OK, I'm going to have a rant !
Two things have always fascinated me since I was a wee small lad, birds, and the night sky.
I've dabbled in birding, still am, have had some minor success, and know my limitations, both personal, and equipment wise.
I've decided to explore my other interest, nightscapes, where you marry a beautiful night sky to a terrestrial object. Sounds easy enough, at least the stars don't move as quickly as hyper-active little birds. Well stars do move, but a little more predictably. So, what gear do I need, or more importantly what gear can I afford that will give me results that I''d be happy with, and I am a bloody hard marker on my own work.
After many weeks of surfing the internet I decided on a Skywatcher EQ mount, apparently suitable for astro imaging, with either the HEQ5 or the EQ6 mounts seeming to suit my requirements.
What a mishmash of mis-information I found, the worst offender being the manufacturer. They are all over the place like a mad woman's breakfast (sorry if that is no longer politically correct) with no real pathway to current model availability. Every website I looked at gave conflicting information.
I settled on, and bought, an HEQ5. It arrived, completely mis-represented by it's description, was faulty, was returned, and refunded. The mob that I got it from, Tasco Australia, the Australian Skywatcher distributor, have absolutely no concept of what 'customer satisfaction' means, and I think that term would show up in their dictionary as an oxymoron.
As I sit here, typing this, smoke is not so gently wafting out of my ears and nostrils, and I'm thinking I may have a fuse about to blow.
However, I'm the type of person that 'hangs in there', likes a challenge, and believes that the system can be beaten, if you persevere. I'm in the process of ordering another mount, an EQ6 this time, and hope that I will eventually triumph in my search for the right, for me, gear.
I will keep you informed of the outcome of my quest, and sign off with the musical score from The Man of La Mancha softly playing in the background.