Another "which mount" thread...
Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:32 AM
After a CPC, Atlas, Vixen, (non goto), and NextStar, I have finally learned that the best equipment is the equipment that you use the most. I have also learned from the NexStar, that portability is a big plus for me, thus I am selling my year old CPC 1100 setup to fund a new versatile setup for viewing and photography.
Here is what I am looking for and could us some suggestions:
1. Portability, (mount should weigh no more than 21-22lbs)
2. Ease of operation of the GoTo and solid tracking
3. Steady up to a minimal 25-30 pound load
4. Ability to interface with computer programs for imaging and tracking
5. Less than $1500
What has made the NextStar so attractive to me is it's light weight, but its just not steady enough for what I want. What made the Atlas attractive to me was its ability to interface with just about everything, but the weight is too much.
Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:09 AM
It looks cute as well - like a not-so-good copy of an AP900 at 1/2 scale. The three clutches, the ribbed polar fork... somebody at iOptron has been busy..
Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:48 AM
The 8SE is, as you say, lightweight and easy to use, but not solid.
The CPC mount is easy to use and solid, but not lightweight.
Pretty much any GEM mount is more complicated to use and setup, but will be more solid.
Unfortunately, you just can't have everything.
The iEQ45 is probably the closest, if you don't mind the extra complication and setup time of a GEM mount. It is certainly lightweight for it's capacity (not including the counterweights), although not nearly as light as an SE. You don't say what scope you want to put on it, but for visual it should be ok for either your 8" or 11" SCT. If you want to do astrophotography, it should work well with the 8" SCT, but the 11" is a bit much.
Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:05 PM
Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:34 PM
I like my IEQ45 very much and will have to say it is the fastest and easyest EQ mount for setup I have ever used.
The 25 lb head is easy to move,also tracking and gotos were
very good.So in the under $2k mount group,I belive it to be the one that fits your needs.Upto a 30 lb load should be fine for ap.Because of the electronic load balance setup you might even get more for short focal ap.
Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:56 AM
Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:08 PM
Any possible issues in getting an older version of the mount, (HW or SW), say 1+ years old. This one is a demo unit, so I am not sure how long it has been in the store.
Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:41 PM
use a 8406 hand controller...Not a problem at all,But the
newer clutch option is about a +$100 option.The newer mounts also come with a 8407 hand controller.Nothing wrong
with the older mounts at all..but should be priced a little less.You can go to the ioptron web site for current prices on both,,There might be ayear end sale now.
Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:58 PM
Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:38 PM
Only the DEC clutch has been revised and it looks like the regular clutch on CG-5, Vixen, etc. type mounts (lever clutch).
The RA clutches are still the same old 3 rosette knob bolts.
I don't see why the lever-type clutch would be considered "superior" to the 3 knobs - after all Astro-Physics uses the 3 knobs on all their current mounts.
Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:06 PM
It was done at the request of the users..No its not needed
but just easyer to use.But neather is the GPS,its just nice to have!
Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:31 PM
The old one did not have bearings in the axis, which made it difficult to balance the scope in the dec direction. The more you loaded it up, the less freely it would turn.
iOptron did address this issue in the old mounts with an automated electronic balancing routine. This was an update to the firmware. It drives the motors one way, then the other, and compares the torque needed in each direction. Then it displays a graphic on the handset that tells you which way to move the scope and how much (roughly).
I have the old mount and feel that the electronic balancing works "adequately", although it occasionally fails and when it does it's off by a fair amount. I would prefer the new bearings and clutch, but I don't find it to be all that big a deal. There's no upgrade path from the old mount to the new clutch model and it's certainly not worth the hassle of selling this one to buy the newer model.
Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:15 PM
a rough balance and then fine tune with the electronic.Seams to work well.Also the latest firmware uograde of a few days ago has a multi star alignment software.But not sure yet what it does,but more that 2or 3 stars can be used.This may or not be a big deal..8407 controller update.
Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:15 PM
There is a model with an updated clutch. Does the demo unit have standard clutches?
I will ask them the day after Christmas when they open. I found out the updated model has a C at the end of the model number.
Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:31 AM
Now, to sell my CPC1000 equipment, to get back some money.
Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:49 AM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:56 PM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:40 PM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:55 PM
Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:16 AM
C11, or C8? If the iOptron is light enough, for grab and go, I will keep the C8 and sell my CPC 11 to fund other equipment.
Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:28 AM
Congrats on the purchase of the iEQ45! I think you'll love it. BUT ... I wouldn't classify it as a grab and go.
I leave my 8SE set up fully assembled on the tripod. I can easily pick the whole thing up and take it outside, plop it down and be ready to go. Aside, from the cool-down time, I would call that a "kinda" grab and go.
The iEQ45 is very lightweight for its carrying capacity. Much lighter than an Atlas or CGEM. The mount head itself is only 25 pounds so it's very easy to handle. But the tripod is much more substantial than the 8SE, so it weighs more as well. And of course there's the counterweights.
When the whole thing is set up with the scope on it, I can lift it but not easily. I wouldn't want to try and carry it anywhere and would definitely not call it a grab and go. Like any GEM in this load capacity range, you'll probably want to carry it outside in pieces and assemble it by setting up the tripod first, putting the mount head on it, attaching the counterweights, and attaching the scope.
As for the C8 vs. the C11, I'm surprised that you say there isn't much difference between the two for casual visual use. If that's really true, then by all means the C8 will be a lot easier to handle so I'd go with it. Plus, I don't think you can easily de-fork the 11" SCT from the CPC mount to put it on the iEQ45.
Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:48 AM
As far as grab and go, I have been doing the same thing with the CPC1100 and I know that the CPC mount with the 11" telescope weighs a bit more than the new setup.
Thanks for the good points.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:02 PM
I just setup the tripod and mount and it was very easy to do. I wanted to do this so that I could carry the mount with the battery power counterweight to the other side of the garage. Pretty light, yet more than robust enough for my C8.
The NextStar mount is in the background, and the battery is mounted on the counterweight shaft.