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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Saxxon
member


Reged: 03/15/13

Loc: Juneau, Alaska, US
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6011868 - 08/07/13 05:05 PM

Rkayakr,
Thank you for the response. My goal is from late August to late September or October, to take wide field at anywhere between 18mm to 100mm with the lenses I have to learn post processing and to learn the mount. After that I will be looking at getting an AT65EDQ or the AT72ED, since I have heard nothing but good about those scopes. I also would like to add an auto guider to my setup as well. So ultimately it seems that the ZEQ25 would be a better choice.

So thank you for letting me know what I would need.
Orion Precision Slow-Motion Adapter
And some Dovetail Bar. (Question on this though. I see that there are narrow and wide dovetail bars. Which one is used on the ZEQ25?)


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rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Saxxon]
      #6012158 - 08/07/13 07:18 PM

The ZEQ25 has the narrow "Vixen-style" saddle.
The Orion Precision Slow-Motion Adaptor is like a ball mount that allows screw adjustment. I find it useful for framing.
Astronewb reports 2 - 2 1/2 minute exposures without an auto guider for both a zoom lens and an AT5RC.

Bob


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Maverick199
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/27/11

Loc: India
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6013074 - 08/08/13 08:27 AM

I checked the ZEQ25 with an AR102 yesterday briefly ( one hour window ) and the goTo's were okay. One star align brings the star quite close but not centered. My polarscope with Polaris alignment may not have been accurate due to minimal seeing. I tried multi star align and that brought objects within my 14mm Meade. The AR 102 is pretty solid with the finderscope and I had to move the CW down to adjust balance. Handled it well. Waiting to really test this mount.

For your smaller scopes, camera, it should be a breeze.


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Maverick199]
      #6014149 - 08/08/13 04:59 PM

This is from another forum, but I'll ask the experts here.

I'm just starting imaging with my new zEQ25 with polar scope would like to do DSOs and some planets. Anyone else doing imaging? It's rated at 27 lbs., so I assume its maximum is supposed to be 18 lbs. for imaging. I'm planning to use my 4" achromat f/10 on it.

Is the Orion Starshoot pretty good for this, or is it too much weight and would the Mini autoguider be better? Also, can anyone recommend a DSLR or CCD?

I read that imaging past the zenith/meridian causes the OTA to hit the tripod leg. The hand controller has options to stop, telescope flip or just keep going. How well does the telescope fiip work for the meridian?


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rsbfoto
sage


Reged: 06/10/06

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6014266 - 08/08/13 06:06 PM

Hi Guys,

I also have a ZEQ 25GT with the 1.25" tripod since a few with which I am doing some tests for a solar guider.

Go to a scrapyard and get maybe a few pieces of old steel as compact as possible and just hang it underneath onto the plate or the shaft. Today I made a test with Jerry can full of water, maybe a bit more then 48 pounds of weight and worked nicely.

Look here http://astroforo.net/astro/Sol/solseeker/Tripie-01.jpg

Edited by rsbfoto (08/08/13 06:08 PM)


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rsbfoto]
      #6014469 - 08/08/13 07:57 PM

Hi, I have been following this thread since day one and I am sooooo close to ordering one. My goal is to setup the lightest portable widefield imaging setup
I can. I'll be using a QHY9C camera and an AT72 scope. I do NOT want to autoguide and I'm willing to stack lots of shorter...say 2 minute subs to keep complexity down. With the lightweight of the AT72 scope, if I am reading everything right, this mount should give me round stars at 2 minutes unguided with a 430mm focal length and be very easy to take to dark sites. Does this sound about right or do I have wrong expectations? Thanks for any comments from current users...John


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: rsbfoto]
      #6014491 - 08/08/13 08:12 PM

Quote:

I read that imaging past the zenith/meridian causes the OTA to hit the tripod leg. The hand controller has options to stop, telescope flip or just keep going. How well does the telescope fiip work for the meridian?




Hi Bill,

All the functions you mentioned work. If you elect to 'continue' then you will have about a 15-20 minute window normally before your imaging train contacts the tripod leg. This is with an object about 70 degrees or higher based on my experience.

It will 'flip' just fine if you have that option selected, but you will have to also flip the calibration data in PHD, and rebalance the mount.

I find it much easier just to 'stop'. When it stops, I rebalance the ota and just force PHD to recalibrate, it's pretty easy that way.

I routinely image with 22+ pounds on it, so it can handle your setup. The Orion Mini50/SSAG is advertised to support up to 1600mm f/l, so that should suffice also.

Dslr's and CCD's are apples and oranges, so I'll defer that question to someone else....

@ Ranier, the standard tripod is 1.5 inches, not 1.25.

Last but not least Bill, here's an unguided image from the ZEQ25:


M31 the Andromeda Galaxy by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

This was taken with a 70mm Stellarvue and a Borg 7108 field flattener. Nikon D5100, Baader Clear focus filter only.

Good luck and have a bunch of fun....

Paul


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6014660 - 08/08/13 09:52 PM

I use the ZEQ25 with an AT72ed but decided to go with the orion mini guide scope and an old meade DSI camera to guide. Since 90% of my imaging is narrowband due to light pollution I use a minimum of 5 minute subs. I also decoded to go with AT .8x flattener reducer. It might be something you may want to consider too as you plan on doing unguided the faster ratio and shorter focal length can only help. If you do decide to guide you'll need to get 90mm orion rings or similar they fit pretty well the AT72, even though you will need to add an extra layer of felt to ring that attaches the narrower part of the OTA.

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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #6014703 - 08/08/13 10:10 PM

4 photos taken with setup listed in above post.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/94707096@N07/9467350237/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/94707096@N07/9470128648/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/94707096@N07/9470128918/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/94707096@N07/9470124200/
all the above images were taken using an Ha and Oiii filter and 5 minute subs
and mapped as follows:
red = Ha
green = Oiii
Blue = Oiii +35% HA
the ZEQ25 does provide a very good platform for doing at least wide field imaging. Considering this is my first EQ mount and imaging with a new camera QHY22. Before that I was using a DSI II or a wedge mount 8" LX90. SO a reasonably steep learning curve. I'm sure one I can get the balancing and tension adjusters fine tuned I should be able o get much better results' even though I'm thrilled with my current results.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #6014784 - 08/08/13 10:52 PM

You should be,very pleased with the results. These are great shots!

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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6014867 - 08/08/13 11:35 PM

Impressive. Most impressive.

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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: gramaglia]
      #6014999 - 08/09/13 01:24 AM

Luca, wonderful results with the mount and your setup. If it gets any better, you might get a severe case of goose-bumps...!

Very nice, thanks for posting those,

Paul


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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6015560 - 08/09/13 11:08 AM

Thanks Bill and Paul for the kind words regarding the pictures. Paul also thank you for providing all the valuable information on the ZEQ25 that led me to decide to buy it; from the first videos to the tips and techniques to get the most out the mount.

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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6015834 - 08/09/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

If you elect to 'continue' then you will have about a 15-20 minute window normally before your imaging train contacts the tripod leg. This is with an object about 70 degrees or higher based on my experience.

It will 'flip' just fine if you have that option selected, but you will have to also flip the calibration data in PHD, and rebalance the mount.

I find it much easier just to 'stop'. When it stops, I rebalance the ota and just force PHD to recalibrate, it's pretty easy that way.

I routinely image with 22+ pounds on it, so it can handle your setup. The Orion Mini50/SSAG is advertised to support up to 1600mm f/l, so that should suffice also.

Paul




Thanks for the pictures Paul. Very nice.

I sometimes nap during photos. If I set it to keep going after the meridian and the OTA hits the tripod, will the mount automatically stop? I assume from your statement that objects below 70 degrees are completely unaffected by this issue.

Also if I use the flip function, can I just do the PHD adjustments at the end of image acquisition?

I don't understand why rebalancing is needed. How does a flip cause the OTA and counterweights to become unbalanced?

Basically I'm looking for a way to image past the meridian while I'm sleeping overnight. What's the best way to achieve this?


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6016322 - 08/09/13 06:19 PM

Quote:

I sometimes nap during photos. If I set it to keep going after the meridian and the OTA hits the tripod, will the mount automatically stop? I assume from your statement that objects below 70 degrees are completely unaffected by this issue.




I wouldn't assume that Bill, it depends on the altitude of the target. In the mount, there is a setting option for 'continue tracking below the horizon', I would definitely leave that off as a failsafe.

The mount will stop when it hits a tripod leg, it will probably knock the RA worm hinge out of adjustment and then stall the motors, not a good thing to happen on any mount.

If you're sleeping and the mount does a flip, the PHD calibrations will not be correct, the data needs to be flipped, and you have to select that option manually or all your guiding will be for naught.

Best to wait until the target hits the meridian, then flip the calibration data manually. The ota should be rebalanced to keep the worm in mesh on the ring. If the object is rising balance ota heavy in RA. If it's descending, balance camera heavy.

Only a fork mount, or a Avalon M-Uno can image without 'flip' issues through the meridian as far as I know.

Perhaps you should be looking at alternative mounts to achieve your requirements?

Clear skies,

Paul


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6016402 - 08/09/13 06:52 PM

Thanks Paul. How do people usually tell if their object will require a flip and when the flip will occur ahead of time (so I can set an alarm clock)?

Also I noticed that the polar align star options do not list Polaris, even though it's visible in the sky. I checked the date and location to be correct. Anyone else have this issue? Am I supposed to use the polar scope to star hop and find Polaris?


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Astronewb
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6016793 - 08/09/13 11:13 PM

Bill, the easiest way is just to check in a planetarium program.

Select the item you will be imaging, and then run the clock ahead by hours or minutes until you see what time it will hit the meridian. Set your alarm accordingly?

Cheers,

Paul


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Bill McNeal
sage


Reged: 10/07/07

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Astronewb]
      #6016831 - 08/09/13 11:39 PM

Thanks. Meridian means zenith right? How close does it have to be to zenith for it to warrant a flip?

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bill McNeal]
      #6016932 - 08/10/13 12:38 AM

Close... The Meridian is a line that runs through the zenith and polar north. If you point south and raise your hand to point at the zenith then lower your hand and point due north, you will have traced the meridian.

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gramaglia
super member


Reged: 04/02/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Mkofski]
      #6019387 - 08/11/13 05:19 PM

As stated above I'm new to equatorial mounts, and have the same question that Bill asked earlier. What kind of rebalancing is needed after a meridian flip? I fully understand the need to either recalibrate PHD or at least inform it of the flip, but I don't see what difference there would on the balancing assuming it was well balanced to begin with?

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