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New iOptron heavy duty GEM

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#1 amys

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 06:42 AM

I was at NEAF yesterday and saw this new iOptron heavy duty GEM. It's supposed to be available in about 3 months.

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#2 rmollise

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:10 AM

I was at NEAF yesterday and saw this new iOptron heavy duty GEM. It's supposed to be available in about 3 months.


I saw it on video durin' Tom's walk-about and was impressed by its looks.

#3 Gord

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:20 AM

I saw that too!

My feeling is it looks like a scaled down cross between an ME and an AP-900/1200. I could dream otherwise, but I'm sure it won't be even remotely close to the same quality class though.

I like the way the alt forks are setup with the central pivot point and locks above and below. Nice looking c/w setup too. I think I heard them say around 25lbs capacity?

Very nice looking at any rate!

-Gord

#4 codemonkey

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:18 AM

nice, looks interesting. Any word on price?

#5 rmollise

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:31 AM

I saw that too!

My feeling is it looks like a scaled down cross between an ME and an AP-900/1200. I could dream otherwise, but I'm sure it won't be even remotely close to the same quality class though.

I like the way the alt forks are setup with the central pivot point and locks above and below. Nice looking c/w setup too. I think I heard them say around 25lbs capacity?

Very nice looking at any rate!

-Gord


What surprised me? Tom said "25 pounds payload" I believe...looked a little heftier than that to moi.

It might not be close to those mounts in payload, but there is no reason it cannot be high in quality.

;)

#6 Ricky

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:43 AM

That mount looks SWEEEEEET! Anyone have an idea what the cost is?

#7 rob cos.

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 04:50 PM

It was $500 at Neaf.

#8 joelwhicker

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:22 PM

Is this the same that has been on OPT's website for about a month as a preorder? There it says the capacity is 35 lbs., and looks like a CG-5.

http://www.optcorp.c...uid=105-439-278

#9 amys

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:25 PM

This is the new, not previously seen heavy-duty GEM, not their other GEM. It will cost much more than $500. I was told by one iOptron dealer that it will cost 20% less than the comparable A-P mount. A 25-payload limit doesn't make any sense to me. I think it probably was carrying more than that yesterday. This is a BIG, heavy mount.

#10 amys

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:40 PM

Just a follow-up. The iOptron SmartStar GEM supposedly carries a 35lb payload and looks comparable to a CG-5. This one is much larger. Another photo might give you a better perspective:

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#11 EspacioProfundo

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 05:59 PM

It's rated at 65 lbs, and 5 arc/s pec.

#12 amys

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 06:18 PM

That makes more sense.

#13 RAKing

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 06:32 PM

I thought it was an AP900 when I first saw it - that's me in the photo for scale.

We pushed Steve Forbes for more info, but he would not tell us the price. This mount was a big secret until Friday night in Suffern, NY. :cool:

BTW - did anyone mention those are also iOptron scopes mounted on it? One Mak; one refractor - I have zero info on these.

Ron

#14 Tom T

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 06:52 PM

65lbs - I mispoke, sorry guys. It is a sweet looking mount! Looks lightyears above the cube.

#15 amys

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 06:56 PM

There's no info about it on the website yet.

#16 Nocturnal

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:07 PM

I was quite impressed with the fit an finish of that mount. It will not be cheap but it will be less money than the alternatives. Together with the CGE-Pro it looks like we're finally getting a few more options in the mid-range for mounts.

I recommended that they also sell it without the pier (which looked really good by the way) but with an adapter to facilitate a permanent mounting. The mount will ship with a case to allow it to be transported easily. That's nice but I'd be more interested in a no-frills model that's optimized for an observatory setting.

The hand controller wasn't powered so I couldn't look at it but I'm sure it's similar to the Cube ones. Nice large screen. Personally I don't care about the controller but it's a necessity of course. I'm more interested in adapting EQMOD to drive this mount :) Maybe I should contact them about that.

#17 LLEEGE

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:02 PM

It looks impressive. I was a bit concerned with the amount of play in the RA bearing when lifting on the CW shaft. Maybe <5ach sec with some adjustment, but I doubt it "out of the box".

#18 Nocturnal

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:22 PM

That brings up another important point. The mount should be easily serviceable. While it would be ideal to have a mount that's perfect right out of the box you have to be realistic and assume it's maybe 90% there initially and that it declines a bit after the first few months of use which will allow components to settle. You should then be able to reduce play in the various components and adjust gear alignment where needed. I should have asked if they could show the gearing. That would have been educational. I just put my Atlas back together after replacing the bearings so I know the value of maintainability :)

#19 Telescopeman54

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:39 AM

My understanding is that mount will handle a 75 pound load, has an RS-232 port, USB port, GPS interface, has the center of gravity directly over the pier at all times, has huge gears, shaft encoders AND motor encoders, travel cases and will actually be available instead of having to wait for years. I am told that the mount will sell for under $8500.00!! Pre-orders will be accepted in about three months. iOptron has pulled out all of the stops on this mount! Guess what will be my next love affair?

The OTAs are the 150mm MAK that I used last week and the 127 Triplet that I hope to test very soon. The MAK is fantastic! It smoked my 1975 C8 with no effort at all! Saturn looked like a picture from Cassini, M13 was breathtaking and the Ring Nebula was just shy of revealing the Central Star.

CS

#20 Nocturnal

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:29 AM

The CGE Pro is $5000. For this new mount to make a dent it'll have to come in quite a bit below that price point unless it's significantly better in terms of PE.

#21 LLEEGE

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:54 AM

I don't think they will sell many at $8500. The price point would be too close to an AP900 after the needed accessories. (pier/CW's and a saddle) Don't get me wrong, it's a nice looking mount, but it isn't in the AP/MI250/EM400 league.
IF an AP and Paramount had a child, it would look like the iOptron. :)

#22 WadeH237

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:23 AM

If this is $8500 with a 75lb capacity, why would one ever choose it instead of an AP900?

#23 jrcrilly

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:45 AM

If this is $8500 with a 75lb capacity, why would one ever choose it instead of an AP900?


Or an NJP or a Titan or an MI-250?

#24 Gord

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:07 AM

$8500?!?!! Yowzers! I was thinking more like half of that.

Realistically as good as it could be, I really can't see it being better than those other top-shelf offerings. And those are a established, with $8500 being even kind of expensive among them. For an unknown?

Still a nice looking piece of gear.

-Gord

#25 Ricky

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:14 AM

The price point is too high. Like many have said for that kind of money im getting an AP or equivalent. We need to see mounts w/40lb-70lb capacities that sit in the $4k-$5k range like the CGE Pro.






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