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  2. https://scopetrader.com/sky-watcher-eq-al55i-pro-mount/
5/21/2024 12:08:52 PM
Sky-Watcher EQ AL55i pro mount
EQ-AL55i Pro,Mount,Telescope,Sky-Watcher,WiFi,Amateur,Astronomy
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Sky-Watcher EQ AL55i pro mount

Mounts

Sky-Watcher EQ AL55i pro mount


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Russ Scritchfield Russ Scritchfield

Sky-Watcher's new EQ-AL55i PRO mount is perfect for all latitudes from 0° to 90°. It features built-in Wi-Fi, USB-C, autoguider ports, and an illuminated polar scope, all controllable via the Synscan Pro App. With a 22lb payload capacity and sturdy tripod, it's ideal for astrophotographers and visual observers. Optional accessories are also available.

Sky-Watcher has unveiled the EQ-AL55i PRO mount, a new Go-To astronomy mount. This compact and versatile mount boasts a dual-position counterweight bar, making it adaptable for use at all latitudes from 0° to 90°. It is an ideal choice for astronomers living in or traveling to areas with extreme latitudes, which are often beyond the capability of conventional mounts.

Sky-Watcher EQ AL55i Pro Wi-Fi mount, sturdy yet simple to control via a phone

One of the standout features of the EQ-AL55i PRO is its built-in Wi-Fi, allowing users to control the mount using a smart device with Sky-Watcher's free Synscan Pro App, available for both iOS and Android. This modern integration provides a seamless and user-friendly experience, enabling precise control over the mount without the need for additional hardware.

The mount also includes an integrated illuminated polar scope for accurate alignment and various interfaces such as USB-C and an autoguider port. Additionally, it supports the optional SynScan hand controller. The SNAP shutter control function is another notable feature, allowing for DSLR programming via the Synscan Pro app, making it a versatile tool for astrophotographers.

With a robust 10kg (22 lbs) payload capacity, the EQ-AL55i PRO can accommodate a wide range of optical tube assemblies (OTAs) and peripheral equipment via its 45mm dovetail saddle. This flexibility ensures that it can support a variety of setups, catering to different observational and photographic needs.

The EQ-AL55i PRO is highly portable, making it an excellent choice for those who require mobility without compromising performance. Its sturdy 1.75" diameter stainless steel tripod provides a stable base, essential for long-exposure astrophotography and detailed visual observations.

For those looking to expand their setup, Sky-Watcher offers additional accessories for the EQ-AL55i PRO. These include a 200mm tripod extension tube and the Synscan computerized handset, available for separate purchase. A larger and heavier 5kg counterweight is also available, providing further customization options to balance different payloads.

Sky Watcher EQ AL55i Pro Versatile wifi connected mount

Sky-Watcher EQ-AL55i Pro review highlights

Tim Jardine of BBC Sky at Night Magazine recently reviewed the new mount from Sky-Watcher, and we have summarized his key points. The EQ-AL55i Pro mount features a robust, full-size steel tripod and a solidly constructed mount head, weighing nearly 15kg without a telescope, making it clear that it is not intended as a lightweight travel mount. One of its standout features is its global usability, with a latitude adjustment range of 0° to 90°, facilitated by alternative counterweight bar placements. This design ensures it can be used anywhere in the world.

For polar alignment, the adjustments are initially coarse but become manageable with practice. The included 200mm tripod extension is essential for maintaining weight clearance, especially when setting the mount to 0°. The EQ-AL55i Pro can handle up to 10kg of equipment, with an additional 5kg counterweight available for purchase if needed. During testing, Tim only required the heavier of the two provided weights to balance his equipment, demonstrating the mount's capability without straining the DC servo motors. The motors, while not overly noisy, have distinct tones due to the different gearing for the right ascension (RA) and declination (dec.) axes.

The mount's Go-To capability is highly accurate. After a three-point alignment, it consistently placed targets within the field of view of a 13mm eyepiece. Targets such as the Pleiades, the Crab Nebula, the Whirlpool Galaxy, Bode’s Galaxy, and the Cigar Galaxy were all precisely located. The mount also demonstrated excellent tracking ability, keeping Regulus centered in the eyepiece for over an hour, proving its reliability for extended observations.

For astrophotography, the EQ-AL55i Pro is well-suited, featuring Wi-Fi connectivity, easy setup, and accurate guiding. Overall, the Sky-Watcher EQ-AL55i Pro is versatile and attractively priced, making it an excellent choice for both global astrophotography and general observing.

Key features

Key features

  • Illuminated Polar Scope: The mount includes an etched reticule polar scope for alignment, controllable via the SynScan app.
  • Counterweights: Two counterweights (3.5kg and 1.8kg) accommodate various equipment loads, with an optional 5kg weight available.
  • Tripod: The sturdy steel tripod adjusts from 87cm to 120cm in height, featuring a spreader plate for stability and vibration reduction.
  • Dovetail and Clutches: The Vixen-style dovetail saddle and secure clutches ensure stable attachment and easy adjustments.
  • Wi-Fi and SynScan App: The mount's Wi-Fi connectivity allows control through the SynScan Pro app, with additional Bluetooth connectivity for flexible operation.
  • Ports and Connections: Standard ST4 port for autoguiding, USB-C socket for modern connections, and SNAP socket for DSLR control.
     
WiFi and Synscan app

Stats

  • High Precision DC Servo Motors
  • RA Axis Resolution: 0.32 arcsecond
  • Slewing Speed: Up to 4° per second (1000x)
  • Ports: USB, SNAP, Power, ST-4, and optional Synscan Hand Controller
  • Built-in Wi-Fi Module
  • ST-4 Type Autoguider Interface: Supports 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x, 1x guiding rates
  • Single Axis Tracking
  • Tracking Rate: Lunar, Solar, or Sidereal
  • Controller: Synscan Pro App (available for iOS, Android, or PC)
  • Compatibility: Synscan™ Hand Controller (optional accessory) with a database of 42,900+ objects, including complete Messier, NGC, and IC catalogues
  • Polarscope: Supplied with LED illumination
  • Latitude Adjustment: 0° to 90°
  • R.A. Worm Gear: 2.89 inches (73.4 mm) diameter, 144 teeth
  • DEC Worm Gear: 2.03 inches (51.6 mm) diameter, 100 teeth
  • R.A. Worm Drive: 0.43 inches (11 mm) diameter
  • DEC Worm Drive: 0.43 inches (11 mm) diameter
  • Dovetail Saddle: 1.77 inches (45 mm)
  • Payload Capacity: 22 lbs (10 kg)
  • Counterweight Bar: 0.79 inches (20 mm) diameter, mountable in 2 positions
  • Counterweights Supplied: 1 set of 11.68 lbs (5.3 kg) consisting of 3.97 lbs (1.8 kg) and 7.72 lbs (3.5 kg) weights
  • Weight of Mount Head Only: 8.38 lbs (3.8 kg)
  • Tripod: 1.75 inches diameter stainless steel with accessory tray, weight 12.57 lbs (5.7 kg)
  • Power Requirement: DC 12V 2A Tip Positive (via external supply)
     

​​Recommended accessories

  • Sky-Watcher 200mm tripod extension tube
  • Sky-Watcher Synscan computerized handset and cable
  • Sky-Watcher 90° polar scope eyepiece
     

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