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iEQ45 - considering returning it

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#1 Roke Whitson

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:16 PM

Hello, all.
I'd love to hear from experienced owners of this mount, which I just received. I don't yet have my OTA (Used TV NP101is arriving soon) so can't really test it out. The clunky design of the azimuth adjustment for polar alignment makes me concerned there are more "gotchas" waiting that I'll discover after the deadline for returning it has passed. Help!!! Thanks.

#2 dvb

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:24 PM

The azimuth adjustment is the same as with the Orion/ Skywatcher mounts.

However, iOptron has, rather foolishly, cheaped out on the bolts, using bolts with "square-cut" ends, instead of rounded ends.

I am currently trying to source some bolts with rounded ends, although the dealer I bought mine through has offered to machine the edges off the bolt.

The only other "gotcha" in my view, in the poor spreader, which is molded plastic, and has no eyepiece holes. The molded plastic means the thin vanes underneath cut into your fingers while carrying it - kind of negates the benefit of the lightness of the mount. I'll be wrapping the vanes with several wraps of duct tape, until I find another solution.

(The Skywatcher/ Orion spreaders fit the center rod, but the rod isn't long enough to use those spreaders.)

Otherwise, the mount has some nice features, including:

- a screw mechanism for the altitude adjustment
- built-in GPS
- adjustable brightness for the polar scope reticle
- a nice polar alignment routine
- a nice scope balance routine
- a good load capacity for its weight.
- get the extension bar - it helps with heavy loads and you'll still only need two weights.

#3 chboss

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:33 PM

I would suggest using it before considering a return. The iEQ45 is a fine mount for the money and especially light for mobile use...

What kind of mount did you use before?
What mount do you consider after returning the iEQ45?
Just wondering...

regards
Chris

#4 orlyandico

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:58 PM

You can grind the bolt ends with a file. No need to have someone machine it.

That said, another poster here (Luke) found a fast 6.2-second periodic error with a magnitude of 5" due to one of the motor gears.

That type of PE cannot be corrected by PEC or autoguiding (it's just too fast). In my opinion even with an NP101 at 540mm focal length, you will definitely see a 5" periodic error even when actively guiding. It means your stars will not be as tight as they could be. Depends on your tolerance I guess.

That said the Celestron CGEM also has a large error term in its gearbox - on mine the fundamental PE is 29" (reduced it to 16" via an Aeroquest worm) but the 182-second 8/3 (2.667X) periodic term is 22" which is even larger than the fundamental. But on the CGEM this un-correctable term is slow (182 second period) hence can be guided out.

#5 orlyandico

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

I will add - if you bought an NP101is that means you care about tight stars. That 5" fast periodic error may come back and haunt you.

But all the mounts in this class have similar issues, there is no getting around it.

Now this is just my opinion - if I spent the money for an NP101is and I was imaging, I would want a mount that would let my OTA show its best performance. Unfortunately, that means an AP or Tak mount, or perhaps a G11.

(I have a 400-buck Orion 100ED, but I mount it on an - old - AP mount)

#6 dvb

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:48 PM

You might want to check out the iEQ45imaging Yahoo tech group, where there are lots of examples of successful imaging:

http://tech.groups.y...p/ieq45imaging/

#7 orlyandico

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:59 PM

OP, I did not mean to say you cannot successfully image with the iEQ45.

What I said is that, the fast 5" periodic error, if present on all iEQ45's, will prevent you from getting the maximum performance out of your NP101is.

But for practical reasons, since seeing in most areas is 2" to 3" - you will probably get good results whether or not the fast 5" term is present.

Just not the best results you would expect from a premium imaging refractor. Like I said, it all depends on your preference and expectations.

dvb - have you compared your NEQ6 and iEQ45 imaging with the same tube under similar conditions?

One thing going for the NEQ6 / Atlas is that it has a very simple gearbox - just 2 gears. Simple gearbox means minimizing fast periodic error terms. I believe this is why most successful imagers in this mount price class are using the EQ6 / Atlas.

#8 dvb

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:13 AM

OP, I did not mean to say you cannot successfully image with the iEQ45.

What I said is that, the fast 5" periodic error, if present on all iEQ45's, will prevent you from getting the maximum performance out of your NP101is.

But for practical reasons, since seeing in most areas is 2" to 3" - you will probably get good results whether or not the fast 5" term is present.

Just not the best results you would expect from a premium imaging refractor. Like I said, it all depends on your preference and expectations.

dvb - have you compared your NEQ6 and iEQ45 imaging with the same tube under similar conditions?

One thing going for the NEQ6 / Atlas is that it has a very simple gearbox - just 2 gears. Simple gearbox means minimizing fast periodic error terms. I believe this is why most successful imagers in this mount price class are using the EQ6 / Atlas.


I would also add that there does seem to be some variance in QC between the mounts - not all mounts would have the 5" error found by Luke.

Both my current NEQ6 and iEQ45 are quite new to me, and I don't have any images to share yet.

#9 chboss

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:11 AM

Why speculate about a 5" fast changing PE?

Once under the stars, guiding you will see if there is a problem or not...
Make no mistake this could happen with any other Chinese made mount you can buy these days. Unfortunately there is some variance on how these mounts perform.

The only way to find out is a real life test. :)

regards
Chris

#10 Geo.

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:36 AM

The azimuth adjustment is the same as with the Orion/ Skywatcher mounts.

I am currently trying to source some bolts with rounded ends, although the dealer I bought mine through has offered to machine the edges off the bolt.


What size are these bolts? I just received a pile of Vixen Alt adjusters with removeable ball ends. They are larger that the usual 8mm think they are 10s.

#11 dvb

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:43 PM

I'll have to go down to the Hardware store and find out what size the bolts are.

I should say that, in addition to being square cut, the tapping of the races they run through are also pretty loose, which makes the adjustment more difficult.

There is some sense that this mount is produced in a toy factory, rather than in a high precision instrument factory, but I do think it has a lot going for it.

#12 rmollise

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:01 PM

You ain't gonna get high-precision instruments at the prices you pay for the iEQ-45 or the Atlas or the CGEM. What you can get is a perfectly functional mount that will more than meet the modest requirements of most of us.

#13 chboss

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:04 PM

Rod that sums it up pretty well for me. :)

Chris

#14 Wembley2000

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:52 PM

I am on the fence with mine. Tech support has been very helpful trying to get some of my issues worked out. I have about 2 weeks left before I can return it. If I do return it, I will be going the g11 route, would LOVE to get a mach 1 but that is just out of my price range.

#15 Astronewb

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:53 PM

The azimuth adjusting bolts on the iEQ45 are cold forged, which leaves a 'cupped' end on the bolt. Just take the bolts out and file the ends flat with a small metal file and you will wind up with adjustments that are smooth as butter.

Cheers,

Paul






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