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Ioptron SmartEQ PRO Portable GOTO GEM #3200

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#1 hectar

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

Hello All,
I have been thinking about buying this mount for AP with zenithStar and a dslr. Is it worth 500 bucks? Has any one had auto guided it to improve 0.5 arc second resolution?
Following are the advertised specs:

• 1.25" German equatorial mount
• Payload: 11 lb (5 kg) (excluding counterweight)
• Mount weight: 6.2 lb (2.8 kg)
• Dual-axis servomotor with optical encoder
• Drive motor with 9-speed setting for precise tracking
• Resolution: 0.5 arc second
• Go2NovaTM 8408 controller with Advanced GOTONOVA® GoTo Technology
• Over 59,000 celestial objects
• Low power consumption (8 AA batteries for 16 hours consecutive tracking)
• Vixen-type dovetail saddle
• 2 lb. counterweight included
• 3/8" threads to fit on camera mount
• Standard 1.25 inch heavy-duty stainless steel tripod
• Metal worm & gears
• Guiding Port
• Polar Scope included!

Thanks .

#2 orlyandico

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:05 PM

the 0.5 arcsecond is some fake specification. it is the resolution per tic of the motor encoder. no relation at all to its real performance.

IMHO the celestron CG5 ASGT for a very similar price is a safer choice for AP with a short refractor. unless the weight of the CG5 is a big issue..

#3 Astronewb

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

Hi, this is a nice little mount capable of imaging with lighter loads. (About 8-9 pounds) Here's a link to another forum thread with guided image 10 minutes long. The poster stated he did 15 minutes as well.

http://www.astronomy...eq-will-do-4...

Hope the info helps. Note that the mount will have to be modded a bit in the tripod area to eliminate flex..there are threads referring to that as well.

Clear skies,

Paul

#4 andysea

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

I've been looking at the SmartEq for DSLR imaging. Seems like a good portable solution, it would be interesting to see more AP results. The Skymemo is probably more a accurate tracker but it does not have goto or a dec motor.

#5 hectar

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.
Paul, I wonder if you could post more images here??.. It would sure help. Thanks

#6 Astronewb

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.
Paul, I wonder if you could post more images here??.. It would sure help. Thanks

Sure, here's an image of the California Nebula taken with 120 sec subs:
Posted Image
California Nebula by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Here's M101 at 120 secs:
Posted Image
M101..Borg 60mm by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

David_Wood has a stunning image of M42, 4, 10 minute subs, on the AF forum. I'll see if I can get his permission to post it up here for you.

Cheers,

Paul

#7 hectar

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:50 PM

They look wonderful!
Thanks for posting them!

#8 Astronewb

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

They look wonderful!
Thanks for posting them!

Your welcome, and here's the single 10 minute image taken by David Wood and posted here with his permission:

Posted Image
Dave Woods M42 by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Just an indication of what the little mount is capable of.

Clear skies,

Paul

#9 hectar

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

Mount sure did the great job. Amazing picture and thanks for posting it!.

#10 lakeorion

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:33 PM

I just pushed the button on one. I plan on focusing (no pun intended) on wide angle DSLR shots and hope this is the ticket.

#11 lakeorion

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

AAARRRGGGHHH!

Backordered.

#12 Raginar

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 10:27 PM

:D

#13 PaulN

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:31 PM

Any know how long the back order may be?

Thanks

Paul

#14 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:17 PM

I have the non-pro version of the SmartEQ and I love it! It's light weight and portability have really put the fun back into astronomy for me. I use it with a coronado PST and an Orion short tube 80. Great tracking with rough polar alignment. Lots and I mean lots of fun to use! Looking forward to the handset update that has an ASPA equivalent alignment routine.

#15 S.Boerner

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:19 PM

From iOptron: They won't be getting a new shipment until the middle of April.

#16 PaulN

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:16 PM

I know the Pro can use Vixen-style dovetails, but any suggestions as to what brand e,g. Astro-Tech? I want to mount a Canon DSLR. Thanks

#17 Astronewb

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

I know the Pro can use Vixen-style dovetails, but any suggestions as to what brand e,g. Astro-Tech? I want to mount a Canon DSLR. Thanks


For the most part...all Vixen dovetails will work, but you should choose a length to suit the camera/lens combo you are using. If you have a very long telephoto lens, a 7" may allow you to balance better than a 3" for example.

ADM makes a versatile dovetail, with slots and hole spacing to suit almost any setup.

http://admaccessorie...s_Universal.htm

Hope the info helps and clear skies..

Paul

#18 PaulN

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

Paul - thank you...that's a good link... I have just have to wait until the mount is shipped. Thanks again.

#19 Wei

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 02:21 PM

Found out that the Smarteq pro and ZEQ25 does not work with sky safari at the moment.

#20 exmedia

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:09 AM

My unfortunate experience: my SmartEQ was a lemon. Instead of smoothly tracking in RA it would 'jump' to a new position and rock the whole telescope. I sent it back for repair, which they said they'd fixed, then when I got it, it was still doing the same thing. I wasn't at all happy, and iO tech support suggested that it was something I was doing wrong with the mount. Blaming the customer is always a good policy, right? I asked if my purchase price could be applied to an upgrade mount and the tech said he would 'send along the request to my supervisor.' It's been over a month now, and nothing from them. So I have this useless mount and no idea if iOptron is going to do anything about it. Not really an iOptron fan at this point.

Richard

#21 AbPho

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:28 PM

Hectar how has the smartEQ been working out for you?

#22 Barriles

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:07 PM

Any update on your iOptron experience? Thanks

#23 lakeorion

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 01:49 PM

Mine had to be returned due to a faulty Dec motor. Once replaced under warranty it's running fine.

Best I've been able to get with it...

Posted Image

It does make for a compact setup, shown below on my Benro fold-flat camera tripod.

Attached Files



#24 Astro_Brucitor

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 03:33 PM

Hi Iakeorian,

Great shot of the Orion constellation, did you use your Nikon D5000 and what lens did you use to take that picture? I've got a D5100 and am curious as what the abilities this camera has just from being on a go-to mount.

#25 lakeorion

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:00 PM

Thanks,

The Orion constellation was actually taken with a Fujifilm IS Pro. It's a factory full spectrum DSLR built off the Nikon D200 body. The lens was a Nikon 35mm f1.8 prime set to f3.5 with a IDAS UV/IR filter in front. Additional 'filtering' came from dew - I threw in a couple of the dewed frames into the stack to grow the brighter stars. Probably not best practice...

For an unmodded D5100 expect nearly the same, with less Ha sensitivity.






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