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Stellarvue M2C with Nexus-II Great Grab & Go Setup with Push To

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#1 David P

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:29 PM

I wanted to give a report on my new Stellarvue M2C mount, equipped with Astro Devices encoder kit and Nexus-II DSC unit.  I've had this mount for a couple of months now and have had the opportunity to use it with all my telescopes.  All works well with all my scopes (list in signature below) and at powers up to 400x, which is about the highest I've used with this setup.  The M2 mount is solidly built, yet very easy to pick up and carry outside.  The Astro Devices encoder kit integrates seamlessly with the MC head.  I attach the Nexus-II unit to the M2 with velcro.  As a result, everything moves a one unit and there is no cord wrap when moving the mount in azimuth.  I use SkySafari 5 Plus running on an iPad to align the encoders and locate objects.  I couldn't be happier with the set up.  It's a perfect compliment to the AVX for those times when I don't feel like taking the time to set up the AVX.  I can have the M2 up and running (including aligned) in 10 minutes, versus about 25-30 minutes for the AVX.  The AVX is a better platform for star parties and sharing the view with friends and neighbors due to it's tracking ability.  The M2 is great for quick sessions in the back yard, or for using a second scope next to the AVX.  I've even had neighbors over and while I'm working the C8 on the AVX, I hand them the iPad with the SV102, equipped with a zoom eyepiece, mounted on the M2 and turn them lose to explore the sky on their own.

 

Serge at Astro Devices has been great at answering any questions I had about the Nexus unit.  The internal lithium-ion battery should power the Nexus-II for 14-16 hours, according to Serge.  Longest I run it is 4 hours and then charge it for an hour or so just before the next use.  I don't store lithium ion batteries on a full charge.  I keep them somewhere between 50% and 80%, then charge them in the morning if I know I'm going to use it that evening.

 

Here are two pictures taken this past Sunday while out in Lockwood Valley, CA.  Had a spectacular night with fantastic seeing.  The milky way extended from Scorpius in the south to Cassiopeia in the north.

 

DSCF0382 copy.jpg


Edited by David P, 12 July 2018 - 06:45 PM.

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#2 David P

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 05:29 PM

Second view.

 

DSCF0383 copy.jpg


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#3 Nippon

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:04 PM

I have an M2C also. I think it is first class quality without the first class cost.


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#4 mateodiego

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:41 PM

We have the M2C and love it.  We use it with either our ST120 or C6-N.  The mount handles both with ease. We also use the same Stellarvue Column and AVX tripod with a S-B Dual mount when I want to go double barrel with both scopes which is a neat way to view things. Both these mounts make a quick grab and go setup or to give our kids something to run around in the sky with while I am finding other objects with our C10-N\CGE.  I have often wondered about getting DSC for it and already use SkySafari Pro to drive my CGE.  Maybe one of these days we will go there.

 

Matt


Edited by mateodiego, 12 July 2018 - 07:43 PM.


#5 Xeroid

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:11 PM

Thanks for the solid report, that's good news!  I too am expecting to receive my Nexus and encoders this Saturday!

 

I use the M2C mount with my C9.25 and a iOptron 2" tripod with a 8" extension.

 

With no legs extended, its heavy, rock solid and very smooth but requires exact scope balancing. I do use an adjustable bar weight when I change eyepieces.

 

As you had mentioned, its a fast & easy setup!!  ( and a grab and go hernia if not careful lol.gif )



#6 David P

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:22 PM

As fate would have it, I wrote this review just hours before going out to observe last night and wouldn't you know it, I ran into an issue with the alignment routine.  The pointing accuracy was off such that the second alignment star was about a degree away from where SkySafari said it should be, and when I tired a third alignment star, it was so far off the I got an error message stating that the star was too far from the telescopes position to use.  I made several attempts to rectify the situation, even doing a factory reset on the Nexus-II, all to no avail.  So this morning I sent an e-mail to Astro Devices and fairly promptly received a reply from Serge (despite him being located in Australia).  His opinion was that it was not anything to do with the Nexus-II unit or the encoders, but rather suggested I reset the SkySafari to the factory settings and then re-enter the mount type and encoder info.  I'm happy to report that that solved the issue as the pointing accuracy was spot on again when I tested it this evening.  A big "thanks" to Serge for his great customer service.

 

David P.


Edited by David P, 13 July 2018 - 11:23 PM.


#7 NMBob

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 06:14 AM

I have the same M2C set up. I have always had trouble aligning on this mount, an old C8+ mount I put encoders on, and my Losmandy mount with my Nexus (I) or Nexus II and SkySafari. Using an illuminated reticle eyepiece in the main scope helped, but I've never heard about resetting. Some days it's fine, and some days it's not. I'll have to try it next time SF gives me attitude. Thanks!

 

In comparison, SkySafari or SkyPortal with my Evolution mount is so forgiving about alignment it's crazy. It will still give the 'too far off' error if you really mess up, but just getting alignment stars somewhere near the center of the eyepiece is good enough.



#8 David P

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 08:46 AM

I have the same M2C set up. I have always had trouble aligning on this mount, an old C8+ mount I put encoders on, and my Losmandy mount with my Nexus (I) or Nexus II and SkySafari. Using an illuminated reticle eyepiece in the main scope helped, but I've never heard about resetting. Some days it's fine, and some days it's not. I'll have to try it next time SF gives me attitude. Thanks!

 

In comparison, SkySafari or SkyPortal with my Evolution mount is so forgiving about alignment it's crazy. It will still give the 'too far off' error if you really mess up, but just getting alignment stars somewhere near the center of the eyepiece is good enough.

I use SkyFi 3 with SkySafari 5 Plus with my AVX mount and it's been flawless.  I initially bought a SkyPortal dongle but it kept dropping the wifi (even though it was supposed to be the upgraded version), but have had no issues with SkyFi 3.  I like the configuration web page where you can set your own SSID and password, and check on the battery level.


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