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.
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.
|Average Rating (13 Reviews): |
Friday, 12 February 2021 | Gordon
First eq mount. What an anazing piece of kit. Not too difficult to get my head round. Thanks flo.
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 | Simon
I like a lot of people got into Astrophotography during the first lockdown and I have fallen deep into the rabbit hole! Started out using my ioptron skyguider pro with ipolar (also from FLO), but after watching countless youtube tutorials and seeing this mount was mentioned a lot and seemed popular I decided to take the plunge. Lets start with the cons:
I have only used it three times, first being a failure and the reason why was the polar scope crouching down and looking though that is a nightmare and when the mount was on the reticule has a red light, but its so bright there is no way of seeing any stars I have heard there is a setting in the hand controller to dim this down, but I have never found it. As you can imagine using software with the ipolar was a breeze this was a nightmare. My only other con was altitude bolts if you are above 50 degrees latitude you have to remove the cap from the polar scope in order to get the bolts rounds. I have never really understood the push pull of the alt / az bolts, fine tuning is a must there must be an easier option these days?
The pros: Where to start, its sturdy once up this mount does not move, but its also fairly light if you need to pick it up and move it I can do this with all the equipment on (I use a small refractor). I was torn between this and the EQR6 Pro, but that being a lot heavier I decided to go with the HEQ5 pro this way I feel I can still pack it up in the car and drive to a dark sky. Tracking seems impressive I have only done to 300s subs so far, but this mount will go longer if I want it to. Also when tracking its totally silent I cant hear the motors running at all. When slewing you can its quite loud, but that music to my ears. The payload capacity is impressive and more than enough for my needs. Lets be honest as well it just looks great reminds me of a laser canon from Star Wars when all set up!
The reason I have rated this as 5 stars and not 4 dues to the above cons is I have purchased the EQMOD cable along with the ASI AIR Pro and using these in unison eliminated the need to look through the polar scope altogether. These two additional purchases in my opinion have made my astrophotography journey amazing. I can now polar align within a few arc seconds in under 5 minutes complete one plate solve and slew to target all using the EQMOD / ASI AIR Pro from my phone its unbelievably simple. No 1 2 3 star alignments I have never even done those! The hand controller is no longer used and every time I select a target it slews, plate solves and centres it.
I have gone off a little here, but I hope it helps others in making their decisions. This is a good mount, but the polar scope is annoying. This is an incredible mount when used with ASI Air pro!
I had to wait almost three months for this (covid) but my gosh it was worth it. FLO kept me up to date along the way. Highly recommend it and FLO for being great!
good communication during order
Sunday, 17 January 2021 | Koen
I had a long time to wait for delivery, but for every mail I received feedback with update of information
Friday, 10 July 2020 | Paul
The mount is great and was delivered after a short delay (covid causing issues) I would give FLO 5 stars but the polar scope reticule was upside down. After a few days to an email FLO suggested I remove it and return for engineers to sort out. I decided to sort myself and it was easy to do. However, black dust particles are on the scope (from day 1) but I can live with that. Otherwise, great product delivered in good condition.
Monday, 20 January 2020 | John
Managed to get out last weekend to try the mount out , very impressed on how sturdy the mount is, the hand set has a usb B connection along with a rj45 connection, I have used the usb b connection to my pc with stellarium and worked a treat. No more trying to find galaxies etc through a view finder, still to try using phd2 for guiding. For polar alignment I used polemaster and then did a three start alignment with the hand set, managed 2min subs without guiding, could probably have pushed it more, A big step from my star adventurer.
Only issue iíve had with the mount is the polar scope, where the reticle is 30 degrees out, some forums say it doesnít matter, but I would have thought it does. Searched the net to find any information on how to set this but havenít came across any, for the moment itís no big deal.
Overall Iím very impressed with the mount and canít wait for more clear skyís
Hard to beat at this price tag.
Friday, 27 December 2019 | Marek
I knew what I was buying. I had bigger brother before NEQ6 and it was great for years. Now I'm going smaller and lighter, therefore I choose HEQ5 pro. This is proven to be the best value for money. I had issue with handset, which wasn't working properly, but brilliant FLO team had sort this out immediately. You definitely can't go wrong with this mount. I'm using it with Asiair via Eqmod cable and all works perfectly.
Opening up a whole new sky
Sunday, 18 August 2019 | Matt
I recieved my mount within a couple of days of placing my order. It looked like it had been dropped in transit as there was a small ding on one corner of the tripod box. On opening this box i discovered that one of the counterweights had a small paint chip and that the thmbscrew on that weight had cracked and wouldn't secure. FLO sorted this out immediatly and sent a replacement int eh post (Thanks FLO!).
Once I had my power supply sorted out I set up the mount for some quick and dirty observing. This mount is far more stable than my previous (EQ3-2) and the GoTo makes finding targets so much easier.
The final plus point has been that today I discovered that the polar scope reticle was perfectly aligned to the mount straight out of the box. no adjustment needed so, what is left of my hair is safe!
Sunday, 30 June 2019 | Stavros
Owning this mount for just a week, im just amazed. You just can't find any con to review on. I am primally using it for planet photography and a good polar alignment with 1 star-alignment is faultless! I am easily capturing 5000 frames (about 10 fps ~ 8 minutes) and the object im capturing, just doesn't move from the center of the view. As for astrophotography, I haven't really tried it because I live in a city and there is a lot of light pollution. Once I tried some random messier objects and the result was outstanding! 30 second exposures with 1 star alignment, giving 0 faults and pin-point stars! I am so happy about this purchase and as always FLO provides the best prices on the market. If this isn't the best price-for-value mount, then I don't know what it is.
Solid, sturdy and easy to use
Saturday, 28 April 2018 | Kriss
I bought this to begin my astrophotography journey and have found the scope easy to use and very sturdy. Having mounted my 200p OTA on it as long as the wind is calm it copes well. With my SW80ds pro it is slick and tracks exceptionally well (subject to polar alignment) which living so far North is a neck contortionists job. Very pleased with this mount
Saturday, 12 September 2015 | Iain
Just got this mount a few days ago and I've only had it out the once. It looks good, feels good and works like a charm. My previous goto was a Meade ETX 90 system. There is simply no comparison. I did struggle with polar align but once I had done a two star align the mount tracked perfectly to M81. I left it tracking for a full 30 minutes and at the end of that test M81 was still smack in the middle of the eye-piece. Every object I told the mount to slew to it did perfectly. No minor adjustments were needed. No vibration was noticed even in a 20mph wind. I cannot pick a fault with this mount.
I'd like to thank FLO for advising me to get this mount. Best money I've ever spent.
Read all 13 customer reviews...