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NOW AVAILABLE! Our New Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight $399

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#1 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:16 AM

Explore Scientific is pleased to announce the availability of our new iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight mount!

 

This new entry level mount supports an equipment load of 19 lbs. with a mount head weight of less than 10 lbs.

https://explorescien...ts/es-iexos-100

 

This mount has a fully integrated award winning Wireless PMC-Eight Control System with an industry standard ST4 auto-guiding port. This mount is fully compatible with our Windows, Android, and newly released Apple iOS ExploreStars application and with our open-source PMC-Eight ASCOM Driver for use with third-party ASCOM client applications.

 

This mount is perfect for anyone interested in doing astrophotography on a budget!

 

This mount is available now for $399 

 

 


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#2 jay.i

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:23 AM

This seems like a pretty ideal mount for small refractor imaging setups. Not much more expensive than a Star Adventurer (which is obviously a lot more portable) but supports a higher payload, can do autoguiding, and has full ASCOM support. I'll be interested to hear some user reports once they come out. Nicely done!


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#3 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:26 AM

Hi Jay,

 

I will be sharing some internal testing information and images taken with this system soon!


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#4 Aaron_tragle

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:38 AM

Looks like a great option for telephoto lenses and small telescopes. I think this would be a great pair with the new WIlliam Optics RedCat that is coming out in late 2019. Great competitor with the iOptron SmartEQ line and Skywatcher AZ-GTI.



#5 jay.i

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 11:49 AM

Hi Jay,

 

I will be sharing some internal testing information and images taken with this system soon!

Awesome, Jerry. Can you say whether the internal gears and mechanics are all made of metal? I've heard of some budget mounts using plastic gears and this mount looks like it has some plastic on it. How about the counterweight rod, and the chassis around it? I am sure no one would be foolish enough to use plastic and risk having the rod/mount break while a scope is on it (maybe overloaded) but I might as well ask!



#6 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 12:17 PM

Hi Jay,

 

The internal gear system is similar to our EXOS 2 mount where we have installed an industry first belt-drive system in this class of mount. The drive system uses metal pulleys with the belts and the internal structure is all metal. The external enclosure is plastic. This is a high-quality mount with a very competitive price. The result is an industry leading high-value product.

 

Thanks again for your interest.


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#7 sg6

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 12:35 PM

It says:

The mount base includes a small polar alignment tunnel that allows users to roughly align their observing setup with Polaris.

Is there a polar scope for more accurate alignment, no mention of such.



#8 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 12:53 PM

The description is accurate in that you would look through the tunnel and sight Polaris. This tunnel diameter is not as large as a standard polar alignment scopes that you would put on an EXOS 2 mount or the G11. One suggestion is that you could possibly use a laser mounted in the tunnel to point to Polaris. Of course you need to follow the guidelines for pointing the laser at the sky and steer clear of aircraft. 


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#9 OTA

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 02:53 PM

The description is accurate in that you would look through the tunnel and sight Polaris. This tunnel diameter is not as large as a standard polar alignment scopes that you would put on an EXOS 2 mount or the G11. One suggestion is that you could possibly use a laser mounted in the tunnel to point to Polaris. Of course you need to follow the guidelines for pointing the laser at the sky and steer clear of aircraft. 

Another option for polar alignment is to use the built in polar alignment tool in PHD, or the polar alignment routine in Sharpcap PRO.  Of course you would need a guide scope for this, but it would work as well. 

 

I haven't looked through a polar scope in over a year since I started with Sharpcap.  Works every time.  The PHD tool is pretty neat as well, but I find you need to spend more time with it.


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#10 sg6

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 04:37 PM

The point however is that you do not center Polaris for polar alignment.

Which for "astrophotography on a budget" seems counter productive. It is said often that for visual putting Polaris on the center dot of a polar scope is OK, but  for AP decent polar alignment is essential.

 

Another option for polar alignment is to use the built in polar alignment tool in PHD, or the polar alignment routine in Sharpcap PRO.  Of course you would need a guide scope for this, but it would work as well.

 

I haven't looked through a polar scope in over a year since I started with Sharpcap.  Works every time.  The PHD tool is pretty neat as well, but I find you need to spend more time with it.

I would argue that anyone with these tools already has a fairly advanced AP setup - if they already have a mount and guide scope and the software all up, connected and running, then I suspect they would not be considering a mount aimed at the more introductory level of AP.

 

Mount looks a nice size, might see one I suppose next year over here, ES appear at Astrofest so maybe one there. But the simple alignment concerns me. If the hole is big enough I could build my own I suppose. 2 part polar scope may work - long focal length lens at the top, reticule and eyepiece lens at the base. That way nothing to fit along the sight tube.


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#11 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 06:09 PM

sg6,

 

Of course you do not center on Polaris, this will get you close enough to start doing a fine adjustment on your PA via the declination drift method, or if you have other tools to tweak it in. The point of this mount is for beginners to start learning astrophotography with beginning scopes, or camera lenses with their DSLR. They can then start learning about auto-guiding when imaging with longer focal lengths without having to upgrade their mount system. Even with a PA off 1 degree, an auto-guider system works fine. IMHO, a "perfect" polar alignment is secondary when learning the equipment. Once they understand the need to have a near perfect polar alignment, they will learn the techniques and/or buy the needed equipment to get that "perfect" PA with this mount.

 

Of course, experienced astrophotographers have the needed equipment. This is an inexpensive high-performance mount that will allow the beginner to experience and add on all the other equipment needed to do astrophotography with focal lengths up to around 500 mm. I would expect that even highly experienced astrophotographers might want to take advantage of this low-cost alternative for wide-angle astrophotography with an 80 or 102 mm scope on this mount.

 

Bottom line, a simple alignment should not be an impediment for anyone, a dedicated polar scope can only do so much anyway, so astrophotographers also learn how to improve it independently of the polar scope.


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#12 pwo51

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 11:35 PM

Jerry, does the  iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight have GPS? If not do you recommend a GPS.



#13 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:42 AM

Hi Peter,

 

The ExploreStars application will use the GPS built into your tablet or connected to your PC to set the time and lat/long for your location. The ASCOM driver relies on you setting your location in the driver setup. We use a small USB GPS receiver in our observatory to keep accurate time on the observatory computer along with the program NMEATime.


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#14 Adun

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 02:04 PM

Jerry, do you have any specs about what range of latitudes is supported by this mount?



#15 PatrickVt

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 02:16 AM

Hi Jerry...  Is there a user manual available for this mount yet?  

 

Patrick



#16 TONGKW

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 04:17 AM

﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣

Instead of operating with Apple, Android or Windows tablet using the ExploreStars app., is there a "normal" hand controller available for this new iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight mount.

﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣


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#17 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:04 AM

We offer our EXOS2GT mount with a traditional hand controller. 

 https://explorescien...2-goto-eq-mount

 

All of our PMC-Eight mount systems use a tablet based hand controller. I would not characterize this as "abnormal" as you imply in your message, the PMC-Eight system uses an alternative hand controller that has a lot of added features that you would never get in a traditional hand controller. The basic architecture of the PMC-Eight system is fundamentally different than the traditional hand controller based GOTO system also.

 

You can look forward to more innovations and new additions to the PMC-Eight system over the next year so stay tuned.


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#18 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:23 AM

Hi Jerry...  Is there a user manual available for this mount yet?  

 

Patrick

 

We do have an iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight manual, I will get it posted to our website today. I will update this message when it gets posted.


Edited by Jerry Hubbell, 20 December 2018 - 09:27 AM.

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#19 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:26 AM

Jerry, do you have any specs about what range of latitudes is supported by this mount?

Hi, 

 

The iEXOS mount is a German equatorial mount and is limited in use for latitudes from approximately 10 degrees to 65 degrees when used with the tripod. If you were to put the mount on a pier where you do not have an obstruction from the tripod legs, you can adjust it to a wider range.


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#20 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 10:43 AM

We do have an iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight manual, I will get it posted to our website today. I will update this message when it gets posted.

Thanks, Jerry!

 

Patrick



#21 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 10:51 AM

Jerry,

 

The user manual can probably partially answer one of my questions but it would be better to ask you directly...  

 

I often use the EXOS-2GT manually...  releasing those clutches and then engaging them slightly adds just the right amount of tension to be perfect for very smooth nudging in any direction.  Is it possible to use the iEXOS-100 manually just as easily and smoothly?  

 

Also, I don't see EXOS-2GT type clutch releases on the iEXOS-100...  I assume it is more like the Losmandy models with the knob on the back and the knob at the top of the counterweight bar... correct?  

 

Thanks again, Jerry.

 

Patrick



#22 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:40 AM

Jerry,

 

The user manual can probably partially answer one of my questions but it would be better to ask you directly...  

 

I often use the EXOS-2GT manually...  releasing those clutches and then engaging them slightly adds just the right amount of tension to be perfect for very smooth nudging in any direction.  Is it possible to use the iEXOS-100 manually just as easily and smoothly?  

 

Also, I don't see EXOS-2GT type clutch releases on the iEXOS-100...  I assume it is more like the Losmandy models with the knob on the back and the knob at the top of the counterweight bar... correct?  

 

Thanks again, Jerry.

 

Patrick

Hi Patrick,

 

Yes, the iEXOS 100 has a refined clutch system identical to the clutches on the G11 where you can smoothly adjust the amount of friction. This allows you to push on the mount if you need to without having to release the clutch on either axis and maintain enough friction so that it doesn't slip when slewing the mount with the motors.

 

I am glad you got your laptop working with Stellarium as you wanted. Hopefully it will now provide consistent performance without all the restarts and reboots.



#23 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 12:44 PM

Hi Patrick,

 

Yes, the iEXOS 100 has a refined clutch system identical to the clutches on the G11 where you can smoothly adjust the amount of friction. This allows you to push on the mount if you need to without having to release the clutch on either axis and maintain enough friction so that it doesn't slip when slewing the mount with the motors.

 

I am glad you got your laptop working with Stellarium as you wanted. Hopefully it will now provide consistent performance without all the restarts and reboots.

Thanks for the info, Jerry.  I'll probably order the iEXOS-100 tonight or tomorrow. 

 

Another thing I like about the iEXOS-100 is the position of the declination motor being centered in front of the telescope mount saddle.  Using lighter telescopes on the EXOS-2GT with its motor off to the side makes it impossible to perfectly balance the telescope.  That little bit of off-balance weight probably doesn't matter much but the perfectionist in me always makes me a little leery and I probably waste too much time trying to get the balance as best as possible.  I keep saying I'm going to come up with a way to mount some off-axis counterweights to counter the weight of the motor but I haven't done it yet.  As I said, I know it is probably unnecessary.  

 

Thanks again, Jerry.

 

Patrick



#24 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 07:28 PM

The iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight User Manual is available now at: https://explorescien...plore-documents

 

Thanks for your interest!


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#25 PatrickVt

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 09:43 PM

The iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight User Manual is available now at: https://explorescien...plore-documents

 

Thanks for your interest!

Thanks for posting the link to the manual.  

 

I had one more question which I did not see answered in the manual though...  the 12v power jack...  is it the same size as on the EXOS-2GT?  (5.5mm x 2.5mm)  Or is it a 5.5mm x 2.1mm jack?  I just want to ensure I have all the right parts and pieces here before I order everything.

 

Thanks again.

 

Patrick




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