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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seldom]
      #6346076 - 01/30/14 09:29 PM

Quote:

Always remove the counterweight when even thinking about any position except the vertical position, on any mount.




Question re changing eyepieces: I've always been returning my mount to Zero Position, when I switch from a 2 pound eyepiece to a 1 pound eyepiece. Before I tuned the drives I tried removing the heavy one from a balanced scope, and one of the drives cammed. I've since tuned both drives. Is it safe to assume a tuned drive won't cam when a 12 pound scope is 2 pounds out of balance? I normally balance with the 1 pound eyepiece.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seldom]
      #6346111 - 01/30/14 09:48 PM

Seldom,

I've not had the problem while changing eyepieces. If it cams when you increase or decrease the load by a pound, I don't think you have the tension set high enough.

Mike


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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6346241 - 01/30/14 10:52 PM

Thanks, Mike. I'll try it now that everything's tuned up.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: nine44]
      #6346394 - 01/31/14 12:38 AM

Lol..I love simple stuff that works! Why didn't we all think of that?

Thanks...Paul


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ebeyonder
sage
*****

Reged: 10/16/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6354325 - 02/03/14 09:11 PM

Hi all, I have some problem with the mount which I would be grateful for some help.

After drift aligning the mount, my guide curve looks like this - quite good:


However, after a while, the DEC curve starts to move up and stays up... then it comes down after a while:



Any idea what's going on?

I tried running PEMPRO (and it's my first time using it), didn't turn on autoguiding (do I have to), ran 9 worm cycles and the lines kept going up... (maybe caused by drifting?)

Thank you for any advice.


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boandpokey
sage
*****

Reged: 07/25/13

Loc: Auburndale, Fl
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ebeyonder]
      #6355453 - 02/04/14 12:32 PM

I finally did some prime focusing AP last night and shot 60-120-180 second subs to work on focusing and guiding. after all 3 sub periods i had star trails... and also notice play in the mount... is it time to tune it? also, Im a beginner. to track guiding curve/performance whats the best software. I want to get serious in AP , and before I spend the $$ Id like to know what Im spending it on..

Edited by boandpokey (02/04/14 04:33 PM)


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: boandpokey]
      #6358853 - 02/06/14 12:48 AM

Even though I have owned it for a good 5+ months I am only now getting my second real imaging session in with my ZEQ25 and I am coming up on an odd RA guiding issue that has me wondering about the worm period and the like. I suspect this info may already be out in this thread SOME place... but at 43 pages...

So I am seeing what *may* be some regularity to this RA guiding spike showing up every couple of minutes. I have turned on PHD's logs so I can investigate time intervals properly later (after the imaging run is done).

So.... what *is* the worm period for the ZEQ25? Is there any other periodic time interval I should be considering)?


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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6358873 - 02/06/14 01:00 AM

Quote:

So.... what *is* the worm period for the ZEQ25? Is there any other periodic time interval I should be considering)?



600 sec (24X60X60/144=600)


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Chuckwagon
member


Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Orem, Utah, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6358883 - 02/06/14 01:10 AM

Quote:

Quote:

So.... what *is* the worm period for the ZEQ25? Is there any other periodic time interval I should be considering)?



600 sec (24X60X60/144=600)




That correlates with the instruction manual and the section regarding PEC traing;

Quote:

4. It takes the worm gear 600 seconds to make one complete revolution.




Charles


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Chuckwagon]
      #6358923 - 02/06/14 01:55 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Thanks cloudywest and Charles

Hmm... the spike I am seeing is less then 10 minutes between hits (no proper measure on that till tomorrow) so unless it is a set of problems it is unlikely to be a single damaged spot on the worm. My guestimate is that is happening slightly more then once per frame and I am currently running 480s exposures

Well I guess speculation can hold off till I get the logs tomorrow and really check on that.

I just started guiding again after meridian flip and while typing this post saw one of the spikes. It happened mid-frame so nothing to do with dither or something of that sort. Here is a screenshot of PHD's graph. (Yes I know Hysteresis and RA aggressiveness settings are odd, I was playing with them to see if I could reduce the spikes). This is guiding with a 50mm finder and SSAG (162mm focal length) so while 2 pixels does not seem like a huge spike that is actually quite large in terms of arc seconds. I happen to be imaging with a 135mm camera lens though so the setup is forgiving enough for this to not be ruining the imaging session.


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6358937 - 02/06/14 02:04 AM

It is worth noting for the thread-topic in general that before last October I was about to head out on a camping trip to some very dark sky locations and had the choice of getting my CG5 hypertuned or paying a bit extra to get a ZEQ25 to replace the CG5 as my portable imaging rig.

I am *NOT* disappointed that I got the ZEQ25. Even with this oddity cropping up in RA I never over the course of several years got the CG5 to guide this well. The CG5's DEC performance was worlds different to what I am seeing with the ZEQ25.

As of yet I have not done any tuning (as per Pauls videos) on this unit, and from the feel of it I suspect mine was made in the period of too-short springs on the worm tensioners so I am expecting even better results out of the mount after a bit of adjusting. I just hope this RA oddity is going to be minor in the end.


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6358958 - 02/06/14 02:20 AM

Ok.... I have been watching the guide graphs and have now seen 4 successive spikes all fall on EXACTLY 10 minute intervals.

My earlier thought about it being more then once per frame is late-night fuzzy thinking. I normally use 1s guide exposures so my (faulty) expectation is that a 400 exposure graph in PHD is less then one 480s exposure on the camera. Of course I was using 2s guide exposures so that explains THAT failure in thinking.

So.... ya.... Kinda sounds like I need to take the mount apart sooner rather then later.


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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6359242 - 02/06/14 08:33 AM

Quote:

Ok.... I have been watching the guide graphs and have now seen 4 successive spikes all fall on EXACTLY 10 minute intervals.

My earlier thought about it being more then once per frame is late-night fuzzy thinking. I normally use 1s guide exposures so my (faulty) expectation is that a 400 exposure graph in PHD is less then one 480s exposure on the camera. Of course I was using 2s guide exposures so that explains THAT failure in thinking.

So.... ya.... Kinda sounds like I need to take the mount apart sooner rather then later.



So it got to be the worm. Could be either dirt/debris or scratch/dent. Did you happen to have gear slipped while the clutch was partially engaged?


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6359290 - 02/06/14 09:18 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Quote:

Ok.... I have been watching the guide graphs and have now seen 4 successive spikes all fall on EXACTLY 10 minute intervals.




Very good info. If it's happening every worm period, chances are very good you have a bad worm. If you intend to tune the mount, that's a good time to check the worm.

Clean the worm carefully and look for a small burr or chip out of one of the worm teeth. Use a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe if you have to.

I've seen one mount with that exact issue, this is what to look for.

If your's is similar, time to email iOptron support for a replacement.

Regards...Paul

Edited by Astronewb (02/06/14 09:18 AM)


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calypsob
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6360602 - 02/06/14 08:23 PM

HMM, I wonder how much a worm would cost, please fill us in on the details! Falcon, one thing I notice is that your RA axis is doing a lot of corrections between each grid space, try bringing your RA hys down to 15 and see if that does not smooth out your RA curve. If seeing is bad, increase exposure time of the autoguider to 2 seconds.

Edited by calypsob (02/06/14 08:24 PM)


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: calypsob]
      #6360616 - 02/06/14 08:33 PM

Quote:

HMM, I wonder how much a worm would cost,




The warranty on iOptron mounts is 2 years, they will provide the worm N/C, and instructions on how to replace it.

Regards...Paul


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: calypsob]
      #6360842 - 02/06/14 10:27 PM

Quote:

Falcon, one thing I notice is that your RA axis is doing a lot of corrections between each grid space, try bringing your RA hys down to 15 and see if that does not smooth out your RA curve. If seeing is bad, increase exposure time of the autoguider to 2 seconds.




RA Hys is normally (and was earlier in the session) down at 10. I was experimenting with the value at the point I took the screen shot.

Seeing was in fact terrible. I had good reason to choose to be imaging at 135mm focal length. In fact that was also already set 2s guide exposures as well for seeing compensation. Clear Sky Chart's prediction for seeing that night was 1/5.

It is still interesting to see that DEC seemed to be more stable then RA (between the spikes) but that may have just been due to a reasonably good polar alignment.


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Falcon-]
      #6360851 - 02/06/14 10:31 PM

Well anyway I am fairly busy with work and in the midst of installing my kitchen right now so I likely will not get a chance to take the ZEQ25 apart till next week. At that point you can be sure I will be closely inspecting the worm.

Hopefully if there is a nick/bur/whatever on the worm that will not have caused any scratches on the wheel's tooth surfaces. In any case I will update when I get the mount open and inspected.


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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Falcon-]
      #6361127 - 02/07/14 01:15 AM

Quote:

In any case I will update when I get the mount open and inspected.



For us newbies, does iOptron have instructions for drive disassembly?


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Falcon-
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/09

Loc: Gambier Island, BC, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seldom]
      #6361243 - 02/07/14 03:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

In any case I will update when I get the mount open and inspected.



For us newbies, does iOptron have instructions for drive disassembly?




Not that I am aware of, however Paul has made some nice tune-up videos that will I think give me all the info I need for the job.

Paul's Youtube channel


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