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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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TONGKW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/16/07

Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5276358 - 06/17/12 11:30 PM

It would be ideal if an illuminated polarscope is available for this iOptron Smart EQ #3100.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MRNUTTY]
      #5280831 - 06/20/12 02:39 PM Attachment (231 downloads)

On the polar scope issue- mine was somewhat blocked also, but by the shaft.

The polar alignment hole is always blocked by the Dec shaft on a EQ mount, that's why there is a hole drilled thru it for viewing with the polar scope. Yes, you do have to move the Dec shaft about 30-40 degrees to open up the hole for viewing. My concern is, that with the hole opened up..there is a bar that goes straight across the opening in the middle, and it has the illuminating LED on it. There is NO way you can center Polaris in the polar scope hole because it is blocked by the circuit board bar. iOptron really needs to make the polar scope available soon. Image of the obstructed polar scope opening attached.

Cheers

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (06/20/12 02:51 PM)


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Pedestal
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5281228 - 06/20/12 07:32 PM

Now that is interesting. No bar in mine, and the board is below the hole. My camera battery was dead, I'll try and post a pic tomorrow.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5281236 - 06/20/12 07:36 PM

Please do, because the circuit board bar in my mount is home to the illuminated red led for the polar scope. Therefore if you turn on the illumination in the hand controller, you get blinded by a red laser when trying to view through it. Naturally, I leave it off, but you still can't align Polaris because of the bar.

Thanks, looking forward to your pic,

Paul


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5284764 - 06/23/12 02:25 AM

Is the tripod to mount interface a copy of any other mounts?

Or the more direct question - is there a commercially available adapter plate to fit this on my surveyors tripod that I can't knock over with a Jeep?


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5284898 - 06/23/12 08:30 AM

I just measured the base of the mount head. It is roughly 3 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches front to back, where the azimuth knobs straddle the post. It secures from below with a single bolt. Assuming a tripod with a center hole of some sort it ought to adapt, and would probably ride more stably on a tripod with a wider top surface. Actually the supplied tripod is not bad for stability, considering the light weight of the mount assembly and the minimal load it is designed to carry.

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rkayakr
sage
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Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5286173 - 06/24/12 12:41 AM

Paul
I ordered a mount and it is on the way. I'm about to leave on vacation and would like to get a bag. Which Hakuba bag fits this tripod and mount?


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5287492 - 06/24/12 09:48 PM

I got mine at B&H photo online...I want to think it was the 36" bag? I just measured the overall length..it's 37". So whatever bag is closest to that measurement.

I highly recommend it.

Cheers

Paul


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rkayakr
sage
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Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5288096 - 06/25/12 09:36 AM

Paul

Thanks - I just took your advise and ordered one.


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TopherTheME
sage
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Reged: 02/11/11

Loc: Rochester, MI
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5290496 - 06/26/12 06:02 PM

Any updates on this mount? I'm thinking about picking one up for some widefield astrophotography with an 80mm scope. Do you this thing could support a small scope and DSLR without much issue?

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: TopherTheME]
      #5290940 - 06/27/12 12:10 AM

Quote:

Any updates on this mount? I'm thinking about picking one up for some widefield astrophotography with an 80mm scope. Do you this thing could support a small scope and DSLR without much issue?




It has a weight rating of 12 pounds, so theoretically, yes. I have only had a chance to do some 30 sec wide field images with a DSLR due to clouds and conditions, but it looks promising. I have had a 80mm carbon fiber scope on it to test balance/etc, and it handles the 5.5 pound ota easily. Still wish it (the mount) had a polar scope available to screw into that inviting hole, but, all in all, it's a pretty decent mount for the cost.

Clear skies,

Paul


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Pedestal
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Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: TopherTheME]
      #5292210 - 06/27/12 08:49 PM

Quote:

Any updates on this mount? I'm thinking about picking one up for some widefield astrophotography with an 80mm scope. Do you this thing could support a small scope and DSLR without much issue?




I've managed to get out a couple of times with mine, and here are my observations.
My 8omm triplet,with rings, a plate on top to mount a camera, and a TV "handgrenade" eyepiece weighs 11/11.5 lbs.(no finder) (weighed on bath scale) Balance is absolutely critical or it simply won't work. When you get it right... Last time out I set up just before dusk with a TV 12 Nag. Aligned the marks, told it to go to the Moon. It was close, but not on. I scrunched the tripod around a bit, tweaked the arrows keys a bit, and centered up the Moon. Probably about 7:15pm. Went back in the house. Checked it a couple of times, at 11pm the Moon was still centered in the 12mm eyepiece. I turned it off and took it inside.
Note I did not do a formal "alignment" at any time.
I put one of those 1 lb "toesaver" weights from Scope Stuff on, not for more counterweight, but in order to slide the shaft up more. It does make it easier to balance.
So, yeah, I think it will work fine with a dslr, but you'll need to get the balance right on.
I plan to try it soon as weather cooperates... Which may not be till fall.


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: Pedestal]
      #5292922 - 06/28/12 09:49 AM

I had the opportunity to observe last night with my new SmartEQ. Comments:

tripod is very flimsy

William Optics 80 mm ZenithStar dovetail would not fit

With both a C5 and a C6 the tracking produced a constant vibration that made observation horrible (I got nauseous from the shaking). You can hear the mount emitting periodic little grunts as it tracks. Which each grunt the image shakes. As it begins to stabilize, the mount jerks again. I was using my 25 mm reticule eyepiece, nothing high power, and observing Saturn, the Moon and Albireo.

Anyone else see this?


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5293048 - 06/28/12 11:34 AM

More info on vibration issue.
I did do a one star alignment and synced to each target. I wonder if the periodic grunt and kick was from the declination motor correcting for the zero position being off? Anyone else actually align and use?


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5293810 - 06/28/12 07:20 PM

I am waiting for ioptron to post the software patch that will correct the one-hour time error which appears to be contained in all the initially shipped mounts, so I have delayed a full-up test, which they assured me could be conducted with a full alignment by setting DST to No for now. I may go ahead and try it tonight. However in one very preliminary test run without a full alignment I did not see any of the issues you are describing.

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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5293978 - 06/28/12 09:30 PM

Mike
If it is what I suspect, you won't see it unless you do an alignment and you're zero is off by a small amount.

How will you update your mount? Did you get an RS232 cable with your mount? I didn't. I also didn't see them as available on the iOptron site.

I really wanted to like this mount, but it is difficult to get past all the problems.


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MikeBOKC
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Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5294034 - 06/28/12 10:11 PM

I had the cable for a Celestron scope and it fits. Also had to get a USB converter, which is useful anyway. Waiting for ioptron to post the upgrade. which was promised a week ago.

They advised in an email that an alignment should work if you just set DST to No, thereby jury rigging the one hour adjustment. They also said they were aware of the glitch which diaplays time an hour ahead on the home screen even when you set it correctly during setup. So I will try the N DST and if that does not work wait for the upgrade. My initial tries before this knowledge put each alignment target about 15 degrees off (ahead) so that seems to be the issue. In fiddling with the mount during that process I was generally pleased with the thing . . . for $399 it seems to be a good bargain for visual with smaller OTAs, but we shall see once I get a good alignment done.


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5294117 - 06/28/12 10:59 PM

Even with the time glitch I can successfully perform a one star alignment (haven't tried any others) and the scope will go to a target.

Although it was partly cloudy, I tried an experiment tonight with my C5.

1. Zero mount, turn on mount, manually slew to the moon - image is steady, no little grunting noises

2. Zero mount, turn on, one star align, go to moon - image jumps about once per second with each little grunt from the mount

Edited by rkayakr (06/29/12 06:35 PM)


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #5294514 - 06/29/12 09:03 AM

Mike

Quote:

I had the cable for a Celestron scope and it fits. Also had to get a USB converter, which is useful anyway. Waiting for ioptron to post the upgrade. which was promised a week ago.





I looked at the pin outs on the Celestron site and they don't appear to be in the same order as the SmartEQ manual specifies. Although the jack may fit, you might want to be careful before you power anything on.


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Pedestal
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: Ioptron SmartEQ #3100-first look new [Re: rkayakr]
      #5298148 - 07/01/12 04:15 PM

Just a followup-the polar shaft plug that was missing on my mount came in the mail from Ioptron.

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