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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup.
      #6383557 - 02/18/14 07:51 PM

I received my CEM60 on Monday and quickly shoved my wife and kids out of the door to have a quiet hour to shoot an unboxing video.

Initial impressions?
Looks amazing! Lots of good stuff packed into this little mount.

Light weight! A lot lighter than I actually considered. I honestly expected it to weigh 10 pounds more. Seems so small for its weight capacity.

Seems very stable! I will have no qualms about installing my 11" EdgeHD on this! Max capacity of 60 pounds? Seems like that would be insane but heck, I'll try anything twice. Stay tuned!

AS requested I have taken the time to shoot the unboxing and setup video. I spent about an hour, took a few breaks along the way to deal with the dog and people knocking on the door but I've managed to cut out most of that.

Here is the footage broken up into three parts.

Enjoy!

Part 1: Click here to view Part 1 of 3

Part 2: Click here to view Part 2 of 3

Part 3: Click here to view part 3 of 3

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/18/14 07:52 PM)


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383568 - 02/18/14 07:59 PM

Dealing with people, dogs knocking on the door, have they no respect for mount greatness!!!

Cool stuff! Can't wait to see how it works under the stars. Congrats!

Paul


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sewhite
member


Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Georgia
Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6383665 - 02/18/14 08:55 PM

Micheal

Thanks for the videos. Good luck with the testing and clear skies.

Stan


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6383667 - 02/18/14 08:56 PM

Thanks very much for the videos!

If it is like the iEQ45, there will be an extra menu selection of "Park Scope to Zero Position" just after the "Park Scope" position, which will place the scope back in the position of pointing North. The "Park Scope" seems to be a relic of the Alt-Az mounts, and is a real hazard for those of us with long OTAs.

Nice to see that they have a decent saddle with this - it should not be necessary to get an ADM after-market. Also, the CW shaft looks decently long - an extension should not be needed with my 30 lb. , 48" long Newt.


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: dvb]
      #6383708 - 02/18/14 09:23 PM

Michael,

Two things...


1. Make sure your saddle will not allow the scope dovetail to accidentally seat in a canted position. Paul discussed this in the Zeq25 thread.

2. It sounds like they actually forgot to put springs under your tension knobs. There are supposed to be springs there on the Zeq25 mount and I bet they should be there on this mount as well. I would call ioptron about that...

The mount looks like a beauty overall! Good luck!...John


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germana1
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: John Miele]
      #6383724 - 02/18/14 09:29 PM

Thanks also I see what you mean with the vibration with the knobs! really like the way my IEQ 45 spins when balancing makes it a lot easier .
Again thanks nice vids.
Pete


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: John Miele]
      #6383728 - 02/18/14 09:32 PM

Quote:

Michael,

Two things...


1. Make sure your saddle will not allow the scope dovetail to accidentally seat in a canted position. Paul discussed this in the Zeq25 thread.

2. It sounds like they actually forgot to put springs under your tension knobs. There are supposed to be springs there on the Zeq25 mount and I bet they should be there on this mount as well. I would call ioptron about that...

The mount looks like a beauty overall! Good luck!...John




Yah I was wondering about springs or some type of bushings. I am waiting to hear back on what they have in mind.


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Wmacky
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Reged: 11/24/07

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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383739 - 02/18/14 09:38 PM

Fantastic!

What happened to the Pacman sound?

Edited by Wmacky (02/18/14 11:03 PM)


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mmalik
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383768 - 02/18/14 10:52 PM

Congrats Michael!

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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: mmalik]
      #6383799 - 02/18/14 11:12 PM

I trained my pet fish to never knock on the door when I open a new mount.

Congrats on new gear


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6383809 - 02/18/14 11:18 PM

Quote:

Fantastic!

What happened to the Pacman sound?




I want to know the same thing! I just re-watched the video that Paul posted a while back in the "not a rumor anymore" thread and noticed that 1) that mount was quieter as it didn't have the rattle sound when it starts and stops and 2) mine doesn't have the pac-man r2d2 whatever sound. I am kinda disappointed.


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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383941 - 02/19/14 01:16 AM

Thank you for putting the video up, fantastic!

The mount is very impressive and full of good features. If it performs as promised, it will be a killer.

I think you have found which way is north.


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PatHolland
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383945 - 02/19/14 01:21 AM

Thanks for recording your experience and sharing it. That mount looks like a winner. Keep us posted on the springs.

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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: PatHolland]
      #6383956 - 02/19/14 01:32 AM

One thing I like about their mounts is that they provide a nice case to go with them. I don't know why other manufacturers can't do the same at least as an option. The only other manufacturer I know who does this is 10u

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6383964 - 02/19/14 01:40 AM

Regarding the springs. iOptron says this design doesn't have or require them. They are going to update their quick start guide to recommend less than 1/4 turn out. I can't wait to get under stars and do some imaging!

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Falcon-
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383969 - 02/19/14 01:46 AM

The springs are present on the ZEQ25 as they are what actually press on the worm block to mesh it with the wheel.

If my memory is not faulty, and it could be, the CEM60 does not use springs that physically press on the mount, but rather uses magnets. Given that it is no surprise the CEM60 lacked springs on the lock screws (though the rattle is something I hope they are able to change).


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6383972 - 02/19/14 01:51 AM

Exactly right. The CEM60 doesn't use springs as the worm block is held against the main gear via magnets. Really slick btw. The worm then rides smoothly along. I feel there is room to improve the way the knob rests when engaged and I excited to see how things go. iOptron has been very responsive to my feedback so far.

Hopefully the clouds will clear, my 11" EdgeHD will arrive this week and I can start doing some actual testing.


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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Reged: 06/18/05

Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6383974 - 02/19/14 01:52 AM

I'm glad there is no PacMan sound, and my neighbours will also be pleased.

It is not what they want in the middle of the night, and if was ever cute, it would get old real fast.


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383977 - 02/19/14 01:53 AM

I wonder how that impacts the little compass used to find north. Kind of like a dog chasing its tail with the magnets pulling the compass and constantly telling you to turn the mount left till eventually your head explodes from stress. I'm telling you, it's a conspiracy

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: dvb]
      #6383980 - 02/19/14 01:54 AM

Pac-Man needs to be something you can turn on and off in the hand controller. I mentioned that. From what I heard they worked really really hard to kill pac-man before they shipped these. lol

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mmalik
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6383990 - 02/19/14 02:04 AM

So Michael, the noise you heard during slewing was just the bolt rattling, not the gears, correct?

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Pinbout
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Reged: 02/22/10

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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: mmalik]
      #6384118 - 02/19/14 05:50 AM

Quote:

So Michael, the noise you heard during slewing was just the bolt rattling, not the gears, correct?




That sounded ugly.


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6384149 - 02/19/14 06:49 AM

In your experimentation with the mount, can you see if you can find a way to check how secure that CW shaft mounting mechanism is? I am interested in the mount once it is past beta, but I am uncomfortable with the adjustable counterweight shaft, looks to me like a source of flexure.

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Wmacky
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Reged: 11/24/07

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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: mmalik]
      #6384253 - 02/19/14 08:40 AM

Quote:

So Michael, the noise you heard during slewing was just the bolt rattling, not the gears, correct?



I remember some of the atlas mounts sounding like that?


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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6384481 - 02/19/14 11:08 AM

Quote:

Exactly right. The CEM60 doesn't use springs as the worm block is held against the main gear via magnets. Really slick btw. The worm then rides smoothly along. I feel there is room to improve the way the knob rests when engaged and I excited to see how things go. iOptron has been very responsive to my feedback so far.

Hopefully the clouds will clear, my 11" EdgeHD will arrive this week and I can start doing some actual testing.




Thanks for the review, the mount looks nice.

The clutchless design is nice but you need to be very careful when disengage the worm wheel because it is very easy to damage the worms. I had a ZEQ25 and I didn't like the idea of disengaging the worm wheels just for balancing the mount.

Another issue with this design is that every time you engage/disengage the periodic error profile is modified. I have no clue how the CEM60 is affected by this cause it uses magnets to keep the right tension of the worm.

Cheers,

Jose


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: mmalik]
      #6384520 - 02/19/14 11:30 AM

Quote:

So Michael, the noise you heard during slewing was just the bolt rattling, not the gears, correct?




Correct. And for what it is worth none of the others they've looked at do the same thing. (make any noise at all) So I am asking that they swap this out for another. If they ship today I'll have it tomorrow. I just don't feel like tearing this brand new mount apart to fix it as it would require removing too much. Also for what it is worth only the DEC has this issue. The RA is quiet as a mouse.

It's just the bolt rattling against the casing when the worm is engaged with the wheel. The bolt has no purpose at this point so it just sits there being stupid. I am sure they can come up with a few ideas to isolate it from the casing so it doesn't have a chance to ever vibrate and rattle. Simple fix for the factory. Not so simple for me.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6384529 - 02/19/14 11:34 AM

Quote:

In your experimentation with the mount, can you see if you can find a way to check how secure that CW shaft mounting mechanism is? I am interested in the mount once it is past beta, but I am uncomfortable with the adjustable counterweight shaft, looks to me like a source of flexure.




Yes I thought of that even before I took it out of the box. As I note in my video, it felt really solid. I see absolutely no cause for concern here at all.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: tjugo]
      #6384546 - 02/19/14 11:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Exactly right. The CEM60 doesn't use springs as the worm block is held against the main gear via magnets. Really slick btw. The worm then rides smoothly along. I feel there is room to improve the way the knob rests when engaged and I excited to see how things go. iOptron has been very responsive to my feedback so far.

Hopefully the clouds will clear, my 11" EdgeHD will arrive this week and I can start doing some actual testing.




Thanks for the review, the mount looks nice.

The clutchless design is nice but you need to be very careful when disengage the worm wheel because it is very easy to damage the worms. I had a ZEQ25 and I didn't like the idea of disengaging the worm wheels just for balancing the mount.

Another issue with this design is that every time you engage/disengage the periodic error profile is modified. I have no clue how the CEM60 is affected by this cause it uses magnets to keep the right tension of the worm.

Cheers,

Jose





My thoughts on this are that since the main gear doesn't move independently of the system when you disengage the worm, it is possible to re-engage the worm in exactly the same position each time. You just need to go back to zero position(home) and make sure you are correctly lined up when you mesh the two back together.

On any of my standard GEM mounts when you release the clutches you are able to physically move the main gear, re-engage the clutch, manually slew back to home, loosen the clutch, move the main gear, re-engage the clutch, slew back to home and so on. So you could use 180 degrees of the main gear one day and the other 180 degrees the other. This would affect the PEC if there were issues with that side of the wheel.

However that being said, most of the PE in mounts comes from the gear box and the worm gear. This mount doesn't seem to have a gear box on the motor and drives a belt directly to the worm. So I don't think there is much PE there. So that leaves the worm. Regardless of where the worm lands you would carry that PE with you. So that then leaves the worm wheel or main gear. As long as you can accurately line up RA when you engage, you *should* have no troubles with the PPEC profile.

I admit it doesn't seem easy since there are no alignment marks to go by. I have to essentially go by sight. Doing that in the dark is going to be fun. I'll probably end up adding my own marks.

I look forward to your thoughts on this. My specific mount has the encoder on the RA which should essentially negate the need for a PPEC profile anyways. However if I can convince iOptron to allow some method of turning the encoder on and off I would love to test and PEC train the mount separately just to see how it is.


On another topic:

One of the things I was thinking about last night was about the raw PE on these mounts. I am curious if the mounts with excellent PE end up being the mounts without the encoder and anything with horrible PE they just thrown the encoder on it to deal with it. I would love to know what my mounts raw PE is without the encoder. I may have to find a pair of wire cutters and get to work!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6384602 - 02/19/14 12:14 PM

Quote:

I wonder how that impacts the little compass used to find north. Kind of like a dog chasing its tail with the magnets pulling the compass and constantly telling you to turn the mount left till eventually your head explodes from stress. I'm telling you, it's a conspiracy





Compass seems reasonably accurate so far. Personally I use my iPhone and Sky Safari to find polaris and line my mounts up that way. I am not going to complain about having a compass though. It's the little things.


The more I play around with this mount the more I like it. I have all the latest firmware flashed and today, probably this afternoon, I am going to spend some time getting drivers and software set up to use it. I also want to do a speed test on the USB ports, see how many amps each 12v socket provides (there is no manual yet to tell me) and set everything up like I am ready to image for the night and see if I can break something.



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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6384687 - 02/19/14 12:53 PM

Can't remember how you powered the mount up. IF with a battery, CHECK the voltage! It's possible low voltage to the stepper could be causing a non normal vibration.

What do you think?


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OzAndrewJ
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6384978 - 02/19/14 03:39 PM

Gday Whichwayis north

Quote:

As long as you can accurately line up RA when you engage, you *should* have no troubles with the PPEC profile.




Im a little confused.
A PEC model should not be required if there is an absolute encoder???

Also, if there is a model, unless IOptron have modelled the entire 360deg, it should be irrelevant.
If the PPEC is based on one turn of the worm only, then it doesnt matter if the worm disengages from the wormwheel, esp as the worm will always reset itself to a common position ( based on magnet/spring force ).

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Peter in Reno
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6385004 - 02/19/14 03:54 PM

It has stepper motor? How can encoder work with stepper motor? Is the encoder inside the stepper motor? Is it possible to have higher resolution encoder than a single step size of stepper motor? I searched for CEM60 and trying to find out whether this is absolute encoder or a simple ordinary high resolution encoder and cannot find the answer. Anyone else know?

Peter


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6385021 - 02/19/14 04:02 PM

Quote:

It has stepper motor? How can encoder work with stepper motor? Is the encoder inside the stepper motor? Is it possible to have higher resolution encoder than a single step size of stepper motor? I searched for CEM60 and trying to find out whether this is absolute encoder or a simple ordinary high resolution encoder and cannot find the answer. Anyone else know?

Peter




Stepper motors can have encoders just like servo motors. It just that they often don't, but a stepper with an encoder is generally going to be more accurate since the controller can check the movement rather than simply assuming that the correct number of steps were made.

However, in this case, the question is not only what type of encoder is being used (it can't be absolute based on what has already been said), but how and where the encoder is mounted. Is it mounted on the motor, the worm, or the axis shaft. I have not found a spec for this anywhere.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6385041 - 02/19/14 04:16 PM

Gday Peter
Quote:

Is it possible to have higher resolution encoder than a single step size of stepper motor?




Yep.
If the stepper motor has a well designed "microstepping" driver, it can be controlled to well below the default step size of the motor, just takes a bit more power. The main thing is you want an encoder that matches the precision the drive train can achieve, but not much more, as the costs start to go up.
Just need to wait for someone to post a few more details on how it all goes together, to see where the encoder is mounted and what precision it really works to.
Im intrigued by the rattle as well. Sounds just like my EQ6Pro when it starts and stops

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Peter in Reno
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: EFT]
      #6385045 - 02/19/14 04:21 PM

If it's not absolute encoder, then it must be relative encoder. Nothing special about it and it's very common and nothing wrong with it. Relative encoders are accurate. I just don't like the way dealers advertise this product as "high resolution encoder" or "high end encoder" making almost look like absolute encoder. It's funny that iOptron web site made no mention of "high resolution encoder" for CEM60 and no operating manual is available for download.

Sample dealer ad:

http://www.hampshireastronomy.co.uk/product/cem60-high-resolution-encoders

http://www.optcorp.com/ioptron-cem60-w-high-end-encoders-7201.html

Neither of them mention exactly the type of encoder used.

Peter


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6385070 - 02/19/14 04:39 PM

I believe there is a plate hidden under the main gear with sensors measuring its position. As this plate is attached directly to the main gear and the main gear is attached directly to the RA I believe it is working well enough. As you may have seen in the video they did supply a printout showing the PE after encoder of about .3 arc seconds pk-pk. The question is how was it measured? Was it measured as a complete system or did they measure it all separately? PEMPRO will tell me soon enough.

Please take this *guess* with a pound of salt. I peaked in through a access hole with a flash light and this is what I think they are doing. Without ripping the mount apart I simply do not know.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6385128 - 02/19/14 05:15 PM

Quote:

If it's not absolute encoder, then it must be relative encoder. Nothing special about it and it's very common and nothing wrong with it. Relative encoders are accurate. I just don't like the way dealers advertise this product as "high resolution encoder" or "high end encoder" making almost look like absolute encoder. It's funny that iOptron web site made no mention of "high resolution encoder" for CEM60 and no operating manual is available for download.

Sample dealer ad:

http://www.hampshireastronomy.co.uk/product/cem60-high-resolution-encoders

http://www.optcorp.com/ioptron-cem60-w-high-end-encoders-7201.html

Neither of them mention exactly the type of encoder used.

Peter




Hopefully iOptron will be forthcoming with the technical data before people spend their money while under the influence of incorrect assumptions.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6385146 - 02/19/14 05:29 PM

Quote:

If it's not absolute encoder, then it must be relative encoder. Nothing special about it and it's very common and nothing wrong with it. Relative encoders are accurate. I just don't like the way dealers advertise this product as "high resolution encoder" or "high end encoder" making almost look like absolute encoder. It's funny that iOptron web site made no mention of "high resolution encoder" for CEM60 and no operating manual is available for download.

Sample dealer ad:

http://www.hampshireastronomy.co.uk/product/cem60-high-resolution-encoders

http://www.optcorp.com/ioptron-cem60-w-high-end-encoders-7201.html

Neither of them mention exactly the type of encoder used.

Peter




As far as I am concerned they can call it a super duper terrifico encoder and it makes zero difference to me. Unless they name it "absolute", which they haven't, then calling it a high-res or high-end is accurate. We know a low res or low end encoder is simply for keeping the position of the RA and DEC when you release clutches and move the mount around. A High-res or High-end encoder is for error correction to the sub arc/second. Which this does.

Based on what I've read I think it is a relative encoder and it senses something attached to the back of the main gear which seems perfectly acceptable to me.


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Peter in Reno
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6385151 - 02/19/14 05:32 PM

FYI. I am not trying to bad mouth iOptron. I prefer to get as much accurate information before purchasing any products.

It's obvious iOptron is trying to be innovative and they appear to be.

Peter


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #6385174 - 02/19/14 05:44 PM

Quote:

FYI. I am not trying to bad mouth iOptron. I prefer to get as much accurate information before purchasing any products.

It's obvious iOptron is trying to be innovative and they appear to be.

Peter




Peter,

I didn't take your comment that way at all so no worries I think it is important that potential buyers fully understand what they are buying. That is what you were trying to clarify too. What kind of encoders, how and where are they attached and what are they reading from? As you know iOptron as told their testers that they are under NO restrictions. However I also appreciate that iOptron is innovating and releasing a product for review should also be tempered a little.

I am going to self-censor a bit because I can see that iOptron is trying very very hard. They even set up a private FTP server for me to upload videos on every little thing I want to nit-pick about. My job? Make this an exceptional mount that has had every minor little thing addressed before you get yours.

I am going to use and abuse the heck out of it and try to break it. I am going to run every piece of software I can think of to control it. I am going to image at short focal lengths and long ones. I am going to load it to capacity and then some.

And I am going to shoot video the entire time!

Hopefully soon I'll have some solid PEMPRO logs to show and some new videos that I can post.

I want this to be the last mount I buy until I win the lottery.


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WesC
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6385224 - 02/19/14 06:19 PM

Even though I am not personally interested in this mount, I'd like to say what you are doing, and documenting it is much appreciated by everyone.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: WesC]
      #6385253 - 02/19/14 06:34 PM

Quote:

Even though I am not personally interested in this mount, I'd like to say what you are doing, and documenting it is much appreciated by everyone.




I did the same on the LX850. Unfortunately I was also under the heel of a heavy NDA that I was foolish enough to sign.


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herrointment
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Re: iOptron CEM60 unboxing & initial setup. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6385280 - 02/19/14 06:47 PM

Thanks for doing this!

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