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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds.
      #5893426 - 05/31/13 12:09 AM

I just had to try it, I put the AT10RCC /Lodestar/ Borg50/ D5100 combo on the little 10 pound ZEQ25GT tonight.

I used all the counterweights I could muster,two 11# weights off the iEQ45, the 9.8# ZEQ25 weight and a 3.5# weight from my Cube Pro. And it was still OTA heavy, needs another 9.8 to replace the 3.5.

So 35 pounds of counterweights on the shaft, 32 pounds of OTA for about 67 pounds of total payload on the Z-Balanced mount.

Does it work?


PHD graph, ZEQ25GT w/67 pound load by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

You be the judge. This graph is a train wreck compared to a normal load on the mount. But, the mount is really, really stable, even with a payload of 67 pounds (32 pounds not including weights).

Let the naysayers repent, this design works. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Cheers,

Paul


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cuivienor
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/07/10

Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5893480 - 05/31/13 12:51 AM

Well now I'm waiting for Smart Eq Z Pro for an even lighter and smaller mount

Impressive results....


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vdb
sage


Reged: 12/08/09

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: cuivienor]
      #5893517 - 05/31/13 01:19 AM

The graph looks nice, but an image trough the 10 inch is really what counts ...

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ohata0
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Reged: 03/10/09

Loc: Hawaii, USA
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: vdb]
      #5893589 - 05/31/13 02:45 AM

would love to know how long of an exposure you think you can get reliably using that setup.

if it can handle that weight well, you could probably put the 9.25" edgehd or maybe even the 11" on there. o_O

would love to be able to put the 11" edgehd with hyperstar and a dslr without having to go out and get another mount.


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mistyridge
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Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: ohata0]
      #5893601 - 05/31/13 03:01 AM

I have been looking at light wt mounts that can carry up to and including my C9.25HD. This one could be a contender.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: mistyridge]
      #5893634 - 05/31/13 04:06 AM

@vdb... it's cooking.

@ohato0... I just did that for fun, that much weight on a 10 pound mount...ouch. I did get some 4 minute guided exposures, but I certainly wouldn't make a habit of it. The AT10RC normally hangs on the iEQ45, comfortably.

@Mike... I don't know about a 9.25 carbon fiber, maybe? But it's downright scary putting the AT10RC on the little mount, I kept waiting for it to fall over..lol.

Clear skies all,

Paul


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: vdb]
      #5893657 - 05/31/13 05:11 AM

Quote:

The graph looks nice, but an image trough the 10 inch is really what counts ...




Had no way to shoot flats (OTA too big for my laptop or iPad screen) so this is all I got........


NGC6946 the Fireworks Galaxy by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

The Fireworks Galaxy, AT10RC w/CCDT67 reducer.
18x120 @ ISO 800
8x240 @ ISO 400

Clear skies,

Paul


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Edmond S.
member


Reged: 07/05/10

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5894203 - 05/31/13 12:34 PM

Waiting for something like ZEQ45 !!

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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Edmond S.]
      #5894269 - 05/31/13 01:13 PM

Wow Paul, the image looks fantastic!

Cheers,

Jose


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: tjugo]
      #5894280 - 05/31/13 01:17 PM

How could you!? Torturing that poor little mount! What did it ever do to you? For shame! And, like a horse, it tried no matter what you threw at it...limping along under the strain of that great big scope. But it would not buckle, it would not fold. It had HEART! Heart I tell ya!

Kinda cool!

Paul


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: psandelle]
      #5894533 - 05/31/13 03:29 PM

@ Edmond... you'll have to fight me for the ZEQ45 or ZEQ110..:)

@Jose, thanks very much, but that's a really rough process on a very dim object, it's like pulling teeth to get data on the Fireworks...:) I hate to stay up until dawn for flats, but I'm going to have to, or buy a EL panel

@Paul... now you made me feel bad. The mount did look funny though, kinda like flea carrying an elephant...lol.

Cheers all,

Paul


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5894560 - 05/31/13 03:44 PM

Not bad for a mount that costs $1500 and weighs 40LBS...

...of course this mount costs $850 and weighs 10LBS.

It really is amazing what this mount can do.


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Jesus Munoz
sage


Reged: 03/09/07

Loc: Querétaro, México
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5894907 - 05/31/13 07:28 PM

Great image Paul!

I noted you have an IEQ45 mount. For a given telescope, say your Stellarvue 90 Raptor and the same guidescope/guiding camera combo, which mount performs better, your IEQ45 or your ZEQ25GT? Wisdom points to your IEQ45, but your reviews about your ZEQ25GT say maybe other history.

Thanks

Edited by Jesus Munoz (05/31/13 07:29 PM)


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Footbag]
      #5894948 - 05/31/13 08:02 PM Attachment (82 downloads)

Fantastic yet not surprising after spending a few weeks with it now just need more clear nights.

I'm finding it hard not to take great pictures with it here is the one single 4minute guided light i got before some clouds set in no darks just edited the single RAW file

Edited by leveye (05/31/13 08:12 PM)


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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: leveye]
      #5895071 - 05/31/13 09:23 PM

Ok, that is it. My cg5 is history. I'm getting one of these. I am waiting for the 2 inch tripod variant to come in. Would rather carry a few extra pounds for a bomb proof undercarriage. Ioptron says they should be in later in June.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5895184 - 05/31/13 10:30 PM

Quote:

It really is amazing what this mount can do.


<-- what he said....:)

Jesus, my particular iEQ45 performs better, but only because I have installed a TDM encoder on it. But in stock configuration with that setup, the ZEQ25 is smoother all day long and much more forgiving when autoguiding...it's basically plug n' play.

Chris, nice m51, now you're just showing off, a single sub, you stink....:)

Dan, you could do a lot worse...and the 2" only adds about 6 or 7 pounds to the total package.

Cheers all,

Paul


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crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5895655 - 06/01/13 08:59 AM

Dan, are you putting your 1100 Edge on it? If so let us know how it goes. I've been thinking of doing the same thing.

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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: crow]
      #5896098 - 06/01/13 01:55 PM

Other than as a stunt, no. It would be interesting to see how it performs, but it just seems dangerous to me!

Now, my es 127 cf might work well enough for visual. Astro with my sv 80 is really the target matchup. I want bomb proof no hassle tracking for that.

I'm keeping my eyes out for a heavy version of the zeq. If they came out with something designed for 45+ pound capacity, the Losmandy G11 would finally have some real competition. There is not much to choose from above the Cgem and below the Mach 1.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5896174 - 06/01/13 02:45 PM

Quote:

I'm keeping my eyes out for a heavy version of the zeq. If they came out with something designed for 45+ pound capacity, the Losmandy G11 would finally have some real competition. There is not much to choose from above the Cgem and below the Mach 1.




I already put it on my Christmas list, and I'm hoping it will have a precision Renishaw type encoder option too....;)


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crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5896468 - 06/01/13 05:26 PM

A heavier version for me too.

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: crow]
      #5896485 - 06/01/13 05:37 PM

The 45+ with the encoders is my next mount and if it's G11 pricing, it would be a real nice item.

Paul, did the encoders make a huge difference when guiding (with guidescope) your iEQ45?

Thanks,

Paul


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Edmond S.
member


Reged: 07/05/10

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: crow]
      #5896610 - 06/01/13 07:09 PM

Off topic to Paul: Does TDM worth the money ?

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Edmond S.
member


Reged: 07/05/10

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5896617 - 06/01/13 07:15 PM

Quote:


I'm keeping my eyes out for a heavy version of the zeq. If they came out with something designed for 45+ pound capacity, the Losmandy G11 would finally have some real competition. There is not much to choose from above the Cgem and below the Mach 1.




Me 2. I found that my CGEM is at its limit at 35lbs. If I can get a ZEQ of 45lbs version with less money than G11, I'd go for it. I was thinking about upgrading to G11 and luckily this comes along and I can hold on my plan for a while.


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Midnight Dan
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Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Edmond S.]
      #5902061 - 06/04/13 03:42 PM

So Paul ... hypothetical situation.

Someone steals your iEQ45 and your ZEQ25. You need an imaging mount and you have about 35 pounds of gear all in. You want to be able to image with a variety of scopes including long-ish focal lengths like a C8. I offer to give you, free of charge (so price is not a consideration), either an IEQ45 (no encoders) or a ZEQ25. Knowing what you now know about the ability to overload the ZEQ25, which one do you take as your only mount going forward and why?

-Dan


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rsbfoto
sage


Reged: 06/10/06

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: psandelle]
      #5902095 - 06/04/13 04:02 PM

Quote:

The 45+ with the encoders is my next mount and if it's G11 pricing, it would be a real nice item.

Paul, did the encoders make a huge difference when guiding (with guidescope) your iEQ45?

Thanks,

Paul




I do not have the ZEQ 25 yet, but would like to see a 60 to 70 pounds version.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: rsbfoto]
      #5902756 - 06/04/13 09:59 PM

For the comments referring to the TDM on the iEQ45, it definitely does turn it into an observatory class mount as far as tracking. Only a encoder on the RA axis, autoguiding handles DEC variation.

for Paul:

PecPrepRA_032613_iEQ45wTDM by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

for Edmond: yes, definitely worth every cent, especially if you have to track at long focal lengths.

Quote:

So Paul ... hypothetical situation.

Someone steals your iEQ45 and your ZEQ25. You need an imaging mount and you have about 35 pounds of gear all in. You want to be able to image with a variety of scopes including long-ish focal lengths like a C8. I offer to give you, free of charge (so price is not a consideration), either an IEQ45 (no encoders) or a ZEQ25. Knowing what you now know about the ability to overload the ZEQ25, which one do you take as your only mount going forward and why?


Now you're making it tough, but I would have to sell the AT10RC, buy a AT8RC and do all my imaging off a new ZEQ25GT.

Why? It can handle a 8" carbon fiber nicely, I can pick up the entire mount, including one counterweight and carry it 50 feet to my setup location. And it tracks like a dream without any additional assistance.

I would only image up to about the 20-25 pound limit though, and then I would buy the next iteration of the Z-Balanced mount for that hypothetical 35 pound payload...;)

Clear sky all...

Paul


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Midnight Dan
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Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5903338 - 06/05/13 07:42 AM

Good answer ... thanks! Interesting that you'd still want to keep to the 25 pound limit despite the overload capacity.

If this mount design is so good, you gotta wonder if it will eventually replace their traditional GEM line of mounts. Are there any downsides you can see that would make a person want to buy a traditional GEM instead?

-Dan


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5904488 - 06/05/13 06:22 PM

Quote:

If this mount design is so good, you gotta wonder if it will eventually replace their traditional GEM line of mounts. Are there any downsides you can see that would make a person want to buy a traditional GEM instead?




Dan, I think the iOptron GEM and CEM mounts will co-exist for a while yet. There are still those that are hesitant and cautious about 'change'.

Just look at WinXP vs Win7 and Win8. Even though the advantages of upgrading are well documented, some people just are comfortable with what they're familiar with.

The only downside I can think of at all, is in the 8408 hand controller, which is not as 'rich' in features as the 8407 on the GEM mounts. Of course, some software changes and an evolution in the hand controller could result in a "8409" hand controller, with a larger database, a hand controller heater, and a electronic balance routine I guess.

And a physically larger mount could result in enough room to add a RS232 port to the mount for PC control and imaging programs?

So, we all wait to see what the future has in store for iOptron's offerings, as well as all the other makers, now that the die has been cast....:) Where necessity has been called the mother of invention, it may well be that evolution and competition may be the new mother of invention.


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rkayakr
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Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5904742 - 06/05/13 09:26 PM

Paul
Unfortunately even the 8407 is maxed out. I asked about the polar alignment error reporting after star alignment feature that was dropped in the latest firmware update and iOptron tech support said that they had to drop it due to lack of memory space.
With CPU power and memory as inexpensive as they are today, I think that they may have made an unfortunate design decision. With apps like Sky Safari and laptop programs I think that the size of the database is less important than the handbox having a rich mount feature set.
Given their good customer support perhaps, a super 8409 will drive a number of existing mounts given the proper firmware.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5905055 - 06/06/13 12:04 AM

Quote:

Paul
Unfortunately even the 8407 is maxed out. I asked about the polar alignment error reporting after star alignment feature that was dropped in the latest firmware update and iOptron tech support said that they had to drop it due to lack of memory space.
With CPU power and memory as inexpensive as they are today, I think that they may have made an unfortunate design decision. With apps like Sky Safari and laptop programs I think that the size of the database is less important than the handbox having a rich mount feature set.
Given their good customer support perhaps, a super 8409 will drive a number of existing mounts given the proper firmware.




Good points all. I much prefer the previous Two Star align with a Polar Offset readout after.

However, one of the reasons iOptron dropped it, was because so many new users had problems wrapping their heads around it.

And also, without a properly aligned polar scope (to mount axis) and a proper mount zero position, they couldn't guarantee the results.

All that aside, if they are running out of room in the hand controller and boards, then there is always the option of installing a little 3~4" mini pier between the tripod and the mount base to house tons of electronics....?? That would also keep the electronics out of the elements.

Like, how about using a 64mb SD card in the mini pier to store all the firmware, and have it removable so you could just stick it in your PC SD port for a quick update with new firmware? Nah...that would be too easy.

Someone just needs to think 'out of the box' to solve all those issues. Imho.

Best,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (06/06/13 12:07 AM)


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AcTpoHoM
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Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: Bulgaria
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5905684 - 06/06/13 10:41 AM

In my opinion the mini pier would not be even necessary. Electronics are advancing in a very fast pace and iOptron should be able to fit more memory in the existing designs (size-wise). A super 8409, as you call it, might be the best course of action and it might even drop their production costs (having in mind that they would have to produce a single hand controller, instead of 2 or 3 versions). Additionally, if it supports all of their mounts, I do believe that many of us will be wishing to purchase it separately, just for the extra features we might get.

Business logic + their apparently great attention to customer happiness (:)) say that this will probably happen Personally, I'm looking forward to it, ASPA is the thing I miss the most since I switched to IEQ45 (8406 controller).


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Edmond S.
member


Reged: 07/05/10

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: AcTpoHoM]
      #5907509 - 06/07/13 08:55 AM

Paul,

One question regarding the design. Because of the Z design and the scope at the back of the pier/tripod, do you find that the limit is tighter for imaging pass meridian as the OTA may easily hit the tripod/pier ?

Edmond


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Edmond S.]
      #5907654 - 06/07/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

Paul,

One question regarding the design. Because of the Z design and the scope at the back of the pier/tripod, do you find that the limit is tighter for imaging pass meridian as the OTA may easily hit the tripod/pier ?

Edmond




Not really Edmond. In fact, because of the Z-Balanced design and the fact that the saddle is offset from the pivot point and in balance with the counterweight, there is actually more room between the camera/diagonal and the tripod at meridian. Note how far back the camera is from the center of the mount in this pic:


ZEQ25 imaging setup by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Since there is so much 'cushion', I have been imaging at 70 degrees + with the mount for the first time. I wouldn't even try that with the iEQ45 until I added a 8" mini pier for clearance.

Although you can set the hand controller to 'Continue' tracking past the meridian, at some point the camera would contact a rear leg..I normally image up to the meridian and when I hear the warning beep from the controller that meridian has been reached, I let the current exposure finish up and then do a flip.

At meridian, with the AT6RC on the 1.5" tripod, there is approximately 3" of clearance between the camera and the leg.

With a smaller OTA with less length, like this 60mm setup, it could probably track through the meridian for over an hour due to the increased clearance.


IMG_4836 by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Hope the info helps,

Best,

Paul


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txairman
member


Reged: 04/18/11

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5907851 - 06/07/13 12:29 PM

Would this mount be sufficient for visual with 8SE (2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces)? I'd like to give SE mount to my son's telescope and use ZEQ25 as main visual, occasional wide-field AP mount with 8SE OTA.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: txairman]
      #5908414 - 06/07/13 05:31 PM

Quote:

Would this mount be sufficient for visual with 8SE (2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces)? I'd like to give SE mount to my son's telescope and use ZEQ25 as main visual, occasional wide-field AP mount with 8SE OTA.




I think the 8SE will weigh in around 25 pounds with a 2" diagonal and EP, so sure, that's fine for visual. You will need an additional counterweight for 25 pounds of payload.

I just received the additional counterweight, it's counterbored, so it slips over the safety stop an additional 1.5~2.0 inches for added leverage. Very nice touch.

Clear skies,

Paul


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txairman
member


Reged: 04/18/11

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5908576 - 06/07/13 07:04 PM

I just weighed OTA with 2" accessories it was 16 lbs. So I guess it should be fine for visual.

Thanks!

Quote:


I think the 8SE will weigh in around 25 pounds with a 2" diagonal and EP, so sure, that's fine for visual. You will need an additional counterweight for 25 pounds of payload.

I just received the additional counterweight, it's counterbored, so it slips over the safety stop an additional 1.5~2.0 inches for added leverage. Very nice touch.

Clear skies,

Paul




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Aaron Worley
member


Reged: 10/21/05

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: txairman]
      #5908610 - 06/07/13 07:22 PM

Hello,

I have a Celestron 8SE on my ZEQ25GT and I'm happy with the pair for visual use, even with heavy 2" eyepieces.

I also have a Celestron 9.25 SCT and that was pretty wobbly on this mount, it would take a long time to settle and it made focusing difficult.

Hope that helps,
Aaron


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rsbfoto
sage


Reged: 06/10/06

Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: Aaron Worley]
      #5908687 - 06/07/13 08:07 PM

I got the mount today at noon and it is up and running. nothing mysterious.

2 Tak scopes side by side 1x FS78 and 1x SKY90 SV side by side.

Look at the image

http://astroforo.net/astro/zeq25/zeq25gt-01.jpg

THe counterweight is 16.5 lbs.

I am very happy with it. Having owned a Losmandy GM-8 I say tis better quality at third of the price. OK. The Gemini system is far ahead of the 8408 hand controller of the iOptron ZEQ 25GT


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zjc26138
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Reged: 02/24/05

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Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: rsbfoto]
      #5908735 - 06/07/13 08:38 PM

Beautiful setup Rainer!

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Overload result on ZEQ25GT, 60 + pounds. new [Re: zjc26138]
      #5908746 - 06/07/13 08:47 PM

I got the mount today at noon and it is up and running. nothing mysterious.

Very nice setup Rainer, make sure the tension screws are not bottomed out when tracking, otherwise, you may get a 'overcurrent' message under load.

All the way in, and backed out 2 turns is the normal starting spot.

The 8408 handset is marginal, to say the least, but it will get the job done, and is very easy to navigate.

Clear skies, looking forward to your first light experience...

Paul


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