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iOptron Mini Tower vs iOptron Mini Tower ll

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#1 SeptemberEquinox

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:50 PM

It's been about two months since I've been obsessed with this hobby. I've been having a blast with my Vixen GP2 mount, star hopping is fun. But now I would like a goto mount(easy set up), possibly some astrophotography.

I saw the ioptron mini tower and it seems like it's very easy to set up and possible to take 30seconds to a min exposure photos. I wanna know what the major differences are in between Mini Tower and Mini Tower ll besides 5 lbs capacity weight.

Mini Tower: http://www.telescope...zimuthmount.cfm

Mini Tower ll: http://www.telescope...zimuthmount.cfm

I have a Explore Scientific Comet Hunter(152mm Mak. Newt), it says the tube assembly weights 15lbs. That's not including all the standard accessories right? Would this scope be ok on Minitower 25lbs load cap?

Thank you in advance

#2 Terrance

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

Weight wise I would think it would be just OK but at the limit.

Main problem here is that it may be too long and hit the legs. The comet hunter is very front heavy and to keep the scope balanced it can not be put very far up in dovetail saddle, so that near vertical position it is likely to collide with legs. I tried this with a similarly sized f/5 6" newtonian on the Mini-tower pro and could not make it work.

The MT PRO however has thicker legs than the regular MT. Get a post from somebody who has put a Comet hunter on an MT mount without having "hit the legs" problem.

#3 SeptemberEquinox

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:10 PM

O I didn't eve think about that, thank you terrance

#4 paulabel

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:47 PM

Ioptron now sells a pier for the MT and MT Pro. I was trying to use my MT with a TEC 140 APO and it kept banging into the tripod legs. Pier solved my problem.

Paul

#5 PiotrM

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

It has 25 lbs by the book (30 lbs for MT2), but what's the limiting factor? It can be a Newtonian or a much more compact SCT. The tripod may be not extended (lowest position) or fully extended. All that should affect the "max" load capacity?

I convinced HEQ5 to like C11 and I'm wondering if I could make MT like C11? (at the optimal config from the mount side of view - without going to MT Pro).

#6 Tatooine

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:46 PM

I've had enough of analysis paralysis and am on the verge of buying a MT. But now I can't decide which one to buy ?
Is IOptron really going to maintain all three of these in their product lineup, all within a $500 price gap ?
When I saw the first listing of the MT II I thought they were trying to go up market with the $1000 price. I also thought they might discontinue the original and maybe find it on clearance, however I still see all 3 models listed by most vendors. I can't seem to find any details on what they changed for a $200 price increase, the website just says better encoders and payload.
The scopes I'm considering along with the MT are the Orion EON 80, C6 SCT, C8 Edge.

#7 Tatooine

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

I received this reply from iOptron tech support this morning (within 12 hours of my e-mail). I know it's not a review but it does add some info. about their intentions with the Minitower. It appears they will also accommodate a MT I or II plus Pro Tripod order offline at no additional cost. This may seal the deal for me on a MT I plus Pro Tripod.

"Dear *****,

Thank you for interested in ioptron!

The major difference between the MiniTower and MiniTower Pro is the DEC and RA axles (so as the bearings) that of MT Pro is much bigger and stronger. MT Pro uses higher accuracy optical encoder (6 times higher) than the MT. Also the tripod, 2” versus 1.5”. The counterweight shaft of MT Pro is retractable while MT is not.

All the structures of the MTII mount are the same as MT Pro, except the cover plate. MTII uses 1.5” tripod and comes with no Losmandy saddle.

Although we don’t list and don’t intend to sell the mount head alone, we can certainly create offline order if you want to buy the mount only. For both MT and MTII mount (without tripod) will be $148 less.

In the future, there will be only MTII and MT Pro, although our support to MT will never stop.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

John"

#8 PiotrM

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:44 PM

So MT II looks like MT Pro aside of tripod and Losmandy...

That optical encoder is used by GoTo or for tracking too?

#9 Tatooine

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

So MT II looks like MT Pro aside of tripod and Losmandy...


That's my interpretation.

That optical encoder is used by GoTo or for tracking too?

Not sure, I'm a newbie

#10 SeptemberEquinox

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:23 PM

What is losmandy? Sounds like an italian cuisine

#11 Tatooine

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:48 PM

I confirmed with iOptron tech support that the only reason there are maximum payload differences between the Minitower II and Pro is the larger tripod on the Pro. The encoders, bearings, firmware are the same.

On the Pro you are paying for the larger tripod and the inclusion of the Losmandy saddle. A Minitower II with the Pro Tripod should be effectively the same as the MT Pro.

I believe my suspicions were confirmed in that they have gone slightly up market with the Minitower II, the cheaper Minitower I will eventually be discontinued.

#12 TonyBegg

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:03 PM

I am on this thread because I just received what was meant to be either a MiniTower II or a MiniTower Pro from a well known and loved supplier. I got the MiniTower II (1.5 inch) tripod for its lightness (and to save money) and have the Pier coming also from iOptron via drop ship. I did have the option of a package deal of mount head and pier from iOptron for a savings of about $140. But I am pretty convinced the cardboard box with MiniTower Pro on it contains a MiniTower (the first version). The label on the silver case is "MiniTower", the label on the mount head is "MiniTower" (not II or Pro). I bought the Vixen saddle from ADM accessories - Anthony Davoli sells a version for the MiniTower and for the MiniTower Pro. I got the MiniTower Pro one. There are 4 hex attachment bolts spaced about 20 mm around a square, 28 mm across the diagonal on the ADM Vixen saddle. The mount's saddle have them spaced 18 mm around the square and about 25mm across the diagonal. So that is a real difference between them. Now I have to go through the whole RMA process when I was keen to try it out this weekend (3 days UPS back, another 3 days back to me). Not had a good day. My new Finder telescope had a messed up thread for the reticle illuminator too.

#13 Starman1

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

It's been about two months since I've been obsessed with this hobby. I've been having a blast with my Vixen GP2 mount, star hopping is fun. But now I would like a goto mount(easy set up), possibly some astrophotography.

I saw the ioptron mini tower and it seems like it's very easy to set up and possible to take 30seconds to a min exposure photos. I wanna know what the major differences are in between Mini Tower and Mini Tower ll besides 5 lbs capacity weight.

Mini Tower: http://www.telescope...zimuthmount.cfm

Mini Tower ll: http://www.telescope...zimuthmount.cfm

I have a Explore Scientific Comet Hunter(152mm Mak. Newt), it says the tube assembly weights 15lbs. That's not including all the standard accessories right? Would this scope be ok on Minitower 25lbs load cap?

Thank you in advance

The tube will hit the legs, so you will have to rig up an extender to the tripod.
It will require significant counterweighting on the other side, and probably take the mount beyond its useful limit.
But, stranger things have been done.
I strongly recommend you join the Yahoo Mini Tower group and post the questions there. You will get more complete answers faster.
For me, I wouldn't recommend an OTA over 12 lbs with a counterweight, though there are some who have used it with heavier loads for low-power visual use.






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