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iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions

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#101 leveye

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

My first light with the ZEQ25GT and first time ever autoguiding using PHD with a serial port connection thru the HC.25 3 minute exposures and all keepers super flat graph with just the bootup parameters i touched nothing just calibrated and started guiding. This mount works out of the box to perfection. :grin:

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#102 Mkofski

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:52 PM

Impressive result!

#103 SunBlack

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 03:35 AM

Paul on another topic i asked

The GotoNova hand controller has infinite Sidereal speed adjustment, I usually take it down to 97% for correct speed

Has the ZEQ25GT same feature? Confirm this speed adjustment could be managed by HC, without need of a PC?

What can u say about it?

#104 Astronewb

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:44 AM

Paul on another topic i asked

The GotoNova hand controller has infinite Sidereal speed adjustment, I usually take it down to 97% for correct speed

Has the ZEQ25GT same feature? Confirm this speed adjustment could be managed by HC, without need of a PC?

What can u say about it?


No Luca, the 8408 hand controller is not as 'feature rich' as the 8406/8407 hand controllers used on the iEQ30/iEQ45 mounts.

There is no adjustable sidereal rate in the hand controller menu.

Nor is there any selection for 'Sidereal/King Speed/Solar/Lunar', etc. The mount automatically tracks at the correct speed depending on the object selected, which makes perfect sense to me. A selection for King Speed might be nice for imaging at low angles, but I haven't had any issues in that area.

Clear skies,

Paul

#105 JimP

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:47 AM

Great pic Leveye!! Wow! I am getting the mount for visual observations only, for visual observations only, for ...
Amazing results. Congratulations!
I am getting the mount for visual observations only, for...

Jim

#106 JimP

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:53 AM

Does anyone know how tall the tripod (1 1/2" legs) is at maximum extension? How does this compare to the EQ30? Thinking about eyepiece location with my TSA 120 and the AP 130 coming in August.

best,

Jim

#107 Astronewb

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:55 AM

Does anyone know how tall the tripod (1 1/2" legs) is at maximum extension? How does this compare to the EQ30? Thinking about eyepiece location with my TSA 120 and the AP 130 coming in August.

best,

Jim


Jim, the 1.5 inch tripod height is 42" to the bottom of the mount base.

The 2.0 inch tripod height is 52" to the bottom of the mount base.

The 2.0 inch tripod will give you an additional 10 inches of useable height and a very stable platform, but it will add 6 pounds to the tripod weight (17 lbs vs 11 lbs).

Best,

Paul

#108 leveye

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:22 PM

Many thanks everyone especially to Paul for helping me make my mind up on this purchase it sure was money well spent! JimP thats funny man just visual yeah keep telling yourself that and see how long you can hold out after a few more first light pics cause they're a comin.. :lol:

#109 gramaglia

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 02:27 AM

Regarding guiding with PHD on the ZEQ25, do default settings work good, or does some tweaking need to be done? Should be getting the new mount soon, the 2" tripod still backordered. Since clear nights have been few and far between hoping not to have to spend the first clear night fine tuning PHD. Any settings that work better on this mount would be greatly appreciated.
Luca

#110 Astronewb

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 09:07 AM

Regarding guiding with PHD on the ZEQ25, do default settings work good, or does some tweaking need to be done? Should be getting the new mount soon, the 2" tripod still backordered. Since clear nights have been few and far between hoping not to have to spend the first clear night fine tuning PHD. Any settings that work better on this mount would be greatly appreciated.
Luca


Just make sure the guide rate in the mount is set to '1.0'.
Phd works with the base settings right out of the box.

In fact, I was expecting a struggle to find the sweet spot with PHD, and was amazed at how well the mount played with the stock settings. The only settings I tweaked was the DEC duration, which seemed to like settings of 750-1000.

Here's a typical screen shot with PHD settings, I'm using version 1.14.2:

Posted Image
zeq25_may6_at6rc by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

You should have no problems getting up and running with the ZEQ25 and PHD.

Best,

Paul

#111 Aaron Worley

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:55 PM

Hello,

My first autoguiding results with the ZEQ25 needed a bit of tweaking. The RA graph looked great, but the Dec tracking would swing off far in one direction, then off in the other. This was with PHD Guiding. iOptron email support was very helpful and suggested adjusting the tension on the Dec gear, it's been a couple weeks and unfortunately I still haven't had a chance to test it out, but I have a hunch that will solve it. If not, I may just turn Dec adjustments off in PHD since the RA tracking works very well. YMMV.

It's a nice mount, great hand controller software and pretty stable for it's size. Very light and easy to carry around the yard.

Aaron

#112 Mkofski

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 01:48 PM

Aaron,

I guess everyone likes iOptron's customer support... boy is that important! Please let us know how it works out. I'm getting ready to order one and am very interested to see how users other than Paul are getting long. The ZEQ25 sounds almost too good to be true.

#113 gramaglia

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 03:02 PM

Thanks Paul, always good news when things work right out of the box.

#114 Astronewb

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 03:13 PM

iOptron email support was very helpful and suggested adjusting the tension on the Dec gear, it's been a couple weeks and unfortunately I still haven't had a chance to test it out, but I have a hunch that will solve it.


Hi Aaron, that will probably work. One thing that is conspicuously omitted from the User's Manual is how to adjust the gear tension.

To balance in RA or DEC, the tensioners must be turned out far enough for the worm gear to clear the ring gear, naturally.

After balancing, you should turn the tension adjuster all the way in, then back it off 2 turns for an initial setting for viewing/imaging.

My mount seems to love 1 and 1/2 turns out, so I leave it there and it hums along.

Good luck and enjoy,

Paul

#115 Craig L

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 04:55 PM

My initial experience with mine has not been so positive. I took possession of one this past Thursday. Right out of the gate there was an error on the hand controller at boot up. Just after the iOptron logo on the screen, I would get a "DEC connection error" appearing for a few seconds. The mount appeared to work fine after that, but swapping cables did not cure it. There were no obvious problems with the cable connections. The DEC axis also would not lock properly. Luckily, iOpteron and the dealer I bought it from were at an astronomy show two hours away this weekend. I took it to the folks at iOpteron on Saturday, and they replicated the error, and suggested we swap my mount for their floor demo. Their reputation for good support is well-deserved.

Forward to today. I took the replacement mount out on my deck for some solar observing. After a few minutes, it stopped tracking and a new error appeared: "RA Voltage Overload" After that, any button press that required RA movement caused the controller to reboot.

I emailed iOpteron support, and got back a reply fairly quickly (and on a Sunday!). I backed off the tension screw on both axis as per their suggestion. I can now slew largely error-free, though not consistently, at 8x, 16x, and 64x. At any other speeds the error comes up immediately. I also hear a lot of cross-talk and chatter from the motors (as does a friend who also bought one this weekend) during and after slewing. I'm thinking that my mount has some power issues. <EDIT> I forgot to mention that the back-light on the hand controller flashes rapidly when a button is held down. This is a new behavior.

Thoughts? Advice? I'm waiting to hear back from iOpteron from my last email. They've been very good at getting back to me with questions and suggestions today. I really want this mount to work as its weight, features, and price are exactly what I was looking for in a mount. I realize that there is an inherent risk in being an early adopter for anything, but this has been a disappointing start for what I hope is a long-term relationship with this promising mount.

#116 Astronewb

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 05:55 PM

I forgot to mention that the back-light on the hand controller flashes rapidly when a button is held down. This is a new behavior.



Sorry to hear about your issues, that's a bummer.

That sounds suspiciously like a power supply/connection problem? What are you using to power the mount>

I had a 7AH Celestron with a surface charge problem that gave me those types of issues. Leaving the light on until the battery went dead and then recharging it overnight cured that.

Regards,

Paul

#117 Craig L

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:12 PM

I forgot to mention that the back-light on the hand controller flashes rapidly when a button is held down. This is a new behavior.



Sorry to hear about your issues, that's a bummer.

That sounds suspiciously like a power supply/connection problem? What are you using to power the mount>

I had a 7AH Celestron with a surface charge problem that gave me those types of issues. Leaving the light on until the battery went dead and then recharging it overnight cured that.

Regards,

Paul


I Paul,

I had it plugged into an surge suppressor that was plugged into an outdoor power outlet on my back deck. I have the mount inside the house now and the same issues are cropping up. I tried 3 other 12v 1000ma power supplies as well, and the problems did not go away. I think it's a power regulation issue on the board.

Do you notice any cross-talk and chatter on your motors? A co-worker of mine also bought one, and makes audible noises after slewing. He's been a tech for 20 years, so he took the housing off to take a look. As an aside, these are the same motors as the IQ30. It's stamped right on the PCB.motors as

#118 leveye

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:26 PM

Mine has the same electronic chatter noises right after and during slewing sometimes with no issues.Might it be the GPS? I did have an R.A. Over current message the first time i turned the mount on and traced it to having the polar scope LED on while slewing after polar aligning the mount either unplugging the led power cord or turning it down/off with the HC both stopped the message and it never occurs now.

#119 leveye

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:32 PM

Btw to all those asking about Sky Safari and an iPad working together with this mount iOptron and Meade are now both mentioned under the SkyFi description so i see no reason why it wouldn't.

#120 leveye

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:42 PM

[/quote]I tried 3 other 12v 1000ma power supplies as well, and the problems did not go away[/quote]
My power adaptor is 1500ma

#121 Craig L

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

[quote name="leveye"][/quote]I tried 3 other 12v 1000ma power supplies as well, and the problems did not go away[/quote]
My power adaptor is 1500ma [/quote]

Once I get this mount fixed I may try a 1500ma power supply as well. Did your mount come with that one? Also, how do you control the mount with Sky Safari and an iPad?

#122 Craig L

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 06:51 PM

Mine has the same electronic chatter noises right after and during slewing sometimes with no issues.Might it be the GPS? I did have an R.A. Over current message the first time i turned the mount on and traced it to having the polar scope LED on while slewing after polar aligning the mount either unplugging the led power cord or turning it down/off with the HC both stopped the message and it never occurs now.


I wish mine could be solved that easily. I've had the LED power cord unplugged since last evening. The GPS chip could be part of the noise thing. The problem is that there's not enough circuitry to keep the cross-talk down.

#123 leveye

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:00 PM

The actual noise level of it is not an issue with me you have to be almost right on it to notice it.What would be the repercussions from it if any?

#124 Craig L

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:06 PM

The actual noise level of it is not an issue with me you have to be almost right on it to notice it.What would be the repercussions from it if any?


Good question, and I'm not sure. My friend, the tech, thought it could affect tracking accuracy, but that does not seem to be an issue with this mount based on this discussion thread and others.

#125 leveye

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:09 PM

Yes it is the one that was supplied with it model# FY1201500
Southern Stars has a Wi-fi usb and serial port adaptor called the skyfi iOptron is mentioned in the description as one of the brands now controllable.
http://southernstars...kyfi/index.html






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