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...the mount performed well regardless of the configuration we used; Sky-Watcher has yet again come up with a useful addition to its family of mounts. BBC Sky at Night Magazine, June 2015 - Read full review
Model: skywatcher-AZ-EQ5GTPart Number: 20302
Compatible with EQMOD using a Lynx Astro EQDIR adapter :-)
"In EQ mode the mount can support 15kg of equipment: that's 15kg of telescope for purely visual or up to 15kg including the camera, auto guider and other kit for astrophotography. Swapping to alt-az mode the mount can take up to two 15kg scopes on each saddle, making it ideal for use at public events. Overall the mount performed well regardless of the configuration we used; Sky-Watcher has yet again come up with a useful addition to its family of mounts." Paul Money writing for 'BBC Sky at Night' magazine June 2015.
In EQ mode, the AZ-EQ5GT is designed for either visual use or astro-imaging. In AZ mode, it is primarily intended for visual use and in this mode two telescopes can be mounted simultaneously in parallel.
Patented Sky-Watcher dual-encoder 'FreedomFind' technology allows the telescope to be moved manually in either axis without the mount losing its positional information. This gives the user freedom, convenience and flexibility during observational sessions.
I had to buy a proper mount as my star adventurer pro had horrible periodic error. After some research I decided getting HEQ5 Pro with Rowan update. However it was and would be out of stock for a long while so I ended up buying Az-EQ5. Prior to buying, I had many concerns, biggest being regular complaints about the wiggle/play issue on both axes either right out of the box or after some use. To my luck mine came brick solid and so far in a months time it did not develop any wiggle on any axis. Maybe it is too early to write a review but so far so happy. Nice 10 minute subs, good guiding. An internal polar scope would be really useful though. Currently I use ASIAIR pro plate solving polar alignment with success but, what if it breaks, or cannot detect stars for some reason? PA with a polar scope is always fast and reliable, albeit not so precise at times.
It's summer so the short nights limit astronomy, but I've had a chance now to train the mountís PPEC and it was a very smooth and repeatable curve, so the residual error is nice and low making guiding really easy and I'm getting around 1 arc-sec guiding immediately. The mount itself is so light compared to the old EQ6 that it has replaced, so moving it around is no longer the work-out it used to be, reducing the risk of getting a hernia! I like the locking collars on the two axes, much better and more positive that the locking levers that I'm more used to, and movement in both axes is very free so balancing is a joy.The only negative that I have isn't the mount really but the PoleMaster bracket as I use a PoleMaster for alignment. Moving the camera from the AZ-EQ5 to the EQ6-R Pro I have in my observatory involves unscrewing it from the bracket and onto the mounting plate for the EQ6, which is a bit fiddly, especially in the dark. Fortunately, since the EQ6-R is permanently mounted on a pier, it only needs checking occasionally like when I've bumped into it or changed the telescope.As you can probably tell, I really like my new mount, but I also like dealing with FLO - great range of gear, the website is easy to navigate and delivery is generally very quick, with the equipment really well packaged so it arrives in perfect condition.
I will not get into detail but I want to share some information that is not mentioned in the specificiaton or manual.It comes with an internal USB port for motorcontroller fireware update and PC remotecontrol. NOTE that you still need to use the supplied serial PC link cable to update the Synscan handcontrol firmware. That will not work through the internal USB.The internal USB port has a Prolific chipset, hence does not remember the COM port if cable is unplugged. I strongly recommend to purchase the Astro Lynx EQDIR FTDI USB or similar if you intend to remotecontrol the mount from a PC. FTDI remembers the COM port and is more reliable if you are running Windows 10.
I have had the AZ EQ5-GT mount and optional Polarscope for nearly a year now and used it sporadically. I wanted something robust and highly portable that could be used in EQ mode anywhere on the earth without counterweights or tubes knocking a tripod.Other than a stripped thread on the thread that attaches the pier to the tripod I have no niggles about the kit.I'm a casual amateur with untrained eyes newly discovering a hobby after a few decades lapse and it is a luxury for me to have Saturn stay in the middle of the FOV at X 360 after a simple polar alignment in the middle of the desert. So far the mount has travelled 35,000 miles as checked baggage and I use it for a variety of payloads from a 102 mm Skywatcher refractor, 150 mm Skywatcher reflector, cameras and a Vixen VMC200L. The art of reliable tracking appears to be time spent doing a good polar alignment and very accurate balancing of equipment on both axis prior to the end of twilight.It fits the bill for me, for the price I am impressed by its performance and functionality, it continues to deliver what I want. Power is provided by a hand luggage IATA compatible Tracer 12v Lithium Polymer Battery Pack that allows the scope to last all night.The mount and polarscope were originally aligned at sea level. It is a doddle to set up up each time and breaking it down quickly to throw in the boot is also easy. I haven't even started training the PEC, AZ mode or the GoTo SynScan yet.
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