Bolton Astronomical Society
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SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro as a DSLR Platform
http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=692
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Author:  ESwarbrick [ Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:08 pm ]
Post subject:  SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro as a DSLR Platform

Hi,
any thoughts about using a HEQ5 Pro as a portable platform for a Canon 60D DSLR?
Also I'm confused about whether ASCOM and/or EQMOD can used with the device; any comments please?
I am currently using a Skywatcher AZ GoTo mount and it's control via APT is not as slick or reliable as it is cracked up to be and I don't want to waste a shed load of cash on a lemon!
Cheers,
Eb SWarbrick

Author:  rwilkinson [ Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro as a DSLR Platform

ESwarbrick wrote:
Hi,
any thoughts about using a HEQ5 Pro as a portable platform for a Canon 60D DSLR?
Also I'm confused about whether ASCOM and/or EQMOD can used with the device; any comments please?

According to the EQASCOM site http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/reqindex.html
all the Synta EQ mounts (the ones with stepper-motors, as opposed to DC motors & encoders) are supported.
And remember that our next meeting on 8-Jul will be covering the computer control of telescope-mounts, and will likely include a demo of this combination.

Author:  Amartin [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro as a DSLR Platform

Short answer is very good for a camera & lens. I use my EQ5 Pro & can get about 4min exposures without needing to guide or faff around with ASCOM. Literally plug it in, turn it on, align & snap away at your chosen subject. You don't need to be using any software at all if you're just using a camera & lens.

Author:  ESwarbrick [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro as a DSLR Platform

Hi, thanks for the info Andy. I've become very disenchanted with the capabilities of my kit so far; the barn-door is good upto about 5minutes per frame with a 105mm lens then the trails appear depending on how accurate my polar alignment is and the AltAz mount of course rotates; something I never even considered before trying one. I did read lots of comments about why an EQ mount is needed for photos but no explanations as to why.
One thing leads to another and "if I spend a bit more" syndrome kicks in and I'm looking at iOptron ZEQ25GT, which costs a bit more than a plank of wood and a stepper motor!
Thoughts and recommendations please ?
Cheers for now,
Eb

Author:  Amartin [ Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro as a DSLR Platform

Never be disenchanted. It's well recognised that a camera & a prime focus lens on an equatorial or tracking mount is the best way to start off imaging. Forget a scope to start with, it's just hassle. This game is littered with dreamers who buy big kit to start out & consistently fail. You don't pass your driving test & rush out to buy a Lamborghini as your 1st car. Stick to the basics
1. Learn how to setup your mount
2. Have the patience to learn how to polar align
3. Stick to a camera & lens
4. Don't get distracted with different kit it's not the answer
5. Don't over complicate it by worrying about ASCOM & guiding - it's a worry for another day - Trust me!

The most important piece of kit you'll spend your money on should be a mount. You can worry about everything else later. Of course you can ignore this - it wasn't that long ago I was in your shoes, but I've been through it & if you chose to go another way - don't say you weren't warned when you feel you've moved to the land of epic failure! :shock:

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