are out there which are much more study, but still not going to break the bank?


 


I was keen on an HEQ5 or an NEQ6 but to be honest I just don't think I'd fully utilize their potential, and I'm not sure I've got the patience to set them up. I really do like the simplicity of the Alt-Az mount with leveling them, and two star alignment.


 


I'm never going to be a DSO imaging expert.


 


Any ideas, opinions welcomed.


 


Thanks.


 


James


 


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For visual then alt/az is so convenient. The eyepiece is never in a back breaking position and alignment is simpler. Of course the two mentioned above can be set up as either alt/az or EQ. When in alt/az mode you can put a scope on each side, one in place of a counterbalance weight. The best of both worlds but you do have to pay out for that sort of convenience.


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Setting up an EQ mount isn't as difficult as you think James. You only need to know how to find the pole star, level a mount, and set an angle. From there it's a piece of cake taking only a minute or two more than an Alt/Az mount. Once set up you can track absolutely anything and you'll find the options for goto far more plentiful than alt/az mounts.


 


I'd recommend getting one - but maybe start a bit cheaper than NEQ6 (which is a large outlay if not sure). The best one to start with imho is the Celestron CG5GT Goto. If you can find a new one it should cost around £450 but it's been replaced by a more expensive model now so out of production. A good second hand one under 2yrs old will cost circa £300 give or take £50. Try for one with a polar scope already fitted.


 


Or you could get a basic one with RA motor and no goto for under £200. I'd be more than happy to help you learn to set it up. You'd pick it up in 5 mins. See me at the next meeting or pop down to my place for a session sometime and I'll take you through setting up before you go looking to buy. You'll feel daft for thinking it's difficult. :)


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Just had a look at that az-alt eq6 from the link above, and it does look lovely, but is £1350.

I'm sure i could get to grips setting one up, it's just the fear of the unknown; they look so complicated with all those knobs and levers and rotating bits! And i still don't fully understand about RA! [give me alt az coordinates and a time and a location and i'm happy!]

Kim, next meet i'll watch you set up. That might alley my fears.

James

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If I can do it James, you definitely can! :)

Also (I don't work for Dion I swear! Even though I keep recommending his videos!) on astronomy shed he has made a series of videos (6 I think) called "Complete Mount Setup" and it takes you through absolutely everything to do with EQ mount setup :)

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I use an HEQ5 and EQ5 james (as you know) I still think in alt/az terms when I'm using it though! As Felix says, go through Dion's videos (I did!) make any notes on what your not sure on then; watch someone (Kim etc.) do a set up and you will see how easy it is! The benefits far outweigh the problems believe me!


 


Cheers


Ron


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