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HEQ5 as portable mount


  1. Introduction
  2. EQDIRECT from D-sub to RJ45
  3. Power terminal of HEQ5 changed
  4. Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5
  5. Rewiring the electric cables
  6. Connecting the Raspberry
  7. Setup GPSD
  8. Setup GPS NMEA
  9. Power consumption
  10. Battery power cables
  11. Tweaking auto guiding parameters
  12. Rowan Belt Modification Kit
  13. Making the tripod to a low rider
  14. Redesign of mount head details
  15. Raspberry Pi4 bracket
  16. Brackets: temperature sensor, spirit level and stepper motor
  17. Transport box
  18. EQDirect cable
  19. Brackets reinforced and adapt it to EQ6
  20. Cut the length of the GPS cable
  21. HEQ5 and TS130 refractor ?
  22. To be continued

Related projects:

  1. HEQ5 as portable mount
  2. Pentax 645 300 mm ED IF f/4 lens
  3. KStars / EKOS and Raspberry Pi4

I take no responsibility or liability for what are written here, you use the information on your own risk!

4: Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Now I'm rebuilding the 300 mm Pentax setup to fit the HEQ5 mount. There are only a few cables that I have to change.


Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Just put it together to check the used HEQ5 mount I bought work properly. I have also setup a Raspberry Pi4 with KStars and Ekos to control the mount. I got the Raspberry to work almost direct, much better compare to earlier when I had so lot of problem. Thanks all people at INDI / Kstar forum !


Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Solder a new cable with a connector to the powered hub.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

The plus on the tip, check carefully, also check that there are no shortcuts.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

On the other end of the cable, just ordinary flat connectors. I have it like this because I change my setups often.

Cables everywhere.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Up and running, note the Ampere reading, only 0.35 Amp and still the computer is running. The heating bands are shut down. When I load it fully it takes about 1.4 Ampere at 13.7 Volts, compare that with 2.2 Ampere or even earlier when it took 3 Ampere. I save a lot of power and can now have a much smaller battery. From a 23 kg 45 Amph car battery to a 20 Amph battery, if Lithium the weight will be much lower. I can control KStar from a Android pad which also is take very little power compare to a Laptop.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Where do all cables go ? On the right, the black box is the Raspberry Pi4 sitting beneath the dovetail. The big cable in center is the USB 3 cable which can be much shorter. The grey cable is the LAN cable, only used at home. Out on the field the Raspberry act as a server through a WIFI hot spot. The black cable in the mount at bottom is the EQMOD Direct cable I have just made. All red/black twisted cables are power cables. One main power with 2.5 mm2 as 12 Volt input. 1.5 mm2 to the mount, another 1.5 mm2 cable to the USB Hub which is powered. And one 0.75 mm2 to the 12 to 8 Volt converter for the Canon camera.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

The white box is the power fuse box with its power in / outlets. Beneath it is the Raspberry Pi4.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Main camera to the left and guider camera to the right. Between the focuser motor (USB-Focus).

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

Power connector for the mount. Later I maybe place the power fuse box somewhere here.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

From the lens side the view is much better, no cables there.

What's left now is to setup the Raspberry, I have got: Canon camera, QHY5 guide camera, HEQ5 mount and the focus motor to respond. Lot of parameters to tweak. It was really easy, just download the Astroberry latest image file, version 2.0.3. Format a SD card and put the image file on it. Start it up, connect the Raspberry to your local network or through its hot spot. When connected on internet, update the software by the command in the command window (on Raspberry):

  • sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt dist-upgrade

Astroberry, information & download:

INDI / KStar forum and info

Because I didn't get it to work earlier I don't have any experience or know how to operate KStar, I have to learn that now.

You can read about my earlier attempts to use a Raspberry to control the equipment:

Last time I was out on the balcony I got following to work: Mount control, Canon camera control, Auto guiding, Auto focus. For some unknown reason I didn't get the polar align to work. GPS time and position data are still missing. Very practical to have a GPS because the Raspberry doesn't have a battery backup clock.

Latitude adjustment:

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

I noticed some strange thing, I who live at 60 degree latitude must tilt up the latitude adjustment a lot. When I did that the protection cover of the polar scope hit one of the adjustment screws.

Installing the 300 mm lens on HEQ5

I removed that screw, the lower screw doesn't fill much function at these latitudes. I have similar problem on my EQ6 pro mount, but not that much.

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