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Tom TrusockAdministrator



Reged: 02/26/02
Posts: 33846
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Joe Ogiba]
      #2629337 - 09/07/08 04:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


12) The tripod is very stabile for most applications.





I do wish it was a bit beefier.






The new 2-inch Stainless Steel Smartstar™ Tripod should be alot more stable than the 1.5-inch tripod .




That should help matters.

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


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J_D_Metzger
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/13/04
Posts: 1848
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Tom Trusock]
      #2629697 - 09/07/08 08:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


12) The tripod is very stabile for most applications.





I do wish it was a bit beefier.






The new 2-inch Stainless Steel Smartstar™ Tripod should be alot more stable than the 1.5-inch tripod .




That should help matters.




Assuming the MiniTower will fit on it. From the pictures, it doesn't appear to be made for the MiniTower, but rather the SmartStar equatorial mount...

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


The Stellar Cellar Observatory


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Joe Ogiba
Postmaster


Reged: 02/14/02
Posts: 5446
Loc: NJ USA
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: J_D_Metzger]
      #2629711 - 09/07/08 08:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


12) The tripod is very stabile for most applications.





I do wish it was a bit beefier.






The new 2-inch Stainless Steel Smartstar™ Tripod should be alot more stable than the 1.5-inch tripod .




That should help matters.




Assuming the MiniTower will fit on it. From the pictures, it doesn't appear to be made for the MiniTower, but rather the SmartStar equatorial mount...



Your right.
photo
Quote:

SmartStarTM-PR GO TO Equatorial Mount
[#8419] $678.00



FEATURES

German Equatorial Mount
Precision Engineered Worm Gear
9-speed Drive Motor
High-caliber Bearings & Shaft
130,000 object database with 256 user-defined objects
The largest LCD screen on the market with 8 lines and 21-characters Hand Control with backlit LED buttons.
Easily to Balance on Both Axes, in both RA and Dec, for smooth tracking
Clearance For Cameras and other accessories
AC connector (Optional DC adaptor available)
Strain relief power cord cable protection
Maximum payload: 35 lbs
HBX ports for Autoguide, PC, and auxiliary components
GPS-compatible with optional GPS Module (#8411)
2-inch heavy duty stainless steel
All metal supports-no plastic trays or joints
Solid construction joints
Maximum extended height – 50 inches
Folded height – 34 inches
Extendable stainless steel tripod legs with heavy duty mount head






Also they say this:
Quote:

The MiniTowerTM is the perfect combination of capacity and portability.

25 lbs. of Payload Born out of the popular iOptron CubeTM, MiniTowerTM is the ultimate observing solution for people who are searching for a capable and portable GoTo telescope mount to counter light pollution in their backyards and for travel convenience. With a standard payload of 25 lbs, a rock solid 1.5”alloy/stainless steel tripod, metal worm and gear and two dovetail adaptors, MiniTowerTM is capable of handling a majority of the OTAs that have ever been made. Its payload can be even further enhanced by more than 50% with heavy-duty accessories.





But they don't say what heavy-duty accessories.

--------------------
Pentax PF-80ED,Meade 102ED APO,Orion EON 72,120ST
Apex 127,C6 XLT,CR150,C9.25,XT10 ,Celestron Regal 100 F-ED, CT152
Zeiss 7x42 FL,Canon 10x42L IS WP,15x50 IS
12x36 IS II , Pentax 8x32 ED
Garrett Optical 28x110 HD-WP Signature Series
Oberwerk BT-80 45, Apogee RA-88-SA
Denk II Power x Switch binoviewer w/13mm Ethos, 20mm Pentax XW's, 20mm Widescan III's.
21mm Ethos,17mm Ethos, 22mm Nagler, 40mm Pentax XW, 14mm Pentax XL, 5.2mm Pentax XL, 8-24mm Pentax XL Zoom, 31mm Axiom LX
Member #17


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J_D_Metzger
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/13/04
Posts: 1848
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Joe Ogiba]
      #2630086 - 09/08/08 12:42 AM

I think there was a post earlier that said the "heavy duty accessories" were larger counterweights. But I could be wrong on that.

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


The Stellar Cellar Observatory


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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: J_D_Metzger]
      #2630106 - 09/08/08 12:52 AM

The Mini will NOT FIT onto SmartStar tripod!

The HD accessories are the CW, another OTA, a camera, or, whatever you wish to mount to the CW shaft. iOptron suggests up to 8 pounds. I have personally used an 11 pound CW from a CG-5 to balance a C-9.25" perfectly.

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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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2630888 - 09/08/08 01:39 PM

Just an FYI on the trouble I had getting the GPS to work with my Mini Tower. I did open up the top panel and tightened the RF connector a bit and made sure all the other connections were tight and now the GPS works. So many thanks to Steve and Tom for the great advice they gave me on how to open up the mount and check the connections. I don't recall if it was in this thread or not but I have been told that iOptron is going to add some RTV to that RF connector so that it stays put from now on. I had the mount out last night and had my SV80ED on it and (except for the fact that my seeing conditions were pretty sad - dew was everywhere !!) it did a very good job of centering the targets in the FOV, especially after using the sync-to-target commands. I started out with my 32mm plossl (about a 2.8 Deg FOV) and I ended up using a 20MM TV plossl barlowed (2X) to get an effective 10mm focal length that translates to a FOV of about 0.9 degrees and I was still getting targets in the same general part of the sky to fall within that fairly narrow FOV. So I am very pleased with the mount so far.

One other thing. Does anyone know where the S/N is located for the Mini-Tower ? (Does it even have one ?!) I do not see any labels on it that contains that information.

Thanks,

Sam


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Joe Ogiba
Postmaster


Reged: 02/14/02
Posts: 5446
Loc: NJ USA
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2631038 - 09/08/08 03:12 PM

Quote:

The Mini will NOT FIT onto SmartStar tripod!

The HD accessories are the CW, another OTA, a camera, or, whatever you wish to mount to the CW shaft. iOptron suggests up to 8 pounds. I have personally used an 11 pound CW from a CG-5 to balance a C-9.25" perfectly.

Steve



I use two 11 lb CW on my Giro II mount with C9.25 and think 2" legs would be alot more stable than the 1.5" legs IMHO.

Joe




--------------------
Pentax PF-80ED,Meade 102ED APO,Orion EON 72,120ST
Apex 127,C6 XLT,CR150,C9.25,XT10 ,Celestron Regal 100 F-ED, CT152
Zeiss 7x42 FL,Canon 10x42L IS WP,15x50 IS
12x36 IS II , Pentax 8x32 ED
Garrett Optical 28x110 HD-WP Signature Series
Oberwerk BT-80 45, Apogee RA-88-SA
Denk II Power x Switch binoviewer w/13mm Ethos, 20mm Pentax XW's, 20mm Widescan III's.
21mm Ethos,17mm Ethos, 22mm Nagler, 40mm Pentax XW, 14mm Pentax XL, 5.2mm Pentax XL, 8-24mm Pentax XL Zoom, 31mm Axiom LX
Member #17


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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: Joe Ogiba]
      #2631074 - 09/08/08 03:37 PM

Sam:

The serial number is on the outside of the brown shipping box.

Joe:

I agree that 2" legs would be better. Still, the 1.5" legs are much more stabile than I expected.

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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sam32
super member


Reged: 07/26/06
Posts: 125
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2631305 - 09/08/08 05:56 PM

Steve,

Thanks. Good thing I kept mine ! Still it seems like a crazy way to keep track of your configuration. A silkscreen, or metal label on the mount itself would, in my opinion, been a much better idea.

Sam


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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: sam32]
      #2631357 - 09/08/08 06:25 PM

Sam:

I, too, have thought along that line. I will pass along that suggestion to the people at iOptron. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

CS

--------------------
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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Wes James
Postmaster


Reged: 04/12/06
Posts: 5477
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2631514 - 09/08/08 08:01 PM

Would it be that difficult to make an adaptor plate to use the tower on the 2" tripod?

--------------------
Wes
Atlantic Beach, FL

Bino’s- Tak's, Fuji's, Nikon's, Canon IS and Garrett 20x110 Signature's,
Some telescopes from Carton & Zeiss 60mm's up through a couple of 8” reflectors… Orion 3.6" O/A- and a wonderful 4.25" Delmarva Schiefspiegler!
Some good friends, made here on C/N.
Oh- several cats and a wonderful wife!
Anyone want a cat???? :-O

"When your work speaks for itself- Don't Interrupt" -Gamble Rogers


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Mase123
member


Reged: 07/13/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Topeka, KS
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Wes James]
      #2631935 - 09/09/08 12:11 AM

Would a C8 be cutting the weight limit too close?

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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: Mase123]
      #2632047 - 09/09/08 02:24 AM Attachment (134 downloads)

Wes:

An adapter plate for the 2" tripod is coming.

Mase123:

Not even close. I've had a C-8 AND a 150mm MAK on the Mini at the same time. I've also mounted a C-9.25" on it with no problems. Both set ups were quite solid.

Steve

Attachment

--------------------
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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Wes James
Postmaster


Reged: 04/12/06
Posts: 5477
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2632172 - 09/09/08 07:36 AM

Steve-
What's the limits refractor-wise on this mount? I assume/it sounds like it would handle my Meade 102ED just fine- what about a Burgess 127/8? What about with a Denk binoviewer added? Both have Moonlight focusers, not exactly light focusers, either. I'm becoming pretty impressed with what I'm reading about this mount.
Wes
Wes


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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: Wes James]
      #2632828 - 09/09/08 01:51 PM

Wes:

I have used a Burges 1278 on my Mini with no issues. It handles the Burgess very well. I currently have a 102mm f/8 refractor mounted on another Mini and it is very solid. I do use the 8 pound counterweight and shaft to help with balancing. I adjust it as needed. I do not own a Bino-viewer of any kind, but, I doubt that it would even be noticed.

As you can see from the picture above it handled a C-8 AND a 150mm MAK with no problems. That should help you get an idea of the load capacity.

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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dlpville
member


Reged: 07/09/07
Posts: 48
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2633947 - 09/09/08 11:45 PM

The iOptron Mini-Tower is a mount with what my twenty years as an instrument technician says is the best set of compromises in a design. Since I now have to travel to get to even moderately dark skies, I realized I needed something that I could pack in my compact car. Alt-Az tracking mounts are fussy about the leveling, so I figured out to turn the mount in azimuth, checking level every quarter-turn to get the best result. After that, I lined it up with the South arrow pointing at me and doing my best to position it under Polaris. It tracked well after that, always putting the target inside a 1/2 degree field. The mount seems very stable, never going more than a second of vibration after focusing or bumping the tripod.

So how did it work? A couple of Sundays ago, I took it to a local dark site my club uses often. I was simply trying to get a feel for how this was going to help my observing, and so I decided to stick to the visible Messier objects. It was a night of exceptional seeing for the area, and I got to see every single Messier object that was visible above the trees. The view through the scope was exceptional, I could see detail in the faintest nebulae, and the views of clusters had me entranced. I particularly like viewing globular clusters, with their high density of stars they appeal to my inner scientist. The detail that I am accustomed to was in the Stellarvue (a 102ED), and though I could not get the finest inner detail on the fainter globs, I was still impressed and feel that I got a fine look at my favorite objects. This was a record for me, as I spent far more time viewing objects than trying to star hop to them. The mount got me on the object quickly, and I spent five minutes viewing for every one seeking. Kudos to Stellarvue, iOptron, and the guys at Skies Unlimited for setting me up with a combination that will advance my observing for many years to come.


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Telescopeman54
Vendor - Trapezium Telescopes & Services, LLC.


Reged: 08/17/07
Posts: 1715
Loc: New Hampshire
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: dlpville]
      #2634085 - 09/10/08 01:13 AM

dlpville:

We are all glad to hear that you are enjoying your new Mini Tower. Yes, it should bring to you many years of enjoyable viewing.

I have a tip to help with alignments which I have used for several evenings as of late.

Previously, I would use a torpedo level and then the two star alignment. I was not thrilled with the pointing accuracy, though. I dumped the torpedo level and went with the bubble level that is in the base of the mount. Immediately the accuracy improved by magnitudes! It appears that each mount is calibrated to the on boad bubble level!! I don't even BOTHER playing around with making the tripod level anymore!

Recently, though, instead of the two star alignment, I have used a different approach. I eye-ball align the mount to the north/south line. I then eye-ball align the OTA to vertical. I start the Mini, wait for the GPS to lock up, then use the "Select and Slew" command for any bright object. M-13 was the choice last night. I then loosen the clutches and MANUALLY align the scope on my selected object. When it close to being centered in the FOV I then clamp the axles and use the controller for fine tuning the position. Next, the "Sync to Object" command is used. I DO NOT use the controller to center the object AFTER selecting this function. I do it BEFOREHAND. I just hit ENTER twice and then go back to the SLEW function. The next object will most likely be very close to dead center. If necessary, I do another SYNC command and that's all I need to do for the rest of the night!

That sounds a bit tedious when reading it, but, it takes me only three to five minutes to be observing instead of 10 minutes. Also, it makes re-aliging (after someone has bumped into the scope)a breeze.

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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Ed Fortier
super member


Reged: 07/14/05
Posts: 169
Loc: Massachusetts
Re: iOptron Mini Tower [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2634363 - 09/10/08 08:25 AM

Hi, Steve,

Just a clarification. When you hit "Select and Slew" the mount will immediately begin to slew, will it not? I take it that you don't manually loosen the clutches until after the scope stops in whatever position it winds up in.

A silly question I guess. I just want to be sure I'm not missing anything.

Thanks,

Ed


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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: Ed Fortier]
      #2635555 - 09/10/08 06:50 PM

Ed:

That's a very good question. I am sorry that I did not make myself more clear.

When the "Select and Slew" button is pressed it then offers a lower level menu. From that you can chose Solar System objects, Messier objects, NGC, etc. It is from one of those menues that I chose an object. Once that object has been selected I then press ENTER and it takes off. Once the mount gives me a BEEP to confirm that the movement has finished, I unlock the clutches and manually move the scope to the object. Usually, that is only a very short distance. I then lock the axles and make minor adjustments with the controller. After that, I do the SYNC command and I'm off an running. It's fast and easy once you try it a few times. This also allows me to do an alignment during daylight hours by centering on the Sun. Of COURSE this is done either via projection or with the correct filter!!

Let me know if this helps.

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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Ed Fortier
super member


Reged: 07/14/05
Posts: 169
Loc: Massachusetts
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Telescopeman54]
      #2635666 - 09/10/08 08:10 PM

Thanks, Steve. I was pretty sure this is what you meant, but I just wanted to be certain.

Ed


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