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Mini Tower/Mini Tower Pro Upgrades?

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#1 JimP

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 04:48 PM

For me, the price of an Ioptron Mini Tower and even the Mini Tower Pro is very good. Some say these mounts need to be upgraded to function properly. The cost for the upgrades (if I understand correctly) nearly doubles the cost of the mount and I am no longer interested. Does anyone have any experiences with the mounts as they come without upgrades?

#2 JimP

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:14 PM

P.S. Yes, I have read the reviews but it "seems" that the less favorable review suggests the mount/electronics may have been upgraded since (and during) his review. So, info on newer models would be appreciated.

#3 letimotif

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 06:15 PM

I bought my MiniTower about a year ago. I've never had anything done to it, and it works fine. I've used it with a 150mm Mak/Cass, 8" SCT and 127AR short tube refractor. I've also tandem mounted an 80mm refractor.

Tuning up the mount would invalidate the warranty. Something to consider.

MiniTower owners have reported problems, but with a two year warranty, my personal experience and considering the features/benefits vs. price issue, I would have no problem recommending the MiniTower "as is" to someone in the market for a goto alt/az.

MiniTower Pro? Haven't seen one in action yet, but I am considering getting one just to find out for myself.

There is an active MiniTower Users group, but I really can't say I've found it of benefit to me. There's just no substitute for trying something out oneself. I'm the best judge of what works--and what's needed to make something work--for me.

#4 marked

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 08:36 AM

Jim,

I've had mine almost 2 years. After initial problems were resolved (new GPS board and wiring harness - both installed by me after quick response, shipping and support from iOptron) it's worked very well with my TV102. I've really enjoyed it and it's quick and easy to set up and be viewing.

Check out the Yahoo MiniTower group. There's a wealth of specific information there. I think that in general users are happy with this mount.

Ed

#5 LunarRover

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:05 AM

I've been through 2 mini towers...both had "overcurrent" issues which rendered them useless. Despite other's opinions of iOptron's customer service..mine was sent back to me with the same problem. The NEW replacement lasted a few weeks and went down as well. The electronics are the problem with the MiniTowers.
Yes, it was a nice mount for small cats and refractors when it worked, but I could never use one of their products again and feel it was dependable.

#6 JLP

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:37 AM

Jim,
I have a stock MiniTower that I've had for 4 years. I initially had an intermittent GPS lock issue until I tightened the connector. Since then, it's been great. HC upgrades and all. I'm selling mine soon due to extended unemployment, but if I was working, I'd keep it for sure. I have a WO ZS80FD Anniversary scope and a Coronado DS 60, and I can pick up the entire rig and move as needed. I have had communication with iOptron for a service issue (my fault entirely!), and have found them very helpful.
Regards,
Jeff

#7 LRJGL

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 08:35 PM

Hi Jim

I have a stock Mini Tower Pro. It is just over 1 year old.

I've loaded it with an 8" f5 newt, a 6" f8 refractor, a C8, a Vixen VMC 200L. I've used it in tandem with a 127 Mak and a C5, I often use it with the PST on one side and a Tak FC 60 with a baader solar filter on the other side.
The longer scopes will have some issues but the Cats love it.
I haven't had any issues with it, and although the menu on the controller isn't as easy as it could be, you will get used to it.
It runs off a laptop/pc with no issues (yet)...lol

I won't do the upgrades till after it bites the dust, but I
will make an eyepiece tray like I've seen in some other threads. If you get the Mini Tower then I would get the heavier legs like the MT Pro has.

All in all I'm quite happy with it so far.

Larry

#8 JimP

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:39 AM

Thanks very much guys! Where can you order the mni-tower and get the larger legs without going to the mini tower pro?

Jim

#9 John_G

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 06:39 PM

I bought a used MiniTower. I upgraded the leveling knobs from the knurled metal ones to the plastic stars. It's much better. I tried it out for the first time on Saturday. I aligned it with Mizar then sent it to Castor without any problem. It seemed to handle my Megrez 90mm quite well without the counterweight. I'm looking forward to getting out again.

#10 Wes James

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

Where can you order the mni-tower and get the larger legs without going to the mini tower pro?



You can't... unless perhaps Steve Forbes would work some kind of a deal with you- but I doubt he has any of the extra tripods laying around!! The stock tripods are pretty wobbly... you can buy the Pro tripod from iOptron for a very good price.

#11 LRJGL

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:45 PM

If your dealing with a bricks and mortar store maybe they can order them for you, and swap.
I'm not sure if you can do it through iOptrons website but an email to them will tell you if not.

Larry

#12 Zach Rich

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 10:22 AM

You can buy the Pro tipod from iOptron.....

http://www.ioptron.c...b-e54012d6da95.

If you have a mini-tower, it is worth every penny for the upgraded tripod :)






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