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iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions

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#376 calypsob

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:56 PM

interesting. can the ieq30 handcontroller be used with a zeq25?

#377 gramaglia

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:20 PM

I went through the same reasoning as mike when I decided to buy my ZEQ25. The weight of the mount was a major deciding point for me. The lack of PPEC was not really an issue since I autoguide ( can't figure out from various sources if using PEC and autoguiding at the same time is a positive or negative - mount getting 2 corrections at the same time may cause issues is the reason not to use PEC while autoguiding - No idea if it's true as I never had PEC available) - The controller with less objects was complete non issue - plenty of items for me to image for the rest of my days and if in case I really want to image an object not on the controller I can quickly add it. Based on my experience with the mount and various anecdotal evidence from this forum and others the weight capacity is may not be per se underrated but the 1/2 2/3 weight limit for imaging versus visual can be stretched to a full 1. It seems that with careful balancing and care a full 27 lbs of equipment can be used for imaging. I'm guessing Paul had close to 40 lbs of equipment on his mount when using is RC10. I honestly cannot see using 40+lbs on this mount for imaging (I appreciate Paul's stress test to measure the theoretical limits) but 25 lbs should fine and leaving enough margin for error for consistent use.
I'm also looking for a larger OTA for this mount but I have excluded the 10" imaging Newtonian. It's 30lbs just for the OTA and again be in Paul's stress test range of 40+ lbs when rings camera etc. is included. The 8" Newtonian is a much more reasonable possibility which I am considering at the moment. 16lbs OTA should bring imaging gear total to around 25lbs.

#378 Astronewb

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

Success! Here she is, her majesty the CN-212 on a ZEQ25 mount.
A beauty awaiting her nuptial night! It will come sooner or later.


Looks beautiful Heinz, hey, if it's cloudy, just sit there and look at the setup... :)

But one thing, the tripods come with the azimuth peg on the south side, you will have a lot more room to access the polar scope if you move the peg to the other side, over the front leg.

Makes it easier to square up the mount and establish a zero point too.

With a lot of weight on the mount, start with the worm tension adjuster screws about 1 turn (180 degrees) out. Even 90 degrees works fine on my mount, avoid tightening it all the way, it may cause an 'overcurrent' message to display if the worm is meshed too tight for the motor to turn it freely.

Grats on a great looking setup,

Best,

Paul

#379 Astronewb

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:33 PM

interesting. can the ieq30 handcontroller be used with a zeq25?


No it can't. The iEQ30 is equipped with the feature rich '8407' hand controller. The ZEQ25 and Smart EQs share the '8408' controller, which don't have as large a database as the 8407s.

Cheers,

Paul

#380 RandyC

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:58 PM

Why would you want to do that? You will never use those extra objects in the database. You'd need Hubble to get those dim objects anyway. What is the new Polar Assist Feature?
Clear Skies, RandyC
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#381 Undermidnight

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 09:24 PM

I recently picked up an SV80ED Raptor to get back into imaging and considering mounts. This looks like a nice candidate!

Jason


Jason,

I think this mount would be a great fit for an 80mm refractor and you'll have room to grow if you want to get a bigger OTA later.

Mike


So what is the mount like unguided at shorter focal lengths? I have a 66mm Zenith star that I can use as a guid scope (once I get the appropriate gear to attach both of them.) I eventually want to go with a Atik camera, but I need a mount first. I can use a Meade DSI for now to play around with until the Atik.

Jason

#382 Ryuno

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:05 AM

Paul,

Thanks for your suggestions. Was it this you were thinking of? Just placing the pin on the other side?

I can indeed only look at the setup. It has been overcast for weeks now, it is simply frustrating, not a single clear night. The sky is refusing to be seen.
Please cross fingers!

Heinz

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#383 orlyandico

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:33 AM

There's a Tak mount behind that ZEQ25... Hmmmm.

#384 Astronewb

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. Was it this you were thinking of? Just placing the pin on the other side?


Yes Heinz, now you have a ton of room to get behind the polar scope, even with the ota in the zero position (just duck low).

It's easier to establish the zero point too, now that the counterweight shaft is in line with the front facing (north) leg.

Oh, the illuminated reticle cord is way longer than it needs to be and hangs down when connected. If you wrap the cord three times around the dec housing, with no slack at the illuminator end, there will be enough slack at the power pin so you can slew without interference, and the cord will no longer be in your way.

Keeping my fingers crossed for your skies...

Cheers,

Paul

#385 Ryuno

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:56 PM

There's a Tak mount behind that ZEQ25... Hmmmm.


It's this what was hiding behind the ZEQ25: A P2Z with a Sky90, Coronado H-alpha filter and 7x50 finder. I know, the finder is sort of overkill, but I couldn't resist, it's such a nice piece of equipment.

Today the sun is shining, so at least I can have a look at our home star.

Heinz

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#386 tango13

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:09 AM

Well, after so many positive (I'd say enthusiastic) comments on this little big mount, I decided I wanted to give it a try. :-)
Being the happy owner of a SmartEQ Pro, I really like iOptron's "style" and enjoy the lightness and precision of the Smart.
I also have a SW Heq5 Pro, but it's a little too much on the clumsy and heavy side for my poor back... ;-)

So, my Z arrived yesterday and the very first impact, upon getting it from the delivery service, was like "hey, you must have forgotten something!". I couldn't believe that such a mount, advertised as capable of managing 27 lbs of payload, could be "squeezed" (accessories included!) in those two small packages.
The tripod looks and feels great, way better and sturdier than the Smart one.
Then came the mount: incredibly light and small, are we really sure it can handle all that weight? :-D

I just quickly assembled and stared at it for a while, trying to identify its parts, particularly the tension adjusters and gear locks, which one should definitely get accustomed to.
Then I connected it to my 12v power source and played a bit by slewing randomly around. Since the hand controller is the same as the Smart one (even though the Z has more functions), there was little new but the motors sounded nice, and above all moved smoothly and precisely.

My mount seems to suffer from the already mentioned "fax" sound after slewing: it just takes a quick push on a directional button to make it stop, but the only thing I ask myself is whether this is totally harmless for the system, both from a mechanic and an electronic standpoint.
It's a little annoying anyway, but I can live with that.

Haven't played that much yet with this new jewel, but one test worried me a little.
I attached my guiding camera (QHY5) to the ST4 port and used the manual guide buttons of linguider (kind of PHD for Linux) to hear the sound of the motors. While three of those buttons produced a clear buzz from the mount, the fourth (labeled as RA-) apparently didn't have any effect or sound. Could this be the sign of some problems with my mount? Does anybody have any suggestion on this?

Overall, from what I've seen so far I am extremely pleased and surprised by this new mount and can't wait to test it under the sky.
More to come... :-)

Ciao,
Piero

#387 Astronewb

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:29 AM

My mount seems to suffer from the already mentioned "fax" sound after slewing: it just takes a quick push on a directional button to make it stop, but the only thing I ask myself is whether this is totally harmless for the system, both from a mechanic and an electronic standpoint.
It's a little annoying anyway, but I can live with that.


Congratulations on the new arrival Piero,

Regarding the 'crosstalk' noise, it doesn't cause any problems mechanically or electronically to the mount in any way. But it does ruin your tracking when/if it occurs.

Stabbing the #2 slew speed button in either RA or DEC briefly eliminates it by allowing the encoder led to pick up a better signal (it's stuck between 2 encoder lines and doesn't know where to lock on).

As far as your RA-? If that means reversing RA, it's not going to happen, because RA is not reversible in guiding.

Looking forward to your first light impressions and results,

Clear skies...

Paul

#388 orlyandico

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 11:53 AM

RA- at 1X guide speed simply stops the RA motor. So of course it won't produce any sound.

#389 rsbfoto

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

Paul,

Thanks for your suggestions. Was it this you were thinking of? Just placing the pin on the other side?

I can indeed only look at the setup. It has been overcast for weeks now, it is simply frustrating, not a single clear night. The sky is refusing to be seen.
Please cross fingers!

Heinz


Hallo Heinz,

The way you set up the huge CN212 looks for me a bit dangerous, in the way that your tripod could tip over if your telescope goes too much into a horizontal position.

CN212 ZEQ 25GT

Have you checked it ? :confused:

#390 Ryuno

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:32 PM

The way you set up the huge CN212 looks for me a bit dangerous, in the way that your tripod could tip over if your telescope goes too much into a horizontal position.


Thank you for pointing this out to me. Because although it does not tip over in the null position, it could very well do so in a more horizontal position, as you wrote. As it is right now, the setup cannot be used for real work. I knew is was out of balance, but how badly actually, I was not quite aware of, so thank you again. The scope with the cassegrain focuser weighs around 9 kg, with a counterweight of 5 kg.

I just measured it. Around the RA-axis, in the horizontal position, it is more than 5kg out of balance! I tried cautiously to leave it alone in this position. Fortunately, it does not tip over. But anyway, it is certainly not a good idea to operate the mount under these circumstances. No slewing tests. For the time being it has to stay in the null position.

I have been trying to address this problem and next week I am getting an extension rod for the counterweight shaft, and if that is not enough, I will have to get another counterweight. With a nominal max payload of 27 pounds the mount should be able to handle the CN-212 easily. At least that's what I am expecting. Or is there anything I have not considered or overlooked in this particular setup?

I am even hoping the ZEQ25 will be able to hold the Mewlon 250 (12.5 kg) - at least for visual - which is due to arrive at the end of October. I felt encouraged by Pauls overloading experiment (http://www.youtube.c...h?v=_cIOTROXEpQ).

What do you think, is that a realistic expectation? Or am I being too optimistic and stretching the little mount's capacity too far?
Maybe, Paul and others, would you comment too?

Regards
Heinz

#391 Mkofski

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:49 PM

Heinz,

The weight of the CN212 is well within the capabilities of the mount but I wonder how well it will work because of the length of the OTA. Let us know how it goes. My heaviest setup is just under 10kg but it is a short C8 with a WO 66mm refractor piggybacked.

By the way, that setup looks great!

Mike

#392 Astronewb

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:54 PM

The way you set up the huge CN212 looks for me a bit dangerous, in the way that your tripod could tip over if your telescope goes too much into a horizontal position.


At 18 pounds, the Takahashi ota definitely needs a 2d counterweight to balance in the RA axis.

Once balanced in DEC and RA, it will not tip over.

Take a look at this video clip:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=_cIOTROXEpQ

If you notice the ota/counterweights were almost horizontal when it reached the end of the slew.

Any reasonable balance will ensure the stability of the payload.

Clear skies,

Paul

#393 tango13

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:09 AM

As far as your RA-? If that means reversing RA, it's not going to happen, because RA is not reversible in guiding.

RA- at 1X guide speed simply stops the RA motor. So of course it won't produce any sound.


That makes absolutely sense to me and it's what I thought too. My concern started when I heard the buzz noise coming from the Heq5 upon pushing that very same RA- button.
But I guess this is something I shouldn't worry about any longer :)


Stabbing the #2 slew speed button in either RA or DEC briefly eliminates it by allowing the encoder led to pick up a better signal (it's stuck between 2 encoder lines and doesn't know where to lock on).


Is there anything we can do to eliminate this problem, I mean any modification/update to the hardware?

Thanks a lot for your suggestions and, Paul, thank you once more for all the precious information and advice about this mount.

Ciao.
Piero

#394 ebeyonder

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:45 AM

Hello Heinz, I don't know of any extensions that are available for the Z mount (yet). However, I have a Celestron counterweight (CG5-5kg)) that fits the Z shaft.

Any counterweight with a 20mm bore will fit the Z mount, it's not partial to make...:)

Maybe you can find some locally? Or at least regionally.

Best,

Paul


Hi, does anyone know if counterweights for an Orion Atlas/EQ6Pro would work with this mount? Thanks.

#395 ekallgren

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:48 PM

Update:
Well I got all the parts to fix my brand new ZEQ25 to day. Replaced the DEC board and all is well. The other good news is the skies will be clear all be it with a 3/4 moon. So I'm on the road to being as happy as others on this forum.
Eric :jump:

#396 Mkofski

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:59 PM

That's great Eric. Let us know how you make out tonight. UPS found my tripod so it the weather holds I'll be out tonight also.

#397 ekallgren

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:23 PM

Well here is another update,
Took the mount out to set it up in the backyard, balanced the OTA and powered it up but it won't slew it either axis.
So it looks like I'm back to square one. Next move is to call OPT in the morning to exchange the mount.
BUMMER!!!!!!!

Eric

#398 Mkofski

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:33 PM

Well here is another update,
Took the mount out to set it up in the backyard, balanced the OTA and powered it up but it won't slew it either axis.
So it looks like I'm back to square one. Next move is to call OPT in the morning to exchange the mount.
BUMMER!!!!!!!

Eric


Eric,

Big, that sucks... does the power light light? Do you live close to OPT or do you have to ship it?

Mike

#399 ekallgren

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:03 PM

Yep Mike, the power light is lit when I go to slew left, right, up, or down the hand controller says it's is slewing but the motors don't do anything then when I release the arrow button it says stop. Just bad luck, I don't think I going to win the power ball this week either.

And I will have to ship it back to OPT. I'm just bummed because the smoke from all the forest fires has cleared.

I guess I will have to use my other mount until I can get this sorted out.
I will keep you updated.
Happy to here you got your tripod.

Eric

#400 coopman

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:50 AM

Heinz, I would get that Mewlon off of there if I were you. I don't like the way that looks.






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