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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: boandpokey]
      #6163106 - 10/28/13 06:25 PM

My preliminary final conclusions about the ZEQ25 are:
For my specific needs, it was not the right decision to purchase this mount. It is innovative and very interesting, well-suited for imaging and visual with smaller telescopes. However, the nominal weight capacity is too optimistic. Especially for visual observation. Nominally, the amount should be able to carry my CN 212 without complaint. But I have way too much vibrations, especially with higher magnifications. This makes focusing exceedingly difficult. I am asking myself, how it would be possible to do imaging, when there is a slight breeze for example. Has anybody tried this mount under windy conditions? I would say the amount could be used for short tube telescopes up to 6 kg. With anything above that you might run into problems.

I am out now for a more stable solution for the CN 212, while staying portable. At the moment I am looking at the Takahashi EM 11. I tried the CN 212 on this mount as well as on the iOptron iEQ45 at my local telescope shop. My impression was that the stability of the telescope was similar on those two mounts, confirming my suspicion that iOptron has a tendency to be a little too optimistic with respect to their maximum load capacities of the mounts. On the other hand, it is known that Takahashi is rather conservative in their specifications (6-9kg for the E11), meaning that the maximum load capacity for both months could lie around 12 kg or something like 26 lbs, which is the nominal capacity of the ZEQ25. 45 lbs for the iEQ45 seem too much to me.

Does anybody have experience with the E11 and my size of telescope? or maybe some other mount suggestion? I know this is off topic, so you are welcome to send me a PM.

For the time being, I am not quite sure what to use the ZEQ25 for, but someday I think I will try some imaging to see if that works better than visual.

After having tried all three mounts mentioned with my CN212, I would estimate their load capacities as follows:

ZEQ25 nominally 27 pounds / in reality 13 ponds
iEQ45 nominally 45 pounds / in reality 27 pounds
E11 nominally 13 (ideal) - 20 (max) pounds / in reality 27 pounds

This means iOptron seem to overrate their mounts by a factor 2, while Takahashi underrate theirs by a factor 1.5-2.
Which of the two do you think are more professional?

Best regards
Heinz


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RandyC
super member
*****

Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6163316 - 10/28/13 08:47 PM

Heinz, Sorry to hear that. I would agree, using the ZEQ25 at the loads of the Takahishi CN212 or Mewlon 250 would be challenging. I don't think you will find the IEQ-45 better for visual, in fact it may have more vibration. Those seem like very high end scopes for visual. If you are interested in visual astronomy, perhaps you should look at dobsons. There are ultra-light foldable @f3.7 18" and 20" scopes. Those will give you a much more pleasing view and still leave you flatfooted. There is no need for high precision equatorial mounting. It might be a tad heavier, but much more enjoyable.

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


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RandyC
super member
*****

Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6163382 - 10/28/13 09:23 PM

Heinz, Let me add one thing because I am sure you are frustrated. For a long time, I was looking for something better in visual observing. CCD wasn't for me because I didn't have the patience for spending hours on a single image. I was more interested in seeing the various objects in the sky.

I spoke with someone and he recommended Mallincam. It is a mix between visual observing and imaging. Exposure times are between 5secs and 60secs. You get instant results by viewing live on a TV or video screen. The sensitivity of the Mallincam Xtreme (my camera) and Jr. Pro for deep sky objects is amazing.

A Mallincam would work on either of your scopes on the ZEQ-25 no problem. All of the images in my flickr account are taken with an Xtreme. Each "batch" of shots is from a single night. You can also look at some live broadcasts on the Night Skies Network http://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/ and Yahoo Group Mallincam.

It has completely changed my quest for the big next scope. It can also be done in light polluted skies.


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RandyC
super member
*****

Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: RandyC]
      #6164699 - 10/29/13 02:15 PM

Heinz, This Hubble UL20 20" f/3.7 Ultra Light Dobsonian System just came out. 88lbs, Eyepiece height at zenith 69inches.
http://www.hubble-optics.com/UL20.html


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: RandyC]
      #6165672 - 10/30/13 02:40 AM

Hello Randy
thank you so much for your concern. Especially your idea about the Mallincam seems interesting to me. I have started to look for one already. I already have a 12.5 inch Dob at home with rather good optics. Nonetheless, the 16 inch Hubble.Sony seems quite interesting. Maybe it could be some future acquisition. For now, I shall concentrate on buying a Mallincam. In this way, I will, as we say in Germany, kill two flies at one blow: I can try imaging and it will enhance my visual experience. In Tokyo light pollution is really terrible, therefore the addition of this camera could make all the difference. It looks as if this is exactly what I'm needing right now.

For the CN 212, I might buy a second T Rex, because that's really stable. I have been considering a Takahashi EM 11. My local telescope shop has a used one for sale right now. But I'm not sure, if this model will be beefy enough for the CN 212. It looks good though. What you think? Have you ever tried the EM11?
But right now, the Mallincam has priority

You have helped me very much with your suggestions, especially with the one about the Mallincam.
Heinz


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Seanem44
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6165845 - 10/30/13 07:58 AM

I want to say that the ZEQ was built with (not necessarily) the budget or new astrophotographer in mind.

With my setup, using the AT65EDQ, this thing is a champ. I would imagine most smaller refractors would be fine on it. I do not think I would try and put an 8" SCT on it though.

Does this make the ZEQ a one trick pony? No, as others have weighed the thing down and had good results. But in general, I think the appeal of the ZEQ is for someone getting in to AP, is on a tighter budget yet still wants good results.


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Maverick199
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/27/11

Loc: India
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6165848 - 10/30/13 07:59 AM

Maybe a 2" tripod legs may solve your issue.

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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #6165864 - 10/30/13 08:08 AM

Quote:

Maybe a 2" tripod legs may solve your issue.



At first I thought so too and ordered a 2nd mount with 2 inch legs. But then I noticed that the wobbling did not come from the legs, at least that was not my impression. It is the mild itself, as I now believe. It is just built very slim and thus it is impossible to be stable enough for a heavier load, just by design. Of course it can carry heavy weights, if you leave it alone. But when I touch it at the eyepiece while observing, I get vibrations especially in right ascension, which settle down only after 3-5 seconds. This is with the CN 212, which weighs between 8 and 10 kg depending on the accessories. As I wrote before, I am now convinced, that the nominal load capacity of the IEQ25 is too optimistic by a factor of about 2.

Heinz


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RandyC
super member
*****

Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6166021 - 10/30/13 09:42 AM

Heinz, I have not tried the EM11 and have never heard of anyone who has. Maybe it is popular in Japan. Some Mallincam participants use the Astrophysics or Losmandy mounts. The mount is the most important part of your setup. Ask some users of the EM11 how the gotos are. The last thing you want with a Mallincam is bad gotos. If you don't get accurate pointing, you won't be able to use your Mallincam fully. As a lower-end mount, some folks have the AVX but alignment is a little lengthier than the Z.

Light pollution can be dealt with. Many Mallincamers use the Astronomik UHC or IDAS LPS filters. Combine this with real-time contrast adjustment and you can do quite well in the city. I am not sure about downtown Tokyo but try bright objects like planets, planetary nebulas, and galaxies like M31, NGC 7331. Or maybe there is a compromise location not so far away but darker.

You can learn a lot about the Mallincam in the Yahoo Group Mallincam. I have the Xtreme with the standard sensor. The Jr Pro doesn't have any cooling so ampglow will be a problem with longer exposures. The Exview HAD upgrade is a faster chip and better for light pollution. If you look around in the archives of the Mallincam group, there is much information comparing the options.

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


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RandyC
super member
*****

Reged: 04/01/13

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6166034 - 10/30/13 09:46 AM

Sean, I use the Z with my C11, a 32lb payload. It works perfect. Gotos are right on. I have 35lb CW. Scope had to be shimmed of course. It actually guides better than my C8 because the weight distribution is more even. You can see an image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/galaxygardens/9923876924/

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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: RandyC]
      #6166069 - 10/30/13 10:03 AM

Has anybody here used a ZEQ25 at -20C/-4F? Cold weather observing is the main reason I'm delaying a purchase.

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Seldom]
      #6166088 - 10/30/13 10:13 AM

Heinz, a good point is brought up. The Tak Temma only uses a 1-star align, so unless your polar alignment is near-perfect, GoTo's will not be accurate. This is going to be an issue with a Mallincam because the chip is small.

A more important point is that the Temma cannot do GoTo's from the handpad. You need a PC or a tablet/smart phone and SkyFi to command GoTo's.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6167340 - 10/30/13 09:20 PM

Quote:

Has anybody here used a ZEQ25 at -20C/-4F? Cold weather observing is the main reason I'm delaying a purchase.




I doubt it Seldom, the first retail mounts hit the country in April of 2013. iOptron does advertise the operating range as -10 ~ 40C, which would be 14 degrees F.

I distinctly remember a cold 15 degree night in March that didn't phase the mount as much as it did me...

I don't think the cold would affect the mechanicals that much, but a change in the lubrication would probably be in order. As would a heated motorcycle suit and socks....)

Best...Paul


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6167393 - 10/30/13 09:51 PM

You guys have some serious expectations for this little mount. You should be happy it images near it's weight class.

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ramasule
member


Reged: 04/12/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Raginar]
      #6167412 - 10/30/13 10:05 PM

I used the mount -15c last week. Only problem I had is the black cover holding the led for the polarscope light fell out and got crushed/broken when the mount was slewing. I think it still works I'll have to have a better look but mechanical was fine.

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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: ramasule]
      #6167477 - 10/30/13 10:57 PM

Thanks, Paul and ramasule. ramasule, did the cover get crushed by something on the mount or scope, or by something else?

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ramasule
member


Reged: 04/12/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seldom]
      #6168139 - 10/31/13 10:27 AM

It slipped out from the bottom because it was so cold and got pinched while the scope was slewing. I'll probably either put some tape on the black cover and jam it in there or a drop of silicon... My led still works

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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: ramasule]
      #6170317 - 11/01/13 01:48 PM

Sorry to be a pest, ramasule, but did the hand controller work OK at -15C? Paul, I realize it's been warm weather since the ZEQ25 came out (how did you get one in March if it came out in April?), but it's been winter down under. I was hoping maybe an adventurous Chilean or Aussie might have tried the ZEQ25 where it was really cold.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Seldom]
      #6170801 - 11/01/13 06:15 PM

Quote:

Paul, I realize it's been warm weather since the ZEQ25 came out (how did you get one in March if it came out in April?




I always have a pre-order in place with iOptron for the latest and greatest. Hopefully, I will have a very low serial number 'new iOtpron Mount Rumor' if the rumor holds true?

It's a good relationship, I get to tell iOptron and the general public, what's wrong, and what's right, before too many get into the pipeline. Usually, all the 'wrongs' get fixed.

Clear skies,

Paul


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6171291 - 11/02/13 12:08 AM

Hello Paul

Do you expect a larger brother to the ZEQ25 to be released during the next few months?
I still like the concept, but theZEQ25 is in my experience too unstable for my CN-212, not to mention the Mewlon250. But a stronger version is on my wish list.

Best regards
heinz


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