I got the Orion EQ-1 mount last Christmas, but I didn't really get to USE it, I did try setting it up once on my balcony but I was nervous about dropping screws through the floorboards.
I was trying to figure out how to slew the camera to the right position in the sky without unhooking and re-attaching the motor. It is delicate and uses a tiny hex screw to attach to the gear wormscrew attachment thinggy. Was I seriously expected to slew to the right spot, and then unhook the manual knob and replace it with the motor out in the field??
I avoided using it until I had my own place to really sit down and figure it out. While I was setting up last night, I noticed the thumb screws on the mount - and I tried loosening them to slew without unhooking the motor. It worked! This might seem obvious, but to a self-taught amateur this was the secret that made the setup a lot more user-friendly... I'm much more likely to use the EQ-1 mount now that I know I can leave the motor attached while I slew to the approximate location.
|Canon T5i on Orion 9011 EQ-1 Equatorial Telescope Mount|
|Orion 7826 EQ-1M Electronic Telescope Drive attached to the wormscrew|
|Camera attaches with the Orion 10103 1/4-Inch-20 Adapter for EQ1 Telescope Mount|
|Thumbscrew that loosens the ascension axis|
|EQ-1 motor driving the declination axis|
|Thumb screw that loosens the declination axis so you don't have to unhook the motor|
After aligning to Polaris, I loosened the thumbscrews and slewed toward Andromeda. I found it easy enough because I've been observing it for a couple years now. I did a test shot of 15 seconds at ISO 1600 and found that not only was I getting some small trails but the light pollution was washing out the photo. I pulled back to 13 seconds and the trails were insignificant. This is a pretty crappy polar alignment but WAY more light gathering potential compared to 1.3 second frames!
I took a quick stack and then noticed clouds getting in the way. I waited a little bit and then played with ISO 800 for 13 sec to see what that would look like. I took some dark and bias frames and stacked in Deep Sky Stacker this morning.
|Canon T5i on EQ-1 mount, 9 subs at ISO 1600, 14 subs at ISO 800, all 13 sec, f/5.6, 300mm, 21 dark frames, 21 bias frames|
|Incremental improvement in the past year, particularly the longer exposure time reduces the grain... e.g. more 'real photo' and less computer manipulation of noise to extract the signal|