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Equatorial mount or platform ideas.

Move small Dobsonian

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IRT13/05/2020 19:41:46
135 forum posts
38 photos

On a whim, I recently purchased a Skywatcher 130p telescope . I have taken a few videos of the moon with a raspberry pi camera, and stacked them (something I had never even heard of a few weeks ago) to produce some some pictures that I think are quite impressive.

I now want to try to improve on these. Searching the net, it appears that I need some sort of equatorial mount or platform.

I know these can be purchased, but I do not want to throw loads of money at it as I do not see it becoming a long term hobby.

I have found this: **LINK**.

Are there any simpler solutions to this problem that people can suggest?

Michael Gilligan13/05/2020 20:01:17
17658 forum posts
811 photos

You might get some inspiration here: **LINK**


Andrew Entwistle13/05/2020 21:01:11
89 forum posts
189 photos

I recently bought a Skywatcher Newtonian with EQ5 mount, sold the telescope tube assembly and then converted the mount to stepper motor belt drive using an open source microcontroller project: OnStep (STM32 based) controller  Check the Showcase page for examples of mounts.

I can now click on an object in Stellarium and the scope points there and compensates for the earth's rotation. Mounts sometimes come up on the site UK Astronomy Buy & Sell

But you can get by with a single motor on the Right Ascension axis to correct for rotation, or initially just manually with a knob or flexible drive.


2020-03-24 sct with onstep eq5 1.jpg

Edited By Andrew Entwistle on 13/05/2020 21:02:58

IRT13/05/2020 21:36:33
135 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Andrew,

That is my plan B - I have been looking on Ebay for an equatorial mount, but I will look on your link. Thanks.

IRT13/05/2020 22:44:34
135 forum posts
38 photos

Plenty of examples for inspiration on the showcase page. I think plan B may have become plan A.

Neil Wyatt22/05/2020 21:51:02
18558 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles


The problem is that most people will recommend you spend considerably more on mount than telescope...

I started off with an EQ3 tripod, which is fairly cheap and motorised it myself, but you can buy a fairly cheap RA only drive. Many people will say it's too lightly built but I found it was OK if treated gently.

Astrophotography with an EQ3 Tripod ...

A cheaper option that might handle the 130P is the Skywatcher Star Adventurer.

I use an HEQ5 tripod now, which is much easier to set up and get good results from and can take a lot more weight.

Be aware that the 130P has an exceptional quality mirror for a relatively inexpensive telescope, but you may struggle to get it to focus with a camera.

My 130P-DS that I use a great deal is a slightly different length to allow for this. You can see some of my pics with this and other scopes here: Last Night's Astro Image

You will find stars in the corners may look a bit odd (coma) and end up buying a coma corrector, but until then you can just crop to the centre of your images.

The website Stargazers Lounge is a good place for advice on astrophotography.


IRT22/05/2020 22:56:35
135 forum posts
38 photos

Thanks Neil.

I am following your post "Equatorial Platform Build" with interest.

I can focus the camera. A bit of a fiddle, but by pulling the tube in a bit, it can be done.

Neil Wyatt23/05/2020 00:07:34
18558 forum posts
723 photos
78 articles
Posted by IRT on 22/05/2020 22:56:35:

Thanks Neil.

I am following your post "Equatorial Platform Build" with interest.

I can focus the camera. A bit of a fiddle, but by pulling the tube in a bit, it can be done.

A platform is unlikely to deliver the accuracy for long exposure photos.

A german equatorial mount or something like the Star Adventurer (which works well with ordinary camera lenses) will work much better.

THIS clockwork device works really well with cameras., and there are plenty of spectacular large objects you can use it on. It's only about £120-£130.

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