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"The Three-star alignment accurately corrects for cone error and subsequent GO-TO accuracy was impressive." BBC Sky At Night Magazine "I like these mounts, they are solid, well thought out and work quietly and effectively" Astronomy Now Magazine
"The Three-star alignment accurately corrects for cone error and subsequent GO-TO accuracy was impressive." BBC Sky At Night Magazine
"I like these mounts, they are solid, well thought out and work quietly and effectively" Astronomy Now Magazine
New updated model features USB socket on handset and dual-saddle (accepts both Vixen-type & Losmandy-type saddles).
A Rowan Belt Mod upgrade replaces the HEQ5 Pro's original spur gear drive train with timing belts. This reduces spur gear errors, which reduces tracking errors. Slewing is also much quieter (the 'grinding' noise that regular spur gears produce is significantly reduced). The pulley ratio is the same as the factory gears so Sky Watcher SynScan hand controller functions are unaffected.
The HEQ5 Pro mount is considered by many to be Sky-Watcher's 'sweet spot'. A mount costing less than £1k with an impressive combination of ease-of-use, stability and tracking performance. It is probably the mount most recommended to someone wanting to begin astrophotography.
The SynScan computerised handset's two-line illuminated LCD screen is easy to read and navigate. One-star, two-star and three-stars alignment routines are available and are easy to use. All work but three-star alignment is the 'gold standard' because it corrects for cone error. Once aligned, SynScan Go-To will automatically place objects in the eyepiece field-of-view wherever they are in the sky. Think Sat-Nav for astronomers! You can also control the mount from a laptop or desktop PC via the handset's RS-232 serial port (cable available separately) or, even easier, connect the mount directly using a Lynx Astro EQDIR adapter.
Similar to Sky-Watcher's larger EQ6 Pro, the HEQ5’s counterweight shaft slides neatly into the body of the mount for easy storage and transportation. It also has a built-in polar alignment scope which makes it easier to align the polar axis of the mount to the Earth’s axis of rotation (whilst not strictly necessary for Go-To pointing accuracy, tracking is improved if the mount is polar-aligned). Looking through the polar scope you will see a graphic that enables you to offset quickly and easily from Polaris to the true north celestial pole.
Compatible with EQMOD using a Lynx Astro EQDIR adapter.
Using EQMod article by Steve Richards
HEQ5 and the new SW Espirit 100 arriving on my birthday! It was like being a young kid again!Super sturdy mount that hopefully will take my imaging to another level. My SkyGuider Pro was starting to give me a few problems - I couldnít get more than 180sec exposures without noticeable star trails starting to form. After a couple of sessions where tracking seemed to be getting worse, I thought: time for an upgrade.FLO were fantastic once again offering a range of options when I reached out to them. Their support seems to be universally praised and IMO, its well deserved too! I was toying with the idea of going to the next size up but this is big enough for me. Anything bigger would probably be too large and too heavy for me. Even with the HEQ5, setting up the mount is a more of a challenge compared to the SkyGuider Pro - adjusting declination is tougher but it does mean that I can use the Polar Alignment feature on the ASIAir Pro. The first night out was a bit of a write-off though. While initial tests indoors seemed to go ok, the first night out was anything but successful. I had the ASIAir linked to the mount via the SynScan controller. Iíd read that this method of connection had caused others problems and I started to experience the same. At one time, I thought Iíd trashed the hand controller as this became completely unresponsive. Even after upgrading the SysnScan firmware (it was way out of date), I still couldnít get the ASIAir to connect. With one last effort at power cycling everything, everything started to work again. But eventually, when I got the polar alignment sorted, yep, the clouds came in. The next night I went out... no problem at all with the connection everything worked perfectly (ok, I had to power cycle everything once!). I still think Iíll go for the EQMOD cable and leave out the SynScan. Iím not 100% sure about the SynScan - the keypad is arcane and trying to setup the alignment without the ASIAir proved fruitless. My initial attempts at a two star alignment using the handset failed miserably. After setting up the controller to point to what it thought was Sirius, I couldnít use the handset to tune the positioning - it just didnít seem to respond to key presses. In additional to that, it was miles aware from the target anyway. Iím prepared to accept that it was entirely down to my initial setup but in my defence, the instructions werenít that great. Itís for this reason that Iím giving 4 stars but in all honesty, Iím not going to be using the feature at all going forward. Bypassing the SynScan is clearly the way to get the best out of this mount in my opinion, though Iím sure thereís a lot of folk out there that love the controller and with better skills than mine, they probably get things setup perfectly.So was the Roman Upgrade worth it? To be honest, I can really say because Iíve had nothing to compare it to but I can say that its a massive step up from my SkyGuider Pro and if it only serves to get rid of that terrible noise that Iíve heard on some YouTube videos, the cost is worth it. Very happy!
First of all, there is nothing wrong with First Light Optics, my gosh they are literally going the extra mile for you. I ordered this mount with the Esprit 80ED, and additional items as the PoleMaster and some UHC and L-Pro filters. DHL shipment was super fast when it left from Exeter to Saudi Arabia, within 36 hours it was 60 Km from my home address in Saudi Arabia. The shipment arrived with all 4 boxes in Bahrain. It took almost a week for DHL in Saudi Arabia to figure out how 4 boxes could become 1 shipment, and it took me many afternoons in the local DHL office to find two missing boxes after they successfully delivered the tripod and the Esprit 80ED telescope. DHL would receive 1 star in this story. Unpacking all the items was like a X-mas morning, boy did I had fun. Everything is complete and I had fun setting the whole rig up. A few things are stopping me from taking some awesome pictures here on the 26" latitude. One, a sand storm is going back and forward over the peninsula, two, I'm waiting for a few more items to be delivered (my own fault, I ordered them too late), and three..., a bolt of the counterweight if broken. The plastic cap is loose and it seems that I need to find a solution for this. Metalworks is not really my forte ao I hope that I can find a solution online. So should it receive 5 stars, yes, I think so, if only better counterweight bolts were included (not too much to ask from Sky-Watcher if you pay 955 pound sterling for the mount.
I was looking to upgrade my EQ5 pro to HEQ5pro since adding extra kit had increased the load somewhat. Several suppliers do a Rowan upgrade, but I finally chose to go with FLO. I placed the order on a Monday morning and was amazed to find it was ready for shipment on the Wednesday. Fantastic upgrade to EQ5 - the HEQ5+Rowan is so much smoother and quieter and of course nearly doubles the maximum load over the EQ5. Looking forward to much more reliable guiding from now on.Great service from FLO.
When I first received my HEQ5 mount, there was quite a bit of friction in the RA and DEC movements. I returned the mount for the Regrease option. The mount now moves freely. Along with the Rowan Belt upgrade, I would recommend also purchasing the Regrease option.
I would have given 5 stars but I've experienced cloudy skies since receiving the mount. Because of that, I haven't been outside to gauge the mount's performance. Go figure. I will say that the shipping was fast. I mean FAST! I live in the States, and within one week the mount arrived here in Michigan. I purchased the mount with the Rowan Belt mod installed. It is very quiet. Also, even with the extra cost of the mod and figuring in shipping, it was at a lower cost than if I had purchased it from a U.S. outlet.I would recommend First Light Optics.
Got this mount as a standing because my ioptron cem 25 p did not show so the guys at flo sent me one of these it came very quickly and it's ace 2 minutes subs unguided no hassle I will have to see how cheeky I can get the customer service from these guys is second to non big thanks its very quiet and the goto is spot on
This is my first mount with any sort of tracking and I'm seeing things I wasn't even getting close to before. I wish I'd bought one years ago! As you would expect with a Sky-Watcher mount it's solid and accurate, without being too heavy to move in and out of the house. Great service too from FLO who answered all my questions very promptly.
Bought this a few days ago delivery from FLO was as always excellent. The belt drive upgrade really makes it quiet compared to noisy gears. Looking forward to many hours imaging ...once the included clouds disappear
We don't because HEQ5 Pro mounts are already fitted with decent SKF bearings that are more than adequate and the days when you might open a HEQ5 and find thick gluey grease are long gone. Sky-Watcher now use a good quality grease.
First Light Optics LtdUnit 7 Budlake UnitsBudlake RoadMarsh Barton Trading EstateExeter, DevonEX2 8PY
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