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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Jim langley
super member


Reged: 07/02/11

Loc: New Holland, PA
Another "which mount" thread...
      #5585210 - 12/23/12 08:32 AM

I have looked around at mounts, and am trying to decide which mount I will end up with, (at least this year...).

After a CPC, Atlas, Vixen, (non goto), and NextStar, I have finally learned that the best equipment is the equipment that you use the most. I have also learned from the NexStar, that portability is a big plus for me, thus I am selling my year old CPC 1100 setup to fund a new versatile setup for viewing and photography.

Here is what I am looking for and could us some suggestions:

1. Portability, (mount should weigh no more than 21-22lbs)
2. Ease of operation of the GoTo and solid tracking
3. Steady up to a minimal 25-30 pound load
4. Ability to interface with computer programs for imaging and tracking
5. Less than $1500

What has made the NextStar so attractive to me is it's light weight, but its just not steady enough for what I want. What made the Atlas attractive to me was its ability to interface with just about everything, but the weight is too much.

Suggestions...?

Edited by Jim langley (12/23/12 08:33 AM)


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5585224 - 12/23/12 08:46 AM

Jim,

An IEQ45 seems to meet all your requirements.


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5585397 - 12/23/12 11:09 AM

I just had an opportunity to look at two iEQ45's in the flesh. Yes they are light! I can lift the entire mount head quite easily even outstretched arms (and I'm the proverbial 100-pound weakling, albeit now overweight).

It looks cute as well - like a not-so-good copy of an AP900 at 1/2 scale. The three clutches, the ribbed polar fork... somebody at iOptron has been busy..


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5585450 - 12/23/12 11:48 AM

Let's see, light weight, rock solid, easy to use and set up, and less than $1500. Yes, we'd all love one of those!

The 8SE is, as you say, lightweight and easy to use, but not solid.
The CPC mount is easy to use and solid, but not lightweight.
Pretty much any GEM mount is more complicated to use and setup, but will be more solid.

Unfortunately, you just can't have everything.

The iEQ45 is probably the closest, if you don't mind the extra complication and setup time of a GEM mount. It is certainly lightweight for it's capacity (not including the counterweights), although not nearly as light as an SE. You don't say what scope you want to put on it, but for visual it should be ok for either your 8" or 11" SCT. If you want to do astrophotography, it should work well with the 8" SCT, but the 11" is a bit much.

-Dan


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andysea
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5585481 - 12/23/12 12:05 PM

+1 for the IEQ45. I have a friend who owns one and it works great....and yes I also was surprised by how light it was.


Andy


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mega256
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: andysea]
      #5585635 - 12/23/12 01:34 PM

I just got a IEQ45 and have had EQ6s b4..The EQ6 or CGEM is very heavy,,,

I like my IEQ45 very much and will have to say it is the fastest and easyest EQ mount for setup I have ever used.

The 25 lb head is easy to move,also tracking and gotos were
very good.So in the under $2k mount group,I belive it to be the one that fits your needs.Upto a 30 lb load should be fine for ap.Because of the electronic load balance setup you might even get more for short focal ap.


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Jim langley
super member


Reged: 07/02/11

Loc: New Holland, PA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: mega256]
      #5587104 - 12/24/12 11:56 AM

I worked my way to the IEQ45 mount in my research. A local dealer has a used one for sale and I will be running over to see it/lift it. The scope I have is a Celestron 8" SCT that came with the 8SE mount that I have. I might go as large as a 9.25 in the future, so I would like the mount to be able to handle that scope as well, plus some imaging hardware. I have a Canon T2i that I will use to get into AP.

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Jim langley
super member


Reged: 07/02/11

Loc: New Holland, PA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: mega256]
      #5587116 - 12/24/12 12:08 PM

Thanks everyone for the information. Seems like we are all in agreement. I am going to offer my CPC 1100 setup to the local shop to sell and check out the IEQ45 that he has for sale.

Any possible issues in getting an older version of the mount, (HW or SW), say 1+ years old. This one is a demo unit, so I am not sure how long it has been in the store.


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5587164 - 12/24/12 12:41 PM

The Older mounts may not have the newer clutch option and
use a 8406 hand controller...Not a problem at all,But the
newer clutch option is about a +$100 option.The newer mounts also come with a 8407 hand controller.Nothing wrong
with the older mounts at all..but should be priced a little less.You can go to the ioptron web site for current prices on both,,There might be ayear end sale now.

Edited by mega256 (12/24/12 12:42 PM)


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5587196 - 12/24/12 12:58 PM

There is a model with an updated clutch. Does the demo unit have standard clutches?

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5587420 - 12/24/12 03:38 PM

I don't see what's the benefit of the newer clutch version.

Only the DEC clutch has been revised and it looks like the regular clutch on CG-5, Vixen, etc. type mounts (lever clutch).

The RA clutches are still the same old 3 rosette knob bolts.

I don't see why the lever-type clutch would be considered "superior" to the 3 knobs - after all Astro-Physics uses the 3 knobs on all their current mounts.


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5587448 - 12/24/12 04:06 PM

Because its not a AP mount! and about 1/6 the price..
It was done at the request of the users..No its not needed
but just easyer to use.But neather is the GPS,its just nice to have!


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

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Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: mega256]
      #5587485 - 12/24/12 04:31 PM

It isn't so much the clutch itself, as the redesigned dec axis with ball bearings as well as the new clutch.

The old one did not have bearings in the axis, which made it difficult to balance the scope in the dec direction. The more you loaded it up, the less freely it would turn.

iOptron did address this issue in the old mounts with an automated electronic balancing routine. This was an update to the firmware. It drives the motors one way, then the other, and compares the torque needed in each direction. Then it displays a graphic on the handset that tells you which way to move the scope and how much (roughly).

I have the old mount and feel that the electronic balancing works "adequately", although it occasionally fails and when it does it's off by a fair amount. I would prefer the new bearings and clutch, but I don't find it to be all that big a deal. There's no upgrade path from the old mount to the new clutch model and it's certainly not worth the hassle of selling this one to buy the newer model.

-Dan


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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5587587 - 12/24/12 06:15 PM

Thanks Dan didnt know that.I do use the clutch to do
a rough balance and then fine tune with the electronic.Seams to work well.Also the latest firmware uograde of a few days ago has a multi star alignment software.But not sure yet what it does,but more that 2or 3 stars can be used.This may or not be a big deal..8407 controller update.


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Jim langley
super member


Reged: 07/02/11

Loc: New Holland, PA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5587758 - 12/24/12 09:15 PM

Quote:

There is a model with an updated clutch. Does the demo unit have standard clutches?




I will ask them the day after Christmas when they open. I found out the updated model has a C at the end of the model number.


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Jim langley
super member


Reged: 07/02/11

Loc: New Holland, PA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5588195 - 12/25/12 08:31 AM

Thank you everyone for the information supplied. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a new IEQ45 that was listed on Amazon for $1599, which included the iOptron hard shell case. I am pretty excited about this, and will be mounting a C8 on it for starters.

Now, to sell my CPC1000 equipment, to get back some money.


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5588310 - 12/25/12 10:49 AM

oh ok. having bearings in the DEC is a big deal - and that's the bigger improvement rather than the lever clutch. IMHO the 3-knob dec clutch would have been better had they been retained.

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Jim langley
super member


Reged: 07/02/11

Loc: New Holland, PA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5590069 - 12/26/12 05:56 PM

The mount arrives at the end of the week.

I'm excited.


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Erik30
member


Reged: 10/16/12

Loc: Cottage Grove, MN
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5590344 - 12/26/12 09:40 PM

I bought the iEQ45 a couple months ago and love it. I think you will be very happy with this mount.

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andysea
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Another "which mount" thread... new [Re: Jim langley]
      #5590554 - 12/26/12 11:55 PM

Wow congratulations! It's always nice getting new toys.

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