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Anyone have a iOptron CubePro mount?

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#1 wrather1

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:15 PM

I'm looking hard at a iOptron CubePro mount for a 80mm refractor. The scope is just under the max weight capacity of the mount. I want something both portable and Go-To and this mount seems just the ticket at $480. But I can't find any reviews; must be too new?? :confused:

DW

#2 n5sau

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:46 PM

Hi DW,

I just got a CubePro mount, but I haven't been able to use it too much because of the weather. Overall, I'm pleased with it. I am currently using it with a Willam Optics 66 mm refractor, which weighs about 5 to 6 lbs (including the diagonal, RDF, and an Orion Stratus eyepiece). Goto's are pretty good, tracking is pretty good, and it certainly makes a nice grab and go setup. I have a few small "wish list" items for the mount. The first is the tripod. In my opinion, it's too light. The second item on the wish list is that hand controller needs some type of holder. There's a shoestring like cord on the controller that can be hooked over a small post on the cube, but I would prefer more of a firm holder for the controller. I would also like to see the database on the hand controller organized in a little more user friendly manner. However, these are minor issues for me. I'm going to build a new tripod (I built a tripod for my old C6 Newtonian out of Purpleheart wood, and am very pleased with the results), so I'm hoping that will make a big difference. I've also built a prototype holder for the hand controller, which I'll be refining, so that should take care of the HC issue. There are some documents floating around the various groups that help make the database a little more usable. In my case, I also setup my CubePro to run with "TheSky", using the ASCOM drivers. So far, it seems to work pretty well. I'm certainly not qualified to "review" anything, but I have an opinion on most everything :-), and overall I'm very pleased with my CubePro. The products is brand new, so I expect a couple rough edges, but I see a lot of potential for this mount (at least with small scopes). I also like DIY projects, and the CubePro gives me an opportunity to add a couple of DIY projects to my list. That's my two cents worth... :-)

Regards,
Rich

#3 wrather1

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:33 PM

Cool, thanks, Rich. On my shopping list!

:cool:

#4 Luigi

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:58 PM

Buy a Celestron 60SLT for $270, keep the mount and toss the OTA like I did. I believe this to be a better mount than the cube or cube pro.

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#5 Astrobuddy

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:10 PM

Buy a Celestron 60SLT for $270, keep the mount and toss the OTA like I did. I believe this to be a better mount than the cube or cube pro.


Could not find the payload spec of Celestron 60SLT, but I would say 6 lbs max. I'd vote for the Cube mount ($219 at telescopes.com) over the SLT mount, in almost all the aspects.
Peter

#6 Luigi

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:36 PM

My Lunt solar scope is a bit over 6 lb and the mount tracks and works very well with it. I think the mount could handle 10 lbs without a sweat. The arm and base are cast aluminum and the large alt and az gears are aluminum as well. Both axes use roller thrust bearings. The tripod is wobbly at full extension but pretty good when kept short. In the picture below you can see the ~ 3" diameter aluminum alt gear. The mount accepts standard vixen style dovetails. What about the Cube is superior to this?

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#7 jasonj998

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 11:06 PM

I'm looking hard at a iOptron CubePro mount for a 80mm refractor. The scope is just under the max weight capacity of the mount. I want something both portable and Go-To and this mount seems just the ticket at $480. But I can't find any reviews; must be too new?? :confused:
DW

Yes, the CubePro is quite new; I believe it was launched right before the Christmas. It is an enhanced version of the Cube. The hand controller has 130,000 objects in the database and a big screen with 8 lines display.

When opened the cover, I could see the worm was brass and worm wheel aluminum. The DEC motor module was directly supported through screws onto the casting metal housing, which made the DEC absolutely no play if the screws were tightened. I did not open the lower part to see how the RA motor was secured, but it was very solid when a force applied to test.

My friend and I had a couple of runs of the Pro in the cold. We attached a MC150 (13 lbs), which was slightly over the rated 12 lbs, and the Pro took it nicely with the supplied counterweight. GPS locked almost at the time the mount was switched on and we leveled the mount in a couple of minutes. We used easy one star alignment but had some trouble at the beginning. Mercury was so bright at the time; however, it was not in the alignment list. We decided slewing to Mercury anyway; however, turned out the mount did not move and the screen display was “raising in x hours.” We later figured out after reading the quick guide that we did not set the time zone; it was still at the China factory setting. Our experiences afterward were quite enjoyable. Goto was very good; little adjustment was needed most of the time. Tracking was excellent; about 2 hours the star was still at the dead center. The unit was quiet and stable, can’t ask more.

The unit is about 15-16 lbs including everything, mount, tripod, counter weight, etc. I consider it a very nice grab ‘n go mount.

Clear skies,

Jason

#8 Preston Smith

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:46 PM

Hi Jason,

Thank you for your excellent report on how the cube pro and the MC150 worked together.

Has anyone tried the cube pro with a larger refractor? :question:

#9 Telescopeman54

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 07:52 AM

The only things that were left out from the above reports are that the azimuth worm gear housing now has very substantial blocks to keep it from moving. This is a big step beyond the original Cube. When adjusted properly it makes teh Pro quite solid.

We are down at the Winter Star Party. If anyone is nearby then stop over and see the Pro and Pro LE at our booth.

CS

Steve

#10 ragebot

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:17 AM

Hi DW,

SNIP The second item on the wish list is that hand controller needs some type of holder. There's a shoestring like cord on the controller that can be hooked over a small post on the cube, but I would prefer more of a firm holder for the controller. SNIP

Regards,
Rich


This is a common issue with many mounts. I have an Atlas, iOptron MiniTower, Meade EXT with field tripod and on all three I have placed velcro on the mount and the back of the controller. I normally place the velcro on all three legs so when the mount moves there is a strip of velcro in easy reach.






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