iOptron SmartStar goto
Posted 23 November 2007 - 04:17 PM
And I am not 100% sure of the load capacity of the SLT but I think I can safely say it is a larger load then the iOptron Cube.
Will the SLT Mount handle a 8inch SCT,I doubt it.But it should be capable of handling most of the scopes with aperatures less then 8 inches.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:49 PM
Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:01 PM
How did you loosen the AZ axis?
Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:29 PM
I too bought a SmartCube, hoping that it would be an OK grab and go and/or something to take to the big Public Events.
I like the mount (NOT THE TRIPOD THOUGH) and think it will be less intimidating to newbie public event attendees than some of our Big-Rigs.
I've had a TON of fun using it, correcting QC issues and figuring out other shortcomings. I do believe that 7 lbs is really about the practical limit for this machine.
I'm attaching a rambling review that I had posted to the yahoo group (ssmount) recently.
I will be posting, in a few minutes, another update that covers some mods I made to get rid of the large amount of 'slop' in the ALT axis.
And in another few days, I'll have a posting of some 'driving' vs 'Go-TO' tests that I have been running.
Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:30 PM
to deal with the 'slop' in the ALT axis.
Posted 29 November 2007 - 02:57 PM
Posted 29 November 2007 - 03:20 PM
The two star align doesn't appear to be more accurate than the one star align anyway, so I just stopped using it.
Posted 29 November 2007 - 04:55 PM
Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:24 PM
Hopefully this will become contagious and several other users will find that their cube is actually a capable mount.
Posted 30 November 2007 - 12:40 PM
I'm attaching a write-up of some
accuracy testing I've been conducting.
If others have a chance to confirm
what I found regarding:
-- the RA/DEC figures that iOptron seems to have stored
-- The apparent ALT error when transforming between RA/DEC and ALT/AZ,
I'd appreciate it.
If I've bumped into a 2nd smoking gun (the 1st being the 'jumping bug') and others can confirm
it, iOptron might fix it quicker.
So . . . I'm done with pointing accuracy tests for now.
Next up, a hunch about tracking accuracy and voltage.
I had found that tracking was marginal at best and
wondered if it might be voltage related. Gut feel was
that tracking was worse on batteries, after the first
hour or user or so and better, but still not great
when using a known good field battery at top charge.
Last night, while running the 3rd night of 'DRIVE-TO'
tests, I used the AC adapter and found that tracking
was EXCELLENT (for visual use). Stars were staying
reasonably well centered for over 5 minutes in a 1.4 degree FOV and the Pleides stayed reasonably well centered for over 15 minutes.
I want to get a dead-accurate adjustable DC power-supply for
some HAM radio projects, but that will be a few weeks.
Perhaps another gear-head on the forum has one and could
run some quick tests in this area?
Posted 09 December 2007 - 12:12 PM
Posted 11 January 2008 - 05:49 PM
And just for a little extra info on the mount its self. "IF" you find a better tripod (AKA a huge iron pole buried 15 ft in the ground) and make sure you attach your telescope at the center of mass, it can handle heavier scopes. I have mounted a 25lb Scope to mine with little problems.
Posted 12 January 2008 - 12:16 AM
I'm basically wondering if it will handle my 120ST, diagonal, and a large piece of EP glass on a sturdier tripod.
Posted 13 January 2008 - 04:59 PM
It's pretty easy to test if you don't want to spend any cash on mounting just grab your mop, tie some rags on the ends, mount it to the the mount and start pouring water on the rags. See for your self how the mount with react.
Posted 28 February 2008 - 12:39 PM
Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:01 PM
I have one concern, though; Some have mentioned that voltage drop from the 8xAA batteries will cause some problems. Assuming I only do enough slewing to align it the night before and then shut it off and do no slewing during the eclipse, just tracking at the solar rate, will the batteries last for the duration of the eclipse? Or, more to the experience of those on this thread, how many hours do the AA batteries last during normal viewing with lots of slewing? I plan to sell the mount upon my return, perhaps with some dust and sand from the Altai mountains! d.c.
Posted 28 February 2008 - 08:13 PM
I don't think you need to bother aligning it the night before. Just make sure it is leveled and do a one star align to the Sun. In my experience the mount actually behaves better with the one start align than the two star one (it doesn't have the annoying bug where it takes off on its own from time to time).
Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:58 AM
Posted 29 February 2008 - 03:02 PM
If I were trying to do long exposure imaging on the SmartStar-E, I would definitely use the self timer and mirror lock up if applicable. The mount is not very stable and vibrations take a while to die down.