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EdTheEdge
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/10/09
Posts: 1407
Loc: Lomita, CA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: jlicquia]
      #3208307 - 07/09/09 03:45 PM

Quote:

I think it's a *BLEEP* shoot. I had one for a couple of weeks and just returned it. I'm getting an Orion Sirius GEM instead.

Most of the problems I had with mine were related to poor tracking and intermittent motor operation and slewing in azimuth mode. Sometimes it would just stop functioning all together. I installed the latest firmware upgrades and they made no difference. All in all, I think the Mini Tower was a good idea but poorly engineered. Qc also seems to be questionable give the number of problems people seem to be having. Not recommended.

Jim




Jim sorry to hear that.... I really am. I am close to pulling the trigger on this mount but you have given me reason to pause a bit. Could it be possible that you just got a bad one? Since I already have a GEM I am not in the market for another. I AM looking for a good grab and go with GoTo. I guess I'll be doing a bit more research....

--------------------
Explore Scientific 127mm ED APO
Orion 100ED
Orion 90mm
Explore Scientific 80mm ED APO
Orion ST80
Celestron SP-C6 Newt
Orion XT10i
Meade 12X60
---
Super Polaris
CG-5GT
ES Twilight I
Skyview AZ
Paragon Plus
---
Torrance,CA


For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream - Vincent van Gogh


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EdTheEdge
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/10/09
Posts: 1407
Loc: Lomita, CA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #3208313 - 07/09/09 03:47 PM

Quote:

Ask and you shall receive! Here's a 127 F8 on the MT, It worked, but I think the scope is a little long for the MT. I think the MT will handle a 100mm just fine.

Bob




WOW Bob! Thats a beautiful scope!!!! Sizeable too! You say that worked on the MT? How well?

--------------------
Explore Scientific 127mm ED APO
Orion 100ED
Orion 90mm
Explore Scientific 80mm ED APO
Orion ST80
Celestron SP-C6 Newt
Orion XT10i
Meade 12X60
---
Super Polaris
CG-5GT
ES Twilight I
Skyview AZ
Paragon Plus
---
Torrance,CA


For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream - Vincent van Gogh


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EdTheEdge
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/10/09
Posts: 1407
Loc: Lomita, CA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: johnnyha]
      #3208320 - 07/09/09 03:50 PM

Quote:

I ordered one from Trapezium last week with Steve's ultra bearing upgrade and a 6" round tripod adapter plate to mount it to any 3/8-16 flat top tripod. He says he's at about a three week turnaround right now so I won't have it for a few weeks but I'll let y'all know how that goes.




Please do!!!!

Although I don't think I could afford the Trapezium tune up. I hope it works out for you!

--------------------
Explore Scientific 127mm ED APO
Orion 100ED
Orion 90mm
Explore Scientific 80mm ED APO
Orion ST80
Celestron SP-C6 Newt
Orion XT10i
Meade 12X60
---
Super Polaris
CG-5GT
ES Twilight I
Skyview AZ
Paragon Plus
---
Torrance,CA


For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream - Vincent van Gogh


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johnnyha
Postmaster


Reged: 11/12/06
Posts: 5837
Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: EdTheEdge]
      #3208398 - 07/09/09 04:23 PM

Quote:

Although I don't think I could afford the Trapezium tune up. I hope it works out for you!




EdtheEdge - Steve includes a tuneup of every MiniTower he sells for free regardless of whether you get the ultra package or not. The extra charge is for a bearing upgrade which he can do later if you choose to purchase one without it, and I'm sure it should be good for a few years before doing the upgrade. He does charge a bit less to get the bearing upgrade at time of purchase however, and he says it will help the MT track even smoother.

I am planning on shooting color Mallincam images (which require up to 56 second exposures) with my NP101 and the MT, I've read owners' anecdotes and seen images showing the MiniTower is capable of producing excellent results for this kind of astrophotography.

--------------------
Johnny

FS152
15" Obsession Classic w/ 14.5" f/4.65 Zambuto


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Bob Moore
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/07/06
Posts: 1173
Loc: New York
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: EdTheEdge]
      #3208712 - 07/09/09 07:10 PM

As I said it worked. the mount had no trouble with the weight of the scope but the tube is quite long so it did take some time for it to settle down after touching the scope. Look I don't think the MT is the right mount for a scope that is as long as the mount is tall. I have put a 101mm on it, a two 80mm side by side, a 6" F4 Newt, a 90mm Mak. with an 80mm Apo side by side, a starblaster and any of the above side by side and they all worked great.

Bob

--------------------
Just a stepping stone to greatness for others

And a scope or two or three or four

http://www.deer-pond-observatory.com


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jim_m
sage


Reged: 10/25/08
Posts: 396
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #3225456 - 07/18/09 04:41 PM

Hi,
Mine works great with a C 8 and 6" f6 side by side.
When I got mine I almost lost my C 8 in a ground collision(fallig over).I bought a medium weight construction tripod
and did a few mods to it.Took care of the problem just fine.
Tripods that "walk' and are not stable in grass just do not cut it in my little world.


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Eric Gage
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/13/05
Posts: 993
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: jim_m]
      #3225526 - 07/18/09 05:34 PM

My MT went back. Unreliable GOTO's and tracking. Nice plan, poor execution. If Steve and others can help Ioptron raise the bar for quality out of the box, this could be a great little mount. Meanwhile, it speaks volumes for the erratic assembly that Trapezium is making a good business out of fixing these things prior to initial sale.

--------------------
Eric
---------------------
WO 80mm 10th Anniversary
TSA120
PST
EM-200 T2
Canon 500D, full spectrum mod (thanks, Gary Honis)
15" Obsession with ServoCat



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EdTheEdge
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/10/09
Posts: 1407
Loc: Lomita, CA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: Eric Gage]
      #3226537 - 07/19/09 11:07 AM

Hmmmm glad I started this thread. I think I will be avoiding the MT. I am just a beginner and need to follow a path of least resistance. I want a cheap GoTo for visual but I don't have the time nor the resources to tinker with unreliable equipment. So I guess my search continues.....

Is there a good cheap grab and go goto for a 100ED F/9 out there somewhere????

--------------------
Explore Scientific 127mm ED APO
Orion 100ED
Orion 90mm
Explore Scientific 80mm ED APO
Orion ST80
Celestron SP-C6 Newt
Orion XT10i
Meade 12X60
---
Super Polaris
CG-5GT
ES Twilight I
Skyview AZ
Paragon Plus
---
Torrance,CA


For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream - Vincent van Gogh


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GaryML
sage


Reged: 02/16/09
Posts: 348
Loc: San Diego, California
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: EdTheEdge]
      #3226599 - 07/19/09 11:54 AM

Quote:

Hmmmm glad I started this thread. I think I will be avoiding the MT. I am just a beginner and need to follow a path of least resistance. I want a cheap GoTo for visual but I don't have the time nor the resources to tinker with unreliable equipment. So I guess my search continues.....

Is there a good cheap grab and go goto for a 100ED F/9 out there somewhere????




There are a number of very good alt-azimuth grab and go mounts, but not with go-to. I can recommend the William Optics EZTouch for a 100mm f/9 refractor. I used one with my Vixen ED100sf scope and it was rock solid. A great deal for $500. But no go-to.

You can add digital setting circles from JMI to many alt-azimuth mounts (including the EZTouch) but that adds a lot of cost. The nice thing about the DSC approach rather than motorized is that you don't need an external battery and the mounts are silent in use. You can get some mounts packaged with DSCs (e.g., DiscMounts, UA Unistar and Televue Gibralter) but nothing that is as cheap as the Mini-Tower or the bargain GEM alternatives.

If you want an inexpensive go-to mount then the alternatives to the Mini-Tower are GEM mounts. Some go-to GEMS are cheaper than the Mini-Tower: e.g., Celestron CG5-ASGT, Meade LXD-75, Orion SkyView Pro, etc. Setting up the polar alignment for visual use really only takes 30 seconds so that is a non-issue, IMHO. The real issues are the extra weight and assembly time due to the counterweight shaft and counterweights (but note that the Mini-Tower also has a CW and shaft). Assembly time is really not that great but it does add maybe 12-15 lbs to the total weight to carry as compared to non-CW alt-azimuth mounts. I don't think you would want to carry around the assembled GEM+telescope in one piece for any distance (45-50 lbs), but then I never felt comfortable carrying my assembled 100mm f/9 mounted on any mount for more than a few feet either.

EDIT: Corrected name of Orion mount.

--------------------
Sky conditions in San Diego, California:



Celestron NexStar 8 SE
Nikon 7x50 IF SP Binoculars
______________________________________________________
Avatar: Gemini North on Mauna Kea, November, 2008.

Edited by GaryML (07/20/09 12:17 AM)


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wsuriano
super member


Reged: 11/13/07
Posts: 146
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: GaryML]
      #3226651 - 07/19/09 12:31 PM

I have both the MT and the CG-5 ASGT and agree with Gary. Last I checked, you can get the CG-5 for just over $500. It a very capable GEM as long as you don't overload it. With the latest firmware, it's easy to set up and polar align. It also has the benefit of being a capable imaging platform. You do give up some of the portability of the MT because the CG-5 doesn't break down and all fit within a nice metal case. It tracks very well after an alignment and calibration and it's GoTos are spot on.

--------------------
Meade 8" LX90 GPS w/wedge
Meade 5000 80mm APO
AT 8" f/4 Newtonian
AT 6" RC
ES AR102
Vixen 5" Newtonian
Orion 120mm f/8.3
Orion ST 80mm
Meade ETX90 PE
CGEM
CG-5 ASGT
iOptron MT
QSI 583ws
Orion Mini-Guider


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Luigi
Postmaster


Reged: 07/03/07
Posts: 5317
Loc: MA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: wsuriano]
      #3226940 - 07/19/09 03:41 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

I'd like to point out that a most GEMS (and certainly the CG5) will work fine for visual if you just plop them down using a compass to point North (allowing for mag variation) and correctly set the alt axis for the local latitude. There is no need to see Polaris, refine this, or do a laborious polar alignment. There's also no need to break it down for easy transport. I carry mine attached to the tripod in a $25 padded bag, which also holds the counterweight. It's a G&G setup.

Attachment

--------------------
17.5" f/5 Dob. IM-715 MCT. 120ED. Lunt 60mm Ha.
Zeiss, Leica, Fujinon, Nikon, Pentax, Bushnell bins


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wsuriano
super member


Reged: 11/13/07
Posts: 146
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: Luigi]
      #3226953 - 07/19/09 03:46 PM

Luigi:

Where'd you get the bag?

Bill

--------------------
Meade 8" LX90 GPS w/wedge
Meade 5000 80mm APO
AT 8" f/4 Newtonian
AT 6" RC
ES AR102
Vixen 5" Newtonian
Orion 120mm f/8.3
Orion ST 80mm
Meade ETX90 PE
CGEM
CG-5 ASGT
iOptron MT
QSI 583ws
Orion Mini-Guider


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crazyqban
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/16/08
Posts: 1711
Loc: Miami, Florida
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: johnnyha]
      #3229710 - 07/21/09 05:01 AM

I had one and returned it after a week also. Set-up time was a little more than I had hoped for but this is just a personal thing. I wanted something to set up in less than 5 minutes. The Takahashi Teegul took care of that. From truck to viewing its about 5 minutes. Another thing that I did not like was that viewing with the TSA-102 I had to literally throw myself on the ground. If the tripod was a bit taller or they made an extension column maybe I would have kept it. Also the tripod legs are flimsy in my opinion, I am used to beefy strong equipment. I think that with a small refractor (60mm-80mm)or small SCT the system will be comfortable to use...

Sergio

--------------------
Sergio - El Cubano Loco!!!

16" F4 Starstructure with Zambuto primary
Takahashi FS-102NSV


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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/19/07
Posts: 1819
Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: wsuriano]
      #3230428 - 07/21/09 01:37 PM

Quote:

Luigi:

Where'd you get the bag?

Bill




I have the same, except I have 2 and got several more for buddies.
Tripod(speaker stand)bags

--------------------
Fred
StarStructure LE Series 18" f/4.3 (Zambuto & Argo-Servo)
Celestron 8" SCT w/Starlight Feathertouch Microfocuser;
Explore Scientific David H. Levy f/4.8 Comet Hunter
Stellarvue SV80ST f6 Triplet APO
Tele Vue & EarthWin binoviewers
Enough Eyepieces and Accessories to put my Scopes to Good Use
Meade LX80, CG5-ASGT, Astro-Tech Voyager mounts


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Luigi
Postmaster


Reged: 07/03/07
Posts: 5317
Loc: MA
Re: Mini Tower Owners Chime in please! new [Re: Fred1]
      #3230555 - 07/21/09 02:45 PM

Fred's got the source. These are amazingly nice bags for the price. I have two and almost feel like picking up a couple more except I don't have anything to put in them. Har!

--------------------
17.5" f/5 Dob. IM-715 MCT. 120ED. Lunt 60mm Ha.
Zeiss, Leica, Fujinon, Nikon, Pentax, Bushnell bins


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