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Thread: Eq5 for astrophotography

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    Default Eq5 for astrophotography



    I just upgraded telescope to an Explore Scientific ED 102 mm Apo triplet (no first light yet, as still waiting for my finder shoe adapter to arrive...). Before purchasing I thought carefully about the payload capability of my Eq5 Mount (not Heq5) which is “approx. 6.5kg for astrophotography”. The telescope specs say “4kg including accessories” which I thought would include tube rings. This would have been perfect but actually, now it’s here and I weigh it with tube rings, it’s well over 5 kg, and with my autoguider telescope attached, cameras, etc. it totals 7.1 kg. I’m now worried I’m going to endlessly struggle with tracking. Upgrading mount is not really an option right now (the Eq5 mount is also relatively new, less than a year —- I just didn’t future proof that purchase very well).

    What do you lot think please, until such time as I can get some first light and see for myself?

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    Default Re: Eq5 for astrophotography

    Hi.. I have found that a well balanced payload for both the axes gives good relief to the mount and the tracking motors. Pl try to do as good balancing as possible for the payload. And in fact, please try to carry out photography with only camera or essentially reduced payload weight. If this works, then please increase the payload in controlled manner and balancing at its best level.

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    Default Re: Eq5 for astrophotography

    You may as well try it out, since you have it. Keeping the weight down will be a challenge. Remove the finder. Do without the guider. Use the lightest camera you have.

    They say that this is the sort of challenge that "builds character". I don't know if it does or not, but it will certainly build your polar alignment, balancing and processing skills.

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    Default Re: Eq5 for astrophotography

    Thank you for the replies. A weight-saving exercise was clearly in order. I did some things I should have done immediately in hindsight.
    (1) Mounted the autoguider directly to the main OTA’s carry handle, cutting out the weight of the bar, stalk and shoe.
    (2) Done away with the dual Explore Scientific to Orion shoe adapter that I’d planned to hold both my autoguider and red dot finder. Saved 300g. (This is still in the post!)
    (3) I was including the ES star diagonal which I needed to reach focus. I replaced it with a much lighter tube extension that isn’t quite long enough, but I can sort that out.
    (4) Will remove the red dot finder once I’ve done star alignment saving a further 100g during guided exposures.
    (5) Replaced the battery in my kitchen scales. Seems it’s unreliable with high repeatability when the battery is low. Doing this saved about another 0.5 kg. Unbelievable.

    Altogether, incredibly, that brings me down from >7kg to 5.7 kg !!! That’s comfortably inside the guideline for astrophotography on the Eq5 and much closer to where I predicted it when I bought it.

    You should see my happy face right now!

    Phew!!
    Last edited by ch2718; 08-26-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Eq5 for astrophotography

    Quote Originally Posted by KathyNS View Post
    You may as well try it out, since you have it. Keeping the weight down will be a challenge. Remove the finder. Do without the guider. Use the lightest camera you have.

    They say that this is the sort of challenge that "builds character". I don't know if it does or not, but it will certainly build your polar alignment, balancing and processing skills.
    +1

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    Default Re: Eq5 for astrophotography

    Maybe an update here is of interest... perhaps to some other developing astrophotographer with a budget and wondering what can be done with a basic Eq5.

    In the end my main set up is 6 kg. With a little cable management, even some wind (not much!), I'm guiding at about 0.15 px. When it's really still, I can get it down to 0.05 px. I don't know if that's particularly good or bad in the grand scheme of things but it's certainly good enough for me.

    I thought I would really struggle to guide on an Eq5 with this payload, but it seems the quoted 6.5 kg limit is a pretty good rule.

 

 

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