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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new
      #5847427 - 05/08/13 09:59 AM

Uhuh, 75 minutes, but certainly not on purpose. I was imaging the other night, and I started a session to capture some data of M101. Wanted to take 15, five minute images, but wound up with a 75 minute exposure instead due to an intervalometer failure:


4245secs on M101..oops by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

I was imaging with a AT6RC/CCDT67, so about 1000mm f/l, and guiding with a Lodestar/Borg50mm and PHD. All I did with the RAW image was pull the exposure down 2 stops in View NX so it wouldn't be so bright, then converted it to Jpeg.

The 4245 second accidental exposure shows me three good things.

1. The little 10 pound ZEQ25 'Z-Balanced' mount is a real performer with excellent tracking.

2. The light pollution in my Orange zone is not as bad as I thought it was.

3. The Heat Reduction mod on my Spencer modded D5100 seems to be working.

It also means I lost 75 minutes of perfectly good sky...:(

Clear skies all,

Paul


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Footbag
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5847458 - 05/08/13 10:12 AM

Holy moly! That is some nice performance. Some elongation, but if that mount can handle 10m exposures at that FL it's a performer. Looking at your exposure, I'd bet it could handle around 25m. I'd love to see what that could do with an 8" SCT.

Also, I see you have the Spencer Heat Reduction mod. Can you tell me anything about it? What kind of change in temp are you seeing? What exactly is the mod? There are a lot of people in the DSLR forum that would love to hear about it.


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zjc26138
Loved By All
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Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Footbag]
      #5847471 - 05/08/13 10:20 AM

That's very impressive. I hope iOptron comes out with a beefier version of the ZEQ. Maybe something that can handle 50-60lbs.

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Footbag]
      #5847489 - 05/08/13 10:29 AM

Quote:

Holy moly! That is some nice performance. Some elongation, but if that mount can handle 10m exposures at that FL it's a performer. Looking at your exposure, I'd bet it could handle around 25m. I'd love to see what that could do with an 8" SCT.

Also, I see you have the Spencer Heat Reduction mod. Can you tell me anything about it? What kind of change in temp are you seeing? What exactly is the mod? There are a lot of people in the DSLR forum that would love to hear about it.




Lol...I wondered if I was imaging at about 400mm if the image would have been even 'betterer'...)

Unfortunately, I can't tell you anything about the Spencer Heat reduction mod. I had it done with my Full Spectrum + Ha mod. Couldn't tell you if it's passive, electronic or what? And I also can't provide a 'before and after' image, because I sent him a new in the box D5100 body to mod for me.

I can tell you that I'm very happy with the camera as it is, it's pretty noise free compared to my previous unmodded D3100, and it gathers a heck of lot more Ha.

Best,

Paul


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: zjc26138]
      #5847509 - 05/08/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

That's very impressive. I hope iOptron comes out with a beefier version of the ZEQ. Maybe something that can handle 50-60lbs.




Yes, I agree, I'm blown away by that 'mistake'.

If I were a company holding the patent on the Z-Balanced design, I'd be tooling up for a 20 pound version with a theoretical payload of 50-60 pounds. And what the heck, I'd put Renishaw encoders on it, just so idiots like me could image for 2 hrs per exposure @ ISO 100............:)

This is what the PHD graph looked like during the session:


zeq25_may6_at6rc by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

That's not an unusual graph, it looks like that almost every session. Guide rate in the mount set to 1.0, and PHD settings almost 'out of the box' except for bumping up the DEC aggression setting.

I converted the PHD log file in PecPrep and it shows a guided PE of under 2 arc-seconds, peak to peak, and an average PE of .8 arc seconds.

Now we wait to see how long it takes for iOptron to tool up...and for the other manufacturers to figure out how to copy the design without infringing on patents...lol.

Regards,

Paul


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5847538 - 05/08/13 10:55 AM

Wow, really nice that it tracks so smoothly. At least you got something out of your mistake - I set up a 90 minute set of subs and tilted the laptop screen down and didn't realize it put it into sleep mode, and came back to have nuthin'!

The second the "45" version comes out (with encoders); I'm on it.

Paul


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: psandelle]
      #5847598 - 05/08/13 11:39 AM

Wow.

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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: corpusse]
      #5847621 - 05/08/13 11:59 AM

Paul,

Impressive! For subs of +20m your polar alignment must be very very good, I bet that's the reason you have slightly elongated stars.

Cheers,

Jose


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budman1961
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Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: tjugo]
      #5847646 - 05/08/13 12:11 PM

Wow.......that ZEQ is a real performer!

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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: tjugo]
      #5847683 - 05/08/13 12:34 PM

Quote:

Paul,

Impressive! For subs of +20m your polar alignment must be very very good, I bet that's the reason you have slightly elongated stars.

Cheers,

Jose




Thanks Jose, I agree, this particular setup was just a polar align using the polar scope, followed by a One Star align to establish a pointing model. No drift align, no fine tuning of the polar offset, nothing else.

Regards,

Paul


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core
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Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5848991 - 05/08/13 10:52 PM

Paul,

Nicely done! - I've been looking at the ZEQ for a portable low-latitude 'travel' mount. However, imo for a 75min exposure on a dSLR/D5100 it's an awfully low level of photons/signal captured - I am guesstimating f/ratio is around f/6.6; how about iso? I'd have expected sky-fog to be reached well before 75min of exposure, especially from a suburban setting - in my backyard anything over ~5min @iso1600/f/5/broadband is basically a washout.


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: core]
      #5849099 - 05/08/13 11:39 PM

Peter, the ota was a AT6RC with a CCDT 67 reducer, so about f6@1000mm. ISO was 400, and I'm fortunate enough to live in a orange zone.

Big plus, no moon. The image was a lot brighter, but I dropped the exposure 2 stops in Nikon View NX before I converted it to a jpeg.

The histogram was basically full...:)

Best,

Paul


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cuivienor
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/07/10

Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5849172 - 05/09/13 01:16 AM Attachment (65 downloads)

Those mounts are really impressive - I'm a convert to iOptron these days.

By the way Paul your image once lightly treated with some "light pollution dark frames" and levels still looks much better than anything I've been able to achieve!

Cheers,

Yannick


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: cuivienor]
      #5849348 - 05/09/13 07:30 AM

Quote:

Those mounts are really impressive - I'm a convert to iOptron these days.

By the way Paul your image once lightly treated with some "light pollution dark frames" and levels still looks much better than anything I've been able to achieve!




Wow Yannick, I never thought to try to process that sub...you did a nice job on it...:) That 75 minutes of data was supposed to be added to this data:


M101 w/AAT6RC by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Now I really wish it had been broken up into smaller exposures...:( Oh well.

Thanks for the nice comment, clear skies to you in Japan.

Paul


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AstroWave77
newbie


Reged: 04/19/11

Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5852838 - 05/10/13 10:08 PM

I need some input.
I need a mount for my C8 for visual and imaging.
It's either a HEQ5Pro or the ZEQ25.
I like the portability of the IOptron but am uncertain if it's solid enough for astrophotography.
Any thoughts?


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: AstroWave77]
      #5852853 - 05/10/13 10:15 PM

The C8's 12.5 lbs (or, the new ones are, according to Celestron) and the AT6RC is supposedly 12.9 lbs (according to Astronomics). Paul got very, very nice 75 MINUTE! exposes (yeah, field rotation, but that's not the mount's fault, that's Paul's...shame on you Paul!). So, yeah, seems very solid for AP for that scope. Granted, how much other junk you add to it may make your mileage vary.

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Jesus Munoz
sage


Reged: 03/09/07

Loc: Querétaro, México
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 [Re: psandelle]
      #5853064 - 05/11/13 12:09 AM

Amazing PHD graph! It looks like my EM-200 on steady nights.

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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Jesus Munoz]
      #5853187 - 05/11/13 02:26 AM

Quote:

Amazing PHD graph! It looks like my EM-200 on steady nights.




That's because he's guiding with 50/250 scope, you have to convert that to imaging FL. It doesn't say too much about quality of guiding...


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Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: orion69]
      #5853419 - 05/11/13 09:18 AM

Quote:

That's because he's guiding with 50/250 scope, you have to convert that to imaging FL. It doesn't say too much about quality of guiding...




Really....??


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Footbag
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: 75 minute guided exposure iOtpron ZEQ25 new [Re: Astronewb]
      #5853427 - 05/11/13 09:27 AM

I think you have to multiply your RMS by your pixel scale. For a true read on on the mounts PE, you would want to run PEMpro. There is also a program I just found called PHDLAb. I never played with it live, but it looks like it has similar features to PEMPro, but works in conjunction with PHD.


Some limited info on RMS and FL here...


Edited by Footbag (05/11/13 09:28 AM)


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