Versatile, Lightweight, and Astonishingly Accurate
The AZ-EQ5 hybrid mount epitomizes Sky-Watcher’s commitment to innovation. Part Alt-Az mount, part German equatorial, the AZ-EQ5 is Sky-Watcher’s most versatile mount. Capable of aligning in either Alt-Az for casual observing, equatorial for serious astrophotography, or dual-OTA mode for astronomy outreach with twice the impact. With all this versatility, the AZ-EQ5 is ideal for the beginner astronomer who may want to try their hand at astrophotography, the seasoned pro imager, and educators passionate about sharing the night sky at events or in their community.
Freedom Find™ Dual-Encoder System
Unique to Sky-Watcher’s AZ-EQ5 is a patented dual-encoder motor system, Freedom Find™, which allows users to move the mount manually without losing alignment. Simply impossible for most mounts, the AZ-EQ5 uses a proprietary slip clutch system that keeps your alignment whether you slew by hand or use the hand controller. After moving to the new object (electronically or manually), the mount will start tracking automatically from its new position.
42,000+ Object Database
Using our proprietary SynScan hand controller, the AZ-EQ5 provides a user-friendly interface with automatic slewing to over 42,000+ objects in the night sky. The hand controller can also connect to a computer (USB 2.0 adapter available), enabling PC control with most astronomy programs, including TheSkyX, Stellarium, and Starry Night.
Sky-Watcher’s belt drive system has a few advantages over mounts using traditional stepper gearing. Belt drive systems deliver nearly silent slewing and tracking, making for an evening free of obnoxious motor noises while delivering spot-on accuracy. Sky-Watcher’s belt driven stepper motor system reduces backlash by removing spur gears between the motor and the worm resulting in smoother tracking and less periodic error than mounts using servo motors.
Periodic Error Correction Made Easy!
For the astrophotographer looking to reduce periodic error, the SynScan hand controller has built-in PEC training that can be configured while in the field! Periodic error is best described as tiny back-and-forth oscillations of target stars. This motion usually goes unnoticed during visual observation, but during a long photographic exposure, can turn pinpoint stars into small streaks. Using Sky-Watcher’s built-in PEC training, astrophotographers can cut down on the problems caused by periodic error to get smoother tracking and better performance from an autoguider resulting in a sharper, more professional looking final image.
Making Photography a SNAP
The AZ-EQ5 mount has built in DSLR interface with the ability to control two cameras at once. Using a built-in intervelometer timer, the SynScan hand controller can set up exposure length, number of frames taken and a ‘cool down’ period between each frame. Additionally, the SynScan hand controller can select up to eight different exposure combinations. No need to purchase an expensive cable release when Sky-Watcher SNAP ports include everything you’ll need to start shooting deep sky objects right out of the box.
Use at Any Latitude
Thanks to the pier extension that sits between the mount head and tripod, the AZ-EQ5 can be polar aligned at almost any latitude. Most equatorial mounts have difficulty with polar alignment at lower latitudes due to the counterweight bar interfering with the tripod. The AZ-EQ5 bypasses this completely, by using a sturdy pier extension to elevate the mount head away from the tripod legs. The pier extension creates enough clearance between the counterweight bar and tripod legs that the mount can be polar aligned at virtually any latitude, from Alaska to Ecuador to Tierra del Fuego.
Ready to Go, Out of the Box!
While most mounts leave you to purchase accessories on your own, Sky-Watcher includes plenty of accessories to get you started. In addition to the SynScan hand controller and the pier tripod, the AZ-EQ5 mount comes with two 7.5-pound counterweights and a counterweight extension bar, as well as an extra saddle for mounting a second scope for viewing in dual-OTA mode. The mount also includes two Canon EOS trigger cables for connecting your camera to the SNAP ports on the mount (optional Nikon and Sony cables are available). A polar finderscope is also included to assist with setup. The AZ-EQ5 also features a built-in USB port for firmware updates, but also allows computer control using various astronomy software suites.