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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Astronewb
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iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore.
      #6194834 - 11/14/13 03:46 PM

I had the pleasure of driving up to Woburn, Mass this morning for a short hands on session with the new CEM60.

The mount I looked at is an engineering sample that was just assembled for the Arizona Astro Expo in Tucson this weekend. As such, all the software features were not completely implemented, and this mount was not a shipping version by any means.

The mount appeared to be satin finish white, but I was told final versions will be polished and painted. It looked incredible, and the mechanical features just spoke quality.

The mount is all metal, with the exception of an encoder cover and the GPS cover on the side of the mount.

The latitude adjustment and locking are superb, no way it's going to move once you lock it down, it's the same principle as a tilting milling machine vise.

Both RA and DEC axes can be easily unlocked for manual balancing with a couple of turns on the locking switches.



If the old saying "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch" applies, then iOptron has definitely left the porch with this introduction and is running right up front.

Here's a link to a video of the mount slewing, it's very pleasing to the ears:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/10859225933/

[flash=http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=137818]width="400" height="300" flashvars="intl_lang=en-us&photo_secret=048d69ebb9&photo_id=10859225933" bgcolor="#000000" allowFullScreen="true"[/flash]


And here's a link to an image of the mount with some annotations I added:


ZEQ60 features by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Here's a comparison of the CEM60 alongside it's little cousin, the ZEQ25:


ZEQ25 meets CEM60 by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

The mount will be sold ala carte, no tripod or pier, so you can mount it up to whatever you desire.

Retail mounts will come equipped with a metal travel case and a factory supplied Periodic Error printout, which appears to be less than 10 arc-seconds p~p at this time.

The high precision version will come supplied with a Periodic Error printout which will be less than 1 arc-second p~p.

The mount has permanent PEC and realtime PEC.

The handset is the feature rich 8407 with a slightly different menu. Look for more details from iOtpron after the Tucson introduction on Saturday.

The mount has enough miscellaneous ports and connectors to make a electronic junkie quiver in anticipation of what to plug in next.

There are no spring loaded worm gears, nor are there any adjustments needed. The worm and ring are held in almost perfect mesh magnetically, a patent pending iOptron design.

I could not detect any slack or play in RA or DEC on the mount. Slews were precise, and as noted in the video, the sound effects at higher slew speeds were quite enjoyable.

High torque stepper motors are used in the mount, not servo motors.

Even the front polar scope dust cover was metal and unscrewed from the mount.

I'd like to thank John and Kevin at iOptron for the gracious offer to see the mount in person, and also permission to give a first heads up on some of the mount's features.

Retail price was not locked in yet, but it appears that the mount will be well south of $3000 in the standard encoder version.

My impression is that iOptron is really making an effort to produce the finest mounts available to the astronomy public, and after seeing the CEM60 in person, they are on track.

It will be available for sale in the Dec-Jan time frame, so don't delay, this will not be 'mass produced', order early.

Clear skies...Paul

Edited by Astronewb (11/14/13 04:18 PM)


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BWAZ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6194863 - 11/14/13 03:57 PM

That looks cool!

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dmcnally
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6194867 - 11/14/13 03:57 PM

Thanks for the pre-release release. Looks cool and seems to be very attractively priced.

Dave


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6194998 - 11/14/13 05:00 PM

Looks good! Now I,just need tofigure out why I need one and how to pay for it.

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*skyguy*
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6195044 - 11/14/13 05:21 PM

Very clever design placing the R.A. axis between two bearing in a yoke. That should significantly boost its load bearing capacity! I'm impressed!

Here's another close-up image of the CEM60:

CEM60

Also some additional specifications:

1. 60lbs (27kg) load. (Roughly equivalent to EQ7 level)

2 will be equipped with encoder (precision version), with or without encoder (Normal Edition).

3 Low weight / high load style. (Weight should be less than NEQ6 or AZ-EQ6, but higher than iEQ45)

4 new design style. (Unlike zEQ25/iEQ45)

5 Price predicted between 3000 $ to 4000 $ (precision version)

6 there will be more advanced mount features (mx can refer to some features)

7. Goto finally improved sound, similar to the kind of Cinda heq5/neq6 high frequency tone.


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: *skyguy*]
      #6195079 - 11/14/13 05:38 PM

EQ7? There is an EQ8 with payload of 50KG.

If the price of the precision encoder mount does indeed come in at 4000 I will have to rethink my plans! I will be watching the shakedown with interest when they are released.


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6195127 - 11/14/13 06:08 PM

d'oh!

What really interests me is what kind of encoder they are using. The EQ8 encoders are un-interesting (very low resolution).

Having built two encoder prototypes (bolt-on to existing mounts) I've learned a huge amount about encoder PE correction, and it is not an easy task - my latest prototype (the one that actually works!) can only maintain +/- 2" with (cheap) ebay encoders.

So I wonder what this new mount uses.. I am fairly sure it's not a Chinese encoder (the Chinese still can't make high-resolution encoders). And it can't be Renishaw Resolute (the price of one such encoder is greater than the price of this entire mount, if the pricing of 3000-4000 for the encoder version is correct).

Feeling a bit miffed that my efforts of the past year (ish) have been productized by iOptron.


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Stelios
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6195171 - 11/14/13 06:31 PM

If this works, it may well be the "Equalizer" mount for those who can stretch to the 3K range by mortgaging the dog, but not to the Astro-Physics/Paramount levels.

OTOH, I'd love to see the iEQ45 worked to be the same idea as the 25 and 60. That would be perfect for the type of work I hope to gravitate to one day--handle a C8 or my APM.


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stelios]
      #6195229 - 11/14/13 06:55 PM

"if this works" is the key, since it's in the same price range as the EQ8 and the CGE Pro - which is well-proven. Sure the CGE Pro can't do 1" p-p but it can do 4" p-p (with PEC enabled) which is plenty enough.

My newest encoder prototype does 4" p-p which is good enough for 10 minutes unguided at 600mm focal length. Statistically proven to produce rounder stars than the AP600 (10" to 11" p-p). Once I submit my project report I'll share my results here as well...


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Stelios
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6195351 - 11/14/13 07:49 PM

Trust me, the "if it works" was not an idle choice. I was enthusiastic about getting a Celestron StarSense when it was announced, but opted to wait and see how it fared in practice.

Sure am glad I did.

But, call it wishful thinking, I can't help but believe the Chinese will start producing top-level mounts sooner or later. And unlike optics where a Roland Christen or a Yuri can make such a difference, mounts can be automated and designed by well-educated if less talented engineers.


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budman1961
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stelios]
      #6195385 - 11/14/13 08:07 PM

Exciting times.....iOptron looks to be on the money innovation-wise. Cant wait to hear about the ones going out for testing........

I assume you are on the list Paul?

Thanks for the report!
Andy


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: budman1961]
      #6195515 - 11/14/13 09:12 PM

Hi all, I just posted another 21 images to the CEM60 Flickr set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/72157637612473584/

Browse away...Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6195522 - 11/14/13 09:16 PM

Quote:

Looks good! Now I,just need tofigure out why I need one and how to pay for it.




I hear you Mike...:) I need to figure out whether or not to sell my iEQ45 with, or without the TDM installed.

I figure, on cloudy nights, I can at least power up the CEM60 and listen to that cool slewing sound, kind of like an arcade machine and mount built into one?

Best...Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6195536 - 11/14/13 09:21 PM

Quote:

"if this works" is the key, since it's in the same price range as the EQ8 and the CGE Pro - which is well-proven. Sure the CGE Pro can't do 1" p-p but it can do 4" p-p (with PEC enabled) which is plenty enough.




So true Orly. Each of these mounts will be delivered with a factory generated Periodic Error report. The engineering sample is 6 arc-seconds peak to peak, without PEC. I'm thinking they will shoot for 10 arc-seconds or less for the standard version.

This will not be a mass produced mount, each will be adjusted and tuned until it meets a minimum spec. They will then engrave the serial number and the owner's name on the black plate on the front of the DEC housing.

I hope the other manufacturers are paying attention, because this could start a new 'mount race', which is good for everyone...:)

Cheers...Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: budman1961]
      #6195538 - 11/14/13 09:23 PM

Quote:

Exciting times.....iOptron looks to be on the money innovation-wise. Cant wait to hear about the ones going out for testing........

I assume you are on the list Paul?

Thanks for the report!
Andy




Actually Andy, I have one on order already, if all pans out, it will be serial number '00000' and I plan on putting it through its paces, so it had better be a good one..:)

Regards...Paul


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6195569 - 11/14/13 09:44 PM

a-hah. if they are individually tuned then the spec can be met.

the only reason the price point can be met, is because Chinese engineers are cheap(er).

the reason AP can guarantee performance is because after every mount comes off the CNC mill, its PE is measured using a high-precision encoder, and if it doesn't make the cut, the mount is send back for rework. Doing this in the US costs...

but eventually the Chinese engineers will get fed up with getting paid peanuts compared to US engineers. the reality is that niche skills of this type cost money.


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budman1961
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6195574 - 11/14/13 09:46 PM

Congrats Paul.....fantastic pix and info.

Andy


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Paulimer
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6195576 - 11/14/13 09:48 PM

My wish is to have a mechanically and electronically refined version of zEQ25 rather than the CEM60. For the lots who travel a lot this is still too much weight to lug around.

But to me this mount has quite good fit and finishing, and is pleasing at least to look at Those who need a higher capacity would really enjoy it.


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Falcon-
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6195580 - 11/14/13 09:49 PM

Quote:

Hi all, I just posted another 21 images to the CEM60 Flickr set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/72157637612473584/

Browse away...Paul




Build in USB hub in the dovetail clamp? Nice.

Now that is rather a nice way to do "through the mount" cabling for camera, guide cam, etc control. Certainly can tell imagers are the prime target with a feature like that!


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Falcon-
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6195587 - 11/14/13 09:52 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi all, I just posted another 21 images to the CEM60 Flickr set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/72157637612473584/

Browse away...Paul




Build in USB hub in the dovetail clamp? Nice.

Now that is rather a nice way to do "through the mount" cabling for camera, guide cam, etc control. Certainly can tell imagers are the prime target with a feature like that!




On second look - looks like a pass through for ST4 guide port as well (the 6p6c ports both top and bottom) and pass-through 12v power. Man... I have such a thick bundle of cables hanging from my imaging rig all the time this just sounds REALLY appealing for that alone just for the avoidance of cable snags and balance issues.


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budman1961
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6195609 - 11/14/13 10:06 PM

I wonder how many CW it will ship with?

Andy


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timmbottoni
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6195679 - 11/14/13 11:03 PM

Looks fantastic - thanks for the pics and write up Paul!

Timm


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EdwardMH
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: timmbottoni]
      #6195730 - 11/14/13 11:36 PM

Dang it I just ordered a CGEM DX life is unfair. LOL Seriously though this looks absolutely wonderful.

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Linkage
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Reged: 11/01/11

Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6195751 - 11/14/13 11:50 PM Attachment (142 downloads)

there is more....

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JS999R
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Linkage]
      #6195822 - 11/15/13 12:56 AM

Paul, you mentioned the tripod isn't included, does that apply to both retail and upgraded versions, or just the latter? It also sounds like you can use any tripod with the mount, is this true? If one wanted to stick with an iOptron tripod, which makes sense to me, the nod would go to the iEQ45. It's really the only practical tripod available in the traditional tripod design. I know iOptron offers piers with high payload capacity, but they don't seem as versatile as a tripod. I never realized iOptron offers the half pier, just like Orion. Aside from the added weight, I like the half piers, having had them on both my CG5GT and CGEM. I had to remove it from the CGEM due to weight issues. I think the iEQ45 tripod topped by the mini pier would be a nice partner with the new CEM60 mount. However, tack on an additional $248 for the tripod and $138 for the pier and now things are ranging from $248 to close to $400 on the upsell.

I can't determine if this strategy by iOptron is an upsell scenario or does it make sense to sell the mount and tripod separately? For now I will give them the benefit of the doubt, but my cynical side is tugging at me unless persuaded otherwise.


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budman1961
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: JS999R]
      #6195844 - 11/15/13 01:16 AM

JS,

I think we will have to wait and see. The mount hasn't been formally released yet, pricing announced, final configurations, etc.

Im looking forward to all the announcements, and field testing, for sure!

Andy


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: JS999R]
      #6195849 - 11/15/13 01:20 AM

AP, Tak, and Bisque all sell the mount naked without any tripod.

Same reasoning I guess - customers will want to choose how much money to spend on the tripod (or spend nothing, if they use a permanent pier).


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budman1961
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6195856 - 11/15/13 01:29 AM

Ditto that thought......Ioptron never struck me as an upsell/bump company.

Andy


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: budman1961]
      #6195871 - 11/15/13 01:53 AM

Quote:

Paul, you mentioned the tripod isn't included, does that apply to both retail and upgraded versions, or just the latter? It also sounds like you can use any tripod with the mount, is this true? If one wanted to stick with an iOptron tripod, which makes sense to me, the nod would go to the iEQ45.




The CEM60 base diameter fits any iEQ45 mounting, tripod, pier and mini pier.

I use the mini pier on my iEQ45 and like it for the reason you mentioned. It's much easier for me to carry it out on the tripod, simply because there aren't any handholds on the full pier since it's a cylinder.

Like others have mentioned, most upper end mount manufacturers sell the mounts without tripods, both to achieve a market price niche, and to satisfy users with observatories with permanent mountings (they don't need a tripod).

Oh, I didn't ask how many counterweights came with the mount. I'm going to say one twenty pound c/w. iOptron didn't bring one in from China due to the baggage weight restrictions and charges, but the standard iEQ45 counterweight fits, and that's probably what will be on the mount in Tucson?

Clear skies....Paul


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Linkage
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Reged: 11/01/11

Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6195878 - 11/15/13 02:07 AM

Standard: 20 lbs x 1

Edited by Linkage (11/15/13 02:08 AM)


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DaveJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6196025 - 11/15/13 07:17 AM

Quote:

Hi all, I just posted another 21 images to the CEM60 Flickr set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/72157637612473584/

Browse away...Paul




I looked carefully at all the photos and see a definite potential problem. Take a look at the photo "DEC cable connected through RA housing." The CGE is notorious for difficulties due to the use of CAT5 cables to carry signal/current to the DEC motor. The problems come from strain on the cable sockets. The iOptron looks especially prone to this difficulty because of the close 90° bending of these DEC cables.


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Starhawk
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6196099 - 11/15/13 08:42 AM

It looks like they have put an end to tracking past the meridian with extreme prejudice. Again, it seems to me to be an innovative solution to a non-problem.

-Rich


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6196428 - 11/15/13 11:53 AM

Quote:

I looked carefully at all the photos and see a definite potential problem. Take a look at the photo "DEC cable connected through RA housing." The CGE is notorious for difficulties due to the use of CAT5 cables to carry signal/current to the DEC motor. The problems come from strain on the cable sockets. The iOptron looks especially prone to this difficulty because of the close 90° bending of these DEC cables.




Great minds think alike I guess? I was wondering exactly the same thing, especially during very cold use when all rubber sheathed cables turn into rubber popsicles?

They may have to look closely at that, at the very least, sheath the cable with silicone or latex to prevent the cables from pulling against the connectors and creating a fault.

iOptron has a couple of months of development ahead of them before retail sales begin, so hopefully if that's a problem, they can sort it all out?

Cheers...Paul


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rmollise
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6196445 - 11/15/13 12:05 PM

The main problem with the CGE is not the dec cables or their connectors, but how the connectors are attached to the boards.

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MikeML
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6196489 - 11/15/13 12:30 PM

Quote:

The main problem with the CGE is not the dec cables or their connectors, but how the connectors are attached to the boards.




In nine years I never had to clean or reseat the board connectors on my CGE. The Dec/RA cables and sockets however need periodic cleaning.


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timtrice
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: MikeML]
      #6196639 - 11/15/13 02:22 PM

This looks extremely impressive and capable of holding my imaging gear. My 45 just - man, I wish often I hadn't kept it. But as I bought it a few months ago I don't see how I'd upgrade to this beast anytime soon provided it meets the hype.

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blave
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: timtrice]
      #6196717 - 11/15/13 03:22 PM

Looks very nice. But -- one of the best things I've ever done in this hobby is cancel my pre-order for the Meade LX-80 mount (oh thank goodness I did that) and get the already-in-production iEQ45 instead. However, even there, I would've been better off to've waited a while, because within a year they had upgraded the worm gear and I think some other feature.

My point: wait for them to get this mount sorted out. As appealing as the price point is, for the time being anyway I'm going to continue with my plan to buy a used AP Mach1 GTO when I can afford it. But then, maybe by that time iOptron will be on v2 of the new mount 8^) .

Dave B.


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herrointment
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: blave]
      #6196798 - 11/15/13 04:23 PM

You are the voice of reason, Sir!

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FoxTrot
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: herrointment]
      #6196971 - 11/15/13 06:47 PM

Any idea how much does the mount head weigh?

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ur7x
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: FoxTrot]
      #6197000 - 11/15/13 07:07 PM

27 pounds roughly 2/3 of the weight of a CGEM head.

This might make for a perfect mount to drive to the top of Haleakala some day...


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6197218 - 11/15/13 09:14 PM

Update, looks like iOptron has just released the official spec sheet on the mount with weight/payload/data/etc:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=e1cba52c-8c5c-41c7-87bf-c71...

The data looks good, the mount looks good, now we wait to see how the shipping versions actually perform under the stars.

Best...Paul


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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6197224 - 11/15/13 09:19 PM

Digging the cable management and elevation adjustment!

Would like to know more about: "Permanent periodic error correction (PPEC) or Realtime periodic error correction (RPEC)"

Cheers!


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6197238 - 11/15/13 09:27 PM

Hi Phil, me too. We know that PPEC is the normal permanent correction, which the mount retains for use over and over.

I'm wondering if the Realtime PEC is employed along with the high precision encoder version for the absolute lowest PE values available? If I remember, the iEQ45GT, with Renishaw encoder, would do about .3 arc-seconds peak to peak?

If the CEM60 can pull that off with whatever encoder they are going to use, I don't think we'll hear any complaints about the less expensive encoders...:)

All the best...Paul


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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6197244 - 11/15/13 09:33 PM

Paul,

My thoughts exactly, the Realtime PEC sounds intriguing!


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6197258 - 11/15/13 09:47 PM


What does the following actually mean???
Quote:

Patent pending non-contact magnetically loaded gear system




Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6197313 - 11/15/13 10:07 PM

OK, I have two questions:

1) When can I order this thing,

2) Who wants to by my G11?

Seriously, I want to get some idea how this mount actually performs in the field, but assuming iOptron delivers, I'm all over it!

The concept of producing a mount with guaranteed (and demonstrated via PEC chart) performance, and with a premium performance option is a serious business model improvement if they can keep the price down and reliability up.

Astro Physics, Tak, Software Bisque, etc. are able to produce high end mounts to the highest standards, but at a very high (though honest IMHO) price but very limited production volume. Even if you win the lottery and can afford one of these high-end mounts, you will still have to wait a long time for delivery.

If iOptron can produce a significant fraction of the premium mount performance for a more accessible price and on-demand delivery then we have a break through for the AP amateur community.

With the rise of astrophotography into mainstream amateur astronomy, I think people are starting to expect higher precision out of their mounts and, even if unrealistic, I sense a growing dissatisfaction with the existing middle-market products. I know I'm frustrated with my G2 software and the fussiness of getting good PEC performance from the G11. People complaining about cogging issues with Celestron mounts, Mead performance issues, etc. just keep coming up. My G11 is fine for visual but a hassle to master for astro.

There is a real business opportunity here and it appears iOptron is setting its sights for that market. I hope they are able to succeed, it will raise expectations on the competition which can only work to all our benefits over time.


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: blave]
      #6197422 - 11/15/13 10:56 PM

Quote:

Looks very nice. But -- one of the best things I've ever done in this hobby is cancel my pre-order for the Meade LX-80 mount (oh thank goodness I did that) and get the already-in-production iEQ45 instead. However, even there, I would've been better off to've waited a while, because within a year they had upgraded the worm gear and I think some other feature.

My point: wait for them to get this mount sorted out. As appealing as the price point is, for the time being anyway I'm going to continue with my plan to buy a used AP Mach1 GTO when I can afford it. But then, maybe by that time iOptron will be on v2 of the new mount 8^) .

Dave B.




Dave,

I have a little bit different take on this. I have always liked beening on the cuttin edge. That means not waiting until a product has been out for a set period of time befor buying. If you wait for v2, v3 or the new super CEM90 will be coming soon and you'll never pull the trigger on a new mount. At least iOptron offered an upgrade for the worm gear on the iEQ45.

I have an LX80 that, for the most part, I've been quite happy with. My equipment is not all that heavy and performance of the mount for visual has been quite good. I did want to use it for AP and, without the talked about upgrade, isn't in the cards with that mount. So, I'm happy that I didn't pass on the LX80 in favor of a older design. The biggest problem I have with the mount is that the mount/tripod/CW weigh in at about 75 pounds. That wasn't a problem with the mount but one with me not wanting to admit I'm getting too old to lug around that much weight.

I have a zEQ25 and am happy with it also. This will be my AP mount and it is only about 30 pounds - I can still move that much around. I don't expect the build quality of a $10,000 + mount. I don't mind doing some "tuning" since it is a very easy mount to work on.

If you wait for a product to have all the initial problems worked out, something new will come along that is, potentially, a little better. Right now, I'm glad I went with the z25 rather than the iEQ45.

If I could afford a CEM60, I'd place an order today! Anyone want to buy $4000 worth of science fiction books?

Mike


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calypsob
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6197652 - 11/16/13 05:43 AM

This is really amazing and fantastic. I hope it actually becomes a reality unlike the astrotrac eq mount which appeared as a prototype and then vanished...

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crow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: calypsob]
      #6197877 - 11/16/13 10:06 AM

Interesting, wonder if it will realistically carry a C14.

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Darren Bly
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: crow]
      #6197912 - 11/16/13 10:31 AM

At only 12kg with a 27 kg load capacity this could replace my old EQ6. It weighs 4kg less than an EQ6 with 50% more capacity.

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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Darren Bly]
      #6197976 - 11/16/13 11:27 AM

Looks beautiful and very affordable! I wonder how far past the meridian it can go.

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ur7x
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6198012 - 11/16/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

Looks beautiful and very affordable! I wonder how far past the meridian it can go.




In "meridian continue" mode that would be right up until some part of your mount or OTA crashes into some other part of your mount or OTA.

Or a more positive way, if everything clears everything else... the answer is, "All the way past"


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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6198113 - 11/16/13 12:44 PM

From the specs, the "Meridian treatment" is: "Stop (0-15º pass), auto flip, continue."


Paul


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6198156 - 11/16/13 01:17 PM

That looks about right looking at the mount.
It will be interesting to see how that interfaces with a control software on the computer. I use Sequence generator pro for meridian flip and re-center/plate solve after that. That will only work with this mount if the auto meridian flip on the mount is turned off but the meridian flip can still be invoked by the controlling software on the computer.
That was not possible with the Smarteq pro but this mount has probably more sophisticated firmware.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6198376 - 11/16/13 03:50 PM

Quote:

From the specs, the "Meridian treatment" is: "Stop (0-15º pass), auto flip, continue."


Paul




Auto flip


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ur7x
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6198481 - 11/16/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

From the specs, the "Meridian treatment" is: "Stop (0-15º pass), auto flip, continue."


Paul




Yes, I was commenting on "continue" mode... In that mode it will plow past the meridian until the user interrupts it...

In continue mode... The mount basically ignores the Meridian. While this is a "use at your own risk mode" for AP on short tube or pier mounted OTAs this is a VERY cool and desirable option.


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6198605 - 11/16/13 05:57 PM

Do you know if in continue mode, the mount will flip when commanded by a controlling laptop?

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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6198711 - 11/16/13 06:54 PM

Quote:

Do you know if in continue mode, the mount will flip when commanded by a controlling laptop?




I don't know for sure but would think it would via command from ASCOM. Similar function on their iEQ45.


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anat
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6198756 - 11/16/13 07:18 PM

Quote:

That looks about right looking at the mount.
It will be interesting to see how that interfaces with a control software on the computer. I use Sequence generator pro for meridian flip and re-center/plate solve after that. That will only work with this mount if the auto meridian flip on the mount is turned off but the meridian flip can still be invoked by the controlling software on the computer.
That was not possible with the Smarteq pro but this mount has probably more sophisticated firmware.




Auto meridian flip can be totally implemented in the software by
1) sending the goto command to RA slightly on the west side of the mount. The mount will flip and goto the position.
2) sending another goto command to the previous object.
3) performing plate-solving and re-aligning the mount.

In this way, you don't need to the capability of the mount to auto flip via a command.

Best regards,
Anat


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: anat]
      #6198902 - 11/16/13 08:50 PM

I wouldn't mind loosing a sub or two when the mount does an automatic flip.

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korborh
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6198982 - 11/16/13 09:43 PM

Saw the CEM60 in person at ASAE today.
The build quality is looks good but clearly not to the level of SB or AP.
Also the 60lb. capacity is for visual not imaging. The design is intriguing though. It was not clear to me that this design is mechanically more robust than a GEM.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: korborh]
      #6199011 - 11/16/13 10:04 PM

Quote:

Saw the CEM60 in person at ASAE today.
The build quality is looks good but clearly not to the level of SB or AP.
Also the 60lb. capacity is for visual not imaging. The design is intriguing though. It was not clear to me that this design is mechanically more robust than a GEM.




If they are saying that the 60lb is for visual did they mention what they believe it will do for imaging?


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budman1961
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6199016 - 11/16/13 10:07 PM

You do realize that the mount being displayed is en Engineering sample....and not the final public release.

Andy


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korborh
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6199024 - 11/16/13 10:14 PM

Quote:



If they are saying that the 60lb is for visual did they mention what they believe it will do for imaging?




No they did not mention....I guess we will have to wait until real world tests are out.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: korborh]
      #6199031 - 11/16/13 10:19 PM

Yah as soon as they send me one I'll let you all know.

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Roy McCoy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6199056 - 11/16/13 10:34 PM Attachment (95 downloads)

Picture from the show today.
The counterweight is a battery pack. You can just see the cord plugged in the top.

Edited by Roy McCoy (11/16/13 10:35 PM)


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Roy McCoy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Roy McCoy]
      #6199059 - 11/16/13 10:37 PM Attachment (74 downloads)

Another.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Roy McCoy]
      #6199118 - 11/16/13 11:18 PM

Thanks for the nice images Roy, tell us, did you get to hear the mount slewing? And what did you think of the sounds if you did.

Regards...Paul


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6199128 - 11/16/13 11:23 PM

I read that its stepper based, a novelty for iOptron, but used by Vixen (sxd2), sky watcher, and Takahashi.

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Roy McCoy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6199183 - 11/16/13 11:50 PM

Hi Paul,

I did not get to hear it slewing. It was tracking and that was very quite and smooth. I put my hand on it and could not really feel a thing. Not really a good test though.

Regards,

Roy


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6199187 - 11/16/13 11:52 PM

Quote:

I read that its stepper based, a novelty for iOptron, but used by Vixen (sxd2), sky watcher, and Takahashi.




And I enquired about the 'Realtime PEC' and was told that the version with the high precision encoders installed would automatically monitor all periodic error and apply corrections in realtime, so PPEC as we know it is not needed, nor is it necessary.

Instead of RPEC, why not just call it 'high precision encoders'..? Seems kind of like inventing a acronym for a known result?

Oh well, plenty of time to find out more about that.

Cheers...Paul


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6199319 - 11/17/13 02:28 AM

This is a re-invention of the classic English Cross Axis Mount.

It is a very-old design.


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6199377 - 11/17/13 04:13 AM

Extremely interesting. Could this substitute for the Mach one that I had been thinking about, and therefore save my marriage!

Edited by Wmacky (11/17/13 04:15 AM)


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coinboy1
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6199495 - 11/17/13 08:30 AM

CEM= Chinese Equatorial Mount? This mount looks amazing. It sure looks like the bigger version of the ZEQ25.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: coinboy1]
      #6199513 - 11/17/13 08:46 AM

Quote:

CEM= Chinese Equatorial Mount? This mount looks amazing. It sure looks like the bigger version of the ZEQ25.




Shhh....! It's officially a 'Center balanced Equatorial Mount'. But we can read between the lines?

Best...Paul


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johnpd
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6199556 - 11/17/13 09:25 AM

They have not yet firmed up the price but they said that the standard encoder version would be between $2000 to $3000 and the higher precision encoder version would be between $3000 to $4000.

JohnD

Edited by johnpd (11/17/13 09:26 AM)


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: johnpd]
      #6199576 - 11/17/13 09:41 AM

It is going to be interesting how these stack up with the EQ8. Exciting times.

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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6199605 - 11/17/13 10:06 AM

if the standard version with 6" PE is $2500 it will demolish the mid-market mounts (if it lives up to the claims).

we've all been moaning and groaning about there being no competent mount between the CGEM class and the Mach1 class (except the G11 - which has its own fans and haters). This looks right smack in the middle.

again, lots of ifs but $2500 is a mount sweet spot that has gone un-addressed for a long time (non-GoTo G11 is $2000 but it's over $3000 with Gemini 2).

I can believe the encoder version would cost $1000 more, based on my own research into encoders. It is not clear to me what type of encoder they fit in there.. probably a small Renishaw REXM or similar..


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6199634 - 11/17/13 10:30 AM

Quote:

Quote:

From the specs, the "Meridian treatment" is: "Stop (0-15º pass), auto flip, continue."


Paul




Yes, I was commenting on "continue" mode... In that mode it will plow past the meridian until the user interrupts it...

In continue mode... The mount basically ignores the Meridian. While this is a "use at your own risk mode" for AP on short tube or pier mounted OTAs this is a VERY cool and desirable option.




Theres only one mount for east to west


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rmollise
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6199674 - 11/17/13 11:00 AM

No there's not. And most people can't and don't need to spend 10K on a mount, nice as it might be, even if they can.

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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6199686 - 11/17/13 11:09 AM

The AP1100 isn't the only one, my Mach1 does the same thing.

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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6199712 - 11/17/13 11:27 AM

Quote:

No there's not. And most people can't and don't need to spend 10K on a mount, nice as it might be, even if they can.



That is very true. Big praise to iOptron for making a good astrophotography platform more affordable. Anything that brings more people to astronomy and astrophotography is good news to me.
I can't wait to see the first results from people using this mount.


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TxStars
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6199731 - 11/17/13 11:35 AM

Look to the North and try that.

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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: TxStars]
      #6199742 - 11/17/13 11:38 AM

And for sound during slewing

Love this mount


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Carl N
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6199744 - 11/17/13 11:39 AM

What an interesting time for me!

I got into this hobby in the last 2 years. I am in Process planning/building an observatory in my yard. I have been determining all my components, and was settling on a CGE, CGE Pro (if I could get that price past HH CFO), or maybe a used something bigger.

now this comes out! Really looks like it might be a great opportunity to jump on. Luckily I have a few months before I am at the point of having to pull the trigger on a mount. I think I'm going to wait till the last minute to see how reports of this turn out in use. I was going to buy the mount during the current sale on Celestron, and use the few months time to hyper tune it. Now I think I'll take the risk on the sale price being over and the CEM 60 not being well reviewed.

Edited by Carl N (11/17/13 11:40 AM)


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6199809 - 11/17/13 12:11 PM

Spec sheet states that the worm wheels are aluminum. How common is that?

Edited by Wmacky (11/17/13 12:57 PM)


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ur7x
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6199878 - 11/17/13 12:45 PM

Quote:

No there's not. And most people can't and don't need to spend 10K on a mount, nice as it might be, even if they can.




Yes there is only one mount that will track passed the Meridian, if you don't count all of the mounts that do .

For example, my pier mount will track past the meridian for about an hour before it forces a flip... Given that the seeing in my back yard limits AP exposures to under 8 minutes at ISO 1600. Horizon to horizon tracking becomes more of a engineering achievement rather than a real world obstacle.

Of course we now see that the CEM60 and the ZEQ25 does that one better and basically leaves it up to the user to determine how close he/she is willing to drive his/her OTA into their mounts support. Both of these mount can be set to perform horizon to horizon tracking without a flip.

Is it cool that these mounts (and several others) can track passed the meridian now? Yes.
Is it desirable? Yes.
Is it a requirement or even useful that a mount can track horizon to horizon without a meridian flip? No.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6199912 - 11/17/13 01:05 PM

The Avalon M Uno is specifically designed to track past the meridian. In fact, since it's a 'single fork' mount, it doesn't even care about a meridian.

It is pricey, but it is Ferrari Red after all.....:)

Cheers....Paul


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6199929 - 11/17/13 01:18 PM

Quote:

The Avalon M Uno




again Italian style at its best.


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Stelios
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6199940 - 11/17/13 01:24 PM

There are many wonderful mounts when money is no limit. But what iOptron has (possibly) done here, is give a realistic option for people who are enthusiastic but have limits in what they can spend. The Camry/Accord crowd of the telescope world, which up to now has mainly had Chevys and Mercedes S class.

The new iOptron also provides a solution for those of us (and again, there are many) who are getting on in years and can't comfortably lift 40+ pound mount heads in and out of the car. 27 lbs is *much* more manageable. I was resigned to not having a mount that I want till we move somewhere where I can have a permanent pier, something at least 4-5 years away. Now I may not have to.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6199964 - 11/17/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

No there's not. And most people can't and don't need to spend 10K on a mount, nice as it might be, even if they can.




Yes there is only one mount that will track passed the Meridian, if you don't count all of the mounts that do .

For example, my pier mount will track past the meridian for about an hour before it forces a flip... Given that the seeing in my back yard limits AP exposures to under 8 minutes at ISO 1600. Horizon to horizon tracking becomes more of a engineering achievement rather than a real world obstacle.

Of course we now see that the CEM60 and the ZEQ25 does that one better and basically leaves it up to the user to determine how close he/she is willing to drive his/her OTA into their mounts support. Both of these mount can be set to perform horizon to horizon tracking without a flip.

Is it cool that these mounts (and several others) can track passed the meridian now? Yes.
Is it desirable? Yes.
Is it a requirement or even useful that a mount can track horizon to horizon without a meridian flip? No.





Cool mount, but one thing to qualify is that the meridian flip issue is for GEM type mounts.

Fork Mounts do not worry about meridian flips.

I agree with ur7x's comments though.

One thing is for certain, I am learning much of the CN audience loves to collect mounts! I am up to FIVE now. Yikes! My suspicion is several folks here have over 10 mounts - they could start their own show room!

Key for iOptron and other vendors - always come out with a new mount. Your repeat customers will buy it!


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stelios]
      #6199968 - 11/17/13 01:34 PM

I was suprised at how long it took them to come out with the new encoder.

is that new encoder going to be available for the other mounts like the 45 so the gt won't be so expensive?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6200322 - 11/17/13 05:05 PM

Quote:

There are many wonderful mounts when money is no limit. But what iOptron has (possibly) done here, is give a realistic option for people who are enthusiastic but have limits in what they can spend. The Camry/Accord crowd of the telescope world, which up to now has mainly had Chevys and Mercedes S class.




You hit the nail right on the head, and it was a finish nail, and the hammer was a framing hammer...:)

Quote:

Key for iOptron and other vendors - always come out with a new mount. Your repeat customers will buy it!




Good advice. All the current 'mainstream' mounts like Skywatcher, Celestron and Orion offerings, are all the same mounts, with different labels. They all intro new mounts, but they are basically the same old design with a little new feature to encourage sales.

iOptron, in my opinion, has always attempted to introduce completely new technology and engineering to benefit the end user. The CEM60 and StarGuider are perfect examples of 'out of the box' thinking in the astronomy field.

It's easy to make a typical GEM, there are plenty to copy from, and by doing so profit margins are increased exponentially because they are all just clones of the same old design without any great expense in engineering, prototyping and development.

I give iOptron credit for continuing to improve our hobby by offering us the very latest in technological and intellectual designs.

I think it's time the other manufacturers stop re-inventing the same old wheel and give us some variety in our choices?

Again, just my humble opinion, everyone has one...:)

Paul


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6200389 - 11/17/13 05:55 PM

It is still a GEM. Yokes have been used in a lot of axis supports in a lot of industries. The design while not common is of little ultimate interest to me. The interest is in the machine tolerances of gearing, encoder operation, and HC software implementation. This is what will separate it from the pack or make it just another so so choice among the others although it will look a bit different.

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6200406 - 11/17/13 06:03 PM

Gday Paul

Quote:

The CEM60 and StarGuider are perfect examples of 'out of the box' thinking in the astronomy field.




Realistically, the "out of the box" bit is sticking the counterweight on the end.
Otherwise, the mount is just an example of a very compact "English Cross Axis" mount.
Still a nice package tho

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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rmollise
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6200450 - 11/17/13 06:22 PM

It is out of the box thinking in that no other commercial entity that I know of is producing mounts like this. Or am I missing something?

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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6200473 - 11/17/13 06:33 PM

Yes, the "proof is in the pudding" (though why anyone would want to put pudding on a telescope mount, I have no idea), and we'll have to wait for performance data on the new mount, but I do see that iOptron has been continuously trying to push quality up and prices down. Their customer service has always been excellent, and they're taking ideas from higher end mounts (like USB and power ports on the DEC housing) and trickling them down for everyone. I think that's laudable.

Whether these are old ideas retooled, or "out of the box" thinking, these new mounts have been less clones (where one could argue iOptron's first GEM mounts were, though with small twists) and more unique to iOptron.

I will be getting a CEM60 when they're available (the encoder version) and putting it through its paces. I've enjoyed my iEQ30 (one of the very first ones) and will hopefully enjoy the CEM60 as well. I'll probably still move up to an ASA DDM60 Pro because I like the software integration (much like I thought about the PMX), but who knows, for wide-field, the CEM60 might be all I need for solid 30+ minuted guided subs. If so....

Paul


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6200561 - 11/17/13 07:26 PM

Gday Rod

Quote:

Or am I missing something?




I was responding more to the reference

Quote:

attempted to introduce completely new technology and engineering




To me its evolution ( and a neat one ), not revolution.
Lets hope its firmware doesnt let it down
( and maybe even make it so it can run AltAz )

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6200582 - 11/17/13 07:40 PM

Quote:

( and maybe even make it so it can run AltAz )




Andrew, I have a feeling that the tried and true iEQ45 will be relegated to that role in iOptrons lineup? Especially for users that want more than the 30-33 pound payload of the Mini Tower series mounts.

Time will indeed tell all, it's that 20-20 hindsight thing in action.

Cheers mate...Paul


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6200602 - 11/17/13 07:56 PM

There is something about those skid pads on the altitude that just don't sit right with me. I would need to mess around with one for a bit to see but it just looks like a problem waiting to happen. I hope these misgivings are unwarranted.

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6200645 - 11/17/13 08:28 PM

Gday Paul

Quote:

Andrew, I have a feeling that the tried and true iEQ45 will be relegated to that role in iOptrons lineup?




Dunno.
If the beast has good encoders and motor control loops, adding AltAz ability is merely a bit of code
why not have both mounts with the same ability but different
tolerances and accuracy.
I could stop designing my Krof mount then

Truly interesting times coming in the next few years.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6200775 - 11/17/13 10:04 PM

How about adding a starsense like camera in the polar scope hole? Auto align with needing an ASPA routine. A stepper for the alt and one for the az and a mount that self polar aligns.

Edited by Stew57 (11/17/13 10:23 PM)


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6200817 - 11/17/13 10:37 PM

Quote:

It is still a GEM. Yokes have been used in a lot of axis supports in a lot of industries. The design while not common is of little ultimate interest to me. The interest is in the machine tolerances of gearing, encoder operation, and HC software implementation. This is what will separate it from the pack or make it just another so so choice among the others although it will look a bit different.




It is an English Equatorial Mount, not a German Equatorial Mount.

Amateurs have been talking about and using forks and GEM's for so long that they have forgotten about all of the other equatorial mount designs that exist. Most of the other designs (English, French, English Cross-Axis, Yolk, etc.) just aren't as popular. However many of the non-AltAz big scopes can be found with these other mount designs.

However congratulations to iOptron for trying to step out and be one of the leaders and innovators and just not another far-East follower.

I just wish that their electronics were a bit more powerful and user-friendly. And if you are going to build in USB, please do it with an FTDI chip! Or better yet, go back to RS-232 or forward to Ethernet-TCP/IP. Anything but *BLEEP*-old, problematic USB and its perpetual OS driver problems and inevitable driver obsolescence.


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6200827 - 11/17/13 10:46 PM

Quote:

It is still a GEM.



No, not a GEM. Think about when the mount is at zero degree altitude, the payload and CW of a GEM is at the same side of the tripod, or the center of gravity is outside the tripod top, while the CEM60 at different sides and center of gravity at the top of the tripod.


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6200833 - 11/17/13 10:51 PM

Quote:


It is an English Equatorial Mount, not a German Equatorial Mount.
Amateurs have been talking about and using forks and GEM's for so long that they have forgotten about all of the other equatorial mount designs that exist. Most of the other designs (English, French, English Cross-Axis, Yolk, etc.) just aren't as popular. However many of the non-AltAz big scopes can be found with these other mount designs.

However congratulations to iOptron for trying to step out and be one of the leaders and innovators and just not another far-East follower.

I just wish that their electronics were a bit more powerful and user-friendly. And if you are going to build in USB, please do it with an FTDI chip! Or better yet, go back to RS-232 or forward to Ethernet-TCP/IP. Anything but *BLEEP*-old, problematic USB and its perpetual OS driver problems and inevitable driver obsolescence.




It is not an English mount too. To me they are fundamentally different. CEM60 balances the system by putting the payload and counterweight at different sides, so the center of gravity can be always at the center of the tripod by adjusting the CW. I think it was why the CEM60 named, Center-balanced Equatorial Mount. English mount uses no counter weight and mounts the OTA in a fork. If we need to name their similarity, they both have a fork; however, the functions of the fork are totally different, one is part of the body providing altitude adjustment and supporting the DEC, the other is an OTA holder (same as most of Meade fork mounts.
Here is a description of English Fork Mount by Wikipedia.
The English mount or Yoke mount[6] has a frame or "yoke" with right ascension axis bearings at the top and the bottom ends, and a telescope attached inside the midpoint of the yoke allowing it to swing on the declination axis. The telescope is usually fitted entirely inside the fork, although there are exceptions such as the Mt. Wilson 2.5 m reflector, and there are no counterweights like German mount has.
The original English fork design has the disadvantage of not allowing the telescope to point too near the north or south celestial pole.


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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6200836 - 11/17/13 10:52 PM

Quote:

How about adding a starsense like camera in the polar scope hole? Auto align with needing an ASPA routine. A stepper for the alt and one for the az and a mount that self polar aligns.




You know, I had asked about the possibility of something like this, but with simple encoders in the alt/az that synched with the GPS and a magnetic compass so one could just polar align that way.

I like your way better...I'm lazy.

Paul


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6200848 - 11/17/13 11:02 PM

Gday CloudyWest

Quote:

It is not an English mount too. To me they are fundamentally different




I noted earlier and Chris also mentioned it in passing
that this is based on an "English Cross Axis Mount",
where the OTA isnt fitted in a fork, and there is an opposing counterweight.
The innovative bit is putting the counterweights outside the bearings
such that the mount can be miniaturised.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6200915 - 11/17/13 11:58 PM

The CEM60 weighs about 10 lb less than the EQ6/ (27 lb v 37 lb IIRC), with a greater carrying capacity. It only weighs 2 lb. more than the iEQ45.

For me, that could replace the EQ6 I use for my 10" and the iEQ45 I use for smaller scopes, into one mount.

Considering that it may also be closer to the EQ6 than to the iEQ45 in quietness, it is pretty tempting.

But, like the iEQ45, will the first hardware release require some "tweaking"?


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Dan Finnerty
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6200936 - 11/18/13 12:11 AM

Quote:

Gday CloudyWest

Quote:

It is not an English mount too. To me they are fundamentally different




I noted earlier and Chris also mentioned it in passing
that this is based on an "English Cross Axis Mount",
where the OTA isnt fitted in a fork, and there is an opposing counterweight.
The innovative bit is putting the counterweights outside the bearings
such that the mount can be miniaturised.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




I am in a pedantic mood and something about these references to the CEM being an English Equatorial design is starting to bug me.

Whether an English Yoke or an English Cross, the essential feature of the English design is that the telescope is suspended *between* two RA bearings. The cross design avoids the flaw of the Yoke design obstructing the view of Polaris.

If someone can show an example of an English mount design that does not have the RA bearings on either end I would appreciate it. Google does not know everything

As we all know, the German design cantilevers the Dec axis off the end of the RA axis, the entire weight of the OTA and counterweight is cantilevered off the end of the RA shaft. Not optimal for mechanical stability by any means, but with enough "beef" it has been an effective design for many years.

The CEM design is neither a GEM nor an English design. The OTA is cantilevered off the lower end of the RA axis unlike a GEM (or English), but the counterweight is cantilevered of the opposite end of the RA shaft thus counterbalancing the OTA in RA as well as in Dec. This counterbalancing along RA is THE essential feature of the CEM design.

I submit that cantilevering the OTA off the end of the RA shaft is a fundamental difference from the English design. By your definition Andrew, the GEM is just an English Cross with the cross moved beyond the upper RA bearing and the yoke bearings miniaturized. So why bother calling it a GEM?

Phew got that off my OCD checklist! Now I can cope again

[edited to change some really bad wording]

Edited by Dan Finnerty (11/18/13 12:20 AM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6200952 - 11/18/13 12:30 AM

Gday Dan

Quote:

The OTA is cantilevered off the lower end of the RA axis unlike a GEM (or English),




Are we talking the same mount here???
The ZEQ25 matches the above description,
but the CEM does have the OTA mounted "between" the RA bearings???

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6200996 - 11/18/13 01:38 AM

Sounds more and more like CEM means "Chinese Equatorial Mount" - Neither German nor English.

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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #6201001 - 11/18/13 01:44 AM

Quote:

Gday Dan

Quote:

The OTA is cantilevered off the lower end of the RA axis unlike a GEM (or English),




Are we talking the same mount here???
The ZEQ25 matches the above description,
but the CEM does have the OTA mounted "between" the RA bearings???

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




Agreed.

I think Dan is referencing the ZEQ25 and not the CEM60.

The CEM60 has the weight of the optical assembly between two RA bearings, which is the fundamental feature of the English Equatorial Mount.

I guess we could call it modified English Cross Axis Equatorial Mount, since iOptron moved the counterweights to one end of the RA axis instead of directly-opposing the optical assembly.

I played with the prototype at ASAE and it looked very intriguing... until I spotted that it had stepper motors instead of servos. For me that's a show-stopper right there. Steppers use a lot-more current and give off a lot-more heat. Batteries don't last as long. Radiant heat is never a desirable feature of a telescope mount. Especially for imagers.

And steppers... step. And microstepping requires a lot more, steady current that makes them put out a lot more heat and discharge your batteries that much faster.

And not being able to track well-past the meridian would be a real show-stopper for my imaging.

I think I would take an IEQ45 over a CEM60 any time.

Of course, YMMV!


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AndreyYa
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: dvb]
      #6201023 - 11/18/13 02:13 AM

Hi Chris,

I'm not sure that stepping motors are so hungry... Orion Atlas and Sirius take less than 500ma 12v at tracking (or guiding), and less than 2A during 800x sideral rate slew.


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moligpy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: AndreyYa]
      #6201038 - 11/18/13 03:04 AM

The specs of CEM60 Power consumption says:
0.6A(Tracking), 1.1A(GOTO)

It seems CEM60 does not drain very much power.

Edited by moligpy (11/18/13 03:05 AM)


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freestar8n
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6201043 - 11/18/13 03:16 AM

Quote:

I guess we could call it modified English Cross Axis Equatorial Mount




There is no cross here (it's more of a Z), and the polar axis bearing is not split so the weight can swing through it. I think it is closer to a GEM than English. I'm pretty sure I have seen variations on this theme somewhere, but I can't find any - either by an ATM or commercially.

When it comes to judging a mount for how well it can autoguide, I mainly go by how well it actually autoguides.

It seems like the weight may be better balanced on the pier itself - but it would be torquing the polar axis. Not sure what the trade offs are.

A clear advantage for low latitude would be the ability to tilt the counterweight shaft out, away from the pier.

And using batteries for the counterweight - as an option I guess - immediately saves weight in what you carry to a remote site.

Frank


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ur7x
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #6201333 - 11/18/13 09:52 AM

Quote:

The essential feature of the English design is that the telescope is suspended *between* two RA bearings. The cross design avoids the flaw of the Yoke design obstructing the view of Polaris.




If that is what an English EQ is "essentially", then it might help to point out that the CEM60 does in fact have two RA bearings, and the Dec arm (and the OTA) is suspended *between* them.

By your own definition, it is in fact a modified English Cross.

Of course we can all see that rather than having two massive (and offset RA bearing) they have compacted them (so elegantly that you actually missed one of them) and rather than off set the whole thing enough to clear a counter weight arm inside of the bearings, they moved the counter weight outside of the *yoke* bearing.

Not new at all, but very innovative. Since this seems to be the first time the English cross has been adapted for small portable scopes.


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: ur7x]
      #6201516 - 11/18/13 11:36 AM

I will be interested to see how, in practice, CEM60 deals with crossing the South meridian.

Much of my viewing involves such a crossing. With my gear, this is not a problem, as I have instructed the iEQ45 to ignore it, and the OTA is not in danger of striking anything.

But, if a mechanical flip is required, it could be annoying.


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: dvb]
      #6201855 - 11/18/13 02:53 PM

I might be wrong but it seems to me that the mount design does not allow tracking much far past the meridian because the dec assembly would collide with the body of the mount itself.

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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6201872 - 11/18/13 03:06 PM

The black box the dec cable probably plugs into looks like it would contact the larger RA bearing.

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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: dvb]
      #6201879 - 11/18/13 03:09 PM

I guess I am not understanding how the thing works because it looks like the entire DEC housing/wheel and everything would hit the body of the mount itself.
You're right tho, the black box would hit first.
I will wait to see one in action:)

Andy

Edited by andysea (11/18/13 03:11 PM)


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: dvb]
      #6203236 - 11/19/13 09:00 AM

Quote:

Sounds more and more like CEM means "Chinese Equatorial Mount" - Neither German nor English.



Agree with Dvb, neither German nor English. GEM is modified from an English cross axis mount with an RA axis supported on only one end. Unfortunately, GEM becomes imbalanced at low altitude setting. English cross axis mount has to be fixed on a rack with no adjustability on the altitude unless a different rack is used. It is not portable. That’s why you cannot find one nowadays even in museum. The CEM60 retains the advantage and gets rid of the disadvantage of the two. A Chinese Equatorial Mount is good, which matches its name CEM anyway.


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6203445 - 11/19/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

I guess I am not understanding how the thing works because it looks like the entire DEC housing/wheel and everything would hit the body of the mount itself.
You're right tho, the black box would hit first.
I will wait to see one in action:)

Andy





this is really interesting. now I defintely want to see it in action.


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Seanem44
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Falcon-]
      #6203543 - 11/19/13 11:28 AM

Wow... haven't visited the mounts forum in quite a while and missed this. COOL!

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PRejto
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6204438 - 11/19/13 07:17 PM

I was at the ASAE and this mount caught my attention if only at first because of the strange looking design. I'm not in the market as I own an MX, but found the mount intriguing enough to ask a bunch of questions mainly about the encoders. I specifically asked how iOptron could afford to offer a mount with encoders for $4k and was told that it was because they have designed and will manufacture their own encoders. I did not read that statement in any other post here so make of it what you will.

Peter


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: PRejto]
      #6204531 - 11/19/13 08:11 PM

Quote:

iOptron could afford to offer a mount with encoders for $4k and was told that it was because they have designed and will manufacture their own encoders.




I've been bugging mr. iotron [@5:27] for the last 2years about those encoders. when were they going to come out with them since the 45gt was way too much. even ES tdm seams too much.

I'm glad they finally came out with one. and if you here mr. ioptron the iEq30 will have that encoder also.

Edited by Pinbout (11/19/13 08:18 PM)


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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6204812 - 11/19/13 10:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

CEM= Chinese Equatorial Mount? This mount looks amazing. It sure looks like the bigger version of the ZEQ25.




Shhh....! It's officially a 'Center balanced Equatorial Mount'. But we can read between the lines?

Best...Paul





Hi,

For people's reference, they do call it "Chinese" EQ mount in China.
For example, this is a forum post by a user called "iOptron:"

http://bbs.astron.ac.cn/thread-94885-1-1.html

You can see how they call it using google translate. They even also
call the ZEQ "Chinese EQ mount."

To me, it is totally OK if they just call it "Chinese" EQ mount, since this
style of EQ mount is indeed developed by Chinese people. They did not
choose to do so in their English version of advertisements, however.
I think they should be more confident about (and proud of) what they do
in front of the rest of the world.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6204836 - 11/19/13 10:52 PM

and the high precision encoder is called EC instead of gt

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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6205035 - 11/20/13 01:40 AM

Quote:


I think they should be more confident about (and proud of) what they do
in front of the rest of the world.

Cheers,
Wei-Hao




Agreed!


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core
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6205044 - 11/20/13 01:53 AM

Thanks for the link! It would seem the mount will track up to 15° (1Hr) pass meridian, and it's programmable (point #28)

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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: core]
      #6205061 - 11/20/13 02:40 AM

Being a resident of a hot dusty country with weather varying between hot and dry, hot and humid, and mild winters with varying levels of humidity, I sent an email to iOpteron to enquire about the conditions in which their mounts are tested at as well as how they handle repairs and parts replacement for people who lived too far to be able to ship things back for repair. I was very pleased with what they responded with.

1) They test their mounts from -20 to +45 degrees C. Which is a very reasonable range for equipment testing.
2) When asked about dust resistance they responded that all electronics and mechanical components are enclosed (they did not mentioned sealed, but enclosed is way more than what you get with a Losmandy G11)
3) They do ship parts to customers before they receive the defective parts so as to reduce downtime (there are some reasonable conditions attached to this such as them not sending you any further parts till they receive the ones you were supposed to have sent back earlier)
4) When asked about imaging load, they responded with "The rule of thumb is 1/2-2/3 of the visual payload." So I would assume that to be safe I would not stick more than 30 pounds of imaging gear on this mount.

Sounds good so far. I never owned any of their products so I can't vouch for them in any way, but I liked the responsiveness of their customer support and I liked their policies.


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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6205290 - 11/20/13 09:12 AM

Quote:


3) They do ship parts to customers before they receive the defective parts so as to reduce downtime (there are some reasonable conditions attached to this such as them not sending you any further parts till they receive the ones you were supposed to have sent back earlier)
4) When asked about imaging load, they responded with "The rule of thumb is 1/2-2/3 of the visual payload." So I would assume that to be safe I would not stick more than 30 pounds of imaging gear on this mount.






I have had warranty work before and I can vouch for this that they do ship out the parts and they do ship quickly. Support has been good to work with either when I had warranty work or in doing the hand controller and RA gear upgrades.

In my experience with the iEQ45 I think the rule of thumb is okay but also dependent upon the focal length and physical length of the tube. You could probably use more weight with a short wide-field tubes than with a much longer focal length OTA. However, I bet with this one you could push the rule a litter further.

Cheers!

Edited by Phillip Easton (11/20/13 09:18 AM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6205862 - 11/20/13 02:41 PM

iOptron has just added the CEM60 to it's website. It's available to pre-order on the page, but no price point has been entered yet.

http://www.ioptron.com/index.cfm?select=productdetails&phid=35c6c70c-22f0...

The demand for this mount seems to be substantial, this is the first time I've seen a waiting list, first come, first served for an iOptron mount?

Clear skies...Paul


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Ricky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6206289 - 11/20/13 07:08 PM

I just got on the list...

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nomosnow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Ricky]
      #6206347 - 11/20/13 07:39 PM

I am on the list.

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LateViewer
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: nomosnow]
      #6206415 - 11/20/13 08:22 PM

So you are on a list but don't know the price yet?

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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: LateViewer]
      #6206542 - 11/20/13 09:39 PM

Yes we are, but we haven't given them a credit card number yet.

We do have a price range so not going in totally blind. It probably serves several purposes including helping them plan the initial run.

Cheers!


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6206609 - 11/20/13 10:17 PM

I am most certainly on the list...:)

Cheers...Paul


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moonyguy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6206686 - 11/20/13 11:11 PM

Just got on the list. Did anyone hear about a 120 lbs version of the mount that is to be previewed at NEAF? I was told about it when I spoke to the iOptron folks at ASAE.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: moonyguy]
      #6206749 - 11/21/13 12:04 AM

Quote:

Just got on the list. Did anyone hear about a 120 lbs version of the mount that is to be previewed at NEAF? I was told about it when I spoke to the iOptron folks at ASAE.




Yes, that's the next release. So if you really need a mount that weighs about 55 pounds, with a 110 or 120 pound payload, then you'd better wait a bit...:)

Cheers...Paul


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6206800 - 11/21/13 12:45 AM

Quote:

Yes we are, but we haven't given them a credit card number yet.

We do have a price range so not going in totally blind. It probably serves several purposes including helping them plan the initial run.

Cheers!




I think I got on the list almost as soon as one could make the request - the fancy encoder version.

Now will the initial run take 12 months?

As for price - if you have to ask, you can't afford it.


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Pak
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6206875 - 11/21/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Just got on the list. Did anyone hear about a 120 lbs version of the mount that is to be previewed at NEAF? I was told about it when I spoke to the iOptron folks at ASAE.




Yes, that's the next release. So if you really need a mount that weighs about 55 pounds, with a 110 or 120 pound payload, then you'd better wait a bit...:)

Cheers...Paul




I think Micheal needs one that will support is 14" OTA.

I would be a buyer for a mount that can handle a instrument capacity for imaging somewhere in the 45-50 pound range. From what I understand iOptron only recommends up to 30 pounds for imaging which, sadly, isn't good enough.


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pak]
      #6206886 - 11/21/13 02:38 AM

The $3500-odd for a new encoder-equipped CEM60 will get you a used Takahashi NJP, which will carry 45-50lb with ease.

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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pak]
      #6206895 - 11/21/13 02:49 AM

I have an imaging setup weighing approximately 10.5 Kg which still gives me some room to grow. I put myself on the list because every which way I looked at it I can't afford a premium level mount but I am unhappy with my G11 for imaging use.

I put my name on the list for the version with high precision encoders. I wasn't too concerned since they did not ask for a credit card no. I also got the impression that dealing with them for repairs and maintenance in a country without a dealership is not so hard so that encouraged me.

I will still have to consider the cost of adding a tripod or tripod adapter. The iOptron ones don't look too solid to me from the pictures. I can probably use my folding HD tripod from Losmandy instead.


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Pak
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6206896 - 11/21/13 02:49 AM

I was thinking of saving a bit more and getting a used Mach1. I am not really familiar with the NJP. Probably worth looking at.

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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pak]
      #6206899 - 11/21/13 02:56 AM

I looked long and hard at the NJP. It sells used for under $4000, has a 70-lb payload, one-star GoTo align (like the Mach1), but you cannot command GoTo's without a PC or tablet (with SkyFi).

In the end I did not get the NJP - even though I was mightily tempted - because

1) my wife wouldn't let me buy one, she decreed it looked too old (the NJP is based on the JP which is a 1979 design)

2) it is way too heavy compared to the Mach1

But it does carry more than the Mach1 and costs much less.

Rob vanderbei has a bunch of really good images with an NJP and a 12.5" RC.

http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/images/NJP/

It is a great mount, even if you don't consider price, if you can find one. Only 2-3 get sold every year on astromart.


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Pak
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6206909 - 11/21/13 03:02 AM

Quote:

I looked long and hard at the NJP. It sells used for under $4000, has a 70-lb payload, one-star GoTo align (like the Mach1), but you cannot command GoTo's without a PC or tablet (with SkyFi).

In the end I did not get the NJP - even though I was mightily tempted - because

1) my wife wouldn't let me buy one, she decreed it looked too old (the NJP is based on the JP which is a 1979 design)

2) it is way too heavy compared to the Mach1

But it does carry more than the Mach1 and costs much less.




I have my imaginary setup that I want to put together and it is all about the bengamin's. With everything I need for imaging I am just under 40 pounds. I think 39.5. I have a much smaller system I use for visual and the occasional widefield imaging with a small refractor so my next system is going to have to be really solid performance wise. The CEM60 looked really good until the 30 pounds thing was mentioned. Oh and I need full computer control and while using sky-fi isn't a deal breaker, I do have those things on my other system and it would be nice to know I could use it on both if I needed to or just wanted to.

c'mon iOptron! We need a CEM75!


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pak]
      #6206911 - 11/21/13 03:06 AM

The NJP will work with full computer control.

It just won't do GoTo without a computer. Its handset doesn't have a display or even keypad (it only has direction keys) so you can't command GoTo's from the handset.

I think a Mach1 would fit perfectly for you. I have one myself.


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6207051 - 11/21/13 08:00 AM

I need C11 carrying capacity, so it looks like I'm back to either the expensive Mach One, Or the EQ8, which the US based Synta distributer has never even heard of! What to do, what to do!

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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6207060 - 11/21/13 08:08 AM

.. NJP?

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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6207076 - 11/21/13 08:23 AM

Quote:

.. NJP?




Too rare! But I do like the looks of it....

Edited by Wmacky (11/21/13 08:24 AM)


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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6207101 - 11/21/13 08:40 AM

Quote:



I will still have to consider the cost of adding a tripod or tripod adapter. The iOptron ones don't look too solid to me from the pictures. I can probably use my folding HD tripod from Losmandy instead.




I have the tripod that came with my iEQ45 and I think it is very solid, however I added the tripod spreader with battery tray from Deep Space Products (the one designed for Atlas/EQ6 tripod works) and it is beyond rock solid. The tray is nice as I besides putting my battery on it I also put caps and tools while setting up. Less chance of losing something by putting it on the ground. I have no doubt that my tripod will work well with the new mount.

Cheers!


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6207114 - 11/21/13 08:45 AM

That tray is nice.. and also quite expensive!

I have always grappled with the quandary of buying such an expensive tray and adding it to a Chinese tripod, or just buying a good tripod in the first place (like a Berlebach Planet). The prices aren't that far apart, unless you already had the Chinese tripod essentially for free.


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Phillip Easton
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6207117 - 11/21/13 08:46 AM

Quote:

The NJP will work with full computer control.

It just won't do GoTo without a computer. Its handset doesn't have a display or even keypad (it only has direction keys) so you can't command GoTo's from the handset.





One reason I went with the iEQ45 was because of the large screen on the HC. Had enough working with single line displays from my lab equipment days. Don't understand why some mount manufacturers short themselves on the hand controllers particularly with the current state of electronic displays and keyboards/pads available.

Cheers!


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #6207143 - 11/21/13 09:00 AM

.. because I think Takahashi outsources their electronics.

That said, they're the worst - not even a single-line display!

I have to admit though, the Full HD screens on tablets and smart phones today makes any mount's display look pale and crude by comparison. So maybe scope manufacturers should just provide a web browser interface on their scopes.


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rmollise
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6207169 - 11/21/13 09:17 AM

Quote:

I looked long and hard at the NJP. It sells used for under $4000, has a 70-lb payload, one-star GoTo align (like the Mach1), but you cannot command GoTo's without a PC or tablet (with SkyFi).




You can use the new (third party) hand control, right? I know it is expensive...but...


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6207300 - 11/21/13 10:42 AM

Hi,

My last encounter with an ioptron's mount was with a ZEQ25. The mechanics were nice and overall a very smooth mount. Buuut at the time the ASCOM driver was junk, it was not just incomplete, it was hanging the host PC.

The territory that the CEM60 will be playing (permanent, semi-permanent set up) won't be tolerant to a broken ASCOM driver, so I hope they come out with a nice robust and fully feature ASCOM driver when they release this new mount.

On the other hand 30lbs of photographic capacity is not very impressive for a 3K~4K mount.

I am looking forward to see the final prices and some field reviews, next year plan to upgrade one of my mounts and the CEM60 might be the option in case they rollout a nice ASCOM driver.

Cheers,

Jose


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rmollise]
      #6207301 - 11/21/13 10:42 AM

I have used my NJP with the Orion cable and their iPhone app for goto and it's actually very nice. It works very well.
I think the cable was less than$30 on sale and the app about $14. Sky safari does a similar product but I think their cable is more expensive. Even if you don't have an iPhone you can get an older used iPod touch and that would still be way cheaper than the Tak hand controller.


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Carl N
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6207347 - 11/21/13 11:13 AM

Anyone got an NJP they want to sell?

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6207348 - 11/21/13 11:14 AM

Quote:

My last encounter with an ioptron's mount was with a ZEQ25. The mechanics were nice and overall a very smooth mount. Buuut at the time the ASCOM driver was junk, it was not just incomplete, it was hanging the host PC.




Yep, the Ascom driver for the 8408 HC took a while to sort out. The latest driver is is trouble free (so far). I waited months for the 8408 HC to be compatible with SkySafari and in the end, it was a problem on Southern Star's side that was corrected once iOptron and SS got together to fix it once and for all.

However, the CEM60 will use the excellent 8407 HC, which has worked well with ASCOM and is just so user friendly that I cringe every time I have to use a Synta HC.

I will be looking at how well the CEM60 interfaces with ASCOM plug ins with interest also. Especially for those users who guide with ASCOM and EQMOD plug ins.

Cheers...Paul


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tjugo
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/06/07

Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6207461 - 11/21/13 12:13 PM

Paul,

The only mounts compatible with EQMOD are syntha. EQMOD is a control program that drives the mount, the EQMOD program has an ASCOM driver.

I guess what you mean by "users who guide with ASCOM and EQMOD plug ins" is "users that autoguide using ASCOM pulseguide" In other words users that don't use the ST4 interface to autoguide.

Since you are close to iOptron why you don't try to persuade them to open the mount control protocol so 3rd party contol suites can be written to control their mount? I am sure that with the right attitude, support and maybe an incentive they can persuade the EQMOD dev team to port the control suite to iOptron mounts. This will boost iOptron's sales for sure. For instance after returning my ZEQ25 I bought an Orion Sirius just because it runs with EQMOD.

Cheers,

Jose


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: tjugo]
      #6207504 - 11/21/13 12:38 PM

I just caught the imaging load limit. 30 lbs is a little low to me, but if it can do 40 lbs I would feel better.

Main use for this mount for me is portability with high precision out in the field. My LXD75 is serving as a light weight grab and go with very good gotos and reasonable tracking unguided for wide field. The LX850 handles heavy loads, precise tracking, out of the box multiple OTAs, handles long focal lengths, and the magic of StarLock - but this is going into a permanent installation.

I see the CEM60, for me anyways, filling the middle ground - precise tracking AND able to take out in the field for a competitive cost. I won't put my 14" on it, but I will use my 130mm APO on it. Love to get an AP 175mm, but those are totally unavailable and likely beyond the limit of this mount anyways.

ASCOM - until there is something for the Macintosh, it is a non-issue for me. Support for SkySafari - now we are talking!


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Hilmi
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6207562 - 11/21/13 01:16 PM

There seems to be a lot of misinterpretation. 30 Lbs imaging load was a number I said I would be comfortable with. iOptron support said rule of thumb was 1/2 to 2/3 rated capacity. So just because I said 30 Lbs doesnt make it fact (as much as I am flattered that people would take whatever I say as 100% correct)

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: tjugo]
      #6207580 - 11/21/13 01:23 PM

Quote:

Since you are close to iOptron why you don't try to persuade them to open the mount control protocol so 3rd party contol suites can be written to control their mount? I am sure that with the right attitude, support and maybe an incentive they can persuade the EQMOD dev team to port the control suite to iOptron mounts. This will boost iOptron's sales for sure. For instance after returning my ZEQ25 I bought an Orion Sirius just because it runs with EQMOD




Just forwarded your comment to the folks at iOptron. It would be quite some effort and time for the Synta gurus at EQMOD to develop an interface for the iOptron mount I'm sure. And it would require the necessary support from iOptron naturally.

Let's hope it happens some day?

Cheers...Paul


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6207610 - 11/21/13 01:43 PM

don't hold your breath re: EQMOD support.

EQMOD is a complete mount controller for Synta mounts. The Synta motor control board is completely dumb, all it knows to do is execute steps and provide a count of steps executed on the RA and DEC.

all the math to do GoTo aligns, convert from axis counts to RA and DEC, etc. are done in the handset, or alternatively, in EQMOD.

it completely makes no sense to force EQMOD to talk to an iOptron controller which is smart enough on its own.

If you were driving a CEM60, and the ASCOM driver is as robust as its claimed to be, you would be using MaximDL, not EQMOD. This mount is expensive enough that MaximDL is well worth it.


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6207778 - 11/21/13 03:34 PM

Quote:

There seems to be a lot of misinterpretation. 30 Lbs imaging load was a number I said I would be comfortable with. iOptron support said rule of thumb was 1/2 to 2/3 rated capacity. So just because I said 30 Lbs doesnt make it fact (as much as I am flattered that people would take whatever I say as 100% correct)




Perhaps I should just wait and see. I would need this mount to be rock solid with the C11, and a mid weight imaging train. I would be disapointed if it were was any less stable than my classic CGE. The lighter weight has me worried, and as this will go into a observatory, offers no benefit for me.

Edited by Wmacky (11/21/13 03:35 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6207804 - 11/21/13 03:50 PM

EdgeHD 11" weighs 28 pounds. A reducer and a DSLR wouldn't way very much at all and with a 50mm mini guide scope and camera (or off axis guider) you would be right about at 30 pounds. Shouldn't be a problem at all. However it is when you start adding heavy CCD cameras, rotators, focusers, elaborate guide systems that you get up to the 40 pound range. That is where I start to be concerned.

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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6207858 - 11/21/13 04:21 PM

Quote:

don't hold your breath re: EQMOD support.

EQMOD is a complete mount controller for Synta mounts. The Synta motor control board is completely dumb, all it knows to do is execute steps and provide a count of steps executed on the RA and DEC.

all the math to do GoTo aligns, convert from axis counts to RA and DEC, etc. are done in the handset, or alternatively, in EQMOD.

it completely makes no sense to force EQMOD to talk to an iOptron controller which is smart enough on its own.

If you were driving a CEM60, and the ASCOM driver is as robust as its claimed to be, you would be using MaximDL, not EQMOD. This mount is expensive enough that MaximDL is well worth it.




This comment is misleading. MaximDL is not able to control any mount, it just talk to the mounts and commands high level actions. I use MaximDL to talk to EQMOD on my Atlas.

EQMOD does a lot lot more than just keep track of the motor ticks.

When I started using EQMOD I was very close to the yahoo group and it is very clear that only Syntha is supported because at one point in time Syntha supported the project. A couple of years ago Syntha opened their control protocol. Many times I read in the EQMOD forum that the project was only supporting Syntha because there were no documentation of other manufactures protocols.

One thing that is very nice about EQMOD is that you have access to the developers, you can request features, and the bug fixes are fast. Try to file a bug report to Celestron :/

Cheers,

Jose


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tjugo
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6207864 - 11/21/13 04:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Since you are close to iOptron why you don't try to persuade them to open the mount control protocol so 3rd party contol suites can be written to control their mount? I am sure that with the right attitude, support and maybe an incentive they can persuade the EQMOD dev team to port the control suite to iOptron mounts. This will boost iOptron's sales for sure. For instance after returning my ZEQ25 I bought an Orion Sirius just because it runs with EQMOD




Just forwarded your comment to the folks at iOptron. It would be quite some effort and time for the Synta gurus at EQMOD to develop an interface for the iOptron mount I'm sure. And it would require the necessary support from iOptron naturally.

Let's hope it happens some day?

Cheers...Paul




Thanks Paul!

Acutually I remember using a .NET control program to drive the ZEQ25, the program was provided by iOptron and it reassembled EQMOD, unfortunately the program was alpha and full of bugs!

Cheers,

Jose


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corpusse
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: tjugo]
      #6208587 - 11/21/13 11:24 PM

Why are they even rating this for visual use? It's clearly designed with imaging in mind.

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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: corpusse]
      #6209325 - 11/22/13 12:27 PM

Because "cem40" doesn't sound as good?

EQMOD is an ASCOM driver. A very complex one, but an ASCOM driver nonetheless. And it provides the smarts to Synta mounts. A Synta mount without its handset or EQMOD is a dead weight.

But say an AP mount without its handset is still fully functional.

So no, EQMOD will almost certainly never support other mounts. Because other mounts are smarter than the Synta motor board.


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moligpy
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6209458 - 11/22/13 01:25 PM

The payload is definitely 60 lbs, not 30 to 40 lbs, so the name will be CEM60, not CEM40.
Hilmi says if payload is between 30 to 40 lbs, the mount may have a better performance, not the maximum payload.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: moligpy]
      #6209467 - 11/22/13 01:28 PM

Quote:

The payload is definitely 60 lbs, not 30 to 40 lbs, so the name will be CEM60, not CEM40.
Hilmi says if payload is between 30 to 40 lbs, the mount may have a better performance, not the maximum payload.




Probably the question is more can the unit handle a load of 60 lbs for AP? It sounds like for AP on 30-40 lbs, based on the vendor response.

But I guess bottom line the question is what is the load for AP?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6209936 - 11/22/13 05:42 PM

Quote:

But I guess bottom line the question is what is the load for AP?




That question will have to wait for an answer until we get some field tests in from users.

However, based on my experience with the Z center-balanced mount, the excellent balance characteristics of the design may require some rethinking of the old 60-70% rule for AP.

Since the mount is not trying to move a mass hanging off one side of the fulcrum point, it handles weight very well.

Think of moving a 100 pound load with a hand truck. You would find it hard to move if the hand truck arms were very low, or very high. Once you hit the 'sweet spot', it's very easy to move. The center-balanced design has a 'sweet spot' designed in.

On the iEQ45, with an AT10RC mounted, I have to move the latitude adjuster with the included lever arm. On the ZEQ25, with the same ota, I can move the latitude adjuster with two fingers, so the design works.

Oh, and with the 32 pound ota, on a mount rated for 27 pounds payload (max), I was able to image with it with no issues.

Cheers...Paul

Edited by Astronewb (11/22/13 05:44 PM)


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skywolf856
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6210465 - 11/22/13 11:17 PM

With a unique bearing support configuration the payload may be more stable than a traditional GEM. That will potentially give you a higher payload capability.

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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: skywolf856]
      #6210477 - 11/22/13 11:24 PM

I would think that AP payload will depend on machine tolerances and not so much the style of GEM chosen. I thought about being put on the preorder list, but after some of the latest out of the box experiences from several companies, I will wait until real world test come out. I will wait for tests and not the "Hey my mount is great" reviews. I guess I am a numbers kind of guy.

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Carl N
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: skywolf856]
      #6210513 - 11/22/13 11:52 PM

I appreciate the more thoughtful, and on point, parts of this thread.

As someone who is on a deadline to decide on a mount for a new observatory, I have concluded these are the three more salient points to consider if one wants to risk buying a first run of this model vs. the alternatives in the sub $4,000 price range.

1. How much does the personal inspection and tested to the less than 1 arc sec pec guarantee offset the concern of DOA? For the real time pec model.

2. How much is one willing to gamble that this new design does indeed accomplish what skywolf suggests? Thereby getting me the payload capacity I desire, 50-51 lbs, along with what seems to be an outstanding feature set and size for a 6' domed observatory.

3. How much is one willing to gamble on buying the first run from anyone? I hate buying first run anything as a rule.

Pondering..........


Carl


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6210561 - 11/23/13 12:36 AM

Quote:

Quote:

But I guess bottom line the question is what is the load for AP?




That question will have to wait for an answer until we get some field tests in from users.

However, based on my experience with the Z center-balanced mount, the excellent balance characteristics of the design may require some rethinking of the old 60-70% rule for AP.

Since the mount is not trying to move a mass hanging off one side of the fulcrum point, it handles weight very well.

Think of moving a 100 pound load with a hand truck. You would find it hard to move if the hand truck arms were very low, or very high. Once you hit the 'sweet spot', it's very easy to move. The center-balanced design has a 'sweet spot' designed in.

On the iEQ45, with an AT10RC mounted, I have to move the latitude adjuster with the included lever arm. On the ZEQ25, with the same ota, I can move the latitude adjuster with two fingers, so the design works.

Oh, and with the 32 pound ota, on a mount rated for 27 pounds payload (max), I was able to image with it with no issues.

Cheers...Paul





Ok…I just know I am going to get flamed for this next statement!

Hopefully, we do NOT have rely on field tests from users on the basic performance. Now, I know when I got the LX850 it was a "new" release, but it really wasn't - the LX800 was the first (and bad iteration).

I would really like to see the system flushed out with true specs before it gets out in the field. The concept looks excellent for taking out in the field for a competitive price and system weight class IF it can go up to 60 lbs for AP (or close to it), especially for the encoder version which I am interested in. It will likely be paired with the SBIG STX-16803 or similar class (which will also be on the LX850) and either 130mm APO or 10" instrument (I am really and loathe to travel around New Mexico and the country with the 14" OTA).

I like that my LX850 can go up to 90 lbs visual and AP. It would be nice to see the CEM60 go to 60 lbs or close to it, especially when I travel to White Sands or Chaco Canyon - or Eastern Oregon (WONDERFUL THERE TOO!).

So regarding field testing - give me a buzz. I will test it out for iOptron I have some projects we can put it on...


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dvb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6210566 - 11/23/13 12:41 AM

I find the iEQ45 over-states its load for visual - mine does not do well with even a 35 lb OTA, if it is the 48" long tube of my Newt. It might do better with a shorter tube, like a SCT.


So, I won't be surprised to hear that the CEM60 is also over-stated for visual, and for imaging.


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: dvb]
      #6210650 - 11/23/13 03:04 AM

Quote:

I find the iEQ45 over-states its load for visual - mine does not do well with even a 35 lb OTA, if it is the 48" long tube of my Newt. It might do better with a shorter tube, like a SCT.


So, I won't be surprised to hear that the CEM60 is also over-stated for visual, and for imaging.




I read that the new small "Z" mount is also overrated for capacity? At least there have been some reports?


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6210668 - 11/23/13 03:23 AM

Yup there's a guy on the ZEQ25 thread who sold his Z at a loss, bought a Tak EM11, and reports that the EM11 is far more robust in spite of its 15-lb rating (the ZEQ25 is rated 25-lb). Am beginning to see a pattern here..

I know astronewb says he gets 240-seconds from a ZEQ25 and AT10RC, but that is the only report..


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Bluejay08
member


Reged: 09/29/09

Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6211406 - 11/23/13 01:32 PM

I think the performance of a mount depends on not only the rated payload, but also the type of the OTA. What more matters is the torque along the RA (tube diameter) and/or DEC (tube length). A 20lbs 108mm dia. OTA will have a better stability than a 200mm OTA. Same for the counter balancing. A Short CW shaft with more CWs should gives more stability than a CW extension with less CWs.

So I believe payload rating of iEQ45 or ZEQ25 is real and probably simulated and tested, but to what degree?


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6211417 - 11/23/13 01:37 PM

I would like to add that the rated payload is only one piece of the puzzle. A30lbs Cassegrain type scope will tax the mount a lot less than a 30lbs long refractor. This is due to the longer moment arm of the refractor.

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Bluejay08
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6211426 - 11/23/13 01:40 PM

Yes, same for an extra long tube.

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Bluejay08
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6211428 - 11/23/13 01:40 PM

Yes, same for an extra long tube.

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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6211430 - 11/23/13 01:40 PM

Quote:

I think the performance of a mount depends on not only the rated payload, but also the type of the OTA. What more matters is the torque along the RA (tube diameter) and/or DEC (tube length). A 20lbs 108mm dia. OTA will have a better stability than a 200mm OTA. Same for the counter balancing. A Short CW shaft with more CWs should gives more stability than a CW extension with less CWs.

So I believe payload rating of iEQ45 or ZEQ25 is real and probably simulated and tested, but to what degree?




I think the length is a more important factor that total weight. A short heavy SCT or Mak may work fine at or above the rated weight. I've tried a 6 or 7 pound 50" long Newt and focusing was a bear. I don't believe it would have worked at all for AP and was hard to use for visual.

Mike


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6211431 - 11/23/13 01:41 PM

Quote:

I would like to add that the rated payload is only one piece of the puzzle. A30lbs Cassegrain type scope will tax the mount a lot less than a 30lbs long refractor. This is due to the longer moment arm of the refractor.





I guess it depends on the mount. This does not matter on the LX850. SCT, Long Refractor, stacked, flat, etc.

I hope with the CEM60, being heavier duty, this is not an issue.


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Bluejay08
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6211441 - 11/23/13 01:47 PM

You may try to tighten the tension adjuster a little bit.

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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6211460 - 11/23/13 02:00 PM

I'm a bit confused - why is the CEM60 being compared to the LX850? They seem to be in a different weight category (LX850 max: 90lbs, the CEM60 max: 60lbs). Did I miss something?

Paul


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6211471 - 11/23/13 02:04 PM

Quote:

I'm a bit confused - why is the CEM60 being compared to the LX850? They seem to be in a different weight category (LX850 max: 90lbs, the CEM60 max: 60lbs). Did I miss something?

Paul





Let me word it differently.

I would hope a mount that can handle 60 lbs should be able to handle long refractors with a camera train, an SCT, or even a dual side by side setup.

60 lbs load speaks "beefy" to me. The lighter class mounts indicate petite.

To me if the CEM60 has an issue with a long refractor I would be concerned. My guess is though it should not (or better not!).

Still, I would love to play with one


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6211472 - 11/23/13 02:05 PM

I think it actually matters to all mounts, it's just a matter of where that limit is.

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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6211616 - 11/23/13 03:11 PM

Gotcha. But I'm with andysea, I think length of moment arm matters to all mounts; it's just what the limits are.

From what I know of iOptron mounts, I figure the CEM60 probably does 60lbs visual max (meaning it isn't a 12foot long refractor), as my iEQ30 was fine at 28lbs with an ES 152 achro on it (for visual).

Then, depending on the weight distribution, I could see the mount doing up to 45lbs for AP. And I'm sure some adventurous types will push that higher. I'm going to try it out with a 35lb load this spring for AP; we'll see how it does. (And to pass the "test," a mount has to be rock-solid at that weight/configuration. I don't like to worry about that while I'm snappin' pics; too many other things to fret over).

Paul


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Mkofski
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Bluejay08]
      #6211654 - 11/23/13 03:50 PM

Quote:

You may try to tighten the tension adjuster a little bit.




I'll give tht a try if the weather ever clears a bit. I don't have any plans to use the 50" Newt on the Z25, just did it as a test.

Back to the CEM60... I would expect it or any mount will have more problems with a very long OTA that is at the maximum weight rating foe the mount.

I don't have any experience with "premium" mounts and don't know if the ones in the $5,000 + price range will have the same problem. Anyone out there tried to mount a 60" refractor at the maximum weight of their mount? I supose that if your mount is rated at 90 pounds it may be harder to find a long OTA that would tax the mount.


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6211680 - 11/23/13 04:13 PM

I own two of the so called high end mounts and I am certain that they would behave differently with long or short scopes that are near the payload rating. At least that's what the folks at astro-physics tell me.

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6211688 - 11/23/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

You may try to tighten the tension adjuster a little bit.




I'll give tht a try if the weather ever clears a bit. I don't have any plans to use the 50" Newt on the Z25, just did it as a test.

Back to the CEM60... I would expect it or any mount will have more problems with a very long OTA that is at the maximum weight rating foe the mount.

I don't have any experience with "premium" mounts and don't know if the ones in the $5,000 + price range will have the same problem. Anyone out there tried to mount a 60" refractor at the maximum weight of their mount? I supose that if your mount is rated at 90 pounds it may be harder to find a long OTA that would tax the mount.





Probably a different way to word it is, anyone have problems putting long OTAs on mounts in the 60lb class range mount?

Though anticipated price wise wouldn't this mount compete with the CGE-Pro? CGE-Pro can go to 90 lbs, BUT the CEM60 is lighter weight and has encoders.

I guess the other competition in the CEM60 mount weight range is the Mach1GTO (both being lighter weight), with the Mach1 being twice the price. However with the Mach1 you get a very known quantity.

The CEM60s other competition might be the CGEM DX. Performance wise and weight wise the CEM60 looks like it wins. Cost wise the CGEM DX wins.

I guess I am trying to figure out the mount's competition and determine which long tube OTAs might cause the CEM60 trouble. My bet is the Mach1 and CGE-Pro should have no problems, however I highly doubt folks with those mounts would put a Newtonian on them. Does the CGEM-DX have problems with long OTAs?

I can say I put my 130mm APO, which is over 27 lbs and over 37" long with gear, on the LXD75 and I have no problems there. I have got to believe the CEM60 would handle this without any problems.

All this speculation...


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mclewis1
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6211734 - 11/23/13 04:42 PM

Quote:

I guess it depends on the mount. This does not matter on the LX850. SCT, Long Refractor, stacked, flat, etc.



Of course it matters with the LX850, it isn't immune from the laws of physics.

The CEM60 might be just fine for imaging with an SCT like a C11 but might also have problems with a similar weight 6" apo (30-35lbs 4' length). In the same way the LX is fine with a 14" SCT but would have problems with a 9" apo (80lbs, 7' length). In this type of comparison I would also assume similar focal lengths (focal reducers used on the longer fl SCTs).

In both situations the scopes are within the specifications of the mounts but the length of the scope and where the weight is concentrated has a profound impact on how effective a mount might be.

Manufacturers are going to put their best numbers in their mount ratings, but in general the smaller the mount the more aggressive the ratings will be so comparing the imaging capabilities of a 30lb mount will be different % wise than that of a 60lb mount vs. a 90lb mount.

A whole bunch of variables (focal length, weight, tube length, weather conditions/wind, amount and type of PE, autoguiding aggressiveness, pixel size, sky conditions, etc. etc.) all contribute to determining how effective a mount might be on any particular night. No one set of numbers no matter who publishes them is going to tell you the whole story.

Edited by mclewis1 (11/23/13 08:37 PM)


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6211829 - 11/23/13 05:32 PM

One can group the competition by capacity but I would rather group the competition by price. The capacity is just another attribute. How close one views the rated capacity as realistic depends on the manufacturer. Some are quite optimistic others are rather conservative.

For my future mount upgrade I am looking at the EQ8 and the CEM60. Real world testing will determine my choice.


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Wmacky
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6211906 - 11/23/13 06:07 PM

Quote:



For my future mount upgrade I am looking at the EQ8 and the CEM60. Real world testing will determine my choice.





Me too. And a Mach One (somehow) if they fail.


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EFT
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6211907 - 11/23/13 06:08 PM

Quote:

may require some rethinking of the old 60-70% rule for AP




No rethinking is needed. First off, this is not a rule but a range that many people have found to be applicable to the lesser cost, mass-produced mounts of standard designs. Second, the reason for the "rule" has nothing to do with the mount itself but the kindly-put, "over-optimistic" estimates of mount capacity used by some companies. Finally, there are mounts that are both designed and manufactured to actually carry the amount of weight that the manufacturers says they can carry (and even more sometimes). The difference is that these mounts are generally well above the $2000 price range. But the configuration of the load even matters on these mounts. If a manufacturer claims that a new design can in fact carry a load that is substantially greater than other mounts in its weight and cost class without the need for more precise engineering and manufacturing, then it is for them to show that this is actually the case or for the end users to find out the hard way whether or not the claims are true. As is often stated, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, but you never know when a new design might actually provide that truth even when history suggests it might not.


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Mkofski]
      #6212279 - 11/23/13 10:22 PM

[quote I don't have any experience with "premium" mounts and don't know if the ones in the $5,000 + price range will have the same problem. Anyone out there tried to mount a 60" refractor at the maximum weight of their mount? I supose that if your mount is rated at 90 pounds it may be harder to find a long OTA that would tax the mount.


Yes, "premium" mounts should also follow the rule of physics. Here is the description of AP Mach 1 on payload capacity:
Approximately 45 lb. (20 kg) scope and accessories (not including counterweights), depending on length. Recommended for: Astro-Physics and similar fast refractors up to our 160 mm f7.5 Starfire EDF, 8-11" SCTs and 6-8" Maks.
These are only guidelines. Some telescopes are very long for their weight or heavy for their size and will require a larger mount. Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation.


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: EFT]
      #6212301 - 11/23/13 10:40 PM

Quote:

If a manufacturer claims that a new design can in fact carry a load that is substantially greater than other mounts in its weight and cost class without the need for more precise engineering and manufacturing, then it is for them to show that this is actually the case or for the end users to find out the hard way whether or not the claims are true.




maybe when they display the mounts, have it loaded to compacity and run some pec software and diplay it on a 42" flatscreen, no laptop, so everyone can see.

just for fun put a vid camera in the scopes and move the mount to see the dampening time when stopping the slews.


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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6212417 - 11/24/13 12:21 AM

Quote:

If a manufacturer claims that a new design can in fact carry a load that is substantially greater than other mounts in its weight and cost class without the need for more precise engineering and manufacturing, then it is for them to show that this is actually the case or for the end users to find out the hard way whether or not the claims are true. As is often stated, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, but you never know when a new design might actually provide that truth even when history suggests it might not.




I think it is too early to judge if the engineering on this mount is substandard. Unless someone has worked on the mount everything is speculation now. May I remind you that labour costs outside the USA are substantially cheaper allowing for things that cost a lot of money to be done at a much lower cost. I will give you an example. I worked for an American company as an engineer in the Middle East and while I got paid around $250 per day my Canadian colleague of similar skills and capabilities got paid $500 per day. That $250 was still considered a good amount of pay for me because in my country I am not required to pay taxes. Therefore, assuming the expertise to make a good quality mount is available outside the USA there is no surprise if the people cost was as much as 60% lower.

Also, nobody complains that other mount manufacturers of the same level as iOptron quote over stated load capacities


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EFT
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Hilmi]
      #6212466 - 11/24/13 01:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If a manufacturer claims that a new design can in fact carry a load that is substantially greater than other mounts in its weight and cost class without the need for more precise engineering and manufacturing, then it is for them to show that this is actually the case or for the end users to find out the hard way whether or not the claims are true. As is often stated, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, but you never know when a new design might actually provide that truth even when history suggests it might not.




I think it is too early to judge if the engineering on this mount is substandard. Unless someone has worked on the mount everything is speculation now. May I remind you that labour costs outside the USA are substantially cheaper allowing for things that cost a lot of money to be done at a much lower cost. I will give you an example. I worked for an American company as an engineer in the Middle East and while I got paid around $250 per day my Canadian colleague of similar skills and capabilities got paid $500 per day. That $250 was still considered a good amount of pay for me because in my country I am not required to pay taxes. Therefore, assuming the expertise to make a good quality mount is available outside the USA there is no surprise if the people cost was as much as 60% lower.

Also, nobody complains that other mount manufacturers of the same level as iOptron quote over stated load capacities




I don't know that it a question of substandard engineering as opposed to standard engineering with a lesser tolerance. It really depends on what the established standard is. Is it the standard in mass produced mounts, the standard in individually hand made and solid machined mounts, or is it something else? I would say that everyone complains about all of the mass-produced mount manufacturers' statements of capacity. I can't really think of any that I have seen the same complaints made about.

Just because labor costs are less in one country from another does not mean that the same quality can or will be produced in one country at a lesser price than the other. It is not that it doesn't happen, but experience shows that it is often not the case because the two countries may have very different philosophies regarding design and manufacture of products (e.g., quantity vs. quality).


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6212516 - 11/24/13 01:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

If a manufacturer claims that a new design can in fact carry a load that is substantially greater than other mounts in its weight and cost class without the need for more precise engineering and manufacturing, then it is for them to show that this is actually the case or for the end users to find out the hard way whether or not the claims are true.




maybe when they display the mounts, have it loaded to compacity and run some pec software and diplay it on a 42" flatscreen, no laptop, so everyone can see.

just for fun put a vid camera in the scopes and move the mount to see the dampening time when stopping the slews.




Pinbout,

Here is a video taken from a MallinCam X2 on the LX850 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7826NcjdhS4). I did not shake it manually, but it was moving around quite a bit. See if you notice much vibration.

If I get the CEM60, or get to try it out (hello iOptron…. ) I will give that unit the video test. I can post it on YouTube and do the live feed thing.

Either way all the chat about loads for the CEM60 mount pretty much boils down to speculation and conjecture and extrapolation from iOptron's specs, which is fine. It keeps us busy on all these cloudy nights!

I think I would be willing to give this mount a trial run for my requirements - a fairly light weight mount that I can take in the field (remote locations), and it can support AP for loads up to 45 lbs, and go to the weight limit for visual and video. The only pain - I will have to get an OAG for this unit. Key functionality - heavier load, but light weight. Now, if I was camped out in Eastern Oregon, White Sands, or Chaco for three weeks or so, then I would drag out the LX850. For all other uses, I need to go lighter (being practical). This is where I see the big potential for this mount.

And then I can test out how Physics impacts this mount, heh heh heh heh…


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6212526 - 11/24/13 02:00 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I guess it depends on the mount. This does not matter on the LX850. SCT, Long Refractor, stacked, flat, etc.



Of course it matters with the LX850, it isn't immune from the laws of physics.

The CEM60 might be just fine for imaging with an SCT like a C11 but might also have problems with a similar weight 6" apo (30-35lbs 4' length). In the same way the LX is fine with a 14" SCT but would have problems with a 9" apo (80lbs, 7' length). In this type of comparison I would also assume similar focal lengths (focal reducers used on the longer fl SCTs).

In both situations the scopes are within the specifications of the mounts but the length of the scope and where the weight is concentrated has a profound impact on how effective a mount might be.

Manufacturers are going to put their best numbers in their mount ratings, but in general the smaller the mount the more aggressive the ratings will be so comparing the imaging capabilities of a 30lb mount will be different % wise than that of a 60lb mount vs. a 90lb mount.

A whole bunch of variables (focal length, weight, tube length, weather conditions/wind, amount and type of PE, autoguiding aggressiveness, pixel size, sky conditions, etc. etc.) all contribute to determining how effective a mount might be on any particular night. No one set of numbers no matter who publishes them is going to tell you the whole story.





Mark,

I stand corrected, no mount is immune from the laws of Physics. And I 100% agree with you, this is a multivariate problem for certain.

I would hope the CEM60 will at least be able to handle my 130mm APO and gear. Of course we will have to test that out.

The LX850 might be able to handle an 9" APO. Who knows unless we test it. Do you have one we can test? Still, I grant you that might be the limit, but I the 9" APO is likely an outlier sales wise. I certainly would love to test out the 175mm APO from Astro-Phyics on it though.

So I guess we are in the stay tuned mode. My bet…the CEM60 might not be ready until the late spring, and then I will have a small weather window to work with, before the Monsoons come here. Of course, any new major astro gear causes weather problems. I have learned this first hand. Grrrrrrrr.


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6212973 - 11/24/13 10:51 AM

Thanks for making me cut n paste...

Is your mount fully loaded to the rating?

Edited by Pinbout (11/24/13 10:51 AM)


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6213087 - 11/24/13 11:50 AM

Quote:

Thanks for making me cut n paste...

Is your mount fully loaded to the rating?




Are you referring to the video I posted?


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DaveJ
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6213097 - 11/24/13 11:55 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks for making me cut n paste...

Is your mount fully loaded to the rating?




Are you referring to the video I posted?




More than likely. URL's should actually be posted using the "URL" feature provided by CN. If you don't use that feature, placing a URL surrounded by "(" and ")" prevents the URL from being clickable and then requires the ol' cut-n-paste.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6213125 - 11/24/13 12:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks for making me cut n paste...

Is your mount fully loaded to the rating?




Are you referring to the video I posted?




More than likely. URL's should actually be posted using the "URL" feature provided by CN. If you don't use that feature, placing a URL surrounded by "(" and ")" prevents the URL from being clickable and then requires the ol' cut-n-paste.





Ahhhh - I learn something new every day!

The mount is nearly fully loaded, a little over 80 lbs. On it is a 14" f/8 acf, finder, StarLock, 80mm APO, video camera, and Canon 60Da with all the attachments. I am on a plane right now, but I believe I posted a pict of the similar setup in the refractors forum on cn.

I would not load the CEM60 like this. Too much stuff to haul around


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6213291 - 11/24/13 01:19 PM

Thanks for making me cut n paste...

Is your mount fully loaded to the rating? And with a longer momentum as in a frac?


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Alfred Tan
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6237989 - 12/06/13 07:24 PM

Quote:

The only pain - I will have to get an OAG for this unit. Key functionality - heavier load, but light weight. Now, if I was camped out in Eastern Oregon, White Sands, or Chaco for three weeks or so, then I would drag out the LX850.




Hi Andrew,

I have been using a KWIQ autoguider on my iEQ45. Have not used an OAG.

Why is there a need to get an OAG? Is there an added advantage for using an OAG?

Alfred

twitter.com/yltansg


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Alfred Tan]
      #6238176 - 12/06/13 09:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The only pain - I will have to get an OAG for this unit. Key functionality - heavier load, but light weight. Now, if I was camped out in Eastern Oregon, White Sands, or Chaco for three weeks or so, then I would drag out the LX850.




Hi Andrew,

I have been using a KWIQ autoguider on my iEQ45. Have not used an OAG.

Why is there a need to get an OAG? Is there an added advantage for using an OAG?

Alfred

twitter.com/yltansg




Hello Alfred,

True one can use a traditional auto guider. I am so spoiled with StarLock on the LX850 though my thought is to just go with an OAG on the other mounts. We will see, I have some time to think about it

I am looking at the SBIG STX-16803 camera with OAG for the non-LX850 mounts. I am trying to figure that all out for early next year. But that is a different topic. Stay tuned as they say!


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6246341 - 12/11/13 05:03 AM

Under the "there's nothing new under the sun" category, check out the IAC80 telescope mount in the Canary islands. It was designed over 30 years ago.

http://www.iac.es/telescopes/media/Galeria_publica/Instalaciones/IAC80/cupula...

http://www.iac.es/telescopes/pages/es/inicio/telescopios/iac80.php

You will note the offset counterweights (just like on the CEM60).

Also note that the OTA is on the bottom-end of the RA axis shaft and not the top end (or middle.)

So the CEM60 is still an English Cross-Axis Mount (not original) with offset counterweights (also not original.)

No matter how weird or original a new mount design might seem to be, the odds are good that every single idea presented has been tried at least once in the past by someone else.


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freestar8n
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6246359 - 12/11/13 05:24 AM

Quote:

So the CEM60 is still an English Cross-Axis Mount




I have no idea why you are fixated on categorizing it this way. The design combines elements of other mounts but doesn't exactly match any of them. There is no "cross-axis" here so it is crazy to me to use that term. When you see an English Cross-Axis - you see a big cross-axis thing - and there is none here. It is more of a 'Z'.

The web page describing the IAC80 describes the mount with:

Quote:

This telescope has an equatorial german mount




So they clearly don't think of it as "English cross-axis."

I agree that mount has the main elements of the CEM60 and I figured it wasn't completely original - but I still don't know of any having been sold in the amateur astro market, so it does have novelty. And it has additional elements not in the observatory version - such as the ability to tilt the counterweight axis angle.

Frank


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6246378 - 12/11/13 06:13 AM

LOL - It isn't a GEM ("montura ecuatorial alemana") by a long shot. That description is an embarrassing failure of whoever wrote the verbiage for the web page. GEM's don't have forks on one end and don't have the OTA on the bottom end of the RA axis either!

That just goes to my point that there is a lot of bad/sloppy information floating around out there when it comes to telescope mount designs and mount nomenclature.

The CEM60 is a basic English Cross-Axis mount with offset counterweights and some reworked dimensions.

http://frostydrew.org/papers.dc/papers/paper-scopes/

To claim that the CEM60 is some kind of new, bold or innovative mount design just isn't true.

I am not trying to bash iOptron. I have an iOptron Cube Pro that I use as a vacation/travel mount and I am content with its performance in that role. I have also been considering picking up an iEQ30 or 45 for public outreach and leaving my Astro-Physics 900GTO and Meade LX200GPS-16 at home. Obviously this means that I have nothing against iOptron or their products.

But heck, people can believe whatever they want. Just because I design, build and repair professional observatories for a living doesn't mean anyone has to listen to me!

Clear skies and chocolate for all.


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freestar8n
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6246449 - 12/11/13 07:25 AM

Quote:

But heck, people can believe whatever they want. Just because I design, build and repair professional observatories for a living doesn't mean anyone has to listen to me!




We are most certainly in agreement on that point.

Frank


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6246491 - 12/11/13 08:11 AM

Quote:

But heck, people can believe whatever they want. Just because I design, build and repair professional observatories for a living doesn't mean anyone has to listen to me!




Shouldn't you be listed as a vendor then?


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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6246498 - 12/11/13 08:21 AM

Mark, only if the denizens of CN can buy 1-meter class telescopes.

Chris is more famous among us mortals for the Roboscopes yahoo group, where conversions were done from non-GoTo to GoTo using cheap Meade motors and the Autostar controller.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6246597 - 12/11/13 09:17 AM

Quote:





Clear skies and chocolate for all.





Dude, get with the times!

It is now BACON for all. Chocolate is so 1980's…



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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6246666 - 12/11/13 09:56 AM

Andrew - sorry to correct your correction, but bacon is so June 8th, 2011...it's now CHOCOLATE-COVERED BACON for all.

I don't really mind figuring the "etymology" of the CEM60, one man's GEM is another man's English Cross-Axis (and what about the Welsh Cross-Axis, them Welsh NEVER get any love), it makes me read cool articles and look stuff up. (Not to be confused with the entomology of the CEM60...as I'm hoping it doesn't have a lot of bugs.)

I think the bottom-line is iOptron is trying a rarer configuration (old, new, borrowed, or blue) that we don't usually see in amateur astronomy in an attempt to give a better weight-to-load ratio at a lower price. Which is great!

Now we're just hoping it performs well, which'll mean another great choice for all of us looking for new gear in the new year.

Paul


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6246683 - 12/11/13 10:05 AM

+1

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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6246686 - 12/11/13 10:07 AM

I wish I had need of his expertise and services!

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: psandelle]
      #6246713 - 12/11/13 10:19 AM

Quote:

Andrew - sorry to correct your correction, but bacon is so June 8th, 2011...it's now CHOCOLATE-COVERED BACON for all.

I don't really mind figuring the "etymology" of the CEM60, one man's GEM is another man's English Cross-Axis (and what about the Welsh Cross-Axis, them Welsh NEVER get any love), it makes me read cool articles and look stuff up. (Not to be confused with the entomology of the CEM60...as I'm hoping it doesn't have a lot of bugs.)

I think the bottom-line is iOptron is trying a rarer configuration (old, new, borrowed, or blue) that we don't usually see in amateur astronomy in an attempt to give a better weight-to-load ratio at a lower price. Which is great!

Now we're just hoping it performs well, which'll mean another great choice for all of us looking for new gear in the new year.

Paul





Excellent 2nd point! The main point is does it work? If it does, this will be great.


I don't know about your first point though…must be a California thing

Right now I am hooked on the thick cut, hickory smoked variety of bacon!


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psandelle
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6246733 - 12/11/13 10:33 AM

Andrew: "Right now I am hooked on the thick cut, hickory smoked variety of bacon!"

Hey, classics are classics and never go out of style....

Paul


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6246925 - 12/11/13 12:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:

But heck, people can believe whatever they want. Just because I design, build and repair professional observatories for a living doesn't mean anyone has to listen to me!




Shouldn't you be listed as a vendor then?




I work on professional observatories, not amateur ones.


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6246942 - 12/11/13 12:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

…Clear skies and chocolate for all.




Dude, get with the times!

It is now BACON for all. Chocolate is so 1980's…






I sure wish I could eat bacon with the wild enthusiasm of my youth but alas, it isn't to be so.

Getting older means a lot of things and having to cut back on the bacon, chocolate and caffeine is part of it.

What a bummer!


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Stew57]
      #6246952 - 12/11/13 12:42 PM

Quote:

I wish I had need of his expertise and services!




If you ever do then you can get it for free over in the Observatories forum.

Of course I annoy some people over there too. Not that I want to (I don't) but sometimes I suspect that my advice goes directly against what someone else has already committed-to and built. Unfortunately.


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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6247007 - 12/11/13 01:04 PM

On another note, look how closely the ZEQ25 mount looks like the 30-year-old IAC80.

http://ioptron.com/images/up/ZEQ25_2013.jpg

http://www.iac.es/telescopes/media/Galeria_publica/Instalaciones/IAC80/cupula...


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freestar8n
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6248321 - 12/12/13 03:42 AM

The IAC80 is unusual because it is mostly an equatorial fork, but the OTA is not fully balanced and requires an offset counterweight on the polar axis. That counterweight does not balance the entire weight of the telescope - just the offset.

It is very unusual in that the fork is on the lower side of the polar axis bearing. That allows the pier to be high up while the Cassegrain focus is down low - but I think that is very rare.

If the OTA were balanced in the fork there would be no need for a counterweight and it would be a normal equatorial fork mount, but again with the fork on the lower side of the polar axis.

The CEM60 is not a fork and the counterweight on the dec. axis is required to balance the full weight of the OTA. The fact that the dec. axis does not extend straight through the polar axis, as in English Cross, means the polar axis bearing can be short and directly on top of the pier. The fact that the dec. weight is offset and can be set at an arbitrary angle means the mount can accommodate high and low latitudes well.

So I would place them all in very distinct categories. The IAC80 is mostly an upside down fork with unbalanced OTA. The CEM60 is mostly a german equatorial with a dec. axis bearing centered in the two halves of the polar axis bearing - and with an offset and angle-adjustable dec. weight. There is no actual axis cross, so it clearly isn't a cross-axis mount.

I think it makes sense to refer to the CEM as a CEM, or Chinese Equatorial Mount. I don't know of a similar offering on the market, and it has several novel features that warrant a new entry in the taxonomy.

Frank


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: freestar8n]
      #6251959 - 12/13/13 11:42 PM

Yes, the IAC8 is a fork equatorial. A fork equatorial is actually an alt-azi with a tilted "azimuth" axis pointed at the Pole. The goto algorithm of a fork mount is different from an EQ mount. Jimmy

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Christopher Erickson
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6252133 - 12/14/13 05:23 AM

Quote:

Yes, the IAC8 is a fork equatorial. A fork equatorial is actually an alt-azi with a tilted "azimuth" axis pointed at the Pole. The goto algorithm of a fork mount is different from an EQ mount. Jimmy




If one axis is pointed at True North then it is an equatorial mount. Regardless of what else it might be.

Equatorial vs. Altitude-Azimuth.


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6252456 - 12/14/13 11:07 AM

No argue it is an equatorial mount when an axis is pointed at True North. There might be no difference a fork EQ to other EQ if it is a push-to. But a GOTO fork equatorial is truly different from other GOTO EQ mounts. The goto algorithm of a fork equatorial is the same as an Altitude-Azimuth.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6255759 - 12/16/13 07:50 AM

Just an update, despite 'what type of mount it is'..:)

I have received word that the CEM60 and CEM60EC's are on track for initial deliveries in mid-January, barring any unforeseen surprises.

It appears beta testing has gone well, and the standard CEM60 will be rated at 5.0 arc-seconds, peak to peak.

The CEM60EC (absolute encoders) will be rated at .5 arc-seconds, peak to peak.

It will be interesting to see what the retail pricing will be.

Just for info,

Happy Holidays all...Paul


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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6255784 - 12/16/13 08:16 AM

wow.... 0.5" peak to peak......
if the price is really ~$4000 as rumoured, i will get one.


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Stew57
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6255815 - 12/16/13 08:48 AM

It certainly is on my short list along with the EQ8. I wish I knew what Celestron had up their sleeve. I did have a talk on the phone a year ago where they hinted at absolute encoders and asked if it was something that customers would really pay extra for. Ioptron looks like they beat them to it.

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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6255818 - 12/16/13 08:50 AM

Quote:

wow.... 0.5" peak to peak......
if the price is really ~$4000 as rumoured, i will get one.




If that proves to be true, and considering what the price points are for other mounts that are capable of achieving sub arc-second periodic error, you would be a fool not to.

Especially for a astrophotographer, for visual, even the standard CEM60 would exceed the specs of most 'high end' mounts currently in production.

Just my humble opinion..Paul


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6255820 - 12/16/13 08:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

wow.... 0.5" peak to peak......
if the price is really ~$4000 as rumoured, i will get one.




If that proves to be true, and considering what the price points are for other mounts that are capable of achieving sub arc-second periodic error, you would be a fool not to.

Especially for a astrophotographer, for visual, even the standard CEM60 would exceed the specs of most 'high end' mounts currently in production.

Just my humble opinion..Paul





Well this number is exciting if it holds to be true. I think I am near the top on the wait list to get one of these things.

It the performance is truly 0.5" p-p, then the price point is truly Earth shaking. The question is how are they able to build a mount with encoders so cheap? Is the hope the economies of scale drive the price down?


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6255839 - 12/16/13 09:04 AM

Quote:

The question is how are they able to build a mount with encoders so cheap? Is the hope the economies of scale drive the price down?




Well, my guess is, if the Chinese have just landed a spacecraft on the moon, then certainly some company in China can produce inexpensive absolute encoders?

Cheers...Paul


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6255844 - 12/16/13 09:07 AM

The words I got from iOptron tech support last Friday was +/-5 arc sec, and +/- 0.5 arc sec for the absolute encoder.
See the email:

From: iOptron Tech 1 [mailto:tech1@ioptron.com]
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 5:38 PM
To: 'Cloudywest'
Subject: RE: CEM 60

We plan to have some limited units ready next month. We will soon announce the spec and price, which include PE about +/- 5 arc sec and +/- 0.5 arc sec (typical), respectively, for #7200 ($2499) and #7201 ($3899). 7201 is high precision (absolute) encoder version.


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6255950 - 12/16/13 10:12 AM

With a PE of 10arc sec Point to point I wonder if the absolute encoders are even needed. If the PE is smooth is can easily be guided out.

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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6255998 - 12/16/13 10:34 AM

If the PE can be reduced to within 3 or 4 arcsec (P to P), then it would eliminate the need for guiding for a broad range of optics/camera combinations. I consider this a great plus for simplifying the system in terms of total weight (no need for a guides cope) and power consumption in the field.

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nomosnow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6256191 - 12/16/13 12:33 PM

Does the precision model have encoders on both the Ra and Dec axis , or is it just on the RA axis ?
If it is just on the RA axis then for my uses I think I would still have to guide.


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kyang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6256337 - 12/16/13 01:55 PM

Are we going to be able to use CEM60 with AP-Eagle-Tripod ?

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PGW Steve
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: kyang]
      #6256507 - 12/16/13 03:34 PM

Just because a mount has negligible PE due to encoders does NOT mean you can run unguided for a long time. Don't forget that your polar alignment, atmospheric refraction, mirror flop and system flex are all doing their best to mess with your stars.
There is no holy grail of unguided imaging. Software Bisque does an admirable job with ProTrack, and the yet to be released APCC from Astro-Physics/Ray Gralak will model and compensate for most repeatable variables.
I've got an A-P1600 with encoders and a very precise polar alignment and still have a love affair with my OAG.


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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #6257088 - 12/16/13 09:16 PM

Whether guiding is needed of course depends on many factors. In my earlier post, I mentioned "a broad range of optics/camera combinations." I did not say "in all cases." In many cases (for exampling, shooting a 300/F2.8 lens with a decent DSLR), we only need subs of two to five minutes. We don't need to track accurately for a long time. Just a few minutes (a small fraction of a period) is enough. Over long time, there will be tracking errors, but that doesn't matter. You get point-like stars in each sub, and natural dither across the subs.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6257111 - 12/16/13 09:25 PM

Quote:

In many cases (for exampling, shooting a 300/F2.8 lens with a decent DSLR), we only need subs of two to five minutes. We don't need to track accurately for a long time. Just a few minutes (a small fraction of a period) is enough.




You get away with that because of image scale, not exposure time. A few minutes is not a small fraction of the period of any commonly seen mount. Most range between 360 tooth worm wheels (4 minute period) and 180 tooth worm wheels (8 minute period) - and most are nearer 360 teeth than 180.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6257172 - 12/16/13 09:53 PM

Quote:

Does the precision model have encoders on both the Ra and Dec axis , or is it just on the RA axis ?
If it is just on the RA axis then for my uses I think I would still have to guide.




The EC model will have an 'very high' encoder on the RA shaft only, supplementing the high precision stepper encoder wheel. It will operate in 'RPEC' real time PEC, so will constantly correct for any deviation in PE.

With an accurate initial polar alignment, or drift align, corrections in DEC should be minimal, and not needed except for very long exposures, or very long focal lengths.

With the TDM on the iE45GT, I use an autoguider set at 5 second exposures, with the guide rate set at 25% in the mount, just to keep the DEC in control and on track.

The really nice feature about high precision encoders is the minimal affect wind has on the exposures, you can basically forget about normal wind up to 6-8 mph. That's with a AT10RC with a dew shield, I don't have any first hand experience with a long refractor.

Oh, and a correction on the PE ratings. I mis-spoke, the standard version will be +/- 5 arc-seconds, so 10 arc-seconds peak to peak. The EC version will be rated at +/- .5 arc-seconds, so 1.0 arc-seconds peak to peak.

My apologies for any confusion about the PE ratings. Of course, with guiding those numbers will probably diminish quite a bit and will still be excellent.

Regards...Paul


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6257183 - 12/16/13 09:57 PM

Quote:

Are we going to be able to use CEM60 with AP-Eagle-Tripod ?




I believe with the proper adapter, almost any mount can be fitted to the excellent AP-Eagle tripod?

The mount will be sold without a tripod, which makes it an excellent candidate for whatever support system you want to mount it on.

It will bolt right up the existing 2" iOptron tripod and piers.

Clear skies...Paul


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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6257204 - 12/16/13 10:07 PM

Quote:

Whether guiding is needed of course depends on many factors. In my earlier post, I mentioned "a broad range of optics/camera combinations." I did not say "in all cases." In many cases (for exampling, shooting a 300/F2.8 lens with a decent DSLR), we only need subs of two to five minutes. We don't need to track accurately for a long time. Just a few minutes (a small fraction of a period) is enough. Over long time, there will be tracking errors, but that doesn't matter. You get point-like stars in each sub, and natural dither across the subs.




True, I can do unguided imaging with my 200mm f2.8 and even 300mm f4 when I use my Kenko skymemo. And the skymemo does not have any encoders, it's just a simple tracker similar to the astro track and others.


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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6257389 - 12/17/13 12:48 AM

The mount I currently use for my 300/F2.8 cannot track for more than 1 minute without guiding. If this 300/F2.8 is the only lens I plan to use, I would happily buy a skymemo after seeing your testimony. On the other hand, I also plan to use my TAK E180ED on whatever mount I am upgrading to. So the skymemo is out of consideration. For my purpose, any mount with >20 kg load capacity, possibility of doing +/-0.5 arcsec unguided tracking for 1 to 3 minutes, plus a <$4000 price tag, will be very attractive to me. If CEM60 can do this with my TAK E180ED on it, I can just leave it unattended for an hour or two, and pay more attention to my TOA150+EM400, which does require guiding and a lot more attention.

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andysea
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6257458 - 12/17/13 02:27 AM

Yeah I put my name down for this new mount and I may get it even tho it's a bit of an overlap with my other mounts. It looks very promising so far.

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whwang
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: andysea]
      #6257464 - 12/17/13 02:34 AM

Yes indeed. For new products like this, I used to tell people to wait for a production cycle or two before buying, just to see if there are problems. But now I feel so excited by all the promising reports, and don't feel like to wait at all. Hope the wait won't be too long for you.

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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: whwang]
      #6257479 - 12/17/13 03:04 AM

Still waiting for a price?

Until I hear the mount offered for sale for a price, it's still vapour ware.


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: dvb]
      #6257894 - 12/17/13 10:52 AM

Quote:

Still waiting for a price?

Until I hear the mount offered for sale for a price, it's still vapour ware.




It would appear that the price points have been determined.

Quote:

We plan to have some limited units ready next month. We will soon announce the spec and price, which include PE about +/- 5 arc sec and +/- 0.5 arc sec (typical), respectively, for #7200 ($2499) and #7201 ($3899). 7201 is high precision (absolute) encoder version




If iOptron intends on delivering initial units in mid-January, they should be adding pricing to the website over the next couple of weeks.

I'm in for a EC model, should be a great match for a long, heavy Istar refractor? Now to convince myself I need a long/heavy refractor...:)

Happy Holidays...Paul


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6259042 - 12/17/13 09:48 PM

can you explain this.

when the 45 came out gt was for the renishaw encoder version.

but now with the z gt doesn't mean that anymore, but with the 60 its now ec means the abs.encoder.



or at least when I spoke to the president at NEAF several times thats what he told me [before the EC came out]


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cloudywest
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6259237 - 12/17/13 11:39 PM

ioptron tech support wrote me and made correction on the encoder. It was not “absolute” encoder. Since CEM60 had automatic zero function (the mount could go back to zero if power was interrupted), he mistakenly thought it had absolute encoder. Jimmy

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orlyandico
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: cloudywest]
      #6259331 - 12/18/13 01:11 AM

aha. if it's a relative encoder then this is the same technology as the TDM.

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dvb
different Syndrome.
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6259359 - 12/18/13 01:51 AM

Quote:



It would appear that the price points have been determined.

Quote:

We plan to have some limited units ready next month. We will soon announce the spec and price, which include PE about +/- 5 arc sec and +/- 0.5 arc sec (typical), respectively, for #7200 ($2499) and #7201 ($3899). 7201 is high precision (absolute) encoder version




If iOptron intends on delivering initial units in mid-January, they should be adding pricing to the website over the next couple of weeks.

Happy Holidays...Paul




Thanks, Paul. Those prices seem quite reasonable, especially if the mount has a greater capacity than the NEQ6 with a significantly lighter head weight.

I'll just be waiting to see how it handles an encounter with the South Meridian. . . .


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Pinbout
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6259602 - 12/18/13 08:22 AM

Quote:

aha. if it's a relative encoder then this is the same technology as the TDM.





when the 45gt [renishaw encoder] 1st came out the pres. told me that they were working on making their own instead of spending $1,500 on the encoder which made them pass that cost + markup to us.

so whats the cost of a tdm, $1700 + $400 for adapter.

what will ioptron's high precision encoder cost. their suppose to make it for other mounts also not just the 60.


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crow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6264239 - 12/20/13 06:12 PM

I've just been looking at some pics online. This thing has USB!

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nomosnow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: crow]
      #6265519 - 12/21/13 03:42 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

Hi
I was wondering if someone could interpret these Pempro graphs and also the raw text file of the standard CEM 60. I believe this was done when beta testing and possibly done by ioptron staff??
It looks pretty smooth to me and much better the my iEQ45 . Possibly due to the stepper motor drive eliminating the planetary gear train on the iEQ45 servo motors and that pesky high speed hard to guide out error.


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nomosnow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: nomosnow]
      #6265524 - 12/21/13 03:43 PM Attachment (160 downloads)

Another graph..

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nomosnow
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: nomosnow]
      #6265532 - 12/21/13 03:45 PM Attachment (73 downloads)

And finally the text file which I have no clue as to how to read it?

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PRejto
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: nomosnow]
      #6273078 - 12/26/13 03:30 AM

The only comment I might risk making is that an imaging scale of 2 arc-sec seems at odds with trying to achieve sub arc-sec resolution. Perhaps this works OK, but when I go after PEC with my MX I image at .6 arc-sec. PEMpro reports my corrected PEC well below 1 arc-sec but this value seems to change somewhat with actual seeing at the time of measurement, just as will collecion of data for PE correction.

Edited by PRejto (12/26/13 03:32 AM)


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Astronewb
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: PRejto]
      #6304183 - 01/10/14 01:08 PM

It would appear that the CEM60 is starting to show up on dealer websites.

This webpage from Anacortes is interesting as the price is in RED, with a annotation that it may change once shipping commences?

http://www.buytelescopes.com/ioptron-cem60-center-balanced-equatorial-mount

The reason rumored appears to be that iOptron, in their efforts to guarantee a PEC of 5 arc-seconds p-p are discarding lots of worm sets that do not meet their quality standard.

In the final analysis, that information really appeals to me and the majority of the consumers, who just want what is advertised. If it means a few $$ more at retail, it will be worth it.

Cheers...Paul


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rkayakr
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Astronewb]
      #6304311 - 01/10/14 02:04 PM

CEM60 7200 (no encoder) is also on OPT listed as preorder at same price.

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Fudgie
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Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6304322 - 01/10/14 02:09 PM

telescop-express.de has the base version with a 1-3 week delivery time and a price of 2.029,41 EUR.

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tazer
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Reged: 12/22/11

Loc: Central North Carolina
Re: iOptron CEM60, not a rumor anymore. new [Re: Fudgie]
      #6304820 - 01/10/14 07:12 PM

Quote:

In the final analysis, that information really appeals to me and the majority of the consumers, who just want what is advertised. If it means a few $$ more at retail, it will be worth it.




Couldn't agree more. I'm in the market for a mount and hearing that a manufacturer is doing this kind of QA instills confidence in a potential customer.


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Astronewb
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Reged: 09/19/11

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