EQ William Optics EQ35 (Skywatcher EQM-35)

My experience with a WO EQ35 mount (rebadged SKywatcher EQM-35)

Item details

Where purchased: Agena AstroProducts (part of WO Zenithstar 103 kit)
This review is actually for the William Optics rebadged version of the SkyWatcher EQM-35 that came with the ZenithStar 103mm kit as sold through Agena AstroProducts.

The mount worked well when I was using the rig for viewing, with no issues with tracking.
Shortly after getting it (within about 3 weeks of use) the DEC axis motor started making a very noticeable grinding noise. I checked the alignment of the gears and they appeared fine. I contacted Agena AstroProducts and they requested I return the mount to them and they had William Optics look at it and fix the issue and shipped it back.

The problem that I had with this mount started appearing when I added my mono optical train (cooled mono camera, ZWO 1.25" filter wheel) into the mix. My tracking of targets went up to around 2.0-3.5 from the 0.9-1.2 that it was with the non-cooled dedicated astro camera.
The polar alignment scope was out of sync when you were pointed at your normal parked position and you had to rotate the mount to get it so the 3/6/9/12 were squared (this happens with other scopes also). Not only that, but the lens rotated in a circular movement where it should have stayed stationary as you rotated the mount.
Trying to adjust the lens that was in the polar scope following instructions, it fell out and cracked when it hit the ground, and this scope is not easily found to replace.

Overall, for live viewing with a 103mm APO refractor, this mount had no issues. Getting polar aligned was fairly easy and tracking for live viewing was more than adequate, if not a bit noisy. That noise during slewing was due to the RA & DEC drives being gear->gear driven. They do create some chatter, but not enough that you will bother your neighbors.
Even with my Apertura 72mm refractor and the ASI533MC Pro and filter drawer, it did adequate on tracking (usually in the .8->1.5 range when using StellarMate - both the RPi version and mini PC). I just had issues with tracking (using a guide scope) with the heavier rig.

This mount shipped with the standard marginal grease installed on the bearing surfaces, and during cold weather use the mount would not track smoothly. This was resolved by removing the shipping grease and re-greasing with a quality after-market grease that worked in lower temperatures.

I ended up buying to EQ6-R Pro's for use with both the 72mm and my larger scope, realizing that I will probably get a larger reflector down the line and this mount would not be adequate for the job and they had the EQ6-R Pro on sale.

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Mounts
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Tracy
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Pro:
Very portable mount
Decent mount for live viewing or even with use with a smaller (72mm or less) refractor equipped with a somewhat standard optical train.

Con:
Did not work well with the telescope it was packaged with when adding a heavier optical train.
Gears had very little lubrication on them and required re-greasing.
RMS was rarely below 1.0 (EQ6-R Pro in same location is usually 0.3-0.5) RMS.

Would recommend:  Undecided

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