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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: gramaglia]
      #6140006 - 10/15/13 11:07 PM

Quote:

I getting alternating DeC-connection error and RA-connection error. The mount refuses to move.




Heinz, just food for thought. My small power tank went low on charge tonight when I was tracking with the mount.

First my PHD graph went nuts, because the mount didn't have enough voltage to keep tracking.

Then I started getting RA Connection and DEC connection messages, and I couldn't move the mount. My power supply indicator lamp was orange, indicating low voltage.

Swapped in a good Powerstream unit, and all those messages went away.

So, low voltage will trip RA and DEC Connection messages.

Just for info.

Paul


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6140140 - 10/16/13 12:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I getting alternating DeC-connection error and RA-connection error. The mount refuses to move.




Heinz, just food for thought. My small power tank went low on charge tonight when I was tracking with the mount.

First my PHD graph went nuts, because the mount didn't have enough voltage to keep tracking.

Then I started getting RA Connection and DEC connection messages, and I couldn't move the mount. My power supply indicator lamp was orange, indicating low voltage.

Swapped in a good Powerstream unit, and all those messages went away.

So, low voltage will trip RA and DEC Connection messages.

Just for info.

Paul




Paul, you are a genius!!! That was it!!!

Not in my wildest dreams had I imagined the PowerWeight could just be empty. I had charged it a few days ago the whole night, and it's a huge battery, isn't it? But when I am running the mount directly from the AC-adapter, all error messages are gone. Sometimes, life is so simple it makes you cry. When I go back to battery power, the problem comes again - proof that it really is nothing else than a low power issue.

The RA-overcurrent message is also gone, so I obviously succeeded in centering the worm on the cogwheel properly. There is also no significant play, neither in RA nor in DEC. This alone is a great improvement.

Some of the slippage problem came back though. Now it's as follows, with my triple spring assembly, the CW-arm in a horizontal position, and the 5kg CW flush with the end of the arm (without extension):

Tension screw 0.5 turns out: no slippage
Tension screw 1.0 turns out: no slippage
Tension screw 1.5 turns out: no slippage
Tension screw 2.0 turns out: slippage

(1 turn = 360 deg)

Much better than initially but not as good as your results. But I hope I am still on my way.
Do you think there is anything I could do now to reach the performance level of your mount?

In the meantime I had been in contact with iOptron. This time I got someone on the phone (sigh of relief)! They read through this thread and sent me the following answer, which I am posting here (hoping this is ok), because it might be of interest to others too:

"If all the cables were connected correctly and firmly but still no
communication, it might be some chip got "frozen" and firmware crash due to
static charge if no wrist cable was wear when connecting/disconnecting the
boards. You may reload the firmware and try again. Even there is no
communication, you should be able to do firmware reload/upgrade by press
main menu, and follow the firmware instruction:
Link to the instructions

The communication issue should be likely resolved if the firmware reload is
successful. Otherwise, the main board might need to be replaced."


Although the PowerWeight was near empty, I succeeded to update the Hand controller firmware and the RA firmware. Unfortunately, I should say, because I noticed that the firmware version on the iOptron website had a lower number than the one that came installed with my mount. Very strange, isn't it? You have any explanation for this? I'll ask iOptron anyway, when I send them my status report.

Well, the ZEQ25 is like a moody diva, isn't she. You have to treat her with great sensitivity and compassion. But if you do, she will love you for it and give her very best.

Best regards
Heinz


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Rich Asarisi
journeyman


Reged: 08/13/13

Loc: Connecticut, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6140634 - 10/16/13 10:39 AM

This is the only document available for aligning the polar scope in the mount. Needless to say it a bit nebulous!
http://www.ioptron.com/images/up/ZEQ25_PolarScope_Installation.pdf


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Rich Asarisi]
      #6141011 - 10/16/13 02:10 PM

Quote:

Much better than initially but not as good as your results. But I hope I am still on my way.
Do you think there is anything I could do now to reach the performance level of your mount?




Hello Heinz, happy that the correct voltage sorted out the issues with your mount.

If you are getting 1.5 to 2 full turns out with no slippage, with the counterweight at the end of the shaft, then that is all you need to successfully image or view with a reasonably balanced ota.

I have done some other minor mods to my mount, like reaming the countersunk area of the hinge pin recess perfectly, and doing the same to the steel adjusting screw recess. This results in a perfectly supported ball bearing and I can increase the load on it, and decrease the play as a result with no binding or tight spots.

This is not something the average user can do, nor should be concerned with, I just have the time and equipment available to do this mundane stuff.

Cheers,

Paul


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6141201 - 10/16/13 03:52 PM

Ok, Paul, I shall be content with what I have now. Thank you again for all your help. You sound like a very nice person, it's a pity you are so far away from Japan...

Heinz


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6141405 - 10/16/13 05:54 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

I received a replacement motor to correct an "RA Overcurrent" error on my z25 and it seems to work great now.

If it stays clear I'll try it out tonight with an old Criterion CR-6 that I picked up Monday. The scope and finder are only about 6 or 7 pounds but it is 50" long.


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BWAZ
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/21/05

Loc: CA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6141469 - 10/16/13 06:21 PM

Very impressive little mount indeed!

For those of you who have the C8 combo, how do you like it for visual? I've got a C8HD I want to use with this mount for visual mostly if I buy one. Just wanna to know how fast the mount damps the vibration.

Thanks


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: BWAZ]
      #6141493 - 10/16/13 06:30 PM

Quote:

Very impressive little mount indeed!

For those of you who have the C8 combo, how do you like it for visual? I've got a C8HD I want to use with this mount for visual mostly if I buy one. Just wanna to know how fast the mount damps the vibration.

Thanks




BWAZ,

I have an 1970's orange C8 and with a short tube 80mm and finder attached damping time is under 2 seconds. Focusing isn't a problem.

Mike


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6141831 - 10/16/13 09:16 PM

Well, I got the z25 with the RV6 out tonight for a quick session. The mount handles the long OTA great. I did a quick alignment on the Moon then goto's to Venus (low in the Southwest) and M31(high in the Northeast). Dead center in the FOV at 100x on both objects. At that magnification it took about 3 seconds to dampen after giving the tripod or OTA a good thump. I'll be going out later after the Moon gets a little further West. I'm still very impressed with this little mount!

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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6141993 - 10/16/13 10:40 PM

Quote:

The scope and finder are only about 6 or 7 pounds but it is 50" long.




*BLEEP*...if you don't get arrested for suspicion of owning a rocket launcher, I'll be very surprised....

Oh yeah..pray there isn't any wind present when you use it!

Thanks Mike, that cheered me right up..

Paul


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6142132 - 10/17/13 12:33 AM

Paul,

Glad I could cheer you up! I got out for a second session tonight and continue to be impressed in the mount and the old RV-6. If you notice in the photo there isn't a counter weight... I used it like that all night.

I'm sure I balanced it, or at least I'm fairly sure. I'll check tomorrow to see if I can balance that long light OTA with no counterweight. I don't see how, but it worked with very good goto's and no Overcurent errors.


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ramasule
member


Reged: 04/12/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6142154 - 10/17/13 12:55 AM

That looks so wrong yet so right.

Edited by ramasule (10/17/13 12:58 AM)


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ramasule]
      #6143374 - 10/17/13 05:29 PM

Quote:

That looks so wrong yet so right.




It would have been more right if I had remembered the counterweight and balancing!


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6143421 - 10/17/13 05:58 PM

Anyone replace their tension screw springs as recommended? Where did you find them?

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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6144114 - 10/18/13 01:36 AM

@ Bill

Posted this in the 'Tuning' thread, guessed you missed it?

Quote:

I buy all my supplies from Reid Supply, the springs are number S-780 and S-555, but the shipping will kill you unless you're buying in quantity.



Cheers,

Paul


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6144144 - 10/18/13 02:04 AM

Paul, I saw it. I was asking any others what supplier they used.

You're right, Reid charges about $1 for the spring and $15 for shipping. I'd settle for USPS first class mail if they offered it!


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6144332 - 10/18/13 07:30 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

As I wrote before, I am using the ZEQ25 for my Takahashi CN-212 (see picture). The OTA looks big on this mount, doesn't it? With binoviewer and eyepieces it weighs just over 10 kg (23 lbs) and is 80 cm long.

At first I had a lot of problems with slippage in RA, but after going through Paul's tuning routine various times, this issue is practically resolved.

However, I still have problems with vibrations when observing visually. At magnifications around 100x this is still tolerable, but going up to 200x with the 12mm eyepieces, focusing becomes a real pain, or hardly possible satisfactorily. The slightest touch causes vibrations which need up to 5 seconds to die down. I can't touch the eyepiece but have to hover above it while looking through it. No fun any more. Even with the Sky 90 weighing about 13 pounds and an overall length of 60 cm the mount shows significant vibrations (see picture in next post. This can of course not be adjusted away. It seems to be a matter of design.

My conclusion is that the nominal max payload of 27 pounds is way too optimistic, at least for visual. Or am I expecting too much from this little mount?
Does anybody else have similar experiences?

Best regards
Heinz


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Ryuno]
      #6144350 - 10/18/13 08:00 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

Sky 90 with Denk II, Vernonscope 2" diagonal and 2x Tak LE 30mm eyepieces. Total weight about 6kg (13 lbs), lenght 60cm

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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Ryuno]
      #6144383 - 10/18/13 08:26 AM

Bill
I went to my local hardware and bought some washers that just fit in the holder to use as shims. Works great and cost almost nothing - plus had the gratification of doing it immediately.
Bob


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Hermie
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/05

Loc: Cloudy HKG
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: rkayakr]
      #6144518 - 10/18/13 09:46 AM

John, Paul and everyone else who has contributed to this thread;

A big "Thank You" from an interested bystander for your contributions to this thread. I'm not in the market for a mount, but I am intrigued by the design of the ZEQ and by the price-point.


Heinz,

A longer OTA will give vibration issues at a lower weight than a short tube. Your photos don't show any vibration pads under the feet; if you are not using any I'd strongly recommend to get them - they do work. The next step I'd suggest is to try to make the tripod more rigid. You could add a chain or cable near the feet to give some inward tension. Another option would be to add a weight hanging under the accessory tray. I know you want to keep the setup light, but any weight there will help.

Keep trying!

Hermie


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