Lacerta EQHC Handset Hand Control for EQ5 - ST-4 Compatible
It's a new ST-4 compatible hand control unit with autoguider port for Sky-Watcher EQ5 Series mounts/telescopes.
This handset is powered by 6V and it is a direct replacement of the multi-speed hand controller that comes with the dual-axis motor drive. Please note, this handsat cannot replace a Skywatcher Synscan handset (not only because that's powered by 12V).
The original EQ3 and EQ5 mounts have no autoguider input, in contrary to the HEQ5 PRO or EQ6 PRO telescope mounts. Many amateur astronomers want to do astrophotography by using these smaller, easily portable mounts. Now autoguiding can be achieved with the help of this handset, the optional Ursa Minor autoguider interface (or a similarly functioning ST-4 compatible solution) and a webcam (or similar e.g. ScopiumCam) as autoguider camera. You would also need a PC or laptop as well to connect your camera and autoguider interface, unless you are using a standalone autoguider, e.g. MGEN.
The new Lacerta EQHC handset not only has an autoguider input, but also star-moon-and sun-programmed speeds. The autoguider input works exactly as the inputs for autoguider GoTo capable NEQ3 SynScan, NEQ5 SynScan, HEQ5 PRO or EQ6 PRO: the autoguider interface is simply plugged into this socket. The correction rates are 0.5 x (so that the RA motor will never change its direction of rotation), the traditional 2x and finally 16x, the speed which is used for prospecting over short distances.
With the Lacerta EQHC Handset all Synta EQ5 and EQ3 (and possibly other similar compatible mounts) can be operated as with the standard hand control. The Lacerta EQHC EQ3 and EQ5 handsets are practically identical and the switch between EQ3 and EQ5-operation can be done by a hidden jumper on the motherboard, which is either attached or not (you would only need a screwdriver for the job).
When using a diagonal for a more comfortable use there is a switch that controls the directional orientation: so that you can achieve that the DEC plus button in the eyepiece would appear always upward, the DEC-minus always downward, the RA-minus always drives in the right and the RA plus in the left direction . This change applies of course only to the signals of the control buttons - the autoguider command-directions are otherwise preserved (i.e. positive RA remains RA positive, etc.).
Works at 6 Volt DC.
Power supply is not included. We would recommend to use it with a 6V, 7Ah gel lead acid battery. When fully charged, this should be enough for guiding over two whole nights.
As a completely carefree package we would recommend using either of the following optional accessories:
- Lacerta MGEN standalone autoguider (no other accessories needed), or if you are on a budget, then a
- ScopiumCam Planetary camera that would serve as your guider camera and the Ursa Minor Autoguider Interface (ST4 USB) which includes the functions of the well-known GPUSB (guide point USB) interfaces. In this case you would also need a PC or laptop as well to connect your camera and autoguider interface.
IS THERE GO-TO CAPABILITY?
No, sorry, but this handset won't give you GO-TO capability, not only because there is no such built-in computer to manage it, but also because the motors that it will manage are not fast and precise enough for a GO-TO function to work properly.
CAN I CONTROL MY TELESCOPE MOUNT FROM A PC?
Again, sorry but for other than the guiding function, this is not possible. As you could see from the above, it can be connected to a PC via a Ursa Minor Autoguider Interface for autoguiding via the standard autoguiding port, but otherwise you cannot control the mount from your PC with this device. Controlling your telescope mount from your PC would only be possible if you upgraded your mount by using the proper Synscan upgrade kit as that contains stronger and faster motors as well as smaller steps to make it more precise.
LED shows its status
RED: powered up
GREEN: sending signal