Skywatcher HEQ5


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Brand and Model:Skywatcher HEQ5
Price ($USD):$499.00
Type:Equatorial
Attributes:checkedMotorized un-checkedPEC un-checkedGoto
Electric Power:
Weight (lbs.):
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Skywatcher HEQ5
This is a marked step up in quality from the rest of the Chinese mounts. Rock solid, no vibration at all when focusing at 164X. Tracking more than adequate for visual use, with object remaining centre field for 1 hour +. Have heard its not accurate enough for imaging, but can be upgraded to that standard - can't speak from experience there though. A far better mount than you would expect for the price, and should not to be confused with third rate EQ3, 4 etc.

Overall Rating: 8
Performance:8 Ease of Use:8 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.62.15)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=475198

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I have this mount for my Skywatcher Explorer 200mm Newt. It is a good solid mount, but I had to send mine back to supplier as the Right Ascension axis developed a certain amount of "play" - about 5mm at the telescope, which made using it impossible.
 I believe this play is caused by the "worm" gears in need of adjustment. There is an adjustment available for both the RA and DEC axis, but SYNTA don not provide the specialist tool to do the job. Also I found the Setting circles a bit difficult to use - through a lack of a clear explanation in the Skywatcher manual (available from them as a PDF download). I had to search various "forums" for advice on how to use the cirlces. They are not as easy to use as those on the EQ3 mount which held my previous telescope (Skywatcher 130mm). The HEQ5 mount did track well, and silently, before it developed the fault. However, I have heard that the "Celestron" C8-N "go to" mount is a better proposition for the extra money. Does anyone have any experience of this mount.

Regards,

Philsai;1

Skywatcher HEQ5
Hi

I am using this mount since 2 years in it's standard configuration (visual use and webcam imaging). It carries my 8" f/6 Newton (weigth 8kg) without any problems. A realy nice affordable transportable all-in-one package for the price.
I thought about a serious "9", but after reading all the votes and to bring the average BACK where it belongs to :-) I have to upgrade to a "10".

Overall Rating: 10
Performance:8 Ease of Use:10 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.154.158)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=445527


Skywatcher HEQ5
I love my HEQ5. As shipped from Synta it's worth every penny and IMHO it rates a solid 8. I only gave 'ease of use' a 7 because I can never find the darned RA locking lever without looking (my block I guess ). I updated mine almost immediately with the Rajiva MCU update, Conrad gears and some other home-made parts which puts it into the same class as the GM-8 (or better) for a bunch less money.

Chinese? Who cares as most of what we buy these days comes from off-shore and the Chinese (Taiwan) do make good stuff.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.142.162)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=440905


Skywatcher HEQ5
An excellent sturdy mount. An experienced user could set one up and be using it within an hour.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.34.25)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=356766


Skywatcher HEQ5
Just can't beat the value for money anywhere else. Sturdy and my example gives 5" of periodic error. Got it as part of a bundle with Skywatcher 8" f5 newt for £575 incl. P&P. The optics and build quality of the OTA are A1.

Overall Rating: 9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.245.123)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=331962


Skywatcher HEQ5
To keep the average where it belongs to.
Its not a AOK Wam, AP, Losmandy or so, which could be a ten.
This chinese item is full of compromises and cheapest parts.

Lamont

Overall Rating: 3
Performance:3 Ease of Use:7 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Shadow
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=327961

>To keep the average where it belongs to.
>Its not a AOK Wam, AP, Losmandy or so, which could be a ten.
>This chinese item is full of compromises and cheapest parts.
>
>Lamont

Not particularly helpful Lamont
>To keep the average where it belongs to.
>Its not a AOK Wam, AP, Losmandy or so, which could be a ten.
>This chinese item is full of compromises and cheapest parts.
>
>Lamont

I've owned over 70 telescopes and 40 mount as of today, and actually test them under the stars. My criteria is strickly based on performance, and secondly, ease of use. 
All I can say is that unless you do this, you can not fairly evaluate anything. From experience, and especially lately,  many lower priced chinese imports have very good quality, when even compared to the top of the line brands. As an example, of the 70 telescopes I've personally owned, 7 have had defective optics. One was a Starsplitter with a Nova mirror (severe turned edge), 2 were APs, one a traveler (One wave at the eyepiece....terrible optics, an obvious defective lens) the other a 5" starfire (also a defective lens), one Tak Sky 90 (horribly out of collimation), one Meade 127 ED (also a defective lens), 2 SCTs (C11 with print thru...due to defective corrector plate), and only one C8 (with out of collimation primary due to rough shipping).
Of the mounts I've owned, I've had 3 Losmandy mounts with RA rock, due to undersized polar axis shafts, including one G11 with severe cosmetic defects, that were obviously not shipping related.
What can you conclude from this...No matter who makes it, you take your chances. Just because you buy a Rolls, doesn't mean it's going to perform any better than a Volkswagan in a practical sense. The Chinese import optics over the last 3 years have been excellent. Most mirrors I've tested having 1/6 th wave spherical correction or better.
My latest addition, a Sirius Mount (an Orion brand HEQ5) with synscan GoTo is actually much more accurate, quieter, and faster  than my GM8 Gemini when finding and centering objects in the eyepiece. Sure the fit and finish is not quite as good, but it is nearly entirely made of metal aluminum and stainless steel. Even AP and Losmandy have some plastic on them. I ought to know, I've owned them.
Based on all this, I wouldn't rate equipment based on where it came from, but how well it performed.
That is the purpose behind a review....to inform. Something you are NOT doing with your ratings.
>To keep the average where it belongs to.
>Its not a AOK Wam, AP, Losmandy or so, which could be a ten.
>This chinese item is full of compromises and cheapest parts.
>
>Lamont

Yeah Lamont, what you wrote was arrogant in implying that just because it is Chinese it must be inferior (pish! have you read the gushing reports on the Orion 80mm ED??). And what you did was sadly misguided (deliberately skewing the vote downwards - did you actually test this mount? you've provided no evidence that you've even seen it in the flesh).

You _really_ need to read the intro to my report on the EQ6, here:
http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=372458

- your remarks have perfectly illustrated my point!
Why is it that you decide, as one person, where the average should be?


>To keep the average where it belongs to.
>Its not a AOK Wam, AP, Losmandy or so, which could be a ten.
>This chinese item is full of compromises and cheapest parts.
>
>Lamont

Skywatcher HEQ5
Greetings all,

I just purchased an HEQ5 from ITE telescopes. I finally got it out in the field to give it a test run. I placed the double double in my TEC 6 using a 9mm U.O. ortho rendering 200X with a 23 arc minute field. Then I let er rip while I viewed through another scope. One hour and fifteen minutes later the double double was still in the middle of the field. I was impressed and surprised.

The mechanics of the scope are really nice. Build quality is great and it's a fine looking piece of equipment. In fact, I was surprised at how well built it looked when I opened the box - and how big it was. Man, I'd hate to see the EQ6! And yet it is still easily moved about without much difficulty - which is what I wanted. Great combination of transportability and support.

It holds my TEC 6, 2" AP diagonal, Starbeam, U.O right angle finder, and Parallax rings (20lbs.) without any difficulty - obviously. Almost no vibration while focusing and I wasn't even using my vibration suppression pads.

The 1.5" legs are very solid (contrary to some reports I have read) and setup is a breeze. I did remove rubber sleeves that cover the tips of the legs - I had read it added vibration, which may account for some problems identified by others.

I also found the polar scope worked well and is well executed. Although, I think an illuminator is needed and would make things a lot simpler. I am going to see if I can put a Vixen illuminator on the mount.

Downside. The RA is a bit stiff, but it obviously tracks well. And I get about 4 seconds backlash at 16X in one drive when changing directions (6 or 7 seconds at 8X). This essentially manifests itself as a hesitation before it moves. Once in motion it is steady and smooth. Of course, I will try and adjust it to see if I can get rid of it.

For those looking for a robust visual mount that can handle good size instruments, this mount is a winner. Of course, quality control may very so buy from a reputable dealer in case you get a lemon.

I really like the mount. If its longevity holds up, it's hard to imagine considering this mount anything other than a superb performer at a great price. It is clearly lights years ahead of a CG5, without a doubt. I have a feeling, that as more of these enter circulation, there will be a high demand for this mount.

Take care,
john

[moderator note: follow-up moved by ScopeDreamer2032]

Just to follow up on my above report. I have eliminated the backlash in the drives. The stiffness in RA was caused by screwing the setscrew on the RA circle down tightly. I loosened it and the RA freed up nicely. This allowed for better balancing of the RA and eliminated the backlash. To fine tune the drives I look for backlash at the eyepiece and then adjust the counter-weights until it is gone. Works like a charm.

With this adjustment, I can find no fault at all with this scope other than the lack of illumination for the polar scope. Hopefully this will remain true over the long haul.

Take care all,
john

Overall Rating: 10
Performance:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.58.57)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=260555

>Greetings all,
>
>I just purchased an HEQ5 from ITE telescopes.  I finally got it out in the field to give it a test run.  I placed the double double in my TEC 6 using a 9mm U.O. ortho rendering 200X with a 23 arc minute field.  Then I let er rip while I viewed through another scope.  One hour and fifteen minutes later the double double was still in the middle of the field.  I was impressed and surprised.
>
>The mechanics of the scope are really nice.  Build quality is great and it's a fine looking piece of equipment.  In fact, I was surprised at how well built it looked when I opened the box - and how big it was.  Man, I'd hate to see the EQ6!  And yet it is still easily moved about without much difficulty - which is what I wanted.  Great combination of transportability and support. 
>
>It holds my TEC 6, 2" AP diagonal, Starbeam, U.O right angle finder, and Parallax rings (20lbs.) without any difficulty - obviously.  Almost no vibration while focusing and I wasn't even using my vibration suppression pads.
>
>The 1.5" legs are very solid (contrary to some reports I have read) and setup is a breeze.  I did remove rubber sleeves that cover the tips of the legs - I had read it added vibration, which may account for some problems identified by others.
>
>I also found the polar scope worked well and is well executed.  Although, I think an illuminator is needed and would make things a lot simpler.  I am going to see if I can put a Vixen illuminator on the mount.
>
>Downside.  The RA is a bit stiff, but it obviously tracks well.  And I get about 4 seconds backlash at 16X in one drive when changing directions (6 or 7 seconds at 8X).  This essentially manifests itself as a hesitation before it moves.  Once in motion it is steady and smooth.  Of course, I will try and adjust it to see if I can get rid of it.
>
>For those looking for a robust visual mount that can handle  good size instruments, this mount is a winner.  Of course, quality control may very so buy from a reputable dealer in case you get a lemon.
>
>I really like the mount.  If its longevity holds up, it's hard to imagine considering this mount anything other than a superb performer at a great price.  It is clearly lights years ahead of a CG5, without a doubt.  I have a feeling, that as more of these enter circulation, there will be a high demand for this mount.
>
>Take care,
>john
>
>[moderator note: follow-up moved by ScopeDreamer2032]
>
>Just to follow up on my above report. I have eliminated the backlash in the drives. The stiffness in RA was caused by screwing the setscrew on the RA circle down tightly. I loosened it and the RA freed up nicely. This allowed for better balancing of the RA and eliminated the backlash. To fine tune the drives I look for backlash at the eyepiece and then adjust the counter-weights until it is gone. Works like a charm.
>
>With this adjustment, I can find no fault at all with this scope other than the lack of illumination for the polar scope. Hopefully this will remain true over the long haul.
>
>Take care all,
>john


Hi John,
Nice review. Would you kindly post what the weight of the mount head is? It seems that there are either lightweight, medium weight, or heavy weight mounts. No middle heavy weights. It seems that the HEQ5 may be the first in this catagory.

All The Best,
Bernie
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