Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look
      #5267081 - 06/11/12 09:06 PM Attachment (653 downloads)

It came in late today, giving me scant time to assemble. I did manage to take a few pics, and have some comments along the way.
First, the box:


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267085 - 06/11/12 09:09 PM Attachment (506 downloads)

Second, the contents. Tripod, tripod center, handbox, weight, mount, instruction sheet.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267093 - 06/11/12 09:13 PM Attachment (470 downloads)

The tripod. In the picture, it's extended all the way, about 4' high. Although relatively sturdy, it's small tube. The tray rotates/snaps into position. The good-about 30 secs to set up, and very light. The bad-it's very light. The tray will probably cease to "snap" into position in short order.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267096 - 06/11/12 09:16 PM Attachment (496 downloads)

The right side. Note in the picture of stuff in the box 'no wall wart, or power supply of any kind'....
All is not lost, however, as the power plug is center positive, and the same size connector that Celestron uses. Any power setup made for Celestron will work for this.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267104 - 06/11/12 09:19 PM Attachment (396 downloads)

Rear. I took the cap off to show the place for a polar scope. Note no screws. Also note I moved the altitude adjust bolt from it shipping hole (just below the correct hole). The shipping hole allows the mount to rotate completely down.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267107 - 06/11/12 09:21 PM Attachment (395 downloads)

Battery boxes. 8 AA. Note the position of the weight. I like this, without the weight, the bar slides all the way up in the mount. You can ajust balance by sliding the bar, not leaving a bunch of bar hanging 'out in the wind'... Also note, the toesaver is a flanged nut, not a thumbscrew. Bah! Humbug!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267114 - 06/11/12 09:25 PM Attachment (331 downloads)

The handbox: Whats the other hole for?????

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267125 - 06/11/12 09:29 PM Attachment (440 downloads)

Setup. BIG PROBLEM! The slot for the dovetail is very tight. In fact, the dovetail I originally had on the Megrez 80 WOULD NOT FIT. Fortunatelly, I had this short dovetail on hand. Even at that, I had to slide it in, it would not "fold" in. There is no "safety screw". Also required a trip to the hardware store for proper screws... it never ends....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267138 - 06/11/12 09:38 PM

Using it: I haven't yet... I did do a "fake" setup, and it appeared to point in the right direction. Setup on the handbox is typical Ioptron, pretty simple. One thing if you have never fooled with Ioptron before, you will need to know your 'minutes behind/or ahead' of universal time. A couple of examples are given in the instruction book, which is not very verbose. Hint-time zone equates to 60 minutes. I only fooled with the planetary menu, and if this one holds true to the others I've messed with, the stellar menu can be a pita. But, once you figure it out, it works.
For the price, I'm quite pleased. The 80mm rides easily, and this is the scope I really bought the mount for. I had hoped it would arrive before the transit...... I report back later on goto/tracking, after I've used it a bit.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5267141 - 06/11/12 09:40 PM

Hmm, bummer Hubert. I know someone that bought the mount with no issues. I would contact iOptron support ASAP, they have been mega helpful for me. Btw, I noticed they do not implement the safety screw for vixen saddle too. Those vixens are the first thing I swap on any mount for an ADM dual saddle. Of course that doesn't make much sense for a 11lb capacity mount.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5267302 - 06/11/12 11:13 PM

I received my Smart EQ today as well and did the same setup you did. The box only contained the quick start set up instructions but the full manual is now up on the iOptron website and I will print it tomorrow. My TMB 92L slid easily into the mounting saddle, and I fooled with the controller a bit, but will probably not get it out under the stars until this weekend. Overall it appears to be a nice, functional, easily portable small EQ mount for grab and go capability. Yes, many of the components are less that robust, but for $399 I don't expect diamonds. So far I am really pleased with this little mount and will have a fuller picure once I take it outdoors for a full test run.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5268384 - 06/12/12 04:36 PM

I have had this mount for about a month now, was probably one of the first to own one. Yes, the dovetail is a tight fit, I had to file a small 45 degree angle on the bottom edges of my Orion dovetail to get it into the slot. Btw, the iOptron Vixen dovetail is a perfect fit in the mount.

I have only found one serious issue with the mount, and have forwarded it to iOptron, they have forwarded it to the factory. Here's a video of the issue: http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/7352700572/

For portability, I purchased a Hakuba tripod bag, and the complete mount fits perfectly in it. The counterweight and hand controller fit in a zippered pouch on the bag. Get one, you'll love it.

I've only had the mount out one night since I got it to test it with a Dslr camera mounted. The polar scope hole is useless due to the circuit board bar in the middle of the opening. It holds a small adjustable led for the 'not available' polar scope. With a quick alignment using just Live View on Polaris, I was able to get some 30 sec widefield images without appreciable trailing using the cameras 35mm lens setting. I think this mount is going to perform well in the future, once a polar scope is available.

Re the extra hbx connection in the HC..it's for firmware updates. There is a blocked HBX or Aux port on the mount itself, and the HC does have an Auto Guide menu...makes one wonder what the future may bring?

Hope the info helps...cheers,

Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jwaldo
Smart Mime
*****

Reged: 04/26/04

Loc: Simi Valley, CA
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5268478 - 06/12/12 05:51 PM

Quote:

I have had this mount for about a month now, was probably one of the first to own one. Yes, the dovetail is a tight fit, I had to file a small 45 degree angle on the bottom edges of my Orion dovetail to get it into the slot. Btw, the iOptron Vixen dovetail is a perfect fit in the mount.

I have only found one serious issue with the mount, and have forwarded it to iOptron, they have forwarded it to the factory. Here's a video of the issue: http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/7352700572/

For portability, I purchased a Hakuba tripod bag, and the complete mount fits perfectly in it. The counterweight and hand controller fit in a zippered pouch on the bag. Get one, you'll love it.

I've only had the mount out one night since I got it to test it with a Dslr camera mounted. The polar scope hole is useless due to the circuit board bar in the middle of the opening. It holds a small adjustable led for the 'not available' polar scope. With a quick alignment using just Live View on Polaris, I was able to get some 30 sec widefield images without appreciable trailing using the cameras 35mm lens setting. I think this mount is going to perform well in the future, once a polar scope is available.

Re the extra hbx connection in the HC..it's for firmware updates. There is a blocked HBX or Aux port on the mount itself, and the HC does have an Auto Guide menu...makes one wonder what the future may bring?

Hope the info helps...cheers,

Paul




Most fascinating... Odd that it'd be missing a screw so important. Maybe there's supposed to be one there and yours escaped in the factory somewhere?

I'm holding out for the ability to autoguide, myself. Hope they enable it at some point...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: jwaldo]
      #5269237 - 06/13/12 09:29 AM

Great video Paul! :-)

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: jwaldo]
      #5269786 - 06/13/12 03:31 PM

Mine does not have that screw either and after viewing the video I wiggled the mount and found a similar degree of play, but I don't see it as objectionable for visual use, and also since I will use a somewhat heavier OTA/ring assembly on mine. Still waiting for some decent skies to test run this mount.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5270027 - 06/13/12 06:14 PM

Thanks for the tip on the screw. I happened to have one the proper size and promptly added it..
On the polar scope issue- mine was somewhat blocked also, but by the shaft. Try this-align the marks, then loosen the clutch bolt. Use the hand box to rotate the shaft, till you get a round hole...
Also, I was missing then front polar cap. A piece of tape suffices until they can send me one.
Nothing but clouds,clouds,and more clouds here.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5273017 - 06/15/12 02:58 PM

Took this mount out for a test spin last night even though clouds were threatening. On trying initial two-star alignment I came up about 15 degrees off my first alignment star and then realized that I had not reset the daylight savings time from N to Y . . . and once I did that the clouds were here (NEVER anger Astro-Gods with enthusiasm for a new mount!) so we will have to reserve final testing for a better night soon. Overall though I was impressed by the smooth slew to where Vega would have been . . . looked like the mount was pretty much on target.

I intend to work up a full review on this mount as soon as I have been able to use it on a good night.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5275740 - 06/17/12 02:35 PM Attachment (248 downloads)

I made a new tripod a couple of weeks ago for a small scope I had laying around. With very little mod it fit the Ioptron mount. It's stiffer, taller and lighter than the original. The rig I made the wooden tripod for is now sitting on it (in the background).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5275836 - 06/17/12 03:57 PM

For those who have received or who are getting this mount, I have discovered a software glitch. After setting up the hand controller with all info, the mount continues to think it is one hour later than it is, hence the off-target alignment slews. If you enter correct time in the setup, the information screen is going to continue to display an hour later. I emailed ioptrom tech support and they said they have just discovered this glitch and will have a firmware upgrade on their site this week. For now they suggested just setting DST to No and the correct time should be displayed.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5276352 - 06/17/12 11:26 PM

Thanks Mike. I thought I was going to have a shot at trying it out tonite, but it didn't happen

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TONGKW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/16/07

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5276358 - 06/17/12 11:30 PM

It would be ideal if an illuminated polarscope is available for this iOptron Smart EQ #3100.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5280831 - 06/20/12 02:39 PM Attachment (243 downloads)

On the polar scope issue- mine was somewhat blocked also, but by the shaft.

The polar alignment hole is always blocked by the Dec shaft on a EQ mount, that's why there is a hole drilled thru it for viewing with the polar scope. Yes, you do have to move the Dec shaft about 30-40 degrees to open up the hole for viewing. My concern is, that with the hole opened up..there is a bar that goes straight across the opening in the middle, and it has the illuminating LED on it. There is NO way you can center Polaris in the polar scope hole because it is blocked by the circuit board bar. iOptron really needs to make the polar scope available soon. Image of the obstructed polar scope opening attached.

Cheers

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (06/20/12 02:51 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5281228 - 06/20/12 07:32 PM

Now that is interesting. No bar in mine, and the board is below the hole. My camera battery was dead, I'll try and post a pic tomorrow.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5281236 - 06/20/12 07:36 PM

Please do, because the circuit board bar in my mount is home to the illuminated red led for the polar scope. Therefore if you turn on the illumination in the hand controller, you get blinded by a red laser when trying to view through it. Naturally, I leave it off, but you still can't align Polaris because of the bar.

Thanks, looking forward to your pic,

Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5284764 - 06/23/12 02:25 AM

Is the tripod to mount interface a copy of any other mounts?

Or the more direct question - is there a commercially available adapter plate to fit this on my surveyors tripod that I can't knock over with a Jeep?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5284898 - 06/23/12 08:30 AM

I just measured the base of the mount head. It is roughly 3 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches front to back, where the azimuth knobs straddle the post. It secures from below with a single bolt. Assuming a tripod with a center hole of some sort it ought to adapt, and would probably ride more stably on a tripod with a wider top surface. Actually the supplied tripod is not bad for stability, considering the light weight of the mount assembly and the minimal load it is designed to carry.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5286173 - 06/24/12 12:41 AM

Paul
I ordered a mount and it is on the way. I'm about to leave on vacation and would like to get a bag. Which Hakuba bag fits this tripod and mount?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5287492 - 06/24/12 09:48 PM

I got mine at B&H photo online...I want to think it was the 36" bag? I just measured the overall length..it's 37". So whatever bag is closest to that measurement.

I highly recommend it.

Cheers

Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5288096 - 06/25/12 09:36 AM

Paul

Thanks - I just took your advise and ordered one.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TopherTheME
sage
*****

Reged: 02/11/11

Loc: Rochester, MI
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5290496 - 06/26/12 06:02 PM

Any updates on this mount? I'm thinking about picking one up for some widefield astrophotography with an 80mm scope. Do you this thing could support a small scope and DSLR without much issue?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: TopherTheME]
      #5290940 - 06/27/12 12:10 AM

Quote:

Any updates on this mount? I'm thinking about picking one up for some widefield astrophotography with an 80mm scope. Do you this thing could support a small scope and DSLR without much issue?




It has a weight rating of 12 pounds, so theoretically, yes. I have only had a chance to do some 30 sec wide field images with a DSLR due to clouds and conditions, but it looks promising. I have had a 80mm carbon fiber scope on it to test balance/etc, and it handles the 5.5 pound ota easily. Still wish it (the mount) had a polar scope available to screw into that inviting hole, but, all in all, it's a pretty decent mount for the cost.

Clear skies,

Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: TopherTheME]
      #5292210 - 06/27/12 08:49 PM

Quote:

Any updates on this mount? I'm thinking about picking one up for some widefield astrophotography with an 80mm scope. Do you this thing could support a small scope and DSLR without much issue?




I've managed to get out a couple of times with mine, and here are my observations.
My 8omm triplet,with rings, a plate on top to mount a camera, and a TV "handgrenade" eyepiece weighs 11/11.5 lbs.(no finder) (weighed on bath scale) Balance is absolutely critical or it simply won't work. When you get it right... Last time out I set up just before dusk with a TV 12 Nag. Aligned the marks, told it to go to the Moon. It was close, but not on. I scrunched the tripod around a bit, tweaked the arrows keys a bit, and centered up the Moon. Probably about 7:15pm. Went back in the house. Checked it a couple of times, at 11pm the Moon was still centered in the 12mm eyepiece. I turned it off and took it inside.
Note I did not do a formal "alignment" at any time.
I put one of those 1 lb "toesaver" weights from Scope Stuff on, not for more counterweight, but in order to slide the shaft up more. It does make it easier to balance.
So, yeah, I think it will work fine with a dslr, but you'll need to get the balance right on.
I plan to try it soon as weather cooperates... Which may not be till fall.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5292922 - 06/28/12 09:49 AM

I had the opportunity to observe last night with my new SmartEQ. Comments:

tripod is very flimsy

William Optics 80 mm ZenithStar dovetail would not fit

With both a C5 and a C6 the tracking produced a constant vibration that made observation horrible (I got nauseous from the shaking). You can hear the mount emitting periodic little grunts as it tracks. Which each grunt the image shakes. As it begins to stabilize, the mount jerks again. I was using my 25 mm reticule eyepiece, nothing high power, and observing Saturn, the Moon and Albireo.

Anyone else see this?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5293048 - 06/28/12 11:34 AM

More info on vibration issue.
I did do a one star alignment and synced to each target. I wonder if the periodic grunt and kick was from the declination motor correcting for the zero position being off? Anyone else actually align and use?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5293810 - 06/28/12 07:20 PM

I am waiting for ioptron to post the software patch that will correct the one-hour time error which appears to be contained in all the initially shipped mounts, so I have delayed a full-up test, which they assured me could be conducted with a full alignment by setting DST to No for now. I may go ahead and try it tonight. However in one very preliminary test run without a full alignment I did not see any of the issues you are describing.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5293978 - 06/28/12 09:30 PM

Mike
If it is what I suspect, you won't see it unless you do an alignment and you're zero is off by a small amount.

How will you update your mount? Did you get an RS232 cable with your mount? I didn't. I also didn't see them as available on the iOptron site.

I really wanted to like this mount, but it is difficult to get past all the problems.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5294034 - 06/28/12 10:11 PM

I had the cable for a Celestron scope and it fits. Also had to get a USB converter, which is useful anyway. Waiting for ioptron to post the upgrade. which was promised a week ago.

They advised in an email that an alignment should work if you just set DST to No, thereby jury rigging the one hour adjustment. They also said they were aware of the glitch which diaplays time an hour ahead on the home screen even when you set it correctly during setup. So I will try the N DST and if that does not work wait for the upgrade. My initial tries before this knowledge put each alignment target about 15 degrees off (ahead) so that seems to be the issue. In fiddling with the mount during that process I was generally pleased with the thing . . . for $399 it seems to be a good bargain for visual with smaller OTAs, but we shall see once I get a good alignment done.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5294117 - 06/28/12 10:59 PM

Even with the time glitch I can successfully perform a one star alignment (haven't tried any others) and the scope will go to a target.

Although it was partly cloudy, I tried an experiment tonight with my C5.

1. Zero mount, turn on mount, manually slew to the moon - image is steady, no little grunting noises

2. Zero mount, turn on, one star align, go to moon - image jumps about once per second with each little grunt from the mount

Edited by rkayakr (06/29/12 06:35 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5294514 - 06/29/12 09:03 AM

Mike

Quote:

I had the cable for a Celestron scope and it fits. Also had to get a USB converter, which is useful anyway. Waiting for ioptron to post the upgrade. which was promised a week ago.





I looked at the pin outs on the Celestron site and they don't appear to be in the same order as the SmartEQ manual specifies. Although the jack may fit, you might want to be careful before you power anything on.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5298148 - 07/01/12 04:15 PM

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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SolSystem
newbie


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [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




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
chooch
journeyman


Reged: 10/01/12

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: SolSystem]
      #5458121 - 10/06/12 03:53 PM

I think you would have to wait for the news as everyone i had checked with was sold out ..And the one I got directly from them was an open box although barely used .It came at a nice discount ,Hard to pass up. I plan on keeping it matched up to my AT 72ED its great for what it is a nice portable grab n go scope...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: chooch]
      #5458308 - 10/06/12 06:42 PM

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




Wow! That sounds like a perfect mount for wide-angle astro. Mount a DSLR with a 50mm to 200mm lens or an 80mm short APO. Can't wait to see it!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoseBorrero
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/04/09

Loc: Puerto Rico Island
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5458602 - 10/06/12 11:12 PM

i saw the intro for this mount at the 2012 neaf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib0LK1sJT8w

not bad at all! for a dslr


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: JoseBorrero]
      #5664550 - 02/06/13 01:10 AM


Has anyone been able to use a guide scope with this and third party software like PHD guiding. Several vendors I have asked cannot answer the question.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5664826 - 02/06/13 09:03 AM

Quote:


Has anyone been able to use a guide scope with this and third party software like PHD guiding. Several vendors I have asked cannot answer the question.




The SmartEQ (Model 3100) can not be guided...it has no St4 port.

The SmartEQ Pro (Model 3200)is euipped with a St4 port and can be autoguided with almost any 3d party guiding software. PHD works fine with it.

Hope the info helps..

Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ketan
sage


Reged: 11/02/06

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5766097 - 03/30/13 02:59 AM

Hallo, Wanted to ask something. How does it compare to the Celestron CG4 mount? Will it be worth if I upgrade to this iOptron model? I mean in terms of stability and accuracy.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gtbzz85
newbie


Reged: 12/18/11

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5805476 - 04/17/13 09:06 PM

I'm considering the purchase of the iOptron SmartEqu Pro mount. I plan to use it with a DSLR & guiding with a webcam (still need to find a small scope for the webcam to look through).

I would like to use PHD to control the mount using the ST4 port on the mount (may be on the controller). What cable do I need to go between the ST4 port and my Dell laptop? It has a RS-232 (COM?) port on the back.

I assume I could also use Starry Night or similar program to guide the mount using the same cable?

Big trip to Utah coming in May.. can't wait to take some photos!
Thank you!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: gtbzz85]
      #5805962 - 04/18/13 12:44 AM

Quote:

I would like to use PHD to control the mount using the ST4 port on the mount (may be on the controller). What cable do I need to go between the ST4 port and my Dell laptop? It has a RS-232 (COM?) port on the back.




The Smart EQ Pro has a St4 connection on the mount body. If you guide with a standard autoguider that has a St4 port, you just use the cable from the autoguider camera to the ST4 port on the mount.

If you are going to guide from the PC, you would need fabricate a cable from RS232 15 pin to a Rj11 6 pin connector...way too much trouble, stick with the St4 cable.

You can however, use the optional iOptron cable, RS232 to Rj9, to control the mount from a planetarium program.
Cartes du Ceil, Stellarium and Starry Night Pro all work with the mount and that cable. The cable runs from your RS232 port to the Rj9 on the bottom of the hand controller.

The same cable is needed for firmware updates to the mount.

Clear skies...

Paul






Clear skies,

Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jeduard
journeyman


Reged: 09/21/10

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5970938 - 07/14/13 06:20 PM

Quote:

I received my Smart EQ today as well and did the same setup you did. The box only contained the quick start set up instructions but the full manual is now up on the iOptron website and I will print it tomorrow. My TMB 92L slid easily into the mounting saddle, and I fooled with the controller a bit, but will probably not get it out under the stars until this weekend. Overall it appears to be a nice, functional, easily portable small EQ mount for grab and go capability. Yes, many of the components are less that robust, but for $399 I don't expect diamonds. So far I am really pleased with this little mount and will have a fuller picure once I take it outdoors for a full test run.




Hello

I am very interested in knowing which is your opinion about the Ioptron SmartEQ with a TMB 92L. I guess you will have already got some conclussions. I would like to purchase one of these mounts mainly for visual portable use as an alternative to the NEQ5. I intend to use it with a 2" diagonal and a Baader Hyperion Zoom.

Best regards and thank you

Eduardo


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)


Extra information
9 registered and 27 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 15221

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics