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My ZEQ25 is ready for Chile

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#1 Cotts

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:41 PM

The Winter Star Party was the "shakedown cruise" for my new ZEQ25 and the AT65EDQ. I am using PHD guide with an Orion Starshoot Auto Guider so I cannot comment on the peak to peak error of the mount's drive. I took a bunch of pics (JPEG, single shot, no processing). They show the mount out of the box works perfectly in conjunction with autoguiding. Here is a full frame shot of the Rosette and, in the next post, a 200% crop of the center to show the perfectly round stars of great guiding... The scope is perfect, too...

Lucky me!

Dave

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#2 Cotts

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:42 PM

crop

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#3 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:59 PM

Fantastic!

Such a light weight grab and go with such great potential! I am going to buy the mount case for it from iOptron and then figure out how to travel with the tripod (I opted for the 1.5 inch) and I use an 80mm triplet and a dslr. Very light weight and just ideal for wide field AP.

#4 WesC

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:58 PM

You're gonna have a GREAT time!

#5 nodalpoint

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:35 PM

How long was the exposure? You should follow the tune-up videos on YouTube for the mount. Pretty easy to follow and makes it even better.

The crop shot brightest stars show a bit of a hex shape that seems to be common with the AT65.

#6 rkayakr

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:25 PM

Fantastic!
I am going to buy the mount case for it from iOptron and then figure out how to travel with the tripod (I opted for the 1.5 inch) and I use an 80mm triplet and a dslr.


I flew last Christmas with my ZEQ25, WO ZS80 and Canon T3i. I put the tripod, spreader, controller and mount in my checked in roller duffel bag with clothes packed around them, carried on the WO ZS80 and accessories in its soft case and a backpack with the T3i, laptop and personal items.
The toughest past was having a power supply. I bought a cheapo jump start unit at Harbor Freight and donated it to a local club when I left.

#7 Cotts

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

Exposure was 3 minutes at 800 ISO..

I don't see the 'hex' shape that you see.....

As for the tune-up, how much better can the tracking be if the stars are round?

Dave

#8 WesC

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:27 AM

I see a pentagon shape to the stars in that crop... But for a $600 scope that's not so bad.

#9 17.5Dob

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:02 AM

Looks like an awesome mount and OTA. Have a blast !

#10 17.5Dob

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:20 AM

I see a pentagon shape to the stars in that crop... But for a $600 scope that's not so bad.


The crop shot brightest stars show a bit of a hex shape that seems to be common with the AT65


On my monitor, they are very, VERY, SLIGHTLY, elongated, but no way are they remotely pentagons/hexagons.

Haters always hate.

#11 Chuckwagon

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:43 AM

The stars are pretty round, though they may appear a little out of round due to pixelization. If you copy the cropped image and open it in Photoshop, you can try to draw a circle around a star with the Elliptical Marquee Tool. You will notice that because of the low resolution, when you finish your selection and the "crawling ants" dots form your circle, the circle looks a bit out of round. That's because there are not enough pixels to really round out the shape. So, scale the image up to say 1200 ppi from the default 72. Then when you use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (hold the shift key to constrain it to a circle) to outline a star and evaluate its roundness you will be able to see that now the tool makes circles that look correct. That same effect makes the stars look not round for some of them, depending on how many pixels are involved and how the star gets split among them.

Cheers,
Charles

#12 nodalpoint

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:06 AM

Haters always hate.


How is pointing out an optical aberration on a scope where this has been a fairly common issue "hate"? I own one myself and am realistic about its performance and if it can be corrected.

#13 WesC

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 06:31 PM

Who's a hater!? I wanted to buy one of these but they're always out of stock. So I bought an SV105T instead. No offense intended to Cotts or AstroTech. But its a fact that there are several people having issues with stars that aren't round that have nothing to do with tracking, flexure or polar alignment.

Sheesh!


This is what I see, you may or may not... Being a professional visual effects artist, I spend 95% of my day focusing on highly detailed imagery in 3D and pour over every pixel of every frame of every shot I work on. I see a lot of things other people miss. Its a big part of my job.

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#14 Mkofski

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 07:00 PM

We are bit off topic...

#15 orlyandico

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 07:54 PM

So... I'm gonna jump in coz I'm already in Sydney with a zeq25.

I haven't had a lot of use with it but the other night I got a lot of RA overcurrent errors!!! Is it that sensitive to balance? Or is it a worm mesh thing?

I didn't bring the tripod and CW. Too heavy. Each weighs as much as the entire mount. I will have to improvise a 5 lb weight. And I used my (9lb capable) Benro A350ex tripod. A bit jiggly but camera lenses are all I'm gonna use.

I really think a Berlebach Report is the perfect tripod for this. If the use case is lightweight air travel imaging.

#16 Mkofski

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 08:03 PM

Is it that sensitive to balance? Or is it a worm mesh thing?


It is VERY sensitive to balance. I had the same problem with a DSLR and small lens. The CW shaft wasn't enough but the 10 pound weight was too much.

Mike

#17 orlyandico

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 09:31 PM

Ouch. Figures. I'll need to rig up a 3-5 lb weight of some sort.

#18 Astronewb

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:50 PM

Orly, you can duplicate,and then minimize the OC messages with your out of balance load by setting up your imaging train/ota. Then run the mount in RA in both directions at the lowest slew speed you can without getting an over-current message. Let's assume it's speed 1, 2 or 3. Run it at that speed for 60 seconds in both directions. Then increase the slew speed to 5 or 6 and perform the same procedure, 60 seconds in both directions.

That should correct the OC message by 'learning the encoder motor amperage/torque parameters'.

If it doesn't correct it, then the imbalance is too far out of range and you will need to balance it finer.

Have a great vacation...Paul

#19 calypsob

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:09 PM

In addition to what Paul said you also have to be sure that you are turning the tension knobs in all the way and then backing them out two turns. The only time I have gotten Ra overcurrent is when the mount ran into a tripod leg while guiding at meridian, which I think is what it is supposed to do to prevent damaging itself.

#20 calypsob

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:12 PM

The Winter Star Party was the "shakedown cruise" for my new ZEQ25 and the AT65EDQ. I am using PHD guide with an Orion Starshoot Auto Guider so I cannot comment on the peak to peak error of the mount's drive. I took a bunch of pics (JPEG, single shot, no processing). They show the mount out of the box works perfectly in conjunction with autoguiding. Here is a full frame shot of the Rosette and, in the next post, a 200% crop of the center to show the perfectly round stars of great guiding... The scope is perfect, too...

Lucky me!

Dave


Sounds like you are going to have a great experience Dave, hope you get to capture some excellent data!

#21 17.5Dob

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 10:16 PM

Do you have any photos of your full setup ?

#22 gmartin02

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:04 AM

Dave,

All this talk about the AP setup, but no mention of your trip to Chile (unless there were comments posted during the hoop.la period).

Where are you going to do your scoping in Chile?

I am jealous - my wife is from Chile, but we haven't been there since New Years 2007. It is a wonderful country, both for the people, as well as for nature & astronomy (as long as you escape from Santiago/Valpraiso/ViƱa del Mar, although those are interesting places for "city stuff").

#23 Mkofski

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:41 PM

David,

Still in Chile? Anywhere near the big earthquake they just had?

Mike

#24 mmalik

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:05 AM

Earthquake epicenter to 'San Pedro de Atacama' relationship. Regards

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