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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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 [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
member


Reged: 03/10/09

Loc: Hawaii, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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 [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [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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