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king1522
sage


Reged: 04/25/08
Posts: 238
Loc: Texas
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Talstarone]
      #2600677 - 08/24/08 03:15 PM

I have the 8se mount which is different from the 4 and 5 mount, so I don't know if the same problems exist. The se mount has spur gears while, as I understand it, the Mini has worm gears. With the se mount, you have to jack with the backlash settings to keep it from jumping when starting and stopping. Also, when the arrow button is released, it doesn't always stop. Then too, when an arrow button is pushed, sometimes it seems to take an eternity to start. These problems can be worked around but are frustrating. I was hoping the worm gears would alleviate these problems.

Other things that irrate me is that once aligned, the go to is not always accurate in different parts of the sky. Occasionally, a very good alignment can be made, but not consistently. Then the problem in alignment, that to be accurate, you must approach the alignment star "down and right". Also, the legs are a problem. So far I have had Orion replace two of them. I'm not saying these problems do not have a work around, but I'm lazy. I like things to work right out of the box!

I realize the problems results from price vs quality. I was spoiled by owning a Nexstar 11 gps. Alignment was simple and extremely accurate and would last all night long! Also, when aligning, I could just let the star drift into the crosshairs. No "down and right" or other hoops I had to jump through'

One thing I do like about this mount is sometimes I mount an 80mm EON on it and it makes a great grab and go. Light weight and all I do is a solar alignment on the object I am interested in viewing that night.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have spent a few more bucks and bought the mount and scope seperately.

I could go on and on, but enough of my rants for now!

--------------------
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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Jerry Hyman
sage


Reged: 03/29/07
Posts: 465
Loc: Mesa, Arizona
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: king1522]
      #2600784 - 08/24/08 04:03 PM

I thought I would post some information that Steve sent me in an email as a response to some questions I had.

They tried the Mini-Tower with a 9.25" SCT and it handled it well with damping times of less than 2 seconds. The goto worked great. The only issue they had was that the 8lb weight included in the kit was not enough to balance the SCT properly but once they added a 11lb counter weight they had no problems.

They have run one of the towers for a few evenings so far with the internal batterys still going strong.

The Jager 4" f15 (I think) that he has would not balance properly on the mini-tower.

The tracking and goto actually seems to be very percise with the objects ending in the center of the field. The did try it with some software (french name) and the solar system and M objects did fine, but the NGC's etc. were on the edges of the field. They have not figured out the problem on that yet but it appears to be the other software and not ioptron.

There is a ioptron user group at yahoo that has some reports from actual users of the mini-tower.

Hope this helps.

~jerry

--------------------
Sky-Watcher 10" 1200mm dob
8" Celestron EdgeHD
10" f5 quartz custom dob
10" Discovery dob
AP 15x70
CG-5 mount


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Ragnorok
journeyman


Reged: 12/28/07
Posts: 5
Loc: Greenfield, NH
Re: Time off... new [Re: Jerry Hyman]
      #2601254 - 08/24/08 07:36 PM

- I see nothing wrong with *this* thread's activities by Steve. People asked questions, he answered. He never pushed his vendor status, he never (publicly at any rate) solicited sales, he did not appear to drone on about it endlessly. People asked questions, he answered to the best of his ability, and he mainly stuck to the Mini Tower. That is this thread's subject after all.
- Since CN doesn't allow searching I couldn't tell what Steve may have said about the Cube. Anyone who knows Steve knows he bashed that thing heinously at every opportunity, and he won't take money for one. If Steve posted he wouldn't take money for a Cube would that get him time off, too?
- This "time off" thing *appears* more than a little arbitrary based on this one thread. I'd *love* to be able to search the whole forum and see if there's been a change in Steve's posting habits since becoming a vendor, but alas I'm denied that opportunity.
- Since this is the second forum post I've done to CN in my entire life (that i recall), despite months of membership, if I should be arbitrarily given "time off" I'll try to login in time to notice. Since I can't search the usefulness of this site as a knowledge base, my primary interest in any forum, is astonishingly limited.
- That's my half nybble.

--------------------
(________)
Ragnorok

Venerable Odyssey 13.1" f/4.5 newt on a dob mount with 2" two-speed Crayford knock-off
Venerable Orange Tube C8 on CG5 mount with clock drive atop an unknown ash tripod
Bosma 108mm f/6.5 cemented achromat with 2" 2-speed Crayford knock-off on AstroTech Voyager alt-az
Bushnell Sky Chief Jr 60mm f/11.7 air spaced doublet on its own alt-az


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
Postmaster


Reged: 11/02/03
Posts: 11211
Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Re: Time off... new [Re: Ragnorok]
      #2601494 - 08/24/08 09:51 PM

Please folks. Enough already. All your bickering over an issue that quite frankly you really know very little at all about (and that you simply cannot change for that matter) is diluting all the good information that this thread has to offer.

It's done as of right now. If you want to discuss this with me or the admins then I'll be happy to discuss it in PM.

From here on out I want no more discussion of this here. Keep the subject strictly *on* the Mini Tower and *off* of Steve's ban.

Charlie

--------------------
Weston CSC:


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Dylan Gladstone
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/05/07
Posts: 992
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: jasonj998]
      #2602323 - 08/25/08 10:46 AM

Quote:

By the way, I like the aluminum case very much.
Jason



I wish more manufacturers included cases with their mounts. My Mak came with a very nice case for the tube, but nothing for the mount. It would save me a few trips if I had a case to keep the head, counterweight, and spreader bar hardware in...

--------------------
Orion SkyView Pro 127mm Maksutov



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Tom TrusockAdministrator



Reged: 02/26/02
Posts: 33846
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: BlueMoon]
      #2602449 - 08/25/08 11:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

CN has banned him from posting for being too enthusiastic about the Mini Tower.




Well, that's a first for me. In all the forums I've frequented, I've never seen anyone "banned" for enthusiasm...




Sorry Charlie, I know this is off topic, but I think this needs a bit of a direct answer.

That wasn't the reason. In respect of the user we don't discuss bans publicly, but members should realize that nearly any ban has to do with repeated violations of the terms of service - not enthusiasm. IMO, there was a very easy way for this to be avoided, unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

I agree, it's a pity it had to happen but in any case it was temporary, and he's been unbanned.

My apolgies for taking this off track, now lets heed Charlie and get back to discussing the Cube. Further discussion should be taken to PM.

Steve has been posting in the ioptron group, and there's lots of good information there as well. Hopefully, he'll come back here and abide by the TOS. FWIW, There are several satisfied users.

I've had some issues with mine, but I hope to get them resolved shortly. I was hoping to do it this weekend, but simply didn't have the time.

T

--------------------
You do not need a parachute to skydive, you only need a parachute to skydive twice...


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Tom Trusock]
      #2602567 - 08/25/08 12:48 PM

Tom,

I purchased one last week and am still working through some difficulties. Probably another night out will resolve any alignment issues I had my first time. I noticed some inaccuracies with the manual and the hand controller (i.e. there is no speed control button). And I was a bit surprised that when I tried to do a 1 star alignment, there were only a few selections available and there were two brighter stars in the same basic area of the sky which were neglected (Vega and Deneb). Do you know if the user can select his own star or are you at the mercy of the few the controller selects for you ? And do you know what the diffetrences are between the two park commands ? They seem redundant.

Thanks,

Sam


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Tom TrusockAdministrator



Reged: 02/26/02
Posts: 33846
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: sam32]
      #2602605 - 08/25/08 01:11 PM

As far as I know, we're at the mercy of the controller.

I seem to have gotten my issue resolved tho. My GPS module wasn't locking on. Support told me to check the internal connections. They didn't look loose, but evidently they were. It seems to be working ok, now - hopefully I'll get a chance to try in the next couple of days.

--------------------
You do not need a parachute to skydive, you only need a parachute to skydive twice...


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Dylan Gladstone
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/05/07
Posts: 992
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Jerry Hyman]
      #2602628 - 08/25/08 01:25 PM

Quote:

The only issue they had was that the 8lb weight included in the kit was not enough to balance the SCT properly but once they added a 11lb counter weight they had no problems.
~jerry



I don't understand how an alt-az like this balances. I can understand how the alt motion balances, (just move the tube within the dovetail), but how do you know when the scope is balanced with the weights on this mount? Let go and if the tripod tips over, you need more weight?

--------------------
Orion SkyView Pro 127mm Maksutov



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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Tom Trusock]
      #2602641 - 08/25/08 01:29 PM

Tom,

Thanks. Come to think of it, my controller never did say it had acquired the GPS satellite signals (I followed the instructions in the manual and shut off the unit and then turned it back on but the GPS reading stayed the same even after several minutes.) but somehow it got the date and time right. So it is not behaving the way it is supposed to. But even if that wasn't working right, I can always over-ride the lat and long (I assume) and move on from there. Did you have to open it to check some internal connections or was it something inside the mount and not the controller ? I figure I'll take it out the next decent night and make notes of anything that does not appear to be working right and then email iOptron and see what they say. They did seem to be very responsive the last time I had questions. And exactly what does the Sync to Target command do ? This is my first GOTO mount so excuse any ignorance on my part.

Sam


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Tom TrusockAdministrator



Reged: 02/26/02
Posts: 33846
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Dylan Gladstone]
      #2602766 - 08/25/08 02:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The only issue they had was that the 8lb weight included in the kit was not enough to balance the SCT properly but once they added a 11lb counter weight they had no problems.
~jerry



I don't understand how an alt-az like this balances. I can understand how the alt motion balances, (just move the tube within the dovetail), but how do you know when the scope is balanced with the weights on this mount? Let go and if the tripod tips over, you need more weight?




Actually, from what I understand that's about right. The counterweight is to distribute the load across the tripod.

--------------------
You do not need a parachute to skydive, you only need a parachute to skydive twice...


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Tom TrusockAdministrator



Reged: 02/26/02
Posts: 33846
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: sam32]
      #2602774 - 08/25/08 02:36 PM

Quote:

Tom,

Thanks. Come to think of it, my controller never did say it had acquired the GPS satellite signals (I followed the instructions in the manual and shut off the unit and then turned it back on but the GPS reading stayed the same even after several minutes.) but somehow it got the date and time right. So it is not behaving the way it is supposed to. But even if that wasn't working right, I can always over-ride the lat and long (I assume) and move on from there. Did you have to open it to check some internal connections or was it something inside the mount and not the controller ?





I was getting GPS ON but no GPS OK. Support told me to take the top panel and side panel (on the side with the powerswitch) off and wiggle the connections to the GPS (which is on top) on both ends.

After I did that, I booted it up and got GPS OK.

Quote:


I figure I'll take it out the next decent night and make notes of anything that does not appear to be working right and then email iOptron and see what they say. They did seem to be very responsive the last time I had questions. And exactly what does the Sync to Target command do ? This is my first GOTO mount so excuse any ignorance on my part.

Sam




Assuming it's like other goto mounts, what it will do is use the target as an additional alignment star. It will make successive gotos in that area of the sky more accurate. Highly recommended.

Typically with mounts with GOTO or DSCs, you'll get some error creep in. This can be due to many different factors including nonorthogonality of the mount. This helps to compensate for that.

You may or may not need it, but it's a very nice feature to have.

Personally, I wish the database had information on the targets. It's nice to know the details of what you're looking at, mag, target type, notes etc... (Or does it have this, and I missed it?)

T

--------------------
You do not need a parachute to skydive, you only need a parachute to skydive twice...


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Jerry Hyman
sage


Reged: 03/29/07
Posts: 465
Loc: Mesa, Arizona
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Tom Trusock]
      #2602998 - 08/25/08 04:36 PM

Tom and Sam, what type of OTA's are you mounting on it and how much do they weigh? How much time does it take the mount to settle down after a knock?

Thanks,

~jerry

--------------------
Sky-Watcher 10" 1200mm dob
8" Celestron EdgeHD
10" f5 quartz custom dob
10" Discovery dob
AP 15x70
CG-5 mount


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Jerry Hyman]
      #2603220 - 08/25/08 06:18 PM

Jerry,

So far I have only used my SV80ED on the mount and I think it weighs about 6 pounds (probably closer to 8 with the 2" diagonal and EP). I also have a Mak that weighs about 10 pounds but haven't tried it yet. I am still getting some bugs out with the set-up so I haven't checked the stability yet. But it does seem to be a very stable mount and tripod that is solidly secured. Our weather isn't looking too good in the near future but I should have it out in the next 4-5 days. I will make sure to give it the old rap test then and see what happens.

Sam


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J_D_Metzger
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/13/04
Posts: 1848
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Dylan Gladstone]
      #2603705 - 08/25/08 10:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The only issue they had was that the 8lb weight included in the kit was not enough to balance the SCT properly but once they added a 11lb counter weight they had no problems.
~jerry



I don't understand how an alt-az like this balances. I can understand how the alt motion balances, (just move the tube within the dovetail), but how do you know when the scope is balanced with the weights on this mount? Let go and if the tripod tips over, you need more weight?




I think there was a post in the iOptron Yahoo group that described a clever way to balance the weights. If I remember correctly it went something like this:

Set up the tripod and mount with the scope and counterweight(s). Shorten the tripod leg that is oposite the scope a few inches, so the scope is on the "uphill" side of the tripod. Be careful not to shorten it so much that the tripod is in danger of toppling. Now loosen the azimuth clutch. If the scope and counterweight(s) are not balanced, the scope will fall to one side or the other. Move the counterweight(s) until the scope no longer falls. Voila - you're balanced. Level the mount and you'ready to go.

Hope this helps.

--------------------
Clear skies,
J.D.


The Stellar Cellar Observatory


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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: J_D_Metzger]
      #2604313 - 08/26/08 09:21 AM

J.D.

That sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll try it next time.

Thanks,

Sam


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SteveC
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/15/06
Posts: 2734
Loc: The Garden State & Ocean State
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: sam32]
      #2604432 - 08/26/08 10:22 AM

Quote:

J.D.

That sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll try it next time.

Thanks,

Sam




Do us a favor and set up a video camera. I sense one of those shots to the midsection scenes. It's always good for a laugh and you'll get the opportunity to destroy the image of astronomers as being smart.

--------------------
SteveC


TEC 140
Intes Micro 715 deluxe
TEC 110
SolarMax 40

Losmandy G-11 w/Gemini, DM-4 w/Sky Commander on SV wood tripod, Vixen Skypod

TEC EP Turret, AP Maxbright, Denk P/S Diagonal, TMB Supermonos, ZAO IIs, Zeiss Monocentrics, Naglers, 32mm Konig, 24mm Panoptics, 14mm Meade UWA, 5mm Pentax XO, and 2.9mm, 4.4mm, 5.9mm, 7.4mm Couture (ball)


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J_D_Metzger
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/13/04
Posts: 1848
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: SteveC]
      #2604545 - 08/26/08 11:08 AM

Quote:

Do us a favor and set up a video camera. I sense one of those shots to the midsection scenes. It's always good for a laugh and you'll get the opportunity to destroy the image of astronomers as being smart.




When I said the scope will "fall" to one side of the other, I assume everyone understands that you shouldn't let it do so in a totally uncontrolled manner...

--------------------
Clear skies,
J.D.


The Stellar Cellar Observatory


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SteveC
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/15/06
Posts: 2734
Loc: The Garden State & Ocean State
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: J_D_Metzger]
      #2605185 - 08/26/08 04:00 PM

Hi JD,

Uncontrolled is what I do best.

--------------------
SteveC


TEC 140
Intes Micro 715 deluxe
TEC 110
SolarMax 40

Losmandy G-11 w/Gemini, DM-4 w/Sky Commander on SV wood tripod, Vixen Skypod

TEC EP Turret, AP Maxbright, Denk P/S Diagonal, TMB Supermonos, ZAO IIs, Zeiss Monocentrics, Naglers, 32mm Konig, 24mm Panoptics, 14mm Meade UWA, 5mm Pentax XO, and 2.9mm, 4.4mm, 5.9mm, 7.4mm Couture (ball)


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Telescopeman54
Vendor - Trapezium Telescopes & Services, LLC.


Reged: 08/17/07
Posts: 1715
Loc: New Hampshire
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: SteveC]
      #2611384 - 08/29/08 08:50 AM

HELLO BOYS! I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!

Please excuse my absence. I guess I was a bad boy. I apologize to all. I'll try to stick to just answering the questions. As Det. Friday used to say, "The facts, ma'am. Just the facts."

Also, for everyone else, as Bartel's and James used to say, "Thank you for your support!"


I have answers to several of the questions that have been posted here is anyone is interested.

1) IF the GPS flag does not change from "ON" to "OK" after about 2 minutes then you most likely have a loose connection. Check under the cover and give the connections a little push. For the gold antenna connection, give it a little twist with some needle nosed pliers. If this still does not get the GPS to lock onto the birds then call for help. IMPORTANT NOTE: Each time you check a connection do so WITH THE POWER OFF!!

2) The alignment stars are predetermined. If you use the Two Star method instead of the One Star method you will have a larger list from which to chose. The Three Star alignment does not work in Alt/Az mode!

3) The C 9.25 is well supported by the MT. Damping time @ 1.5 - 2.0 seconds, max. (Your mileage may vary.)

4) The C-8 is well supported by the MT. Damping time @ 1.5 seconds, max. (Your mileage may vary.)

5) The C-6 is very well supported by the MT. Damping time @ 1 - 1.5 seconds, max. (Your mileage may vary.)

6) Balancing DOES make a difference. If you need a CW that is more massive than the 8 pound unit provided, the 11 pound CW from the CG-5 class mounts works very well. You can stack more than one CW, too.

7) Use the bubble level that is in the base of the MT. Everything is calibrated to that level. YES, the bubble level IS OFF. However, each mount that I have used has been inaccurate if I used a torpedo level to make everything true. If I used the bubble level in the base everything was fine. Only use a torpedo level for placing the OTA in the vertical position.

8) Balancing in the azimuth axis can be done by SLIGHTLY lowering one leg to allow gravity to pull the heavy side down. Once everything is balanced return the leg to the fully upright position, along with your chair backs and tables.

9) I have not yet tried any A-P with this mount. I'm strictly a visual observer, for now.

10) CDC DOES work with this mount! The GOTONOVA(Gotostar) drive shows up in the choices menu when it is connected. So far, that is the only program that has worked.

11) The SYNC command helps to improve accuracy. It has been my personal experience that it is best to center the object BEFORE selecting this command. THEN, when at that menu choice, press ENTER to confirm, then repeat the process once more. I don't know why, but, using the SYNC command TWICE works better than only once. The first few objects usually require this proceedure. If you later find something placed near the edge of the FOV, then use the SYNC command again.

12) The tripod is very stabile for most applications.

13) SHIPPING WEIGHTS of MT w/ case is 29 pounds and 13 pounds for the tripod. Drop about 1-1/2 - 2 pounds for the shipping materials.

14) The factory sets the Anti-Backlash for 0150 on each axis. It may be necessary to set them to 0000 as I have done.

15) The PARK SCOPE command does just that. When the scope has been parked using this command it then stops tracking and displays "Turn off power." The PARK POSITION moves the scope home believing that you will be using the scope further and does NOT try to shut down. This is convenient for a re-alignment procedure.


Did I miss any questions? If so, please, let's hear them.

Clear skies to all!

Steve Forbes

--------------------
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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