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Telescopeman54
Vendor - Trapezium Telescopes & Services, LLC.


Reged: 08/17/07
Posts: 1715
Loc: New Hampshire
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: islandsteve11]
      #2585240 - 08/16/08 03:08 PM

I've been "advised" to keep my enthusiasm to a dull roar by the "Powers that Be"! Drop me a PM and I can give you a more detailed report. In short, though, I'm thrilled with it.

CS

Steve

--------------------
Stephen Forbes - President
Trapezium Telescopes & Services, LLC
10013 Calle de Palencia
Navarre, FL 32566
1.850.736.3559 (Cell)
Web: http://TrapeziumTelescopes.com
Email: Stephen.Forbes@TrapeziumTelescopes.com
Phone:1.850.736.3559

A whole bunch of stuff mostly mounted on a Mini Tower Super Charger.


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euklides69
member


Reged: 02/18/07
Posts: 11
Loc: Chicago, IL
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Doug76]
      #2587156 - 08/17/08 07:08 PM

Guys - could you advise please if IOptron Mini Tower can be controlled by PC Ascom compatible software ? Does exists any Ascom platform drivers for this mount ?

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king1522
sage


Reged: 04/25/08
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: euklides69]
      #2588397 - 08/18/08 12:49 PM

Steve, do you know what this thing weighs? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

--------------------
Don

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The more you roll off, the faster it goes.

Celestron CPC 1100
Meade LS 8


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2588663 - 08/18/08 03:12 PM

Steve,

I guess from one of the early reports I saw that talked about the worm, etc. I had assumed all of the gears were metal. I am a bit surprised to see that plastic gears are being used at all in something that cost $800. How concerned should I be about this or are they so lightly loaded that aside from the fact they could eventually crack and break, there really should be no concern ? How much more might it have cost iOptron to use all metal gearing ? Or is there a benefit to using plastic gears where they did like minimizing vibration ?

Thanks,

Sam


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2588691 - 08/18/08 03:27 PM

Steve,

One other thing. I just briefly went through the Mini-Tower manual and did not see any information on operating temperature. Do you know what temp range it has ?

Thanks,

Sam


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sang33ta
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/08/08
Posts: 767
Loc: UK
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: sam32]
      #2588817 - 08/18/08 04:37 PM

Urgh, that pic showing lots of plastic is sad

Celestron CG-5 GT is still the king of the hill for a cheap metal geared mount then.

--------------------
Hioptic 152mm f12.5 Maksutov, CG5-AGT, Meade Super Plossl Set, Casio QV-2900UX


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Talstarone
Lunar Man


Reged: 09/12/06
Posts: 8153
Loc: Pinetops, NC
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: sang33ta]
      #2588977 - 08/18/08 05:52 PM

I have to admit I am a little dissapointed myself,in the use of plastic gears in this mount.

I can understand the use of plastic gears in a lower priced mount like the cube.But for a mount that commands this price,I cant understand the use of plastic gears except for a larger profit margain.

While I may purchase a cube at one time or another, I will not purchase the Mini Tower because of the plastic gears. I like the fact the worm gears are brass but what good does that do if the gears driving the worm break or break teeth because of their plastic construction.

--------------------
Todd C.


My Eyes,My Heart,My Soul,and The Glory of God's Heaven.
Orion Mini Giant 15x63 Binoculars(Bogen Tripod)
William Optics ZenithStar 66 ED Refractor
Sky Watcher EQ5P GOTO EQMount (SynScan)
Meade Series 5000 Plossls(20/14/9mm)
Celestron X-Cel LX(12mm)






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Gary
sage


Reged: 06/12/05
Posts: 409
Loc: Southeast, Ga
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Talstarone]
      #2589440 - 08/18/08 09:18 PM

If you ever look at the transmission gears, between the motor and worn drive assembly, you just might be in for a surprise. I talking about gotos priced around 900.00 and less. And some very reliable fork mount priced higher.

CS


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Eddgie
Postmaster


Reged: 02/01/06
Posts: 7951
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: sam32]
      #2590328 - 08/19/08 10:38 AM

I would not worry greatly about the plastic transmission gears. The Worm and Worm wheel are metal. Since these are the gears that are subject to the most contact point pressure, it is crucial that they be metal.

The simple spur gears though receive very little loading. In fact, they receive almost none. The leverage of the screw gear against the worm is extremly high, so again that gear takes a lot of pressure from even small amounts of imbalance. When that pressure is transmitted into the worm gear itself though, it is transferred as SIDEWAYS thrust (forcing the end of the worm into the housing at either end of the worm shaft). There is NO transmission of this thrust into the plastic spur gears.

I would not be worried about the nylon gears here at all. The simply don't take any serious loading.

If the side housing for the worm gear is not very thick, it is conceivable that a heavy impact could crack it, but Nylon (which is most likely what this is made of and not just "Plastic") has good tensile strength and wears quite well.

In some of the Meade telescopes, they used nylon spur gears to drive the tube in elevation. THAT is not so good... The reason is that when the scope IS unbalanced (and in these scopes, there was not any way to correct balance except with a metal weight balance kit). The pressure on the teeth could be very very high when using heavy eyepieces or attaching cameras.. Any imbalance was absorbed almost completly by the face of the spur gear teeth themselves.. Not so good. When loaded in this manner, the face of the teeth can deform in such a way that the point of the driven tooth bends when the point of the driving tooth slides up the face of the driven tooth. As it approached the top, the pressure on the very tip of the tooth subjects it to unusually high wear.

But again, in this case, the face of the Nylon (not plastic) gears is so lightly loaded that they will likely last a few decades of normal observing.

It is SILL important though to ensure that balance is maintained. While most of the pressure is the sideways pressure on the worm and the mechanical advantage of the worm against the worm wheel keeps the loading on the spur gears of the transmission fairly low, anything that causes the transmission to have to drive hard will eventually take a toll.

This is just my opinion, but if you study the torque transmission, you will see that in this case, these nylon gears are loafing.

Oh, and Nylon 6 (which is pretty common in gear building) is also self lubricating.. The lube in metal gears will age and dry in 10 years... Hmmmm.

Do some research on "Nylon Gears" and you will find that in low torque applications like this, they have become the "Industry Standard". Many manchines like copiers and printers use them exclusivly these days if there is low gear-face loading. The company I work for has been using nylon gears in a variety of commercial business machines for decades with excellent results. I have seen nylon gears last 20 years in heavy duty service. IF the design puts them in the right place (as seems to be the case here) and the tolerances for mesh are properly maintained in manufacturing (typical today for CNC machined parts or castings made from molds built with CNC technology) I would expect the same.

Oh, I am not an engineer, but I used to be a field engineer at one time. TOTALLY not an expert, but have seen a lot of gears in my life... lol.


Regards.

Regards.

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400
Astro-Physics 6" f/8
Celestron EdgeHD C8
Antik AR1/Revenge Plates/Heartless Voodoos



The night sky is my mistress. She seduces me away from all other lovers.


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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/19/07
Posts: 1819
Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Jerry Hyman]
      #2590363 - 08/19/08 10:58 AM

Quote:

Hi Steve,

On page three of the manual it states that "Its payload (25 lbs)can be even further enhanced by more than 50% with heavy-duty accessories."

However, I can not find anything in the manual that tells what those accessories are. Do you have any information on them? ~jerry




Coleman Coates of iOptron responded to my inquiry on this, stating, "Yes, this seems confusing. Basically, adding additional counterweights (besides what is already included) will allow for greater payload. However, the maximum payload must still be adhered to."

Seems like 25 lbs is still the limit.

--------------------
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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qlan
newbie


Reged: 08/19/08
Posts: 1
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Talstarone]
      #2591856 - 08/19/08 10:53 PM

Nylon is not simply "plastic." Nylon gears are currently used in many high end office equipment, such as printers, scanners, and coppiers. The most wearable part in the mount is the worm, which better off be copper or SS. Other gears, Nylon will outer perform metal. I would be suprised if they made the mount with all metal gears, which is noisy (if not properly lubricated) and unnecessary.
Qlan


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jasonj998
Banned - Duplicate Account


Reged: 08/19/08
Posts: 51
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Eddgie]
      #2591898 - 08/19/08 11:10 PM

In the Cube discussion, I did suggest the manufacture to change the worm and worm wheel to metal when make new version of the mount. However, I was against changing all to metal. Nylon 6 is a better choice in terms of self lubrication, high in strenth, good temperature performance, etc. I am glad to see this is the case in Minitower.
Jason


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bcuddihee
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/04/06
Posts: 2031
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2591901 - 08/19/08 11:11 PM

Steve, would you please copy me on that report as well.
Thanks bc

--------------------
B Cuddihee
1968 Jason Empire 60X700mm refractor
1977 Jason Empire 313 discoveror EQ
Celestron Nexstar8SE "The Bumblebee", with Feathertouch Microfocuser, and
Celestron CPC Heavy Duty Tripod.
Antares 89mm finder
Stellarvue 50mm "Sparrowhawk" finder
Denk bino's with Power x switch.
Pair of Edmund 15 and 28 plossls.
Pair of Edmund 28 RKE'S
Pair of 32mm Brandons.
Pair of 24mm Brandons.
Pair of Smart Astronomy 19 EF's.






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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Eddgie]
      #2593066 - 08/20/08 01:51 PM

Well, I just purchased a Mini-Tower so we will see. Though I do agree with the comments about the use of non-metal gears if the load is light. It makes sense. I guess after thinking about it and reading some encouraging posts, I am less concerned about it. I am about to set mine up tonight and put it through its paces and see how it performs. And most surprisingly, the weather appears like it will cooperate ! I will add one thing. I am surprised that the metal/foam case the mount arrived in was only protected by a single layer of cardboard given how UPS and FedEx can throw things around. I half expected to see dents in the case. But I saw no signs of damage and it is a very compact case. Very creatively, if not densely engineered. Other manufacturers like Vixen should be ashamed of themselves that they too do not include a nice case like this as part of the price tag, especially for eq. mounts that cost over $2,000.

Sam


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: euklides69]
      #2593076 - 08/20/08 01:55 PM

I believe the answer is yes and the iOptron website has an area where you can download the required software to do this. Or at least that was my impression. I was inquiring about any required firmware upgrades for the controller and Coleman from iOptron told me that an upgrade for the Mini-Tower was in the works and should be available (or something concerning the upgrade) in the next few days. Does anyone who is using the Mini-Tower aware of any problems ?

Thanks,

Sam

Sam


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2593691 - 08/20/08 06:11 PM

Steve,

I picked one of these up and am having trouble getting the battery pack out of the mount. It moves around but seems to be stuck. Is there some kind of trick to getting it out ? I don't know how much I will use it especially as I have no idea ho long the battery power will last but it would be nice to know I could if I wanted to.

Thanks,

Sam

Thanks,


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astroguy9.25
newbie


Reged: 08/20/08
Posts: 1
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: hammerhead]
      #2594308 - 08/20/08 11:22 PM

Hi all, I am not new to Cloudy Nights but I am new to the forums arena, so if I make mistakes posting I will apologize in advance! P.S. I should be getting my new mini-tower any day now!!!

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jasonj998
Banned - Duplicate Account


Reged: 08/19/08
Posts: 51
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: bcuddihee]
      #2594310 - 08/20/08 11:22 PM

Agree with Sam, the aluminum case is really nice. I would be willing to pay $100 for the case alone, which was included in the package for free. Jason

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Talstarone
Lunar Man


Reged: 09/12/06
Posts: 8153
Loc: Pinetops, NC
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: jasonj998]
      #2597615 - 08/22/08 10:36 PM

I Would like to say Welcome To Cloudy Nights To Both jasonj998 and astroguy 9.25. We hope you will find a good deal of useful information here on the Forum.

I would also like to say Thanks to everyone who explained why it was OK to use a combo of the Nylon and Brass Gears in the Mini-Tower.
I Feel Much Better and far more confident about the quality of this mount now.

--------------------
Todd C.


My Eyes,My Heart,My Soul,and The Glory of God's Heaven.
Orion Mini Giant 15x63 Binoculars(Bogen Tripod)
William Optics ZenithStar 66 ED Refractor
Sky Watcher EQ5P GOTO EQMount (SynScan)
Meade Series 5000 Plossls(20/14/9mm)
Celestron X-Cel LX(12mm)






Edited by Talstarone (08/22/08 10:39 PM)


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NotThePainter
sage


Reged: 06/02/07
Posts: 391
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: Talstarone]
      #2598109 - 08/23/08 08:27 AM

Here's some news from Steve.

He just wants to say that you need to contact him directly for now. CN has banned him from posting for being too enthusiastic about the Mini Tower.

Disclaimer. Although my wife and I do the web site for Trapezium Telescopes, this is pro bono work. Which means we do not get paid. We have zero financial interest in Trapezium other than the fact that Steve buys the first round when we meet.

Paul

--------------------
60mm Swift Refractor
6 inch Edmund Scientific Reflector
8 inch Celestron SCT
Criterion RV-8 Dynascope
Celestron ASGT mount
Canon 15x50is


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