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iOptron Mini-Tower

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#1 Waduino

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 07:38 AM

This mount has been out there for a while now. I'm hearing that some of the initial QC problems have been overcome. I'm considering one for a TV85 and eventually a NP101 so payload is not an issue. I'm interested in ease of setup and operation, grab 'n go simplicity and good tracking. This is mostly for visual but includes high power tracking for planetary. I also wonder if anyone out there has done the bearing upgrade offered by Trapezium and what difference that makes. Do the firmware upgrade and setting backlash to zero get rid of the jerkiness some experienced?
Any new info?
Thanks.
Wad.

#2 Al Canarelli

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:46 AM

My understanding is that Trapezium will do much of that stuff (not the bearing replacement) for free. If I'm wrong, I'm sure that Steve Forbes will see this and correct it.

By the way, your TV85 (in terms of payload) will be a walk in the park for the Mini Tower. I bought one at NEAF and I like it a lot. Some day soon when it stops raining in the Northeast, I may be able to put some miles on it.

#3 Telescopeman54

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:11 AM

Wad:

The QC has become so good in the last few shipments that we now only need to test the units. We've not had to do any adjustments or tune ups in quite a while. The web page still needs to be updated to state this. The person who does that for us has been ill lately and should get to it shortly.

When the mounts leave our hands the anti-backlash settings are all set to zero. This makes a big difference when aligning on an object.

The latest firmware has taken care of some random tracking exceptions that were found on a few mounts.

I have an older gentleman who lives nearby and he uses a TV-85 on his Mini Tower all the time. He's very happy with the results.

We now offer the bearing upgrade service, the EQ wedge, the Losmandy/Vixen saddle plate upgrade for options. The tune up service is available for older units that were acquired from other sources.

Of course, we still insist on testing each mount for a minimum of four to six hours to make absolutely certain that it will work just like a famous ball point pen, "First time, every time!"

Al: Clear skies and NO RAIN are a MYTH here in the Northeast! I'm getting ready to build and Ark. How about you?

CS

Steve

#4 Rick Socarras

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:16 PM

I use a TMB 92 and have nothing but praise for the mount. It's great! Really Great! The use/setup is very easy. I have even considered putting my TMB 130 on it! I also use a CGE and that get's tiring to setup.

Enjoy. Great Mount.

#5 JimWaterford

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:51 PM

Wad, I use the MiniTower with a SV102ED and it works great - very accurate. Easy to set up and runs about 7 - 9 hours on the eight AA batteries installed in the unit. Usually used in the back yard with an extension cord from the house. I reset the backlash on the hand controller to zero as I experienced some jitters at 200 power a couple of times viewing Saturn. No jitters now. My mount was built in Oct. 2008. I am glad I made this purchase. Regards, Jim

#6 coopman

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 07:56 PM

How much of a learning curve does the MT have? I've been a manual alt-az/Dob user for most of my life and must admit that these go-to mounts really intimidate me.

#7 Covey32

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:43 PM

The learning curve is practically zero. The MT is the most intuitive go to I've ever used and that includes both Celestron and Meade.
I've even aligned mine by doing a 2 star alignment without ever recentering the targets. The first object I select is normally still in the FOV when I go to it. I then do a sync to target on the first object I pick and it usually stays dead on for most of the session. My only complaint is that the mount is too low, it needs longer legs or an extender at the top.
Mine has about a year's worth of miles on it now and I have yet to see an electrical or mechanical problem.
Excellent piece of gear....I would recommend it to anyone as the best go to buy on the market.

#8 EdTheEdge

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 12:54 PM

I am seriously considering getting one of these. Are they really that good? Would it be able to handle my SP-C6?

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#9 EdTheEdge

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 12:57 PM

Does this mount have manual slow mo controls?

#10 7331Peg

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 01:53 PM

Steve,
Is it possible to put Losmandy type saddle plates on the Mini-Tower?

John

#11 Al Canarelli

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 02:19 PM

I am seriously considering getting one of these. Are they really that good? Would it be able to handle my SP-C6?
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Does this mount have manual slow mo controls?
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The mount is really very nice and yes, it will handle your SP-C6. As a matter of fact, you won't need the rings for your Orion Shorty, as you can mount it on the other side of the mount (go to Ioptron web site and see a picture).

You may not realize it, but the mount is full goto.

#12 Covey32

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 02:27 PM

It's full go to, plus you can use it as a manual alt/az because it has slip clutches in both axis.
As far as capacity goes, I regularly use it for my homebuilt 8" Newtonian which weighs around 23 pounds with a binoviewer. It runs very smoothly with this weight and the go to is very accurate. The tracking self adjusts to whatever mode you have entered whether sidereal or lunar.
Tracking is very smooth and objects are held very accurately.






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