Sky-Watcher Introduces the EQ8-R and Rh Pro High Capacity, Observatory Class Equatorial Telescope Mounts

Sky-Watcher has introduced the EQ8-R and Rh Pro high capacity equatorial mounts offering an affordable observatory class mount for the day-to-day astrophotographer. With their 110-pound payload capacity and high-end imaging features, these mounts are ready to hold some of the largest systems out there.

Because the mounts are observatory class, Sky-Watcher is offering them in two configurations. For the field imager, both mounts include the mount head, two 22-pound weights and a heavy-duty portable pier. For those installing  into an observatory, you can purchase the mount head and weights without the tripod.

Built-In Cable Management

Cable management is an important part of the imaging experience. To aid in this the EQ8-R series features three collections of cable hubs built in below the mounting saddle. The mounts feature four USB 3.0 ports, three 2.1mm power ports and three serial cable ports. Plug all your imaging accessories into these ports and eliminate cable drag and snags from the equation. You can then plug one USB 3.0 cable and one power cable into the back of the RA housing to have a simple and clean set up free of hanging cables.

Homing Sensors

The EQ8-R and Rh series feature homing sensors on both the RA and Dec axis. Homing sensors aid in alignment accuracy of the first star as the mount starts at an exact preset position every time. For remote imaging these sensors allow the mount to maintain alignment in case of power outages. Simply home the mount and the mount can pick up from its previous alignment.

Belt Drive

Both the RA and Dec motor assemblies drive the mount using ultra-smooth belt drives. This reduces the amount of gearing needed which in turn reduces backlash in the system and periodic error overall.

SNAP Port

Like other Sky-Watcher mounts the EQ8-R series features a built-in SNAP port. This allows you to plug in your DSLR or mirrorless camera of choice and control the shutter through the hand controller. The camera will require the correct optional cable to make this connection.

PC Direct Connect

A built-in USB-B port is situated on the mount to allow a direct connection to your computer, no hand controller needed. Plug it in, power on the Sky-Watcher SynScan Pro App for Windows and take control of your mount.

Improved Motor Placement

Growing from the original EQ8, the EQ8-R series features improved motor positioning. This aids in balance of the mount, eliminating uneven side balance inherent in the previous design.

EQ8-Rh On-Axis Encoder (Only found on the Rh model)

Additionally, EQ8-Rh model also features an on-axis RA encoder. The Renishaw 11.8-million tick incremental encoder is mounted directly to the RA shaft of the mount. This virtually nearly eliminates Periodic Error during tracking and allows for extremely precise tracking and guiding for the most demanding astrophotographers.

EQ8-R & Rh included items:

– V5 SynScan hand controller

– Secure fit DC power cable

– Two 22 lbs. counterweights

– Counterweight bar

– Heavy duty portable pier (with mount kit only)

-Three leveling/vibration pads (with mount kit only)

EQ8-R Configurations & Pricing

The EQ8-R mount head kit is priced at $4,050US. It includes:

– EQ8-R mount head

– Two 22-pound counterweights

– Counter weight bar

– V5 SynScan hand controller

– Power & hand controller cables

The EQ8-R mount kit is priced at $5,000US and includes:

– EQ8-R mount head

– Two 22-pound counterweights

– EQ8-R series portable pier

– Counter weight bar

– V5 SynScan hand controller

– Power & hand controller cables

– Three leveling/vibration pads

The EQ8-Rh Configurations & Pricing

EQ8-Rh mount head kit is priced at $7,100US. It includes:

– EQ8-Rh mount head

– Two 22-pound counterweights

– Counter weight bar

– V5 SynScan hand controller

– Power & hand controller cables

The EQ8-Rh mount kit is priced at $8,050 and includes:

– EQ8-Rh mount head

– Two 22-pound counterweights

– EQ8-R series portable pier

– Counter weight bar

– V5 SynScan hand controller

– Power & hand controller cables

– Three leveling/vibration pads

Optional EQ8-R series accessories

– EQ8-R series polar scope: $160

– EQ8-R series 22-pound counterweight: $130

– SynScan GPS module: $175

– SynScan WiFi adapter: $65

You can learn more at the SkyWatcher USA website.

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