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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5959916 - 07/08/13 01:01 AM

Do you think the iOptron ZEQ25 could be used for an 8" Cassegrain design (FL ~2500mm, OTA ~19 pounds+accessories, tube length ~800mm) for visual and imaging?? How stable would this setup be?
Is the 1.5" tripod stable enough for vibration-free operation, or would I need the 2" tripod?

It looks like an intriguing travel mount (I need to get away from my city to see any stars).

Hello Heinz, it is an excellent travel mount, in all respects.

As far as the 1.5" tripod, here is a 71 minute single exposure taken off the tripod with about 20 pounds of OTA and imaging gear:


4245secs on M101..oops by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

I think the standard tripod should be fine unless you need the extra 10" of height from the 2" and the added 6 pounds of weight?

Cheers,

Paul


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5965878 - 07/11/13 03:11 PM

Thank you, Paul. Because of your enthusiastic reviews, I just ordered a ZEQ25+PowerWeight. I think, the latter represents an ingenious idea as well. When I began looking for a sturdy travel mount (found it! ) two weeks ago, I had the idea myself immediately, without even knowing about iOptron, and started searching the web for exactly this solution, only to find that iOptron was producing a counterweight like this. Why no other company has made this before, is beyond me. It is so obvious!
I understand why you like iOptron. They are like a fresh breeze in the market for astro gear. They have come forward with an amazing row of innovations within just a few years, and it goes on.

Thank you again for your inspiring enthusiasm.

By the way, I can see from your signature that you own quite a few iOptron mounts. Which one is your favourite so far?

Heinz


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5966198 - 07/11/13 06:48 PM

Quote:

Got my ZEQ-25 in a couple of weeks ago and had an immediate problem with it. As it turned out the Dec controller board suffered infant mortality. It burned out as I was playing with mock alignments and goto slews in my living room.

iOptron tech support was very helpful, they mailed out a replacement board and Dec motor. Only the board needed replacing so I will be sending the motor back. They gave me an option of either returning the mount or installing replacement parts. I thought it would be quicker and certainly more fun to do it myself. Board replacement was easy and all is now good. And now I have some idea of the inner workings of the mount which might come in handy when out at a dark site.

I do have one issue with the mount, and need to see if there is an adjustment I can make. There is a lot of free-play in the mount, in Dec in particular. The axes are "spring loaded" and the worm always returns to its contact point with the worm wheel gear teeth, but it is too easy to move it from this proper contact point. I have screwed the gear switch locking screw all the way in and there is still too much slop.

It makes focusing difficult, with a high power eyepiece the act of focusing can bounce the target completely out of the field of view. It was not too bad with my SVR-80, but very frustrating with my ES127 ED. Now the ES127 is really pushing the capacity of the mount, but at about ~19 lbs (it is the carbon fiber OTA), it is still below rated capacity. The tube is a long lever arm, and I found I had to use the index finger of one hand to press the ota against the gear teeth while focusing with the other hand.

I did double check to ensure that the locking screw was properly installed on the mount. If you remove the chrome knob, there is a small ball point pen-like spring that fits inside the knob and a steel ball (like a ball bearing) that the other end of the spring captures and presses against the part that actually applies tension to the worm gear.

I will contact iOptron to see if there is a way to minimize the movement (or increase the spring tension against the worm wheel), but have not had the time yet. Been a busy week and I'm leaving for vacation this weekend.

I'm taking this mount (and several other mounts/OTAs) with me to the Golden State Star Party next week. If anyone has any ideas on how to tighten things up a bit, please let me know!

Other than this one issue and the now-fixed Dec board problem, this mount is a dream. I've not had a chance to check tracking accuracy/periodic error yet, but if it performs anything like Paul's mount it is going to be a winner for DLSR and small telescope astrophotography.




Dan,

Any progress on your one issue?

John


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: John Miele]
      #5966319 - 07/11/13 08:33 PM

iPhone/iPad control of the ZEQ25?

As long as the problems with controlling the ZEQ25 by Skysafari from an iPhone/iPad persist, what are the alternatives? Which other planetarium programmes do work with the ZEQ25? And how?
Besides SKysafari, I have quite a few others installed on my iPhone, e.g.:

- Astromist
- Redshift
- Luminos
- Starmap Pro
all of which are supposed to be able to be used with a GoTo scope.

Of these, I like Redshift and Luminos best for their rather realistic graphics.
How do I proceed and what cables or other accessories would I need for making at least one of these work with the ZEQ25?

(I don't necessarily need wireless control, because this would add a transmitter with batteries, which I would have to carry around. (I don't have a car.) And I am near the telescope anyway when slewing, so a cable connection would be fine for me.)

Any ideas?

Good weather and perfect seeing
Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (07/11/13 08:42 PM)


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5966338 - 07/11/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

By the way, I can see from your signature that you own quite a few iOptron mounts. Which one is your favourite so far?




My favorite so far, is the ZEQ25, without question or reservation. My iEQ45 w/TDM is an awesome rig, but the best mount is indeed the one you use the most, so the ZEQ25 wins out I guess?

If, and when iOptron introduces a larger capacity version, I'm afraid the iEQ45 may have to find a new home.

The Z Balanced concept is simply superb and superior in all respects to a typical GEM.

It takes me about 10 minutes to carry the mount/tripod out (easily), mount the OTA and do my polar align and one star align, then a quick calibration in PHD and I'm off to the races.

It isn't perfect, the hand controller for the iEQ45 is much more advanced than the Z mount, but I can live with it.

Have fun with yours when it arrives,

Paul


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5966343 - 07/11/13 09:00 PM

Quote:

Of these, I like Redshift and Luminos best for their rather realistic graphics.




I don't know about the other apps, but I do have Luminos downloaded and have tested it with the ZEQ25 and it does work. I had to connect wirelessly with my iPad, using the Sky Safari wireless unit, but once connected it worked.

The wireless unit really doesn't add too much bulk, mine attaches to the tripod leg with a small piece of Velcro fastener, like my hand controller.

It should not be too long until Sky Safari works with the 8408 hand controllers, Southern Stars and iOptron are working to sort it all out. I expect it will be fine by the next update.

I have tested, and it can be controlled wired from the PC, in these planetarium programs:

Stellarium, but only with the add on 'Stellarium Scope'.

Cartes du Ciel

Starry Night Pro

Microsoft World Wide Telescope

Cheers,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (07/11/13 09:05 PM)


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p3boy
member
*****

Reged: 01/18/12

Loc: N. VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5967519 - 07/12/13 02:26 PM

Afternoon all,
Opinions on go-to accuracy. I have an MT Pro and have been struggling somewhat to get the target in the FOV (about 60x search EP). Unfortunately, when I "sync-to-target" to center the target, go-to accuracy is reduced to one-star align accuracy and makes things worse for the next go-to. Any thoughts on how the Z25 performs?
Paul K

Edited by p3boy (07/12/13 03:38 PM)


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: p3boy]
      #5968359 - 07/13/13 12:21 AM

Go to accuracy on a properly polar aligned mount, and just a One Star align is excellent.

The alignment star falls into my camera sensor (used for imaging only) 99% of the time. Once centered, subsequent go tos are almost dead center, every time.

Hope the info helps,

Paul


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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: p3boy]
      #5968908 - 07/13/13 12:15 PM

I have an MPT as well; the goto is excellent. You may check your leveling. Don't rely on the built in bubble. Use an extra torpedo level to verify it. If your goto a nearby star from the sync star was ok and far away star was poor, it pretty much certain a leveling issue. Once you had true leveling, you should have a completely different goto result. Jimmy

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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5969295 - 07/13/13 04:51 PM

Quote:


If, and when iOptron introduces a larger capacity version, I'm afraid the iEQ45 may have to find a new home.


Paul



IIRC, the iEQ75 is a custom-order item.


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p3boy
member
*****

Reged: 01/18/12

Loc: N. VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: cloudywest]
      #5969741 - 07/13/13 10:45 PM

Thanks Jimmy. Need some decent wx here in DC to give the MTP a more complete workout. Not sure leveling is my problem tho. Drive motor could be the culprit according to cust service who, I might add, has been extremely helpful. Appears that setup time between the MT Pro and the ZEQ25 might just be a wash since leveling is so critical with the Pro.
Regards, Paul K


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Starman1]
      #5969810 - 07/14/13 12:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:


If, and when iOptron introduces a larger capacity version, I'm afraid the iEQ45 may have to find a new home.


Paul



IIRC, the iEQ75 is a custom-order item.




The iEQ75GT has been a no show since it's introduction, as well as the iEQ45 w/high precision encoders.

Although both mounts generated some interest, there was not enough, imho, to justify production on a large scale.

I was referring to a larger scale version of the 'Z-Balanced' mount, certainly easy enough for iOptron to produce?

Simply scaling up the mount's size by 100% would theoretically give you a 20 pound mount with a payload of 54 pounds with astounding tracking and balance?

Time will tell...

Cheers,

Paul


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5970882 - 07/14/13 05:59 PM

Sadly, doubling the size of the mount will increase its weight by a factor of 8, not 2.

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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5971216 - 07/14/13 09:29 PM

Quote:

Sadly, doubling the size of the mount will increase its weight by a factor of 8, not 2.




Okay Joe, I just want a 20 pound mount with a payload capacity of 54 pounds then...:)

Best,

Paul


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5971375 - 07/14/13 10:55 PM

I don't believe that's possible... closest would be the 32 pound Mach1 with an imaging payload of 45 pounds (and alleged visual payload of 100 pounds).

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5971420 - 07/14/13 11:19 PM

The ZEQ25 is 10.4 pounds and has a load rating of 27 pounds. It wouldn't surprise me to see a 20 to 25 pound "ZEQ40" with a rated load of ove 50 pounds. iOptron seems to be more conservative with their published carrying capacity than some vendors.

Edited by Mkofski (07/14/13 11:22 PM)


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hinterland44
member
*****

Reged: 09/03/11

Loc: outstate Minnesota
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Mkofski]
      #5971640 - 07/15/13 03:48 AM

Hi,

Just a note to say thanks for this thread, Paul. With all the good reviews here of the ZEQ25 by so many accomplished observers I went and got one of my own. After many years of nudging a Dob about the sky this new mount is a wonder for all the many reasons that have been discussed.

My mount came with the polar scope, because there is always so much talk about the difficulties of aligning a polar scope. The only problem was that the scope was badly in need of refocusing for my wicked bad nearsightedness (tough to even see the entire "Polar Scope Dial" with my specs on). I sent an email to Kevin at iOptron support and he sent off a PDF called "ZEQ25 Polar Scope Installation". In fifteen minutes I had the scope out, refocused and back in the mount. The scope is press-fitted into the polar shaft and I did need a plastic tube with a fairly snug fit in the shaft to go in from the front and pop out the scope out through the back. That should read "carefully" pop out the scope through the back. The PDF isn't on the iOptron web pages yet. Kevin gave me the link, if I may pass it on:

http://www.ioptron.com/images/up/ZEQ25_PolarScope_Installation.pdf

Thanks again. Yours, Kim

Sorry, Mike, I didn't realize the quick reply at the bottom was to link with the latest post in the thread, not the original post. We learn, but slowly.

Edited by hinterland44 (07/15/13 03:58 AM)


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: hinterland44]
      #5972102 - 07/15/13 11:54 AM

Quote:

The PDF isn't on the iOptron web pages yet. Kevin gave me the link, if I may pass it on:




That's a very good Pdf file, thanks Kim. Typical of the type of support iOptron provides to it's customers, and very welcomed.

I have the same condition, and wear glasses also, but I don't mind taking them off just to focus on Polaris.

Good luck with the mount, you're going to enjoy it,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (07/15/13 11:58 AM)


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scubalee
newbie
*****

Reged: 07/08/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #5972990 - 07/15/13 07:37 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all the great information. I'm new but am interested in this mount because of the weight, apparent ease of use, desire to practice with polar alignments, use as a teaching aid for my high school geometry classes, price, home in red dark sky area (eastern suburb of Cleveland, OH) and one hour drive to a silver dark sky site (Observatory Park, Montville, OH).

Also, thanks to another posting, I decided to get the Celestron ED80 from Astronomers Without Borders. The picture of the mounting on a Porta II is at this thread, page 2: refractors, What can I see with a 80mm refractor?

The description states, "The 80ED features a 2" rack and pinion focuser and has a bracket that can adapt to a photo tripod or attach to a Celestron equatorial mount (sold separately)."

My question, finally, is will the Celestron OTA bracket go with the mount on the ZEQ25 or should I plan on buying a dovetail bar/rings?


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Paulimer
super member


Reged: 08/08/03

Loc: Hong Kong
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: scubalee]
      #5973247 - 07/15/13 10:23 PM

The just updated skysafari pro removed support for the ZEQ25...any idea what's wrong?

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