Like many other astrophotographers I have a mount for my main imaging telescope as well as a travel mount. Important for a mount is that it is capable of accuratly tracking the night sky. Ideally without guiding, but as that would certainly blow the budget, a less expensive mount that is corrected through autoguiding is also perfectly usable.
I opted for the Skywatcher NEQ6-Pro. Although it is not a bad mount, it has some issues that need to be improved to be able to use it as a high precision mount for astrophotography. Here's a list of issue that are most commonly reported for the EQ6 or NEQ6-PRO:
- Bad connection on the power connector: The EQ6/NEQ6-Pro used a standard 5mm DC barrel connector for power supply. Initially this is not a big problem, after some time, the quality of connection will degrade due to oxidation and loss of springiness of the contacts. The problem can be resolved by installing an additional gold plated, keyed and locking connector. (link to tutorial)
- The polar altitude adjustment bolts and mechanism is improperly designed. There are some workarounds and fixes arround, but the easiest improvement is made by replacing the bolts with high quality stainless steel bolts (link to external tutorial)
- loud, crunchy noise when slewing with some backlash. The mount is driven by 2 stepper motors. The motion of these motors is transfered to a worm drive through a series of spur gears. These spurr gears introduce the crunching noise and the most of the backlash. Through some adjustment, it is possible to reduce the amount of backlash and noise, but it will never be thruly gone. The most important upgrade of the mount is the replacement of these spur gears with a belt drive. This eliminates the biggest contributor of backlash and makes the mount a lot quieter and more accurate.
- improper guiding, due to low quality ball bearings on worm drives
In march 2020 I upgraded the mount with a Rowan Belt modification Kit, cleaned and regreased the mount with Geoptik grease for equatorial mounts and replaced the ball bearings of the worm drive with quality sealed bearings from SKF
My travel mount is a Skywatcher Star adventurer. It is both lightweight and pretty accurate, i.e. when properly polar aligned, up to 200mm of focal length. It fits in a small backpack you can taken with you on for example a hiking trip.