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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Bob Moore
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/07/06

Loc: New York
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5736848 - 03/16/13 06:31 PM Attachment (64 downloads)

one more

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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5737722 - 03/16/13 11:56 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

Paul, I took your explanations to heart and have added them into the 'ritual'. I understand I have a slightly unusual setup. But the results I was getting did not make any sense and I wanted confirmation that what I was seeing was wrong. I'm new in the GEM field. All my astronomy experience so far has been up-down / left-right.

Bob, Imaging works fine. My mount can align and track - but I spent (what I consider) extra to be able to GOTO things I can't see in the DSLR viewfinder and attempt to image those things. I could have purchased a Vixen Polarie and accomplished the same with a 35mm focal length.
Full Size

Edited by lakeorion (03/17/13 12:12 AM)


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5737778 - 03/17/13 12:23 AM

Wow. Read the article and wish my son would be as interested in the sky as that. He's come out to the club scope a few times but I'm afraid my photo bug has ruined him. He looks at things in the scope and then looks at my pictures and likes them more.

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Bob Moore
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/07/06

Loc: New York
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5737953 - 03/17/13 02:48 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

Just google her and add the words " supernova " after her name, she is a great kid... Young lady I should say! she still gives talks to all sorts go groups and may be giving one in VA/DC. Soon. She is not studying AP or astronomy at collage, her hart is in other places.

Hats a nice image, I tried the same thing the other night but I was using a photo tripod ( no tracking ) 20 10sec

Edited by Bob Moore (03/17/13 02:49 AM)


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5739120 - 03/17/13 05:01 PM

Is it unreasonable of me to ask they they pay for the shipping to return the head and controller?

I received an RMA number and directions to ship it back to them.


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5739169 - 03/17/13 05:21 PM

Is it unreasonable of me to ask they they pay for the shipping to return the head and controller?

Hmnn...a 6 pound package? That will ship priority mail, medium box anywhere in the USA for under $10.

None of the manufacturers I've dealt with cover shipping, only the parts are warranteed, so I'd say that's reasonable.

Imho,

Paul


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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5739257 - 03/17/13 05:55 PM

Anyone going to NEAF? I'd love a walkthrough on how folks are setting up and aligning their Pro at the iOptron booth.

George


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: ghataa]
      #5739518 - 03/17/13 07:50 PM

Quote:

Anyone going to NEAF? I'd love a walkthrough on how folks are setting up and aligning their Pro at the iOptron booth.

George




I'll be at NEAF George, hopefully with a visitor from France also, who is eager to see all the equipment offerings during his visit. PM me a few days before and I'll see if I can meet you while you're there.

Regards,

Paul


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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5739548 - 03/17/13 08:08 PM

Sounds great Paul. Will do! Maybe I'll win another T-shirt this year too.

Best,

George


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Bob Moore
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/07/06

Loc: New York
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5753211 - 03/24/13 02:46 AM Attachment (62 downloads)

So tonight the weather CH. said it was going to be clear, Even knowing that we are just about a full moon I set up the Smart EQ with the FLI MicroLine 8050 OSC with a 70-300 mm APO lens set at 70mm. Loaded Maxim, told the mound to head over to M42 and started shooting 240sec X 30. I came back to check on how things were going after about 6min. And the clouds were back, in 6 min I went from 100% clear to 100% cloudy. The good news is I got 6min of what I think is good data. The mount tracked well but as the clouds moved in the wind picked up a little. Here is what i got after 3min of setting up the mount and camera setup and an alignment. ... Oh yea in only took 2min to get everything back in the house.

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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Bob Moore]
      #5761305 - 03/27/13 09:03 PM

It came back today - with a new Dec motor.

Evidently the new-equipment-cloudy-sky curse is valid with refurbished also. I can't even see the full moon.

I'll report back after I can see Polaris.


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5766473 - 03/30/13 10:41 AM

There's something I'm just not understanding.
Last night:
I recollimated the polar scope - it's within the center circle through 180° of RA motion.
Left polar scope directly on Polaris.
Centered the 50mm finder and camera on Polaris.
Turned on mount and verified time and location.
Put Polaris a little below 3:00 on the 40° circle and ran a two star align.
It told me I was 1° high and West. I readjusted Polaris and made sure Alt and Az were locked.
Cycled mount power off and on again.
Made sure finder and camera were centered on Polaris again.
Ran through another two star align. This time the polar axis was 26 minutes off.
Slewed to Jupiter and it was barely in the 50mm finder!

At least when I tell it to return to zero position it does go back to where it should be.

It tracks fair - I was running two minute subs with my 35mm lens and getting round stars. I know a 35mm lens isn't exactly a tracking challenge - I'm trying to start simple.


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5767663 - 03/30/13 09:31 PM

Quote:

Put Polaris a little below 3:00 on the 40° circle and ran a two star align.
It told me I was 1° high and West. I readjusted Polaris and made sure Alt and Az were locked.
Cycled mount power off and on again.
Made sure finder and camera were centered on Polaris again.
Ran through another two star align. This time the polar axis was 26 minutes off.
Slewed to Jupiter and it was barely in the 50mm finder!




Hmnn..sounds like a 'misque' in the alignment process somewhere?

When you start...center all your optics on Polaris, as you did.

Then position Polaris in the correct location on the polar scope reticle.

Now shut off and turn the mount on...this is your 'zero point' With the mount axis pointed at the North Central Pole. Polaris will have shifted about 41 arc- minutes away from center in your camera sensor or finder...that's ok.

Now do a One Star align, center with the HC slew buttons, and return to zero. You did that just to get the stars in the Two Star align easier to obtain.

Now do a Two Star align, after the 2d star is aligned using the HC slew buttons, it will give you the offset values.

Do not touch the HC buttons...you must adjust using the lat and az adjusters on the mount now. Estimate how much you have to move the adjusters (I use the bullseye in PHD) but you can use a finder with a graduated reticle or just use trial and error until you get a 'feel' for how much you need to move the 2d star.

Return to the zero position and rinse and repeat the 2 star align procedure until you get as close to 00-00 as you can.

You will be able to image for 2-3 minutes unguided with a offset of +/- 3 arc minutes in either axis.

Once you've run through this routine a few times it gets easier and easier until you will be able to setup and be imaging within 1-0-15 minutes.

Clear skies...looking forward to seeing some of your results in the future.

Paul


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5768302 - 03/31/13 09:32 AM Attachment (49 downloads)

It tracks. I'm just not sure it goes to.
Here's Auriga, 33 x 120 sec, Nikon 35mm prime @ f8.
FULL SIZE

Edited by lakeorion (03/31/13 09:33 AM)


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5769803 - 03/31/13 10:15 PM

Wow, beautiful wide field, love the colors! Now if you can just add about 300-350mms of f/l to the shot..you'd have a splendid 405/410 image. I really like this area of the sky, especially 405 and 410, nice blends of blues and reds.

Clear skies,

Paul


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5771127 - 04/01/13 04:28 PM

I tried, but couldn't coax anything out of the red channel to hint at IC 410 or 405. The future for this setup includes LP and HA filters. Currently the white/red zone of my driveway precludes capturing such things without extremely long integration times. And my camera battery died after 33 frames.

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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5774985 - 04/03/13 09:21 AM

Trying the one star align prior to the two star align did help. I was able to 'goto' a few large 'finder' objects last night - M44, M45. Hand controller said I was within 00 deg 06 min so I got overconfident and put on the ProOptic 500mm and tried to do the Beehive. Dismal failure there. Have to figure out how to drift align to get that lens to be useful.

But the good news is I think it works. I'll just have to work on process a little more.

Thanks Paul and everyone else.


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lakeorion
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/03/10

Loc: Lake Orion MI
Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: lakeorion]
      #5785669 - 04/08/13 11:06 AM

Night of 04-05-13 I pulled off 5 minute subs at 300 mm focal length, unguided. So I pronounce it cured.

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lvvic
newbie


Reged: 04/04/08

Re: Ioptron Smart EQ Pro - my first GEM - questions new [Re: ghataa]
      #5835560 - 05/02/13 01:33 AM

anyone here willing to explain the zero position to me...I bought a Smart EQ used and can't get zero position to match Polaris...not sure if it's user error or something wrong with the mount...one star alignments are way off and a sync does not correct the error...seems to be off the same amount after telling where it is
never had trouble aligning my Meade mounts and my polar alignment is spot on
any suggestion?
tia Vic


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