Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Mount Head Only with Counterweights (S30612)
Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Mount Head Only with Counterweights (S30612)
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Building on the legacy of Sky-Watcher’s popular EQ8 mount, the EQ8-R introduces a variety of upgrades and enhancements that make observatory-class astrophotography easier than ever. Upgrades include a more streamlined design with balanced motor positioning, a sleek thru-mount cable management system and repositioned power hub with a more ergonomic feel to your setup and workflow. Also included are internal USB hub, larger saddle knobs for ease of use in cold weather, homing sensors to keep your mount oriented, physical hard stop to prevent cable snap, larger locking levers for ease of use, thread-on aircraft power connector for a secure connection, PC direct control, PPEC training for tack sharp images, and more!
Please Note: The images all show the EQ8-R on a tripod, however this model is sold without one for users who plan to mount on a permanent pier or have another tripod/pier solution.
Whisper-quiet dual belt drives greatly reduce periodic error while providing enhanced tracking and guiding. Gears measuring over eight inches in diameter help handle large payloads and provide smooth tracking. The fully realized cable management system eliminates cable drag and makes remote setups ridiculously convenient.
For users already familiar with previous Sky-Watcher mounts, the EQ8-R is a substantial upgrade, but with familiar features that will help dampen the learning curve. This is an observatory-class mount designed to be controlled PC Direct or even completely remote and yet, the EQ8-R can still be run by the tried-and-true SynScan V5 hand controller with a 42,000+ object database. Two large carrying handles make set up and takedown less awkward. Other features a D-style dovetail saddle, two 22-pound counterweights, DC power cord, and built-in USB PC control.
What's in the Box
|General Mount Info
|High-capacity motorized equatorial (EQ)
|Payload Capacity (lbs)
|Mount Head Height (head by itself)
|Mount Head Weight (lbs)
|Mounting Saddle Type
|DC11~16V, 3 amp
|Four USB 3.0 ports, Three 2.1mm power ports, Three serial connections
|Latitude Range (degrees)
|10° to 65°
|Computer/Drive System Info
|Complete Messier, NGC, IC and SAO catalogs, 25 user defined objects, total 42,900 objects
|SynScan hand controller, flash upgradeable, or PC direct
|One-, two- and three-star alignment
|1000x, 800x, 600x, 400x, 200x, 32x, 16x, 8x, 2x, 1x
|Optional WiFi dongle
|Optional SynScan GPS sold seperately
|PC Direct Connect Port
|0.9° hybrid stepper motor
Out of the box the unit shipped suffered several tracking issues. The unit would periodically bind and PHD2 reported variable significant DEC backlash 6-9 seconds. The unit was also making a grinding sound and slewed erratically. Tracking was also very erratic.
Unit was shipped to sky-watcher for warranty repairs. Unit has been returned and after the first couple of nights, the DEC backlash is now around 2 seconds and tracking seems to be stable. According to skywatcher tech support the worm gear drive needed to be adjusted.
Carries a heavy payload
Exterior build quality has nice finish
Saddle is well thought out and sturdy. Appreciate the large ****.
Power pass through and USB hub is well thought out.
Heavy and bulky
Internal parts and build quality should be reconsidered (especially given the target consumer and price point)
Lack of transparency from sky-watcher (see below)
Comments about All-star telescope sales and after purchase support
Nick at Allstar telescope was easy to work with and was helpful, during and after purchase. I have purchased several items from this supplier and may buy again from them
Comments about Sky-watcher products and tech-support
I would say that I was a loyal sky-watcher customer. I started with a small star adventurer, had two EQ6r PROs and an own an Esprit 120. All of these items are great to own. And worked flawlessly out of the box. I still own one EQ6r pro and enjoy using it every clear night with my mid-sized gear. When I needed help with purchasing a replacement part or had some issues with these products, sky watcher tech support was great to work with.
However, I found working with them on the EQ8r PRO was not a great experience and it impacted my brand loyalty quite significantly. The tech support often would respond with one line comments instead of answering questions posed.
When I first reported issues with the mount, the tech support asked me to produce some unguided data through PHD2. Which I did. They claimed the mount was working within tolerances despite the numerous PHD2 data reports I provided them to the contrary and repeated statements of what I was hearing and seeing in the real world environment while trying to resolve the issues over several nights. It was only after I provided a video on a particular bad performance night did they agree to service the mount.
When the mount was received by skywatcher, they twice asked if I had opened the mount even stating there were residual finger prints in the interior. I had not opened the mount. When I asked if they had cleaned the “fingerprints”, they refused to answer. After which, the mount was repaired in less than a day and shipped back to me.
Lack of transparency around this “observatory class” mount is problematic. There does not seem to be any sky-watcher published information around performance. Information around expected backlash, tracking performance and operating temperatures would be welcome. This should be standard and would help the customer determine if the mount is working to spec. But instead, we must really on tech support to assess the mount remotely with logs. I have repeatedly asked for this information and they have refused to provide. I get why they might not want to report expected tracking performance as there are so many variables beyond the mount’s control. But expected backlash performance and operating temp range should be provided.
Do you research before buying this mount given its price point. I accept that it is possible I had bad luck with the mount that was shipped to me. Honestly, I relied on my past experience with skywatcher products and some YouTube videos. But one should dig deeper before buying, look on cloudy nights, look at some of the other forums, and join the EQ8r pro Facebook page. At least then you will have some information about the quirks related to this mount and you can make an informed purchase decision.