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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Alfred Tan
sage


Reged: 10/25/09

Loc: Singapore
iOptron CEM60, First Impressions
      #6339874 - 01/27/14 10:43 PM

Here is a report from Singapore.

1. The package of 3 boxes (CEM60, CW and iEQ45 tripod) arrived on 26 Jan 14. Mine is Serial No CA10005. PE Curve, measured by encoder is 0.300 arcsec RMS. It was dispatched from China on 24 Jan 14. The following are pictures and comments on my experience in unpacking and setting it up.

2. The items were delivered without a user guide. The user guide is expected soon. iOptron has asked the first batch of testers to give feedback on their experience.

3. Packing and transportation box – Excellent.

4. Quality of product – Excellent physical condition.

5. My experience in setting up:

a. The setting up is straight forward for a GEM user. Some points to note are listed below.

b. RA and DEC locks – these are of a new design. The gear switch uses magnetic force and will be either at lock or disengage status. To lock, simply turn it to “engage” position. To unlock to “disengage”. CAUTION: Make sure you place your other hand on the mount head to support it when you set to “disengage” position because the mount head may fall down under gravity.

c. Fitting CW bar - The fitting of the CW bar needs a little more care and attention. At an optimal angle(shown in image below), it can be done relatively easily.

d. Enagaging the Gear. To operate the mount, the RA and DEC locks must be placed in OPERATIONAL POSITION(a term I coined) – where the gear switch is full engaged for mount movement under power. This is how Kevin at iOptron explains this position: “Turn clockwise to release the gear switch. Turn counterclockwise all the way out then turn clockwise half a turn to engage the gear.” CAUTION: It is important to set the knob properly to the OPERATIONAL POSITION to prevent damage to the gear when the mount moves under power. This is my interpretation of the “engage” and “disengage” positions and settings for operation:

(1) Engage position – the knob has to be turned fully counterclockwise, RA/DEC axis mechanically locked.
(2) Disengage position – the knob has to be turned fully clockwise, RA/DEC axis is released and free to move. This position is used for balancing.
(3) OPERATIONAL POSITION – the knob has to be turned clockwise half a turn from the “engage” position.

6. Operating Experience.

a. I did a one-star alignment on Sirius. Aligning was straightforward and mount goes to selected target reasonably accurate with a 24mm EP on a Megrez 90 scope.

b. PHD guiding – East-West/Norh-South calibration was a breeze. Clearing backlash was also straight forward. Unfortunately autoguiding failed because mount was drifting.

7. Major problem experienced - The mount drifts in RA in easterly direction in Track mode. When I switched off tracking (by pressing 0/Stop button on HC), object drift as expected in the Westerly direction. When I select Track mode (press 0/Stop button one more time), object drifts in the opposite direction to the East. It appears that the mount is applying the wrong correction to track the objects. I am working with iOptron to establish the cause of the problem. Investigation is in progress. I have used Sirius and Jupiter as test targets. With a 24mm EP on Megrez 90 scope, the drift across the entire field of fov of the 24mm EP is:

(1) Sirius – 8 mins 45 sec.
(2) Jupiter – about 9 mins 10 sec.

8. Firmware info on my 8407:

a. HC – 140119

b. Main – 140115

c. RA and DEC – 140121

Welcome feedback and other reports

---------------------------------------
Now the pictures and comments:

1. Shipment boxes.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/1_shipment%20boxes_tripod_CW_Mou...

2. Contents of the mount box.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2_Content%20Mount%20Box.jpg

3. Content of the mount box – items taken out.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2a_Content%20Mount%20box.jpg

4. Mount Head and CW – front view.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2b1_Mount%20Head.jpg

5. Mount head – left side view
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2b_%20Mount%20Head.jpg

6. CW bar.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2b_CW%20bar.jpg

7. CW knob, mount head knobs and box keys
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2c_CW%20n%20mount%20head%20knobs...

8. Power adapter
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2d_%20power%20adapter.jpg

9. Hand controller cable and another cable.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2e_HC%20and%20pulse%20cables.jpg

10. Hand controller
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2f_8407HC.jpg

11. Battery cable and serial cable.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/2g_battery%20n%20232%20cable.jpg

12. CW
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/3_Cw.jpg

13. Tripod
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/4_iEQ45%20Tripod.jpg

14. Install bolts for Mount head, remove the North reference pin - it is not needed.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/5a_Remove%20North%20pin%20n%20In...

15. Mount on tripod.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/5b_Mount%20on%20tripod.jpg

16. Mount on tripod – securing bolt installed (on leveling bubble side)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/5c_level%20bubble.jpg

17. Mount on tripod – securing bolt installed (on compass side)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/5d_compass.jpg

18. The lower red knob is for latitude setting adjustment.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/5e_latitude%20adjustment%20knob.jpg

19. The infamous gear switch knob. (NEW Design)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/6_RA%20lock_caution_support%20he...

20. Remember to tighten this back securing screw to prevent it hitting the mount
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/6a_tighten%20screw_caution_preve...

21. I find this is a good position to install the CW bar for the first time.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/6b_fit%20CW%20bar.jpg

22. Right-side view of mount installed on tripod.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/6c_Mount%20set%20up%20(right%20v...

23. Left-side view of mount installed on the tripod.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/6d_Mount%20set%20up%20(left%20vi...

24. Front view of mount installed on tripod.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/6e_Mount%20set%20up%20(front%20v...


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6339923 - 01/27/14 11:25 PM

The instructions for engaging the worm are EXACTLY the same as those for the Paramount ME.

Congrats on new mount and I hope the problem gets resolved soon. Probably some minor code glitch


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6339925 - 01/27/14 11:27 PM

Nice looking! Like the metallic red. Thanks for the photos, though take some time to open them.

For drifting, is there a tracking speed selection?


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6339959 - 01/27/14 11:44 PM

Very nice report Alfred, and excellent images. I downloaded a few from your Yahoo post and I am really enjoying looking at them.

Aside from the minor firmware glitch, ie; failure to track. One thing I noticed was that the mount did not come equipped with a thread on power connector. That's a shame, since the mount receptacle is still threaded for one.

Also, the cable between the RA and DEC axes has been improved over the original coiled cable, which could have been problematic.

Now I really want the CEM60 and CEM60 EC to hit the USA..;)

The supplied periodic error report of .30 arc seconds on your EC model is right in line with what iOptron estimated. Now to fix the tracking issue so you can confirm it.

Thanks again for the nice report, looking forward to more information as you put the mount through it's paces.

Best..Paul


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6340095 - 01/28/14 01:52 AM

Thanks very much for your report and excellent pictures. I hope you will keep posting to this thread as you use it more.

What is the heaviest rig you are planning to mount on it? I'm wondering if it will need CW bar extension or extra weights.


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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6340148 - 01/28/14 02:59 AM Attachment (109 downloads)

Congrats Alfred. Engraving should have capitalized 'S' in Singapore; come-on iOprton, you could've done better than that? Regards

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Ranger Tim
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/25/08

Loc: SE Idaho, USA
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: mmalik]
      #6340173 - 01/28/14 04:11 AM

I would put up with cuss words on the nameplate for .30 arcseconds!

Thanks for the extremely detailed first look. This is going to be an interesting ride....


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Alfred Tan
sage


Reged: 10/25/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Ranger Tim]
      #6340273 - 01/28/14 06:42 AM

Hi all,

Thank you for your kind comments. Previously I have received excellent technical support from Kevin and John (iOptron Tech Support) for iEQ45 and Smart EQ mounts. I am confident that they are also fully behind the support for the CEM 60. My specific reply to:

Bluejay08's question - For drifting, is there a tracking speed selection?

Experienced drift in tracking drift in both sidereal and solar modes. The HC also has Lunar speed, King speed (don’t know what this is) and user defined speeds.

---------
Paul – Yes, agree with you that the power connector can be improved with one with a thread. I hope iOptron is listening

--------
Dvb's question - What is the heaviest rig you are planning to mount on it? I'm wondering if it will need CW bar extension or extra weights.

The CEM 60 should be able to handle my Meade LX200R (OTA is 12.5kg), the heaviest OTA in my inventory for imaging. The CEM 60 comes with a 10kg CW. I use my iEQ45 CW with my Megrez 90.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20796390/7a_Megrez90_on_CEM60.jpg

So I can use the iEQ45 CW with the CEM60 CW if I have to use a bigger scope.

-------
Mmalik - Engraving should have capitalized 'S' in Singapore
It was an error in the engraving process. Hope to get another one with Singapore on it

--------
Ranger Tim – while the PE measured at encoder end is 0.3 arcsec rms, I would need to test its tracking errors with real objects


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6340278 - 01/28/14 06:49 AM

I wonder if the adjustable CW shaft angle introduces some flex at that point.If this is the case, I suspect this will affect people without encoders more than the ones who have encoders.

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nomosnow
sage


Reged: 03/21/11

Loc: Fort Saskatchewan,Ab ,Canada
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6340954 - 01/28/14 01:01 PM

I see that there is a stick on bubble level???

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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: nomosnow]
      #6341308 - 01/28/14 03:39 PM

Very pretty.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: mmalik]
      #6341441 - 01/28/14 04:48 PM

Quote:

Congrats Alfred. Engraving should have capitalized 'S' in Singapore; come-on iOprton, you could've done better than that? Regards




I see that the plate is easily replaceable so they can re-do it if you want.

I have decided that if I have mine engraved I will have them engrave it with 馬 午

Seems fitting. Look forward to seeing more of your results.


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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6341489 - 01/28/14 05:17 PM

Alfred,

What is the diameter of the counterweight shaft? I am wondering about compatibility with other mount counterweights.


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Alfred Tan
sage


Reged: 10/25/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6341668 - 01/28/14 07:08 PM

Hi All,

Thanks for your comments/questions.

Dan - diameter of the CW shaft is 28mm.

Nomosnow - "stick on bubble" - My equipment are placed on a open roof top. You must have seen a broom stick in the corner of the roof top. LOL.

WhichwayisNorth - the small "s" on the plate is a small matter Main effort is to get mount working and test it

Hilmi - flexure at adjustable CW shaft - I am also new to this type of setup. I will report my findings on the tracking errors

Cheers.

Alfred


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6341752 - 01/28/14 07:50 PM

My initial thoughts after seeing the images and zoomed in. The fit and finish leaves a lot to be desired. Lots of trash in the paint, weld spots are ugly and some of the seams don't line up very well. These are not cheap mounts and I would have expected better. Not just for the money but also because whoever gets the first ones and posts photos are going to set the tone. Hopefully we will see some other photos soon.

I also agree that the way the counter weight bar is attached looks really iffy.


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6341763 - 01/28/14 07:56 PM

I hope this issue gets worked out. I'm super interested. I'd love to get an idea of how this mount compares to the Mach 1 size wise. Can you take a picture of it right next to the AP mount?

Edited by Wmacky (01/28/14 08:06 PM)


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6341993 - 01/28/14 10:12 PM

I did not see the weld spots :-) I think it is die-cast body.

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whwang
sage


Reged: 03/20/13

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6342031 - 01/28/14 10:37 PM

Hi,

Thank you for the report. It looks like the mount comes with an aluminum
carry case. Is this standard in the package? Or you pay extra to get the case?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6342063 - 01/28/14 10:55 PM

Quote:

Hi,

Thank you for the report. It looks like the mount comes with an aluminum
carry case. Is this standard in the package? Or you pay extra to get the case?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao




The fitted case ships with the mount, or should I say, the mount ships in it, it is standard equipment. A very nice touch.

Regards...Paul


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6342072 - 01/28/14 11:02 PM

Quote:

I did not see the weld spots :-) I think it is die-cast body.




It is a cast part. The 'holes' or depressions I think he is referring to is a result of injecting the alloy at those points.

They could be polished off I guess, but now we're talking extra time and extra $$$ for little more than cosmetics

Now, other upper end mounts, like the Avalons and others are CNC machined from a solid block of alloy, and don't show any marks except the mill pattern in the finish. Some people don't like the milled finish either.

Bottom line, the paint finish on my iEQ45, ZEQ25, Smart EQ Pro and Mini Tower Pro has never prevented me from observing or imaging with them all, so I guess it really doesn't matter unless you're a collector who only plans on looking at the mount during daylight hours?

Just my humble opinion...Paul


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6342081 - 01/28/14 11:08 PM

Quote:

I also agree that the way the counter weight bar is attached looks really iffy.




The z-balanced mounts use that setup, and it's very useful for users like Alfred who image close to 0 degrees latitude.

You can adjust the shaft out and away from the mount for counterweight clearance. Notice in the image how close the counterweight is at the top of the shaft to the mount, and it still clears.

The ZEQ25 has the same setup, and I've been using it for over a year with absolutely ZERO issues with shaft flexure, and that's with two counterweights on the mount.

I don't expect the CEM60 to be any different, it's a non-issue.

Cheers...Paul


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herrointment
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Reged: 03/12/11

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6342160 - 01/29/14 12:09 AM

The paint job IS lacking....many of these products have paint that looks chalky or uncured or just "off". The kicked up chunks in the paint is just sloppy.

I agree it doesn't matter a whole lot.


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: herrointment]
      #6342193 - 01/29/14 12:53 AM

Dear client please select 3 items from the following list, due to price restrictions we can only give you 3 out of the list:
1) Excellent paint job
2) Pretty looking assembly
3) Machined single block aluminium components
4) Outstanding native uncorrected PE
5) Minimum backlash
6) Load carrying capacity same as what is stated on the tin
7) Encoders to reduce reliance on guiding and further improve the tracking ability
8) Ability to setup at wide range of latitudes all the way down to 0 degrees.
9) Easy to use hand controller


I wonder how many people given that list to choose from would go for the combination of No. 1, 2 and 6 if they had budget restrictions. I suspect most of the target market for the CEM60 would buy it for the theoretical tracking performance vs. price


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6342204 - 01/29/14 01:05 AM

Quote:

Dear client please select 3 items from the following list, due to price restrictions we can only give you 3 out of the list:
1) Excellent paint job
2) Pretty looking assembly
3) Machined single block aluminium components
4) Outstanding native uncorrected PE
5) Minimum backlash
6) Load carrying capacity same as what is stated on the tin
7) Encoders to reduce reliance on guiding and further improve the tracking ability
8) Ability to setup at wide range of latitudes all the way down to 0 degrees.
9) Easy to use hand controller


I wonder how many people given that list to choose from would go for the combination of No. 1, 2 and 6 if they had budget restrictions. I suspect most of the target market for the CEM60 would buy it for the theoretical tracking performance vs. price




If it were a $1500-2500.00 mount I would agree.


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Pak]
      #6342214 - 01/29/14 01:12 AM

It is once you remove the encoders.

Find me a mount with encoders meant for tracking accuracy and not purely for pointing at this price point. A good way to look at it is to look at the price of the non encoder version of CEM60 and then add the cost of adding a telescope drive master unit to it. Suddenly it becomes clear that the price point is not so high after all.


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6342225 - 01/29/14 01:24 AM

I guess I'm not seeing the cosmetic problem. Looks like a beauty to me.

The angle on the CW shaft does look odd - it will be interesting to see how it looks at a more Northerly altitude -e.g. 45º to 55º.


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Alfred Tan
sage


Reged: 10/25/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: dvb]
      #6342513 - 01/29/14 07:40 AM

Hi,

iOptron has advised me that the tracking drift is most probably due to a firmware bug. The iOptron team in China has gone for a Lunar New Year break. I will update this forum after I have received the firmware update after they return to work on 7 Feb 14.

I believe we will soon be hearing from our US friends get their CEM60EC

Alfred


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6342659 - 01/29/14 09:42 AM

Thank you for sharing these photos and for the report!
Congratulations on your new mount!


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LPA
newbie


Reged: 01/28/14

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6342665 - 01/29/14 09:45 AM

Alfred,

Thanks for the info and pics. I agree that mount is a beauty. I especially like the large latitude scale and reference marks on the latitude adjustment knob. They will be useful when traveling to and from a dark site. One nick given to the iEQ30 in Sky&Tel's review, and something I experience with mine, is the long time for its GPS to connect. Can you comment on how long it takes the CEM60's GPS to connect?

LPA


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crow
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Reged: 07/09/12

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: LPA]
      #6342834 - 01/29/14 11:01 AM

Interesting mount for sure. I have a feeling they are rushing these a bit though.

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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6342869 - 01/29/14 11:18 AM

Quote:

The iOptron team in China has gone for a Lunar New Year break. I will update this forum after I have received the firmware update after they return to work on 7 Feb 14.




With the release of a product that is supposed to rival Mach1, they should have had folks working on it 24x7 and in multiple countries; this is something that would be expected of Meade (people going on vacation I mean), not iOptron. Come on folks, Mach1 isn't going to get challenged like that. Regards


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: mmalik]
      #6342905 - 01/29/14 11:37 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The iOptron team in China has gone for a Lunar New Year break. I will update this forum after I have received the firmware update after they return to work on 7 Feb 14.




With the release of a product that is supposed to rival Mach1, they should have had folks working on it 24x7 and in multiple countries; this is something that would be expected of Meade (people going on vacation I mean), not iOptron. Come on folks, Mach1 isn't going to get challenged like that. Regards




Did you see iOptron mention that the CEM60 would rival the Mach1? Your table showing comparative numbers is all I've seen. I say keep the price down and don't have the software people in 24/7.


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Phillip Easton
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Reged: 12/24/10

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: crow]
      #6343055 - 01/29/14 12:45 PM

While I appreciate the early reports I think we all should remember that the mount is not generally available for sale on their site. I would consider the people getting these early mounts as beta testers since it is not for sale on their website yet. I don't think they are rushing this out. If they are only seeing a couple of minor issues in firmware, etc. at this point in the process I think this is not a bad thing. These can be corrected, however major mechanical flaws where it could not achieve stated performance would be another. Further, if these mounts were generally available then yes a faster response would be expected.

As far as comparing to a Mach 1 remember you are comparing a $2500 mount versus a $6300 mount. The stated spec for PE is 10 arc-sec versus 7. Load for the CEM60 is 60 lbs versus the 45 for the Mach 1. Plus when you add the encoders it is still less than $4000 but with potentially greater performance. So while these may be in a similar class spec wise there have to be reasons for the difference in cost. I imagine location of the manufacturer is a big one. A lower standard of fit and finish may be another. In the end we just have to decide what we are willing to accept and how much we are willing to spend for it.

Cheers!
Phillip


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6343160 - 01/29/14 01:38 PM

"potentially greater performance?"

probably not. My trained PE after PEM is 0.42" peak to peak.

so at best, equivalent PE. but the mount is about way more than just PE. because if PE was the be-all and end-all, everybody would have an Atlas with a TDM on it.


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mmalik
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6343177 - 01/29/14 01:42 PM

Quote:

I say keep the price down and don't have the software people in 24/7.




Not getting the point Mike; rivaling Mach1 or not, at this early stage it is not about keeping price down, it is about discipline. 24/7 for beta testers is different from 24/7 for public; and staffing in typical sense is not what I am referring to. I think you get the point. Regards


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6343375 - 01/29/14 03:15 PM

Quote:

Hi,

iOptron has advised me that the tracking drift is most probably due to a firmware bug. The iOptron team in China has gone for a Lunar New Year break. I will update this forum after I have received the firmware update after they return to work on 7 Feb 14.

I believe we will soon be hearing from our US friends get their CEM60EC

Alfred




I wish the iOptron staff "Gong Xi Fa Cai" and a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Horse!


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PeterR280
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: dvb]
      #6343670 - 01/29/14 05:00 PM

I don't know why they continue to use telephone jacks for connectors in Chinese mounts. Price can't be that much cheaper.

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Art43
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6344309 - 01/29/14 11:28 PM

It is my understanding that this particular mount has ASCOM drivers. Did you try to use the remote iOptron software to set up and operate the mount. The process of using ASCOM could be used to further isolate the problem, if the mount works with a PC operating it and not the Hand Paddle Controller.

And then again, I am just throwing out suggestions without real merit.

Regards,

A


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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6344345 - 01/29/14 11:49 PM

The lunar new year (aka chinese new year) is quite big in chinese culture. You can think it is the chinese version of the christmas holidays. Most people do not work during the new year vacation, except for those working on extremely essential things (public transportation, security, etc). Even the stock market is closed, and very little business is going on. People can spend days to travel thousand(s) of miles just to get together with their family.

If iOptron's core development team is in china, it is almost certain that their service will be temporarily unavailable during these days. Building another development team in a country that do not have chinese new year? Sure, but then the mount would cost substantially more.

If my telescope has some problem, I would also want the fastest service. However, if the vendor tells me that I will have to wait for a few days because their staff are with their family during the christmas holidays, I would fully respect that.


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6344832 - 01/30/14 10:20 AM

Wow... It looks like iOptron has a good base of fan boys. When Meade's released their latest mount everybody was very verbose about the quality of their first batch. In practical terms this mount was DOA, no way quality control couldn't spot such a basic flaw.

Regardless of what the mount offers compared to other mounts, it's a 4K puppy, it should work right away, at least it should track, do accurate goto's and autoguide.

Cheers,

Jose


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #6344866 - 01/30/14 10:41 AM

I'm also curious about the 0.3" RMS. If they had actually measured this particular mount with PEMPro, the wrong sidereal tracking speed would be immediately obvious.

That 0.3" RMS might be the output of the encoder which was measured "in the lab" not against a real star.

What this looks like is that the sidereal rate in the firmware was improperly programmed, so the mount is being driven at the wrong rate.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #6344890 - 01/30/14 11:00 AM

Hi guys,

I signed up as a tester for the pre-production model. I also did the same on the iEQ45. So I am prepared to encounter problems associated with a production that is under development Answers to the following:

LPA's question: Can you comment on how long it takes the CEM60's GPS to connect? It took under 1 minute to lock on the GPS sats, very consistently, faster than my iEQ45.

Art43's question: Did you try to use the remote iOptron software to set up and operate the mount? No, I haven't done that.

I have put the CEM60 aside for the time to concentrate on getting a Radio Jove system working Will get back to CEM60 when iOptron send me the firmware patch.


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LPA
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6345025 - 01/30/14 12:11 PM

Alfred,

Thanks for the reply and good luck on Radio Jove. No more questions from me. Re: fan boys...hindsight is usually 20/20. What iOptron should have done was to have initial testers sign an NDA so that initial feedback would only go to iOptron, not to the WWW. I recognize Alfred is working with a pre-production model and software, so I'm not concerned about the tracking bug. I do lots of programming and I know how these things happen. This very likely is a one line fix. I can't afford to spend $10K+ on a mount for my 8" EdgeHD. I just want to do some less than hard core AP with my gear along with observing, and the CEM60 has a very attractive feature set among its price point competitors.

LPA


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: LPA]
      #6345169 - 01/30/14 01:27 PM

Since the CEM60 is not currently available for public consumption it isn't as if the public can get beta unit. There are a few of us who get to test the pre-production models and I think it will work to their advantage if any issues are brought to light, discussed openly, and addressed to the satisfaction of all.

We know Alfred has a glitch with his firmware and we know now that when they are available retail that this glitch will be fixed.

Testers in North America will be getting their units in the second week of February. iOptron is taking the testing very seriously and taking their time with the product release. I think they are doing it right. We don't need another LX800 or LX80 type thread.


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6345501 - 01/30/14 04:11 PM

Quote:

Since the CEM60 is not currently available for public consumption it isn't as if the public can get beta unit. There are a few of us who get to test the pre-production models and I think it will work to their advantage if any issues are brought to light, discussed openly, and addressed to the satisfaction of all.

We know Alfred has a glitch with his firmware and we know now that when they are available retail that this glitch will be fixed.

Testers in North America will be getting their units in the second week of February. iOptron is taking the testing very seriously and taking their time with the product release. I think they are doing it right. We don't need another LX800 or LX80 type thread.




Agree. I didn't read the OT carefully enough to understand that the mount was a test unit , my bad. Since iOptron is stating that the mount would be available this month I thought it was a production unit.

Cheers,

Jose

Edited by tjugo (01/30/14 04:47 PM)


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #6345540 - 01/30/14 04:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Since the CEM60 is not currently available for public consumption it isn't as if the public can get beta unit. There are a few of us who get to test the pre-production models and I think it will work to their advantage if any issues are brought to light, discussed openly, and addressed to the satisfaction of all.

We know Alfred has a glitch with his firmware and we know now that when they are available retail that this glitch will be fixed.

Testers in North America will be getting their units in the second week of February. iOptron is taking the testing very seriously and taking their time with the product release. I think they are doing it right. We don't need another LX800 or LX80 type thread.




Agree. I didn't read the OT carefully enough to understand that the mount was a test unit , my bad. Since iOptron is stating that the mount would be available this mount I thought it was a production unit.

Cheers,

Jose




True, it is in beta test mode, but still iOptron should have had an NDA/do not talk agreement. Even though things are in beta, folks are seeing all the early warts and people can be confused in the wild west of the internet. And there are early negative points posted even though it is a beta mount. Google iOptron CEM60 an you start to see all the comments out there, good and bad. If I were iOptron I would be going "YIKES"!

Should the early release of the LX80 been an open beta type mount? That would have cured a lot of ills, lol.

Looks like a cool mount though. But as they say…stay tuned!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6345588 - 01/30/14 04:56 PM

They need to take a page from Team Celestron and have beta tester only accessible forums where testers can test, troubleshoot, and retest. I haven't seen any legitimate negative info about this mount yet. Nothing that can't be remedied before it hits retail shelves. I am also glad there are testers not silenced by an NDA. Believe me, I have been under such an NDA had have no intention of ever doing that again.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6345615 - 01/30/14 05:07 PM

What I would really love is if they would put a low res encoder on the DEC to help with pointing and alignment. Doesn't have to be the same expensive encoder that is on the RA. Just something to allow us to loosen the clutches and move it any which way without losing alignment. Also it would be able to reduce pointing errors. Just thinking out loud here.

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6345814 - 01/30/14 07:00 PM

Quote:

Experienced drift in tracking drift in both sidereal and solar modes. The HC also has Lunar speed, King speed (don’t know what this is) and user defined speeds.




Alfred,

I thought King tracking speed was solar speed but found that it is named after late 19th, early 20th century Harvard astronomer Edward Skinner King to account for the effects of refection in astrophotography, his speciality.

here is a link

Mike


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: LPA]
      #6346532 - 01/31/14 05:47 AM

Quote:

Alfred,

Re: fan boys...hindsight is usually 20/20. What iOptron should have done was to have initial testers sign an NDA so that initial feedback would only go to iOptron, not to the WWW.
LPA




Hi LPA,

This is the notice from iOptron when I signed up to test their first batch:

We appreciate your feedback/comments on the test unit; however you are not obligated to do so. You are not required [to get] a permission from iOptron to publish your reviews on the test unit anywhere and anytime.

iOptron is aware that reviews reporting bugs on test units may have negative publicity. On the other hand, reviews of the test units, if done objectively can also generate more interest in their new product.

So they must have been confident of their product and also the testers


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6346535 - 01/31/14 05:55 AM

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the link. I have not used this before so it will be an interesting learning process for me

Alfred


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6346539 - 01/31/14 06:03 AM

Quote:

I'm also curious about the 0.3" RMS. If they had actually measured this particular mount with PEMPro, the wrong sidereal tracking speed would be immediately obvious.

That 0.3" RMS might be the output of the encoder which was measured "in the lab" not against a real star.

What this looks like is that the sidereal rate in the firmware was improperly programmed, so the mount is being driven at the wrong rate.




Hi Orly,

Thanks for sharing your comments. You are absolutely right. I have attached the errors measured at the encoder's output.

Alfred


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6346544 - 01/31/14 06:12 AM

Hi,

This is the PE curve for my mount. I tried attaching the jpeg file . Somehow it did not appear in my reply to Orly.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EFHJtf7nM1s/UusVC3PYa0I/AAAAAAAAJCg/ZdrRvqISs7o/s16...

It was measured at the output of the encoder.

Alfred


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mmalik
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6346863 - 01/31/14 10:14 AM Attachment (30 downloads)

Quote:

This is the PE curve for my mount...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EFHJtf7nM1s/UusVC3PYa0I/AAAAAAAAJCg/ZdrRvqISs7o/s16...

It was measured at the output of the encoder.




Embedding your curve, hope you wouldn't mind?


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mmalik
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6346871 - 01/31/14 10:19 AM

Quote:

It was measured at the output of the encoder.




Can you elaborate what you mean by "at the output of encoder"? Is that a physical port? Would that make it RA output only? Regards


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: mmalik]
      #6346983 - 01/31/14 11:09 AM

I assume that's the calibration master encoder they use at the factory.

If however it is the output of the internal encoder.. then I would be very wary of the actual figure.

That said, using my own encoder project I was able to achieve about +/- 2". The above graph shows roughly +/- 1". So definitely achievable.

However what I found in my own encoder project is that the low PE is not the entire story, because of variable sidereal rate across different areas of the sky. You would still end up needing to guide for >10 minute exposures.

As a mechanism to knock down PE to < 1" it is a useful tool, but it does not remove the need to guide.


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rkayakr
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6347109 - 01/31/14 12:11 PM

Quote:


because of variable sidereal rate across different areas of the sky. You would still end up needing to guide for >10 minute exposures.





Does using the King tracking rate compensate for the apparent variable sidereal rate difference you mention?


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6347218 - 01/31/14 01:12 PM

No because the King rate varies with hour angle and declination following a very complex formula.

The King rate most mounts support is the average King rate which is based on a day being 86188 seconds (as opposed to the sidereal day of 86164 seconds and the solar day of 86400 seconds).

I would be very surprised if this mount calculates the instantaneous King rate. I know of no mounts not even high end ones which do so.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6347536 - 01/31/14 04:25 PM

Gday OrlyAndico

Quote:

I would be very surprised if this mount calculates the instantaneous King rate. I know of no mounts not even high end ones which do so.




Pretty sure the LX200s do when AltAz, but i would need to reconfirm my notes.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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frolinmod
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6347882 - 01/31/14 07:10 PM

Quote:

The instructions for engaging the worm are EXACTLY the same as those for the Paramount ME.



The worm cover even looks exactly like the ME worm cover. I suppose that's the end of the similarity though.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6363108 - 02/07/14 11:05 PM

Alfred, any update on the firmware bug?

I just received my invoice for the mount from iOptron, it will ship next week and I'm wondering if I'll be able to track with it?

Regards...Paul


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6364537 - 02/08/14 05:36 PM

Quote:

Alfred, any update on the firmware bug?
I just received my invoice for the mount from iOptron, it will ship next week and I'm wondering if I'll be able to track with it?

Regards...Paul




Hi Paul,

They are still working on it The last update from iOptron - [The drift should be at the firmware end. I left a message to the development team that the top priority when they resume to work on Saturday should be the firmware.

The shipment to USA will be onshore LA on Sunday.]

Hope the firmware fix will be out when you get yours

Hope to hear from you guys


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6364960 - 02/08/14 09:43 PM

Quote:

They are still working on it The last update from iOptron - [The drift should be at the firmware end. I left a message to the development team that the top priority when they resume to work on Saturday should be the firmware.




Thank you Alfred, that is encouraging news. I'm really not too worried about a problem that obvious, it will probably take someone about 15 minutes to find the code error and correct it.

Yes, the container ship lands tomorrow in LA, hopefully I will see the mount by the end of next week.

Best...Paul


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6371538 - 02/12/14 01:15 AM

Latest update from iOptron: They have fixed the bug and are testing the firmware now. Unfortunately weather has gone South.

I have also offered to test it. So everyone should be getting the upgraded firmware soon. Stay tuned

Alfred


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6371610 - 02/12/14 03:13 AM

Any idea if the tracking bug was triggered by your proximity to the equator? I'm just curious as I would have assumed that before beta testing, such a bug should have been visible in Alpha testing, therefore I am assuming that geographic location of testing affects some calculations in the mount.

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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6371669 - 02/12/14 05:37 AM

Quote:

Any idea if the tracking bug was triggered by your proximity to the equator? I'm just curious as I would have assumed that before beta testing, such a bug should have been visible in Alpha testing, therefore I am assuming that geographic location of testing affects some calculations in the mount.




Hi Hilmi,

I don't have any clue. I am just waiting to test the mount. Hope to get the fix soon The important thing is the Tech Support is very responsive and I am certain, like others who have encountered their support that things will be resolved soon.

Alfred


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Milosz
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6372114 - 02/12/14 11:29 AM

Hello Everybody,

I have C14 and I am considering CEM60 as a portable mount for planetary imaging trips near equator. My OTA and planetary imaging equipment should weigh between 50-55 lbs (23-25 kg).

A question to guys having CEM60 (Alfred and Paul):

Do you think CEM60 can handle such setup?

Would it be prcatical providing I can shelter the setup from the wind?

Clear skies
Milosz


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NightRyder
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Milosz]
      #6372554 - 02/12/14 03:13 PM

Milosz,

Although the CEM60 is indeed a beefy mount, it is rated at 60lbs. I dont think it would be "ideal" to push any mount to 90-95% of its weight capacity while being used for astrophotography... You simply are not going to get the optimum results. However, being that you are planetary imaging and therefore do not require long exposure, it may be possible.

Alfred or Paul having direct experience with the CEM60 may chime in with a different opinion, and theirs would be better founded, but I think 55lbs would be pushing it for photographic use.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: NightRyder]
      #6372645 - 02/12/14 04:00 PM

Milosz, my mount is someplace in Los Angeles and the East coast? I do not have it yet, sorry. I'm not too sad about that, since we're expecting 8-12" of additional snow tomorrow...:)

But, if the CEM60 is anything like it's little brother, the ZEQ25, it should handle payloads up to its rated capacity very well due the the 'Z-balanced' design.

I have had a AT10RC on the ZEQ for testing purposes, and it functioned and imaged with a total of 65# of ota and counterweights on it. Not bad for a 10# mount.

Again, that's comparing apples to oranges at the moment, but as soon as some units get into the hands of users we shall certainly find out. Oh, Nick at Altair Astro hung a 250mm truss tube RC on the CEM60 and he said it handled it with no problem during a recent Astro Fest open house. That had to be about 35-40# of ota? Link to image here:

https://twitter.com/altair_astro/status/432105012320149505/photo/1

Nick has CEM60 #4 I believe, it was air-freighted to him last week.

Good luck and clear skies...Paul


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Milosz]
      #6372963 - 02/12/14 07:08 PM

Quote:

Hello Everybody,

I have C14 and I am considering CEM60 as a portable mount for planetary imaging trips near equator. My OTA and planetary imaging equipment should weigh between 50-55 lbs (23-25 kg).

A question to guys having CEM60 (Alfred and Paul):

Do you think CEM60 can handle such setup?

Would it be prcatical providing I can shelter the setup from the wind?

Clear skies
Milosz




Hi Milosz,

Like NightRyder and others, I usually work on 50% of rated capacity for AP. Encouraging report from Paul on the ZEQ25 tells us that we may be able to expect more from the CEM60. Thanks Paul.

Once I have received and upgraded the firmware, I will be doing drift alignment to get mount align properly and then do my first set of tests on the CEM 60 (without autoguiding) with the following scopes:

Pentax 75 SDHF, WO Megrez 90, NorthGroup 127mm ED and Celestron 150mm C6R refractors; Orion 8" RC, Celestron 8"Edge HD 800, Meade 10" LX200R, NexStar C11 CF and Meade 10" SN-10 UHTC.

I will be very glad if it can handle the Meade LX200R and SN 10 well for AP.

I have also made 2 smaller counter weights for the smaller scopes.

I believe we should be hearing reports from our friends in the US pretty soon

Cheers.

Alfred


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Milosz
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6374311 - 02/13/14 03:24 PM

Thank you guys for all your comments.

Please forgive me if I write about things obvious for you but just to get the full picture I would like to explain more. For planetary photography mount does not have to be as good as for deep sky. It should track relatively well and allow easy corrections to be applied to keep the planet in the center of very tiny camera chip. My planetary camera is only 640 x 480 pixels which depending on barlow in use can correspond to:
2 x barlow: - 92 x 69 arc sec (scale 0.14 arc sec / pix )
3 x barlow: - 62 x 46 arc sec (scale 0.096 arc sec / pix)

So very tiny field of view is achievable with mounts like Celestrons old CGE, CGEM DX and CGE Pro. CGEM DX capacity is only 23 kg.

There are astrophotographers using similar load capacity mount - ASA DDM60 with C14 for deep sky:

http://forum.astrosysteme.com/index.php?/topic/41-ddm60-max-weight-for-ap/

I do realise that ASA is top range mount and completely different drive system, but I hope that outsanding Ioptron features like centerbalance and magnetic gear make it feasible to use it with C14. Looking at pictures of the beefy mount with OTA's of similar to C14 weight it is very encouraging.

What is really oustanding about CEM 60 is all the other features: latitude range from 0 to 70 (most others need adapters below 15 degrees), usb hub, power outlets, gps, case included. And light weight for less airline fees. No other manufacturer sells such user orientated package.

I am looking forward to heavy load test reports from you guys. And I appreciate informative coments (both encouraging and discouraging).

Clear skies
Milosz


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Milosz]
      #6374369 - 02/13/14 03:51 PM

The Edge11 is 28 pounds so after adding imaging gear you are going to be well over the 50% mark. I am hopeful that the CEM60 wil handle 40 pounds of instrument weight and yield excellent results for long exposure long focal length photography. We will see.

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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6374388 - 02/13/14 03:59 PM

Quote:

The Edge11 is 28 pounds so after adding imaging gear you are going to be well over the 50% mark. I am hopeful that the CEM60 wil handle 40 pounds of instrument weight and yield excellent results for long exposure long focal length photography. We will see.



Judging from their ZEQ25, the 1/2-2/3 rule might not apply to the CEM60. I do see the bueaty of central balance. I hope it can do 60 lbs imaging well. We will see soon.


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6374496 - 02/13/14 05:02 PM

I need the ( Non encoder version) CEM60 to handle up to a Edge 11 fully outfitted for AP with Low / smooth PE. And I'd like them ALL to be consistant quality.

If so, I may have found my new mount, and avoided that $7000 charge.

BTW, Am I the only one interested in the Non encoder version.

Edited by Wmacky (02/13/14 05:06 PM)


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Destrehan Dave
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6374518 - 02/13/14 05:19 PM

Quote:

Dear client please select 3 items from the following list, due to price restrictions we can only give you 3 out of the list:
1) Excellent paint job
2) Pretty looking assembly
3) Machined single block aluminium components
4) Outstanding native uncorrected PE
5) Minimum backlash
6) Load carrying capacity same as what is stated on the tin
7) Encoders to reduce reliance on guiding and further improve the tracking ability
8) Ability to setup at wide range of latitudes all the way down to 0 degrees.
9) Easy to use hand controller


I wonder how many people given that list to choose from would go for the combination of No. 1, 2 and 6 if they had budget restrictions. I suspect most of the target market for the CEM60 would buy it for the theoretical tracking performance vs. price




You completely miss the point. If I were building the mount, I would insist on a nice paint job and finish and wouldn't think of not making it visually appealing. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS would I overstate the capacity by one iota. It's about pride in workmanship and integrity, and it's been my experience that "Chinese Quality" is an oxymoron when it comes to mounts. Oh, you'll get more than you get from C and M for your money, but observing time is precious; I want my money to be invested in something I don't have to debug. I find it absolutely abhorrent that a mount would be shipped which can't track accurately. That's not a 'little glitch', that's a requirement. It's like a car you buy that's advertised to do the quarter mile in 12 seconds, but when you buy it, it won't shift out of second gear. What would you say, "Oh, but it sounds great at 7,500 RPM!"

If Chinese manufacturers want to raise the stakes, the following criteria should be met:

a) Work as stated.. no better; no worse. Tell me how much weight I can use for IMAGING, and get a reputation for HONESTY. Not an ounce more; not an ounce less. Don't inflate you spec to keep up with Celestron's lies about their capacity... be BETTER than them. I put 27 lbs on my AS/GT and had to ship it back for repairs...

b) For gosh sakes.. give some chinese teenager $5 to ensure the thing looks good, has no pock marks. After that, give some chinese amateur astronomy club or physics students the privilege of test driving the thing to ensure it works before shipping overseas. It's the HONEST thing to do!

c) No manual? What, they just completed the spec last week? Spend $15 and get some underpaid liberal college professor stateside to write one.

d) Surprise me... don't announce it 'till it's ready to be mass produced; like within 60 days of DEFINITE release. All bugs killed. Manufacturing processes proven. Decals ready; spray guns working... milling gear reliable and labor hired.

Just my fiddy cents... Had 3 Chinese mount. Won't get another until the tone changes and they start proving they are worthy of my big American Consumer dollars.


TANSTAAFL

DD


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Destrehan Dave]
      #6374561 - 02/13/14 05:51 PM

Country of manufacture has nothing to do with it. I got 2 USA mounts and had quality issues. First was a Meade from pre-mexico manufacturing. Great for visual but horrible workmanship and fit and finish on mount (scope itself was outstanding though)

My G11 came with no user manual (other than a single A4 sheet) and the Gemini II was barely functional at the time of purchase.

Also, this mount is delivered to the user as a public beta, iOptron never claimed it was a final release.

As for imaging load. iOptron in response to an email inquiry by me clearly stated that the load specified was for visual use and they advise you cut back on the load for imaging. So there is no deception there. I don't own any of their mounts, nor am I defending their quality as I can't vouch for it. I am just disputing some of the points you have made as being unfair.


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tazer
sage


Reged: 12/22/11

Loc: Central North Carolina
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Destrehan Dave]
      #6374562 - 02/13/14 05:51 PM

Quote:

I find it absolutely abhorrent that a mount would be shipped which can't track accurately. That's not a 'little glitch', that's a requirement.




As far as I know the CEM60 reports we're getting are from test/pre-release units. iOptron doesn't require an NDA to be a tester, so the feedback about bugs tends to be public. Also, it's a firmware bug and not a physical issue, something that American mount manufacturers aren't immune to.


Quote:

If Chinese manufacturers want to raise the stakes, the following criteria should be met:




a) It would be nice if _all_ mount manufacturers did this, but they don't. I believe that includes a number of American manufacturers.

Quote:

I put 27 lbs on my AS/GT and had to ship it back for repairs...




I put more than that on mine and have never had a problem.

b) iOptron is trying to hit a price point. They could have their mount chassis milled and anodized in multipe colors, and charge an extra $2,000 for doing so. Would that really convince you to buy one? On the observing field at midnight all mounts look the same, it's how they perform that differentiates them.

c) No need to insult 'liberal college professors.' If you're a tester it's expected you know how mounts work and that you communicate with the developers regularly with questions and feedback.

d) Telescope mount manufacturing is a very niche market. You need to manufacture in quantity to hit a price point and to manufacture in quantity you need a lot of potential consumers. Drumming up interest is a smart business decision.

The CEM60 is an interesting mount with a lot of potential. We won't know fully how they perform until they get in the hands of the general public. Considering iOptron is being so stringint on QC, it's a good sign they'll live up to their advertising.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6374563 - 02/13/14 05:52 PM

Quote:

I need the ( Non encoder version) CEM60 to handle up to a Edge 11 fully outfitted for AP with Low / smooth PE. And I'd like them ALL to be consistant quality.

If so, I may have found my new mount, and avoided that $7000 charge.

BTW, Am I the only one interested in the Non encoder version.





I assume that you can turn off the encoder somehow? I wonder. Perhaps someone will chime in and let me know. Not interested in the non-encoder version simply because if the encoder version can get it down under an arc/second then I can perfectly polar align and not worry so much about guiding. Just a little nudge once in a while.


But yes, if this system can handle the 11"EdgeHD with my imaging equipment then I'll be super happy. 28 pounds + about 10 pounds of cameras,focusers etc. I am hopeful but reserved.


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Destrehan Dave]
      #6374806 - 02/13/14 08:24 PM

That's all well and good to make a quality product, but when manufacture's come out with something new, it's to be better than the competition.
That's what makes us want to buy it because it is perceived as being new and better. And then you have the Sales people who promise the stars but only give you the moon. Most companies want a lot of sales of a pretty good product only a few will make a really excellent product with less sales but at a higher sales price.
To build something with great performance requires extra cost in the design, manufacture and assembly of that product that only a minority of people will pay for.
Most consumers are pretty frugal.


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: brokenwave]
      #6376833 - 02/14/14 08:53 PM

I don't think the initial tracking bug reported by Alfred is going to be an issue.

I just received an email from iOptron stating that my mount had shipped, and that iOptron would be emailing me a firmware update and a User Guide shortly.

I'll have plenty of time to read the User Guide, since we have 12" of fresh snow with more due tomorrow and the next day...:(

As I expected, the tracking glitch seems to have been an easy fix, now to see what other surprises remain in the shipping firmware that need sorting out.

To iOptron's credit, they fixed the software immediately after the Chinese New Year, as promised.

Cheers...Paul


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6376923 - 02/14/14 10:01 PM

Congratulations Paul! I can't wait to see your reports.

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jpadronlk
newbie


Reged: 02/05/14

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6378538 - 02/15/14 09:13 PM

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to first introduce myself. My Name is John and I live in Central Florida. I am new to Cloudy nights and just getting started in astrophotography. I am exited to begin imaging and have enjoyed reading this discussions.

After doing much research over the passed two months, I have decided to go with the CEM60 as my first mount.
Paul, I have enjoyed your commentary and agree with you that the CEM60, from what it appears, will be a great mount. It seems iOptron is trying to do this right and produce a quality mount in the mid tier arena with low PE and excellent tracking ability. Look forward to future discussions.

John


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: jpadronlk]
      #6378664 - 02/15/14 10:31 PM

John,

Welcome to CN!

The CEM60 is an unproven mount and if it was coming from someone other than iOptron I'd be reluctant to jump in. Based on their other offering and the excellent customer service, I'd get one if the zEQ 25 wasn't working out so well for me.

Best of luck with AP. Keep us posted with your progress.

Mike


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6379326 - 02/16/14 12:08 PM

Quote:

After doing much research over the passed two months, I have decided to go with the CEM60 as my first mount.




Welcome to the forum John.

The only answer to your statement that I can think of, is that your first mount may very well be your last if the CEM performs like the z-balanced ZEQ25?

Real world results should be appearing within the next week or two as test mounts hit the doorsteps of US clients. I'm hoping they get some clear sky shortly afterward..:)

iOptron has sent a User Setup Guide which reads very well, but the 'meat and potatoes' will be in the User's Manual once it is uploaded to the iOtpron webpage.

I'm particularly interested in the cable management details, and the details of the power hub.

iOptron is certainly showing their desire to produce what the stargazers and imagers are looking for: Excellent performance in a reasonably priced, reasonably transportable package.

Now we all wait for the little Brown Trucks to arrive with the answers to our questions.

Clear skies...Paul


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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6379587 - 02/16/14 02:30 PM

I just ordered my ZEQ25 and my CEM60 is about 20 miles away taunting me.

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jpadronlk
newbie


Reged: 02/05/14

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6380236 - 02/16/14 10:55 PM

Quote:



Best of luck with AP. Keep us posted with your progress.

Mike




Thanks Mike, I sure will. Look forward to providing a review from the eyes of a imaging newbie.


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Alfred Tan
sage


Reged: 10/25/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: jpadronlk]
      #6380585 - 02/17/14 07:39 AM

Hi All,

Here is a quick update from Singapore.

I have updated my CEM60 firmware. My firmware version after the upgrade:

HC - 140214
Main - 140115
RA - 140214
DEC - 140214

As promised, iOptron fixed the drifting problem and provided excellent tech support for the firmware upgrade. I run a quick check on Venus on Saturday morning and there was very minimal drift when i left the mount to do tracking for 15 minutes. The next step is to do drift alignment using the HC's bright star polar alignment and check the drift again. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating. So I have taken the opportunity to run through the draft copy of the quick start guide (QSG) and given my inputs to Kevin. He should be posting the revised QSG on the iOptron website

I have purchased PEMPRO and is reading up on how to test the mount. I welcome suggestions on tests you would like to hear about.

Looking forward to hear reports from CONUS soon

Alfred


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6380604 - 02/17/14 07:53 AM

Make sure you run the calibration wizard before you run your PE measurement in PEMPro else your scale will be all wrong.

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neversummer
member
*****

Reged: 08/12/10

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6380761 - 02/17/14 09:46 AM

A CG-5 weighs 42lbs. Does the CEM60 only weigh 27lbs.?

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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: neversummer]
      #6380789 - 02/17/14 10:02 AM

CG5 head is about 15 lbs. 42 lbs is every thing including tripod and counterweight. I think CEM60 head is 27 lbs.

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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6380861 - 02/17/14 10:52 AM

Quote:

I have updated my CEM60 firmware. My firmware version after the upgrade:

HC - 140214
Main - 140115
RA - 140214
DEC - 140214




Thank you Alfred, it's reassuring to know the firmware update fixed that issue. iOptron emailed me the update and instructions in advance of receiving the mount also.

Quote:

The next step is to do drift alignment using the HC's bright star polar alignment and check the drift again.




Good luck with that bright star routine Alfred, I realize you don't have a good view of the pole and 'must' use it.

When used in conjunction with a drift alignment, it should work well for you. I have a nice view of the pole, so all I've ever needed to use was a basic polar align followed by a simple One Star Align with the ZEQ. The bright star routine was never accurate enough to allow unguided imaging.

For that reason, (able to see the pole star) I have kept the Two Star firmware loaded in my iEQ45 and use it exclusively when imaging. It provides a polar offset readout so it's very easy to chip away at offset until you get to 00-00. At that result, unguided imaging is possible for up to 4 minutes without trailing with a 630mm focal length ota. And, it compliments the TDM very well.

Question, have you checked the polar scope axis for alignment with the mount axis? How close was/is it?

Best...Paul


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whwang
sage


Reged: 03/20/13

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6380869 - 02/17/14 11:00 AM

Hi,

May I ask how stable is iOptron's tripod that comes with CEM60? Are there non-iOptron tripod options out there for CEM60?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6380896 - 02/17/14 11:16 AM

Quote:

Hi,

May I ask how stable is iOptron's tripod that comes with CEM60? Are there non-iOptron tripod options out there for CEM60?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao




Wei-Ho, the standard 2" tripod is extremely stable. I have used it with my iEQ45 for a couple of years with no issues at all.

I might add that I do use the 8" mini-pier with the 2" tripod, so I only have the lower legs extended out about 6 inches. Even so, I've never heard of any problems from imagers using the standard tripod.

I'm sure you could adapt the CEM60 mount to almost any non-iOptron tripod or pier with the correct adapter plate?

The CEM60 fits on any iEQ45 tripod or pier assembly, so you might search for an answer by using the iEQ45 as a reference point?

I'm sure some CN'ers have some experience using other mountings, perhaps we'll hear from them.

Regards...Paul


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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6380932 - 02/17/14 11:37 AM

Quote:

Hi,

May I ask how stable is iOptron's tripod that comes with CEM60? Are there non-iOptron tripod options out there for CEM60?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao




I agree, the tripod that came with my iEQ45 is extremely stable. However, I did add a tripod spreader with battery tray. Gives it that extra edge plus a place to put the battery.

It would be the same one you would purchase from iOptron since the CEM60 doesn't come with one.

Cheers!


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6381677 - 02/17/14 07:59 PM

Quote:

Hi,

May I ask how stable is iOptron's tripod that comes with CEM60? Are there non-iOptron tripod options out there for CEM60?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao




It appears that the CEM60 uses the same tripod as the iEQ45 and if that is the case, then there is at least one after-market tripod manufacturer that makes a tripod that will fit the mount.


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cuivienor
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/07/10

Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6381721 - 02/17/14 08:35 PM

I use the ZEQ25 on my Benro A3580T tripod - it is simply a 3/8 inch thread connection. I can image with no issues with that equipment, and it is far more portable.

That being said, if I had enough money to get a CEM60, I'd definitely go with their 2 inch tripod instead


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Alfred Tan
sage


Reged: 10/25/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6381746 - 02/17/14 08:48 PM

Quote:



Thank you Alfred, it's reassuring to know the firmware update fixed that issue.




Hi Paul,

Looks like I spoke too soon. While doing additional tests last night I observed some drifting. It can be corrected by cancelling the tracking and then resuming it (i.e. by depressing the 0/stop button twice). I am not complaining as I have very good tech support from iOptron and I am having fun testing the CEM60. I did system design and testing for 20 odd years in my last job The tech support team has been working hard on it. Unfortunately the weather in Nanjing has impeded their live testing.

Quote:


Question, have you checked the polar scope axis for alignment with the mount axis? How close was/is it?




I did not complete my polar/drift alignment because I concentrated on duplicating and solving the drift problem. Btw, how do I check the polar scope axis for alignment with the mount axis? I can't if I need to see the pole star.

Alfred


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whwang
sage


Reged: 03/20/13

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6381800 - 02/17/14 09:20 PM

Quote:


It appears that the CEM60 uses the same tripod as the iEQ45 and if that is the case, then there is at least one after-market tripod manufacturer that makes a tripod that will fit the mount.




Could you tell me which one it is? Yesterday I made a google search and did not find much, except one company call "altairastro." Unfortunately, I cannot connect to their website.

Thank you.


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whwang
sage


Reged: 03/20/13

Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6381811 - 02/17/14 09:25 PM

Quote:


I did not complete my polar/drift alignment because I concentrated on duplicating and solving the drift problem. Btw, how do I check the polar scope axis for alignment with the mount axis? I can't if I need to see the pole star.





Does the polar scope co-rotate with the RA axis? If so, I suppose you can point the polar
scope at a very distant object and rotate the RA axis of the mount. If the center of the
crosshair stays at the same position as the RA rotates, then the polar scope is aligned to
the mechanical axis of the mount.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6381851 - 02/17/14 09:56 PM

I got my 7002 version of the CEM60 today. Got it set up and slewing around indoors.

My initial impression:

Build quality is far better than I imagined it would be.
I am very impressed.

Disengaging the worm to balance and the bearings are slick as snot. Super easy to balance. Slewing is quiet and smooth.

Haven't been outside with it yet to verify the aforementioned tracking issue. I am running the latest beta firmware.

I did run into an issue that I want to give iOptron the first crack at. It may be user error or working as intended so before I mention it as a problem I want to know it is an actual problem.


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6381884 - 02/17/14 10:14 PM

Quote:

I did not complete my polar/drift alignment because I concentrated on duplicating and solving the drift problem. Btw, how do I check the polar scope axis for alignment with the mount axis? I can't if I need to see the pole star.




Alfred, go to the iOptron website and download the User's Manual for the iEQ45, it has an excellent explanation and instructions for aligning the polar scope axis to the mount's axis.

As Whwang has noted, all you need is a distant object, it's easier to do in the daylight than at night when bright stars are rotating out of the crosshairs...:)

I use a small metal chimney on a rooftop about 1/4 mile away. Any steady reference point will do.

I can imagine the weather in Nanjing is not too condusive to testing under the stars, especially with the smog?

Cheers...Paul


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sewhite
member


Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: On a spinning rock
Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6381902 - 02/17/14 10:29 PM

Whichwayisnorth

Please do one of your video's when you have time. Your other videos were well done and informative.

Thanks
Stan


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: sewhite]
      #6382031 - 02/18/14 12:08 AM

Quote:

Whichwayisnorth

Please do one of your video's when you have time. Your other videos were well done and informative.

Thanks
Stan





I've already started my videos however we are in beta test stage and the mount isn't released to the public at large.

I already have some uploaded to youtube but marked private for the time being.



Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/18/14 12:10 AM)


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6382525 - 02/18/14 10:45 AM

Let the reviews begin!

And get us the video clearance!


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6383377 - 02/18/14 06:04 PM

Hi Paul and Whwang,

Thanks for the tips for aligning the polar scope axis to the mount's axis.

To all,

I am learning more about the mount and working closely with iOptron to include learning points for product improvement. Since some of us in this forum have voiced their sentiment that it may not be helpful to report all test findings on a beta item, I will limit my updates to include items that will give participants in this forum a better understanding on the final production mount.

Cheers.

Alfred


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6388079 - 02/21/14 02:54 AM Attachment (47 downloads)

Eureka, the CEM60 finally arrived at my doorstep, in the rain naturally...:(

Very impressed so far. Still have some firmware updates to load, but I'm not regretting it so far. Oh, it's a standard version, serial number 00001, and it's part of the test mount program.

Here's a link to a set of CEM60 images and a couple of short videos on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/72157637612473584/

The enclosed PE sheet read just under 10 arc-seconds, total, measured at the encoder.

I was disappointed that the PacMan slew was gone..:( I think it may be back eventually, time and testing will tell.

I was extremely happy that iOptron has put the Two Star align with Polar Offset readout back into the Hand Controller menu. I've always found that particular method of tweaking your polar alignment to be excellent.

On with the tests.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6388228 - 02/21/14 07:41 AM

excellent photos, thanks.

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: brave_ulysses]
      #6388256 - 02/21/14 08:09 AM

You say you have the standard model, but the PE was tested at the endoder? I'm very interested in the non encoder model.

It looks great! Congrats,

Edit: I got to say the most impressive thing for me about this mount is the included test report. I want every mount I purchase to have one, and every OTA to have a included Strel report. Why should I be bothered with doing those myself, and going through the hassle of a return. If your product is worth having, prove it!

Kudos Ioptron!

Edited by Wmacky (02/21/14 09:00 AM)


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Tim Giles
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6388500 - 02/21/14 10:40 AM

Good point Wmacky. It might add a bit to the cost of QA, but prehaps it would help decrease returns and associated costs.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Tim Giles]
      #6388708 - 02/21/14 12:41 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

I know on the LX850 Meade had a pretty neat system set up indoors where they would test the PE.

I am not sure how iOptron tests the PE. Unfortunately I have the Relative encoder version so I can't really test the native raw PE like I want to. I wish there was a way to disable it. I would like to think that the system is sub 10 arc/seconds pk-pk and then the relative encoder deals with the rest. For all I know it is a 100 arc/second mount under that encoder. No way to know.

Attached photo of the paper mine came with.


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Tim Giles
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6388807 - 02/21/14 01:46 PM

Well from a relative noob, I cant help feel that so long as the 'as used' performance is fantastic, I for one dont mind either way!

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Tim Giles]
      #6389686 - 02/21/14 11:38 PM

Looking over the pics posted by Astronewb, this really is a beautiful mount. I don't understand some of those earlier posts about its fit and finish? Pending positive reviews, I'm going to consider this one a possible alternative to the more expensive Mach one I am considering.

Edited by Wmacky (02/21/14 11:48 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6390069 - 02/22/14 09:01 AM

Quote:

Looking over the pics posted by Astronewb, this really is a beautiful mount. I don't understand some of those earlier posts about its fit and finish? Pending positive reviews, I'm going to consider this one a possible alternative to the more expensive Mach one I am considering.




I think those comments were generated by someone examining the very high res images?

From 12 inches away the mount looks awesome, but if you examine the finish closely you will notice mold marks (subtle) made during the casting process and minute imperfections in the mounts finish.

For me that's perfectly acceptable on a mount in this price range. At night, when in use, I can't see any imperfections at all...:)

Regards....Paul


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6390141 - 02/22/14 09:51 AM

Quote:

I think those comments were generated by someone examining the very high res images?



I saw a cover page of a magazine a few years ago a photo of ugly mountains and valleys. The caption underneath stated it was the face of a famous beautiful actress magnified by a 10000X scope.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6390148 - 02/22/14 09:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Looking over the pics posted by Astronewb, this really is a beautiful mount. I don't understand some of those earlier posts about its fit and finish? Pending positive reviews, I'm going to consider this one a possible alternative to the more expensive Mach one I am considering.




I think those comments were generated by someone examining the very high res images?

From 12 inches away the mount looks awesome, but if you examine the finish closely you will notice mold marks (subtle) made during the casting process and minute imperfections in the mounts finish.

For me that's perfectly acceptable on a mount in this price range. At night, when in use, I can't see any imperfections at all...:)

Regards....Paul




Agreed. I too expect some of that with castings.

Will you be posting your test results? I hope you won't shy away due to some posters as many of us would really would like that info has it is developed. I've been waiting daily for the mounts to be released and the impressions to be posted!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6390443 - 02/22/14 12:25 PM

Regarding the little casting thingies(industry term), while I agree they are expected I also agree that it is a simple step to have someone sand those down prior to doing the powder coating. They only show up on the horse-shoe shaped casing around the main/ring gear and nowhere else. Of the photos I've seen and the CEM60s I've had, they are all different. The first one I could barely see them at all and I recall thinking "That isn't a big deal at all" but the second one is noticeable.

So yes, non-issue unless you are overly picky but could be eliminated with an extra 3 minutes of sanding prior to powder coating.

Also as already stated and I'll agree with, stand back 5 feet and you don't notice them. The whole mount just oozes quality. Simply stunning mount & well designed inside and out. I've had several parts off of it to inspect the innards. I can't find anything that I could change for the better.

Well done iOptron!

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/22/14 12:28 PM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6390503 - 02/22/14 01:02 PM

Quote:

Will you be posting your test results? I hope you won't shy away due to some posters as many of us would really would like that info has it is developed. I've been waiting daily for the mounts to be released and the impressions to be posted!




I'd love to post some results as long as the sky would co-operate.

The only results I could post would be go-to and tracking observations, as the shipping firmware does not allow auto-guiding.

Of course, some unguided imaging results would be nice, like how many minutes it will go before star trailing occurs?

As long as the re-instated Two Star align works properly, I would be able to zero out polar offset and get some pretty accurate results. Of course, I still need to check the polar scope axis/mount axis alignment, that's on my 'to-do' list. The polar scope is easily adjusted, so that's not a huge deal if it's off at all.

One thing that I and other testers are finding, is that the mount is still very much in the 'testing mode', especially with the shipping firmware, it limits what can be done objectively in the field.

Right now we are all concentrating on the mechanical aspects of the mount and operating procedures with the new magnetic worm. It will eventually prove to be awesome I'm sure, but it still has some bugs to be ironed out, as any test platform does.

The testing program will ensure that retail purchasers will have the very best experience possible with the mount, so it's certainly worth the wait?

Cheers...Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6390721 - 02/22/14 03:30 PM

Beta testing team, give it a hard time and run it through every single scenario you can think of, including the stupid user scenario. It is hard work beta testing a product and reporting back properly your findings but your hard work will be to the benefit of all future purchasers of this mount.

Accidentally drop it, get it wet with dew, spill coffee on it and then let it freeze solid over night. Keep it in a room with the heater dialed all the way up to see if grease starts to leak all over the floor then let your younger children at it. When done, put it in the trunk of your Jeep and take it on slightly rough road for an hour or two to see how it handles transportation to a dark site. I have other tests I can think of, but they wouldn't be fair to iOptron and they might cause harm to the tester (the sort of tests that come with a pair of safety glasses and a written warning on a red colored sheet)


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6390744 - 02/22/14 03:42 PM

Hilmi - your suggestions are eerily close to what I...er, some guy I know, has to go through when getting rid of a body (not the "let the kids play with it" part, though).

Just sayin'!

Can't wait to see the full power unveiled on these mounts, good and bad. I'm hoping it's a new leader in the middle-mount category and will pave the way to an uptick of goodies in this category.

Paul


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: psandelle]
      #6390805 - 02/22/14 04:15 PM

I hope someone can test its claims of 60 lb. carrying capacity, at least for visual.

For example:

1) Will it manage a compact load like a C14 @ 45lb + ?
2) Will it manage a 10" f/4.7 (48" long) Newt @ 30lb. +?
3) Will it manage any kind of load @ 60 lb.?


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: dvb]
      #6390819 - 02/22/14 04:28 PM

Quote:

I hope someone can test its claims of 60 lb. carrying capacity, at least for visual.

For example:

1) Will it manage a compact load like a C14 @ 45lb + ?
2) Will it manage a 10" f/4.7 (48" long) Newt @ 30lb. +?
3) Will it manage any kind of load @ 60 lb.?





I do but I need to get more counterweights first. I asked before they shipped that they supply me with enough CW's to balance 60 pounds of instrument. Unfortunately I only have 1 20-lb and 1 10-lb.

I do not have a 14" Edge but I do have an 11 and I was going to borrow or steal a ADM side by side with Losmandy saddles and mount both my 11" Edge and 80mm refractor + add weight. I want push the focal length (native F/10 on the edge), and ramp up the weight until things become unstable(tracking wise).


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6390823 - 02/22/14 04:30 PM

For those of us who remember, don't forget to put it in a cage with a gorilla and let him throw it around for a while.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6390946 - 02/22/14 05:50 PM

Quote:

For those of us who remember, don't forget to put it in a cage with a gorilla and let him throw it around for a while.




Now THAT was great marketing.


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6390959 - 02/22/14 05:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I hope someone can test its claims of 60 lb. carrying capacity, at least for visual.

For example:

1) Will it manage a compact load like a C14 @ 45lb + ?
2) Will it manage a 10" f/4.7 (48" long) Newt @ 30lb. +?
3) Will it manage any kind of load @ 60 lb.?





I do but I need to get more counterweights first. I asked before they shipped that they supply me with enough CW's to balance 60 pounds of instrument. Unfortunately I only have 1 20-lb and 1 10-lb.

I do not have a 14" Edge but I do have an 11 and I was going to borrow or steal a ADM side by side with Losmandy saddles and mount both my 11" Edge and 80mm refractor + add weight. I want push the focal length (native F/10 on the edge), and ramp up the weight until things become unstable(tracking wise).




Do you think the stock CW bar will be long enough, with sufficient weights, to balance 60 lb., or is adding a CW bar extension (as with the iEQ45) an option?


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: dvb]
      #6390971 - 02/22/14 06:00 PM

There is plenty of room on the CWB so I think that 3x20pound weights should be fine. The CWB is very slightly heavier than the empty mount. Something I am not used to. So it doesn't take a whole lot to balance the RA itself.

To answer your question, I think it is long enough.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6391434 - 02/22/14 11:41 PM

Quote:

For those of us who remember, don't forget to put it in a cage with a gorilla and let him throw it around for a while.




Ed, I'm either too young to know whaat you are talking about or I missed something.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391441 - 02/22/14 11:45 PM

Actually I feel my tests are fair. Ioptron in response to my questions about withstanding heat dust and humidity answered taht their mounts are tested in hot weather (I think 45 deg c if I recall correctly but I'm not sure) and they also said that their motors and electronics are covered and should be resilient against moisture and dust.

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391446 - 02/22/14 11:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

For those of us who remember, don't forget to put it in a cage with a gorilla and let him throw it around for a while.




Ed, I'm either too young to know whaat you are talking about or I missed something.




Luggage, Samsonite, commercial if my mind is still working correctly.

American Tourister
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-e96m4730

Edited by Stew57 (02/22/14 11:55 PM)


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Stew57]
      #6391467 - 02/23/14 12:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

For those of us who remember, don't forget to put it in a cage with a gorilla and let him throw it around for a while.




Ed, I'm either too young to know whaat you are talking about or I missed something.




Luggage, Samsonite, commercial if my mind is still working correctly.

American Tourister
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-e96m4730




Mark got it. Hilmi, hopefully you're just to young. Wow 1971, now I really feel old. Amazing the stupid things you remember sometimes but I guess a good commercial sticks with you.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391477 - 02/23/14 12:13 AM

Quote:

Actually I feel my tests are fair. Ioptron in response to my questions about withstanding heat dust and humidity answered taht their mounts are tested in hot weather (I think 45 deg c if I recall correctly but I'm not sure) and they also said that their motors and electronics are covered and should be resilient against moisture and dust.




They use angular contact bearings in the iEQ45 and iEQ30 for the worms which is not a bad idea, but they are unsealed which worries me with mounts in general because they are far more open to contamination. Standard deep-groove bearings are technically not as good for this application due to the potential lateral forces applied, but they work fine if not installed with too much preload and they have the advantage of being shielded or sealed. I will be interested to see which type they use in this mount.


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epdreher
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391495 - 02/23/14 12:36 AM

"Ed, I'm either too young to know whaat you are talking about or I missed something."

An old television ad where a caged gorilla throws around a piece of luggage, proving its durability. If memory serves, it was American Tourister but don't hold me to that.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: epdreher]
      #6391523 - 02/23/14 01:02 AM

Quote:

"Ed, I'm either too young to know whaat you are talking about or I missed something."

An old television ad where a caged gorilla throws around a piece of luggage, proving its durability. If memory serves, it was American Tourister but don't hold me to that.




That's it.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6391546 - 02/23/14 01:13 AM

I will be interested to see which type they use in this mount.

Hi Ed, I use sealed Abec 5 and 7 bearings in all my mounts too. Open ball bearings are an invitation for dust, dirt and debris.

As far as the CEM60, I have had some of the components apart to see what makes it 'tick', but the worm bearings are buried so deep in the design, it's really not worth tearing it down that far to check...:) Not unless I really have to anyway.

Cheers...Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6391555 - 02/23/14 01:17 AM

If you want a real durability test let my 5 grandsons (all between 4 and 5) have at it.

I thought the mount was supposed to be released to the public. I have been out with some health issues and come back to find it is in Beta. What happened?


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Stew57]
      #6391589 - 02/23/14 01:47 AM

Ed, if it makes you feel any younger they re-ran that series of commercials in 1980.

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epdreher
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6391598 - 02/23/14 01:52 AM

Ouch. Was is really that long ago?

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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: epdreher]
      #6391605 - 02/23/14 02:00 AM

I just noticed all you cloudy nights friends are approximately 1.5X to 2X my age. Makes me wonder how you guys lug around your AP1200 mounts and 12" Scopes. I find brining my g11 down from the 3rd floor a hand full at 36.

Back to the topic. It would be interesting to see if the encoders could be used to track the position of the mount with clutches released. I know they are not absolute which means they get lost if power is off, but I don't see why you can't track position while power is on. If that is the case, they can add a low cost low resolution encoder to the DEC axis and you could release the clutches to (for example rebalance after changing scopes) and still not loose track of where you are.


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epdreher
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391613 - 02/23/14 02:07 AM

Hilmi, I'm 61. I can pick up and carry well over 100 pounds, so a little telescope mount is easy.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391625 - 02/23/14 02:12 AM

Quote:

they can add a low cost low resolution encoder to the DEC axis and you could release the clutches to (for example rebalance after changing scopes) and still not loose track of where you are.





Yeah I mentioned that either earlier in this thread or another thread. I totally agree. Add a low rez encoder to the DEC!

But unfortunately according to the numbers displayed on the HC which show the current position of the RA and DEC, the RA does not update when the worm is disengaged and you manually move it.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/23/14 02:17 AM)


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: epdreher]
      #6391633 - 02/23/14 02:18 AM

Quote:

Hilmi, I'm 61. I can pick up and carry well over 100 pounds, so a little telescope mount is easy.




Busted my joints exercising without guidance, already had a rotator cuff repair operation 3 years back. Mount weight is a critical factor for people with sports injuries that's why the iOptron mounts are very attractive proposition for me. Of all the non-premium mounts, they are the only ones that have a reputation for being light weight for their carrying capacity. Coming with a custom fitting case is also a great addition for transportability. I spent as much as 50% the cost of the mount for the case I had gotten for my Vixen Polarie.


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epdreher
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391653 - 02/23/14 02:44 AM

That RC repair is a huge hurdle to clear. Things just never seem to be the same again, at least from my observing two people.

I partially tore my right one about six years ago and did my own rehab. It took several months before I lifted anything, but all is well to date.

At this point, I have no trouble carrying my AZ/EQ-G mounted to the tripod with no weights. It's only about 52 pounds but awkward in shape which cuts-down on how much on can safely carry.

We're in the process of moving so I won't be doing any imaging at all until we're settled in another state. I hope to have at least a permanent pier that will allow a easy set-up with a quick, repeatable polar alignment. If the new backyard permits, a roll-off is definitely in my future.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: epdreher]
      #6391668 - 02/23/14 02:59 AM Attachment (75 downloads)

Some pretty encouraging results from the CEM60 this evening under the sky. The clouds cleared for a couple of hours so I hastily set up the CEM60 on the 42" pier for some 'real world' testing.

After putzing around and getting used to where everything was, I leveled the mount with the bubble level and did a polar align and a Two Star align. I chipped away at the polar offset until I got it to 00-01 West and then tried some unguided testing.

Here's a screenshot of a star from a RAW frame, enlarged 400%. That's 180 seconds unguided, and I probably could have gone for more?

Borg 125SD/Nikon D5100/std CEM60.

Let the salivating begin...

Cheers all...Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6391674 - 02/23/14 03:04 AM

Looks very good for 750 mm focal length (am I correct about the FL?). Once they enable guiding in the firmware, that should take care of any residual errors plus declination drift.

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epdreher
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391677 - 02/23/14 03:10 AM

Looks good, Paul! A very encouraging start.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: epdreher]
      #6391688 - 02/23/14 03:38 AM

@ Hilmi, yes, 750mm f/l, but only 488mm w/the .65 super reducer which was on it.

Here's a larger image;

First light CEM60 Unguided by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Regards...Paul


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6391689 - 02/23/14 03:39 AM

Which way is Dec axis? This is an outstanding result, the very minor elongation I see is vertical. If the Ra axis is horizontal in the image I am even more impressed as that would mean there is 0 elongation in the axis with the encoder

Edited by Hilmi (02/23/14 03:41 AM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6391985 - 02/23/14 10:15 AM

Quote:

Which way is Dec axis? This is an outstanding result, the very minor elongation I see is vertical. If the Ra axis is horizontal in the image I am even more impressed as that would mean there is 0 elongation in the axis with the encoder




North is left in the image, and the Declination was +54. I was imaging North/Northeast to M97.

The Dec axis is horizontal in the image, so any trailing in the vertical plane is the RA axis.

Just to be clear, this is the 'plain Jane' model, without the absolute encoder on the RA axis.

This is just the first light, and I'm hoping that this type of result is repeatable. I'm also hoping that auto-guiding
is enabled in the next firmware update..:)

Best...Paul


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namsel
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6391990 - 02/23/14 10:16 AM

Thank you for uploading your initial results Paul, your findings are encouraging.

One question - are you given a standardized list of 'tests' to run the mount through by iOptron or do you make them up as you go along based on your many years of experience of knowing what to check for?

For example, do you have a checklist that you rate the mount for various tests on a 1-10 scale and submit findings back to iOptron?

If you do have a checklist / spreadsheet, are you able to share with us the tests you are / intend to run ?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6391999 - 02/23/14 10:21 AM

One question - are you given a standardized list of 'tests' to run the mount through by iOptron or do you make them up as you go along based on your many years of experience of knowing what to check for?

Very good question. No, the testers are free to evaluate the mount in any way they choose, without restrictions.

I just test the mount based on the way I feel most users are going to be interested in using it.

Still to be done are auto-guiding behavior, GPS HC menus and
cold weather performance (it was only about 28 degrees last night).

Clear skies...Paul


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6392108 - 02/23/14 11:19 AM

That elongation that needs 400x magnification is very good, I would like to see how well the encoder version fares.

I think we have a winner!

Next up for testing is consistency


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6392179 - 02/23/14 11:48 AM

Quote:

I would like to see how well the encoder version fares.




I think Alfred has an 5 minute unguided image from the CEM60 EC he will be sharing with us...:)

Best...Paul

Edited by Astronewb (02/23/14 11:50 AM)


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6392197 - 02/23/14 11:54 AM

Hi

I did a hasty drift alignment and imaged Sirius with Megrez90 and ATIK 314L 5 min unguided. Megrez fell on its focuser recently so the focus wasn't that great.



Edited by Alfred Tan (02/23/14 11:56 AM)


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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6392202 - 02/23/14 11:57 AM

Hi Paul,

Thank you for sharing this with us. The Declination of your test target may be too high. At that Dec, the apparent tracking error in RA is only roughly 1/2 of its nominal value. It will be a more critical test if the target is near the equator.

Do you know when the "test phase" will finish and mass-production CEM60 will be available?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6392399 - 02/23/14 01:36 PM

Alfred,

Thanks for posing the pic. That's impressive for 5 minute unguided and a "hasty" drift alignment. Looks like iOptron could have a real winner.

Mike


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: whwang]
      #6392456 - 02/23/14 02:05 PM

Quote:

Hi Paul,

Thank you for sharing this with us. The Declination of your test target may be too high. At that Dec, the apparent tracking error in RA is only roughly 1/2 of its nominal value. It will be a more critical test if the target is near the equator.

Do you know when the "test phase" will finish and mass-production CEM60 will be available?

Cheers,
Wei-Hao





I think they are looking at an April launch if you go by the magazine ad they placed. However I personally have found that putting a release date in an ad like that only puts pressure on the development team to meet that deadline and there is always a risk of sending the product out before it is ready.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6392467 - 02/23/14 02:10 PM

Quote:

Alfred,

Thanks for posing the pic. That's impressive for 5 minute unguided and a "hasty" drift alignment. Looks like iOptron could have a real winner.

Mike





I agree the mount has a lot of potential and I am glad to see the other testers having a great time. However it isn't all sunshine. I've had two and both have an issue that hasn't yet been identified. My first unit is enroute to the iOptron store in Massachusetts where they will tear it down and try to determine why the two I have had are exhibiting an issue that the others are not. iOptron seems to believe it is a firmware issue however we all have the same firmware. New firmware which is supposed to enable all of the features and address prior concerns is about a week away. In the mean time I am able to get caught up on sleep.


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EFT
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6392537 - 02/23/14 02:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Alfred,

Thanks for posing the pic. That's impressive for 5 minute unguided and a "hasty" drift alignment. Looks like iOptron could have a real winner.

Mike





I agree the mount has a lot of potential and I am glad to see the other testers having a great time. However it isn't all sunshine. I've had two and both have an issue that hasn't yet been identified. My first unit is enroute to the iOptron store in Massachusetts where they will tear it down and try to determine why the two I have had are exhibiting an issue that the others are not. iOptron seems to believe it is a firmware issue however we all have the same firmware. New firmware which is supposed to enable all of the features and address prior concerns is about a week away. In the mean time I am able to get caught up on sleep.




Thanks for being up front about this. It is important to know that things are being reported honestly. It is not really a surprise that there are issues with a new release, nor is it that much of a concern as long as the issues are identified and dealt with now, which it looks like they are doing.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6392586 - 02/23/14 03:16 PM

Great test image Alfred, it looks like it's working..:)

For all the other viewers, I just posted up a short clip on YouTube of the mount in operation with a AT10RC on it so you can see and hear it in operation during go-to slews.

http://youtu.be/tPF1LA8RiKE

Best...Paul


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6392629 - 02/23/14 03:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Alfred,

Thanks for posing the pic. That's impressive for 5 minute unguided and a "hasty" drift alignment. Looks like iOptron could have a real winner.

Mike





I agree the mount has a lot of potential and I am glad to see the other testers having a great time. However it isn't all sunshine. I've had two and both have an issue that hasn't yet been identified. My first unit is enroute to the iOptron store in Massachusetts where they will tear it down and try to determine why the two I have had are exhibiting an issue that the others are not. iOptron seems to believe it is a firmware issue however we all have the same firmware. New firmware which is supposed to enable all of the features and address prior concerns is about a week away. In the mean time I am able to get caught up on sleep.




Thanks for being up front about this. It is important to know that things are being reported honestly. It is not really a surprise that there are issues with a new release, nor is it that much of a concern as long as the issues are identified and dealt with now, which it looks like they are doing.





Thanks Ed,

You know what I've gone through testing other mounts and the things I've found. iOptron seems very serious about not just resolving the issues but going the extra mile to make sure the production units are first rate. If any issues I've found and reported, which I do both by detailed email and video, persist on launch day, I will make sure everyone knows about them. I have a lot of respect for the way iOptron is resolving issues and they seem to be taking even the smallest concern very seriously. I am impressed!


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6392803 - 02/23/14 04:57 PM

Thanks for the video, Paul. It does seem effortless with the 30 - 35 lb. 10" RC rig.

The "whine" does sound fairly loud to me. Not a "coffee grinder" noise, which is good, but a fairly loud whine. Not sure if that would disturb my neighbours or not.

Is the whine less loud if the slewing speed is set for slower?


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: dvb]
      #6392835 - 02/23/14 05:50 PM

Quote:

Thanks for the video, Paul. It does seem effortless with the 30 - 35 lb. 10" RC rig.

The "whine" does sound fairly loud to me. Not a "coffee grinder" noise, which is good, but a fairly loud whine. Not sure if that would disturb my neighbours or not.

Is the whine less loud if the slewing speed is set for slower?





Most video cameras pick up sounds and amplify them. I typically find that the sound in my videos is much more loud and abrasive than in person.

I am always concerned about my neighbors when I am slewing around at 3am. I don't think there is any issue with this mount. Sounds very quiet to me.


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6393140 - 02/23/14 08:49 PM

Quote:


I am always concerned about my neighbors when I am slewing around at 3am. I don't think there is any issue with this mount. Sounds very quiet to me.




My mount is about 10 meters from my neighbour's bedroom. I have been using it in the last 3 weeks, even overnight on a few occasions. I share the same observation. This mount is quiet

Having good result on the Megrez 90, I will be doing at least 5 min unguided imaging next on a C11 tonight.

Cheers.

Alfred


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: dvb]
      #6393161 - 02/23/14 09:00 PM

Quote:

Thanks for the video, Paul. It does seem effortless with the 30 - 35 lb. 10" RC rig.

The "whine" does sound fairly loud to me. Not a "coffee grinder" noise, which is good, but a fairly loud whine. Not sure if that would disturb my neighbours or not.

Is the whine less loud if the slewing speed is set for slower?




Good question and I should have demonstrated it. All those slews were at the mount's default max slew speed.

The slew speed is adjustable in the HC (so far), from wild to mild. I like to get there as quickly as possible before the clouds arrive to spoil my fun...:)

Anyway, at any slew speed slower than about 128x, you can't even hear the mount running even though you can see the ota moving. I was 4 feet away from the mount last night centering a star with the bullseye screen in PHD and the only way I could tell the mount was working at speed 64x was by watching the target star move in the PHD screen.

It's quiet.

Cheers...Paul


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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6393399 - 02/23/14 11:33 PM

Quote:

Accidentally drop it, get it wet with dew, spill coffee on it and then let it freeze solid over night. Keep it in a room with the heater dialed all the way up to see if grease starts to leak all over the floor then let your younger children at it. When done, put it in the trunk of your Jeep and take it on slightly rough road for an hour or two to see how it handles transportation to a dark site. I have other tests I can think of, but they wouldn't be fair to iOptron and they might cause harm to the tester (the sort of tests that come with a pair of safety glasses and a written warning on a red colored sheet)




That is all well and good, but will it blend?

http://www.willitblend.com/


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6393411 - 02/23/14 11:43 PM

Here's the result of some unguided imaging with the CEM60 and Borg 125SD. Twelve 180 second exposures, all keepers.
Solid cloud cover shut me down early.


36 Minutes on the Owl Nebula by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Probably wont get another clear night until the Moon is full..:)

Regards...Paul


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WadeH237
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6393426 - 02/23/14 11:50 PM

Quote:

I agree the mount has a lot of potential and I am glad to see the other testers having a great time. However it isn't all sunshine. I've had two and both have an issue that hasn't yet been identified.




I've followed a number of your reviews and tests. iOptron is fortunate to have you testing their mount. It's great to hear that they are working with you go get issues resolved.

The effort that they put into the beta test will go a long way towards a successful introduction of the mount. It's encouraging that they seem to realize this.


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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: WadeH237]
      #6393430 - 02/23/14 11:56 PM

Paul - nice! Can't wait to see how it'll work when it can be guided. That's a very nice baseline to start from. And without the RA encoder! Cool!

Was that polar aligned with the scope only, or some drift as well?

Paul


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PatHolland
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6393431 - 02/23/14 11:57 PM

Impressive Paul. How much time did your spend polar aligning before imaging and have you done any PEC on the mount yet?

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: WadeH237]
      #6393455 - 02/24/14 12:14 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I agree the mount has a lot of potential and I am glad to see the other testers having a great time. However it isn't all sunshine. I've had two and both have an issue that hasn't yet been identified.




I've followed a number of your reviews and tests. iOptron is fortunate to have you testing their mount. It's great to hear that they are working with you go get issues resolved.

The effort that they put into the beta test will go a long way towards a successful introduction of the mount. It's encouraging that they seem to realize this.





As I sit here at my kitchen table staring at my CEM60 Pempro log and cursing the day I decided to take up equipment testing, your comment reminded me why it is all worth it.


You made my night sir,

Thanks!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6393465 - 02/24/14 12:19 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks for the video, Paul. It does seem effortless with the 30 - 35 lb. 10" RC rig.

The "whine" does sound fairly loud to me. Not a "coffee grinder" noise, which is good, but a fairly loud whine. Not sure if that would disturb my neighbours or not.

Is the whine less loud if the slewing speed is set for slower?





Most video cameras pick up sounds and amplify them. I typically find that the sound in my videos is much more loud and abrasive than in person.

I am always concerned about my neighbors when I am slewing around at 3am. I don't think there is any issue with this mount. Sounds very quiet to me.





More on the sound. I test mounts outside in my back yard and I run the cable through my sliding door to my kitchen table. I have the screen door closed so I can keep the bugs out.

Every mount I've ever owned I could hear it slew. Except this one. Even at max slew rate I keep having to get up and shine a flash light on it to make sure it is actually doing something.

You folks with nice mounts already experience this type of thing.


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EFT
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6393472 - 02/24/14 12:23 AM

Nice image. The majority of the distortion appears to be on the outer edges from the scope rather than from the mount.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6393588 - 02/24/14 02:14 AM Attachment (71 downloads)

First night of testing and the gentleman I am working with in China thinks he can do even better with the next firmware!

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/24/14 04:43 AM)


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6393678 - 02/24/14 05:07 AM

Boy, that's looking great! Are you sure you had everything turned on???

It will be interesting to see how long you can go without guiding. I can't afford the mount but the more I see of it, the more I think I need to find a way...


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whwang
sage


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6393687 - 02/24/14 05:26 AM

Wow.... very impressive ECG. The patient must be totally dead. Amen.....

Sorry for the bad joke. I think I am too excited to see this.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6393689 - 02/24/14 05:29 AM

I forecast a strong financial year for iOptron.

I wonder how well the encoder technology scales down in size. I can see how this technology would greatly benefit smaller mounts too even at a lower resolution. Most likely smaller mounts will be used with shorter focal length instruments anyway so lower resolution encoders would still be of benefit.


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vdb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6393740 - 02/24/14 07:36 AM

It really depends if they will correct for dec, if they do you can do probably long exposures without guiding ... (no need for high res encoder on dec, as correction are really small, building the model and correcting on it is what would be needed ...)

Edited by vdb (02/24/14 07:37 AM)


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: vdb]
      #6393763 - 02/24/14 07:52 AM

Quote:

It really depends if they will correct for dec, if they do you can do probably long exposures without guiding ... (no need for high res encoder on dec, as correction are really small, building the model and correcting on it is what would be needed ...)




All they need to do is make sure the dec axis is buttery smooth for ease of guiding


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Ranger Tim
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6393780 - 02/24/14 08:05 AM

Looks like there will be a crash on prices for used mounts in the near future! I've got a couple to sell so that I can buy-up to the CEM60. I've been dreading the switch to a G-11 but now see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to all the testers for at least providing some hope for a mount that might work for us low-brow amateurs! Quick, buy stock in iOptron! Now, to make sure that the rest of the software suite will integrate well...

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DonBoy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394125 - 02/24/14 11:38 AM

Micheal

If you have the PE data saved could you regenerate the graph using a scale of 1 or 2 arc/sec instead of 19.76?


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: DonBoy]
      #6394196 - 02/24/14 12:44 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Quote:

Micheal

If you have the PE data saved could you regenerate the graph using a scale of 1 or 2 arc/sec instead of 19.76?




How about .6?

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/24/14 12:45 PM)


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PatHolland
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394216 - 02/24/14 12:56 PM

Wow! The high end encoder version I assume. That's very impressive. What if your seeing is 3 arc-seconds though? Seeing in SW Missouri is usually about 3. I wouldn't think encoders could correct for that when guiding, you would need adaptive guiding at that point...correct?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394218 - 02/24/14 12:57 PM

@ Psandelle and PatHolland

I did not drift align. I did a simple polar alignment with the excellent polar scope(I did align it to the mount's axis).

Then I did a Two Star alignment routine which gives you a polar offset readout after you center the 2d star. I think the initial readout was 07' lower and 5' East.

While still centered on the 2d star, I used PHD's bullseye overlay and the mount's lat and az adjusters to move the star the approximate distance needed. The first circle on the PHD bullseye is about 8' so it's a good visual reference
point.

Once I adjusted, it was back the Zero Point to do another Two Star align. I did 3 iterations to get to 00-01 and figured it was close enough for government work.

Total time to do the three iterations was about 6 minutes?

I must mention, that the latitude and az adjusters are buttery smooth when using and very precise.

One of the first things I did when receiving the mount was remove the az adjusting bolts to round off the ends...not needed, they are already machined round at the factory.


Azimuth bolt by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

iOptron has obviously been listening to user comments over the years and it's showing up on the current product.

Regards...Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6394227 - 02/24/14 12:59 PM

Quote:

Nice image. The majority of the distortion appears to be on the outer edges from the scope rather than from the mount.




It is Ed, I'm just to lazy to play around with 1mm spacers to get the field entirely flat..:)

Best...Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394232 - 02/24/14 01:02 PM

First night of testing and the gentleman I am working with in China thinks he can do even better with the next firmware!

Awesome result Mike, just an amazing graph. Looking forward to seeing the final results once the firmware is de-bugged and finalized.

Regards...Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6394240 - 02/24/14 01:05 PM

Paul - cool! Especially glad they rounded the bolts (that was a pain to try and do without it). This is an exciting mount if it guides as well as it unguides. It always does seem like iOptron's listening to its users (like putting the hub in the Dec). How is the hub working, by the way?

Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394243 - 02/24/14 01:06 PM

Quote:

All they need to do is make sure the dec axis is buttery smooth for ease of guiding.




Hilmi, the DEC axis is so smooth you wouldn't believe it. It actually feels smoother than the Z and balances like a jeweler's scale.

Unfortunately, you can't do 'helicopter' videos because there are stops built in due to the internal wiring in the mount.

Hope that helps...Paul


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DonBoy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394246 - 02/24/14 01:07 PM

Thanks Micheal. Now it would be interesting to see what the DEC PE looks like.

Edited by DonBoy (02/24/14 01:12 PM)


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: DonBoy]
      #6394255 - 02/24/14 01:12 PM

Any word if current pricing will remain, or will we see a bump at general release time? I think I need to start saving.

Edited by Wmacky (02/24/14 01:17 PM)


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6394334 - 02/24/14 02:28 PM

Assuming current pricing remains and no long term problems show up I see this as the G11 killer. It will also eat into a part of the Mach 1 market for those not too picky about fit and finish and don't have any beef against buying a chinese product.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6394396 - 02/24/14 02:55 PM



Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/24/14 05:57 PM)


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namsel
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6394684 - 02/24/14 05:43 PM

Hi Everyone,

Im new to backyard astronomy and had a really basic question:

Can someone post in the forum a simple and easy to understand explanation of what a telescope mount's "resolution" actually means in terms of arc seconds?

Does this represent the granular fine-ness of its tracking movements?

And how does this relate to tracking stars on scopes with short or long focal lengths? is a lower number better ?

Thanks ya'all..


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PatHolland
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6394740 - 02/24/14 06:17 PM

Quote:

Assuming current pricing remains and no long term problems show up I see this as the G11 killer. It will also eat into a part of the Mach 1 market for those not too picky about fit and finish and don't have any beef against buying a chinese product.




Don't say that Hilmi, I haven't even opened my G11 yet, you make me want to order one of these.


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EFT
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: namsel]
      #6394782 - 02/24/14 06:46 PM

Essentially you are correct. The motor, gearing and other mechanics of a mount determine how fine the movements it can make are. In a perfect situation with perfect polar alignment, all you would need is a motor that would move perfectly smooth in order to track a star (ignoring issues like seeing and diffraction). The reality is that none of these things is perfect and seeing and diffraction also have a negative impact on tracking such that minute corrections must be made to keep the mount tracking or guiding correctly (tracking handled by the mount internally and guiding handled by the mount externally with a guider). If you have a motor that moves in a very course fashion (a stepper motor being the obvious example), then that can limited the resolution of the mount. Gearing may reduce these effects but can also cause their own issues. Maybe the best way to thing about it is in one axis and a theoretical mount that can only move in 1 degree jumps. Horizon to horizon would theoretically be 180 movements of the single axis to follow the sky (if you could see the full 180 degrees). This would be extremely low resolution. If you decrease the size if the movements the mount can make, then you increase the resolution so that the movement becomes increasingly smooth. Now because most mounts move in two axes and you don't always track objects that are exactly 90 degrees from the pole, you have to also have smooth motion and high resolution in the second (i.e., DEC axis).

I hope that helps.


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: EFT]
      #6394804 - 02/24/14 06:59 PM

Interesting results! Thanks a lot for posting this information.

I am interested to see how the tracking is affected by load, I hope this mount maintain a sub-arcsec tracking accuracy with a load close to 60lbs, that would be fantastic.

Does the mount have some sort of home sensors? For instance how easy is to recover the mount in case of a power outage? (remote/semiremote imaging)

I hope that iOptron has a mature Ascom driver for this baby.

Later this year I plan to get a mount that can carry a 12inch reflector or a C11 fully loaded.

Cheers,

Jose


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Pak
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #6394847 - 02/24/14 07:26 PM

Quote:

Interesting results! Thanks a lot for posting this information.

I am interested to see how the tracking is affected by load, I hope this mount maintain a sub-arcsec tracking accuracy with a load close to 60lbs, that would be fantastic.




I wouldn't count on that. I am sure for visual it should be ok though.

Quote:



Does the mount have some sort of home sensors? For instance how easy is to recover the mount in case of a power outage? (remote/semiremote imaging)




iOptron can not seem to put simple alignment marks on these mounts or others link to thread So I doubt very seriously they have home sensors. The IEQ45 for instance doesn't have home sensors. As for a power outage at a remote location, there are ways to deal with that. You are right though. I agree all mounts in this class should have home sensors.

Quote:



I hope that iOptron has a mature Ascom driver for this baby.






I hate to dash your hopes but no. In fact the folks on the iOptron yahoo groups are constantly griping about not having good Ascom drivers. Remember though, ASCOM is seldom directly supported by the manufacturer and is usually coded by private individuals with too much time on their hands. If iOptron is making their own that is fine but there is nothing preventing someone with prior experience from writing full featured ASCOM drivers and uploading them to the ASCOM standards website.

On that note someone should fire off an email to various software developers and ask if they will consider direct support for the iOptron mounts.

Quote:



Later this year I plan to get a mount that can carry a 12inch reflector or a C11 fully loaded.






I would look at a used AP900.

Quote:



Cheers,

Jose






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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Pak]
      #6394916 - 02/24/14 08:04 PM

Quote:

I hate to dash your hopes but no. In fact the folks on the iOptron yahoo groups are constantly griping about not having good Ascom drivers.




To be specific, those are the folks who want to control the mount using EASCOM by the EQMOD group. Unfortunately, that software was written specifically for Skywatcher/Synta type mounts.

You're right. If the (EQMOD) developers wanted to, they could write a iOptron specific software code, the iOptron Ascom drivers are fine and work with almost every planetarium software program I've tried them with.

Even early issues with Skysafari boiled down to an issue on the Southern Stars side, and not iOptron's. It almost took a summit meeting of the parties involved to sort it out though..:(

Just my opinions...Paul


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Pak
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6394929 - 02/24/14 08:12 PM

Thank you Paul,

I was under the impression that you couldn't connect twice to the same ascom driver such as having the remote hand paddle that pops up on some drivers. Or in The Sky X where it has the arrow keys that allow you can use to remote control and center things. My understanding is it is a limitation on the driver, iOptron is aware of it but has no intention of dealing with it until later in the year.

I am used to the Celestron unified driver which seems full featured with all the bells and whistles. While EQMOD sounds great, I have no personal experience with it.

Perhaps my understanding is in error.


Edit:
P.S. Paul, can you provide any insight on the CEM60 to answer Jose's question? Does the CEM60 have home switches?



Edited by Pak (02/24/14 08:13 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Pak]
      #6394998 - 02/24/14 08:44 PM

Quote:

I agree all mounts in this class should have home sensors.




To be fair, I don't believe that any other mount in this class has them either. They aren't common. The least expensive currently-available mounts I can think of with home switches are the LX850 and the CGE Pro. The less expensive CGE had 'em but those have been out of production for years.


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Art43
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Pak]
      #6395051 - 02/24/14 09:40 PM

I think that iOptron has done ASCOM Drivers before or it seems that there is a posting for some mount models. What would be interesting to see if these worked with the CEM60, just basic functionality.


http://ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=bf9fcbb8-0901-4117...


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6395089 - 02/24/14 09:58 PM

Quote:

P.S. Paul, can you provide any insight on the CEM60 to answer Jose's question? Does the CEM60 have home switches?




Sorry, I missed that. No, there is no home switch on the iOptron mounts. If power is interrupted at any time and shuts the mount off, the mount then thinks that point is the home position when turned back on. You would have to manually return to the Zero Position, and then cycle the mount off and on.

There is a Return to Zero Position function, and a Go to Park Position function in the current firmware for normal use.

But, if you lose power, you must return to the Zero Position by releasing the clutch switches and manually returning to the Zero Position.

Hope that clears that up...Paul


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6395166 - 02/24/14 10:52 PM

Quote:

I think that iOptron has done ASCOM Drivers before or it seems that there is a posting for some mount models. What would be interesting to see if these worked with the CEM60, just basic functionality.


http://ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=bf9fcbb8-0901-4117...






I am using the exact same ASCOM driver as with the ZEQ25 which is their .net driver. Works fine so far.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6395170 - 02/24/14 10:54 PM

With regards to the home function. From what I can tell the tech is there already it just needs to be turned on. In fact I got an email on the subject from one of the developers.

"Auto search zero position" which is just a fancy way of saying "home". This may or may not make the next firmware release but he just needs to "activate it" after ironing out a few bugs.

Sounds great! That made me super happy.


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6396046 - 02/25/14 11:59 AM

Hi,

This is the test result from Singapore. It is my first attempt in using PEMPRO. Would like to thank Micheal for guiding me with the use of PEMPRO.



The Mount S/No is 00005

Edited by Alfred Tan (02/25/14 12:02 PM)


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PatHolland
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6396082 - 02/25/14 12:15 PM



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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: PatHolland]
      #6396088 - 02/25/14 12:19 PM

The Mount S/No is 00005

Wow, looks like "5 is not alive"? .22 arc-seconds, peak to peak? I guess iOptron's PE print out provided is not the best case scenario. Well done Alfred..:)

Best...Paul


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hjd1964
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Pak]
      #6396258 - 02/25/14 01:37 PM

Connecting multiple clients to one driver...
Isn't that what POTH (Plain Old Telescope Handset) does?


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: hjd1964]
      #6396312 - 02/25/14 01:54 PM

Yeah, but more modern ASCOM drivers allow you that functionality natively

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wz2
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6396494 - 02/25/14 03:21 PM

Holy baloney, that's a nice PE curve !



Chris


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: wz2]
      #6396552 - 02/25/14 03:59 PM

I think the folks at Meade and Celestron are going to be losing a lot of sleep. With the forthcoming CEM120 they had better get to innovating or fall further behind.

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Art43
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6396571 - 02/25/14 04:10 PM

If you captured the data could you please post the "Frequency Spectrum" tab?


Thank you,


A


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6396592 - 02/25/14 04:20 PM

Alfred,

That's insane :S

Of course it is a 3.8K mount, but it performs as expected!

May I ask what instrument (weight/long) did you use to measure the PE?

Cheers,

Jose


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6396816 - 02/25/14 06:24 PM

Quote:

If you captured the data could you please post the "Frequency Spectrum" tab?






Hi A,

Here it is. I am new to PEMPRO. Hence I would appreciate it if you could give some comments on it.



(This curve was generated by loading the PEMPRO text files (captured from the test) for analysis - that is why you see that the mount and scope are not connected at the bottom of the attached pix.

Thanks.

Alfred


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6396833 - 02/25/14 06:35 PM

I find that huge spike at 5 seconds.

Interesting.

Its even bigger than the fundamental.

Since its so fast, I suspect it is a subdivisional error harmonic from the encoder that is being mirrored to the mount.


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austin.grant
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6396838 - 02/25/14 06:39 PM

hmm...

Edited by austin.grant (02/25/14 07:46 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: austin.grant]
      #6396850 - 02/25/14 06:50 PM

Gday Alfred

Hmmm, that is certainly a very clear spike at 54.
The plots shown so far are only "models" of the data after recreation within PEMPro from the selected fundamentals.
IIRC, PEMPro doesnt use fundamentals above 50 (ish ) as they are too short in duration to be modelled by PEC. ( fund 54 with a 288 tooth worm is only about 5seconds?? )
Soooo what does the raw data look like???
Alfred, can you load yr data into PEMPros Analyse tab
and set it to arcsecs then change the vertical scale to fill the screen as best you can.
Maybe that will show something else in the data???

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: austin.grant]
      #6396857 - 02/25/14 06:51 PM

I selected 5th order and ticked every fundamental.

I believe Alfred left his default linear and only the first 1? 2? were checked.

The 54 fundamental is known. When I inquired about it with the developer I was told he believed he could reduce it.

How would guiding interact with that frequency? Any thoughts to this?


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6396867 - 02/25/14 06:58 PM

That 54 harmonic almost certainly is an interpolation error from the encoder. Hence the developer's belief that he can reduce it. Luke Jones saw something almost identical with the Renishaw encoder on his iEQ45.

Since that SDE is large and fast, guiding won't be able to deal with it. It is a sinusoidal so over longer periods it "cancels out" but the result will be to smear the FWHM on a 2" to 3" scale. Not so good...

The problem is if you relax the encoder parameters so you're not following that SDE, the overall tracking accuracy goes down... (basically ignore any encoder excursions < 2" so that you're not following the encoder error). But that also implies that you cannot get overall tracking accuracy below +-2".

Interesting. They are repeating the same design process I went through. This is why I was skeptical of their certification "from the encoder" - it looked just like mine. And since it was coming from the encoder, it has encoder error superimposed on it that you can't see...


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6396908 - 02/25/14 07:16 PM

Based on that it would seem that a non-encoder version of the mount would be more worthwhile. Thoughts?

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6396910 - 02/25/14 07:18 PM

Gday Orlyandico

Quote:

That 54 harmonic almost certainly is an interpolation error from the encoder.




Gotta agree more with that,
as the 54 fundamental blows my microstepping theory to bits


Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6396922 - 02/25/14 07:24 PM

16 teeth on motor 48 on worm pulley 288 on main gear. Can you fill in the blanks and determine what we are dealing with?

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6396996 - 02/25/14 07:59 PM

Gday Whichwayisnorth

Quote:

16 teeth on motor 48 on worm pulley 288 on main gear.




Oooh good, my initial guess was close then
288 teeth means 4500 arcsec per tooth as a datum
a) With an ( assumed ) 1.8deg stepper and a 3:1 reduction we get 7.5 arcsec per full step in the motor
b) With a fundamental of 54 within a full wormwheel tooth we get 83.3333 arcsec per unit ( or 15552 total encoder divisions ?? )

Thus the motor moves through 11.111 full steps for one full fundamental 54, so the problem isnt in the motors microstepping drive itself.
As such, if it is a sinusoidal error in the raw data, ( which is certainly what the FFT plot would indicate ), it has to be in the encoder read/ feedback loop.
Ie I now defer to Orlyandico, as i only understand the basics of what he is describing there.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Ray Gralak
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6397196 - 02/25/14 09:43 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Quote:

Gday Alfred

Hmmm, that is certainly a very clear spike at 54.
The plots shown so far are only "models" of the data after recreation within PEMPro from the selected fundamentals.
IIRC, PEMPro doesnt use fundamentals above 50 (ish ) as they are too short in duration to be modelled by PEC. ( fund 54 with a 288 tooth worm is only about 5seconds?? )
Soooo what does the raw data look like???
Alfred, can you load yr data into PEMPros Analyse tab
and set it to arcsecs then change the vertical scale to fill the screen as best you can.
Maybe that will show something else in the data???

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



Hi Andrew, well that's not quite true. While the automatic scanning stops at 50x you can add ANY frequency (even non-integer) with the File->Edit Fundamentals option in the Create PEC dialog. I've attached an example picture.

-Ray


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Art43
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6397250 - 02/25/14 10:04 PM

I had a Losmandy G-11 and that data had it in multiply harmonics with amplitudes as high as this one. All were some fundamental of a gear from the reduction mechanism. I just wondered what the distribution looked like for the CEM-60. I am sure the engineers at iOptron are aware of this, and it an artifact of the design. In the G-11 the spikes were broad, nothing like this.

Here is a old web page about this issue:

http://celestialwonders.com/equipment/OvisionVsLHPW.html

With my Ovision Kit, I was provided with an spreadsheet showing a scatter plot of my new gear and block. At one point I loaded my original, unmodified Losmandy G-11 and found that the Ovision Kit scatter plot was like a golf ball compared to a basket ball. The tracking, and guiding was much improved with the upgrade kit.

To remove the spikes, I ended up replacing all the bearings in the worm reduction for RA with ceramic bearing, replacing the Losmandy Worm Gear with an Ovision High Precision Worm Gear, Ovision One Piece Worm Block, Stepper Motors, Replaced both RA and DEC reduction gear boxes with high precision metal gearboxes, appropriate adjustment and the addition of a Telescope Drive Master.

There is endless amounts of data and information on this issue in the yahoo.com/groups "Losmandy". Eventually, Scott Losmandy completely redesign the RA Worm Block to One Piece and High Performance Worm.

I am not even sure that anyone was aware of these issues until PemPro. These frequency distributions can also be seen in PecPrep analysis.

!!!! The data I had from my unmodified Losmandy G-11 was "NEVER" +/- 0.anything. The Data from the CEM60 you have posted is extraordinary for any mount at any price .

I am not knocking Losmandy. The mount I had is from 8 to 13 years ago. At the time the Losmandy G-11 was the best thing(bang for the buck) out there under $8,000.00 U.S. I took many fine images with that mount, before and after the upgrade. I spent thousands of hours looking at the stars too. I truly enjoyed SCT's, Maks, MakNewts, Newtonian's and Refractors on My G-11 mount. Scott stills builds great products that are affordable.



A


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressio new [Re: Art43]
      #6397299 - 02/25/14 10:29 PM

I've just been informed that if you connect a guide camera to the mount it disables the encoder. This is by design. The standard version of the mount has PPEC while the EC version wouldn't have any sort of error correction if you are guiding. So I guess the 54 harmonic doesn't matter since it is generated by the encoder and shutting off the encoder when guiding means they will not interfere.

The question you need to ask yourselves is: Do you believe it is worth the extra money for the EC version to take short unguided exposures and not have RPEC when you attach a guider or do you want to spend less money on the standard CEM60, use PPEC and guide?


Correction: Only shuts down the guiding in RA not DEC. So DEC guiding still works. If I understood the clarification I got.

I still would like PPEC on the RA though if that is the case. I look forward to your comments.


EDIT: After further clarification I realize I made an idiot out of my myself and so I am going to leave my original comment here without edit so you know I am not hiding it.

Turns out, and I am blaming my lack of encoder understanding, that the encoder is not disabled in the way I understood. It just turns off when it sees a auto guide correction and then back on again after. So auto on/off.

I misunderstood it to mean that if you plugged in an auto guider camera it would completely disable the encoder.

So for the record and to re-clarify: The encoder stays enabled. Dec guiding works all the time. When RA correction from auto guiding is received, the encoder accepts that command by switching to passive or whatever, then back on immediately.

Whew, I was worried for nothing.

Carry on...


Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/25/14 11:20 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #6397327 - 02/25/14 10:46 PM

Gday Ray
Quote:

While the automatic scanning stops at 50x you can add ANY frequency (even non-integer) with the File->Edit Fundamentals




Ahh excellent.
I just tried that trick with some dummy AVX data as well ( as it has a 52 fundamental ). Adding a 52x in that tab works but it doesnt appear to be sticky??,
ie i seem to have to define it each time i open the dialog

I then tried enabling my AVX specific defs file where i had defined the AVX's 52 fundamental, but it still requires manual addition in the "create dialog".


Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6397346 - 02/25/14 10:55 PM

Quote:

The question you need to ask yourselves is: Do you believe it is worth the extra money for the EC version to take short unguided exposures and not have RPEC when you attach a guider or do you want to spend less money on the standard CEM60, use PPEC and guide?




That would depend on the raw PE curve. If it is smooth and easily guided I could live with that (which is why I never missed PPEC on my Takahashi mounts).


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6397370 - 02/25/14 11:09 PM

John,

I agree. From what I understand the Non-EC version is under 5 arc seconds but not sure if that is peak to valley or pk-pk.

I am asking for further clarification on how the encoder and guiding work. What I know now is that without any guiding the encoder is on. With dec guiding only the encoder is on. With any RA guiding the encoder is off.

So my question is, does the encoder turn off ONLY during the auto guider corrections then resume or does it stay off all the time? So if your guide input to RA is every 5 seconds, does the encoder work in between?

Edit: I added a correction to my post above and the encoder turned off to let me post it and has turned back on again.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/25/14 11:18 PM)


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Art43
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6397407 - 02/25/14 11:33 PM Attachment (75 downloads)

I have attached PemPro graphs of the "non" encoder CEM60. This is the data file that was posted to CN, that I downloaded and processed. This data shows no spike in the data. Again, I down loaded this data from the post here on CN, and only processed this information.


A


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6397410 - 02/25/14 11:38 PM

I think it depends. If the system has too large PE to guide, a PEC should help guiding. If the PE is very small, PEC + guiding might perform worse than guiding alone since PEC curve acts as a bias to the guiding.

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Art43
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6397412 - 02/25/14 11:38 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

More Plots.

Thanks to the Test Team for releasing the data for us to process.

Regards,


A


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6397435 - 02/25/14 11:55 PM

I wonder about the longevity of these encoders? Will the standard model have been a better choice 10 year down the road?

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Toml08
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6397458 - 02/26/14 12:15 AM

Quote:

John,

I agree. From what I understand the Non-EC version is under 5 arc seconds but not sure if that is peak to valley or pk-pk.

I am asking for further clarification on how the encoder and guiding work. What I know now is that without any guiding the encoder is on. With dec guiding only the encoder is on. With any RA guiding the encoder is off.

So my question is, does the encoder turn off ONLY during the auto guider corrections then resume or does it stay off all the time? So if your guide input to RA is every 5 seconds, does the encoder work in between?

Edit: I added a correction to my post above and the encoder turned off to let me post it and has turned back on again.




The only experience I have with encoders is a TDM (Telescope Drive Master) which places a encoder on the RA shaft. From my understanding when guiding any correction from the guider is ignored. As the TDM knows it was sent by the guider and doesn't correct for it. So I'm making an assumption (you know what that means) that the 60 works in some what the same the manner. That's it's on/correcting all the time, but ignoring/not correcting during the guide command. The great thing with my setup is that my typ guide exposure is 10 to 15 sec just to take care of any seeing conditions and such. I'm also watching this mount close to see how the testing works as it appears to a very nice unit and iOptron is listening to input. Any how that how I understand the encoder on my mount works.

CS,
Tom.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Art43]
      #6397465 - 02/26/14 12:24 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Gday Art43

I looked at that data when it was first posted.
I note it has some none integer fundamentals
ie at 2.8, 6.75 and 13.5.
I assume this means it has a Gbx vs the stepper in the encoder version??
Sooo, are there two totally different drive trains???
If so, it will be interesting to see how consistent they are.
I also plotted the data as both RA and DEC in raw arcsecs over time, ( vs normalised and overlaid by period ), to see the underlying trends.
Shows interesting RA drift?? but IIRC, someone had reported there was a drift bug in early firmwares, so not sure if its in the later models.
( PS, to display the RA or DEC in this sort of format in PEMPro, you can just manually set the "Worm Period" edit box to a number longer than the data collection time ).
It screws up the FFT conversion, but allows other things to be looked at in a different light.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6397475 - 02/26/14 12:34 AM

Quote:

As the TDM knows it was sent by the guider and doesn't correct for it. So I'm making an assumption (you know what that means) that the 60 works in some what the same the manner. That's it's on/correcting all the time, but ignoring/not correcting during the guide command.




Tom, I have a TDM also, and incorrectly assumed the CEM60 EC would behave the same way.

Not so it seems. The mount will not work in tandem with any external guiding commands, so essentially you would have to disable the high precision encoder in order to auto-guide at all with the mount.

It should be a simple software fix to allow guiding commands in Dec but to ignore RA corrections, and the software team indicated that they would look into doing just that.

If that can't be done, I may just stick with the std CEM60, which is showing good potential at this point with it's 10 arc-second total PE. That should be easy to guide out for extremely long exposures?

Best..Paul


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6397489 - 02/26/14 12:55 AM

If the encoder disables during guide commands but is on otherwise, then unless the guide command perfectly overlaps the Spurious correction due to the encoder error, that error (54x) would still be there.

And if the encoder disables when any guide input is detected, then I submit that the encoder isn't that useful.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6397496 - 02/26/14 12:59 AM

Trying to clarify through a language barrier imakes this clear as mud. A lot of contradicting information. ill update when i get the details sorted.

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Ultron
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6397501 - 02/26/14 01:09 AM

I would think if the encoder circuit didn't disable during a guiding correction command, it would cause the mount to oscillate. For example, the guide would send a +RA correction, and the encoders would sense the mount moved too many pulses (or steps) and would move the mount back in -RA.

EDIt: Unless the mount takes the guiding command, moves the mount in +RA the amount requested by counting the known amount of encoder pulses for that movement.

Edited by Ultron (02/26/14 01:13 AM)


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Ultron]
      #6397555 - 02/26/14 02:02 AM

Btw that RA drift in Andrew's last post?

that's either polar misalignment in altitude, or...

Variant sidereal rate due to airmass.

Which leads to the big problem of relative encoders.. even with perfect polar alignment and perfect tracking, you'll only get round stars close to the zenith.

At lower altitudes atmospheric refraction due to airmass will cause RA drift.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6397585 - 02/26/14 02:28 AM

Quote:


Which leads to the big problem of relative encoders.. even with perfect polar alignment and perfect tracking, you'll only get round stars close to the zenith.





Which brings us back to guiding. However if guiding disables the encoder as I suggested the first time, then there is no point to having the EC version of the mount.

If the encoder corrects unless it receives a auto guide correction, as I think iOptron is telling me now, then you mentioned it was worthless for that too.

Could you spare a bit of time and share with me why that is? I know we've had a few threads on encoders recently and I do not want to steer this thread too far off topic but for those of us interested in these mounts I would like to know the hard truth.

What could iOptron be doing right with the EC version? What do you think is really going on and can they fix it?

If I or others are going to pay over a grand for the EC version what benefit does it have? I have no interest in short exposures as most of my imaging is narrow band at about 15-20 minutes. Now I am thinking the encoder version is not for me.

Could you also share your thoughts on the 54 fundamental shown in the graph? I know it comes from reading the encoder so can it be minimized in some way through firmware?

I would sure like to hear what you have to say on it.

Right now I am in a wait and see mode. There is supposed to be new firmware heading to the testers in a week-ish. Guiding should be re-enabled so I guess I will see for myself what is going on.

I also feel it is important to push iOptron to consider what they are doing now as opposed to April or May.

This is the time to correct or modify.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6397615 - 02/26/14 03:29 AM

Gday Orlyandico

Quote:

Btw that RA drift in Andrew's last post?
that's either polar misalignment in altitude, or...
Variant sidereal rate due to airmass.




or a slight error in the feedback loop/clocking???

We dont know what HA the log was done at, but if it were close to the meridien, the DEC drift shows that its pretty close to the pole in Azimuth.
The RA drift rate from the log is about 25-30 arcsec in 20mins
soooo lets say 1.5 arcsec per minute or 0.025 arcsec/sec
My math is no good here, so how far of the pole in altitude would it need to be to get that high an error rate in RA tracking??
I cant see King Rate effects etc getting anywhere near this ( if it was done near HA=0/DEC=0 ),
but again, my math is hazy in this area.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6397635 - 02/26/14 04:26 AM

Andrew,

http://www.bbastrodesigns.com/equatTrackingRatesCalc.html

Note that for the sample data (HA = 2:00:00, 40* latitude, 20* declination)

the refracted tracking rate is 15.035 and the King rate is 15.034 (arc-seconds/second).

Compare this with the mean sidereal rate of 1296000 / 86164 = 15.041 or the mean King rate of 1296000 / 86188 = 15.037.

So this means that the refracted tracking rate has a much greater effect than the King rate - and this is at 57 degrees altitude! (which is still pretty high above the horizon)

So 15.035 vs 15.041 = 0.006/second, over 20 minutes that is 7 arc-seconds which is substantial.

Ideally the mount would vary the tracking rate based on the computed altitude (you don't need a model for this, the mount always knows its Alt and Az anyway because it needs that for GoTo pointing). You can even ignore the King rate which is notoriously difficult to compute, since airmass has a much greater effect, i.e. 15.041 sidereal, 15.035 refracted, 15.034 King.


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6397640 - 02/26/14 04:32 AM

as for the 54X "harmonic" - as I mentioned this may actually be sub-divisional error.

http://www.deltatau.co.uk/tech-subdiv.html

This is a very good resource and is my recommendation for a "first read" --

http://resources.renishaw.com/en/download/white-paper-the-accuracy-of-angle-e...

Basically the algorithm (arc-tangent) that interpolates between encoder slots, imposes a fast error of sinusoidal form. This fast error has its fundamental at the encoder slot frequency, and harmonics at 2X and 3X the slot frequency. Generally this "SDE" or "interpolation error" is about 2" to 4" p-p for normal encoders.

The SDE can be removed using Heydemann interpolation, which however is computationally expensive. An alternative approach is ellipse-fitting, I've actually done this in my project but it was not very successful.

It seems to be the 3rd harmonic of a 5000-slot encoder (86188 / 5000 = 17.2373 sec, 1/3 of that is 5.75 sec). If this theory is true there also should be SDE errors at 17.24 seconds and 8.62 sec (but maybe the 1st and 2nd harmonic were removed using Heydemann interpolation).

So it seems:

1) the encoder only runs if the mount is un-guided, but it seems to have an SDE of about 4" p-p period and which is fast, so would have the tendency of smearing out the stars in RA direction

2) if guiding inputs are provided, the encoder is disabled, making the mount just the same as the non-encoder version.

So IMHO if that 54X isn't removed, it limits the unguided precision of the mount and makes the value of the encoder much less.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6397645 - 02/26/14 04:47 AM

Gday OrlyAndico

Quote:

http://www.bbastrodesigns.com/equatTrackingRatesCalc.html



I had seen that, but assuming HA close to zero, it gave small nos, relative to what the plot showed.
What I needed to find was something on how polar misalignment affects RA tracking.

Quote:

So 15.035 vs 15.041 = 0.006/second, over 20 minutes that is 7 arc-seconds which is substantial.




Agreed, but the log appears to show 3 to 4x that rate
Hmmm, i refound the original post for the log in question, but still cant deduce where it was run HA/DEC wise. Most people do PEC logs near the meridien, and i must say, many of the logs i have looked at over the years dont show such a clear drift in RA when the DEC drift is near zero. Wonder what the encoder versions tracking is like.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6397646 - 02/26/14 04:51 AM

to add - if the non-EC has 10" p-p of periodic error, normal PEC can cut this down to 2" - 3" at worst (and could be sub-1" at best). I am not so sure I see the value of the encoder here..

The TDM does have value, because it normally gets put on mounts with 30" of PE (and for which PEC can only bring that down to say 5"). But putting a TDM on a Paramount or AP mount.. (it is possible to put a TDM on a PME) that I see little value in..


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6397674 - 02/26/14 05:32 AM

Quote:


Soooo what does the raw data look like???
Alfred, can you load yr data into PEMPros Analyse tab
and set it to arcsecs then change the vertical scale to fill the screen as best you can.
Maybe that will show something else in the data???

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




Hi Andrew,

Just got back from work. Here they are:

For the RA axis X


and RA axis Y



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vdb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6397746 - 02/26/14 07:32 AM

orlyandico,
while it's all true what you mention, why can ASA and 10micron users do long unguided shots ... they compensate for this in software because all these items are known factors ... so it's just a question of modelling and correcting on the errors/variables ...


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: vdb]
      #6397752 - 02/26/14 07:43 AM

That's because ASA and 10 micron do something even better than vary the tracking rate. They use a mount model.

The CEM60 doesn't do this at present.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6398075 - 02/26/14 10:59 AM

Hi,

I just want to add something to the fact that the encoder corrections are turned off while an autoguider correction is taking place. This is normal, many mounts implements the same strategy when guiding and PEC is enable. PEC corrections are ignored while the autoguide correction is taking place.

I visualize iOptron's encoder's implementation as a real time realtime PEC device. The ASA and 10micron do more things than just PEC, that's why you can take longer subs. I see a lot of value in IOptron implementation's, you can guide with intervals of +10s just to correct for Polar Alignment drift, with long autoguider subs you won't be chasing the seeing.

Orlyandico: If you know beforehand the frequency of the interpolation errors, why not implement a digital filter in software to suppress those corrections? This looks like a text book example of DSP design.

Cheers,

Jose


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6398083 - 02/26/14 11:02 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Quote:

Gday Ray
Quote:

While the automatic scanning stops at 50x you can add ANY frequency (even non-integer) with the File->Edit Fundamentals




Ahh excellent.
I just tried that trick with some dummy AVX data as well ( as it has a 52 fundamental ). Adding a 52x in that tab works but it doesnt appear to be sticky??,
ie i seem to have to define it each time i open the dialog

I then tried enabling my AVX specific defs file where i had defined the AVX's 52 fundamental, but it still requires manual addition in the "create dialog".


Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



If you want to make the fundamentals sticky for a particular mount you can do that in the Advanced section of the configure mounts/scopes dialog. I've attached a picture with the three simple steps to add a custom frequency.

-Ray


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Ray Gralak]
      #6398097 - 02/26/14 11:09 AM

Jose, tried that. The problem is you can filter that harmonic but you don't know its phase. Also no real world filter has no phase delay. And if there's a phase delay you can't know the current encoder value because the filter applied causes a rather large time delay.

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vdb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6398140 - 02/26/14 11:33 AM

Quote:

That's because ASA and 10 micron do something even better than vary the tracking rate. They use a mount model.

The CEM60 doesn't do this at present.




Yes, that was what I mentioned, once they do this, the mount will be hard to resist ...


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: vdb]
      #6398159 - 02/26/14 11:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

That's because ASA and 10 micron do something even better than vary the tracking rate. They use a mount model.

The CEM60 doesn't do this at present.




Yes, that was what I mentioned, once they do this, the mount will be hard to resist ...




I think there's some crosstalk between two unrelated issues here. Dual axis EQ tracking corrections based on a sky model aren't dependent on having axis encoders. Vixen was offering that in the early 90's (late 80's?) in the SS2k with no axis encoders. Bisque has offered it in much higher precision for a number of years - without axis encoders. AP will offer it when APCC is released and that won't be dependent on axis encoders, either.

Axis encoders are cool and recent - but they are just a new way to do what others have done in other ways.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: vdb]
      #6398166 - 02/26/14 11:49 AM

Did the telescope drive master face a similar issue? If not then it must be possible to implement a solution to the issue.

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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6398220 - 02/26/14 12:17 PM

Hilmi, I think the TDM guys solved this. Like I said Heydemann interpolation is well known in the literature. The Gemini telescopes were doing this in the 1990s. The trick is implementing it. The implementations I've seen start with a matlab algorithm that is translated to an FPGA or DSP. Not a cheap approach considering how much matlab and the DSP targeting compiler costs...

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6398264 - 02/26/14 12:41 PM

Quote:

as for the 54X "harmonic" - as I mentioned this may actually be sub-divisional error.

http://www.deltatau.co.uk/tech-subdiv.html

This is a very good resource and is my recommendation for a "first read" --

http://resources.renishaw.com/en/download/white-paper-the-accuracy-of-angle-e...

Basically the algorithm (arc-tangent) that interpolates between encoder slots, imposes a fast error of sinusoidal form. This fast error has its fundamental at the encoder slot frequency, and harmonics at 2X and 3X the slot frequency. Generally this "SDE" or "interpolation error" is about 2" to 4" p-p for normal encoders.

The SDE can be removed using Heydemann interpolation, which however is computationally expensive. An alternative approach is ellipse-fitting, I've actually done this in my project but it was not very successful.

So it seems:

1) the encoder only runs if the mount is un-guided, but it seems to have an SDE of about 4" p-p period and which is fast, so would have the tendency of smearing out the stars in RA direction

2) if guiding inputs are provided, the encoder is disabled, making the mount just the same as the non-encoder version.

So IMHO if that 54X isn't removed, it limits the unguided precision of the mount and makes the value of the encoder much less.




Teaching a man to fish. I love it.

I'll check it out. Way over my head but I'll try my best.

Thanks!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6398270 - 02/26/14 12:44 PM

Quote:

to add - if the non-EC has 10" p-p of periodic error, normal PEC can cut this down to 2" - 3" at worst (and could be sub-1" at best). I am not so sure I see the value of the encoder here..

The TDM does have value, because it normally gets put on mounts with 30" of PE (and for which PEC can only bring that down to say 5"). But putting a TDM on a Paramount or AP mount.. (it is possible to put a TDM on a PME) that I see little value in..





And this is my fear. I don't want to spend the extra money just to have red knobs.

I'd rather save the money and go non-ec, use PPEC, and guide.


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: vdb]
      #6398273 - 02/26/14 12:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

That's because ASA and 10 micron do something even better than vary the tracking rate. They use a mount model.

The CEM60 doesn't do this at present.





Yes, that was what I mentioned, once they do this, the mount will be hard to resist ...




but there's still no "ashtray"...bluetooth out of the box.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6398418 - 02/26/14 01:53 PM

Gday Alfred
Quote:

Hi Andrew,

Just got back from work. Here they are:



Hmmm, very very regular data, and large pk-pk "relative" to the inital "model".
I note you checked the drift removal boxes, so its hard to really see the data, but it looks like about 3arcsec pk-pk "ripples". ( which would also line up with what i thought was noise in the factory plot posted by whichwayisnorth )
Soooo, it certainly looks like what Andyorlico has proposed.

Ref
Quote:

This fast error has its fundamental at the encoder slot frequency, and harmonics at 2X and 3X the slot frequency.



I cant tell what data rate you collected at, but based on the above, you should also have a fundamental at 108. Based on FFT being able to get data at 1/2 the sampling freq, we have 300sec per turn of the worm, so to get fund 108, you need to sample at 1.4 seconds per frame or less. Your posted FFT plot doesnt show this far, so if you sampled at a faster rate, does it also show something at 108???

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6398439 - 02/26/14 02:04 PM

Gday OrlyAndico

Quote:

The problem is you can filter that harmonic but you don't know its phase. Also no real world filter has no phase delay. And if there's a phase delay you can't know the current encoder value because the filter applied causes a rather large time delay.




Just for my info, after looking at how regular Alfreds data is, could a very crude form of "pre PEC" be used to reduce the error.
Ie assuming the sinusoidal error from the SDE is getting faithfully recreated by the motor, the feedback loop appears fast enough to cope.
Rather than do an exotic filter, could a simple interpolation table be used to tweak the actual encoder interpolation, before it gets to the motor driving code.
It could always resynch itself based on the interpolated sine wave transitioning from +ve to -ve or -ve to +ve,
so would be self healing for each line of the encoder.
Sure it wouldnt be perfect, but it may be a very quick way to reduce a lot of the error,???
Am i being crazy here??

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6398759 - 02/26/14 05:21 PM

Quote:

Jose, tried that. The problem is you can filter that harmonic but you don't know its phase. Also no real world filter has no phase delay. And if there's a phase delay you can't know the current encoder value because the filter applied causes a rather large time delay.




Orlyandico,

If the harmonic period is 5s you could implement a filter that will lock to the harmonic very fast.

I still don't understand why a simple canonical notch filter will not solve this problem. They are easy to implement on general purpose hardware.

I read your other post with great interest and I am sure you understand the problem very well and it is likely that I don't, but from a pure DSP perspective it looks like this particular issue is easy to solve.

Cheers,

Jose


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namsel
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #6399027 - 02/26/14 07:51 PM

So basically:

If one uses a guide scope - buy the regular CEM60.

If one doesnt use a guide scope and relies upon the EC encoder for guiding on long subs - buy the CEM60 EC.

Is this the jist of it ?

For the most subtle and delicate, long subs of deep space, long exposures, long focal lengths, pushed to the max - which is better?

Edited by namsel (02/26/14 07:52 PM)


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, First Impressions new [Re: tjugo]
      #6399086 - 02/26/14 08:37 PM

Jose I did try both FIR and IIR notch filters. The whole caboodle.

The problem is that normal filters will cause phase delay - in this case time delay. So your encoder signal is no longer the current angle, but the angle some 5-10 seconds ago. Which is worthless.

What would be needed is a non causal filter that predicts the current value. Or a Kalman filter. I could not get my brain wrapped around that...


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