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iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions

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#526 anat

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:00 AM

I managed to solve the RA play issue with the help of iOptron tech (John). The problem is caused by the loose hinge of the worm gear assembly. The small plate with three allen screws is used to fixed the whole assembly to the mount body by a hinge mechanism. The play is caused by this hinge. The hinge has balls and setscrews on both ends to connect to the small plate. If it is loose, the torque from the main RA gear will cause the worm gear assembly to move up and down at the hinge. So, just loosen the small setscrew, tighten the big setscrew along the hinge axis, and tighten the small setscrew. Please do it only on one side!.

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#527 Bill McNeal

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:08 AM

Thank you for sharing he very nice picture John.

Anat, your photo is helpful. Thank you for posting it.

#528 tango13

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:38 AM

Very nice images and encouraging information!
Chatter problem fixed, I can't wait to test my mount under the sky.
Thank you all.

#529 vdb

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:39 AM

I never did a power down with my IEQ45 after a polar align with the polar scope, why would you need to do that anyway is beyond me ...
As long as you did not do a polar routine or sync to a star the model is not initiated anyway no?

#530 John Miele

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:36 AM

I’m only powering off to reset the zero position because I can’t get my mount to manually return exactly to the zero position. I have to slew to the zero position using the motors. Since it only takes a couple seconds to flip the switch off and on, and gives me a little more accurate slew to the first alignment star, I go ahead and do it. I would follow this routine whether I polar aligned or not...John

I never did a power down with my IEQ45 after a polar align with the polar scope, why would you need to do that anyway is beyond me ...
As long as you did not do a polar routine or sync to a star the model is not initiated anyway no?



#531 ebeyonder

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:22 AM

For those of you who ordered through Amazon (with the hard case), where did you find your counterweight shaft and accessory tray? I cannot find mine anywhere. The box with the hard case contains just the case and there is nothing inside. The tripod box is probably too narrow to contain the tray, but there is no sign of the tray or shaft there too.

#532 Seanem44

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:23 AM

For those of you who ordered through Amazon (with the hard case), where did you find your counterweight shaft and accessory tray? I cannot find mine anywhere. The box with the hard case contains just the case and there is nothing inside. The tripod box is probably too narrow to contain the tray, but there is no sign of the tray or shaft there too.


Top of the upper foam pad. Pull the top foam pad out.

#533 boandpokey

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:33 AM

I’m only powering off to reset the zero position because I can’t get my mount to manually return exactly to the zero position. I have to slew to the zero position using the motors. Since it only takes a couple seconds to flip the switch off and on, and gives me a little more accurate slew to the first alignment star, I go ahead and do it. I would follow this routine whether I polar aligned or not...John

I never did a power down with my IEQ45 after a polar align with the polar scope, why would you need to do that anyway is beyond me ...
As long as you did not do a polar routine or sync to a star the model is not initiated anyway no?


Beautiful pic John

i had my first dark session here in humid cenfl last night with a new friend that lives in the area. I have a long way to go. I couldnt get the scope/goto working. likely due in equal parts to inexperience, Mount not level/setting up in the dark. Polar scope light not working correctly due to loose contact. the light would flash on and off. Ill try again tonight to at least get it aligned ( weather permitting) I had a chance to see the AVX mount today my friend has. it is HUGE campared to the zeq...I like that about my choice. the portability..

#534 ebeyonder

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:52 AM

For those of you who ordered through Amazon (with the hard case), where did you find your counterweight shaft and accessory tray? I cannot find mine anywhere. The box with the hard case contains just the case and there is nothing inside. The tripod box is probably too narrow to contain the tray, but there is no sign of the tray or shaft there too.


Top of the upper foam pad. Pull the top foam pad out.


Ah found it. Thanks!

#535 ramasule

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:30 AM

The zeq25 does not start tracking until you either do a alignment or hit 0 after its done booting. You will see on the hand controller that it will now say tracking. Press 0 again to stop.

Once again some of you think this mount is "expensive" at 1000. It is a bit of change for someone new to buying just the mounts but in reality for 1000 this thing is gold. When I bought this I did not expect the quality and the weight this thing is holding up to.

Also do yourselfs a favor, read the manual a couple times through off the website, seriously. I know it's exciting to get something new but you may end up damaging something... particularly the tension/wormgear.

Also, I cannot stress this enough since I have a friend whom is notoriously bad for this.... Do not expect to take this out on a clear night, or any night, first time, and expect everything to go alright. Practice setting it up indoors, practice setting it up indoors, practice setting it up indoors.

Remember if you prepair yourself, the rest will fall into place, and you will ENJOY this hobby, that yes is at times very frustrating.

Calm seas and clear skies,

Ram

#536 boandpokey

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:49 AM

thanks Ram

words of wisdom for me. I definitely need the practice. and hope to get to a point in the next 6-12 months to be able to take mediocre photos.. lol

#537 Astronewb

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:14 AM

Also, I cannot stress this enough since I have a friend whom is notoriously bad for this.... Do not expect to take this out on a clear night, or any night, first time, and expect everything to go alright. Practice setting it up indoors, practice setting it up indoors, practice setting it up indoors.


Excellent advice Ram!

hope to get to a point in the next 6-12 months to be able to take mediocre photos..


This mount will deliver excellent images if you read the manual...:)

Posted Image
the Final Mission, M31 Andromeda by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Remember also, that from time to time, the online manuals are updated or annotated by iOptron's staff, based on user's input, so visit the website every few months to see what's new.

All the best,

Paul

#538 RandyC

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:01 AM

Hi Paul, Very nice image, great clarity. As an update on the C11/ZEQ25. Works fine. It guides better than the C8 which may be due to balance. C11 gotos are slightly worse. I still get all of my gotos but instead of being almost centered, they are near edge of fov. This is amazing performance to be able to switch between my C8 and C11. However, my C11 is an older ota and needs to be collimated or something as the stars are fuzzy. I tried to collimate but can't seem to get it any better. I am back to the C8 where I will reduce the Mallincam focal reduction from about .50 to .75. Since the gotos are so good, I should still hit my objects, mostly galaxies.

Hey have you seen this, what do you think for the Z?
http://www.telescope...tor-Telescop...

#539 boandpokey

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

I read the manual every day... !!

Im reading it now actually. its going to take practice practice practice..

#540 BJS

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

I have a question about the polar alignment routines. Has any one gone to the trouble of using the polar scope first, and then doing a multi-star alignment to see if you can achieve a better polar alignment? After reading the manual it seems like this is possible.
Second question: Can these mounts be placed on the Ioptron piers that the IEQ30 and 45's use? If not, what is the problem, is the diameter wrong or is it the az adjusting peg that is out of place?

Thanks, Brian

#541 Seanem44

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:11 PM

I have a question about the polar alignment routines. Has any one gone to the trouble of using the polar scope first, and then doing a multi-star alignment to see if you can achieve a better polar alignment? After reading the manual it seems like this is possible.
Second question: Can these mounts be placed on the Ioptron piers that the IEQ30 and 45's use? If not, what is the problem, is the diameter wrong or is it the az adjusting peg that is out of place?

Thanks, Brian


I use the polar scope first. I have never done it any other way. Really, the polar scope is so good that it takes a few minutes to perfectly align. After discovering it was neccessary by the helpful folks here like Paul, I turn it off and on, then do a one star alignment. After that, perfect. As for the pier, I can not answer that.

#542 gramaglia

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

If you use the polar scope, do 5 minute exposures and are careful to place Polaris in the exact spot indicated my the hand controller you probably don't need to use the routine or drift alignment. You should be able to get within a couple of arcmin of true north. I have never drift aligned or used the routine with the ZEQ25 but so far limited myself to 5 minute subs.

#543 Ryuno

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:58 PM

Case on wheels for the ZEQ25?

Now comes the difficult part.

Total weight of the mount in my setup is
Mount 10.4 lbs
Counterweight 10.4 lbs
tripod legs 11 lbs
Powerweight 7 lbs
Total 39 lbs (18 kg)

What I need is being able to take the mount plus the Takahashi CN-212 with me on the train and bus into the mountains around Tokyo, because in Tokyo itself the situation is hopeless.

For the CN-212 I ordered a backpack, which is due to arrive. I found that backpacks for musical instruments are also ideal for astro gear, because they come in different shapes and are built to carry delicate instruments. I found the best backpack for the CN-212 to be a case for a bass trombone. This one:
Telescope backpack
Look at this video, it shows how ingenious this bag is also for telescopes:
Video
I'll keep you updated how it works in real astro-life.

Now I need a suitable case for the ZEQ25.

Requirements:
1. It should be able to hold: ZEQ25+counterweight+Powerweight+tripod legs, as well as some accessories such as binoviewer, eyepieces and the like.
2. It should have wheels, because carrying it additionally to the OTA is out of the question. So it should be like a suitcase with either four wheels to push it along or two wheels to drag it around.
3. If possible: It should have the possibility for foam padding on the inside
4. It should not be too heavy, max about 15 lbs (7kg), I'd say.

Does anybody have a suggestion?

Best regards
Heinz

#544 ramasule

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:23 PM

Look at my review on here. I packed everything into a rifle case. If you have less then me you can even shed more weight. Check out starlight cases.

#545 Astronewb

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

Hey have you seen this, what do you think for the Z?


To be honest Randy, it will probably work well, except for a little added momemtum and balancing finesse. And a bit more 'sail' for those windy nights..:)

I don't use Newts for that reason, I just cringe when I have to stick a camera on the side of a telescope. For me it's just too much of a hassle. Cameras belong on the end of an ota, imho.

I have a ES 152mm Comet Hunter Mak-Newt, and I've never taken an image with it, it's my visual rich field device, and I love the views with it.

Clear skies,

Paul

#546 Astronewb

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

I have a question about the polar alignment routines. Has any one gone to the trouble of using the polar scope first, and then doing a multi-star alignment to see if you can achieve a better polar alignment? After reading the manual it seems like this is possible.
Second question: Can these mounts be placed on the Ioptron piers that the IEQ30 and 45's use? If not, what is the problem, is the diameter wrong or is it the az adjusting peg that is out of place?

Thanks, Brian


Brian, my polar scope is spot on, I've checked, and it's within 2 arc-minutes, which is fine by me.

So, I have polar aligned, then used the Polar Align routine to see if I could chip away those last few arc-minutes. Nope, not happening, you'll only make it worse. The routine flips you back and forth between the 2 stars you've selected in a never ending routine, that has no confirmation or closure. When you 'think' it's good enough, you just back out of the routine.

I've then checked my initial polar align, and it's way off. Off so much that I can't image unguided for more than 45 seconds without trailing.

The routine will allow you to guide quite successfully, but it's not for the new AP'er without guiding equipment.

I'd love it if iOptron would return to the old Two Star align, which gave you an offset readout after the second star was centered. At least then you could make the needed adjustments with the mount adjusters and repeat the routine until you had '00-00' offset, or very near to it. After 3 or 4 iterations of the old routine, I was always at least '01-00' in both axes, and about 30% of the time I was at '00-00' which allowed me to image for 4 minutes unguided.

But, iOptron says the old routine was too difficult for the average user to wrap their head around, so they went with the new 'Polar Align' at the expense of AP enthusiasts.

No, the Z mount will not fit the current piers, the mount base circle is much smaller and would need a special apdapter to fit. Hopefully iOptron is working on that.

Cheers and clear skies,

Paul

#547 gramaglia

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:18 PM

Paul: I just cringe when I have to stick a camera on the side of a telescope.
what's the reason to have the focuser on the side on the OTA when imaging? The focuser can be straight up or straight down; the camera doesn't camera to be in an "inconvenient" position. and it makes it a hell of a lot easier to balance the mount.

#548 Astronewb

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:18 PM

Requirements:
1. It should be able to hold: ZEQ25+counterweight+Powerweight+tripod legs, as well as some accessories such as binoviewer, eyepieces and the like.
2. It should have wheels, because carrying it additionally to the OTA is out of the question. So it should be like a suitcase with either four wheels to push it along or two wheels to drag it around.
3. If possible: It should have the possibility for foam padding on the inside
4. It should not be too heavy, max about 15 lbs (7kg), I'd say.


Heinz, try looking at some of these wheeled carriers, you'd probably be able to put everything in one case?

https://www.google.c...=isch&tbo=u&...

I don't golf, but I have seen these on airline baggage conveyors and thought about using one if I needed to travel with a complete kit?

Cheers,

Paul

#549 BJS

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:16 PM

Thanks Paul. That helps alot. I did not know that Ioptron had changed the polar align routine like that. Seems like they could bring that feature back as an easy and an advanced mode. I would guess that the multi-star align was not any better?

Brian

Brian

#550 Astronewb

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:21 PM

Thanks Paul. That helps alot. I did not know that Ioptron had changed the polar align routine like that. Seems like they could bring that feature back as an easy and an advanced mode. I would guess that the multi-star align was not any better?

Brian

Brian


No Brian, the multi-star alignment only improves the pointing model and accuracy in that section of the sky, it does nothing for polar alignment.

I think iOptron could at least still offer the older firmware for the HC on their website, for those that need a positive method of minimizing polar offset...:(

Oh well, it is what it is... ;)

Cheers,

Paul






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