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#1 jschellenberg

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:24 PM

Has anyone used the iOptron CEM60 mount together with a Celestron 11” edge HD OTA? I am interested in your experience and comments regarding the use of this combination for astrophotography. Can this drive handle the load with the OTA, guidescope, etc? Thanks.



#2 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:16 PM

Has anyone used the iOptron CEM60 mount together with a Celestron 11” edge HD OTA? I am interested in your experience and comments regarding the use of this combination for astrophotography. Can this drive handle the load with the OTA, guidescope, etc? Thanks.

 

Yes I have. And I am very disappointed with the stability of the mount. It takes 4 to 5 seconds for vibrations to damp out after focusing. And that is with my best attempt to use a deft touch.

 

I also have an AP 155 and the mount performance disapoints on that too. Maybe 3-4 seconds to damp out from focusing vibration. With the nearly 1/3 shorter focal length but considerably larger moment of inertia, its performance is similar to the C11. They are nearly the same weight, at 28 or so pounds with eyepiece.

 

The mount sets up easily, operates and tracks very well. But calling it a 60 lb class mount is deceptive. I have a Losmandy G11 mount to compare it with. The G11 is rated for 60 lbs too. And it takes about 1.5 seconds to damp vibrations after focusing.

 

I can see how this mount would work out well for astrophotography once it in focused and you no longer need to touch it. As I said, it tracks well, though I've not done any astro or used a guide scope. But it is an exercise in frustration trying to focus it for visual use.

 

And for those who think I just have a badly adjusted mount, this is mount #2. The first mount got sent back with RA axis slewing problems (badly adjusted belt tension as it turns out), and poor assembly of the elevation saddle. These two mounts perform identically with the same two telescopes. The worms are tight and there is no visible rocking from backlash.

 

I would be very interested in hearing others' experiences with vibration dampin while focusing, with a variety of other scopes. I would be very relieved to hear that there is a discrete problem that could be fixed. But as it is now, absolutely no way is this a 60-pound class, even if it can track with a balanced 60 pound load. That is a stunt in my opinion, not an operational capability.


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#3 x6gas

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:00 AM

I too have this combination (with the EC version of the mount) and I have had no such difficulty with the mount settling down after focusing, though at least one other CEM60 owner has reported the same problem.  My mount head sits on a substantial CGEM DX tripod rather than an iOptron one so I don't know if that has something to do with the stability issues.

 

The weather has been holding me back, but my first imaging attempts with this combo are on the following links:

 

M63 (this one was published in the August issue of Astronomy Now magazine)

 

M101

 

Cat's Eye Nebula

 

Ian



#4 orlyandico

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:50 AM

I guess this perfectly illustrates that truism that at this price level, you get QA issues.  Some of the mounts may be great, some mediocre, and some terrible.

 

It's making them ALL great that costs the big bucks...



#5 GJJim

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:50 AM

I guess this perfectly illustrates that truism that at this price level, you get QA issues.  Some of the mounts may be great, some mediocre, and some terrible.

 

It's making them ALL great that costs the big bucks...

 

What? -- Good, fast, cheap, pick any two -- still applies?    :grin:

 

I saw this mount at the ASAE last year and by appearances it did not look like it could handle 60 pounds for imaging. IMO not enough "there" there in the gears and bearings to handle the moments produced by a load of that size.


Edited by GJJim, 07 August 2014 - 08:53 AM.

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#6 Nikolas234

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:37 PM

I too have this combination (with the EC version of the mount) and I have had no such difficulty with the mount settling down after focusing, though at least one other CEM60 owner has reported the same problem.  My mount head sits on a substantial CGEM DX tripod rather than an iOptron one so I don't know if that has something to do with the stability issues.

 

The weather has been holding me back, but my first imaging attempts with this combo are on the following links:

 

M63 (this one was published in the August issue of Astronomy Now magazine)

 

M101

 

Cat's Eye Nebula

 

Ian

I have a CEM60 non EC version that I used with a Celestron EdgeHD 9.25. I had a Berlebach UNI tripod, very nice tripod but with the added weight of the mount head, the OTA and accessories there was a vibration dampening as mentioned above, maybe 3 to 4 seconds, annoying. The overall weight of the gear was really tasking the tripod itself. I bought an Avalon T-POD 130 from deep Space products and it made a world of difference. When focusing now I have less than a second of dampening time while using it visually. If I tapped gently with my fingers the Berlebach tripod it would " resonate " in my OTA, now with the Avalon it does not move, when I tapped the mount itself with the Berlebach, there would also be vibration, with the Avalon it's minimal. As Ian mentioned the tripod seems to make a big difference. I would like to read from others who might have the Ioptron pier with the CEM60 mount combination as I heard it is quite stable and might be a better choice than the standard tripod for the CEM60. It is a lot of money for the Avalon, but now I am very pleased with the results well worth the investment. The tripod can be use with other mount via adapters sold separately so a great choice on the long term, I never know what's next on my list for new toys. Now waiting for the next firmware update from  Ioptron as I heard / read in another thread will bring more improvements. Luc



#7 DonBoy

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 02:19 PM

I don't have the CEM60 but the iEQ45 and I originally ran the mount with it's matching tripod.  The stability is not there with this tripod, especially if it is totally extended.  I'm currently using the 48" portable pier with an 8" pier extension and find that to be very stable and focusing is not an issue.  The reason for the additional height is that my setup location is next to my house and the added height allows me to see objects for a greater period of time before my house blocks the view.  If I had a more open location I would probably consider the 42" portable pier for imaging for the added stability over the 48".

 

Also I'd like to point out that the CEM60 is rated for 60lbs. visual not imaging.  If CEM60 were my mount I wouldn't consider no more than 30lbs. to 36lbs. of imaging payload or possibly 40lbs. max if it were a compact scope like the C11.  

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Edited by DonBoy, 07 August 2014 - 02:28 PM.

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#8 tazer

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:47 PM

My copy of the CEM60 was actually more unstable with a 20lbs payload than my CG5 with the identical payload, both with 2" tripods. If I pushed the CEM60 in RA it would give a little while my CG5 is solid (pre-hypertuned.) Of course the internal mechanics are far better on the CEM60 but there is some sort of stability issue they need to work out.



#9 WebFoot

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:36 PM

My CEM60 takes several seconds to stop wiggling after even the most careful focus run.  I don't image with it, but I am surprised at the vibration.  This is with a 30 pound SCT/focuser/eyepiece/finder on it.


Edited by WebFoot, 07 August 2014 - 04:37 PM.


#10 orlyandico

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 06:53 PM

I believe IOptron has asserted that the 60lb is for imaging.  That's my concern. 

 

I have no difficulty believing them if they said 60lb for visual and 30-40 for imaging. 



#11 DuncanM

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:01 PM

I had similar problems when I got my Eq-6 GEM. The basic flaw in the tripod design is that the spreader is too close to the tripod head; the whole mount would vibrate no matter how hard I tightened up on the centre bolt  because the tripod head and legs flex at their attachment points. After various experiments, including a pier mount, I designed a better tray system:

 

tripod.JPG

 

Now my stock Eq-6, synta, tripod is as solid as a much heavier tripod such as the G-11's.  


Edited by DuncanM, 07 August 2014 - 08:02 PM.


#12 HxPI

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 01:53 AM

My CEM60 takes several seconds to stop wiggling after even the most careful focus run.  I don't image with it, but I am surprised at the vibration.  This is with a 30 pound SCT/focuser/eyepiece/finder on it.

Weight handling and stability are the primary areas I'm focused on with this mount. I'd love to upgrade from my iOptron MTP so I can begin imaging and generally have a more stable computer controllable mount for use with my ES 127mm CF refractor, DSLR and accessories. I will continue to monitor the reviews of this mount until I get the sense that the mount will consistently deliver on all the specs advertised! Thanks to all who are using this new mount and providing valuable feedback.

 

Oh also has anyone heard any more news on when the CEM-120 mount might be announced? I'd rather go for that one instead, depending on the specs!

 

Ciao,

Mel


Edited by HxPI, 08 August 2014 - 01:56 AM.


#13 HxPI

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 02:01 AM

I don't have the CEM60 but the iEQ45 and I originally ran the mount with it's matching tripod.  The stability is not there with this tripod, especially if it is totally extended.  I'm currently using the 48" portable pier with an 8" pier extension and find that to be very stable and focusing is not an issue.  The reason for the additional height is that my setup location is next to my house and the added height allows me to see objects for a greater period of time before my house blocks the view.  If I had a more open location I would probably consider the 42" portable pier for imaging for the added stability over the 48".

 

Also I'd like to point out that the CEM60 is rated for 60lbs. visual not imaging.  If CEM60 were my mount I wouldn't consider no more than 30lbs. to 36lbs. of imaging payload or possibly 40lbs. max if it were a compact scope like the C11.  

<script charset="UTF-8" src="chrome://hdv/content/hdv.js" type="application/javascript"> </script>

I have the 2" tripod legs with the MTP but I'll probably get the 48" pier. Glad to see it is more stable. Plus I like how everything packs into the tube itself!

 

Ciao,

Mel



#14 SteveGR

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 11:34 AM

It makes sense to me that the performance is very tripod dependent.  If we accept (for the purpose of this discussion) the stated position that the CEM style, or Z style or whatever you want to call it, can carry more at less mount head weight because of where it is balanced, stability for that much weight still has to come from somewhere, and I could see the quality of the tripod or pier making a big difference.


Edited by SteveGR, 08 August 2014 - 11:36 AM.


#15 jschellenberg

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 05:31 PM

I too have this combination (with the EC version of the mount) and I have had no such difficulty with the mount settling down after focusing, though at least one other CEM60 owner has reported the same problem.  My mount head sits on a substantial CGEM DX tripod rather than an iOptron one so I don't know if that has something to do with the stability issues.

 

The weather has been holding me back, but my first imaging attempts with this combo are on the following links:

 

M63 (this one was published in the August issue of Astronomy Now magazine)

 

M101

 

Cat's Eye Nebula

 

Ian

Thanks for our response. Is the CGEM DX tripod compatible with the CEM60 mount? If not, what modifications were necessary to make the two work together? The only negative aspect of your solution that I can see is that the CGEM DX tripod is very heavy (45 lbs. just for the tripod), and the primary reason I was looking at the CEM60 was for its reduced weight. Since I have to chart the system to a viewing site (I live in the greater LA area), a heavy system will probably get used less.



#16 hrgreen

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 06:17 PM

I mostly have to use my C9.25 Edge/CEM60EC/Ioptron tripod combo in my front yard, and also see a longish settling time. My question is: should I go for the 48" pier, or would a spreader such as Deep Space sells make a similar improvement? Wonder if that pier is useable on a lawn, but could probably install some blocks as a pad.

Don't think I want the cost of an Avalon, but wouldn't rule it out. Other suggestions welcome; thanks.

Hal

#17 TimP

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 09:11 PM

I am waiting for my CEM60 to arrive and I have been thinking about using my CGEM DX tripod. Does anyone know of a place that offers a ready made adapter for this setup. I also have the 48 inch pier that I use with my iEQ45 mount and an 8 inch sct. I will be using my c11 sct with the CEM60.

 

Tim



#18 Astronewb

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 09:49 AM

I am waiting for my CEM60 to arrive and I have been thinking about using my CGEM DX tripod. Does anyone know of a place that offers a ready made adapter for this setup. I also have the 48 inch pier that I use with my iEQ45 mount and an 8 inch sct. I will be using my c11 sct with the CEM60.

 

Tim

TIm, I haven't seen an adapter to mount the iOptron mounts to a CGEM DX tripod, but anything can be fabricated if you can find a small job shop with capacity to turn some aluminum alloy 6 to 7" in diameter.  (Think really big lathe)

 

In the meantime, you can certainly just bolt it up to the 48" pier?  Remove the azimuth pin, and install the two azimuth studs supplied with the CEM60 and you're done.   The CEM60 series is just retained by the two lock nuts which thread on the azimuth studs, unlike the iEQ45 series which uses 4 threaded bolts.

 

Good luck and have fun unpacking and getting to know the mount.

 

Paul



#19 akulapanam

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:42 PM

 

I am waiting for my CEM60 to arrive and I have been thinking about using my CGEM DX tripod. Does anyone know of a place that offers a ready made adapter for this setup. I also have the 48 inch pier that I use with my iEQ45 mount and an 8 inch sct. I will be using my c11 sct with the CEM60.

 

Tim

TIm, I haven't seen an adapter to mount the iOptron mounts to a CGEM DX tripod, but anything can be fabricated if you can find a small job shop with capacity to turn some aluminum alloy 6 to 7" in diameter.  (Think really big lathe)

 

In the meantime, you can certainly just bolt it up to the 48" pier?  Remove the azimuth pin, and install the two azimuth studs supplied with the CEM60 and you're done.   The CEM60 series is just retained by the two lock nuts which thread on the azimuth studs, unlike the iEQ45 series which uses 4 threaded bolts.

 

Good luck and have fun unpacking and getting to know the mount.

 

Paul

 

How wide is the pier base? I want to know if it will fit on my wheely bars and jmi didn't know.



#20 Astronewb

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 09:03 PM

How wide is the pier base? I want to know if it will fit on my wheely bars and jmi didn't know.

 

 

 

 

The pier legs are 22.5" from the centerline of the pier column to the centerline of the pad on the leg.   That should narrow it down for you.

 

Regards...Paul



#21 akulapanam

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 09:23 PM

Sort of but not really. I actually need the tip to tip distance. http://www.jimsmobil....htm#Tip-to-Tip

#22 x6gas

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:41 AM

 

I too have this combination (with the EC version of the mount) and I have had no such difficulty with the mount settling down after focusing, though at least one other CEM60 owner has reported the same problem.  My mount head sits on a substantial CGEM DX tripod rather than an iOptron one so I don't know if that has something to do with the stability issues.

 

The weather has been holding me back, but my first imaging attempts with this combo are on the following links:

 

M63 (this one was published in the August issue of Astronomy Now magazine)

 

M101

 

Cat's Eye Nebula

 

Ian

Thanks for our response. Is the CGEM DX tripod compatible with the CEM60 mount? If not, what modifications were necessary to make the two work together? The only negative aspect of your solution that I can see is that the CGEM DX tripod is very heavy (45 lbs. just for the tripod), and the primary reason I was looking at the CEM60 was for its reduced weight. Since I have to chart the system to a viewing site (I live in the greater LA area), a heavy system will probably get used less.

 

 

 

I am waiting for my CEM60 to arrive and I have been thinking about using my CGEM DX tripod. Does anyone know of a place that offers a ready made adapter for this setup. I also have the 48 inch pier that I use with my iEQ45 mount and an 8 inch sct. I will be using my c11 sct with the CEM60.

 

Tim

 

The CGEM DX tripod is basically the same as the CGE one and uses an adapter to attach the CGEM DX mount head so it's just a case of getting a replacement adapter made up.  I had mine done by JTech Design in the UK, but there will be plenty of people with the facilities to do it - as Paul says you just need a big lathe!

 

Attached File  adapter2.jpg   29.3KB   2 downloads

 

And yes the tripod is a beast - big as well as heavy - so does compromise the portability of the set up.  That's one of the reasons why I am keen to understand how important the tripod is in terms of the issues that some CEM60 owners are experiencing.

 

Have you see the Starbase field tripod?  Not cheap but it looks the business though its 38.5lbs so not that much lighter...



#23 hrgreen

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 03:43 PM

I mostly have to use my C9.25 Edge/CEM60EC/Ioptron tripod combo in my front yard, and also see a longish settling time. My question is: should I go for the 48" pier, or would a spreader such as Deep Space sells make a similar improvement? Wonder if that pier is useable on a lawn, but could probably install some blocks as a pad.

Don't think I want the cost of an Avalon, but wouldn't rule it out. Other suggestions welcome; thanks.

Hal

 

Still looking for someone who has used a spreader brace, such as Deep Space sells, on a 2" leg tripod, like  ours and the CGEM, near full extension.  How would this compare to the 48" pier?   If the answer is not so well, I'll probably order a pier this week.

 

However, cannot find anyone who has it in stock.  Anyone know?

 

Hal

 


Edited by hrgreen, 10 August 2014 - 03:49 PM.


#24 rmollise

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:30 PM

 

 

 

Still looking for someone who has used a spreader brace, such as Deep Space sells, on a 2" leg tripod, like  ours and the CGEM, near full extension.  How would this compare to the 48" pier?   If the answer is not so well, I'll probably order a pier this week.

 

However, cannot find anyone who has it in stock.  Anyone know?

 

Hal

 

 

I don't have a CEM60, but the TPI spreader works wonders for my EQ-6...  http://uncle-rods.bl...-rod-atlas.html


Edited by rmollise, 10 August 2014 - 07:30 PM.

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#25 kalasinman

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 01:51 AM

Curious..has anyone tried the old photog trick of hanging a weight from the tripod? I have a 10K weight in a bag hanging off the bottom of my cheap tripod and it settles down in 2 seconds. Just a thought..--Jack


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