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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5318096 - 07/14/12 09:32 PM

The firmware upgrade is available at iOptron's site:

http://www.ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=1dd04721-cb44-42f6-a453-60c72afdfc7f

I made a cable and was able to load the new firmware. There will, of course, be clouds and rain here until Tuesday, so I won't know what effect the upgrade has until after then.

I also tried to drive the mount with SkySafari & SkyWire using the RS232 cable to the handset. I could not get SkySafari to connect to the SmartEQ using any of the existing iOptron choices in SkySafari.


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5318670 - 07/15/12 10:44 AM

I tried to download this update using a Celestron cable but got a failed connection. Any insight into what hardware would work?

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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5318764 - 07/15/12 12:03 PM

Mike
The upgrade instruction doc on iOptron's site has the pin outs for the connector. I believe that they are different from Celestron and Mead (surprised?). I took a handset cord from an old phone, cut off one plug and attached the wires to a 9 pin DB9 female connector as shown in iOptron's doc. It worked first try. I got a two pack of female DB9s from Radio Shack for about $2.50.
I believe that the more expensive iOptron mounts come with the correct cable. I didn't see one offered as an accessory, so we may have to make our own.


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Casey Thrower
member


Reged: 07/29/12

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5347718 - 08/01/12 09:18 PM

I think I may get this mount for my ED80. I don't think I'll be doing any AP anytime soon so the mount should do just fine.

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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5348347 - 08/02/12 08:54 AM

The ioptron cord is now in stock for $25 on their site and I received it yesterday. Upgrade went fine with the right equipment. Now to try a full test run this weekend . . .

Yes the 80mm should do fine. I am using my AT72ED on it but I would be hesitant to go much heavier. This is clearly a niche mount for light-load use.


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yka
journeyman


Reged: 08/01/12

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5348848 - 08/02/12 02:38 PM

Quote:

Just a followup-the polar shaft plug that was missing on my mount came in the mail from Ioptron.




same. Polar Axis Cover was missing.


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biomedchad
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Marion, Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: yka]
      #5349458 - 08/02/12 10:42 PM

im really on the fence about this one..wish there was more options at this price point. im looking for a second mount to use with my smaller otas..80mm and c90

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yka
journeyman


Reged: 08/01/12

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Casey Thrower]
      #5349723 - 08/03/12 04:32 AM

Quote:

I think I may get this mount for my ED80. I don't think I'll be doing any AP anytime soon so the mount should do just fine.




Not for AP at all. I have ED80, mount is shaking while tracking, vibration visible from mag x50.


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: yka]
      #5354543 - 08/06/12 10:17 AM

yka
I observe the same with my SmartEQ mount. After email exchanges I am returning it to iOptron for repair or replacement. My polar axis plug was also missing.

See previous thread on this:

Link.

Edited by David Pavlich (09/07/12 10:03 PM)


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yka
journeyman


Reged: 08/01/12

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5368389 - 08/14/12 01:41 PM

rkayakr
Thank you for advice. But I can’t do it, I live too far from US and paid extra 150 $ for shipping and local taxes. So, for me, will be cheaper just throw out the mount than send it back for repairing/replacing.


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Pedestal
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5368815 - 08/14/12 06:10 PM

I ordered the cord from Ioptron, and did the upgrade a few days ago. I had no problems. But, the weather has been most uncooperative, and I have not had the chance to try it out.

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PatM
journeyman


Reged: 09/26/09

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5377309 - 08/20/12 11:10 AM

I received my SmartEQ just over a week ago and had a chance to try it out while camping. Make no mistake, this is a low end mount. However, I am very happy with the bang for buck factor.

I'm using it with a Skywatcher 102mm f/5 refractor and it seems to do well. I haven't received a polar scope for it yet and didn't go to great pains to try and polar align (kochab clock and peering through the polar scope hole) yet it did work quite well. I got one pretty decent 1 minute exposure of Andromeda while two others had visible star trails. I can't blame the mount for those since I didn't even have a level with me.

I used a Canon T1i and T-ring and the total payload was 6.5lbs.

I did notice the tracking noise was pulsing rather than constant and once I get the polar scope I'll see how the tracking is.


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emiledurkheim
newbie


Reged: 11/11/09

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5402971 - 09/04/12 01:11 PM

I have one of these mounts on the way. Your review helped me make the decision to order it.

Which Hakuba tripod bag will work for this mount?


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: emiledurkheim]
      #5403590 - 09/04/12 06:35 PM

Quote:

I have one of these mounts on the way. Your review helped me make the decision to order it.

Which Hakuba tripod bag will work for this mount?




Hi, grats and enjoy the compact unit. The Hakuba tripod case I use is this one, 37" long: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/222480-REG/Hakuba_PSTC_300_PSTC_300_Tripod_Case.html

If you want extra room, order the next larger size. This one fits like a glove, the material is excellent and the workmanship is great. I would imagine if I wrapped my 80mm in bubble wrap, it would fit nestled in between the tripod legs also. The counter weight and hand controller fit in the outer two compartment pouch.

Good luck and have a ton of fun while you're at it.

Paul


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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5403652 - 09/04/12 07:10 PM

Any AP pictures taken yet with the SmatEQ?

It would be great be able to have a lightweight mount that could handle my DSLR with a few of the heavier lenses.

Best,

George


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: ghataa]
      #5403737 - 09/04/12 07:47 PM

Take a look at the October issue of Sky and Telescope, Dennis DiCicco said he took 3-5 minute images with this with just a rough polar align and a 50mm lens. Haven't seen any actual images yet.

Hope to have some of my own to show you as soon as the polar scope arrives from China.

Cheers,

Paul



Quote:

Any AP pictures taken yet with the SmatEQ?

It would be great be able to have a lightweight mount that could handle my DSLR with a few of the heavier lenses.

Best,

George




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Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5408915 - 09/07/12 06:45 PM Attachment (185 downloads)

Couple of pictures I wanted to show. This is an old Orion Paradox(?) tripod I bought several years ago. It makes a really good replacement for the stock tripod, very sturdy and not too heavy. I can still easily pick up the rig as shown and move it around.

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Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5408929 - 09/07/12 06:49 PM Attachment (100 downloads)

And this is a Doskocil case for the mount itself. It's about 15"x18". Room enough for the mount and a few eyepieces. I think I think Pelican makes a case this same size.
Bottom line, easy transport in 3 pieces: tripod, mount, and telescope. Can carry all three at once, and easy setup. Hard to beat much "grabber & goer" I think.


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chooch
journeyman


Reged: 10/01/12

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5457581 - 10/06/12 08:25 AM

Hello to all, I just picked one of these up for my AT-72Ed so far it looks great ,I went to Ioptrons HQ in Woburn as I live close by, After talking with them I found out they are releasing a SmartEQ pro at the end of the month -middle of nov,, It will have metal gears polar alignment scope and a port for a guide camera cost will be 499.00 ..Carl

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SolSystem
newbie


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look [Re: chooch]
      #5457825 - 10/06/12 11:51 AM

I'm looking for a mount as well and I was considering the SmartEQ but the comments here are making reconsider especially in light of a Pro model coming. As well while I'm using a ZenithStar 70mm now I'm thinking I want a mount that will be able to handle something bigger and more robust when I upgrade. But the iOptron pricing is hard to beat for what you get.

Quote:

Hello to all, I just picked one of these up for my AT-72Ed so far it looks great ,I went to Ioptrons HQ in Woburn as I live close by, After talking with them I found out they are releasing a SmartEQ pro at the end of the month -middle of nov,, It will have metal gears polar alignment scope and a port for a guide camera cost will be 499.00 ..Carl




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