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pmesquita
Vendor-MonoMods


Reged: 04/04/09

Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Terry - W6LMJ]
      #3576463 - 01/22/10 07:35 AM

Quote:

Jeff, I appreciate your comments, and description of the GPS operation.

I received my MiniTower just the other day and had it out last night under perfectly clear skies here in West Palm Beach for nearly 11 hours. I had an observation plan, comparing a few cameras and wanted to use the iOptron's MiniTower first light with an older C8 - it is 25 years old.

However, I was never able to get the GPS to lock in. It showed "On" but never switched to "Ok".

I believe I set the hand controller up correctly. I did it about five times. I had another GPS running in the drive, connected to a KIWI OSD time insertion device that I use for location and time stamping video recorded occultations.

I wonder if the two could have interfered with each other? They were only five feet apart.

I love the size of the mount. It appears well made. I did use it to move a small refractor, Astro-Tech 66 mm APO, around the sky. But without the GPS lock (Ok), I was never able to use the tracking and GOTO features.

I will next try it with nothing else electrical turned on. Wish me luck.

Terry - W6LMJ




Hi

I'm planning on trading my Vixen Sphinx SXW EQ mount (the only EQ mount I like) for the NEW Mini Tower PRO that just came out. In the meantime I had a Cube G with me for a couple of days before a friend bought it from me. Anyway, this to say that with the GPS on the cube I had the same problem. GPS ON showed up but after 5 minutes the GPS OK message didn't show up yet. So I just punched in the Lat/long coordinates...and the GPS seemed to wake up and went on to GPS OK!!! It worked perfectly after that.

cheers.


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MikeM6
super member


Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: NW Illinois
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Terry - W6LMJ]
      #4086533 - 10/01/10 07:34 PM

I have an old Orion Astroview 90mm refractor and have been thinking about buying one of these. The gps would be nice, because I'm not a big fan of equitorial mounts. I'm not sure the Orion rings would work with this, but I intend to find out.

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Wes James
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/12/06

Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: MikeM6]
      #4087266 - 10/02/10 08:21 AM

Mike-
The iOptron M/T accepts a regular Vixen-style dovetail. It'd handle your 90mm without breaking a sweat.


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MikeM6
super member


Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: NW Illinois
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Wes James]
      #4087400 - 10/02/10 10:21 AM

Cool! Then I could buy a 6" Mak OTA for the other side. I like the idea of GPS, so the mount knows when and where it is - relative to my location. Is there any tweaking involved?

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Wes James
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/12/06

Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: MikeM6]
      #4087490 - 10/02/10 11:18 AM

Mike-
There's 2 MiniTowers... the Standard- and the Pro. The tripod on the standard is its achilles heel... it's flimsy, especially if you want to put a 2nd scope on the other side. The Pro tripod sells seperately for $150.00, and is a great investment if you go with the standard. Then there is the version turbocharged by Steve Forbes. I have one, (on a Berlebach tripod) and its superb. Others also very happy with theirs on the pro tripod. Steve uses his on an Atlas tripod. Requires a bit of a mod (milling off the leg brackets) to attach to other tripods other than the Pro.
Then there is the Pro. Comes with the good tripod, but there still remains a few software issues with it. Steve is also doing a turbo version of that.
If you're interested in a MiniTower, I would recommend you join the Yahoo iOptron Mini Tower group- Mini_Tower. You can read about the problems that people have had, solutions, and about those who are very happy with their mods. Probably the best mount is the standard, turbocharged by Steve, on the Pro tripod. Not an inexpensive setup, but worth it.
edit: BTW, I have the iOptron 152 Mak- a superb scope... I had it on the M/T with my 100mm f/13 Carton one night- would have definitely been an overload on the standard tripod.
The reasons I recommend Steve's going through the mount and his upgrades, is that besides lapping the gears, improved, very high quality bearings, he knows all the tweaks and problem areas. He runs the mounts for hours, targeting about 20 different objects- to ensure the mount performs as it should, and so when you get it, you have a much better shot at a great mount than you do with iOptron's sometimes-iffy Q/A.
Wes

Edited by Wes James (10/02/10 11:22 AM)


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: iOptron Mini Tower new [Re: Wes James]
      #4088615 - 10/02/10 09:03 PM

Does anyone have experience using the MiniTower/Pro for public star parties, outreach, group instruction, etc.? I am thinking of using one with a C8 and WO 80 apo mounted in tandem. Any thoughts on that?

Also, I see no one seems to have had the same problems (except with loose GPS connections) that John Cameron did with his rather unfavorable review of the mount here on Cloudy Nights. Did he just have a lemon?

Thanks,
Ira


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