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Ieq45 pro

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#51 mikeyL

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 10:47 PM

Have looked quickly at tracking logs and PE plot from Monday night session. They look good, and PE plot doesn't seem to have the same severe spikes as the previous one I posted. Tracking has been decent. At this point I have no more time for testing as it is time to start to get ready for trip to NM (lots of other issues to wrangle to get ready and trip is a week away...) I will post any more impressions after that trip which should provide a very rigorous shakedown cruise as far as amount of imaging time is concerned (weather permitting - keep your fingers crossed on that  :ubetcha: ) 

 

I did take a very short stack (18 mins) of Western Veil under light polluted skies, with only lights and darks. Cropped a bit but I'm pretty happy with it as a proof of concept going forward. Best viewed here if anyone is interested:

 

http://www.thinairph...2eaa9#h11b2eaa9

 

Dark skies to all,

 

ML


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#52 Alfredo Beltran

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:41 AM

Does anybody have an update on how the Pro is performing?

 

regards

 

Alfredo



#53 mikeyL

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 10:41 AM

Alfredo,

 

I am back from  NM, and had some good results with the mount. I was imaging at no longer than ~570mm though (and some imaging at 200mm and 300mm as well) so perhaps not a very daunting test for the mount's tracking. The results from the trip are here:

 

http://www.thinairph....com/p290657625

 

2nd click brings up a slightly larger image, or if you prefer the last 5 images posted on my Astrobin site should be the identical shots (but where I think a second click may give you a full resolution view...)

 

http://www.astrobin.com/users/mlewis/

 

I have some PHD2 logs I could process, but haven't done that yet. In general terms, I still feel like:

  • The Pro version definitely performs better than my non-Pro version of the mount in software connections as the new ASCOM driver seems to be both more capable to handle multiple connections to the mount seamlessly and also more robust. And extra info from driver dialog box is very handy too.
  • Slewing is faster and much quieter
  • Guided tracking for me compared to my previous non-Pro is also better. I think it is better unguided as well, although I never really do that except for characterization purposes. The differences are noticeable but not dramatic. I am still not going to all of a sudden do 5 minute unguided subframes with perfect stars, even with a very careful polar alignment. But it is better than before.
  • The 8407+ firmware has some nice features, one of which seems to be a generally peppier experience when using the hand controller. Button presses are more responsive and you virtually never have to hit the button twice to make it respond. Also the new way they are handling the zero position is nicer, and prevents the constant mount power cycling that used to take place during setup. It also 'remembers' where it was if you power cycle it off and on for any reason (intentionally or accidently) but I haven't really needed to count on that feature much just yet.
  • I have loaded the very latest firmware that promises some additional improvements in guiding/tracking but have had no chance to try it out, being back in CO where the weather and the temperature have both conspired to allow no chances to do any imaging over the last month.

I will plan on posting again regarding how I get on with the new firmware once I have had a chance to try it out.

 

ML



#54 Gary.McK

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 07:50 PM

Since the Pro uses the 8407 controller, does it autoguide when PEC is on? My IEQ30 (which uses the 8407 controller) will not autoguide when PEC is played back, which makes it pretty pointless....

 

cheers

Gary



#55 Alfredo Beltran

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 11:49 PM

Thanks for the report Mikey!

 

It seems that the Pro version certainly is an improvement compared to the previous versions. I'm sure also you'll find that the PE of the Pro should be low, since it uses the same mechanics as the CEM60 which is specified at iOptron's website as +-5 arcesconds peak to peak. It would be interesting what you find.

 

Regards

 

Alfredo



#56 Alfredo Beltran

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 11:53 PM

Since the Pro uses the 8407 controller, does it autoguide when PEC is on? My IEQ30 (which uses the 8407 controller) will not autoguide when PEC is played back, which makes it pretty pointless....

 

Hi Gary

 

The Pro uses the 8407+ hand controller which allows guiding with PEC on. In fact that is also allowed in my mount which is one of the very easy versions of the iEQ45 (8020B) with 8406 hand controller and firmware 1.05.

 

Have you tried to guide your iEQ30 with PEC on through ASCOM? It could be that only the ST-4 interface is disabled with PEC on, but still capable of receive the autoguiding signal through the serial port.

 

Regards

 

Alfredo



#57 Gary.McK

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 06:14 AM

Hi Alfredo,

 

yep tried both ST4 and Ascom - the mount won't calibrate at all when PEC is turned on. This was a major disappointment to me - if I had known this I would not have bought the mount. As it is, it has taken me 10 months to get it working as it should have out of the box - a lot of wasted time due to a bent ra worm and wrong motor control firmware loaded at the factory!

 

cheers

Gary

 

 

Since the Pro uses the 8407 controller, does it autoguide when PEC is on? My IEQ30 (which uses the 8407 controller) will not autoguide when PEC is played back, which makes it pretty pointless....

 

Hi Gary

 

The Pro uses the 8407+ hand controller which allows guiding with PEC on. In fact that is also allowed in my mount which is one of the very easy versions of the iEQ45 (8020B) with 8406 hand controller and firmware 1.05.

 

Have you tried to guide your iEQ30 with PEC on through ASCOM? It could be that only the ST-4 interface is disabled with PEC on, but still capable of receive the autoguiding signal through the serial port.

 

Regards

 

Alfredo

 



#58 Alfredo Beltran

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 12:39 PM

Well Gary, I think that if PEC is not entabled when guiding, it is pointless to train the PEC.

 

Regards

 

Alfredo



#59 mikeyL

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 01:45 PM

I have also seen info that appears to indicate that PEC can be used WITH guiding with the Pro version of the mount running the latest firmware. I have the latest firmware loaded but have not ever loaded a PEC curve (because as stated above, without guiding capability, then why bother as I NEVER try unguided imaging) but perhaps I can try it out going forward and see if it is possible and if so if the combo of PEC and guiding makes things better. Unfortunately, the weather is just not looking good around here atm for at least the next week or so.

 

ML



#60 Alfredo Beltran

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 03:26 PM

I read that also Mikey, let's see how it comes.

 

Regards

 

Alfredo



#61 Gary.McK

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 09:30 PM

Well Gary, I think that if PEC is not entabled when guiding, it is pointless to train the PEC.

 

Regards

 

Alfredo

Absolutely - however it would have been nice to train the pec and use it whilst guiding - better guiding at longer focal lengths and / or longer guider integrations..You can do this with pretty much most other mounts...

 

cheers

Gary



#62 Alfredo Beltran

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:53 PM

I agree. I can guide with PEC on with my iEQ45 with 8406 HC

#63 Fukinagashi

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 11:41 AM

I read on the manual that auto-guiding with PEC playback is not recommended.

Is this related to the non-PRO models or should I consider this as statement also for my IEQ45 PRO?


Edited by Fukinagashi, 07 February 2015 - 10:45 AM.


#64 namsel

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 05:54 PM

With spring having arrived has anyone had an opportunity to test the performance of their IEQ45 PRO ?



#65 jimegger

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 08:41 PM

I just purchased an IEEQ45 PRO mount but have yet to put it through its paces. I build mounts and drives so know what works well and what doesn't although all of my mounts are non-go-to. This is the first go-to mount for me. A few things I really liked about it right out of the gate is the fact that the worms are spring loaded. This eliminates backlash if the worms and gears mesh properly with changes in temperature and any eccentricities in the machining. The wedge design is another big plus for dampening vibrations. It was smaller than I expected overall for the weight it is stated to be able to carry but it handles my 6 inch f/11 refractor well enough. The controller is the 8407 + and it works very well with what I have been able to tell so far. I liked the fact that it can be heated in cold weather as I live in the north (Alaska).

Tracking and slewing are pretty quiet.  I was able to get things centered very well at 66 inches focal length and 33 X with rough alignment and very good centering with 3 star alignment even though the mounts legs (tripod) were in soft thawing ground and the scope was shifting the weight around as it moved from one side to the other. Tracking appears to be very good although I have not had it doing any imaging yet -( waiting for the weather ).

It is easy to polar align with the polar scope and I have gotten it to read an error of 9 arc minutes in DEC. with about the same in R.A. just using the polar scope.

 

As soon as I get a chance to do some imaging with it I'll report some more. I guide manually instead of auto-guiding so I'll be able to see exactly how the periodic error appears in action while doing shots with and without periodic error correction applied.

 

Here is an edited shot with the 6 inch refractor on it. Manual guiding ,by the way, is a piece of cake. All you do is substitute your eye for the guiding camera and push a few buttons once in a while.

 

If you really want to make the mount even more stable than it comes just hang a heavy weight below the center of the tripod and even add some vibration dampeners to the feet and you will have a very well dampened and stable system. I bought this mount specifically for the 6 inch refractor to do imaging and it appears it will do the job very well - so far even without the dampening just mentioned.

 

The stepper motors throw the 6 inch around with ease and are very smooth. The belt drive system really reduces noise as well as periodic error. If I were to build a small mount it would be a lot like this one.

Attached Files


Edited by jimegger, 09 April 2015 - 10:17 PM.


#66 mikeyL

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 10:14 AM

Manual guiding! Holy cow!  :bow:  :)

 

ML



#67 namsel

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 05:23 PM

Hi jim your experienced perspective would be appreciated. My understanding is that the electronics and gears are internally the same as iOptron's CEM60 but with a lesser load amount. If you have any testing results from PemPRO or other software, please post to the forum.

 

The ieq45 should handle a decent amount of weight however fully loaded with a long focal length scope should push the scope to its limits and that would be a great area to examine from a testing perspective.



#68 jimegger

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 12:04 PM

I got a chance to get some shooting in last night to see how the mount performed in tracking with the 6 inch f/11 refractor on it. Here is the shot I managed to get. It turns out that my objective had misted over somewhat.  The temperature had dropped below freezing while at the same time the clouds had started to thin out and disappear. It left my objective with a translucent frosted look that I did not address until after shooting. So it left a hazy appearance as well as an off color look to the subsequent images. Here is what I ended up with. 

 

My impressions of the mount are very favorable. It tracked extremely well with very little periodic error. I do not image with a computer - it is all done manually but in doing such I get to watch the guide star in real time. Corrections were easy and done only sporadically. My time for each image was 7 minutes. I used a 12.5 mm guiding eyepiece with a old Lumicon off-axis guider guiding thus at about 132 X. The camera is a modded Canon 6 D at ISO 2500. I did notice that upon releasing the shutter and letting the shutter release device dangle it jerked the scope slightly and left a short line trail on the bright stars. The 6 inch scope is at the upper weight limit for the mount and has a long moment arm at f/11 so any jerking shows up in the image easily. Apart from that I have to say I was really impressed at the smoothness and accuracy of the mounts performance ! It was a piece of cake to guide with impressively long intervals between inputs. Not being able to quantify the errors due to lack of computer I can honestly state that they were very small. I let my camera dark frame subtract and after 7 minutes of that the guide star was most often still in the guiding eyepieces cross hair box or just barely out of it if it wasn't. The mount is nearly polar aligned but not right on - so pretty impressive again.

 

I took 6 subs and came up with this final image of NGC 3628.   

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#69 JoeR

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 12:28 PM

Looking good Jim! I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on an iOptron mount myself. I'm still on the fence between the iEQ45 Pro and CEM60. I'm feeling more confident the iEQ45 Pro can handle my 28lb EdgeHD 11 OTA. I spoke to iOptron last week and the Tri-Pier will available in May and that would give some nice stability to the mount. Also I'm contemplating a simple spreader bar attachment to the tripod for either mount. So many options here so all these reports are helping.



#70 interface

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 09:06 PM

Hello All

 

This is my first post on this forum, so quick deep breath and here we go...

I bought an IEQ-45 Pro last November (2014) as my first 'proper mount' for imaging. I had a couple of questions though for anyone who also has one. The mount is up to date (as of a few days ago) with the latest firmware.

I have noticed a number of things that people here have already posted.  I too have the RA drive that seems to 'bind' even though all four thumbscrews are backed right off making accurate balancing tricky.
I actually thought that the rubber 'feet' were part of the transit packaging they were so poor! 

 

What I wanted to ask was the following:

1) With all the RA thumbscrews done up and the DEC lock on and with out forcing anything if I try and move the RA drive that is solid and unyielding. The DEC drive though can be moved forward and back slightly. Do others have this?

 

2) Even with the latitude adjuster four thumb screws done up and again without forcing anything it is still possible to move the mount up slightly as though the screws are loose.  The weight of the scope etc. obviously presses everything down so I don't think I causes a problem I was just interested if 'they all do that'

 

3) The pointing accuracy was good with just a telescope mounted (I only load up small stuff either a 6" GSO RC or my little Brass Televue Ranger).  Recently I bought a spreader bar that obviously sits across the top of the mount allowing me to attach a small guide scope, a DSLR and the Ranger all at the same time. Since fitting this bar (plate) the pointing accuracy is gone. i.e. Jupiter would not be in the eyepiece of a 25mm plossl eyepiece on the 680mm FL Ranger.  Any thoughts?

 

Thanks for reading.



#71 Midnight Dan

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 08:17 AM

1) Yes, mine does that too.

 

2) That's odd.  I have the 4 thumbscrews tightened up pretty tight and the mount does not move at all in altitude.  Can't imagine how that can happen unless either the thumbscrews are not tight enough, or the mount base itself is not tightened down securely.

 

3) You may have cone error when mounted on your "spreader" bar - what I would call a side-by-side mount.  Assuming your polar alignment is good, your mount's axis is aligned with the rotational axis of the earth.  But if your scope is not mounted perfectly parallel to the mount's axis, then your pointing will be off. To check, do the following.

 

a. During the day, aim the mount horizontally so that you can see a distant land target through the polar scope.

 

b. Using the RA motor, drive the mount back and forth from counterweights horizontal left, to counterweights horizontal right.  Check to see that the polar scope crosshairs stay lined up on the target.  If not, then you first need to align your polar scope with the mount.

 

c. Do the same left to right movement of the mount while looking through your scope.  A cross-hair eyepiece will help here to determine if the target stays centered throughout the rotation.  If not, you'll need to adjust the position of the scope using shims, or 3-point rings if the scope is mounted using them.

 

-Dan


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#72 Phillip Easton

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 09:04 AM

1)  Mine is similar due to it being spring loaded, however if it is excessive it could be the play in the hinge.  If you are happy with your GOTO's I would not worry too much about it.  If they are off then you might take the cover off and look for the hinge moving back and forth.  From point number 3 it sounds like there is another reason for your GOTO's being off.

 

http://www.the3dwiza...y-in-mount-axis

 

2) Similar to mine, I have to take the allen wrench and really tighten the screws.  You might look at doing this mod as it help with mine:

 

http://www.the3dwiza...g-screw-upgrade

 

3) What Dan said ;)

 

Cheers!



#73 interface

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I will have ago with the aliginment checks over the  next few days.

 

Regards

 

Neiil




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