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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: patdut63fromFr]
      #6122385 - 10/07/13 12:45 PM

Pat,

If you are looking for a light weight mount, I think the z25 is a very good option. I've had mine for over a month now and haven't had to do anything except learn how to use it. There are problems with this mount at times but same is true of the AVX. Since iOptron customer support is so good, it do think it would be a viable solution for you.

Can you order it from a dealer in France or would you have to get it through a US dealer?

Most of the problems I've seen do not require buying additional parts for repair. Why don't you contact ioptron support and see how they would handle shipping if the need for any replacement parts came up?

Mike


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StrangeDejavu
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/20/13

Loc: Florida
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6122436 - 10/07/13 01:03 PM

Thanks guys, the AR102 is almost the same weight so it shouldn't be a problem. Only difference I could find was the length, with an 11 inch difference.

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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: patdut63fromFr]
      #6122518 - 10/07/13 01:49 PM

Quote:

Hello everyone,

I follow this topic for some days. As I am looking for a light mount to build a light setup I was seduced by the zeq25 first because returns were really positive. My opinion is changing with the misadventure of Ryuno. Looks like the zeq25 is either not as good as announced or that the blunt manufacturing is nonexistent in iOptron business.
As I don't want to finish the mount by myself I am increasingly averse to this purchase. Especially as the price of this material is exaggerated in France (more than twice the US price).
Wouldn't be the AVX from Celestron a better choice for my needs ?
Your advices are most welcome.




Hello and welcome,

I am not sure yet, if my experience really is a misadventure or just lack of practice. I am at the very beginning in using this mount. So, I think it would be a mistake to jump to conclusions too quickly.

I must admit however that so far I am underwhelmed by the mount. It seems I can't get to terms with the spring loading mechanism in particular. Tonight, when observing Jupiter, I had the mount perfectly balanced, the tension adjuster screws tightened and then released one turn, as recommended.
At first I used a single Tak LE eyepiece and a diagonal. Fine. Then I attached the Denk II binoviewer with another eyepiece. Total additional weight probably 2 lbs (1kg). This imbalance was enough to send the telescope nosediving into my lap. It took me completely by surprise. With the P2Z, although it has a much lower load capacity, this never happened to me. It seems to me unrealistic to rebalance the mount every time I change the eyepiece or switch to binoviewing while observing.

And one more thing: I was used, at the beginning of an observation session, just to grab the scope, loosen the screws and point in the approximate direction of the target. While this is still possible with the ZEQ25, it is significantly more hassle than with the Takahashi mount. There I had a big lever (RA) and a big hand screw (Dec) which were easy to reach and manipulate. With the ZEQ25 I have small tension screws that have to be adjusted every time I want to manually move the scope, and additionally I have to turn two small switches to disengage the worm gear. Rather awkward. Unfortunately I can't use Goto, because from my balcony in Tokyo I dont see Polaris, and that's why I need to move the scope by hand.

Observing Jupiter I had lots of swinging and vibrations, which made focusing, especially at higher magnifications, quite difficult or nearly impossible. My impression was that this did not come from the legs, but from the mount itself.

I have to say again, I am yet very inexperienced with this mount, but I am already missing the stability and ease of use of the Tak mount. Unfortunately the CN-212 is too heavy for it.

So far, my conclusion is that for the CN-212 the ZEQ25 is not adequate. I am hoping though that I am just making a mistake, and that someone can lead me on the right track.

What is the idea behind the spring loading mechanism? My P2Z has nothing of this, and I have never missed it.

Can anybody explain? Maybe the mount is very innovative, and I am just not yet able to use it properly.

Best regards
Heinz


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6122805 - 10/07/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

Tonight, when observing Jupiter, I had the mount perfectly balanced, the tension adjuster screws tightened and then released one turn, as recommended.
At first I used a single Tak LE eyepiece and a diagonal. Fine. Then I attached the Denk II binoviewer with another eyepiece. Total additional weight probably 2 lbs (1kg). This imbalance was enough to send the telescope nosediving into my lap. It took me completely by surprise.




If your mount, with 2 pounds added went nosediving into your lap, your mount is not properly adjusted (from the factory)in the RA axis.

You will need to adjust the RA hinge side play, and also set your worm mesh correctly. PM me with your email address and I will forward some images and instructions that will help you set it up, it's not too difficult.

Best...Paul



Edited by Astronewb (10/07/13 03:55 PM)


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6122865 - 10/07/13 04:09 PM

Besides the hinge side play, you may also experiencing the same issue I was having: the worm gear is too loose in it's housing; the brass screw just needs to be tightened a little bit so it's firm but too tight as to create friction with the bearings. Between the adjustment on the hinge and the brass screw you should have virtually no play left in the gears when they are in the locked position. Make sure not to over-tighten the brass screw as it will lead to over current message (not a good idea).

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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #6123026 - 10/07/13 04:49 PM

Thank you for your advice and offer to help me. Gramaglia, you are right, I think my mount has the same issue as yours.
I am sure, there must be a solution. Or at least I really hope so. If not, it would be a minor disaster, because I already ordered my second ZEQ25, this time with the 2" legs for the heavier Mewlon 250. But maybe I do not need the 2" legs really, because the weak point is the mount itself? Let's see how it behaves after correct adjustment with your help.
It is a new technology obviously, and we need to learn.

Best regards
Heinz


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6123228 - 10/07/13 05:49 PM

I think the main issue with the ZEQ25 is the assembly at the factory. Being a completely new design most if not all of the workers are still unfamiliar with how to build them. We (the first bunch of users) are slightly more than advanced beta testers. The GEM mounts with their various forms and incarnations are basically the same; be it the atlas CGEM VX sirius or EQ45. Once they built a few batches the workers will know how to set the hinge correctly, the worm drive, etc.
I love my mount, because it has so much potential. It would have been great to be perfect out of the box; however, I think we would be deluding ourselves to think a new design would be flawless on it's first run.
I believe we must accept this is a sub 1000$ mount with the ability to carry close to 30lbs for AP (all other mounts in that category cost more and weigh a hell of a lot more) and accordingly will come with some growing pains.
Ioptron as great customer service and I hope they relay some of the issues we are having to manufacturing:
1- the hinge system should be improved.
2- the brass locking screw could use a second locking screw behind to reduce the chance of it loosening over time and generating to much play in the gears
3- the encoder cap be made a little shorter to reduce the noise
I can't think of any other issues that came up regarding the mechanical part of the mount. I'm sure there are others but can't remember them now.
These issues are minor but seriously affect the performance so will need to be addresses by Ioptron.
At the end of the day this is a cheap mount, I would have been fuming if I had these issues with a 10000$ high end mount, but very happy that with some tinkering, my mount provides me with 90+% of the performance of said high end mount at a fraction of the cost.


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #6123592 - 10/07/13 08:51 PM

Gramaglia, I think you hit the nail on the head.

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DesertCrawler
member
*****

Reged: 05/30/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6123963 - 10/08/13 12:54 AM

Quote:

Thank you for your advice and offer to help me. Gramaglia, you are right, I think my mount has the same issue as yours.
I am sure, there must be a solution. Or at least I really hope so. If not, it would be a minor disaster, because I already ordered my second ZEQ25, this time with the 2" legs for the heavier Mewlon 250. But maybe I do not need the 2" legs really, because the weak point is the mount itself? Let's see how it behaves after correct adjustment with your help.
It is a new technology obviously, and we need to learn.

Best regards
Heinz




While we as consumers should not be fixing these issues, fear not, Heinz, the RA slop issue (again, most certainly NOT by design) is easily addressed. I fixed mine a few months back, and have put longer springs supplied by iOptron plus a few washers and now have a very good functioning RA axis. I run the C9.25 with imaging stuff hanging off it or focuser/diagnonal/hefty eyepieces for visual -- no problem.


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: DesertCrawler]
      #6124127 - 10/08/13 04:27 AM

Thank you For your advice and your trying to console me. I think I need it, Because I was rather shocked about the performance of the mount. There is light at the horizon.

How do I vet the springs from ioptro? So far,whenever I tried to call them, nobody picked up the phone, nor did they answer mails. I am at a complete loss, and I am always surprised to read about their "excellent" service. How can they provide service,if it is impossiblo contact them?

Heinz


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6124373 - 10/08/13 09:04 AM

Quote:

I am at a complete loss, and I am always surprised to read about their "excellent" service. How can they provide service,if it is impossiblo contact them?




I have always just emailed to support@ioptron.com.

You will get an auto-reply that your mail has been received within a few minutes, followed by a reply from either John or Kevin as soon as they have reviewed your mail.

If you don't get an auto-reply, your mail hasn't reached them for some reason, or you are emailing the wrong area?

Clear skies,

Paul


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6124411 - 10/08/13 09:26 AM

I have had the same experience as Paul. When you email iOptron support you get an immediate email acknowledgement reply and a quick follow up from a tech. I have asked many questions on firmware, upgrades and issues and always got an accurate, quick response.

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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6124567 - 10/08/13 10:41 AM

John at iOptron is on the ball. 4-6 hour response time, which is usually unheard of in any industry. The ZEQ is worth keeping because iOptron has shown a willingness to "make it right". I would not be surprised if in the next two years significant changes are indeed made to the mount, new end caps, etc. I imagine those will be offered to those who ask in the future. Pure speculation, but given iOptrons willingness to go the extra mile, I could see it happening.
This is a radical new design for a mount. One that could set iOptron apart. They have a lot riding on it.


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anat
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/03/04

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6124581 - 10/08/13 10:50 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

Something you may not know This is a baby Mach1

Edited by anat (10/08/13 11:07 AM)


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ramasule
member


Reged: 04/12/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: anat]
      #6124731 - 10/08/13 11:50 AM

Paul,
What are the size of washers do you know? (4, 6, 8?)
Also where did you.get those fancy altitude lock knobs? I find mine do nit get tight enough, or I am bending the metal rod.

Hanks, ram


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: rkayakr]
      #6124943 - 10/08/13 01:29 PM

Quote:

I have had the same experience as Paul. When you email iOptron support you get an immediate email acknowledgement reply and a quick follow up from a tech. I have asked many questions on firmware, upgrades and issues and always got an accurate, quick response.




I'll try again, thank you for the info. Maybe something went wrong that day.
How about reaching them by phone? Has anybody had luck with this? I am always getting a female voice telling me that all engineers are busy. Always!

Best regards
Heinz


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Ryuno]
      #6125924 - 10/08/13 09:46 PM

Quote:

Something you may not know This is a baby Mach1




Wait..you haven't seen everything yet...:) Maybe Nov-Dec 2013. Nice wire run, btw.

Best,

Paul

Edited by Astronewb (10/08/13 09:47 PM)


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: ramasule]
      #6125933 - 10/08/13 09:50 PM

Quote:

What are the size of washers do you know? (4, 6, 8?)
Also where did you.get those fancy altitude lock knobs? I find mine do nit get tight enough, or I am bending the metal rod.




Ram, I do not what you are referring to when you talk about washers? For increasing spring tension?

I don't use washers, but I do use dual springs in both axes.

The knob is a modified alloy knob from a iOptron mini pier set. I have 6 sets, maybe I don't need that many?

Clear skies,

Paul

Hanks, ram




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ramasule
member


Reged: 04/12/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6126012 - 10/08/13 10:34 PM

sorry my mistake paul, I thought someone mentioned you put washers under the springs yes for tension.
What size are the springs? I don't have my mount with me (its 8 hours away at my remote work site) I would like to wonder into the hobby shop and pick some up.


Btw thanks for those videos.


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: ramasule]
      #6126232 - 10/09/13 01:07 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

The build quality of the CW-shaft seems rather poor to me. After sliding the CW up and down a few times, the chrome coating is coming off already. (see image). Also there is some rust on the inner threads. Any possibility to get a stainless steel version of the shaft, or some other remedy?

I suppose the extension rod is of the same poor quality. My dealer is making and selling one himself, made of stainless steel, at about double the iOptron price, part of which can be seen on the picture..

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. iOptron obviously has to save somewhere in order to offer the mount at a low price.

Heinz


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