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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Wembley2000
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
IEQ 45 Question
      #5424059 - 09/16/12 04:41 PM

Hello,

I just purchased an IEq45 mount. I have a couple questions for owners of this mount.

1. Is your mount excessivly noisy? Slewing it sounds like a small jet plane taking off and during tracking i can hear it from 20 foot away, no kidding... I have had both an LX200 and a cgem and they were much quieter.
2. Hand controller is excessivly slugish, the dec+ button sometimes takes may hard and long presses to get working.
3. The dec motor sounds like a telephone modem most the time.

I have put an email into ioptron tech but I want to hear some owner opinions. Most of what I have read here and other places have been positive, but after my first night with it I am less than impressed.

Periodic error is not good, backlash in dec is high (setpoint of 850). Tracking while guiding is not good, due to the high PE.

I am going to give tech support and the mount time, but it may be going back.

Thanks,

Wem


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5424191 - 09/16/12 06:32 PM

Arrrgghhh!

I just received delivery of my iEQ45, and am still in the process of setting it up.

However, I purchased it after reading a number of threads about it on CN and elsewhere that reported it was a quiet mount.

So, I hope yours can be made quiet, and that mine is quiet to start with!

A "coffee grinder" sounding mount (like the CG5?) will not be acceptable to me. I've been pleased, sound-wise, with the 4 Skywatcher mounts I've owned, and hope the iEQ45 will be at least as quiet.


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mgwhittle
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Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5424232 - 09/16/12 07:07 PM

What hand controller version do you have and is your firmware up to date?

You should not hear it while tracking. Slewing can be loud but not any more so than an Orion Atlas. The newest hand controller (8407) and firmware should solve all your problems.


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Midnight Dan
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5424298 - 09/16/12 07:58 PM

If you can hear it tracking from 20 feet away I think something is wrong. Tracking should be nearly silent. During slews, mine makes some noise but I'd call it average for what I've heard from mounts. Not particularly loud or quiet.

-Dan


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Wembley2000
sage
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5424307 - 09/16/12 08:03 PM

Thanks.

DVB,I hope yours is quiet. Like you I havent read to much about the noise and almost all I've heard has been good. Let us know how yours turns out.

mgwhittle, I have the 8407 controller. I checked the firmware lastnight and I think it is the newest versions, I will check them again tonight and write them down to make sure, and update if needed.

Wem


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mgwhittle
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Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5424459 - 09/16/12 09:44 PM

Quote:

Thanks.

DVB,I hope yours is quiet. Like you I havent read to much about the noise and almost all I've heard has been good. Let us know how yours turns out.

mgwhittle, I have the 8407 controller. I checked the firmware lastnight and I think it is the newest versions, I will check them again tonight and write them down to make sure, and update if needed.

Wem




I was hoping you had the older hand controller and associated firmware. When I updated to the new hand controller (and required mainboard, RA and DEC board upgrade), my mount got quieter when slewing. Not that it was any louder than other mounts before, but I did notice a difference in motor noise. Ioptron has excellent customer service, I have no doubt they can get your mount running like it should be.


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5424832 - 09/17/12 04:05 AM

Mine is disappointingly noisy during slewing, but quiet when tracking.

I just had it mounted with an ED80, so no taxing weight.

I tried setting the slewing rate to 4 and 5, but that didn't make any difference to the sound. I stopped, because I didn't want to bother the neighbours.

I wonder if there is more adjustment I can make to the slewing rate to quiet it down?

Too bad if this noise becomes a deal breaker - there is a lot to like about this mount.


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5424835 - 09/17/12 04:08 AM

i was surprised at how noisy the Mach1 is when slewing... (not mine, i don't have one, but a neighboring imager at a dark sky site did)

so i guess if the $$spendy$$ mount is noisy when slewing, they all would be.


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5424910 - 09/17/12 06:54 AM

Tomorrow I'll drill down in the menu and try to alter the slew rate. Page 31 of the manual says:

"5.10. Set Slewing Rate
You can select the maximum GOTO speed to be 128X, 256X, 512X, or MAX. The slower the speed, the quieter the motors run."


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Wembley2000
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5424975 - 09/17/12 08:26 AM

I checked the firmware last night, HC needed updated, after updating there was no improvement. Hoping to hear back from tech support today. I can stand the loud slews but the loud tracking is pretty distracting.

Using Starry night pro plus for mount control via the serial port on the mount lastnight....whenever I slewed to an object via software the pointer in software would stop short of the object in software and in space. if I manually slewed to the object the pointer in software would move to the object. Also whenever I used the move buttons in software the scope would only move in one direction no matter what button I pressed. This program has worked great with my other mounts.

dvb, glad to hear (or not hear ) yours is quiet while tracking.

Wem

Edited by Wembley2000 (09/17/12 08:28 AM)


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CounterWeight
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5425502 - 09/17/12 01:56 PM

I would say mine middle of the road slew wise - pretty quiet while tracking, but my mach1 isn't exactly quiet either when I slew (cant hear it tracking by comparison). Are loaded up with the gear in your sigline?

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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5425587 - 09/17/12 02:40 PM

OK, changing the slew rate seems to have solved my problem with noisy slewing.

The scope had been set by default to "MAX", which was too noisy for me.
The other choices are 128x, 256x and 512x. 128x was very quiet, but too slow.

I'll settle at either 256x or 512x, both of which are acceptable, if not exactly the "Goldilocks" position of perfect compromise between noise and speed.

Alignment and target acquisition seem quite good, but more testing is needed.

So, this is with the 80ED. Next up will be the 8" f/4 CF Newt, and then the real test, the 10" f/4.5 Newt (48" long, and about 30 lb.).

Wem, it does sound like you may have some QC problems with your sample. I hope iOptron can sort them out.


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Wembley2000
sage
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5425604 - 09/17/12 02:49 PM

Quote:

I would say mine middle of the road slew wise - pretty quiet while tracking, but my mach1 isn't exactly quiet either when I slew (cant hear it tracking by comparison). Are loaded up with the gear in your sigline?




No I only have at most 10lbs on the mount, at65edq and mini guidescope.

Dvb, glad to hear you have found a happy place.

Wem


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5425625 - 09/17/12 03:01 PM

512x is pretty good. the atlas slews at a maximum of 800x.

and the luckless folks with Takahashi Temma2 Jr. slew at... 120x.


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Eric Gage
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5426553 - 09/18/12 12:21 AM

Quote:

512x is pretty good. the atlas slews at a maximum of 800x.

and the luckless folks with Takahashi Temma2 Jr. slew at... 120x.






Of all the things I've felt while watching my Tak slew, luckless is not one of them.


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Eric Gage]
      #5426626 - 09/18/12 01:11 AM

hahahahaha good one Eric.

actually my AP600 GoTo conversion slews at 160X which is quite close to the luckless Temma2 Jr.

my point simply was there are folks out there even with high-end stuff like Tak who live with low slew speeds. But you have a Temma2, so you don't need to watch it slew at 120X.


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melinda fry
super member


Reged: 04/28/10

Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5426700 - 09/18/12 03:56 AM

Hi all
My mount is fine when tracking, But very noisy when going to the object. So bad that it's sets next door dog of barking and the dog at the bottom of our garden.
I sold mine and just got the skywatcher NEQ6 mount now it's nice and quiet.


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: melinda fry]
      #5426733 - 09/18/12 05:37 AM

that's funny. i can imagine a comedy show when the mount starts slewing and then all the neighborhood dogs start howling and barking.

but really, is it that bad? seems a bit unbelievable.

well the Tak mounts and NEQ6 are stepper mounts (same as my AP600 conversion) and yes they're quiet.

As an added bonus, stepper motors are pretty much indestructible. My AP600's stock motors were made in 1981. And still worked.

Servo motors if they are stalled / jammed and the motor control circuit is not properly done, you can burn out either the motor or the circuit (a known problem on CGEM's).


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5427143 - 09/18/12 11:16 AM

It could be that bad if the slewing speed is left at the default setting of Max.

I also have a Skywatcher NEQ6, which is quieter, and a real stalwart - but, also a lot heavier, and lacks some of the tricks of the iEQ45, like an adjustable brightness polar scope reticle.


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rmollise
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5427221 - 09/18/12 11:54 AM

The most recent EQ-6es do have an adjustment for the reticle illuminator.

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Wembley2000
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: rmollise]
      #5427280 - 09/18/12 12:22 PM

Well tech support got back with me and said some are loud and some are quiet.......maybe after usage it will quiet down.

No quite what I was expecting, looks like I got a loud one.

Wem


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: rmollise]
      #5427289 - 09/18/12 12:27 PM

Quote:

The most recent EQ-6es do have an adjustment for the reticle illuminator.




Glad to hear. I do think Skywatcher has some catching up to do with some of the innovations of iOptron. I hope to do a comparison between the NEQ-6 and iEQ45 at some point.

I still haven't decided whether to hang on to the NEQ6 - it will depend on whether the iEQ45 really can carry my 10" f/4.5 Newt (at 48" and 30 lb.) with the same aplomb as the NEQ6.

Also, I'm unsure of the cold weather performance of the iEQ45 - the specs say it's good to -20º C, and the hand controller seems to have a built-in warming function.


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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/18/11

Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5427290 - 09/18/12 12:27 PM

Hmm, not encouraging. I've been watching this mount and considering as an Atlas alternative if I ever need to upgrade. But based on that comment, I think I'd stay with an Atlas, or perhaps a GM8.

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Wembley2000
sage
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: simpleisbetter]
      #5427372 - 09/18/12 01:07 PM

When I get home tonight I will just let it run around each axis a few times unloaded at max speed to see if I can loosen it up a bit, maybe it is just tight.

Wem


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5427849 - 09/18/12 05:11 PM

Mine was more quiet last night, tracking with the 8" f/4 Newt, than it was on the first night, with the 80mm refractor. Tracking was essentially silent. Not sure if that was just because it had run in a bit, or because of the greater weight of the 200mm Newt over the 80 mm refractor.

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mgwhittle
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5428171 - 09/18/12 08:16 PM

Mine is noisier when it's out of balance. Are you doing the balance routine through the hand controller?

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Wembley2000
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Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5428378 - 09/18/12 10:12 PM

Yeah, I did balance through the hand control and like normal the noise was about the same. Today I was messing with it in the garage and noticed the plastic motor covers tend to amplify the sound I may try dampening them with some foam pieces or something.
Maybe I am just getting used to it, but it did seem a little quieter in the garage.

I am going to try a pempro run tomorrow on it.

Wem


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5428392 - 09/18/12 10:21 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Tracking should be almost silent otherwise there could be a mechanical problem e.g. with the spring tensioned whorm not going into the correct position or beeing stuck causing too much friction. Certainly something to check on a new mount out of the box.

Slewing will be loud to some extend with those servo drives no matter what brand the mount is... a well made stepper drive is by far more quiet!

The iEQ45 is the right choice if you want to work mobile, it is far lighter than the EQ6/Atlas.
In terms of load capability I would go with an EQ6 when permanently installed.

just my 2 cents
Chris


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5429130 - 09/19/12 12:14 PM

Quote:

Servo motors if they are stalled / jammed and the motor control circuit is not properly done, you can burn out either the motor or the circuit (a known problem on CGEM's).




This is not a "known problem on CGEM's." It is a known issue with servo systems in general due to their basic design, be it on a telescope mount or a any other machine. That's why you use belts that can slip or gears with plastic teeth that strip before serious damage is done. I have yet to see a CGEM with damaged electronics due to a stalled motor but I have seen stripped motor gearbox gears and have seen damaged electronics in other mounts when this has happened.


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CounterWeight
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: EFT]
      #5430282 - 09/20/12 02:44 AM

Chris - I have to agree and it's a great compliment to the Tak 'FS' scopes
nice picture you posted... I've yet to get a glam shot of mine on the 45.


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5430328 - 09/20/12 04:09 AM

Ed, the CGEM I currently have had went back for warranty repair for a busted motor board (according to the previous owner).

I have also "heard" of others with the same issue. In fact isn't that the whole point of the uprated H-bridge in the CGEM DX? the DX has the same motors (according to Derick over on TeamCelestron) so certainly looks like a "known problem" to me.

I've heard of similar issues with Gemini 1 servos.

Funny one never hears about burned out Mach1 motor boards or motors though. Seems that a properly designed servo controller shouldn't blindly up the current when it detects a stall or slowdown.


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5430403 - 09/20/12 06:27 AM

Thanks Jim, yes the color corresponds very well...
And it works well, no noise problems.

regards
Chris


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Wembley2000
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: chboss]
      #5430445 - 09/20/12 07:33 AM

Well, the mount is still noisy while tracking but it may be quieting down slightly.

I did get a chance to run pempro lastnight, results were poor to say the least. 54 arcsec peak to peak, looks like its time to dissassemble and see if something is wrong.

Wem


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5430525 - 09/20/12 09:04 AM

Well my CGEM is at 42" so pretty much in the same range. As I understand from Ed this is at the bottom of the barrel for these types of mounts, but not end of the world.

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mgwhittle
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5430608 - 09/20/12 09:58 AM

I was fortunate to have some nice skies last night so when I was out observing I listened closely again to my iEQ45. It's nearly silent while tracking and slewing is not anything that I would describe as loud. I'm thinking you might have an issue that needs either a return or servicing if you still describe tracking as "noisy".

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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5430708 - 09/20/12 11:08 AM


". . . looks like its time to dissassemble and see if something is wrong."

Is it time to dismantle and see if something it wrong?

And probably void the warranty in the process?

Or is it time to take advantage of the iOptron return policy and send it back for a refund?

Sounds like you are not getting the support from iOptron you should be getting. To be told "some are noisier" is a very poor comment on their Quality Control and on their customer support.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5430715 - 09/20/12 11:13 AM

Quote:

Ed, the CGEM I currently have had went back for warranty repair for a busted motor board (according to the previous owner).

I have also "heard" of others with the same issue. In fact isn't that the whole point of the uprated H-bridge in the CGEM DX? the DX has the same motors (according to Derick over on TeamCelestron) so certainly looks like a "known problem" to me.

I've heard of similar issues with Gemini 1 servos.

Funny one never hears about burned out Mach1 motor boards or motors though. Seems that a properly designed servo controller shouldn't blindly up the current when it detects a stall or slowdown.




I've seen motor boards go bad in both servo and stepper systems and only one that I can say with a fair amount of confidence was the result of an axis jam. In fact, I have seen more motors and gears damaged because of this than motor boards. Unless there is conclusive proof that it was the result of an overload due to a jammed axis, then it is more likely that it is just an unrelated failure (something unfortunately common in less expensive mounts). The greater power that the CGEM DX board is able to apply actually presents the risk of doing damage to the motor gearbox should a jam occur. I have never seen anything to suggest that the CGEM DX board is any more protected from overload, only that it can supply more power.

As usual, you get what you pay for. Perhaps the AP mounts have better overload protection built in or a better clutch slip system that avoids complete jams, but the fact that this problem can happen on Synta, Meade, and Losmandy mounts (and who knows which others) suggests that it is not a known CGEM problem but, as I said, a known problem with servo systems (probably less-expensive servo systems) in general. You can't apply your personal experience (or the reported experience of a previous owner) to all CGEM mounts.


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orlyandico
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: EFT]
      #5430742 - 09/20/12 11:26 AM

Ok Ed, I believe we agree on this but your definition is more rigorous. I shouldn't be picking on the CGEM.

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brianb11213
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Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #5430744 - 09/20/12 11:28 AM

Quote:

I was fortunate to have some nice skies last night so when I was out observing I listened closely again to my iEQ45. It's nearly silent while tracking and slewing is not anything that I would describe as loud.



Same here. My iEQ45 is nowhere near silent when slewing but considerably quieter than either my HEQ5 or my CPC1100. When tracking it is silent to all intents and purposes ... it's actually very hard to hear it running from a range of one foot in a very quiet room, let alone in a normal outdoor environment where there is always some wind / surf / traffic noise.


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Wembley2000
sage
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5430823 - 09/20/12 12:15 PM

Quote:


". . . looks like its time to dissassemble and see if something is wrong."

Is it time to dismantle and see if something it wrong?

And probably void the warranty in the process?

Or is it time to take advantage of the iOptron return policy and send it back for a refund?

Sounds like you are not getting the support from iOptron you should be getting. To be told "some are noisier" is a very poor comment on their Quality Control and on their customer support.




Yeah, ioptron support actually sent me 2 set of instructions. One of them shows how to disassemble the motor assembly to get the worm out of the block, and adjusting the worm. I will send them a note about voiding the warranty if I undertake thier procedures. Also the worm timing belt pulleys are not made very true, they both (ra and dec)have a quite a bit of wobble to them.

Wem

Edited by Wembley2000 (09/20/12 12:16 PM)


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Wembley2000
sage
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5430928 - 09/20/12 01:10 PM

Tech support got back with me, they are quick, they basically said if I feel comfortable doing it and since I had there blessing it would not void the warranty. This is nice, a company that will let you work on stuff under warranty, 2 thumbs up!

Wem


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5430986 - 09/20/12 01:46 PM

Great! I'll look forward to see how you make out.

Fortunately, mine seems to be working well - it has managed my 10" Newt, at 48" and 30 lb + very well. I used the iOptron balance utility, which seems to have worked well.

My main niggles are the plastic spreader, which almost negates the lightness of the mount - putting one hand under the spreader to carry the mount almost slices the fingers. I'll be wrapping some duct tape around the three vanes until I can figure out something better.

And, those azimuth adjustment bolts, which are "square cut" on the ends, instead of being rounded, which makes the azimuth adjustment pretty rough. I'll see if I can find some replacement bolts.

But, on the whole, I'm impressed.


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: dvb]
      #5431004 - 09/20/12 01:57 PM

Quote:

Sounds like you are not getting the support from iOptron you should be getting. To be told "some are noisier" is a very poor comment on their Quality Control and on their customer support.




I wouldn't agree with this. I've found their customer support to to be top notch. If a company replaced a mount every time someone thought it was a bit noisy, they'd quickly go out of business.

Fact is, some mounts ARE noisier than others, and some people are more sensitive to noise than others. Seems prudent for a company to push back a little to avoid a replacement for what could just be a very minor issue. It's then the customer's responsibility to persist if the issue is truly a serious one - which is exactly what he did. Sounds like iOptron responded quickly and appropriately.

-Dan


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5431191 - 09/20/12 03:40 PM

Agree here about iOptron support - IME they are really trying their best and doing a great job at it - this from my experience with my 45. I don't penalize them for being honest, it's refreshing IMO for a company offering product in this price range - if not outstanding. Knowledgable folks working with the customer to get the job done is outstanding support in my book. This is a company commitment to service, and I think though it's not a mach1, providing the same level of knowledgable and honest support to the customer is just fantastic.

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Wembley2000
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: IEQ 45 Question new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #5469016 - 10/13/12 10:19 PM

Quote:

Hello,

I just purchased an IEq45 mount. I have a couple questions for owners of this mount.

1. Is your mount excessivly noisy? Slewing it sounds like a small jet plane taking off and during tracking i can hear it from 20 foot away, no kidding... I have had both an LX200 and a cgem and they were much quieter.
2. Hand controller is excessivly slugish, the dec+ button sometimes takes may hard and long presses to get working.
3. The dec motor sounds like a telephone modem most the time.

I have put an email into ioptron tech but I want to hear some owner opinions. Most of what I have read here and other places have been positive, but after my first night with it I am less than impressed.

Periodic error is not good, backlash in dec is high (setpoint of 850). Tracking while guiding is not good, due to the high PE.

I am going to give tech support and the mount time, but it may be going back.

Thanks,

Wem




An update:

The mount is quieting down, still not silent but not nearly as annoying.
Tech support sent me a new hand controller that is much more responsive.

I can't say enough about their tech support, they have been very responsive and very helpful with my issues.

I still have a few bugs to iron out, I have been having some issues getting round stars while guiding. I am pretty sure I will be able to get all these issues worked out though


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