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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6103125 - 09/26/13 09:59 PM

Paul, thanks for the walk through. I'm a visual guy, so this might be beyond my capabilities without an instruction book. I might try later, but the crosstalk isn't too loud. And since it was established that it hurts nothing, it's a non factor. Chalk one up to cheap flimsy chinese plastic I suppose.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6103350 - 09/27/13 12:31 AM

Quote:

Paul, thanks for the walk through. I'm a visual guy, so this might be beyond my capabilities without an instruction book. I might try later, but the crosstalk isn't too loud. And since it was established that it hurts nothing, it's a non factor. Chalk one up to cheap flimsy chinese plastic I suppose.




Your welcome, and you're right, a metallic cover, that fits tightly, with a Teflon shim at the bottom, would have made this issue a no-starter.

Good luck,

Paul


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tango13
member


Reged: 03/16/11

Loc: Rome, Italy
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6103448 - 09/27/13 02:26 AM

Hi all,

I'm a bit confused about this crosstalk problem...
Does it really affect tracking or not? According to Paul's PHD guiding graph it does.
I'm asking because I could live with the noise as long as it does not ruin my imaging sessions, and I'd could thus spare making any modifications to the mount.
Can anyone shed a definitive light on this problem?

Thanks!
Ciao,
Piero


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anat
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/03/04

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6103505 - 09/27/13 04:18 AM

Quote:


That would (will) definitely ruin a photo session. Not a big problem if a stab at the #2 slew button stops it, but if it won't stop, you're stuck with viewing visually, and putting up with a lot of annoying noise to boot.

Attached is a screen shot of the crosstalk when it occurs during guiding, in this case it was coming from the DEC motor.

Contact iOptron, they're probably working on a fix..

Cheers,

Paul




Paul,

I would like to have some clarifications. Did the jumps in guiding errors occur before or after you pressed #2 ? Was it possible that the crosstalk happened without causing any guiding problem but pressing #2 caused the jumps?

iOptron mentions that the crosstalk doesn't affect tracking. I am puzzled.

Best regards,
Anat


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boandpokey
sage
*****

Reged: 07/25/13

Loc: Auburndale, Fl
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6103534 - 09/27/13 05:57 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Ok got things going tonight . Set up mount on tripod.put ota, a new sw100 on mount. Balanced ota. Got it all wired and powered. Set time. Tried to slew. Nothing. Mount moved really slowly only in dec. Shut it down and tried to just slew nothing. Now im a new to an (non se) equatorial mount. So im going to believe the issue is me. The mount was making soft noise when I attempted slewing. Tomorrw is our astronomy club meeting and im going to lug it over and get some hands on opinions any input would be great




Hmnn...? Did you run the tensioning screws all the way down and then back out at least a turn before slewing?

What speed did you slew at? 1 is the lowest, barely noticeable, 9 is the max slew speed.

Did you download and read the User Manual from iOptron's website?

I'm sure the crew at the meeting will be able to help you out. Let us know how you fared.

Regards,

Paul




thanks Paul

yes, I did back out the screws after tightening. i did notice one thing while balancing, i didnt back the tension adjuster out enouh and as the mount rolled in ra it clicked.. i backed it out more and it stopped... it is a learning process. could I have disengaged a gear?.. I did not adjust Slew speed. That could be it, I just attempted alignment then had to call it a night to be here at work at 5:30 am.. Ill spend some quality time with the mount this weekend and let u know..


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6103674 - 09/27/13 08:57 AM

Last night was a rare clear night in NE Ohio. I got out to image with my ZEQ25 and the WO Z80.
At one point the mount stopped tracking and didn't respond to buttons. Eventually I noticed the "RA overcurrent" message on the screen.
I had been used to tightening the RA worm tension down all the way but there was still slop in the RA. Following Paul's analysis I invested in three washers at the local hardware store that I used to shim the spring. With the shims in place there is less slop, but I found that I must now back off a turn.
If your mount stops moving check for messages that it is in pain.


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6103758 - 09/27/13 09:42 AM

Ok.... So I have spoken with John over at iOptron again, and of course have consulted with you all and the all mighty google.

John says that the chatter sounds which we have been calling cross-talk are the servo motor, and unlike a stepper motor, will have noise. This noise is normal apparently. A quick search shows that a lot of mounts do use stepper motors, including celestron. So that may explain why I have never heard it before in my CPC.

After some research, I have found that servo motor chatter is fairly common across the R/C circuit, in helicopters, etc. However, I could not determine whether it was good or bad, as I found that in both cases it was.

iOptron John said that it would only be a problem if it was very high pitched and loud, and the ultimate litmus test would be when I finally get out and try to take some photos. He said I could always send it in for a tune-up, which I would like to avoid for now.

It is possible that the chatter being heard is a result of the casing not being thick enough, or there not being enough insulation inside to mask the noise. I also read that dirty or cheap servos tend to have more chatter. At this point I don't know.

What I do know is from what I have seen, this servo motor chatter is normal, and affects almost everyone who owns a ZEQ. That being said, it appears to be the norm and therefore not a fault in the mount.

I am also posting this in a seperate thread dedicated to this issue so we need not clutter up this thread with the issue.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6103770 - 09/27/13 09:47 AM

Quote:

A quick search shows that a lot of mounts do use stepper motors, including celestron. So that may explain why I have never heard it before in my CPC.




Nearly all available mounts (including your CPC) use servos. The only exceptions I can think of right now are Takahashi and non-goto Losmandy models.


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6103773 - 09/27/13 09:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

A quick search shows that a lot of mounts do use stepper motors, including celestron. So that may explain why I have never heard it before in my CPC.




Nearly all available mounts (including your CPC) use servos. The only exceptions I can think of right now are Takahashi and non-goto Losmandy models.




I stand corrected then.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6104053 - 09/27/13 12:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

A quick search shows that a lot of mounts do use stepper motors, including celestron. So that may explain why I have never heard it before in my CPC.




Nearly all available mounts (including your CPC) use servos. The only exceptions I can think of right now are Takahashi and non-goto Losmandy models.




Not exactly. All the Synta-Skywatcher-Orion branded mounts, the Atlas EQ-6, etc., etc. use steppers.

AND...steppers are more likely to produce these sorts of noises than servos...


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: rmollise]
      #6104133 - 09/27/13 12:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

A quick search shows that a lot of mounts do use stepper motors, including celestron. So that may explain why I have never heard it before in my CPC.




Nearly all available mounts (including your CPC) use servos. The only exceptions I can think of right now are Takahashi and non-goto Losmandy models.




Not exactly. All the Synta-Skywatcher-Orion branded mounts, the Atlas EQ-6, etc., etc. use steppers.

AND...steppers are more likely to produce these sorts of noises than servos...




I read that steppers were less likely due to the brushed motors. Hoestly I knownothing about motors. It is what it is.


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seanem44]
      #6104355 - 09/27/13 02:24 PM

Quote:



I read that steppers were less likely due to the brushed motors. Hoestly I knownothing about motors. It is what it is.




Not the case at all...go listen to an Atlas when it ramps down in speed.


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RandyC
super member
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Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: rkayakr]
      #6104440 - 09/27/13 03:24 PM

I would recommend you leave it alone. Yes there is some slop in RA but it must be part of Ioptron's design. Mine has some play but it works fine as is.

Clear Skies, RandyC
http://www.flickr.com/photos/galaxygardens


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cloudywest
member


Reged: 06/15/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: rmollise]
      #6104444 - 09/27/13 03:25 PM

Stepper produces noise at start and stop, but silent when idle. You can hear noise of a servo when idle. Stepper consumes twice the power of a servo. I would not be worry about a small and calm noise with servo motor, high pitch excepted.

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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: cloudywest]
      #6104554 - 09/27/13 04:43 PM

Not sure what you mean by "idle," but you can most assuredly hear the SynScan mounts during sidereal tracking. It's not loud, but it is no less loud than their servo drive Celestron sisters.

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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: rmollise]
      #6104693 - 09/27/13 06:11 PM

Anyone know what the most recent firmware version is? Wonder if those can help with the sound in the future.

When mine tracks it makes a churning noise.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seanem44]
      #6104698 - 09/27/13 06:14 PM

You can find the firmware versions on the ioptron.com support site.

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DesertCrawler
member
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Reged: 05/30/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: RandyC]
      #6105133 - 09/27/13 11:50 PM

Quote:

I would recommend you leave it alone. Yes there is some slop in RA but it must be part of Ioptron's design. Mine has some play but it works fine as is.

Clear Skies, RandyC





There should be no slop in a proper functioning mount. Slop will result in poor performance. Some of the ZEQ25 mounts appear to have incorrectly assembled motor mounts which causes excess slop. Also, some of the tension adjusters have insufficient pressure to minimize backlash.

The DEC axis of my mount when it arrived was as close to perfect as I could hope. It had near zero play and held weight properly. The RA on the other hand was essentially useless. Even with the tensioner fully turned in, the RA axis had so much play that it was nearly impossible to achieve alignment, and even after some semblance of alignment, it would not track properly or slew repeatably.

Upon disassembly, with the blessing of iOptron support, I found that the motor was loose on its mount, and there was incorrect end play in the drive shaft. After a few sessions of adjustments, and a new spring from iOptron to replace my make-shift tensioner shims, the RA axis now behaves as it should.

Since resolving this the RA axis works as intended, there is to no play even with my C9.25 on it, slews are repeatable, and tracking is good. I still need to take some measurements, but these results are encouraging.

So, the ZEQ25 can be much better. If someone is experiencing excess slop or poor performance otherwise, this is not the intended design and the mount really can be better than that with some work.

iOptron was very good about working through these issues with me.


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boandpokey
sage
*****

Reged: 07/25/13

Loc: Auburndale, Fl
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: DesertCrawler]
      #6105434 - 09/28/13 08:00 AM

I got mine slewing as needed yesterday after just some quality learning time. But the talk back is constant. sounds like a little fax machine in there. it does stop when the OTA is set back to zero.

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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: boandpokey]
      #6106643 - 09/28/13 09:53 PM

First Light:

Ok, so I took the mount out back tonight. I found that polar alignment was very easy with the mount. I know I got it dead on, or close to it. And this is about the extent of anything good that happened.

Much of the result are my fault. I should have done the smart thing and used my setup for observing only. But foolish me hooked up the camera and AT65. I first attempted to slew to Andromeda but did not find it. Honestly, I don't think a single star I slewed to wound up in my DSLR's FOV.

I think I need to learn to sync to object. I really need to just use an eyepiece next time.

The mount itself though sounded pretty good. This is after all the crosstalk issues. I guess Pauls advice worked, as I taped the motor caps on. Of course maybe the noise was only loud to me because I was indoors the other day in silence. Outside, with only normal sound outside I could barely hear it.

I had balanced the OTA and weight very good. I am going to need a longer dovetail plate, as the supplied AT65 plate was only in the saddle halfway. Now that I think about it, the OTA might have not been aimed perfectly straight because of this. Maybe that why nothing appeared in the FOV. There will be plenty of more night to try.

I noticed there was a little play in the gear. This was with the tension kobs correct. It was not a lot, but just enough that it might concern me later.

Bottom line, I have a lot of learning to do before I can get up and imaging. I got some focused shots, god only knows how. I just took some 15 second shots at a range of different ISOs. Nothing special, aside from a random sattelite going through.

I think the thing I need to do most is save up for the Orion Magnificent Autoguider. This is the only way I will know if the mount is operating how it should for imaging I have a feeling. It also will make imaging a lot easier.

One strange thing I noticed in my random shots, I had pinpoint stars except for a very bright one in one shot which had (what I can best describe as) a swirly line leading around it. I will try to post it if I can.

I also noticed that the three successive photos of this portion of sky I took did not stay still in my DSLR's FOV. Almost like it wasn't being tracked correctly.

At any rate, please add any hints or tips or things that might help.

Oh, and another strange thing that happened was I tried synching to Polaris. After I did that I slewed to Adnromeda but the mount went the opposite direction and took my OTA below the horizon before showing RA Current Overload. That I thought was wierd. Took it back to zero manually and it worked fine after that.

Thanks guys.

Edited by Seanem44 (09/28/13 09:56 PM)


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