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iOptron Mini Tower

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#1 asaint

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:18 AM

iOptron Mini Tower

#2 Tapio

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:00 AM

Interesting review.
I would like to know if/how it will work with eq mode and how well it tracks.

#3 howard Lazerson

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 03:07 PM

what is the noise level of this mount?

#4 RAKing

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 04:04 PM

what is the noise level of this mount?


Howard,

First of all, welcome to Cloudy Nights. I hope you enjoy this site and learn as much as I have.

Jeffrey said it is quiet in his review, but that is a very subjective term, especially if there is no reference level to compare. I have been told that it is not as quiet as my Atlas, but it is a little quieter than my old Celestron. I have not seen one in person yet, but hope to do so next week.

I hope that helps a little.

Ron

#5 Gary

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 04:49 PM

Thanks Jeffrey. I'm gotten to the age where my LXD650 is a bit heavy for me. Based on your review I may have found a suitable replacement. Thanks for taking to time to test and post your findings.

CS,
Gary

#6 kfred

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 04:01 AM

Excellent review! Might have to end up getting one.

Fred

#7 coopman

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:45 AM

Thanks for the nice review. It is very tempting.

#8 Starman1

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:26 PM

I own an ASGT (CG5) mount from Celestron.
This is just as easy to use and a whole lot more portable.
If visual observing is your interest..........this one's a winner!

#9 Dave Ponder

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:16 AM

What was the vibration level with each scope? Good, bad, ugly?
Thanks for the good review.
Dave P.

#10 Great Red Spot

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:11 PM

NICE job on the review Jeff!!! :cool: I have onwed one of these units now for a month and I have yet to experience any problems with mine. So far no matter what I hang on it, the mount seems to be able to handle the load. I'm even trying to figure out how I can place a 8" Newt on it and still clear the legs. I have found it to be quite acurate at goto and tracking as well. GPS seems to pick up in about 90 seconds and alignment takes me two more minutes. In under five minutes I am up and runing.

I run mine using an Celestron Power-Tank. It easily runs the entire weekend on one charge. If you start to get erratic behavior, it seems to get a bit wierd when the power is low, but that is easily diagnosed and fixed with a fresh charge. :jump:

Jeff Hineline

#11 Great Red Spot

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:12 PM

Although there is an EQ mode for this unit, ioOptron does not have an EQ tripod for it yet. That is expected to come out later this year.

#12 Great Red Spot

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:13 PM

VERY low. Quiter than the LX200. I can't even hear the drive motors when tracking unless I place my ear against the mount


Jeff Hineline

#13 BlueMoon

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:45 PM

Wonderful review! The Mini is on my "must buy" list for sure!

#14 JimP

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 10:27 AM

Can you tell me the size of the dovetail mount? This sounds like a wonderful option for those nights when one does not want to spend a lot of time setting up. I went to the OPTR sitre and they mention an increase of 50% of payload (?) with heavy duty excessories. Any idea what they are talking about? Thanks for a wonderful review.

JimP

#15 StarStruckCarter

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:39 PM

The noise level is minimal. When at local star parties it gets drowned out by CG5s and LXDs!

jhc

#16 StarStruckCarter

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:40 PM

I have no vibrations when using my Burgess 5" f/8.

jhc

#17 StarStruckCarter

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:42 PM

My friend is working on an EQ wedge. It's not done yet so I don't know.

jhc

#18 StarStruckCarter

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:43 PM

It uses the Vixen dovetail.

I think the options are the ones that come with it.

jhc

#19 StarStruckCarter

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:45 PM

I'm sorry to take so long to get back to everyone. I haven't had much time and then I lost my password. I'm still learning to use this system.

jhc

#20 Terry - W6LMJ

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 03:34 AM

Jeff, I appreciate your comments, and description of the GPS operation.

I received my MiniTower just the other day and had it out last night under perfectly clear skies here in West Palm Beach for nearly 11 hours. I had an observation plan, comparing a few cameras and wanted to use the iOptron's MiniTower first light with an older C8 - it is 25 years old.

However, I was never able to get the GPS to lock in. It showed "On" but never switched to "Ok".

I believe I set the hand controller up correctly. I did it about five times. I had another GPS running in the drive, connected to a KIWI OSD time insertion device that I use for location and time stamping video recorded occultations.

I wonder if the two could have interfered with each other? They were only five feet apart.

I love the size of the mount. It appears well made. I did use it to move a small refractor, Astro-Tech 66 mm APO, around the sky. But without the GPS lock (Ok), I was never able to use the tracking and GOTO features.

I will next try it with nothing else electrical turned on. Wish me luck.

Terry - W6LMJ

#21 Covey32

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 07:46 AM

Had the same problem and Steve Forbes had me remove the top cover (square, 4 small screws) where you will find the GPS unit. There is a small brass push on connector there. I gave mine a small snugging turn to reseat it and have had no problems since. Seems to be a small problem they are working on, since it is able to work loose in transit.
Excellent mount and the GPS is very strong.

#22 J_D_Metzger

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:55 PM

iOptron has formally announced that there will be NO wedge for the MiniTower, and that it is NOT suitable for long-exposure astrophotography:

http://tech.groups.y...on/message/2054

I'm sure this will disappoint some folks...

#23 Terry - W6LMJ

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 05:29 AM

Thank you for the feedback. I am going out to try that now - before the sun comes up. I wonder if I will be able to use this mount for occultations?

Terry - W6LMJ

#24 Terry - W6LMJ

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 06:13 AM

That did it. I went out with a small phillips and removed the four long screws from the top plate. The I removed the square plastic plate from the top and inspected the square GPS unit. All appeared well, and properly seated. However, using the screw driver for leverage, I was able to apply a little pressure to each connector. They didn't appear to move. However, when I turned the mount on the GPS almost immediately switched from On to Okay. Prefect.

Thanks for the help.

Terry - W6LMJ

#25 Covey32

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:58 AM

Exactly what mine did...glad to help.
They really NEED to improve that connection up there.
Very easy to dislodge during shipping !






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