The EQ-6 Pro mount
Skywatcher’s flagship mount provides a solid base for larger optics.
Some time ago, Skywatcher introduced the EQ-6: a mount that can compete with other manufacturers’ large, expensive mounts. The EQ-6 is the flagship of the now very popular Skywatcher brand, and offers a solid basis for larger telescopes.
The mount is supplied complete with a sturdy tubular steel tripod, which can be adjusted in height from around 82cm to 117cm. For stability reasons, the tripod should be retracted whenever possible. The tripod is an important factor when it comes to mount stability.
Inside, there are two powerful stepper motors for the right ascension and declination axes and a standard illuminated polar finder scope. The telescope is connected via a standard dovetail or GP system adapter.
There are usually two counterweights included, each weighing 5.3kg. The counterweight bar has a diameter of 18 mm. It can easily be recessed into the mount for transportation.
The entire axis system weighs 16kg and can easily carry loads up to 18kg. In practice, this means that the mount can take, for example, Newtonian tubes up to a diameter of 10" (250mm), or Schmidt-Cassegrains up to 12". In such cases, the mount still has some remaining load capacity and so is well suited for astrophotography. The polar altitude adjustment can be read on a fine scale.
Polar finder scope
The EQ-6 comes with an illuminated polar finder scope, so that you can easily locate the celestial north pole. You can use the scales provided for adjustment. If you want to keep things as simple as possible, you can also use the markings of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia constellations on the polar finder’s reticle, which will make alignment very straightforward.
In the past, the EQ-6 was also available with simple tracking motors, but today it is only available in the GoTo version with powerful motors. This makes it possible to locate around 13,400 objects. You can type their catalogue designations directly into the two-line display, or select them from a list of objects. In addition, the GoTo control offers you the possibility of locating your own objects. The stepper motors move towards the selected object at a speed of 3.4°/second. This is fast enough, and does not generate a harsh mechanical noise, just a gentle hum. For astrophotography, the control allows fine correction speeds of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0. Solar, lunar and sidereal tracking rates can also be set. The mount has a periodic error of between 10 and 15 arc seconds. The integrated PEC correction allows this error to be compensated by the software. This accuracy is necessary for astrophotography.