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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: BJS]
      #6109261 - 09/30/13 01:11 PM

Quote:

I have a question about the polar alignment routines. Has any one gone to the trouble of using the polar scope first, and then doing a multi-star alignment to see if you can achieve a better polar alignment? After reading the manual it seems like this is possible.
Second question: Can these mounts be placed on the Ioptron piers that the IEQ30 and 45's use? If not, what is the problem, is the diameter wrong or is it the az adjusting peg that is out of place?

Thanks, Brian




I use the polar scope first. I have never done it any other way. Really, the polar scope is so good that it takes a few minutes to perfectly align. After discovering it was neccessary by the helpful folks here like Paul, I turn it off and on, then do a one star alignment. After that, perfect. As for the pier, I can not answer that.

Edited by Seanem44 (09/30/13 01:12 PM)


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6109273 - 09/30/13 01:21 PM

If you use the polar scope, do 5 minute exposures and are careful to place Polaris in the exact spot indicated my the hand controller you probably don't need to use the routine or drift alignment. You should be able to get within a couple of arcmin of true north. I have never drift aligned or used the routine with the ZEQ25 but so far limited myself to 5 minute subs.

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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #6109414 - 09/30/13 02:58 PM

Case on wheels for the ZEQ25?

Now comes the difficult part.

Total weight of the mount in my setup is
Mount 10.4 lbs
Counterweight 10.4 lbs
tripod legs 11 lbs
Powerweight 7 lbs
Total 39 lbs (18 kg)

What I need is being able to take the mount plus the Takahashi CN-212 with me on the train and bus into the mountains around Tokyo, because in Tokyo itself the situation is hopeless.

For the CN-212 I ordered a backpack, which is due to arrive. I found that backpacks for musical instruments are also ideal for astro gear, because they come in different shapes and are built to carry delicate instruments. I found the best backpack for the CN-212 to be a case for a bass trombone. This one:
Telescope backpack
Look at this video, it shows how ingenious this bag is also for telescopes:
Video
I'll keep you updated how it works in real astro-life.

Now I need a suitable case for the ZEQ25.

Requirements:
1. It should be able to hold: ZEQ25+counterweight+Powerweight+tripod legs, as well as some accessories such as binoviewer, eyepieces and the like.
2. It should have wheels, because carrying it additionally to the OTA is out of the question. So it should be like a suitcase with either four wheels to push it along or two wheels to drag it around.
3. If possible: It should have the possibility for foam padding on the inside
4. It should not be too heavy, max about 15 lbs (7kg), I'd say.

Does anybody have a suggestion?

Best regards
Heinz


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ramasule
member


Reged: 04/12/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6109453 - 09/30/13 03:23 PM

Look at my review on here. I packed everything into a rifle case. If you have less then me you can even shed more weight. Check out starlight cases.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: BJS]
      #6109524 - 09/30/13 04:00 PM

Quote:

Hey have you seen this, what do you think for the Z?




To be honest Randy, it will probably work well, except for a little added momemtum and balancing finesse. And a bit more 'sail' for those windy nights..:)

I don't use Newts for that reason, I just cringe when I have to stick a camera on the side of a telescope. For me it's just too much of a hassle. Cameras belong on the end of an ota, imho.

I have a ES 152mm Comet Hunter Mak-Newt, and I've never taken an image with it, it's my visual rich field device, and I love the views with it.

Clear skies,

Paul


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: BJS]
      #6109546 - 09/30/13 04:11 PM

Quote:

I have a question about the polar alignment routines. Has any one gone to the trouble of using the polar scope first, and then doing a multi-star alignment to see if you can achieve a better polar alignment? After reading the manual it seems like this is possible.
Second question: Can these mounts be placed on the Ioptron piers that the IEQ30 and 45's use? If not, what is the problem, is the diameter wrong or is it the az adjusting peg that is out of place?

Thanks, Brian




Brian, my polar scope is spot on, I've checked, and it's within 2 arc-minutes, which is fine by me.

So, I have polar aligned, then used the Polar Align routine to see if I could chip away those last few arc-minutes. Nope, not happening, you'll only make it worse. The routine flips you back and forth between the 2 stars you've selected in a never ending routine, that has no confirmation or closure. When you 'think' it's good enough, you just back out of the routine.

I've then checked my initial polar align, and it's way off. Off so much that I can't image unguided for more than 45 seconds without trailing.

The routine will allow you to guide quite successfully, but it's not for the new AP'er without guiding equipment.

I'd love it if iOptron would return to the old Two Star align, which gave you an offset readout after the second star was centered. At least then you could make the needed adjustments with the mount adjusters and repeat the routine until you had '00-00' offset, or very near to it. After 3 or 4 iterations of the old routine, I was always at least '01-00' in both axes, and about 30% of the time I was at '00-00' which allowed me to image for 4 minutes unguided.

But, iOptron says the old routine was too difficult for the average user to wrap their head around, so they went with the new 'Polar Align' at the expense of AP enthusiasts.

No, the Z mount will not fit the current piers, the mount base circle is much smaller and would need a special apdapter to fit. Hopefully iOptron is working on that.

Cheers and clear skies,

Paul


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6109554 - 09/30/13 04:18 PM

Paul: I just cringe when I have to stick a camera on the side of a telescope.
what's the reason to have the focuser on the side on the OTA when imaging? The focuser can be straight up or straight down; the camera doesn't camera to be in an "inconvenient" position. and it makes it a hell of a lot easier to balance the mount.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6109555 - 09/30/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

Requirements:
1. It should be able to hold: ZEQ25+counterweight+Powerweight+tripod legs, as well as some accessories such as binoviewer, eyepieces and the like.
2. It should have wheels, because carrying it additionally to the OTA is out of the question. So it should be like a suitcase with either four wheels to push it along or two wheels to drag it around.
3. If possible: It should have the possibility for foam padding on the inside
4. It should not be too heavy, max about 15 lbs (7kg), I'd say.




Heinz, try looking at some of these wheeled carriers, you'd probably be able to put everything in one case?

https://www.google.com/search?q=golf+bags+with+wheels&tbm=isch&tbo=u&...

I don't golf, but I have seen these on airline baggage conveyors and thought about using one if I needed to travel with a complete kit?

Cheers,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (09/30/13 04:19 PM)


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BJS
member


Reged: 05/23/09

Loc: NW Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6109937 - 09/30/13 08:16 PM

Thanks Paul. That helps alot. I did not know that Ioptron had changed the polar align routine like that. Seems like they could bring that feature back as an easy and an advanced mode. I would guess that the multi-star align was not any better?

Brian

Brian


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: BJS]
      #6110062 - 09/30/13 09:21 PM

Quote:

Thanks Paul. That helps alot. I did not know that Ioptron had changed the polar align routine like that. Seems like they could bring that feature back as an easy and an advanced mode. I would guess that the multi-star align was not any better?

Brian

Brian




No Brian, the multi-star alignment only improves the pointing model and accuracy in that section of the sky, it does nothing for polar alignment.

I think iOptron could at least still offer the older firmware for the HC on their website, for those that need a positive method of minimizing polar offset...:(

Oh well, it is what it is...

Cheers,

Paul


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6110783 - 10/01/13 09:08 AM

Third (or fourth) Light, FURTHER IMPRESSIONS

I took the ZEQ out last night shortly after nightfall. I feel confident in my abilities to setup quickly and polar align fairly accurately, so I decided to image for about 20 minutes to test the mount, and my own limits. I am new to prime focus, so this was a big test, as the other night's mini test was a training wheel step. After adding electrical tape inside the motor caps, and to the outside, when I had it out on my deck I didn't notice the sounds once. Only when I returned to zero, I heard a louder whirring. That was it. No need to return to iOptron to fix it.

Again, the mount sets up very quickly. Using the advice from you wonderful folks, I refined my alignment, and gained focus better than before by use of my D800's live view. Thanks to the DSLR forum for that. I have a Bahtinov on the way.

So now for the test. I went for the gold. I started at three minutes. For me, I consider that the gold for unguided shots of M31 and in the future, M45 and M42.

At about three minutes I start to see ever so slight wobble or trailing when I zoomed in. A quick check through my polar scope showed that I became ever so slightly unaligned. I fixed that and my last three minute shot was near perfect. I would say it is at the limit of unguided, at least for me in my beginning stage.

I have included one single 3 minute photo of M31, edited in lightroom and then photo shop.

My sky sucks. 17.72 and Red/Whiteish. I do not have a decent LPR Filter yet, any suggestions on one would be nice. Still, for me the results are encouraging. Please ignore the dark patches. I am a little ashamed to say I hadn't cleaned the sensor with air puffs. It's dirtier than I like. I think if I get a good LPR Filter these three minute shots will look much better and I can start stacking.

So, under bright sky conditions, after just a few nights out of learning, here it is. One exposure,3 minutes, ISO 1600, unguided. ZEQ25 with AT65EDQ. Again, this was not to produce a beautiful image, it was a test. I think it was fairly successful.



Edited by Seanem44 (10/01/13 09:12 AM)


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tango13
member


Reged: 03/16/11

Loc: Rome, Italy
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seanem44]
      #6110863 - 10/01/13 09:52 AM

Sean, great report and fantastic achievement from you, congrats!
Three minute subs are really promising and say how good this mount is.
I think I've (almost totally) eliminated the chatter on my mount too, so I can't wait to give it a serious test, I'm confident I'll have tons of fun with it.
Thanks,
Piero


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RandyC
super member
*****

Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seanem44]
      #6111012 - 10/01/13 11:23 AM

Sean, On the East Coast US, sky conditions last night were terrible. High humidity. That may be your issue instead of light pollution. I looked at about 10 objects with my Mallincam and sky was bad. In video, you can adjust contrast, brightness, saturation, etc. in real time. Even doing my best with the controls, the hazy sky was hard to overcome.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: RandyC]
      #6111024 - 10/01/13 11:31 AM

Very nice test Sean, the image looks good from my house..:)

As Randy mentioned, here in the Northeast the sky turns to mud this time of the year. I can watch as the ground fog forms clouds at the horizon and then dissipates into the sky. The stars just gradually disappear into the mud until it's useless to image.

Looking forward to your future projects.

Best,

Paul


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6111053 - 10/01/13 11:46 AM

Thanks all. As much as if love to blame humidity, I live 20 miles South of DC in Woodbridge. It's one big light fest.

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boandpokey
sage
*****

Reged: 07/25/13

Loc: Auburndale, Fl
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seanem44]
      #6111088 - 10/01/13 12:06 PM

Sean be proud!! Im so far from achieving that.. but I hope to get there soon!!

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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6111114 - 10/01/13 12:21 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

Thank you, Paul and ramasule for your suggestions. I have looked into them.My conclusion is that it is best to just buy a Samsonite suitcase with four wheels, maybe last year's model, which is cheaper and put some foam into it. The lightest one is a mere 3kg and carries the ZEM25 with ease.

My solution for the CN-212 OTA arrived today. See the pictures below. There is even an eyepiece holder big enough for for three Tak LE eyepieces.

I tried to carry it on my back. Easy. The backpack itself only weighs 2kg.
Plus the ZEQ25 in the suitcase on four wheels and accessories, and I am off to the mountains by train and bus. I didn't think it was that easy. I can't wait.

What do you think?

Best regards
Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (10/01/13 12:44 PM)


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Ryuno]
      #6111142 - 10/01/13 12:34 PM

Heinz,

Nice looking case. That on your back pulling the z25 in a suitcase and you will be all set for the mountains!

Mike


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Mkofski]
      #6111608 - 10/01/13 05:22 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Last night I tried 300 second unguided subs. I was using just the camera (no computer) and had it set to save files as jpg's. Not great, but pretty good for 5 unguided. The were taken with a 66mm WO APO so the fl was rather short. Stars were not perfect but now I can move on to try guiding with PHD.

Mike


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Ryuno]
      #6111645 - 10/01/13 05:46 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

Hines,

I just bought an older Schmidt Newtonian that appears to be a Vixen scope. If it was made in japan, I assume that the writing on the front dust cover is in Japanese. Can you translate it for me?

Thanks,

Mike


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