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Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look

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#51 Pedestal

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 05:10 PM

I ordered the cord from Ioptron, and did the upgrade a few days ago. I had no problems. But, the weather has been most uncooperative, and I have not had the chance to try it out.

#52 PatM

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:10 AM

I received my SmartEQ just over a week ago and had a chance to try it out while camping. Make no mistake, this is a low end mount. However, I am very happy with the bang for buck factor.

I'm using it with a Skywatcher 102mm f/5 refractor and it seems to do well. I haven't received a polar scope for it yet and didn't go to great pains to try and polar align (kochab clock and peering through the polar scope hole) yet it did work quite well. I got one pretty decent 1 minute exposure of Andromeda while two others had visible star trails. I can't blame the mount for those since I didn't even have a level with me.

I used a Canon T1i and T-ring and the total payload was 6.5lbs.

I did notice the tracking noise was pulsing rather than constant and once I get the polar scope I'll see how the tracking is.

#53 emiledurkheim

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:11 PM

I have one of these mounts on the way. Your review helped me make the decision to order it.

Which Hakuba tripod bag will work for this mount?

#54 Astronewb

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:35 PM

I have one of these mounts on the way. Your review helped me make the decision to order it.

Which Hakuba tripod bag will work for this mount?


Hi, grats and enjoy the compact unit. The Hakuba tripod case I use is this one, 37" long: http://www.bhphotovi...ripod_Case.html

If you want extra room, order the next larger size. This one fits like a glove, the material is excellent and the workmanship is great. I would imagine if I wrapped my 80mm in bubble wrap, it would fit nestled in between the tripod legs also. The counter weight and hand controller fit in the outer two compartment pouch.

Good luck and have a ton of fun while you're at it.

Paul

#55 ghataa

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

Any AP pictures taken yet with the SmatEQ?

It would be great be able to have a lightweight mount that could handle my DSLR with a few of the heavier lenses.

Best,

George

#56 Astronewb

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:47 PM

Take a look at the October issue of Sky and Telescope, Dennis DiCicco said he took 3-5 minute images with this with just a rough polar align and a 50mm lens. Haven't seen any actual images yet.

Hope to have some of my own to show you as soon as the polar scope arrives from China.

Cheers,

Paul



Any AP pictures taken yet with the SmatEQ?

It would be great be able to have a lightweight mount that could handle my DSLR with a few of the heavier lenses.

Best,

George



#57 Pedestal

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

Couple of pictures I wanted to show. This is an old Orion Paradox(?) tripod I bought several years ago. It makes a really good replacement for the stock tripod, very sturdy and not too heavy. I can still easily pick up the rig as shown and move it around.

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#58 Pedestal

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:49 PM

And this is a Doskocil case for the mount itself. It's about 15"x18". Room enough for the mount and a few eyepieces. I think I think Pelican makes a case this same size.
Bottom line, easy transport in 3 pieces: tripod, mount, and telescope. Can carry all three at once, and easy setup. Hard to beat much "grabber & goer" I think. :)

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#59 chooch

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:25 AM

Hello to all, I just picked one of these up for my AT-72Ed so far it looks great ,I went to Ioptrons HQ in Woburn as I live close by, After talking with them I found out they are releasing a SmartEQ pro at the end of the month -middle of nov,, It will have metal gears polar alignment scope and a port for a guide camera cost will be 499.00 ..Carl

#60 SolSystem

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:51 AM

I'm looking for a mount as well and I was considering the SmartEQ but the comments here are making reconsider especially in light of a Pro model coming. As well while I'm using a ZenithStar 70mm now I'm thinking I want a mount that will be able to handle something bigger and more robust when I upgrade. But the iOptron pricing is hard to beat for what you get.

Hello to all, I just picked one of these up for my AT-72Ed so far it looks great ,I went to Ioptrons HQ in Woburn as I live close by, After talking with them I found out they are releasing a SmartEQ pro at the end of the month -middle of nov,, It will have metal gears polar alignment scope and a port for a guide camera cost will be 499.00 ..Carl



#61 chooch

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

I think you would have to wait for the news as everyone i had checked with was sold out ..And the one I got directly from them was an open box although barely used .It came at a nice discount ,Hard to pass up. I plan on keeping it matched up to my AT 72ED its great for what it is a nice portable grab n go scope...

#62 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 05:42 PM

Hello to all, I just picked one of these up for my AT-72Ed so far it looks great ,I went to Ioptrons HQ in Woburn as I live close by, After talking with them I found out they are releasing a SmartEQ pro at the end of the month -middle of nov,, It will have metal gears polar alignment scope and a port for a guide camera cost will be 499.00 ..Carl


Wow! That sounds like a perfect mount for wide-angle astro. Mount a DSLR with a 50mm to 200mm lens or an 80mm short APO. Can't wait to see it!

#63 JoseBorrero

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:12 PM

i saw the intro for this mount at the 2012 neaf: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Ib0LK1sJT8w

not bad at all! for a dslr :grin:

#64 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:10 AM


Has anyone been able to use a guide scope with this and third party software like PHD guiding. Several vendors I have asked cannot answer the question.

#65 Astronewb

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:03 AM

Has anyone been able to use a guide scope with this and third party software like PHD guiding. Several vendors I have asked cannot answer the question.


The SmartEQ (Model 3100) can not be guided...it has no St4 port.

The SmartEQ Pro (Model 3200)is euipped with a St4 port and can be autoguided with almost any 3d party guiding software. PHD works fine with it.

Hope the info helps..

Paul

#66 Ketan

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:59 AM

Hallo, Wanted to ask something. How does it compare to the Celestron CG4 mount? Will it be worth if I upgrade to this iOptron model? I mean in terms of stability and accuracy.

#67 gtbzz85

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:06 PM

I'm considering the purchase of the iOptron SmartEqu Pro mount. I plan to use it with a DSLR & guiding with a webcam (still need to find a small scope for the webcam to look through).

I would like to use PHD to control the mount using the ST4 port on the mount (may be on the controller). What cable do I need to go between the ST4 port and my Dell laptop? It has a RS-232 (COM?) port on the back.

I assume I could also use Starry Night or similar program to guide the mount using the same cable?

Big trip to Utah coming in May.. can't wait to take some photos!
Thank you!

#68 Astronewb

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:44 PM

I would like to use PHD to control the mount using the ST4 port on the mount (may be on the controller). What cable do I need to go between the ST4 port and my Dell laptop? It has a RS-232 (COM?) port on the back.


The Smart EQ Pro has a St4 connection on the mount body. If you guide with a standard autoguider that has a St4 port, you just use the cable from the autoguider camera to the ST4 port on the mount.

If you are going to guide from the PC, you would need fabricate a cable from RS232 15 pin to a Rj11 6 pin connector...way too much trouble, stick with the St4 cable.

You can however, use the optional iOptron cable, RS232 to Rj9, to control the mount from a planetarium program.
Cartes du Ceil, Stellarium and Starry Night Pro all work with the mount and that cable. The cable runs from your RS232 port to the Rj9 on the bottom of the hand controller.

The same cable is needed for firmware updates to the mount.

Clear skies...

Paul






Clear skies,

Paul

#69 jeduard

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 05:20 PM

I received my Smart EQ today as well and did the same setup you did. The box only contained the quick start set up instructions but the full manual is now up on the iOptron website and I will print it tomorrow. My TMB 92L slid easily into the mounting saddle, and I fooled with the controller a bit, but will probably not get it out under the stars until this weekend. Overall it appears to be a nice, functional, easily portable small EQ mount for grab and go capability. Yes, many of the components are less that robust, but for $399 I don't expect diamonds. So far I am really pleased with this little mount and will have a fuller picure once I take it outdoors for a full test run.


Hello

I am very interested in knowing which is your opinion about the Ioptron SmartEQ with a TMB 92L. I guess you will have already got some conclussions. I would like to purchase one of these mounts mainly for visual portable use as an alternative to the NEQ5. I intend to use it with a 2" diagonal and a Baader Hyperion Zoom.

Best regards and thank you

Eduardo






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