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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions
      #5704125 - 02/27/13 07:48 PM

Since we have a post concerning this mount, and most of us do not read Chinese, I thought I'd kindle some curiosity for the 'about to buy' stargazers, or those about to move up from alt/az.


The ZEQ25GT actually has a payload of 27 pounds maximum. The mount has a 2.6 : 1.0 payload to mount ratio due to it's unique "Z" design. Much like the childrens wire toys that balance a long wire over a central fulcrum point and seem to balance and/or spin forever.

The mounts hardened fulcrum point is a pair of mount pins that distribute the weight to the tripod. This "Z" design enabled iOptron to reduce the mass of the mount head, which is a small ribbed casting.

In use under the limited stars I have, the go-to's have been spot on with just a one star alignment. The mount's PE captured with PHD and PecPrep one short session showed a PE in RA of just under 8 arc-seconds peak to peak and a DEC PE of under 2 arc-seconds.

The hand controller is the 8408, introduced with the Smart EQ series...except it had a lot more menu items, guide rates, PEC, several alignment routine choices, etc.

The polar scope is a dream...and it is usable ALL the time...it is pre aligned at the time of manufacture to the mount axis and due to the design of the mount is never blocked by the DEC shaft. Stub the tripod...just look thru the PS and adjust it back...done.

There will be a version without the polar scope for narcasistic users...but I guarantee the polar aligns wont be as good...

The tripod is 1.5 inches and is very sturdy...for the obsessive types, a 2" tripod is available.

I will try to post up a brief review of the mount as soon as possible, along with a YouTube tour of the not so little gem.

It does have a guide port...it does have PEC training...it does not have a heated hand controller, but it did work fine at 15 degrees fahrenheit. Any colder and I would have wrapped a chemical hand warmer around it just out of pity.

The base mount w/out polar scope will retail in the area of $799.00 The polar scope equipped model will retail between $849-900. So that puts it in head on competition with the Celestron AV mount.

iOptron will formally introduce the mount shortly, along with the determined US pricing and availability.

Stay tuned...

Paul


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Bluejay08
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Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5704272 - 02/27/13 09:03 PM

It should be very stable with heavy payload.

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Astronewb
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Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5704283 - 02/27/13 09:12 PM

Quote:

It should be very stable with heavy payload.




Exactly..with a heavy payload, up to the designed payload of the mount and properly balanced, all the weight is finely
balanced over the mount's fulcrum point. The RA axis is on one side of the pin...the DEC axis is on the other and the controller boards are centered as well.

This is a really well thought out design, it's not perfect, but weight capacity-wise, it's great.

Cheers,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705210 - 02/28/13 12:06 PM

I posted up some images to my Flickr site of the ZEQ25, some initial views here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/72157632878588706/

Clear skies,

Paul


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psandelle
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705313 - 02/28/13 12:58 PM

Paul - coolie-moolie!

On my iEQ30, the fine-tuning alt knobs/screws are a little rough on the ends (need to be rounded out for more accuracy), how are they on the ZEQ25?

Thanks,

Paul


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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705319 - 02/28/13 01:03 PM

From the OP
Quote:


DEC PE of under 2 arc-seconds.





Never seen anything like this before... Any idea?

Cheers,

Jose


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: psandelle]
      #5705392 - 02/28/13 01:48 PM

Quote:

Paul - coolie-moolie!

On my iEQ30, the fine-tuning alt knobs/screws are a little rough on the ends (need to be rounded out for more accuracy), how are they on the ZEQ25?

Thanks,

Paul




The azimuth adjustment screws are pretty smooth Paul..the bolts don't seem to have as much 'cup' as previous models, but I like to round the ends off regardless..results in much smoother movements.

Cheers,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #5705404 - 02/28/13 01:56 PM

Quote:

From the OP
Quote:


DEC PE of under 2 arc-seconds.





Never seen anything like this before... Any idea?

Cheers,

Jose




Jose..the DEC periodic error is just a function that PecPrep offers, it's really not important unless your declination axis is extremely bad, so bad autoguiding can't keep it under control.

Those figures were the max periodic error, the average PE for RA was 3.5 arc-seconds, with only a single star alignment. The mount has a alignment routine available that is similar to "Alignmaster", no view of Polaris is necessary, the adjustments are carried out with a combination of the mount adjusters and the handcontroller slews.

Unfortunately, the sky has been so bad I haven't had a chance to test that procedure yet.

The mount has enough Polar Routines to make anyone happy. That, in combination with the excellent polar scope reticle and the iOptron Polar Position App from iTunes make it a serious contender.

Oh, and it's not a German Equatorial Mount (GEM)...it's a Chinese Equatorial Mount (CEM), an evolutionary design based on the "Z" configuration. I think iOptron has set a standard with this mount....

Best,

Paul


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psandelle
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705426 - 02/28/13 02:10 PM

Paul - good to know. I round 'em, too, but was curious if they addressed that further at iOptron.

CEM? Now I gotta remember somethin' else....

Paul


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Midnight Dan
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705482 - 02/28/13 02:47 PM

Wow! Very innovative design! How did you get one? Are you beta testing for them? Also, how much does the mount head weigh?

-Dan


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5705770 - 02/28/13 05:17 PM

Hi Dan, I got one several days ago, just to do some initial testing and tweaking for iOptron.

The mount weighs...10 pounds +/- a few ounces.

I'm going to start a new thread with links to YouTube videos..a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is priceless..:)


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ourobouros2k2
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Reged: 11/10/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705827 - 02/28/13 05:41 PM

Quote:

The mount has enough Polar Routines to make anyone happy. That, in combination with the excellent polar scope reticle and the iOptron Polar Position App from iTunes make it a serious contender.




Does it have something similar to the all star polar alignment routine? Just curious. This mount is intriguing


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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5705888 - 02/28/13 06:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

From the OP
Quote:


DEC PE of under 2 arc-seconds.





Never seen anything like this before... Any idea?

Cheers,

Jose




Jose..the DEC periodic error is just a function that PecPrep offers, it's really not important unless your declination axis is extremely bad, so bad autoguiding can't keep it under control.

Those figures were the max periodic error, the average PE for RA was 3.5 arc-seconds, with only a single star alignment. The mount has a alignment routine available that is similar to "Alignmaster", no view of Polaris is necessary, the adjustments are carried out with a combination of the mount adjusters and the handcontroller slews.

Unfortunately, the sky has been so bad I haven't had a chance to test that procedure yet.

The mount has enough Polar Routines to make anyone happy. That, in combination with the excellent polar scope reticle and the iOptron Polar Position App from iTunes make it a serious contender.

Oh, and it's not a German Equatorial Mount (GEM)...it's a Chinese Equatorial Mount (CEM), an evolutionary design based on the "Z" configuration. I think iOptron has set a standard with this mount....

Best,

Paul




Thanks Paul,

What was your setup when you measure the PE? This numbers are very good... My EM200 has a PE of 8 arcsec peak to peak, vey smooth tho.

Cheers,

Jose


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ourobouros2k2
sage


Reged: 11/10/11

Loc: okc area, oklahoma
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #5705934 - 02/28/13 06:35 PM

Sorry missed the part above about alignmaster like routine. Thanks! Wonder if similar routine will be available as an update for the smarteq?

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Footbag
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ourobouros2k2]
      #5705943 - 02/28/13 06:39 PM

Nice review. What would the benefit of the Z-configuration be, though?

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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ourobouros2k2]
      #5706018 - 02/28/13 07:17 PM

Quote:

Sorry missed the part above about alignmaster like routine. Thanks! Wonder if similar routine will be available as an update for the smarteq?




Yes same controller..firmware updates will be forthcoming soon, as soon as the initial results of the new routine are proofed out.

Best,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Footbag]
      #5706022 - 02/28/13 07:19 PM

Quote:

Nice review. What would the benefit of the Z-configuration be, though?




I pondered about that when I saw the mount. Then I remembered the children's balancing toys..you know, the ones made out of wire, where you place the horiontal piece of long wire on a central fulcrum..and it balances on it and spins forever..??

Same concept..

Cheers,

Paul


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5706282 - 02/28/13 10:00 PM

Thanks Paul! Would like to know how stable it is with 27 lbs payload.

Jay


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5707877 - 03/01/13 10:00 PM

Quote:

Thanks Paul! Would like to know how stable it is with 27 lbs payload.

Jay




Interesting question Jay, but I'd have to rig something up. I'm not going to hang the 35# AT10RC on it..that weighs in at 30+ pounds at the moment.

Maybe a Comet Hunter (16#) with a 90mm (8#) piggybacked??

If I can configure and load it up...I'll let you know.

Regards,

Paul


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Senator48
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Reged: 03/12/12

Loc: New Jersey
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5738921 - 03/17/13 03:35 PM

Really intrigued by the ZEQ25 now. Watched the videos from the other thread a few times and think that this would be a great mount for my new toy (AT111EDT APO Triplet) that just arrived on Friday. It's down to this and the Celestron AVX to replace my CG5.

The lighter weight of the ZEQ25 is a big draw since I have to set-up and tear down every session. I primarily stick to visual observing, but think the new iOptron mount will be fine for lunar and planetary imaging.

Edited by Senator48 (03/17/13 07:49 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Senator48]
      #5739207 - 03/17/13 05:32 PM

Quote:

Really intrigued by the ZEQ25 now. Watched the videos from the other thread a few times and think that this would be a great mount for my new toy (AT111EDT APO Triplet) that just arrived on Friday. It's down to this and the Celestron VX to replace my CG5.




The ZEQ25 would be an excellent match for your purposes. Both the ZEQ25 and the VX are in the same price range, the polar scope equipped ZEQ25 is $50 more, but comes pre aligned at the factory and is never blocked.

The only scales you have to worry about is the latitude scale and whatever markers you place on the RA and DEC joints to establish a zero position.

I personally feel that the iOptron polar align reticle is the cat's meow and super easy to use.

I think that the ZEQ25 would be a little easier to setup and use, and thus be more suited to your needs, since the best mount is the one you use the most.

The AVX has the advantage of being available right now. The ZEQ25 will not be shipping until the end of this month with all the latest upgrades (external knobs for adjusting gear box tension) and improved Ascom drivers and firmware for linking to popular planetarium programs.

It does work with Starry Nights Pro and Cirques du Ciel at the moment. And also with The Sky as of this week. All that remains is a useable version to link to SkySafari or Orions StarSeek and it will be truly versatile.

Hope the info helps, happy shopping and have a ton of fun with whatever you decide to purchase.

Edited by Astronewb (03/17/13 05:33 PM)


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Senator48
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Reged: 03/12/12

Loc: New Jersey
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5739515 - 03/17/13 07:49 PM

Thank you, Paul. Definitely appreciate the feedback and the factory aligned polar alignment reticle is another big plus. For a mount that will be simple to move and use whether it's on my deck or at a remote site, this one is looking more and more like a winner. If I feel like my CG5 is a bit cumbersome on some nights, I don't think that the AVX is going to offer a much easier experience for me.

Depending on whether or not I can convince Mrs. Senator48 that I need two mounts for hands-on comparison, I will most likely just wait until I can get a ZEQ25 at High Point since it's less than an hour's drive from home (through some beautiful northern NJ farmland and open space.) I was amazed when she told me to go for it on the AT111 last week - almost as amazing as seeing it briefly "In Stock" at Astronomics!

Best,
Jason


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Senator48]
      #5739529 - 03/17/13 07:55 PM

My pleasure Jason...and it sounds like you have a wonderful 'better half'..don't forget to invest in her..;)

Oh, and I just downloaded and installed MS Worldwide Telescope..and the ZEQ25 works fine with the Ascom platform in that software also. Worldwide Telescope is the program Flickr uses to label their astrophotos...never knew you could download and install a PC version. It's available for the MAC systems too. I also never knew you could control a telescope from the program as well..live and learn.

Clear skies..

Paul


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frozen.kryo
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Reged: 01/28/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5739824 - 03/17/13 11:17 PM

Quote:

It does work with Starry Nights Pro and Cirques du Ciel at the moment. And also with The Sky as of this week. All that remains is a useable version to link to SkySafari or Orions StarSeek and it will be truly versatile.




I believe it's "Cartes du Ciel".


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: frozen.kryo]
      #5740279 - 03/18/13 09:07 AM

I believe it's "Cartes du Ciel".

Ooops..brain hiccup...that's what I get for attending so many Cirque du Soleil performances.

Thanks,

Paul


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Senator48
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Reged: 03/12/12

Loc: New Jersey
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5766929 - 03/30/13 02:05 PM

Any updates on how your enjoying your ZEQ25? I am definitely going to give one a shot to replace my CG5 when they're finally available in April. This offering from iOptron still seems like one of the best affordable new lightweight go-to mounts to come out in years.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Senator48]
      #5767628 - 03/30/13 09:12 PM

Quote:

Any updates on how your enjoying your ZEQ25?




Hi, well, I'm still enjoying it, just loaded up a new firmware update (final version) and waiting to wring it out.

The mount has exceeded my expectations, and is so radically different in design from my GEM iEQ45 that I have had to rethink my assumptions on what a mount is capable of.

The mount just shrugs weight off, and the 27 pound capacity is very conservative. Up to the rated capacity it is going to perform splendidly.

The mount has performed without a hiccup or defect since I got it.

I have tested the mount with several planetarium programs and it works with Stellarium (with the Stellarium Scope add-on) using the latest March 2013 Ascom drivers. It also works with Starry Night Pro, Cartes du Ciel and MS World Wide Telescope without issues.

My mount is an early pre-production version, the shipping mounts now include locks for the RA and DEC switches which look excellent.

If I could fault anything, it's that the polar scope illumination reticle cable has a tendency to fall out of the lower connector when slewing the mount around. It's probably best to remove it after polar aligning anyway.

iOptron has posted up the User's Guide on their website, so you can download and read thru it. They should have the complete User's Manual available soon.

The only thing I have left to do with the mount is to do some long exposure guided imaging. Weather has been an issue, and as luck would have it , tonight is crystal clear, not a cloud in the sky, great seeing....and I'm away from home for the Easter Holiday....:(

It is indeed one of the best affordable mounts to come along in years. The Celestron AVx is the only other contender in it's range, but I don't see the same level of 'evolution' in that mount. I also hope iOptron's ZEQ25 will not have the same numbers of issues that Celestron's initial introduction has had, but that might be temporary and limited to the first shipping units?

Oh, anyone thinking of ordering the ZEQ25 might consider an extra counterweight at the same time, because the one CW will only balance about 16 pounds of OTA.

Clear skies,

Paul


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netwolf
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Loc: NSW, Australia
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5785138 - 04/08/13 12:31 AM

Paul any chance you could post some PE results for this mount, perhaps with Pempro or similar. Pempro do offer a free trial.

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grommit
journeyman
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Reged: 12/27/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: netwolf]
      #5824518 - 04/26/13 02:14 PM

Apologies, I'm 1500 miles from my scope and have no idea what it weighs without the janky fork mount. I'm faced with paying 600 dollars for a wedge, and this seems like a better idea. My question: your thoughts on mounting a 12" Meade LX200 on this mount?

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ASTERON
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: grommit]
      #5824869 - 04/26/13 04:50 PM

Grommet,
My 12" lx200R weights in at 19 kg (>40 pounds). Which most probably puts it way beyond the nominal mounts capacity.

That said, it may be the perfect mount for my AT8RC With CF tube.

I am seriously considering this mount as a lightweight GEM in the near future. I would like to see a few more positive reviews of regular production mounts before I commit myself.


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: netwolf]
      #5825543 - 04/27/13 12:28 AM

Quote:

Paul any chance you could post some PE results for this mount, perhaps with Pempro or similar. Pempro do offer a free trial.




I will do that as soon as I can. Just got updated drive pulleys and belts from iOptron, same as current shipping mounts. As soon as I get them installed and a clear night, I can convert some PHD logs w/PecPrep to see what it looks like.

Cheers,

Paul


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SunBlack
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/05/11

Loc: Rome (IT)
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5829481 - 04/29/13 02:14 AM

@ Astronewb (Paul): if possible i need tracking tests of this mount. Take an APS-C camera+200mm lens or FF camera+ 300mm. Take exps at ~0° DEC, unguided, of 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5m, 4m. Look at results and let me know when trailing is perceptible, u can shoot in jpg fine. No raw needed for this kind of test.
Thx


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5830510 - 04/29/13 03:24 PM

I can do that with my Nikon and the 55-200 lens, simply by swapping in the low alt adjuster.

But, I have absolutely no views less than 15 degrees from the horizon, so unless you want a bunch of trees tracked, that might be an issue.

I did do a tracking test, unguided at approx. 30-40 degrees when I got the mount. With just a simple polar align, I was able to image round stars up to 2 and 1/2 minutes without trailing. At 3 minutes the stars started to 'egg' a bit.

So, I can do at a lower elevation, if you don't mind a few trees in the image....;)

Clear skies,

Paul
Quote:

@ Astronewb (Paul): if possible i need tracking tests of this mount. Take an APS-C camera+200mm lens or FF camera+ 300mm. Take exps at ~0° DEC, unguided, of 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5m, 4m. Look at results and let me know when trailing is perceptible, u can shoot in jpg fine. No raw needed for this kind of test.
Thx




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SunBlack
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/05/11

Loc: Rome (IT)
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5830526 - 04/29/13 03:33 PM

No trees are important. Important is being at celestial equator. Pls let me know as u got new results....

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Mike7Mak
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5830555 - 04/29/13 03:44 PM

0 DEC is the celestial equator and should be around 45-50 degrees above the horizon in Connecticut.

I have no interest in this mount but I am curious what this novel configuration is supposed to solve. It looks to me like OTA conflicts with the tripod are much more likely.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5831314 - 04/29/13 11:10 PM

Quote:

No trees are important. Important is being at celestial equator. Pls let me know as u got new results....




Doh, it has dawned on my dim brain, that I will still have to align on Polaris @ 42 degrees lat to eliminate trailing, I still can image from 15 degrees to 20 degrees though. I don't think the results will be much different than at 30-40 degrees elevation, but we will see.

Clear skies,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5831322 - 04/29/13 11:16 PM

Quote:

It looks to me like OTA conflicts with the tripod are much more likely.




The mount does look a bit strange, but when configured for low latitude, the counterweight shaft is adjusted out and away from the tripod leg, so even with the azimuth pin in the north position on the mount, there is plenty of room, even at -5 degrees latitude (I checked).

I have imaged at 74 degrees with a 90mm refractor without any contact with the tripod..it's close, my Dslr is about 2 inches away from a leg, but a miss is as good as a mile..:)

Best,

Paul


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SunBlack
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Reged: 05/05/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5831499 - 04/30/13 02:16 AM

Yes, u have to align to Polaris, then slew the mount at 0 dec and begin to shoot, hoping no intruders (trees ). Let me know....

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5837490 - 05/02/13 11:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Paul any chance you could post some PE results for this mount, perhaps with Pempro or similar. Pempro do offer a free trial.




I will do that as soon as I can. Just got updated drive pulleys and belts from iOptron, same as current shipping mounts. As soon as I get them installed and a clear night, I can convert some PHD logs w/PecPrep to see what it looks like.

Cheers,

Paul




Installed the new pulleys and belts and got out under a clear sky for some testing. Imaging the Iris and Panstarrs, so it was a 'two fer', it was also first light for my new Lodestar.

Here's the PHD screenshot:


PHD Graph w/28 tooth gears by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Here's the PecPrep file from the PHD log file (guided):


PecPrep_zeq25_guided by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

I know that's not the resident (raw) PE, but I couldn't spare the time to turn off auto guiding to log it. I estimate it's about 20 arc seconds peak to peak, or less.

And here's a wip image of NGC7023 with 5 minute guided subs:


NGC7023_wip by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

I also spent 27 minutes on Panstarrs:


Comet C2011_Panstarrs by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

The PecPrep data indicate guided PE of less than 1.0 arc second, peak to peak, and an average PE of less than .50 arc seconds. No PEC training was done.

I would have to say this is one stable, monster tracking, solid mount for the price.

The mount guide rate was set at 1.0, and the PHD settings were all basically stock. I'm pretty sure that this mount will out perform anything in it's price bracket at this time.

In fact, it's so easy to carry and setup, that I haven't used my TDM equipped iEQ45 since I got it....:)

Hope this info helps,

Paul


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SunBlack
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Reged: 05/05/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5837587 - 05/03/13 02:10 AM

Quote:

I know that's not the resident (raw) PE, but I couldn't spare the time to turn off auto guiding to log it. I estimate it's about 20 arc seconds peak to peak, or less.


When u have time, even on light polluted sky, try those shots unguided i asked for, please. And please confirm or not 20 arc seconds with PecPrep.
It'd be great to see how it improves with PEC enabled, unguided shots in this case too.
Btw yes, it seems a very nice performer, considering its weight.


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Partow Izadi
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5837845 - 05/03/13 09:00 AM

So sad: It seems that this beautiful mount will be useless at my 66°31'N latitude (yes just a few km south of the Arctic Circle).

As I understand, it's latitude range is 0°-60°.

Does anyone know, if the tripod could be tilted to compensate for the extra 6°-7° without getting the whole thing out of balance and risking a topple?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5838062 - 05/03/13 10:45 AM

Quote:

When u have time, even on light polluted sky, try those shots unguided i asked for, please. And please confirm or not 20 arc seconds with PecPrep.




I haven't forgotten about you Luca, for your shots I need to put the 55-250 Canon T3i on the mount. More importantly, I need to be on the other side of my house for a view to the south and the meridian to get as close to 0 dec as possible. I was imaging on the north side of my house, with no view to the south...:)

Ciao,

Paul


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5838117 - 05/03/13 11:12 AM

Good stuff Paul.

You can record PE even if you are shooting away from the equator, when you start PECPrep you can enter the DEC used to create the PE log and PECPrep will compensate accordingly.

Cheers,

Jose


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #5838718 - 05/03/13 04:35 PM

Quote:

Good stuff Paul.

You can record PE even if you are shooting away from the equator, when you start PECPrep you can enter the DEC used to create the PE log and PECPrep will compensate accordingly.

Cheers,

Jose




Thanks for that info Jose, I never knew you could do that. I checked it again with the DEC I was imaging at:


PecPrep Corrected DEC by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Thanks again for the info,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5839313 - 05/03/13 11:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

When u have time, even on light polluted sky, try those shots unguided i asked for, please. And please confirm or not 20 arc seconds with PecPrep.




I haven't forgotten about you Luca, for your shots I need to put the 55-250 Canon T3i on the mount. More importantly, I need to be on the other side of my house for a view to the south and the meridian to get as close to 0 dec as possible. I was imaging on the north side of my house, with no view to the south...:)

Ciao,

Paul




Okay Luca, just for you. I imaged these 5 shots, from 60 to 240 secs, unguided, at +4 degrees from 0 Dec at the meridian. Canon T3i @ 203mm/F5.6. Just a simple polar scope align, and a One Star align to Kocab, then a slew to the area of M61.

60 seconds:

LIGHT_60s_800iso by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

90 Seconds:

LIGHT_90s_800iso by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

120 seconds:

LIGHT_120s_800iso by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

180 seconds:

LIGHT_180s_800iso by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

240 seconds:

LIGHT_240s_800iso by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

No processing was done, all images captured in Byeos at ISO 800. I hope this is what you wanted...my question is, why or what did you want them for...???

Regards,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (05/03/13 11:20 PM)


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SunBlack
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5839602 - 05/04/13 05:57 AM

Thank you so much. Since i do AP not guiding, i would see this mount behaviour in this respect. I'm evaluting a lighter mount than my vixen gpdx but which have the same or better tracking.
About your images, at that resolution max 1280 x 853 i cant judge. Even at 4 min they seem perfect. It'd be great if u could upload the original jpgs (in a zip file) on one of those fre hosting services .


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5839863 - 05/04/13 10:37 AM

Quote:

Even at 4 min they seem perfect.




They are not 'perfect', but they would be after stacking and processing...:)

I just uploaded the 240 sec unguided image where trailing just started to occur. You can check it at max resolution here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/8706544767/

Again, no adjustments for tracking or drift, just a simple polar scope align and One Star align for go-to's.

With fine tuning via the 'Polar Align' routine in the hand controller, you can image almost anything, in any area of the sky.

If you ever decide to autoguide, the mount is capable of exposures in the 5 to 10 minute range without trailing.

Clear skies, and good luck,

Paul


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timmbottoni
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5839867 - 05/04/13 10:41 AM

Paul how does it compare to the iEQ45?

Just curious since I just got an iEQ45

Thanks,

Timm


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darethehair
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Reged: 09/11/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: timmbottoni]
      #5839918 - 05/04/13 11:16 AM

I'm also curious about a comparison to other models like the IEQ45, but in just roughly comparing the mechanical specs it looks like the IEQ30 is a closer match. I really cannot afford either, but it seems to me that the ZEQ25 matches the IEQ30 for about $500 less. True?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: timmbottoni]
      #5840591 - 05/04/13 07:03 PM

Quote:

Paul how does it compare to the iEQ45?

Just curious since I just got an iEQ45

Thanks,

Timm



'
Hi Timm, that's really not a 'apples to apples' comparison.

The ZEQ25 is a lighter mount, with less payload, and it's a brand new design (Z-Balanced).

I would think, that if the ZEQ25 had the same payload capacity (thinking ZEQ45 here), then I would prefer the ZEQ45. With an OTA and full counterweights, the balance is so perfect you can move the lat adjuster with two fingers.

On my iEQ45, I need to use the included lat lever to move it up at all when loaded, due to the offset weight.

The Z-balanced design also has less inherent periodic error since both RA and DEC gears are the same size, and the cogged gears have more teeth, that along with the balance results in a smoother overall graph.

I'm not going to give up my iEQ45 anytime soon, it's a good mount all around, with absolutely no bad habits in the two years I've owned it. And, the 8407 hand controller with the iEQ45 has many more features than the ZEQ25.

Clear skies,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: darethehair]
      #5840595 - 05/04/13 07:05 PM

Quote:

I'm also curious about a comparison to other models like the IEQ45, but in just roughly comparing the mechanical specs it looks like the IEQ30 is a closer match. I really cannot afford either, but it seems to me that the ZEQ25 matches the IEQ30 for about $500 less. True?




Hmnn...yep, pretty much.

Best,

Paul


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vdb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5841096 - 05/05/13 02:45 AM

I have owned a IEQ45, and sold it as I was building a remote setup an had a "better" mount ... I regret it as the main benefit of a portable mount is portability ... The avalon with its herculus wooden tripod weighs to much, and I don't image as often anymore.

I'm looking at the 25 with lots of interest, I would be interested in a session with the RC6 to see if it can handle longer focal length ...


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: vdb]
      #5841478 - 05/05/13 11:24 AM

Quote:

I'm looking at the 25 with lots of interest, I would be interested in a session with the RC6 to see if it can handle longer focal length ...




It will handle the AT6RC, but you will need an additional counterweight to balance it. I've recently acquired a AT6RC, and am just about done with setup and spacer/reducer configurations, but haven't done any serious imaging with it yet on the ZEQ25.

Here's an unguided image with the AT6RC on the ZEQ25, 120 second exposures:


M101_Composite by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

That one is with the CCDT67 reducer, so about 1000mm focal length. Hoping to get out with the AT6RC tonight to add some autoguided data.

This is what I had to do to get it balanced, 5 lb cw, 7 lb power tank, and 2 lb cw:


ZEQ25 imaging setup by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Clear skies,

Paul


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SunBlack
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Reged: 05/05/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5841502 - 05/05/13 11:38 AM

Paul, thx again, i supposed 240s could have been too much; what can u say about the 180s one? At full res it'd be pinpoint, isn't it?

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Partow Izadi
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Partow Izadi]
      #5842354 - 05/05/13 08:09 PM

I would be grateful for a comment on my question below.

Quote:

Does anyone know, if the tripod could be tilted to compensate for the extra 6°-7° without getting the whole thing out of balance and risking a topple?




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SunBlack
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5847978 - 05/08/13 03:06 PM

UP
Quote:

Paul, thx again, i supposed 240s could have been too much; what can u say about the 180s one? At full res it'd be pinpoint, isn't it?




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Saxxon
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Reged: 03/15/13

Loc: Juneau, Alaska, US
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5848062 - 05/08/13 03:50 PM

Been busy looking for my first new mount. And after looking at alot of them, I had decided on another. but after reading this post as well as reading about the 75 minute exposure I am back at looking at the 25. although the range says up to 60 degrees, me being at 58 would I have issues being that close to the max?

So I don't have to make a new post and I hope I am not hijacking a thread by asking this. Is it best to buy directly from iOptron or does someone have a suggested site to buy from? There are no local shops to buy from so if someone can guide me to a site that does free/cheap shipping to Alaska that would be amazing. Thanks.

Edited by Saxxon (05/08/13 04:58 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Saxxon]
      #5848248 - 05/08/13 05:19 PM

Quote:

Been busy looking for my first new mount. And after looking at alot of them, I had decided on another. but after reading this post as well as reading about the 75 minute exposure I am back at looking at the 25. although the range says up to 60 degrees, me being at 58 would I have issues being that close to the max?

So I don't have to make a new post and I hope I am not hijacking a thread by asking this. Is it best to buy directly from iOptron or does someone have a suggested site to buy from? There are no local shops to buy from so if someone can guide me to a site that does free/cheap shipping to Alaska that would be amazing. Thanks.




Wow, you're way up there, almost under Polaris...:)

I would think the only problem you would have, is what everyone has at that latitude, the need for a pier extension to make viewing and polar aligning easier.

I know the ZEQ25, with a longish 90mm and Dslr setup on it, clears the tripod legs by about 2 inches at 75 degrees. And I know why I got the camera with a flip out lcd screen too...!

You can order directly from iOptron, or from any of the dealers linked from their website, I'm not sure which has the best deals on shipping?

Best,

Paul


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Saxxon
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5848397 - 05/08/13 06:21 PM

Thanks for the Info. I should be making my purchase in a week or two. Guess I'll be hunting for a decent shipping rate till then.

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coinboy1
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Saxxon]
      #5857436 - 05/13/13 12:50 PM

Reading these posts on the ZEQ25 makes me more and more intrigued about this mount. Especially after seeing the 75minute guided exposure.

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FishInPercolator
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: coinboy1]
      #5857793 - 05/13/13 03:39 PM

Can it handle an EdgeHD 800 with some goodies attached?

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SunBlack
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Reged: 05/05/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5857867 - 05/13/13 04:20 PM

Paul, about pics u made for me, could u upload full res of the other ones (excluding the 240s u just uploaed time ago)? Thx again

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psandelle
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5857906 - 05/13/13 04:43 PM

For those thinking about this mount, I'll say again: every experience I've had with iOptron customer service (some just dumb email questions I had) has been first rate. They're a nice group, and though mistakes can be made (things come from China to the USA, then to me), they're always rectified quickly and easily.

Also, they seem to be forward-thinking. Their first GEM, the iEQ45 had some oddities in design, and they fixed them, improved upon them, and now the Z's are pushing mount design ahead a bit. They're also striving for lower-cost encoders in future mounts. I think all of that is a good thing.

Paul


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FishInPercolator
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5860303 - 05/14/13 04:16 PM

Why dovetail does this accept? 1.75"?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5861120 - 05/14/13 10:30 PM

Quote:

Why dovetail does this accept? 1.75"?




This mount comes equipped with a non marring, spring loaded, double locking knob Vixen saddle.

No indication yet of whether a Losmandy saddle will be available as a bolt on option. But it wouldn't be difficult for Tony at ADM to machine one up?

Cheers,

Paul


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Bluejay08
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Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5861191 - 05/14/13 11:06 PM

I think I saw a Vixen/Losmandy dual saddle with vixen dovetail bar for ZEQ25 in NEAF.

Jay


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FishInPercolator
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5861216 - 05/14/13 11:22 PM

So can I put an EdgeHD 800 w/CG5 dovetail onto it? Pardon my ignorance.

Also, how's the ZEQ25's period error?


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Bluejay08
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5861237 - 05/14/13 11:34 PM

Probably won't be worse than those of same price range mounts.

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SunBlack
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5866345 - 05/17/13 02:02 AM

2 simple questions: a. Pec training could be started and stored by Hc only or necessarly by a pc? B. Pec is lost when mount is powered off or is permanent?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5866406 - 05/17/13 03:47 AM

Quote:

2 simple questions: a. Pec training could be started and stored by Hc only or necessarly by a pc? B. Pec is lost when mount is powered off or is permanent?




PEC training is done (recorded) in the hand controller.

Unfortunately, it is lost when the mount is powered down.

On the brighter side, PEC correction really isn't needed on this mount. It tracks and guides so effortlessly, that guiding periodic error is less than 1.0 arc-second average, every time I use it.

I just finished a 900 second string of images on a dso, all round stars, in a 9mph wind.

That was at 1000mm f/l, guided with a 250mm guide scope.

Clear skies,

Paul


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SunBlack
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5866412 - 05/17/13 04:08 AM

as said above from me, i do not guided ap so pec would be a very useful tool. It is a pity it is not permanent.

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tjugo
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Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5867179 - 05/17/13 01:18 PM

Paul,

I see that the mount is back in stock... I might get one.

Does it work with ASCOM? If so how well it play with it? Any experience?

Cheers,

Jose


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #5868168 - 05/17/13 09:24 PM

Quote:

Paul,

I see that the mount is back in stock... I might get one.

Does it work with ASCOM? If so how well it play with it? Any experience?

Cheers,

Jose




Hello Jose, yes the mount plays pretty well with Ascom. With the new April 2013 Ascom drivers, it works with just about any planetarium program.

It still does not work with Sky Safari, but that's in the works.

I don't use Ascom per se too often, but I did configure the Lodestar autoguider as 'Ascom' in PHD, and hooked up in serial port mode to the hand controller, the PHD manual control slew buttons work, so I know the commands go through.

I just don't have MaximDl or other program to run it in.

Hope the info helps,

Paul


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Paulimer
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5868293 - 05/17/13 10:17 PM

Oh I thought it works with Sky Safari. I can hold my horses for the moment then.

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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Paulimer]
      #5870215 - 05/18/13 08:54 PM

I ordered one ZEQ25 today.

Looking forward to test it with my 60mm refractor!

Cheers,

Jose


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #5870459 - 05/18/13 10:55 PM

Congratulations Jose, looking forward to your first light report and impressions.

Regards,

Paul


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FishInPercolator
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5870661 - 05/19/13 02:21 AM

Paul, can the ZEQ25 be easily converted to an alt-az when I'm just observing? I would switch to EQ for imaging...

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5871035 - 05/19/13 10:09 AM

Quote:

Paul, can the ZEQ25 be easily converted to an alt-az when I'm just observing? I would switch to EQ for imaging...




No, not at all. The ZEQ25 is an Equatorial mount, period.

For dual usage, you would need to look at the iEQ45-AZ, which can do both: https://www.ioptron.com/index.cfm?select=productdetails&phid=1fa654a1-214...

Or the Orion(or Skywatcher variant) AZ/EQ-G which can do both: http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/New-Mounts-and-Tripods/Orion-Atlas-Pr...

Hope the info helps, clear skies,

Paul


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FishInPercolator
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5871090 - 05/19/13 10:35 AM

Thanks, I'm still going after the ZEQ25

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FishInPercolator
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872389 - 05/19/13 08:21 PM

How long are its tripod legs? Trying to see if I can find a case/bag to put it in

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FishInPercolator]
      #5872429 - 05/19/13 08:42 PM

Quote:

How long are its tripod legs? Trying to see if I can find a case/bag to put it in




Luckily for you, I answered the same question on another forum, here's the info:

The tripod measures 28" long with the legs collapsed, and the circumference is approx. 5". So it would fit in a 5x5x30" long box or bag. The tripod spreader is approx. 11" in diameter.

The mount head is approx. 5" wide, including the knobs for the Vixen saddle. The length of the RA and DEC components are approx. 11", so it would fit in a box or bag about 12 x 12 x 5", if you incude the spreader, make it 12 x 12 x 6" for traveling.


So, head over to B&H or Adorama and see what kind of bags will do the trick. I have used the Hakuba bags, they are excellent quality, with inner tie straps and lots of pockets for incidentals, like hand controllers/etc. And, they won't kill your pocketbook...:)

Clear skies,

Paul


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5874053 - 05/20/13 03:54 PM

Paul,

I'm looking at this mount to get into AP a bit. It does seem like it would be good for that. My question is, is there any reason this wouldn't make a good mount for visual use also? One of my goals is to get a light weight setup and this looks like it will fill the bill.

Thanks,

Mike


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5874233 - 05/20/13 04:55 PM

Quote:

Paul,

I'm looking at this mount to get into AP a bit. It does seem like it would be good for that. My question is, is there any reason this wouldn't make a good mount for visual use also? One of my goals is to get a light weight setup and this looks like it will fill the bill.

Thanks,

Mike




It's actually great for visual due to the spot on go-to's once you do a quick setup.

And for visual, you can leave the tripod legs extended for the full height (43") which together with a diagonal makes for a comfortable viewing position.

Clear skies,

Paul


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txairman
member


Reged: 04/18/11

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5876458 - 05/21/13 05:46 PM

Based on quick setup time do you think it would be a good alternative to GOTO Alt-Az mount? It seems that it's just as easy to setup and in case one needs to can do some AP.

Quote:

Quote:

Paul,

I'm looking at this mount to get into AP a bit. It does seem like it would be good for that. My question is, is there any reason this wouldn't make a good mount for visual use also? One of my goals is to get a light weight setup and this looks like it will fill the bill.

Thanks,

Mike




It's actually great for visual due to the spot on go-to's once you do a quick setup.

And for visual, you can leave the tripod legs extended for the full height (43") which together with a diagonal makes for a comfortable viewing position.

Clear skies,

Paul




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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: txairman]
      #5877020 - 05/21/13 09:57 PM

Quote:

Based on quick setup time do you think it would be a good alternative to GOTO Alt-Az mount? It seems that it's just as easy to setup and in case one needs to can do some AP.




I don't see why not, in fact, I spend probably as much time setting up my Mini Tower for alt/az as I do the EQ mounts. Of course, the excellent iOptron polar scope reticle takes credit for the fast setup.

The only thing that's nicer about an alt/az, is that the slew buttons are always up/down, left/right, whereas the EQ mount can be a little confusing to someone that's only familiar with an alt/az mount.

Cheers,

Paul


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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5878612 - 05/22/13 05:26 PM

The biggest problem for me over the years when I had no observatory was setup and takedown time. And the biggest pain was always the mount plus tripod. People talk about grap and go telescopes but the limiting factor for me when it comes to grab and go is the mount and tripod. In the past the alternative was alt/az mounts which I don't care for personally. Now, here comes an equatorial mount with tripod that isvreally lightvand seems to work! I am very impressed. I just put together my MachI mount plus Miller Tripod, counterweights and battery to do some quick testing of a Meade 7" MaksutOv (14 pounds). I love my MachI and have no intention of selling it but the iOptronZQ 25 would have been a heck of a lot faster and easier for what I want to do tonight. I am going to either get the ZEQ25 or the IEQ30 to hav something really portable for my TSA120 and, in August, my AP 130 GT. Great review!!

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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5878636 - 05/22/13 05:35 PM

I am told the AP 130 GT with finder, rings, dovetail, etc., weighs 25 pounds. That suggests thevIEQ30 might be best, although I must say I certainly like the new look of the ZEQ25.

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Bluejay08
member


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5879040 - 05/22/13 08:42 PM

Because of the new design, maybe ZEQ can go over the general 2/3 rule of AP payload? Paul, could you try it?

Thanks!

Jay


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5879187 - 05/22/13 10:16 PM

Quote:

Because of the new design, maybe ZEQ can go over the general 2/3 rule of AP payload? Paul, could you try it?

Thanks!

Jay




Hi Jay, I'm imaging with the AT6RC on it, which is 22 pounds total load. 22/27 = 81% of rated capacity.

I've had a 32 pound AT10RC on it just for a slew/motor test, and the mount didn't even strain with a balanced load, 32 pounds of OTA and 32 pounds of counterweights.

I personally believe the mount is under rated, and I don't expect the iOtpron GEMs to continue to be produced if the initial reception of these Chinese Equatorial Z-Balanced mounts is good.

There would be no reason to compete with themselves at that point? I just finished reading a thread on the iOtpron Yahoo forum from a couple of users who just received their mounts and had a chance to test them under the stars.

Comments like 'awesome, excellent, best money I ever spent, flat PHD graphs" abound in the threads.

Unsolicited comments like these speak volumes for this new design. Now if iOptron can finally break the 'Sky Safari barrier' and then get some upscaled versions of this mount in production, they will be game changers,

All the best,

Paul


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ohata0
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5879545 - 05/23/13 03:15 AM

hi paul,

nice reviews. i'm very interested in this mount and celestron's vx.

i'm curious how you think this scope would hold up for AP at closer to max payload. do you have anything for imaging that comes close to that weight?

someone posted in the "post a pic of your mount" thread someone doing 5 min subs with the avx at 25-ish lbs or so. i'm wondering how the zeq25 would do with that weight (since it's rated 3 lbs less). i'm not expecting 70 min subs or anything, just curious how well it would do (what the limits are at that weight)

do you think you'd be able to use it for imaging if you were to put an 8" SCT and a larger refractor as a guidescope? it would probably put it at or a little over the 27 lbs payload capacity.

although i'd probably use a similar setup to what you have (6" RC + mini guidescope), i'd want to know if i would be able to use these mounts if i upgraded (8" SCT + 80mm refractor as a guidescope). or do you think a 6" RC/SCT would be the max for this mount (for AP)?

looking forward to new reviews about this mount


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ohata0]
      #5880078 - 05/23/13 11:58 AM

Quote:

i'm curious how you think this scope would hold up for AP at closer to max payload. do you have anything for imaging that comes close to that weight?




ohata0, not really, the closest I have is the AT6RC setup.

The limiting factor with anything over '20-ish' pounds is the counterweights/counterweight arm.

With the AT6RC/Borg 50mm, I need the 9.8 pound weight, the 7 pound powerweight, and a 3.5 pound weight to achieve balance. And that's with the counterweights at the end of the c/w shaft. The powerweight's height results in almost all of the c/w shaft distance being used up, there's about 2" of space left.

I am waiting for the new style counterweights to arrive, they will have a counterbored end, that will allow you slip it over the safety stop for some additional weight distribution. That will replace the Powerweight in my setup and will most likely allow balancing up to about 25 pounds or so.

What some enterprising soul with a lathe needs to do is start producing 6" counterweight shaft extensions for the ZEQ25...??

If I had a AT8RC in carbon fiber, I'd definitely be thinking about hanging it on the ZEQ25GT.

Perhaps someone with a larger payload will come along soon with some results? Until then..

Clear skies,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (05/23/13 11:59 AM)


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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5880598 - 05/23/13 03:59 PM

Just ordered mine from Highpoint Scientific for my Tak TSA 120. Thanks for all your input Paul. Much appreciated!
Very exciting!!


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BuffaloTri
member


Reged: 04/23/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5881782 - 05/24/13 08:50 AM

The ZEQ25 seems too good to be true. For a while now I've wanted a GM-8, but this mount looks like it has similar capabilities for about a third of the price ($850 vs. $2,300).

What am I missing?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: BuffaloTri]
      #5881834 - 05/24/13 09:31 AM

Quote:

What am I missing?




Ummm: Ease of use. Superior tracking. Excellent go-to's. Built in, adjustable illumination polar scope. Spring loaded twin knob locking Vixen saddle. Drag free balancing.
55mm roller bearings in both axes. 88mm/144 tooth gears in both axes. User adjustable gear loading.

And if you go for the $2300, about $1450 that you could have used for extra goodies.....:)

Ciao,

Paul


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coopman
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5882307 - 05/24/13 01:20 PM

Paul,
How is the go-to object database? Does it have a category for double stars and, if so, how many are included in it?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: coopman]
      #5882687 - 05/24/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

Paul,
How is the go-to object database? Does it have a category for double stars and, if so, how many are included in it?




Clay, I believe there are 210 double stars listed in the hand controller, but you can enter the celestial coordinates of any object in the 'Select and Slew' menu under 'RA and DEC' and the mount will take you to it.

If you download or open the ZEQ25 manual from iOptron's site, there is a complete list of listed objects in an appendix.

Clear skies,

Paul


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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5882731 - 05/24/13 05:17 PM

To find the user manual go to Ioptron.com then click on "Support". Manuals are found by clicking on "manuals" in the list on the left side of the page. After looking at Paul's videos I am forcing myself to go through the manual (but not all at once). I am on page 14. By the time the mount gets here I will be ready for it!

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psandelle
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5882884 - 05/24/13 06:45 PM

JimP - one of the fun things in life is reading the manual ahead of time while waiting for the gear to arrive. It almost feels like it's there...and, of course, as you said, you're ready for it when it comes.

Paul


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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: psandelle]
      #5883046 - 05/24/13 08:12 PM

How do you like the iEQ30? I came very close to ordering it instead of the ZEQ25.

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psandelle
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Reged: 06/18/08

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5883054 - 05/24/13 08:16 PM

JimP - it's a great mount. Just took some pics last Saturday in 40+ mph gusts (then dead calm, then gusts). Not bad (kept it to 180 sec subs). Polarscope is great and easy to use (though, in the gusts, I did not get as accurate as usual...hard to do at the beginning of the night when the wind was at its worst). Highly recommended. I did an article on it for ATT last month.

Paul


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5883336 - 05/25/13 12:14 AM Attachment (169 downloads)

My first light with the ZEQ25GT and first time ever autoguiding using PHD with a serial port connection thru the HC.25 3 minute exposures and all keepers super flat graph with just the bootup parameters i touched nothing just calibrated and started guiding. This mount works out of the box to perfection.

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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5883378 - 05/25/13 12:52 AM

Impressive result!

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SunBlack
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Reged: 05/05/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5883499 - 05/25/13 04:35 AM

Paul on another topic i asked
Quote:

Quote:

The GotoNova hand controller has infinite Sidereal speed adjustment, I usually take it down to 97% for correct speed


Has the ZEQ25GT same feature? Confirm this speed adjustment could be managed by HC, without need of a PC?


What can u say about it?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5883656 - 05/25/13 09:44 AM

Quote:

Paul on another topic i asked
Quote:

Quote:

The GotoNova hand controller has infinite Sidereal speed adjustment, I usually take it down to 97% for correct speed


Has the ZEQ25GT same feature? Confirm this speed adjustment could be managed by HC, without need of a PC?


What can u say about it?




No Luca, the 8408 hand controller is not as 'feature rich' as the 8406/8407 hand controllers used on the iEQ30/iEQ45 mounts.

There is no adjustable sidereal rate in the hand controller menu.

Nor is there any selection for 'Sidereal/King Speed/Solar/Lunar', etc. The mount automatically tracks at the correct speed depending on the object selected, which makes perfect sense to me. A selection for King Speed might be nice for imaging at low angles, but I haven't had any issues in that area.

Clear skies,

Paul


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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: SunBlack]
      #5883661 - 05/25/13 09:47 AM

Great pic Leveye!! Wow! I am getting the mount for visual observations only, for visual observations only, for ...
Amazing results. Congratulations!
I am getting the mount for visual observations only, for...

Jim


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JimP
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5883666 - 05/25/13 09:53 AM

Does anyone know how tall the tripod (1 1/2" legs) is at maximum extension? How does this compare to the EQ30? Thinking about eyepiece location with my TSA 120 and the AP 130 coming in August.

best,

Jim


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5883854 - 05/25/13 11:55 AM

Quote:

Does anyone know how tall the tripod (1 1/2" legs) is at maximum extension? How does this compare to the EQ30? Thinking about eyepiece location with my TSA 120 and the AP 130 coming in August.

best,

Jim




Jim, the 1.5 inch tripod height is 42" to the bottom of the mount base.

The 2.0 inch tripod height is 52" to the bottom of the mount base.

The 2.0 inch tripod will give you an additional 10 inches of useable height and a very stable platform, but it will add 6 pounds to the tripod weight (17 lbs vs 11 lbs).

Best,

Paul


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leveye
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Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: JimP]
      #5883970 - 05/25/13 01:22 PM

Many thanks everyone especially to Paul for helping me make my mind up on this purchase it sure was money well spent! JimP thats funny man just visual yeah keep telling yourself that and see how long you can hold out after a few more first light pics cause they're a comin..

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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5885081 - 05/26/13 03:27 AM

Regarding guiding with PHD on the ZEQ25, do default settings work good, or does some tweaking need to be done? Should be getting the new mount soon, the 2" tripod still backordered. Since clear nights have been few and far between hoping not to have to spend the first clear night fine tuning PHD. Any settings that work better on this mount would be greatly appreciated.
Luca


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #5885307 - 05/26/13 10:07 AM

Quote:

Regarding guiding with PHD on the ZEQ25, do default settings work good, or does some tweaking need to be done? Should be getting the new mount soon, the 2" tripod still backordered. Since clear nights have been few and far between hoping not to have to spend the first clear night fine tuning PHD. Any settings that work better on this mount would be greatly appreciated.
Luca




Just make sure the guide rate in the mount is set to '1.0'.
Phd works with the base settings right out of the box.

In fact, I was expecting a struggle to find the sweet spot with PHD, and was amazed at how well the mount played with the stock settings. The only settings I tweaked was the DEC duration, which seemed to like settings of 750-1000.

Here's a typical screen shot with PHD settings, I'm using version 1.14.2:


zeq25_may6_at6rc by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

You should have no problems getting up and running with the ZEQ25 and PHD.

Best,

Paul


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Aaron Worley
member


Reged: 10/21/05

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #5885664 - 05/26/13 01:55 PM

Hello,

My first autoguiding results with the ZEQ25 needed a bit of tweaking. The RA graph looked great, but the Dec tracking would swing off far in one direction, then off in the other. This was with PHD Guiding. iOptron email support was very helpful and suggested adjusting the tension on the Dec gear, it's been a couple weeks and unfortunately I still haven't had a chance to test it out, but I have a hunch that will solve it. If not, I may just turn Dec adjustments off in PHD since the RA tracking works very well. YMMV.

It's a nice mount, great hand controller software and pretty stable for it's size. Very light and easy to carry around the yard.

Aaron

Edited by Aaron Worley (05/26/13 02:05 PM)


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Aaron Worley]
      #5885718 - 05/26/13 02:48 PM

Aaron,

I guess everyone likes iOptron's customer support... boy is that important! Please let us know how it works out. I'm getting ready to order one and am very interested to see how users other than Paul are getting long. The ZEQ25 sounds almost too good to be true.


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5885819 - 05/26/13 04:02 PM

Thanks Paul, always good news when things work right out of the box.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #5885831 - 05/26/13 04:13 PM

Quote:

iOptron email support was very helpful and suggested adjusting the tension on the Dec gear, it's been a couple weeks and unfortunately I still haven't had a chance to test it out, but I have a hunch that will solve it.




Hi Aaron, that will probably work. One thing that is conspicuously omitted from the User's Manual is how to adjust the gear tension.

To balance in RA or DEC, the tensioners must be turned out far enough for the worm gear to clear the ring gear, naturally.

After balancing, you should turn the tension adjuster all the way in, then back it off 2 turns for an initial setting for viewing/imaging.

My mount seems to love 1 and 1/2 turns out, so I leave it there and it hums along.

Good luck and enjoy,

Paul


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5885972 - 05/26/13 05:55 PM

My initial experience with mine has not been so positive. I took possession of one this past Thursday. Right out of the gate there was an error on the hand controller at boot up. Just after the iOptron logo on the screen, I would get a "DEC connection error" appearing for a few seconds. The mount appeared to work fine after that, but swapping cables did not cure it. There were no obvious problems with the cable connections. The DEC axis also would not lock properly. Luckily, iOpteron and the dealer I bought it from were at an astronomy show two hours away this weekend. I took it to the folks at iOpteron on Saturday, and they replicated the error, and suggested we swap my mount for their floor demo. Their reputation for good support is well-deserved.

Forward to today. I took the replacement mount out on my deck for some solar observing. After a few minutes, it stopped tracking and a new error appeared: "RA Voltage Overload" After that, any button press that required RA movement caused the controller to reboot.

I emailed iOpteron support, and got back a reply fairly quickly (and on a Sunday!). I backed off the tension screw on both axis as per their suggestion. I can now slew largely error-free, though not consistently, at 8x, 16x, and 64x. At any other speeds the error comes up immediately. I also hear a lot of cross-talk and chatter from the motors (as does a friend who also bought one this weekend) during and after slewing. I'm thinking that my mount has some power issues. <EDIT> I forgot to mention that the back-light on the hand controller flashes rapidly when a button is held down. This is a new behavior.

Thoughts? Advice? I'm waiting to hear back from iOpteron from my last email. They've been very good at getting back to me with questions and suggestions today. I really want this mount to work as its weight, features, and price are exactly what I was looking for in a mount. I realize that there is an inherent risk in being an early adopter for anything, but this has been a disappointing start for what I hope is a long-term relationship with this promising mount.

Edited by Craig L (05/26/13 06:24 PM)


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886045 - 05/26/13 06:55 PM

Quote:

I forgot to mention that the back-light on the hand controller flashes rapidly when a button is held down. This is a new behavior.




Sorry to hear about your issues, that's a bummer.

That sounds suspiciously like a power supply/connection problem? What are you using to power the mount>

I had a 7AH Celestron with a surface charge problem that gave me those types of issues. Leaving the light on until the battery went dead and then recharging it overnight cured that.

Regards,

Paul


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Craig L
sage


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5886074 - 05/26/13 07:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I forgot to mention that the back-light on the hand controller flashes rapidly when a button is held down. This is a new behavior.




Sorry to hear about your issues, that's a bummer.

That sounds suspiciously like a power supply/connection problem? What are you using to power the mount>

I had a 7AH Celestron with a surface charge problem that gave me those types of issues. Leaving the light on until the battery went dead and then recharging it overnight cured that.

Regards,

Paul




I Paul,

I had it plugged into an surge suppressor that was plugged into an outdoor power outlet on my back deck. I have the mount inside the house now and the same issues are cropping up. I tried 3 other 12v 1000ma power supplies as well, and the problems did not go away. I think it's a power regulation issue on the board.

Do you notice any cross-talk and chatter on your motors? A co-worker of mine also bought one, and makes audible noises after slewing. He's been a tech for 20 years, so he took the housing off to take a look. As an aside, these are the same motors as the IQ30. It's stamped right on the PCB.motors as


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886097 - 05/26/13 07:26 PM

Mine has the same electronic chatter noises right after and during slewing sometimes with no issues.Might it be the GPS? I did have an R.A. Over current message the first time i turned the mount on and traced it to having the polar scope LED on while slewing after polar aligning the mount either unplugging the led power cord or turning it down/off with the HC both stopped the message and it never occurs now.

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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5886108 - 05/26/13 07:32 PM

Btw to all those asking about Sky Safari and an iPad working together with this mount iOptron and Meade are now both mentioned under the SkyFi description so i see no reason why it wouldn't.

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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886124 - 05/26/13 07:42 PM




I tried 3 other 12v 1000ma power supplies as well, and the problems did not go away



My power adaptor is 1500ma


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Craig L
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5886128 - 05/26/13 07:47 PM

Quote:




I tried 3 other 12v 1000ma power supplies as well, and the problems did not go away



My power adaptor is 1500ma




Once I get this mount fixed I may try a 1500ma power supply as well. Did your mount come with that one? Also, how do you control the mount with Sky Safari and an iPad?


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Craig L
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5886136 - 05/26/13 07:51 PM

Quote:

Mine has the same electronic chatter noises right after and during slewing sometimes with no issues.Might it be the GPS? I did have an R.A. Over current message the first time i turned the mount on and traced it to having the polar scope LED on while slewing after polar aligning the mount either unplugging the led power cord or turning it down/off with the HC both stopped the message and it never occurs now.




I wish mine could be solved that easily. I've had the LED power cord unplugged since last evening. The GPS chip could be part of the noise thing. The problem is that there's not enough circuitry to keep the cross-talk down.


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886150 - 05/26/13 08:00 PM

The actual noise level of it is not an issue with me you have to be almost right on it to notice it.What would be the repercussions from it if any?

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5886153 - 05/26/13 08:06 PM

Quote:

The actual noise level of it is not an issue with me you have to be almost right on it to notice it.What would be the repercussions from it if any?




Good question, and I'm not sure. My friend, the tech, thought it could affect tracking accuracy, but that does not seem to be an issue with this mount based on this discussion thread and others.


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886161 - 05/26/13 08:09 PM

Yes it is the one that was supplied with it model# FY1201500
Southern Stars has a Wi-fi usb and serial port adaptor called the skyfi iOptron is mentioned in the description as one of the brands now controllable.
http://southernstars.com/products/skyfi/index.html


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Craig L
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5886286 - 05/26/13 10:03 PM

Quote:

Yes it is the one that was supplied with it model# FY1201500
Southern Stars has a Wi-fi usb and serial port adaptor called the skyfi iOptron is mentioned in the description as one of the brands now controllable.
http://southernstars.com/products/skyfi/index.html




My bad. Mine is a 1500ma PSU as well.


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Craig L
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886299 - 05/26/13 10:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Yes it is the one that was supplied with it model# FY1201500
Southern Stars has a Wi-fi usb and serial port adaptor called the skyfi iOptron is mentioned in the description as one of the brands now controllable.
http://southernstars.com/products/skyfi/index.html




My bad. Mine is a 1500ma PSU as well.




Thanks for the info. This looks to be exactly what I'm looking for.

And as to my mount problem, I just got an email from the dealer I bought it from. They and iOptron are all over this and want to make sure that the issue is resolved as quickly and as cleanly as possible. Great customer service is what earns my loyalty.


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886329 - 05/26/13 10:41 PM

Quote:

The problem is that there's not enough circuitry to keep the cross-talk down.




Hi Craig, you and Chris are making me feel bad, I didn't get a AC power supply with mine...:( I have only used it with a 12v power tank since I got it.

As far as that 'cross talk' noise. When it's doing it, try adjusting the tensioner in or out a half a turn to see it it stops. I had that occur in DEC one evening, and just turning the DEC tensioner stopped it, like the worm wasn't seated and didn't quite know it's position.

I had tried moving it in DEC and RA while that was occurring, with just speed '1', but it didn't affect it. That's when I checked the tensioner.

Might work for your mount? If not, and the issue persists, iOptron will be very happy to get it back to diagnose, and give you a new one, I'm sure.

Just for giggles, can you try it with a 12v battery supply if you have one available? Maybe your electricity is no good....;) Lol.

Best,

Paul


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5886371 - 05/26/13 11:28 PM

Agreed that iOptron has great Tech and customer service one of the best i have dealt with so far.

When i first turn the mount on and it's at zero position it's totally quiet if i move in R.A. or DEC using the direction buttons i get a faint electronic "Computer" chatter noise that continues even after i stop after awhile it stops all by itself. I tried turning the gear switch locking screws while the noise was going as Paul suggested but it did nothing to stop it. Guess it's just part of the design and the mount uniqueness. Again it causes no issues at all that i can see cept the noise.


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5886457 - 05/27/13 12:56 AM

Paul our electricity here is so bad it's Shocking..

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rmollise
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5886688 - 05/27/13 09:02 AM

Quote:


think it's a power regulation issue on the board.






Of a sort maybe. 1000 mils is not much for a go-to mount. Your best bet? Try it with a 12vdc battery.


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mshedden
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rmollise]
      #5887044 - 05/27/13 12:48 PM

FWIW, both the 30 and 45 series mounts are specified as being supplied with a 2 amp power supply, but the ZEQ25 only a 1.5?

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Aaron Worley
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5887135 - 05/27/13 01:37 PM

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the tip on adjusting the gear tension! I wasn't positive how to go about it, so you saved me some time and guesswork.

I was able to test the autoguiding again last night, I backed the gear tension screws out a little over one turn, and both RA and Dec guiding are working fine now. Hopefully they'll update the manual to include this information.

Thanks again for the advice.

Aaron


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: mshedden]
      #5887649 - 05/27/13 06:43 PM

Quote:

FWIW, both the 30 and 45 series mounts are specified as being supplied with a 2 amp power supply, but the ZEQ25 only a 1.5?




The other 2 mounts have a higher weight capacity, so they may have larger power supplies to deal with the torque that heavier loads bring to bear.


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887658 - 05/27/13 06:52 PM Attachment (142 downloads)

FYI, a colleague of mine bought the mount this week as well. He's a technician, so he decided to take a peek "under the hood". He wanted to take a look at the motors to see what was on the circuit boards and get a handle on why there's cross-talk.

Edited by Craig L (05/27/13 06:53 PM)


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887662 - 05/27/13 06:54 PM Attachment (148 downloads)

2nd picture

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Craig L
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887663 - 05/27/13 06:54 PM Attachment (114 downloads)

3 of 3

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887692 - 05/27/13 07:15 PM Attachment (140 downloads)

My co-worker set up the mount on his deck this evening to test out a few things. There's 25lbs of weight and 15lbs of telescope. He has it perfectly balanced. I'm assuming that, even though balanced, this is not a good idea to run as a permanent setup? Thoughts?



Edited by Craig L (05/27/13 07:27 PM)


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mshedden
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887737 - 05/27/13 07:31 PM

Specs allow for up to 25lbs not including counterweights.

Seems to me he could use a lot less counterweight if it was at the end of the counterweight shaft? I think iOptron offer a 2kg weight - maybe that and the supplied weight would be sufficient (if the supplied weight alone at the end of the shaft is not enough).

Edited by mshedden (05/27/13 07:36 PM)


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Craig L
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: mshedden]
      #5887764 - 05/27/13 07:46 PM

Quote:

Specs allow for up to 25lbs not including counterweights.

Seems to me he could use a lot less counterweight if it was at the end of the counterweight shaft? I think iOptron offer a 2kg weight - maybe that and the supplied weight would be sufficient (if the supplied weight alone at the end of the shaft is not enough).




Thanks for that. There was some confusion on our part as to whether the 27lb rated payload included the counterweights. Some mounts count them, others do not. The manual isn't clear as it says on page 4 the rated payload weight, but no mention of counterweights.


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mshedden
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887783 - 05/27/13 07:58 PM

OK, 27lb not 25. The website states 27 lb (12.3kg), excluding counterweight when selecting the 'Features' tab on the ZEQ25 page (page down to the 'Technical Specifications' section).

Still, the less weight (mass) the better, I'm sure.


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: mshedden]
      #5887837 - 05/27/13 08:16 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. I missed it when I last looked. This carrying capacity makes me want this mount even more. I'm looking forward to getting a good working unit.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887846 - 05/27/13 08:22 PM

Quote:

My co-worker set up the mount on his deck this evening to test out a few things. There's 25lbs of weight and 15lbs of telescope. He has it perfectly balanced. I'm assuming that, even though balanced, this is not a good idea to run as a permanent setup? Thoughts?





That's a nice working setup with the TMB on it, sweet.

As mentioned, the payload is excluding the counterweights, so no problems there.

I have had 60+ pounds on the mount, 32# of OTA and 32# of counterweights and it didn't even hiccup when slewing. That was just to test the motors and gears naturally, not something I'd be comfortable doing all the time, nor would I. Here's a video of the mount with 64# on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cIOTROXEpQ

Please do not do this at home....:)

Best,

Paul


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mshedden
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887863 - 05/27/13 08:33 PM

Quote:

Thanks for pointing that out. I missed it when I last looked. This carrying capacity makes me want this mount even more. I'm looking forward to getting a good working unit.




Me too - this Thursday, UPS willing...


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: mshedden]
      #5888021 - 05/27/13 10:29 PM

So Craig what did your Tech friend think of the overall build quality of the circuit boards and such? Any thoughts on the computer chatter noises? I'm gonna start calling mine Droid mount R2Z2

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ASTERON
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5888324 - 05/28/13 03:07 AM

Quote:

Quote:

My co-worker set up the mount on his deck this evening to test out a few things. There's 25lbs of weight and 15lbs of telescope. He has it perfectly balanced. I'm assuming that, even though balanced, this is not a good idea to run as a permanent setup? Thoughts?





That's a nice working setup with the TMB on it, sweet.

As mentioned, the payload is excluding the counterweights, so no problems there.

I have had 60+ pounds on the mount, 32# of OTA and 32# of counterweights and it didn't even hiccup when slewing. That was just to test the motors and gears naturally, not something I'd be comfortable doing all the time, nor would I. Here's a video of the mount with 64# on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cIOTROXEpQ

Please do not do this at home....:)

Best,

Paul




Hi Paul,
Is the scope in the YouTube demo an AT10RC scope or something else ?
Is it a Carbon Fiber OTA or a regular OTA ?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ASTERON]
      #5888493 - 05/28/13 08:28 AM

Quote:

Hi Paul,
Is the scope in the YouTube demo an AT10RC scope or something else ?
Is it a Carbon Fiber OTA or a regular OTA ?




You're right, that is a AT10RC Asteron. It's the carbon fiber model, I can't imagine what it might weigh with a steel tube.

Clear skies,

Paul

I normally (must) use this only on the iEQ45.


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5889046 - 05/28/13 02:06 PM

Looks like there are firmware updates on the iOptron website just released for the RA, DEC, and hand controller.

https://www.ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=4c045094-e186...


Edited by Craig L (05/28/13 02:21 PM)


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ASTERON
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5889155 - 05/28/13 03:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi Paul,
Is the scope in the YouTube demo an AT10RC scope or something else ?
Is it a Carbon Fiber OTA or a regular OTA ?





You're right, that is a AT10RC Asteron. It's the carbon fiber model, I can't imagine what it might weigh with a steel tube.

Clear skies,

Paul

I normally (must) use this only on the iEQ45.




Thanks Paul,

I have a CF AT8RC that I hope to mount on an ZEQ25. I will have to weigh it because it has a 2" feathertouch focuser and a Long 4" Losmandy Style ADM Dovtail below for mounting and a Vixen Style Dovetail bar on top so I dont know the Exact weight. I guess I will have to exchange the mounting dovetail to Vixen Style for the Ioptron , so weight will be further reduced.
I hope it will be able to take it for Short 0.5 -2.0 second exposures for doing variable star photometry ( with a ST 402ME SBIG attached).


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889218 - 05/28/13 03:37 PM

Quote:

Looks like there are firmware updates on the iOptron website just released for the RA, DEC, and hand controller.

https://www.ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=4c045094-e186...




These are good to have if you do an unneeded firmware update to the HC and then have no control of the mount at all don't ask me how i know that.


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889268 - 05/28/13 04:02 PM

The firmware update notice and download link on iOptrons site for the HC says version v103401 but the actual download has it v103510 just fyi

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889568 - 05/28/13 07:10 PM

Quote:

So Craig what did your Tech friend think of the overall build quality of the circuit boards and such? Any thoughts on the computer chatter noises? I'm gonna start calling mine Droid mount R2Z2




So, seeing as we work for the same company, we had a good chat about it today. The circuit boards and the overall build are very good. He works on copiers/multifunction devices every day and has done so for over 20 years, and he is familiar with circuit boards and digital encoders, which takes us to your second question.

He thinks (though not with 100% certainty) that the cause of the noise is the encoders. They are clear disks with black marks along the edges. Red light is passed through the encoder so its read state is either 0 or 1 (or on or off) depending if the light passes through a clear area or hits a dark area. When the light passes through and is detected, it generates a pulse. Let's call it 5w. No light = 0w. The "on" state could have a threshold of 3.5w, "off" 3w (these aren't measured, just using hypothetical values). Given how reflective the disk substrate is, stray light could be scattering, causing the "w" value to be in that gray area between on and off at times, causing the electrical cross-talk and chatter. Incidentally, he shone his flashlight right on to the light receptor and the motor powered up. He's thinking of putting some material behind the disk to see if having the light absorbed reduces the scatter and minimizing the chatter. If he's correct, a change in the digital encoder material or colour should get rid of this issue.


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889619 - 05/28/13 07:47 PM

Hi all,

So you can hear what I mean by cross-talk and chatter, I uploaded a picture with an audio file to Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXbI_dm2Jpk&feature=em-upload_owner

The sounds kick in at about the 7 second mark.

Edited by Craig L (05/28/13 07:56 PM)


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889623 - 05/28/13 07:50 PM

Here's what my friend sent to iOpteron Tech Support. More or less what I said above with a little bit more, and the audio file he references i can be heard in my YouTube link:

Ok, here's the audio recording of the RA motor chatting away after a slight
slew at the beginning. Sounds like a small fax machine inside receiving a
fax (hand shaking warble you hear).

Update: I see the new firmware on the web site for the hand controller ver
130510 (old ver 130226) along with the RA & DEC motor ver 130312 (no change)
I downloaded the files and upgraded hand controller along with RA and DEC,
just in case there was a possible corruption of the files on the RA & DEC
motor boards.
Result was fine for upgrade but it still did not solve the noise problem.

Being a Technical guy in the photocopy industry for the last 25 years I had
a thought about 2 possible causes of this problem.
One possible cause would maybe the electrical noise or cross talk from
another source on the board superimposing it's self on the signals
controlling the motors. I see the design people are looking at this already
with firmware.

Two the design of the encoder disk on the end of the motor shaft. I notice
the photo interrupter used is a reflective design. But the encoder disk is a
shiny clear plastic disk with black tick marks.
Since the transmitter of the photo interrupter is a viable red led vs. the
IR version, I wonder if there's reflected light bouncing off the shiny
encoder disk and leaking into the receiver part of the photo interrupter,
thus causing a light version of noise too the logic output of the
interrupter.

Just some ideas?
Let me know what else we can try.
The mount is a nice fresh design that has promise, so keep at it. I would
like to keep this mount if possible.
Thanks

Edited by Craig L (05/28/13 11:10 PM)


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889710 - 05/28/13 08:50 PM

Yep those the exact same sounds mine gives off.

Craig if it's not causing any problems with accuracy which is the case with mine cause it's great why give it up just for that issue? It's hardly noticeable even the neighbors dogs don't hear it.


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889724 - 05/28/13 08:58 PM

Gosh no! That's too minor a thing to give up this promising mount for! My concerns are around the power issues my current mount has. I intend to work with iOptron to get a solid, good tracking mount. The chatter/cross-talk issue can likely be mitigated for existing owners in firmware by adjusting thresholds and likely, later on, using a different substrate for the encoders.

I like my gear to work as advertised, and the geek in me likes to completely understand my gear thoroughly, both the very good things and the warts. The chatter thing is just a wart for me: something that's not pretty but is otherwise harmless, at least as far as we know so far.


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889769 - 05/28/13 09:23 PM

I'm sure whatever it is they will take care of it i have had nothing but great customer service from them so far even when the issues were my own fault.

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889785 - 05/28/13 09:29 PM

Quote:

I'm sure whatever it is they will take care of it i have had nothing but great customer service from them so far even when the issues were my own fault.




Agreed. Their customer service has been exemplary on the issues with my first and current mount.


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889929 - 05/28/13 10:50 PM

I believe the optical encoder has metal tics on a glass disc. it provides high- and low- reflected optical signals to the detector next to the emitter. Since it uses red light, strong ambient or sudden changing light may disturb the pulse counting. So the optical encoders are covered with a black cap in my iEQ45 mount. They should be very accurate with digitization.

Jay


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5893308 - 05/30/13 09:26 PM

iOptron's customer service reputation is well deserved. They are going to test and ship 2 new mounts - one for me and one for a friend and co-worker who also bought one at the same time as me. His is the one that produced the cross-talk and who recorded the audio that I posted. We don't have to return the old mounts until after we receive the new ones, and they want to work with us if we want to attempt to keep tackling the issues that we found with the ones we have. They are also going to update their manual to clarify some ambiguities that I pointed out. The dealer also wants to take care of the return shipping. I am impressed with their sincere attention to service. They're earning my loyalty.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5893429 - 05/31/13 12:12 AM

I am impressed with their sincere attention to service.

Imho, iOptron has one of the best customer service teams in the business, and their willingness to 'go the extra mile' has earned them my business, past, present and future.

Clear skies,

Paul


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5895332 - 06/01/13 12:24 AM

Quote:

I am impressed with their sincere attention to service.

Imho, iOptron has one of the best customer service teams in the business, and their willingness to 'go the extra mile' has earned them my business, past, present and future.




Agreed me as well they went above and beyond in my situation John,Coleman and the entire iOptron team rock over there to the east.

Edited by leveye (06/01/13 12:25 AM)


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Midnight Dan
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5895674 - 06/01/13 09:17 AM

+1

I've found them to be very responsive and knowledgable. A real contrast to my experiences with Celestron.

-Dan


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psandelle
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Reged: 06/18/08

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5895786 - 06/01/13 10:43 AM

A+ on customer service as well. I would not normally try out brand spankin' new items, but I had one of the very first iEQ30's and when the ZEQ45-55 (whatever the number), I'm gettin' one of the first again.

I trust them to help if there are problems, and solve the problems, not just give lip service.

Paul


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5896278 - 06/01/13 03:31 PM Attachment (179 downloads)

Finally some quality seeing last night was able to really stretch my new mounts legs here's M51 at about 87 degrees lat which before really gave my old mount fits no hitting the tripod legs anymore! 7 5 minute lights 4 darks guided no bias iso 400 stacked in DSS then tweeked in PS and LR let me know what you think.

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c_volto
member


Reged: 05/04/10

Loc: Brazil
Chatter - Any news? new [Re: leveye]
      #5909151 - 06/08/13 02:41 AM

Hi guys. Just received this mount here in Brazil. This cross-talk noise is very strange indeed. Any news from Ioptron on this issue? Maybe we have to sent it back?

Also, how do you know if the GPS have your position locked? My GPS status just reads "GPS ON."

Thanks


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cuivienor
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/07/10

Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Chatter - Any news? new [Re: c_volto]
      #5909187 - 06/08/13 03:58 AM

It should read GPS OK once the position is locked. For me the CubePro (probably the same GPS unit) never gets a lock inside the house (nor does my LS-8 for that matter), but works fine outside

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c_volto
member


Reged: 05/04/10

Loc: Brazil
Re: Chatter - Any news? new [Re: cuivienor]
      #5909370 - 06/08/13 08:52 AM

@cuivienor: Yep. I'm testing the mount inside the house, by the window.

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bulansaya
newbie


Reged: 09/06/07

Re: Chatter - Any news? new [Re: c_volto]
      #5910962 - 06/09/13 08:05 AM

Trade mark of iOptron goto mount. Same chatter as in the grandfather of iOpton goto mount the GoToNova / Dual-Axis Motor Kit # 8400 installed in the vixen GP mount.

Cheers

Aziz


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

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PHD guiding the ZEQ25GT a 2 min YouTube video new [Re: bulansaya]
      #5911676 - 06/09/13 05:18 PM

I've posted a few screenshots of PHD graphs prior, but last night I got the iPhone out and videoed 2 mins of actual guiding with the ZEQ25/AT6RC/Borg 50mm Lodestar combo. The video is poor quality, but you can see the lower Guiding info block, which remains basically blank for long stretches of time due to the excellent tracking of this mount.

http://youtu.be/fs43HyOlk0c

And you can see the satellite that passes through the frame, another reason we take flats...:)

Posted just for you curious types,

Paul


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: PHD guiding the ZEQ25GT a 2 min YouTube video new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5912214 - 06/09/13 10:45 PM

Paul that is nuts! I'm close but nowhere near that flat something to work for love it.

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Mkofski
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Re: PHD guiding the ZEQ25GT a 2 min YouTube video new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5912228 - 06/09/13 10:53 PM

Paul,

Amazing! I wonder if there are any $5,000+ mounts that sport that kind of tracking. Better yet, are there any $800 mou ts that can do it?


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5912255 - 06/09/13 11:15 PM Attachment (163 downloads)

Here's M13 from last night i was getting 7 minute exposures and not one bad one in the bunch out of 12 was able to image 3 different DSOs in one night with the Z so cool.

Edited by leveye (06/09/13 11:17 PM)


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5912269 - 06/09/13 11:25 PM

Great looking shot and great performance from a $800 mount!

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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: PHD guiding the ZEQ25GT a 2 min YouTube video new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5912288 - 06/09/13 11:48 PM

Quote:

Paul,

Amazing! I wonder if there are any $5,000+ mounts that sport that kind of tracking. Better yet, are there any $800 mou ts that can do it?




Hi, I'm sure there are some $5000 mounts that can do it, but I'm also pretty sure there aren't any $800 mounts that can.

This is where the Z-Balanced mount shines, kind of like the difference between a piston engine, and a rotary engine, just no comparison.

As more of these mounts get into the hands of users like Chris and Rainer, the astro photography results will speak volumes for this design.

Clear skies..have some now btw, but I know as long as a rogue cloud doesn't come along, the mount is just going to do it's thing while I type...:)

Paul


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5912290 - 06/09/13 11:49 PM

@ Chris, beautiful image of M13 amigo, grats. You're really starting to fill up your AP pages now... lol.

Best,

Paul


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5912318 - 06/10/13 12:19 AM

Thanks Paul course I have you and the Z to thank for my advancements in the last few weeks it has been a blast I'm all set up and waiting for dark right now way too much fun as it should be best of luck grabbing those photons.

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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5912324 - 06/10/13 12:28 AM

Quote:

Great looking shot and great performance from a $800 mount!



Many thanks can't tell you how stunned I am at the performance of this mount. I expected better than what I had at the time but not this good for under 900 dollars I cannot wait to get Andromeda and the Pleiades the way I always dreamed and believe I can now it's a dream come true


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Chuck Hards
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5913147 - 06/10/13 01:49 PM

When I first saw this mount, I thought "Hey, they're making a torque-tube mount. I haven't seen one of those in 35 years!" More of a reverse torque-tube but the same idea.

I guess "Z mount" sounds sexier than "torque tube" to the marketing people.

This design has terrific possibilites and it may start a trend industry-wide.


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186vett
member


Reged: 01/29/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5914104 - 06/10/13 09:41 PM

Paul;
First off, much thanks for your contribution & insights to the ZEQ25. Quick question-would like to buy, but given software upgrades, perhaps a crosstalk issue, should I hold off for a few months? Your response appreciated.
Wish You the Best! Jerry


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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: 186vett]
      #5914558 - 06/11/13 06:31 AM

Hi,

I got a Z25 a couple of weeks ago and after initial tests, I decided that the mount was not suitable for what I was planning to do, semi unattended imaging.

The mount looked solid and the tracking was very good, also the DEC guiding was very much painless and without backlash. Overall I was very happy with the mechanics and tracking.

The reasons I decided to sell the mount was:

-- The ASCOM driver is incomplete, for instance park or stop tracking are not implemented. I couldn't believe it.

-- Past meridian tracking is very limited (physical clearance) and since the ASCOM driver doesn't support early meridan flip this become an issue.

I am putting together a system run by SGP and definitely the mount is not suitable for semi-automated imaging. I hope that ioptron will update the ASCOM driver, or even better, donate a mount to the EQMOD main developer so their mount(s) could be run by EQMOD, that would be awesome, but probably I am day dreaming!

Cheers,

Jose


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: 186vett]
      #5914817 - 06/11/13 10:50 AM

Quote:

should I hold off for a few months?




Hi Jerry, holding off for a few months can only result in better software updates, in my estimation. Mechanically the mount is 'well done'.

I have seen a couple comments about 'cross talk' but have never experienced that with my mount. Once in a blue moon, I do get a little noise from my DEC motor housing, kind of like an old fax dial up noise, and it's usually right after I return to the zero position.

Seems like the mount is trying to 'dial in' the zero position for DEC, but can't? It's not overly annoying, and I've found that a quick push on the DEC slew button at any speed over 1 will instantly stop it.

I wonder if the users it has happened to realize that the gear housing tension screws have to be loosened a bit for proper operation? If the tension screws are run all the way in and left there, the worm and ring gear may be in constant friction mesh, which is not good.

Like the old saying, 'tight is tight..too tight is broke'..:)

I run my mount with the tension screws backed off at least 1 and 1/2 to 2 turns, and get awesome tracking and PHD graphs.

Again, this noise happens very infrequently, probably 3 to 4 times in the past 4 months.

Hope the info helps,

Paul


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5914833 - 06/11/13 11:00 AM

Quote:

I am putting together a system run by SGP and definitely the mount is not suitable for semi-automated imaging. I hope that ioptron will update the ASCOM driver, or even better, donate a mount to the EQMOD main developer so their mount(s) could be run by EQMOD, that would be awesome, but probably I am day dreaming!




Hi Jose, sorry the mount won't work for your intended use. You are right about the Park and Stop tracking, none of my iOptron mounts have that function when used in some planetarium programs, although Stop tracking is implemented in the Stellarium Scope application.

One thing I find handy, is that the hand controller works in conjunction with all the programs, that doesn't always happen when software programs take over.

The hand controller always has to be used to return to the Zero or Park position, which is not a big deal for me, but since the gps and park position coordinates are stored in the GPS, I don't know why it can't be used?

I would love for the mounts to be compatible with EQMOD and pulse guiding, but that's a Skywatcher oriented software program, and I don't think we'll see it happen anytime soon.

Good luck and thanks for that good info..

Paul


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rsbfoto
sage


Reged: 06/10/06

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5915043 - 06/11/13 01:04 PM

Quote:

I wonder if the users it has happened to realize that the gear housing tension screws have to be loosened a bit for proper operation? If the tension screws are run all the way in and left there, the worm and ring gear may be in constant friction mesh, which is not good.




Hi Paul,

As I only have the mount for a few days I am testing it in regard to the capacity of the motors. After having ir open and seeing the construction I am confident iOptron chose here good motor with a high torque.

I even did go a bit further and added 2 little washers ~1mm in total into the locking knob of the RA axis. At the moment I am driving the mount with both knobs fully turned in. While slewing the mount I listen carefully the motor noise in order to hear how they behave. I leraned this with my other mounts.

One advantage here is that a brass worm with an Aluminum gear will polish very nicely under this pressure, I think it is called lapping. I did that with the other 2 mounts and they improved. I never liked the backlash in my Los... mounts and after using a spring loaded system they improved a lot.

iOptron went a big big step further with this and I like the new system very much. They will have great success implementing it into bigger mounts.

I have now set it up in my studio and now the mount will be driven until it breaks down ... Maybe I break down first


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5915058 - 06/11/13 01:16 PM

Quote:

Quote:

should I hold off for a few months?




Hi Jerry, holding off for a few months can only result in better software updates, in my estimation. Mechanically the mount is 'well done'.

I have seen a couple comments about 'cross talk' but have never experienced that with my mount. Once in a blue moon, I do get a little noise from my DEC motor housing, kind of like an old fax dial up noise, and it's usually right after I return to the zero position.

Seems like the mount is trying to 'dial in' the zero position for DEC, but can't? It's not overly annoying, and I've found that a quick push on the DEC slew button at any speed over 1 will instantly stop it.

I wonder if the users it has happened to realize that the gear housing tension screws have to be loosened a bit for proper operation? If the tension screws are run all the way in and left there, the worm and ring gear may be in constant friction mesh, which is not good.

Like the old saying, 'tight is tight..too tight is broke'..:)

I run my mount with the tension screws backed off at least 1 and 1/2 to 2 turns, and get awesome tracking and PHD graphs.

Again, this noise happens very infrequently, probably 3 to 4 times in the past 4 months.

Hope the info helps,

Paul




Hi Paul,

iOptron's excellent tech support came through. Two mounts arrived at my office: Mine and the one for my colleague, who's also a tech and an imager. His mount had the buzzing (crosstalk and chatter) in the motor, and he noticed a slight vibration on the motor. The vibration was his primary concern. Having said that, his PE graphs were pretty good.

I just set up my replacement (#3 - the first popped up with an error on the controller on boot-up) and after a fast slew, the motor buzzes like you say, like a fax machine. A quick tap on the direction button stops it. This is with the tension screws backed well-off. I chalk this buzzing up as being a minor quirk of the design and not a show stopper.

I've spoken with iOptron and my issue was a literal read of the .9 and 1.0 versions of the manual that referred to the tension screws as "Locking" screws. Of course, I locked the screws which likely caused the over-current problem on the RA motor. The manual will be updated to correct this, likely in the next iteration. I'm looking forward to really giving the mount a workout in the coming weeks.

Edited by Craig L (06/11/13 01:17 PM)


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5915566 - 06/11/13 05:59 PM

Quote:

iOptron's excellent tech support came through.




That's great news Craig, and yes, the manual left a little to be desired when it came to describing the proper adjustment of the tensioning screws.

Looking forward to your first light.

Oh, another bit of good news for all ZEQ25 and Smart EQ users with the 8408 hand controller. It looks like they will be compatible with Sky Safari/Sky Fi in the next few weeks in the upcoming Sky Fi update.

Cheers,

Paul


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rsbfoto
sage


Reged: 06/10/06

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5915621 - 06/11/13 06:32 PM

Quote:

I even did go a bit further and added 2 little washers ~1mm in total into the locking knob of the RA axis. At the moment I am driving the mount with both knobs fully turned in. While slewing the mount I listen carefully the motor noise in order to hear how they behave




I just slewed like crazy the poor little mount around the sky and played with the knobs. As long as you do not feel that you have a backlash you can loosen them as much as you want. If it is well balanced it is possible to have little pressure on the worm block just in order to avoid a jumping of the 144 teeth gear over the worm.


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rsbfoto]
      #5915880 - 06/11/13 09:32 PM

Quote:

I just slewed like crazy the poor little mount around the sky and played with the knobs. As long as you do not feel that you have a backlash you can loosen them as much as you want. If it is well balanced it is possible to have little pressure on the worm block just in order to avoid a jumping of the 144 teeth gear over the worm.




Lol...you are a crazy man Rainer..:) The key wording in your statement is "If it is balanced".

If it is balanced, no problem. But, you stand the chance of accidentally nudging the mount or ota in the dark, and then listening to the horrible sound of the gears unmeshing, and you losing your careful alignment and zero position.

Which is why it's important, and good practice, to establish and mark a zero point on the RA and DEC, so when that happens (been there, done that), you can quickly get the mount back to the right position by hitting 'Return to Zero' position and aligning your marks using the slew buttons in RA and DEC.

Sounds like you're having a lot of fun and little frustration with the mount, I like that...:)

Ciao,

Paul


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5916745 - 06/12/13 11:17 AM

Quote:

One thing I find handy, is that the hand controller works in conjunction with all the programs, that doesn't always happen when software programs take over.


The hand controller always has to be used to return to the Zero or Park position, which is not a big deal for me, but since the gps and park position coordinates are stored in the GPS, I don't know why it can't be used?





I totally agree with the first part quite handy in fine tuning things as for always having to use the HC for control here is what i do when you are in configurations and choosing the ascom iOptron telescope.net driver you can choose properties and use "controller with direct connection" and a red screen appears you then connect to the planitarium program and if you want to go to zero position you disconnect from the program and connect to the iOptron control screen and hit home the mount will then go to zero position and you can then dissconnect and reconnect to the planitarium program or to PHD for autoguiding. I do this all the time and use the directional buttons to compose the imaging scope using my guidecam thru PHD works great and can do it all from 65 feet away in my home.

Edited by leveye (06/12/13 11:30 AM)


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rsbfoto
sage


Reged: 06/10/06

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5916972 - 06/12/13 01:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I just slewed like crazy the poor little mount around the sky and played with the knobs. As long as you do not feel that you have a backlash you can loosen them as much as you want. If it is well balanced it is possible to have little pressure on the worm block just in order to avoid a jumping of the 144 teeth gear over the worm.




Lol...you are a crazy man Rainer..:) The key wording in your statement is "If it is balanced".

If it is balanced, no problem. But, you stand the chance of accidentally nudging the mount or ota in the dark, and then listening to the horrible sound of the gears unmeshing, and you losing your careful alignment and zero position.

Which is why it's important, and good practice, to establish and mark a zero point on the RA and DEC, so when that happens (been there, done that), you can quickly get the mount back to the right position by hitting 'Return to Zero' position and aligning your marks using the slew buttons in RA and DEC.

Sounds like you're having a lot of fun and little frustration with the mount, I like that...:)

Ciao,

Paul




Hi Paul,

I agree with you ... but crazy, NO WAY ... I would say crazy and a bit ...

... but frustration ¿? Not a bit. The mount is awsome.

The only problem I will have is that if iOptron comes out with a big Z mount for maybe, let me dream awake, 100 pounds I will need to sell both of my tuned Losmandy G11 and there I see a problem.



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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rsbfoto]
      #5918046 - 06/13/13 12:22 AM

I heard that one with ~100 pounds payload is coming...

Jay


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5918075 - 06/13/13 12:47 AM

Quote:

I heard that one with ~100 pounds payload is coming...

Jay




Shhhhhh..............!

Paul


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zjc26138
Loved By All
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Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5918093 - 06/13/13 01:09 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I heard that one with ~100 pounds payload is coming...

Jay




I really hope so.

Shhhhhh..............!

Paul




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RandyC
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Reged: 04/01/13

Loc: RI
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: zjc26138]
      #5942337 - 06/26/13 11:40 PM

Hi, I just put my C8 w accessories weighing 14lbs on the ZEQ25. One 9.8lb CW was not enough. It needed an extra 5lbs. Other than that, what a pleasure that altitude adjustment is! It's cloudy so I don't know any more.
Clear skies, RandyC


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: RandyC]
      #5942411 - 06/27/13 01:25 AM

Quote:

Hi, I just put my C8 w accessories weighing 14lbs on the ZEQ25. One 9.8lb CW was not enough. It needed an extra 5lbs. Other than that, what a pleasure that altitude adjustment is! It's cloudy so I don't know any more.
Clear skies, RandyC




The latitude adjuster is a pleasure indeed, no matter how much ota and counterweights you put on, as long as it's balanced...you can move it with two fingers!

Enjoy learning the mount Randy, looking forward to your first light.

Paul


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Rick M.
super member


Reged: 03/16/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5953140 - 07/03/13 01:25 PM

Is anyone using the PowerWeight battery pack to power this mount?

http://www.canadiantelescopes.com/Shop-By-Brand/Accessories_17/iOptron-PowerW...


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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Rick M.]
      #5953574 - 07/03/13 05:57 PM

Quote:

Is anyone using the PowerWeight battery pack to power this mount?

http://www.canadiantelescopes.com/Shop-By-Brand/Accessories_17/iOptron-PowerW...




I have been looking at this myself. 8 amp-hours capacity does not sound huge, but that should power the mount for at least 12 hours. I have not metered power usage of my mount yet so this is a WAG estimate (and assumes that you don't want to more than half-discharge a lead acid battery).

It has adapters to fit several different diameter counterweight shafts, so that adds to its versatility.


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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5953611 - 07/03/13 06:29 PM

Got my ZEQ-25 in a couple of weeks ago and had an immediate problem with it. As it turned out the Dec controller board suffered infant mortality. It burned out as I was playing with mock alignments and goto slews in my living room.

iOptron tech support was very helpful, they mailed out a replacement board and Dec motor. Only the board needed replacing so I will be sending the motor back. They gave me an option of either returning the mount or installing replacement parts. I thought it would be quicker and certainly more fun to do it myself. Board replacement was easy and all is now good. And now I have some idea of the inner workings of the mount which might come in handy when out at a dark site.

I do have one issue with the mount, and need to see if there is an adjustment I can make. There is a lot of free-play in the mount, in Dec in particular. The axes are "spring loaded" and the worm always returns to its contact point with the worm wheel gear teeth, but it is too easy to move it from this proper contact point. I have screwed the gear switch locking screw all the way in and there is still too much slop.

It makes focusing difficult, with a high power eyepiece the act of focusing can bounce the target completely out of the field of view. It was not too bad with my SVR-80, but very frustrating with my ES127 ED. Now the ES127 is really pushing the capacity of the mount, but at about ~19 lbs (it is the carbon fiber OTA), it is still below rated capacity. The tube is a long lever arm, and I found I had to use the index finger of one hand to press the ota against the gear teeth while focusing with the other hand.

I did double check to ensure that the locking screw was properly installed on the mount. If you remove the chrome knob, there is a small ball point pen-like spring that fits inside the knob and a steel ball (like a ball bearing) that the other end of the spring captures and presses against the part that actually applies tension to the worm gear.

I will contact iOptron to see if there is a way to minimize the movement (or increase the spring tension against the worm wheel), but have not had the time yet. Been a busy week and I'm leaving for vacation this weekend.

I'm taking this mount (and several other mounts/OTAs) with me to the Golden State Star Party next week. If anyone has any ideas on how to tighten things up a bit, please let me know!

Other than this one issue and the now-fixed Dec board problem, this mount is a dream. I've not had a chance to check tracking accuracy/periodic error yet, but if it performs anything like Paul's mount it is going to be a winner for DLSR and small telescope astrophotography.


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Rick M.
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5954626 - 07/04/13 11:30 AM

Thanks, Dan. This looks like a very appealing mount. I'm unsure of whether to wait until some of the early bugs gets ironed out.

Rick


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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Rick M.]
      #5959366 - 07/07/13 06:06 PM

Hi Paul and other users

I am planning for a little larger scope than my Sky 90 (which is mounted on a P2Z).

Do you think the iOptron ZEQ25 could be used for an 8" Cassegrain design (FL ~2500mm, OTA ~19 pounds+accessories, tube length ~800mm) for visual and imaging?? How stable would this setup be?
Is the 1.5" tripod stable enough for vibration-free operation, or would I need the 2" tripod?

It looks like an intriguing travel mount (I need to get away from my city to see any stars).

Heinz


Edited by Ryuno (07/07/13 11:02 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5959916 - 07/08/13 01:01 AM

Do you think the iOptron ZEQ25 could be used for an 8" Cassegrain design (FL ~2500mm, OTA ~19 pounds+accessories, tube length ~800mm) for visual and imaging?? How stable would this setup be?
Is the 1.5" tripod stable enough for vibration-free operation, or would I need the 2" tripod?

It looks like an intriguing travel mount (I need to get away from my city to see any stars).

Hello Heinz, it is an excellent travel mount, in all respects.

As far as the 1.5" tripod, here is a 71 minute single exposure taken off the tripod with about 20 pounds of OTA and imaging gear:


4245secs on M101..oops by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

I think the standard tripod should be fine unless you need the extra 10" of height from the 2" and the added 6 pounds of weight?

Cheers,

Paul


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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5965878 - 07/11/13 03:11 PM

Thank you, Paul. Because of your enthusiastic reviews, I just ordered a ZEQ25+PowerWeight. I think, the latter represents an ingenious idea as well. When I began looking for a sturdy travel mount (found it! ) two weeks ago, I had the idea myself immediately, without even knowing about iOptron, and started searching the web for exactly this solution, only to find that iOptron was producing a counterweight like this. Why no other company has made this before, is beyond me. It is so obvious!
I understand why you like iOptron. They are like a fresh breeze in the market for astro gear. They have come forward with an amazing row of innovations within just a few years, and it goes on.

Thank you again for your inspiring enthusiasm.

By the way, I can see from your signature that you own quite a few iOptron mounts. Which one is your favourite so far?

Heinz


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5966198 - 07/11/13 06:48 PM

Quote:

Got my ZEQ-25 in a couple of weeks ago and had an immediate problem with it. As it turned out the Dec controller board suffered infant mortality. It burned out as I was playing with mock alignments and goto slews in my living room.

iOptron tech support was very helpful, they mailed out a replacement board and Dec motor. Only the board needed replacing so I will be sending the motor back. They gave me an option of either returning the mount or installing replacement parts. I thought it would be quicker and certainly more fun to do it myself. Board replacement was easy and all is now good. And now I have some idea of the inner workings of the mount which might come in handy when out at a dark site.

I do have one issue with the mount, and need to see if there is an adjustment I can make. There is a lot of free-play in the mount, in Dec in particular. The axes are "spring loaded" and the worm always returns to its contact point with the worm wheel gear teeth, but it is too easy to move it from this proper contact point. I have screwed the gear switch locking screw all the way in and there is still too much slop.

It makes focusing difficult, with a high power eyepiece the act of focusing can bounce the target completely out of the field of view. It was not too bad with my SVR-80, but very frustrating with my ES127 ED. Now the ES127 is really pushing the capacity of the mount, but at about ~19 lbs (it is the carbon fiber OTA), it is still below rated capacity. The tube is a long lever arm, and I found I had to use the index finger of one hand to press the ota against the gear teeth while focusing with the other hand.

I did double check to ensure that the locking screw was properly installed on the mount. If you remove the chrome knob, there is a small ball point pen-like spring that fits inside the knob and a steel ball (like a ball bearing) that the other end of the spring captures and presses against the part that actually applies tension to the worm gear.

I will contact iOptron to see if there is a way to minimize the movement (or increase the spring tension against the worm wheel), but have not had the time yet. Been a busy week and I'm leaving for vacation this weekend.

I'm taking this mount (and several other mounts/OTAs) with me to the Golden State Star Party next week. If anyone has any ideas on how to tighten things up a bit, please let me know!

Other than this one issue and the now-fixed Dec board problem, this mount is a dream. I've not had a chance to check tracking accuracy/periodic error yet, but if it performs anything like Paul's mount it is going to be a winner for DLSR and small telescope astrophotography.




Dan,

Any progress on your one issue?

John


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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: John Miele]
      #5966319 - 07/11/13 08:33 PM

iPhone/iPad control of the ZEQ25?

As long as the problems with controlling the ZEQ25 by Skysafari from an iPhone/iPad persist, what are the alternatives? Which other planetarium programmes do work with the ZEQ25? And how?
Besides SKysafari, I have quite a few others installed on my iPhone, e.g.:

- Astromist
- Redshift
- Luminos
- Starmap Pro
all of which are supposed to be able to be used with a GoTo scope.

Of these, I like Redshift and Luminos best for their rather realistic graphics.
How do I proceed and what cables or other accessories would I need for making at least one of these work with the ZEQ25?

(I don't necessarily need wireless control, because this would add a transmitter with batteries, which I would have to carry around. (I don't have a car.) And I am near the telescope anyway when slewing, so a cable connection would be fine for me.)

Any ideas?

Good weather and perfect seeing
Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (07/11/13 08:42 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5966338 - 07/11/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

By the way, I can see from your signature that you own quite a few iOptron mounts. Which one is your favourite so far?




My favorite so far, is the ZEQ25, without question or reservation. My iEQ45 w/TDM is an awesome rig, but the best mount is indeed the one you use the most, so the ZEQ25 wins out I guess?

If, and when iOptron introduces a larger capacity version, I'm afraid the iEQ45 may have to find a new home.

The Z Balanced concept is simply superb and superior in all respects to a typical GEM.

It takes me about 10 minutes to carry the mount/tripod out (easily), mount the OTA and do my polar align and one star align, then a quick calibration in PHD and I'm off to the races.

It isn't perfect, the hand controller for the iEQ45 is much more advanced than the Z mount, but I can live with it.

Have fun with yours when it arrives,

Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5966343 - 07/11/13 09:00 PM

Quote:

Of these, I like Redshift and Luminos best for their rather realistic graphics.




I don't know about the other apps, but I do have Luminos downloaded and have tested it with the ZEQ25 and it does work. I had to connect wirelessly with my iPad, using the Sky Safari wireless unit, but once connected it worked.

The wireless unit really doesn't add too much bulk, mine attaches to the tripod leg with a small piece of Velcro fastener, like my hand controller.

It should not be too long until Sky Safari works with the 8408 hand controllers, Southern Stars and iOptron are working to sort it all out. I expect it will be fine by the next update.

I have tested, and it can be controlled wired from the PC, in these planetarium programs:

Stellarium, but only with the add on 'Stellarium Scope'.

Cartes du Ciel

Starry Night Pro

Microsoft World Wide Telescope

Cheers,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (07/11/13 09:05 PM)


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p3boy
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5967519 - 07/12/13 02:26 PM

Afternoon all,
Opinions on go-to accuracy. I have an MT Pro and have been struggling somewhat to get the target in the FOV (about 60x search EP). Unfortunately, when I "sync-to-target" to center the target, go-to accuracy is reduced to one-star align accuracy and makes things worse for the next go-to. Any thoughts on how the Z25 performs?
Paul K

Edited by p3boy (07/12/13 03:38 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: p3boy]
      #5968359 - 07/13/13 12:21 AM

Go to accuracy on a properly polar aligned mount, and just a One Star align is excellent.

The alignment star falls into my camera sensor (used for imaging only) 99% of the time. Once centered, subsequent go tos are almost dead center, every time.

Hope the info helps,

Paul


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: p3boy]
      #5968908 - 07/13/13 12:15 PM

I have an MPT as well; the goto is excellent. You may check your leveling. Don't rely on the built in bubble. Use an extra torpedo level to verify it. If your goto a nearby star from the sync star was ok and far away star was poor, it pretty much certain a leveling issue. Once you had true leveling, you should have a completely different goto result. Jimmy

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Starman1
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5969295 - 07/13/13 04:51 PM

Quote:


If, and when iOptron introduces a larger capacity version, I'm afraid the iEQ45 may have to find a new home.


Paul



IIRC, the iEQ75 is a custom-order item.


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p3boy
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: cloudywest]
      #5969741 - 07/13/13 10:45 PM

Thanks Jimmy. Need some decent wx here in DC to give the MTP a more complete workout. Not sure leveling is my problem tho. Drive motor could be the culprit according to cust service who, I might add, has been extremely helpful. Appears that setup time between the MT Pro and the ZEQ25 might just be a wash since leveling is so critical with the Pro.
Regards, Paul K


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Starman1]
      #5969810 - 07/14/13 12:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:


If, and when iOptron introduces a larger capacity version, I'm afraid the iEQ45 may have to find a new home.


Paul



IIRC, the iEQ75 is a custom-order item.




The iEQ75GT has been a no show since it's introduction, as well as the iEQ45 w/high precision encoders.

Although both mounts generated some interest, there was not enough, imho, to justify production on a large scale.

I was referring to a larger scale version of the 'Z-Balanced' mount, certainly easy enough for iOptron to produce?

Simply scaling up the mount's size by 100% would theoretically give you a 20 pound mount with a payload of 54 pounds with astounding tracking and balance?

Time will tell...

Cheers,

Paul


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Joe Bergeron
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Reged: 11/10/03

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5970882 - 07/14/13 05:59 PM

Sadly, doubling the size of the mount will increase its weight by a factor of 8, not 2.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5971216 - 07/14/13 09:29 PM

Quote:

Sadly, doubling the size of the mount will increase its weight by a factor of 8, not 2.




Okay Joe, I just want a 20 pound mount with a payload capacity of 54 pounds then...:)

Best,

Paul


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5971375 - 07/14/13 10:55 PM

I don't believe that's possible... closest would be the 32 pound Mach1 with an imaging payload of 45 pounds (and alleged visual payload of 100 pounds).

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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5971420 - 07/14/13 11:19 PM

The ZEQ25 is 10.4 pounds and has a load rating of 27 pounds. It wouldn't surprise me to see a 20 to 25 pound "ZEQ40" with a rated load of ove 50 pounds. iOptron seems to be more conservative with their published carrying capacity than some vendors.

Edited by Mkofski (07/14/13 11:22 PM)


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hinterland44
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5971640 - 07/15/13 03:48 AM

Hi,

Just a note to say thanks for this thread, Paul. With all the good reviews here of the ZEQ25 by so many accomplished observers I went and got one of my own. After many years of nudging a Dob about the sky this new mount is a wonder for all the many reasons that have been discussed.

My mount came with the polar scope, because there is always so much talk about the difficulties of aligning a polar scope. The only problem was that the scope was badly in need of refocusing for my wicked bad nearsightedness (tough to even see the entire "Polar Scope Dial" with my specs on). I sent an email to Kevin at iOptron support and he sent off a PDF called "ZEQ25 Polar Scope Installation". In fifteen minutes I had the scope out, refocused and back in the mount. The scope is press-fitted into the polar shaft and I did need a plastic tube with a fairly snug fit in the shaft to go in from the front and pop out the scope out through the back. That should read "carefully" pop out the scope through the back. The PDF isn't on the iOptron web pages yet. Kevin gave me the link, if I may pass it on:

http://www.ioptron.com/images/up/ZEQ25_PolarScope_Installation.pdf

Thanks again. Yours, Kim

Sorry, Mike, I didn't realize the quick reply at the bottom was to link with the latest post in the thread, not the original post. We learn, but slowly.

Edited by hinterland44 (07/15/13 03:58 AM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: hinterland44]
      #5972102 - 07/15/13 11:54 AM

Quote:

The PDF isn't on the iOptron web pages yet. Kevin gave me the link, if I may pass it on:




That's a very good Pdf file, thanks Kim. Typical of the type of support iOptron provides to it's customers, and very welcomed.

I have the same condition, and wear glasses also, but I don't mind taking them off just to focus on Polaris.

Good luck with the mount, you're going to enjoy it,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (07/15/13 11:58 AM)


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scubalee
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5972990 - 07/15/13 07:37 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all the great information. I'm new but am interested in this mount because of the weight, apparent ease of use, desire to practice with polar alignments, use as a teaching aid for my high school geometry classes, price, home in red dark sky area (eastern suburb of Cleveland, OH) and one hour drive to a silver dark sky site (Observatory Park, Montville, OH).

Also, thanks to another posting, I decided to get the Celestron ED80 from Astronomers Without Borders. The picture of the mounting on a Porta II is at this thread, page 2: refractors, What can I see with a 80mm refractor?

The description states, "The 80ED features a 2" rack and pinion focuser and has a bracket that can adapt to a photo tripod or attach to a Celestron equatorial mount (sold separately)."

My question, finally, is will the Celestron OTA bracket go with the mount on the ZEQ25 or should I plan on buying a dovetail bar/rings?


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Paulimer
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: scubalee]
      #5973247 - 07/15/13 10:23 PM

The just updated skysafari pro removed support for the ZEQ25...any idea what's wrong?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Paulimer]
      #5973268 - 07/15/13 10:45 PM

Quote:

My question, finally, is will the Celestron OTA bracket go with the mount on the ZEQ25 or should I plan on buying a dovetail bar/rings?




The 80mm dovetail on the Celestron ota should work fine with the saddle on the ZEQ25. It opens really wide, and is non-marring with two clamping knobs.

It wont fit a 'D" style wide dovetail, not until someone asks ADM to make up one, or iOptron offers one?

Clear skies,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (07/15/13 10:49 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Paulimer]
      #5973281 - 07/15/13 10:56 PM

Quote:

The just updated skysafari pro removed support for the ZEQ25...any idea what's wrong?




Hmnn...just checked my App store updates, there is a new update, Version 3.8.1, and one of the 13 updates does remove support for the SmartEQ/ZEQ25 mounts. No idea?

Looks like I'll have to use Luminos on the iPad, which is a lot cheaper, just as nice, and supports the ZEQ25 with Meade LX200 settings?

Cheers,

Paul


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FoxTrot
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5973646 - 07/16/13 07:02 AM

Hi Paul, Foxtrot here. Yeah, I just saw that on the App store and lucky I checked the Version notes. Does that mean the wireless SkyFi unit will not longer work with the ZEQ25 ? Any idea why they removed support for the ZEQ25 - and did it work in the first place ? Reckon it will come back at some stage in future ?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FoxTrot]
      #5973870 - 07/16/13 10:46 AM

Quote:

Hi Paul, Foxtrot here. Yeah, I just saw that on the App store and lucky I checked the Version notes. Does that mean the wireless SkyFi unit will not longer work with the ZEQ25 ? Any idea why they removed support for the ZEQ25 - and did it work in the first place ? Reckon it will come back at some stage in future ?




Hi! I did some enquiring, actually the 8408 hand controller mounts never worked in Sky Safari, even though they were listed on the prior update.

iOtpron sent Southern Stars a ZEQ25 mount to investigate what's going on just recently. Despite that, they have not been able to get it to work in Windows, it works perfectly in IOS systems. Southern Stars thinks it is a hardware problem, and has referred the problem back to iOptron to correct.

The mounts were removed from the list because they were just a 'tease' for Smart EQ and ZEQ owners...:)

Whether or not it gets sorted out is a question for the software engineers at this point?

Cheers,

Paul


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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5974882 - 07/16/13 07:41 PM

A few days ago, I called Southern Stars. I was told that they have tried everything imaginable, together with the folks of iOptron, to make SKysafari for iOS (iPhone/iPad) work with the ZEQ25, but to no avail. And that for the time being, they have simply run out of ideas what else to try. When I asked if they think that some time in the future they might get it to work, I got a reply that sounded a little sad: "Yes, probably."

This obviously means that they have given up for the moment to make Skysafari talk to the ZEQ25. The fact that support for this mount has been withdrawn in the last update of Skysafari confirms this. So we better use Luminos or some other software for the ZEQ25.
I wrote an email to Southern Stars, trying to encourage them to continue working on this issue, because many users would be interested in it. But they really seem to have no clue right now.

They told me about Skysafari for Mac OSX being able to work with the ZEQ25 though, and wanted to check it out and get back to me.

Regards
Heinz


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FoxTrot
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5975553 - 07/17/13 08:25 AM

Hi Paul, Heinz
I also got onto Southern Stars, and as you said, it appears to be a hardware incompatibility issue. From Southern Stars perspective, the ball is in iOptron's court; I'm hopeful they will identify the problem and be able to sort it out.
Fox


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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FoxTrot]
      #5979239 - 07/19/13 07:06 AM

Today I went to see The dealer for iOptron in Tokyo. Very nice man, makes a lot himself. He had a ZEQ25 on display. The first one in Japan.
However, I noticed that the mount seemed to have a problem. It was very loose around the RA-axis. See the attached video. Does anybody of you know this problem, Or knows how to solve it?

Best regards
Heinz


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rjsc2000
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5979245 - 07/19/13 07:13 AM

where's the video? i don't see it in attachment

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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions *DELETED* *DELETED* new [Re: rjsc2000]
      #5979296 - 07/19/13 08:12 AM

Post deleted by Ryuno

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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5979331 - 07/19/13 08:31 AM

Here it comes. Please click the link for download and/or watch.

http://www.adrive.com/public/JwxysB/IMG_2042.mov

Heinz


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5979638 - 07/19/13 11:19 AM

Quote:

Does anybody of you know this problem, Or knows how to solve it?




Go back to dealer, tighten the chrome plated tension screw on top of the RA and DEC housings all the way in, and one turn out. Then check the RA and DEC axes, it should be fine.

It looks like someone backed the tension screws out to unlock and rotate the RA axis and never tightened the screw back down afterwards.

You can download and/or read through the User's Instructions here:

https://www.ioptron.com/images/up/ZEQ25_Manual.pdf

Clear skies,

Paul


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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5979770 - 07/19/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

Here it comes. Please click the link for download and/or watch.

http://www.adrive.com/public/JwxysB/IMG_2042.mov

Heinz




If the chrome plated round tension adjuster is loose, turn the Gear switch slightly and the play should stop and mount rigid. Then tighten the tension adjuster and after tightening, loosen by a turn or two.


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j22rocks1
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5980092 - 07/19/13 04:17 PM Attachment (107 downloads)

First post here. I just received my ZEQ25 yesterday. Out of the box the only issue I encountered was the CW shaft "housing" was off center. By that I mean that in the Zero position, the shaft was pointing a bit to the right, about the 5:00 position. Easily corrected by loosening the set screws, and repositioning the shaft. I've attached an unguided 5 minute shot, 300% crop, of Alphecca. Even though it was through my 50mm lens, I was pretty impressed..

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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: John Miele]
      #5982298 - 07/21/13 01:15 AM

Quote:


Dan,

Any progress on your one issue?

John




Hi John,

Got back from vacation late last Sunday and am finally done a hard week catching up at work.

The mount ended up working very well at the Golden State Star Party. I ended up stretching the springs a bit to increase the spring force (I don't recommend this for casual use, it was a kludge). The ES ED127 CF worked well with the mount, it slewed and tracked very well. It was a bit shakey for focusing (about 3 second damping time), but I no longer had a problem with it bouncing back and forth on the worm gear.

All in all, I would say that with the longer refractor tube and 21 lb OTA weight, it is at the upper limit for this mount visually.

The mount itself is a pleasure to use. As Paul has said, one-star alignment works fine for pointing.

My brother used the mount with his Olympus DSLR and 200mm lens. It did a perfect job of tracking for one minute exposures with basic polar alignment. This was his first experience with astrophotography, so it was nice that he did not have to fuss with the mount at all. He had other issues with his camera, but the mount worked perfectly.

I really hope iOptron comes out with a higher weight-class ZEQ mount in the near future. This one is a winner.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5982744 - 07/21/13 10:54 AM

Quote:

First post here. I just received my ZEQ25 yesterday. Out of the box the only issue I encountered was the CW shaft "housing" was off center. By that I mean that in the Zero position, the shaft was pointing a bit to the right, about the 5:00 position. Easily corrected by loosening the set screws, and repositioning the shaft.




Hi, your offset shaft problem is best corrected by squaring up the RA and DEC axes to put the c/w shaft in the correct position.

Loosening the set screws and moving the shaft is not a good idea, because the top screw tightens into a special recess on the RA shaft to position it. The other two just tighten onto the shaft surface. The shaft may shift on you at some point because the top screw is not tightened into the recess/registration hole.

Follow the procedure outlined in this Pdf, and your issue should be solved, and your polar alignment and tracking will be improved as well.

Dropbox Z mount zero positon

Cheers,

Paul


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j22rocks1
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5983053 - 07/21/13 01:57 PM

Thanks Paul. I believe that the set screw was not in that recess out of the box, explains the shaft being out of alignment with everything else. I just now loosened the screw and had some play but hit resistance going in both directions. To me that means I'm hitting the walls of the recess. I loosened it a but more to put it in the same position it was before I moved it the other night and low and behold, the screw was hitting the shaft just outside the recess. Thanks for all if your info on this mount, pretty much sold me on it.

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Peds
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: j22rocks1]
      #5983233 - 07/21/13 03:54 PM

Does anyone have any experience polar aligning this mount only with a rough compass, tiltmeter for rough alignment and then using the BrightStar Polar Alignment Routine to precisely align?

I ask because where I live, a polar scope is basically useless and I end up wasting a long time drift aligning.

P.


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Ryuno
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Peds]
      #5985145 - 07/22/13 09:16 PM

Thank you Paul and Maverick199 for your help with my dealer's mount. I forwarded the advice to him and hopefully he can figure it out.

I am buying my ZEQ25 mount from him and I will be the first user in Japan, as far as I can see. As mentioned before, thanks to your reviews, Paul, here at CN and on Youtube. But it may take a few weeks of waiting. But then, the scope for it won't arrive either for another 2-3 weeks... patience...!

I read a little through the mount setup procedure in the ZEQ25-manual. There are several WARRNINGS about what to do and what to avoid. That's a good idea, don't you think? - to write the word with two "R". It gives it such an air of alert and urgency. Maybe WARRRNING would be even better...

Best regards
Heinz

Here is a picture of the iOptron dealer in Japan, Sanki-Opt at Akihabara. He is very friendly and an avid experienced amateur astronomer himself. He also makes a lot of items himself, such as all kinds of adapters, mounting rings for different scopes etc. A few of them are to be seen in the rack to the very left. I already found some light weight rings for my Sky90. I believe, he is a good choice to represent an innovative newcomer like iOptron on the Japanese market. By the way, he gave his consent to publish this photo on Cloudynights.
(Wow, I am sounding like an iOptron/Sanki salesman, don't I? Well, I assure you I have nothing to do with them. I just like their ideas and their dealer in Tokyo, that's all, just like John (am I right John?))

In the foreground on the left you can see the very first ZEQ25GT on Japanese soil, mounted with a Takahashi FS60. This is the demo model. I'll get the first regularly imported and sold one. I can hardly wait for it to arrive. In the shop, the mount looked solid, yet delicate. So far I can hardly imagine how it could possibly carry the CN-212 safely. But John says it can do it, so I believe it can.




Edited by Ryuno (07/23/13 09:11 AM)


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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5985606 - 07/23/13 08:11 AM

I noticed that too whilst reading the manual. I guess I may be the first in India too though I realized that only after reading your post. I got the Z71 too which fits in neatly on the mount.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5988309 - 07/24/13 07:05 PM

Quote:

In the shop, the mount looked solid, yet delicate. So far I can hardly imagine how it could possibly carry the CN-212 safely. But John says it can do it, so I believe it can.




Heinz, when your mount arrives, do yourself a favor and switch the azimuth pin to the other side, unless you want to fight that tripod leg while trying to get to the polar scope...:)

I think the warrnings are very effective too. A typo, to be sure, but until I learn to read and write Chinese, I'm not going to criticize anyone...lol.

Cheers, and clear skies,

Paul


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Bill McNeal
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5988767 - 07/25/13 12:08 AM

I'm debating between this and the AVX. A few concerns:

1. Can it hande a 10" Newt? OTA is 27 lbs, probably 31 with accessories. This is for visual.

2. Is the polar scope worth the extra $50? I can see Polaris from my observing spot. Can it be bought separately later or does it have to be bought at the same time as the mount?

3. Any word on a ZEQ45 model?


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Starman1
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #5988859 - 07/25/13 01:10 AM

Quote:

I'm debating between this and the AVX. A few concerns:

1. Can it hande a 10" Newt? OTA is 27 lbs, probably 31 with accessories. This is for visual.

2. Is the polar scope worth the extra $50? I can see Polaris from my observing spot. Can it be bought separately later or does it have to be bought at the same time as the mount?

3. Any word on a ZEQ45 model?



Bill,
Neither this mount nor the AVX will handle a 10" OTA.
It's not just the weight, it's the moment of inertia, the wind resistance of the large tube, the barbell flexure of the shafts, the torsional twisting of the dovetail bar and the flexure of the rings.
In all honesty, the lightest mount you should even consider for mounting a 10" newtonian OTA, even if it's lighter, is the Losmandy G-11. Anything lighter will be an exercise in shimmy generation.
For a 10", you need a 4" dovetail bar, and that sort of sets the minimum mount for the OTA.
The Celestron CGEM-DX or the Synta EQ-6 or the Orion Atlas will not break with that OTA, but they will still perform poorly in even the most minor of breezes. Those mounts might do OK in an observatory, attached to a permanent pier. But is a portable scope, look for a Losmandy G-11 or something of similar capacity.


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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #5989033 - 07/25/13 06:08 AM

Agree with Don. While both ZEQ25 and AVX are very capable mounts,( infact Astronewb has a video on youtube in which he demonstrates some 30 lbs on ZEQ ), the point which Don made about breeze and the Newt's volume feeding it makes sense.

If you chose a ZEQ25, then a Polar accualign will come in handy. There is also an App which you can download to see the exact position of Polaris on the Accualign so polar alignment becomes easy and the polar scope is always visible due to mounts unique design.


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FoxTrot
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5989114 - 07/25/13 08:27 AM

Bill, I'm considering the ZEQ25 for my NP127is. The scope with rings, diagonal and EP will be around 8kg (~18 lbs), and I would consider that to be "near the upper end" of cruising weight and OTA size for the the ZEQ25 to handle. Agree with the other posts - a 10 inch Newt at 30 lbs would be way over the limit for the ZEQ25, and even a VX for that matter. The mount could hold it, but not well. I wouldn't consider anything less than an EQ6/AZEQ6 class mount to comfortably handle a 30 lbs 10 inch Newt. Fox

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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: FoxTrot]
      #5989370 - 07/25/13 11:21 AM

You could definitely go up to 22 - 24 lbs without the mount breaking a sweat due to its Z design. I tried indoors and it works flawless. Bad weather so unable to test for AP as yet.

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Peds
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5990039 - 07/25/13 06:12 PM

Can anyone comment on how good polar alignment is without the polar scope?

Thanks,
P.


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leveye
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Peds]
      #5991009 - 07/26/13 10:31 AM

You should read over all the old posts you will see. My main imaging area has no clear view of polaris and with a basic alignment of the mount and then a one star alignment i'm getting over 5 minute subs unguided if i do things properly when done precisely i can go over 10 minutes guided i cannot wait to get it in a real open imaging area and use the scope to align it i can only imagine how good it will be love this mount!

Edited by leveye (07/26/13 10:53 AM)


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Bill McNeal
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5992367 - 07/27/13 02:35 AM

Can the polar scope be bought and user installed separately if you got the mount without it?

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Peds
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #5993020 - 07/27/13 01:24 PM

Thanks leveye, I must have missed it.

P.


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darethehair
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #5993046 - 07/27/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Can the polar scope be bought and user installed separately if you got the mount without it?




Yes, and this is the doc that I used:

Instruction for iOptron ® AccuAligning TM Polar Scope

I recently got my own ZEQ25GT delivered, and the polar scope was a separate item that I had to install myself. Right now the outstanding issue appears to be that I did not get the Polar Scope LED that I think is part of the system, so I am awaiting word from my dealer.


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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: darethehair]
      #5993151 - 07/27/13 02:53 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

The LED is built in. You need to connect a small wire on the main unit ( reticle ) and underneath the polar scope there is a socket. Most likely you have this wire. Here is an image to show you though you don't need it.

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tomdean
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5993154 - 07/27/13 02:55 PM

I received a ZEQ25P today. The dec axis has 1/4 inch slop with no OTA mounted and the tensioner screwed all the way in.

Tom Dean


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darethehair
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5993163 - 07/27/13 03:02 PM

Quote:

The LED is built in. You need to connect a small wire on the main unit ( reticle ) and underneath the polar scope there is a socket. Most likely you have this wire. Here is an image to show you though you don't need it.




In my case, the packaging included no such wire -- just a tightly-wrapped cylindrical polar scope, and the polar scope that I received does not appear to have the LED 'built in'. What complicates matters is that I was told by my dealer that the *original* polar scope had been discontinued and that he was waiting on back-order for the new model to arrive for my order (which explains why I was waiting many weeks for it to arrive). Since I have nothing to 'compare to', it is not clear to me what is 'different' about the 'new design'. I am speculating that the new design no longer has a 'built in' LED, but I really have no idea


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: darethehair]
      #5993702 - 07/27/13 09:36 PM

When you order a polar scope for the ZEQ mount, you do need to order the illuminator for it as well.

Unless you can get your mount polar aligned at dusk, when both the Polaris and reticle are visible, then you definitely need the illuminator.

It screws into the bottom of the polar scope and includes an overly long cable from the illuminator to the mount.

> https://www.ioptron.com/index.cfm?select=productdetails&phid=70b4cac2-54b... <

Good luck,

Paul


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darethehair
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5993734 - 07/27/13 10:00 PM

Quote:

When you order a polar scope for the ZEQ mount, you do need to order the illuminator for it as well.

Unless you can get your mount polar aligned at dusk, when both the Polaris and reticle are visible, then you definitely need the illuminator.

It screws into the bottom of the polar scope and includes an overly long cable from the illuminator to the mount.

> https://www.ioptron.com/index.cfm?select=productdetails&phid=70b4cac2-54b... <

Good luck,

Paul




Paul, thanks for confirming my theory that the illuminator/cable are missing. I had placed an order with my dealer for the 'combo' ZEQ25 plus polar scope, so it is my assumption that the 'total package' should have included the illuminator (?), and that either iOptron or my dealer forgot to send it along with my polar scope


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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: darethehair]
      #5994140 - 07/28/13 04:41 AM

I ordered mine with Polar scope so perhaps that explains the built in LED and the wire. Hope you get the wire and LED soon.

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meade8r
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5994430 - 07/28/13 10:05 AM

My ZEQ arrived with the polar scope loose in the RA axis. The LED illuminator, cable, and the set screw that holds the polar scope in place were missing. iOptron was able to send me the missing parts once I contacted them.

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Bill McNeal
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: meade8r]
      #5995896 - 07/29/13 01:40 AM

How is the manual slewing, either by hand or using the hand controller?

Also is the polar scope needed if I can see Polaris from my viewing spot?


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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #5996000 - 07/29/13 06:00 AM

Quote:

How is the manual slewing, either by hand or using the hand controller?

Also is the polar scope needed if I can see Polaris from my viewing spot?




You mean slewing by using the directional buttons? Its pretty good and you have several speeds to adjust to your liking.

A Polar scope is only useful if you can see Polaris or if living in the South, Octantis. If you can't see either that's when you do the Multi star alignment.

In other words, it would be a whole lot easier for you to just use the Polar scope, align to Polaris and start viewing. Note there is an iOptron app available for download for android phones which tells you exactly where Polaris should be on your Polar scope at your location / time.


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Bill McNeal
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #6000356 - 07/31/13 05:46 PM

Thanks. Any word of a software uptake to be able to store PEC data or does it still have to be re-done every time?

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Bill McNeal
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6001414 - 08/01/13 02:24 PM

Also, would this be able to handle the ES 127? OTA weight is 22 lbs. and I will probably not use a finderscope and rely on the GoTo to save weight if needed. I have read others mounting it on a CG-5 so I figured the ZEQ25 might also handle it.

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Maverick199
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6002736 - 08/02/13 08:17 AM

Yes it will handle the 22 lbs but you would require an additional 2 kgs weight or extension as it would be tricky to get balance with just 4.5 kgs CW.

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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6003540 - 08/02/13 04:52 PM

Quote:

Also, would this be able to handle the ES 127? OTA weight is 22 lbs. and I will probably not use a finderscope and rely on the GoTo to save weight if needed. I have read others mounting it on a CG-5 so I figured the ZEQ25 might also handle it.




I have been using it with my ES ED127CF. It slews and tracks very well. Focusing is a bit of an issue, it takes up to 5 seconds for vibrations to damp out, so high-power focusing takes a bit of patience. The mount is so nice to set up and operate that I find myself willing to put up with vibration damping rather than set up my G11/G2 mount, on which the ES127 is rock solid.

I suspect that wind would be a bit of a vibration problem as well, but so far I've only had calm conditions when observing (no complaints there )


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6003570 - 08/02/13 05:08 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Also, would this be able to handle the ES 127? OTA weight is 22 lbs. and I will probably not use a finderscope and rely on the GoTo to save weight if needed. I have read others mounting it on a CG-5 so I figured the ZEQ25 might also handle it.




I have been using it with my ES ED127CF. It slews and tracks very well. Focusing is a bit of an issue, it takes up to 5 seconds for vibrations to damp out, so high-power focusing takes a bit of patience. The mount is so nice to set up and operate that I find myself willing to put up with vibration damping rather than set up my G11/G2 mount, on which the ES127 is rock solid.

I suspect that wind would be a bit of a vibration problem as well, but so far I've only had calm conditions when observing (no complaints there )




Dan,

Are you using the sock 1.5" leg tripod?


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Bill McNeal
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6003572 - 08/02/13 05:12 PM

I thought about going to a heavier mount like the AVX or CG5, but the light weight of this mount is extremely attractive for the grab-n-go.

How easy is it to change the tripod to a 2" after you receive it?


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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6003581 - 08/02/13 05:20 PM

Quote:

I thought about going to a heavier mount like the AVX or CG5, but the light weight of this mount is extremely attractive for the grab-n-go.

How easy is it to change the tripod to a 2" after you receive it?




Bill,

IOptron sells a,2" tripod made for the iEQ45. I don't know if it fits the 25. It looks the same on top as a CG5 tripod but I don't know about the thread/diameter. Maybe someone (Paul) that owns multiple mounts can be more informative. If that is the correct 2" legged tripod for the 25, it is about $250. That's a lot for an upgrade. Don't know how much it would cost if ordered at the time of the original purchase.


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Starman1
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Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6003602 - 08/02/13 05:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Also, would this be able to handle the ES 127? OTA weight is 22 lbs. and I will probably not use a finderscope and rely on the GoTo to save weight if needed. I have read others mounting it on a CG-5 so I figured the ZEQ25 might also handle it.




I have been using it with my ES ED127CF. It slews and tracks very well. Focusing is a bit of an issue, it takes up to 5 seconds for vibrations to damp out, so high-power focusing takes a bit of patience. The mount is so nice to set up and operate that I find myself willing to put up with vibration damping rather than set up my G11/G2 mount, on which the ES127 is rock solid.

I suspect that wind would be a bit of a vibration problem as well, but so far I've only had calm conditions when observing (no complaints there )



Have you tried the vibration suppression pads under the tripod feet? They work!


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Dan Finnerty
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Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6003705 - 08/02/13 06:31 PM

Yes I got it with the 1.5 inch legs. The two inch option was not yet available.

I'm thinking of ordering the 2 inch tripod. I hear it is available separately for $200ish. If ordering new, and planning to use a larger scope (4 inch refractor for example), I would order with the 2 inch legs. My brother just got one and said the tripod is really beefy. So if you don't plan on using it for more than say an 80mm refractor or DSLR with camera lenses, then the smaller tripod would be just fine.

Paul Chasse seems to feel the 1.5 inch tripod is fine even with larger telescopes, and he has more experience with the mount than anyone, so pay your money and take your chances!


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Dan Finnerty
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Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Starman1]
      #6003707 - 08/02/13 06:33 PM

Quote:


Have you tried the vibration suppression pads under the tripod feet? They work!




You know, I have some and have not used them for this mount. Thanks for the reminder! I will give them a try and let people know if they help significantly.


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Bill McNeal
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Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6003730 - 08/02/13 06:44 PM

Which ones do you have Dan? I'm thinking of getting the Celestron ones for $40 but it seems like there's a cheaper home-made solution we should be able to come up with. It's just some pieces of rubber, right?



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Shalamar
member


Reged: 07/21/08

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6004933 - 08/03/13 02:49 PM

I'd like to thank people here for the comments and suggestions on the ZEQ25 mount. I purchased one about a month back, and I've been enjoying it.

I have been having problems trying to align it properly (Though I strongly suspect user error, as it is my first EQ mount) and I hope the suggestions about getting a zero point for it will help immensely!


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6004940 - 08/03/13 02:54 PM

Quote:

Which ones do you have Dan? I'm thinking of getting the Celestron ones for $40 but it seems like there's a cheaper home-made solution we should be able to come up with. It's just some pieces of rubber, right?






Well. Kinda... Sorbothane. Some homemade solutions will work, but not as well. Spend the 40 bucks. I've had much higher bar tabs this summer.


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6005144 - 08/03/13 05:09 PM