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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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mshedden
member


Reged: 10/05/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887783 - 05/27/13 07:58 PM

OK, 27lb not 25. The website states 27 lb (12.3kg), excluding counterweight when selecting the 'Features' tab on the ZEQ25 page (page down to the 'Technical Specifications' section).

Still, the less weight (mass) the better, I'm sure.


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: mshedden]
      #5887837 - 05/27/13 08:16 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. I missed it when I last looked. This carrying capacity makes me want this mount even more. I'm looking forward to getting a good working unit.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887846 - 05/27/13 08:22 PM

Quote:

My co-worker set up the mount on his deck this evening to test out a few things. There's 25lbs of weight and 15lbs of telescope. He has it perfectly balanced. I'm assuming that, even though balanced, this is not a good idea to run as a permanent setup? Thoughts?





That's a nice working setup with the TMB on it, sweet.

As mentioned, the payload is excluding the counterweights, so no problems there.

I have had 60+ pounds on the mount, 32# of OTA and 32# of counterweights and it didn't even hiccup when slewing. That was just to test the motors and gears naturally, not something I'd be comfortable doing all the time, nor would I. Here's a video of the mount with 64# on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cIOTROXEpQ

Please do not do this at home....:)

Best,

Paul


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mshedden
member


Reged: 10/05/12

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5887863 - 05/27/13 08:33 PM

Quote:

Thanks for pointing that out. I missed it when I last looked. This carrying capacity makes me want this mount even more. I'm looking forward to getting a good working unit.




Me too - this Thursday, UPS willing...


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: mshedden]
      #5888021 - 05/27/13 10:29 PM

So Craig what did your Tech friend think of the overall build quality of the circuit boards and such? Any thoughts on the computer chatter noises? I'm gonna start calling mine Droid mount R2Z2

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ASTERON
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: ISRAEL
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5888324 - 05/28/13 03:07 AM

Quote:

Quote:

My co-worker set up the mount on his deck this evening to test out a few things. There's 25lbs of weight and 15lbs of telescope. He has it perfectly balanced. I'm assuming that, even though balanced, this is not a good idea to run as a permanent setup? Thoughts?





That's a nice working setup with the TMB on it, sweet.

As mentioned, the payload is excluding the counterweights, so no problems there.

I have had 60+ pounds on the mount, 32# of OTA and 32# of counterweights and it didn't even hiccup when slewing. That was just to test the motors and gears naturally, not something I'd be comfortable doing all the time, nor would I. Here's a video of the mount with 64# on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cIOTROXEpQ

Please do not do this at home....:)

Best,

Paul




Hi Paul,
Is the scope in the YouTube demo an AT10RC scope or something else ?
Is it a Carbon Fiber OTA or a regular OTA ?


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: ASTERON]
      #5888493 - 05/28/13 08:28 AM

Quote:

Hi Paul,
Is the scope in the YouTube demo an AT10RC scope or something else ?
Is it a Carbon Fiber OTA or a regular OTA ?




You're right, that is a AT10RC Asteron. It's the carbon fiber model, I can't imagine what it might weigh with a steel tube.

Clear skies,

Paul

I normally (must) use this only on the iEQ45.


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5889046 - 05/28/13 02:06 PM

Looks like there are firmware updates on the iOptron website just released for the RA, DEC, and hand controller.

https://www.ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=4c045094-e186...


Edited by Craig L (05/28/13 02:21 PM)


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ASTERON
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: ISRAEL
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5889155 - 05/28/13 03:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi Paul,
Is the scope in the YouTube demo an AT10RC scope or something else ?
Is it a Carbon Fiber OTA or a regular OTA ?





You're right, that is a AT10RC Asteron. It's the carbon fiber model, I can't imagine what it might weigh with a steel tube.

Clear skies,

Paul

I normally (must) use this only on the iEQ45.




Thanks Paul,

I have a CF AT8RC that I hope to mount on an ZEQ25. I will have to weigh it because it has a 2" feathertouch focuser and a Long 4" Losmandy Style ADM Dovtail below for mounting and a Vixen Style Dovetail bar on top so I dont know the Exact weight. I guess I will have to exchange the mounting dovetail to Vixen Style for the Ioptron , so weight will be further reduced.
I hope it will be able to take it for Short 0.5 -2.0 second exposures for doing variable star photometry ( with a ST 402ME SBIG attached).


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889218 - 05/28/13 03:37 PM

Quote:

Looks like there are firmware updates on the iOptron website just released for the RA, DEC, and hand controller.

https://www.ioptron.com/support.cfm?module=swfwcategory&sid=4c045094-e186...




These are good to have if you do an unneeded firmware update to the HC and then have no control of the mount at all don't ask me how i know that.


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889268 - 05/28/13 04:02 PM

The firmware update notice and download link on iOptrons site for the HC says version v103401 but the actual download has it v103510 just fyi

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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889568 - 05/28/13 07:10 PM

Quote:

So Craig what did your Tech friend think of the overall build quality of the circuit boards and such? Any thoughts on the computer chatter noises? I'm gonna start calling mine Droid mount R2Z2




So, seeing as we work for the same company, we had a good chat about it today. The circuit boards and the overall build are very good. He works on copiers/multifunction devices every day and has done so for over 20 years, and he is familiar with circuit boards and digital encoders, which takes us to your second question.

He thinks (though not with 100% certainty) that the cause of the noise is the encoders. They are clear disks with black marks along the edges. Red light is passed through the encoder so its read state is either 0 or 1 (or on or off) depending if the light passes through a clear area or hits a dark area. When the light passes through and is detected, it generates a pulse. Let's call it 5w. No light = 0w. The "on" state could have a threshold of 3.5w, "off" 3w (these aren't measured, just using hypothetical values). Given how reflective the disk substrate is, stray light could be scattering, causing the "w" value to be in that gray area between on and off at times, causing the electrical cross-talk and chatter. Incidentally, he shone his flashlight right on to the light receptor and the motor powered up. He's thinking of putting some material behind the disk to see if having the light absorbed reduces the scatter and minimizing the chatter. If he's correct, a change in the digital encoder material or colour should get rid of this issue.


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889619 - 05/28/13 07:47 PM

Hi all,

So you can hear what I mean by cross-talk and chatter, I uploaded a picture with an audio file to Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXbI_dm2Jpk&feature=em-upload_owner

The sounds kick in at about the 7 second mark.

Edited by Craig L (05/28/13 07:56 PM)


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889623 - 05/28/13 07:50 PM

Here's what my friend sent to iOpteron Tech Support. More or less what I said above with a little bit more, and the audio file he references i can be heard in my YouTube link:

Ok, here's the audio recording of the RA motor chatting away after a slight
slew at the beginning. Sounds like a small fax machine inside receiving a
fax (hand shaking warble you hear).

Update: I see the new firmware on the web site for the hand controller ver
130510 (old ver 130226) along with the RA & DEC motor ver 130312 (no change)
I downloaded the files and upgraded hand controller along with RA and DEC,
just in case there was a possible corruption of the files on the RA & DEC
motor boards.
Result was fine for upgrade but it still did not solve the noise problem.

Being a Technical guy in the photocopy industry for the last 25 years I had
a thought about 2 possible causes of this problem.
One possible cause would maybe the electrical noise or cross talk from
another source on the board superimposing it's self on the signals
controlling the motors. I see the design people are looking at this already
with firmware.

Two the design of the encoder disk on the end of the motor shaft. I notice
the photo interrupter used is a reflective design. But the encoder disk is a
shiny clear plastic disk with black tick marks.
Since the transmitter of the photo interrupter is a viable red led vs. the
IR version, I wonder if there's reflected light bouncing off the shiny
encoder disk and leaking into the receiver part of the photo interrupter,
thus causing a light version of noise too the logic output of the
interrupter.

Just some ideas?
Let me know what else we can try.
The mount is a nice fresh design that has promise, so keep at it. I would
like to keep this mount if possible.
Thanks

Edited by Craig L (05/28/13 11:10 PM)


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: Craig L]
      #5889710 - 05/28/13 08:50 PM

Yep those the exact same sounds mine gives off.

Craig if it's not causing any problems with accuracy which is the case with mine cause it's great why give it up just for that issue? It's hardly noticeable even the neighbors dogs don't hear it.


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions new [Re: leveye]
      #5889724 - 05/28/13 08:58 PM

Gosh no! That's too minor a thing to give up this promising mount for! My concerns are around the power issues my current mount has. I intend to work with iOptron to get a solid, good tracking mount. The chatter/cross-talk issue can likely be mitigated for existing owners in firmware by adjusting thresholds and likely, later on, using a different substrate for the encoders.

I like my gear to work as advertised, and the geek in me likes to completely understand my gear thoroughly, both the very good things and the warts. The chatter thing is just a wart for me: something that's not pretty but is otherwise harmless, at least as far as we know so far.


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leveye
member


Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: Oregon Coast
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Craig L]
      #5889769 - 05/28/13 09:23 PM

I'm sure whatever it is they will take care of it i have had nothing but great customer service from them so far even when the issues were my own fault.

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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: leveye]
      #5889785 - 05/28/13 09:29 PM

Quote:

I'm sure whatever it is they will take care of it i have had nothing but great customer service from them so far even when the issues were my own fault.




Agreed. Their customer service has been exemplary on the issues with my first and current mount.


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Craig L]
      #5889929 - 05/28/13 10:50 PM

I believe the optical encoder has metal tics on a glass disc. it provides high- and low- reflected optical signals to the detector next to the emitter. Since it uses red light, strong ambient or sudden changing light may disturb the pulse counting. So the optical encoders are covered with a black cap in my iEQ45 mount. They should be very accurate with digitization.

Jay


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Craig L
sage


Reged: 05/10/03

Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Re: iOptron ZEQ25, initial impressions [Re: Bluejay08]
      #5893308 - 05/30/13 09:26 PM

iOptron's customer service reputation is well deserved. They are going to test and ship 2 new mounts - one for me and one for a friend and co-worker who also bought one at the same time as me. His is the one that produced the cross-talk and who recorded the audio that I posted. We don't have to return the old mounts until after we receive the new ones, and they want to work with us if we want to attempt to keep tackling the issues that we found with the ones we have. They are also going to update their manual to clarify some ambiguities that I pointed out. The dealer also wants to take care of the return shipping. I am impressed with their sincere attention to service. They're earning my loyalty.

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