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new tracking mount

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Bought a EQ3 synscan off a friend that struggles to set up anymore. I thought about a star tracker but they seem to have become as expensive as a proper small mount as they add more and more features than defeats the object for me and the distinction between the two is getting more muddied.


It will run along side my main rig to double imaging time, here you can see it with my ASKAR 200 apo lens ready to receive another Risingcam 26MP colour camera.

Going to keep it as simple as possible without guiding, should get 5' subs at 200mm fl with a good PA. Then I can just leave it going and my intention is to get maga hours on some targets which I've never been good at, for example I'd like to image NGC7000 till it gets too low then move on to Heart/Soul till that gets too low then finally Orion. 20 hours on each is my target for next imaging season. 


Edited by Galileo
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Hi David,

I really like my old eq3 and recently added steppers.

If I can make a little suggestion as you've got the lovely synscan version all ready to go and you're  intending to set it as a pure wide field rig, great.

I've now got three scopes and cameras on my big mount, one wide field for initial very accurate polar alignment with sharpcap, then use the same for plate solving with apt plus the free links you install and that works beautifully now. There's an a button to sync when you've got the synscan which is brilliant. Then I've got one for guiding which your not going with, then I've got the big newt for close up imaging with my new little camera.

Using your brilliant single camera setup initially for polar align then plate solving then imaging if youre not already thinking of it I think you'll really like and it's easier than many think...

P.s. It also links beautifully into stellarium. I've not used the software your using but maybe similar...

Looking forward to seeing more...

Edited by Demon
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Hi Demon thanks for that.


I need to add a thread for my primary imaging rig, next time I set it up which might be August now I'll take some pics and do a thread.


So just quickly my main imaging rig runs through NINA( linked to Stallarium) that that pretty much does everything PA, framing, platesolve, autofocus, guiding, capture etc and it's been a revelation as I was in the dark ages before that. It is pretty much at it's weight limit for the HEQ5 and is running absolutely sweetly at the moment so very reluctant to change anything there. 


Is your suggestion to put my wide angle cam setup on the same mount? 

I didn't want to do that for a couple of reasons, I don't want to disturb the setup I have already on main rig, it would overload it. The main target isn't always where I want to  want to do a wide angle shot. I want an independent mobile rig for occasions when I go camping with the family for example.  


The only thing the rigs will have in common when imaging together is capture where I will two instances of NINA.


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Hi David,

It's your secondary eq3 rig I was thinking about, as per your lower description.

With the 200mm lens and big risingcam chip I'm pretty sure you can do more than just image so doesn't add extra weight.

When it comes to portability and control, to use the risingcam you must have some kind of computer so not as self contained as a DSLR but able to run the software.

The main thing as you say is getting a good polar alignment.

But also as you've already discovered all those features including plate solving with stellarium just make it so much easier.

Yes you don't add the focused or guiding like your primary rig, but as you say should be a fantastic light wide field rig.

just wondering if we've got our wires crossed about risingcam going on it, however if so whatever your using may still have a chance depending on chip size.

I was trying similar but the Japanese cctv lens and smaller chip just weren't up to it, but your far superior ones should be, I've since headed back to my big rig which has gone much better this year and am loving plate solving...when the sky does occasionally clear.

Sounds great, good luck.


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thanks for that, not seen that before. Less impressed with his shed after I had an image in my mind of a super slick workshop.


I have noted after stripping a lot of mounts over recent years that the EQ3 is the only one without roller bearings so relies heavily on being greased properly.

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Looks a little like my garage except mines full of tools and other none astro projects.

I know what you mean about the plain bearings but that also why you don't fit much on, need to regrease mine.

Might make a mount one of these days and bearing choice is a long subject... Your absolutely right but think your plan is great if you stay light.

P.s. I also postcreted a devoted post in the garden for mine before I move onto obsy years ago.

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Actually less important if not guiding where Dec stays fixed and RA in theory moving at constant speed. Will be interesting to see if it tracks as well as David Woods says it can.

Even though your not running guiding you should still be able to test it to see how it performs with phd2 and your target imagining lens and camera without adding a specific guide scope....

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