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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6039324 - 08/21/13 11:02 PM

Paul,

Thanks for the tip. Have you tried PHD2 yet? Do you find the hand controller/software with the ZEQ25 at all limiting in real world use vs. that of the iEQ30 or 45?

Thanks,

Mike


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6039779 - 08/22/13 09:29 AM

Quote:

Paul,

Thanks for the tip. Have you tried PHD2 yet? Do you find the hand controller/software with the ZEQ25 at all limiting in real world use vs. that of the iEQ30 or 45?

Thanks,

Mike




Funny you should mention PHD2 Mike, I just downloaded and installed it last night. The interface looks great, and I like the extra guide options in the main menu.

I noticed it gives you the option to use Low Pass filtering in the RA axis as well as the DEC. Should be fun playing with all the settings.

As far as the 8408 HC, since it's used on the Smart EQ series too, it's not as feature rich as the 8406 and 8407 HCs. No heated HC, smaller database, and a smaller LCD screen with less info displayed.

In real world use, it hasn't limited me at all. If a comet or deep sky object isn't listed in the HC database, I just enter the coordinates in the 'Enter RA and DEC' section and the mount slews right to it.

Of course, the 8406/8407 HC's are much larger than the 8408 physically, so they can hold much data and features.

All the best,

Paul


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6043693 - 08/24/13 02:06 PM

I took the mount out for the first time last night. Had a very hard time doing the polar alignment. I checked if time and date were correct, and location. How do you know when the GPS gets a lock?

The alt az knobs labeled in the manual, right under the latitude adjustment knob, don't do anything. They are 2 opposite facing screws that only tighten and loosen but don't move the mount in an az direction. Are they supposed to be really tight against the north alignment peg?

Are people finding polar alignment alone enough, or are multiple star alignments still necessary for accuracy?

Is it possible to do alignment without a finder, using a wide angle low power EP?


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6043786 - 08/24/13 03:05 PM

I just placed my order for the ZEQ25 with Highpoint Scientific! Should arrive next Thursday. I got the polar scope and the 2" tripod since I want the most stability I can get. Can't wait to see it in person! Thanks to all who shared their collective experiences...John

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hidalgo
member


Reged: 01/11/08

Loc: So. Calif.
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6049730 - 08/27/13 09:44 PM

I just bought one too. To focus the polarscope you just twist the eyepiece. No mention in the manual. And can this thing be somehow powered by AA or D batteries? Crazy English translation too.

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meade8r
member


Reged: 08/24/07

Loc: Finger Lakes
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6049868 - 08/27/13 11:22 PM

Bill,

Just sent you a PM. Check your incoming messages.

Charlie


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: meade8r]
      #6049911 - 08/28/13 12:01 AM

Charlie, appreciate your helpful and kind answers. I'll keep them in mind and give it another try soon.

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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6050520 - 08/28/13 11:38 AM

Is there anything equivalent to Celestron's ASPA on the ZEQ25 or is a view of Polaris always required for polar alignment?

Thanks,

George


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ghataa]
      #6050678 - 08/28/13 01:07 PM

George
Check out the Polar Alignment routine for those who can’t see the Pole Star, section 5.4.1 in the ZEQ25 manual. I haven't used it so I can't comment on how well it works.
Bob


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6053522 - 08/29/13 11:11 PM

My ZEQ25 arrived over a 2 day period. The mount came Wednesday and the tripod came today. The mount box was fine. The tripod box was beat to heck. Everything was in fine physical condition except for the hand knob on the tripod that is used to tighten down the mount head. It is loose and moves up and down and has a little play in it. I’m pretty sure this knob should be firmly attached to the long rod that threads into the head. I think it got knocked loose in shipping. However, it still allows the rod to be tightened up so it’s really not a big deal.

My first impressions are good. It’s is nicely machined and finished. The mount head itself is amazingly light. Holding it in my hand it was hard to believe it would do the job!

You definitely have to get used to the tension screws and locking knobs on the RA and DEC axes. It powered up fine. No warnings of any kind. I do not hear any cross talk/chatter noises reported by some. There is a faint high pitched whine noise from the motors, but it’s very subtle. I consider the mount to be very much on the quiet side while slewing to a target and tracking.

Still checking it all out and have one thing to mention. I waited for more than 20 minutes and the GPS would not lock. I was worried I had a bad GPS unit. I went and read the manual and it said sometimes you have to rotate the RA axis 90 deg. to clear the GPS location on the mount. I did this and got a GPS lock within seconds. So I guess that will be my modus operandi from now on.

I ordered the 2 inch tripod and it is solid as a rock. Granted I only have a little AT72 on there, but a sharp rap damped out instantly…very stable. I do use VSPs routinely with all of my tripods.

I only had time to do a couple gotos and I only did a crude polar alignment but the targets both fell in the rather wide field of my AT72 with a 10mm radian.

Tracking seemed fine and there was very little backlash in either axis. I have not experimented at all with the tension knobs. I just unscrewed them about 2 turns and did not touch them again.

One question…does anyone know how to change the slew rate to do a high speed slew instead of sticking at 64X? I can’t seem to find this in the manual.

Thanks…John


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: John Miele]
      #6053537 - 08/29/13 11:22 PM

John, push 9 on the HC. Each number doubles the rate of the previous.

Hope that helps!


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6054064 - 08/30/13 09:43 AM

Thanks Bill! I'll try that tonight...John

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ekallgren
member
*****

Reged: 12/23/11

Loc: Northern Nevada, Reno
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: John Miele]
      #6054525 - 08/30/13 02:19 PM

Well I ordered mine got here on Wed. so I assembled it powered it up and it came to life as expected. Slewed the DEC & RA worked great. So now I was waiting for the smoke to clear in Reno from the Rim fire in Calif.
Went out last night and could see Polaris so I decided to set it up under hazy skies and do a polar alignment. All went as planed very easy to do. Then was going to do a One Star Align , picked the star from the menu and pushed enter and the Hand controller flashed a couple of times and died.

Called OPT and they were going to get a hold of iOptron through there dealer channel but I chose to call iOptron support myself. Very helpful customer support they took the time to walk me through the "Flashing" of the Hand Controller, to no avail. Looks like I will have to send the Hand controller to them for Repair.

I'm not to disappointed for a couple of reasons 1, iOptron has great customer support and 2, I don't think that the smoke is going to clear anytime soon. I will keep you posted as to the outcome and cause of the failure.

Eric


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ekallgren]
      #6054603 - 08/30/13 03:10 PM

Anyone know how to "update" the RA-DEC software, as listed in the HC set menu? What is the current version number?

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Rich Asarisi
journeyman


Reged: 08/13/13

Loc: Connecticut, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6054646 - 08/30/13 03:35 PM

Bill

Everything you need to download and to know is on this page. I updated mine without a hitch.
http://ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=4c045094-e186-4ddb...


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Rich Asarisi]
      #6055171 - 08/30/13 09:53 PM

I'm pretty good with dumb questions so here is another one...when the manual says to loosen/tighten the tension screws by some number of turns, I assume a turn is an actual 360 deg. rotation? I only ask because the recommended 2 full turns seems like a fairly large amount to back out the screws and they start to feel pretty loose...John

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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: John Miele]
      #6055400 - 08/31/13 12:58 AM

360 does seem like a turn, but I do a little less to what feels about right.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6055404 - 08/31/13 01:06 AM

Quote:

Anyone know how to "update" the RA-DEC software, as listed in the HC set menu? What is the current version number?




If you have a current version Z, the RA and DEC firmware should be up to date, ie; ver 130312 for both?

If you did have to update the RA or Dec boards, you would have to use the HC, in 'Setup Controller' scroll to the Update RA and DEC setting.

If you select it, it will prompt you for a password, that is '9999'. Then it will open a prompt to update the DEC and then the RA individually. You could then update the DEC and RA boards using the iOtpron upgrade utility software and selecting the correct bin file. After updating either, you need to hit the 'back' button to update the other board. If you use the current upgrade utility, it will prompt you through that step.

Just for info,

Paul


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: John Miele]
      #6055410 - 08/31/13 01:11 AM

Quote:

I'm pretty good with dumb questions so here is another one...when the manual says to loosen/tighten the tension screws by some number of turns, I assume a turn is an actual 360 deg. rotation? I only ask because the recommended 2 full turns seems like a fairly large amount to back out the screws and they start to feel pretty loose...John




You're absolutely right John, 360 degrees is a full turn. The two turns out is a 'starting point' and definitely not carved in stone.

My mount is happiest with the DEC 1/2 turn out, and the RA 1 turn out when imaging. For visual, one to two turns is fine.

I can only turn the tension knob about 1/2 turn with my medium sized digits in the limited space. If you have really big fingers, about 1/4 turn would be it....

Have a ton of fun and keep looking up,

Paul


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Hermie
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/05

Loc: Cloudy HKG
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6055615 - 08/31/13 07:46 AM

John,

Thanks for sharing your initial impressions. I'm not in the market for a mount at the moment, but the ZEQ25 is certainly interesting.

I hope you can find the time to share some more later, when you've had time to use the mount for a while.

Hermie


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