seeking superior equatorial control and the ease of a precision
computerized GOTO system, the HEQ5 PRO SynScan is your answer.
"The Three-star alignment accurately corrects for cone error and subsequent GO-TO accuracy was impressive."
BBC Sky At Night Magazine
"I like these mounts, they are solid, well thought out and work quietly and effectively"
Astronomy Now Magazine
The user-friendly menu system allows automatic slewing to over 42,000+ objects. The mount also includes features that advanced astronomers and imagers can appreciate:
Sky-Watcher Pro mounts have been designed for use by novices and experts alike. These mounts provide extremely high precision tracking and have built in autoguider ports. This heavy-duty HEQ5 Pro mount is a smaller version of the sturdy EQ6 Pro mount. It is specially designed for observers who need the steadiness of the EQ6 Pro mount, but find the EQ6 Pro mount too physically demanding.
For novice users the user-friendly menu allows automatic slewing to over 13,400 objects. Even an inexperienced astronomer can master its variety of features in a few observing sessions. The SynScan Hand Control also has the ability to connect to a computer via a RS-232 cable. Once the connection has been established between the computer and SynScan Hand Control, many commercially available planetarium software programs can be used to control the HEQ5 PRO Mounts, They also come with features that advanced astronomers can appreciate:
• Payload capacity: 11kg for imaging, 15kg for visual
• Positioning Accuracy up to 1 arc minute. Accuracy enhanced by software collimation error (mount mechanical error) compensation.
• Stepper motors with 1.8° step angle and 64 micro steps driven.
• Slewing speed up to 3.4°/sec (800X).
• Auto Guider Interface for astro-photography.
• Guiding speed selectable from 0.25X, 0.50X, 0.75X, or 1X.
• Object database containing complete Messier, NGC, and IC catalogues.
• Minimal vibration for steady long-exposure photography.
• Periodic Error Correction.
• PC compatibility.
• Upgradeable hand control via internet download.
Recommend for: ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY
||R.A. & Dec (motor controlled)
||1.75" Diameter Stainless Steel Pipe
|Counterweight Shaft Diameter
|Counterweight Shaft Length
|Counterweight Shaft Material
||Two, 5.1kg each
||15kgs (counterweight not included)
||Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO SynScan
||12 VDC 2Amp (Tip positive)
||Micro step driven 1.8° stepper motors
||0.144 arc sec (or 9,024,000 steps/rev.)
||2X, 8X, 16X, 32X, 64X, 400X, 500X, 600X, 800X
||Sidereal, Lunar, Solar
||Dual Axis, R.A. Tracking
||One-star Alignment, Two-star Alignment, Three-star Alignment
||25 user defined objects. Complete M, NGC, and IC catalogues. Total 13,436 objects.|
In the Box
- HEQ5 German Equatorial mount.
- HEQ5 SynScan PRO GOTO computerized hand controller.
- Polar scope.
- Stainless steel tripod.
This mount is a development of the Taiwanese optical giant Synta’s
HEQ5 mount, and it incorporates a number of motor and gear enhancements
as well as a computerised hand controller. This is known in the UK as
the SkyScan, though the instruction manual insists on calling it the
Although it's just 4kg heavier than the Vixen and Celestron mounts on
test, the HEQ5 Pro equatorial head and tripod feels far more
substantial. The 4cm (1.5-inch) diameter stainless steel tripod legs may
not look as sturdy as the Celestron or the EQ6 Pro, but there doesn’t
appear to be a lot of difference in stability. Plus, there’s no denying
that it looks great: the striking white livery and clean lines flowing
from the fully enclosed dual-axis drive system give it a high-tech,
precision feel when it’s set up. With our test 6-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain
telescope in place, we were impressed with the vibration damping time
of just over a second.
Polar alignment built in
In common with the EQ6 Pro – the HEQ5’s sibling mount – and
Vixen mounts, the counterweight shaft retracts into the body of the
mount, which is a real plus when it comes to transportation and setup.
Another factor that we liked about the HEQ5 Pro is the built-in polar
alignment scope, which makes it easy to get the polar axis of the mount
precisely parallel to the Earth’s axis of rotation. While you can still
get good Go-To accuracy without paying too much attention to this
important setup procedure, tracking will be impaired without it. When
you look through the polar scope, there’s a clearly defined grid that
allows you to offset easily and simply from Polaris to the true north
The menu structure of the SkyScan is easy to navigate on the
two-line, scrolling LCD screen, while the alignment procedures with one,
two, or three stars, are easy to implement. The three-star alignment
accurately corrects for cone error, and subsequent Go-To accuracy was
impressive: we found our test objects in the centre half to third of a
160x eyepiece field wherever we looked in the sky. Like the Celestron,
remote control is made easy with the RS-232 serial port on the base of
the handset; you just have to buy a cable to connect it to a laptop or
The SkyScan may not possess the capabilities of Celestron's NexStar
system, but the quality engineering of the HEQ5 Pro’s bearings and gears
make it a quieter, better choice for imagers – especially since the
hand control supports periodic error correction and autoguiders.
This review appeared in the June 2006 issue of Sky at Night Magazine.