Review of EQ6 Pro
by Dave Dev
I bought an EQ6 Pro in 2010 based on the urging of various astrophotographers. Imagers regard this as the Honda of mounts in that its reliable and a gold standard for intermediate astrophotographers. The EQ6 Pro is time tested, and KW Telescope carries all the parts needed for maintenance. In Canada, this mount has a well established reputation in astrophotography, for good reason. The same mount is also sold in the USA under the Atlas name, in black. The newest iteration is called the NEQ6 Pro, which is the same as the EQ6 Pro, but with a slightly thicker counter weight shaft.
I bought mine used and discovered it needed some TLC once I became familiar with the mount. I've described the tune up I gave it under "DIY Projects" on this website. Basically, I took the RA axis apart, cleaned it up, re-greased it, and put it back together. Thereafter, it was silky smooth. The mount itself is mechanically quite simple. Cast metal housing, gears, 2 motors, some bearings and a circuit board. The mount itself has no "brain".
The "brain" is located in the hand-controller. But despite the simplicity of the
mechanics, Skywatcher has done a great job in putting this thing together.
Its intuitive to use, and a new user can be aligned and tracking in less than
10 minutes. For me, the hand-controller's 40,000 object database is sufficient.
If that's not enough for you, get rid of the hand controller and run the mount
from a laptop planetarium program. I upgraded the flash memory on the hand
controller last year to version 3.28. This allows for a new kind of polar
alignment, if you can't physically see polaris from your location. I assume this
can be helpful in a pinch.
One odd thing about firmware 3.28, is that there is no option for slewing
to the sun. Unless I missed it totally, I could not find any way to slew to
the sun for solar imaging, My solution was to control thru a laptop, but I
found it strange that the hand controller firmware would allow you to change
the tracking speed to Solar rate, yet not give you a way to find the
What's cool about it :
What I like :
What I don't like :
Bottom Line :
Despite some changes I would make in its design, the mount itself is a reliable workhorse. There are dozens of variables one has to consider when imaging, and I'm pleased that I don't have to give a second thought to my mount when I'm under the skies. It connects, it fires up, it tracks - all without any hassles. I have no hesitation recommending it highly for imaging or visual work. I would suggest searching the used markets first. There's usually one listed somewhere. A mount that's been used for 4-5 years would sell for about 60-70% of the new price. The fact that it holds its value so well is verification of its utility in astronomy.
Dev's rating for the EQ6 Pro
8 Stars out of 10