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

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#501 asanmax

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 01:54 PM

So as I stated before, the longer focal length guide scope didn't bring in more accuracy in guiding. I swapped it with my home made 37mm/130mm scope and were able to shoot some frames of the Eastern Veil nebula before the clouds came in. I was aiming at about 100-120 frames but skies decided I needed more sleep time :)

A great mount and a great imaging scope combination. This time I waited for the scope to cool down so it would not go out of focus again.

Mount: iExos-100

Scope: ES ED80 Triplet, 80/480mm

Camera: Canon 450D

Guider: 37/130mm and AR0130 sensor

50x90sec exposures at ISO 1600

Bortle 8

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Final.jpg

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#502 PatrickVt

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 02:47 PM

Tripod (2") for EXOS-2GT, see adds...

 

What's with the same cryptic post in multiple forums?  I don't get it.

 

Patrick



#503 wanthalf

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 08:18 AM

First, your mechanical problem sounds like there is a bit of binding of your RA worm/wheel gear going on as it sounds like frictional load exceeds the motor torque when the speed gets to the maximum. If you are not comfortable adjusting the mesh (doing this yourself does not impact the warranty) then you can send it to us for adjustment. But I would suggest you watch this video  https://youtu.be/mLXE_BMKVAw and see if you could make a small adjustment to help your problem. 

Hi Jerry, thanks for the video. For the moment it seems the problem is solved. Let's see later in real use.

 

However, I also noticed a slight lash in the worm, but I am not able to turn the nut at the end in any direction, by any means - it is just completely stuck. Maybe I cannot find a proper tool either (but in the video you use just a plain coin, nothing special), but I am still afraid I would damage either the grooves of the nut or the the thin cable leading to the motor nearby.


Edited by wanthalf, 12 October 2019 - 08:19 AM.


#504 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:10 PM

Hi Jerry, thanks for the video. For the moment it seems the problem is solved. Let's see later in real use.

 

However, I also noticed a slight lash in the worm, but I am not able to turn the nut at the end in any direction, by any means - it is just completely stuck. Maybe I cannot find a proper tool either (but in the video you use just a plain coin, nothing special), but I am still afraid I would damage either the grooves of the nut or the the thin cable leading to the motor nearby.

Hi Wanthalf,

 

I would say first, do only what you are comfortable doing and make sure you have registered your equipment with us. We require that you register your product within 60 days of purchase, but we have not been strictly enforcing that provision. Once you have registered your mount with us, the warranty covers "authorized" repairs, of which a gear train adjustment is considered. If you are making a good faith effort to do an "authorized" adjustment to your mount and you somehow damage the mount there will most likely be no issue with you requesting an RMA and sending the mount back to us for adjustment/repair. You would be responsible for shipping it to us. If you wish to go ahead and ship it to us for adjustment as it is now, please contact our customer support at +1 (866) 252-3811 ext 2. Once you have registered your mount, you can also submit a trouble ticket at our customer support webpage  https://explorescien...upportsync.com/ for a warranty repair request.

 

Thanks



#505 wanthalf

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:41 PM

Mixed bag of reviews from what ive seen with the StellarMate. If im going to spend a couple hours on imaging, i rather not have it wasted. Seems like a hit or miss.


Could you possibly provide some links, please? (Or just hints... Well, of course I can search myself...)
I am mostly interested in the critical ones, of course. I suppose they would come from people with no experience with Linux environment and/or too high expectations from non-commercial open-source software. StellarMate charges even for their own Linux software distribution, which makes a false impression of a fully supported commercial solution, while they actually only provide the "packaging".

#506 kmaginn

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 04:37 PM

Are their any estimates on the increased weight capacity of the iExos-100 when mounted on the twilight medium or heavy duty tripod?  I am debating ordering the upgrade with the azimuth adapter, but do not see any estimates for weight capacity.  If it only increases a lb or 2 I don't want to throw money away.



#507 Jerry Hubbell

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 06:51 PM

Are their any estimates on the increased weight capacity of the iExos-100 when mounted on the twilight medium or heavy duty tripod?  I am debating ordering the upgrade with the azimuth adapter, but do not see any estimates for weight capacity.  If it only increases a lb or 2 I don't want to throw money away.

I have posted a table showing the improvement in capacity in a message posted on the PMC-Eight Groups.io forum. You can join it here:  https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN



#508 wanthalf

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 05:07 PM

Thanks Jerry, actually at the moment, the horizontal lash in the worm seems rather negligible, especially compared to the flexibility of the whole head on the tripod. I just wonder I cannot turn the nut by any means. But it seems to me there is something black visible in the thread of the nut. Are you not fixing the nut against random dis-adjustment by putting some glue into the thread, when exporting the products overseas, for example?

 

Another thing I wonder: I suppose the mount cannot be controlled by two wireless controllers at the same time (e.g. ExploreStars and a custom DYI joystick controller), can it? Maybe it could work by using the UDP protocol? But I suppose ExploreStarts does not support UDP, does it?


Edited by wanthalf, 21 October 2019 - 05:08 PM.


#509 Devonshire

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 05:17 PM

wanthalf,

 

Best place to get questions like these answered is over at ES's PMC8 support forum:

 

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN

 

Can't help with this myself - I run my PMC8 strictly wired and non-Explorestars, but there are some fairly creative folks over there. :-)


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#510 wanthalf

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Posted 26 October 2019 - 03:49 PM

Thanks, I am registered there as well, but it is just overwhelming and difficult to find a way through - and Jerry has been so helpful here as well. But you are right, I should try.

 

I just tried to connect to the mount with INDI over the network and failed. I also tried to telnet manually, but the mount just started to make strange noises (after sending the '%%%' command and until I entered '###') and I got no meaningful response to anything,... until it finally died completely. Now, I just hope I have only drained the batteries (10.3-10.5V measured) and not bricked the hardware completely... :-(



#511 Devonshire

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 01:43 PM

Wanthalf,

 

Well, mine doesn't like operating much below 11.0v, so if you're at 10.3/10.5v, then that would probably do it.  Do you have a 110v adapter for it?  Not sure whether they come with the iExos-100's or not, but I know ES has them and that would probably simplify your life.  

 

Anyway...  I'd suggest that once you have power of one kind or another, create a support forum post asking for help.  Connection and config issues come up and get sorted out pretty regularly.   I wouldn't worry about having bricked it just yet. :-)



#512 wanthalf

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 05:51 PM

Unfortunately, it seems to be dead. :-( I bought a power supply (rated 2250mA, measured 12.5V) and everything is the same. The red LED turns on, but the green one stays off and the typical humming noise does not come on anymore. I get connection to the WiFi and I receive an IP address from the mount, but that's all. No more telnet connection, no TCP nor UDP nor serial connection. No more control by ExploreStars either.

 

Am I just cursed or is it possible to destroy the device just by trying to establish communication with it? I will probably have to return it, unless I manage to revive it somehow (no idea at the moment). But did I some mistake I should avoid next time? I tried both TCP telnet and UDP - first without any response, but then I tried to turn on sending the CR (Carriage-Return) signal (the documentation does not mention the line-break format required!) and after the first '%%%' command I got some scrambled response, but that was the last one. I also noticed the strange noise from the motors without any visible movement at the same time. Further commands like 'ESGv!' returned no response anymore. Sending '###' seemed to stop the strange noise, but nothing else. After some while, the green LED turned off and the motor humming stopped, as well as the possibility to control the device by ExploreStars. A reset helped at first, but after a few trials, it does just not come on anymore...

 

So, at the moment I am lost. :-(



#513 asanmax

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 05:55 PM

The skies finally cleared up and I had 5 hours for shooting with my newly modified Canon T3i.
The camera was Ha modified and I couldn't wait to aim the telescope at the Crescent nebula.
Also wanted to get back to the Triangulum galaxy as I have never shot it at 1300mm.
I had a bit of time to shoot the Great Pegasus cluster before the clouds came in.
I was planning for more but as it usually happens, the skies covered in clouds at 1PM.

I don't think I ever ran the mount for 5 hours without PHD2 recalibration.
The targets were easy to find thanks to APT plate solving and shooting was a breeze, I used dithering on every frame.

 

Crescent Nebula
Scope: Celestron C5, FL=1300mm
Camera: Canon T3i modified
Guider: 37mm/130mm with AR0130 sensor
54x90sec exposures at ISO 3200
Stacking in DSS, processing in PhotoShop, 60% crop.
Bortle 8 city sky

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  • Final.jpg

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#514 asanmax

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 05:56 PM

Triangulum galaxy
Scope: Celestron C5, FL=1300mm
Camera: Canon T3i modified
Guider: 37mm/130mm with AR0130 sensor
36x90sec exposures at ISO 3200
Stacking in DSS, processing in PhotoShop, 70% crop.
Bortle 8 city sky

Attached Thumbnails

  • Final.jpg

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#515 asanmax

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 05:56 PM

The Great Pegasus Cluster
Scope: Celestron C5, FL=1300mm
Camera: Canon T3i modified
Guider: 37mm/130mm with AR0130 sensor
20x90sec exposures at ISO 800
Stacking in DSS, processing in PhotoShop, 50% crop.
Bortle 8 city sky

Attached Thumbnails

  • Final.jpg

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#516 Devonshire

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 06:52 PM

Wanthalf,

 

If you've got a power supply, then do a support forum post with a clear problem statement, or call ES Customer service, and it'll likely get sorted out.  



#517 wanthalf

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 09:39 AM

Yes, that is what I just did. But I also noticed (at the second and closer reading), that I completely misunderstood the meaning of the diagnostic mode, so that I might have changed some fundamental settings by trying wrong commands in this mode. So, it may be just my fault. It seems, that bad luck just follows me in everything related to this mount. Yet I like it more and more, the more I study the documentation. It seems really made for enthusiasts (unfortunately not for THAT stupid enthusiasts) and well documented - one just needs to read really well and also read all the additional notes, because some parts are quite difficult to understand at the first look or they do not always provide complete (and up-to-date) information on a single place.

Well, now I can just hope that ES will take me out of this deep s***.



#518 syckness

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 08:04 AM

Hello there!

I'm highly interested in this mount and read quite a few reviews, I also noticed some bad things said about the "original" tripod. I have 2 questions :

- Is it THAT bad, even for a setup like Canon 6D and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens and needs to be changed or it would be enough ?
- If it really needs to be changed, can a "normal" tripod such as Feisol CT-3442 be enough or it's better to choose ST2 or ST3 ($200 more :/ ) ?

Thank you and clear skies!


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#519 asanmax

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 11:14 PM

Hello there!

I'm highly interested in this mount and read quite a few reviews, I also noticed some bad things said about the "original" tripod. I have 2 questions :

- Is it THAT bad, even for a setup like Canon 6D and a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens and needs to be changed or it would be enough ?
- If it really needs to be changed, can a "normal" tripod such as Feisol CT-3442 be enough or it's better to choose ST2 or ST3 ($200 more :/ ) ?

Thank you and clear skies!

Hi syckness,

 

If you are planning to do astrophotography then the original tripod would be enough for your camera and lens. I currently image using a Celestron C5 and ES ED80 scopes with no issues. The mount can handle that load pretty well, just need an additional couterweight. I looked at the tripod you mentioned and think that it would be hard to use it with the mount, it just doesn't look solid enough and I can't think of a way to attach the mount to it. I would for sure go with either an ST2 or ST3 if I got to choose.



#520 Ethanwyh

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 02:42 AM

It's been awhile now but managed to snag a quick session with my new Z61 on the iEXOS 100.

 

 

NGC2244, Rosette Nebula on a QHY183M+ William Optics Z61+ Optolong 7nm Ha 1.25"

Thin high cover clouds were present thus the imperfections

 

Ha-NGC-2244--(For-web).jpg

 

Attached are my guide logs.

 

Attached File  PHD2_GuideLog_2019-10-26_014618.txt   385.01KB   9 downloads

 

P.S i adjusted the worm gear tension as advised previously, however, i do notice some slight trails for the fainter stars if you zoom in real close.

It's strange that my main stars are rounded but the fainter ones are slightly oblong. Would this be a classic case of flexture or guiding error?

My guide error was around 2-2.4 " if i remember them correctly. Guidescope is mounted directly on the OTA with a dual-ring holder, images are 2hours worth of 5mins subs.

 

Any help or advice is grealtly appreciated!


Edited by Ethanwyh, 31 October 2019 - 02:43 AM.

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#521 Devonshire

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 04:46 PM

Ethanwyh,

 

There really isn't enough detail in the little Rosette .jpg to show much in the way of flaws, so it must be good!  :-)    

 

[Really nice work on your Flickr/Instagram pages, BTW]

 

I did have a look at your PHD2 log, and I do see a couple of things there. 

 

PHD2 is not happy with your Polar Alignment (check the Drift tab in the log viewer), and that's borne out by the DEC corrections that always seem to be South and frequent, with North corrections only seeming to appear during a Dither, and not vey often at that.  So calming down the DEC corrections by improving your PA would probably help you. [Note: Seems like PHD2 *always* complains about the PA, so single digits and a bit more is pretty normal.  Yours is much larger, and the DEC corrections are pretty one-sided]

 

I checked the PHD2 doc and apparently yes, even when guiding, depending on where you point, how bad the PA is, and how big your sensor is, you can still have field rotation that PHD2 can't correct for.  So *maybe* that's a factor in your star problem.

 

Your RA is pretty active, too, but unlike the DEC, it's back-and-forth.  

 

If I look at the scatter diagram in the log viewer, it appears that seeing conditions weren't the best, so that won't have helped you. 

 

No real opinion on whether differential flexure is an issue for you, but my guess is that if it was, your guiding would look better and your imaging worse.

 

Other than that, general good-to-do-to-help-tracking stuff:
- Balance your scope and camera East-Heavy / Camera-heavy
- Tripod legs down
- Gears adjusted for close mesh without binding, in both axes.
- Belts adjusted snug and tracking down the middle of the small pulley, in both axes.

 

Hope this helps!

 

- Bob


Edited by Devonshire, 31 October 2019 - 04:48 PM.

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#522 Ethanwyh

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 08:05 PM

Ethanwyh,

 

There really isn't enough detail in the little Rosette .jpg to show much in the way of flaws, so it must be good!  :-)    

 

[Really nice work on your Flickr/Instagram pages, BTW]

 

I did have a look at your PHD2 log, and I do see a couple of things there. 

 

PHD2 is not happy with your Polar Alignment (check the Drift tab in the log viewer), and that's borne out by the DEC corrections that always seem to be South and frequent, with North corrections only seeming to appear during a Dither, and not vey often at that.  So calming down the DEC corrections by improving your PA would probably help you. [Note: Seems like PHD2 *always* complains about the PA, so single digits and a bit more is pretty normal.  Yours is much larger, and the DEC corrections are pretty one-sided]

 

I checked the PHD2 doc and apparently yes, even when guiding, depending on where you point, how bad the PA is, and how big your sensor is, you can still have field rotation that PHD2 can't correct for.  So *maybe* that's a factor in your star problem.

 

Your RA is pretty active, too, but unlike the DEC, it's back-and-forth.  

 

If I look at the scatter diagram in the log viewer, it appears that seeing conditions weren't the best, so that won't have helped you. 

 

No real opinion on whether differential flexure is an issue for you, but my guess is that if it was, your guiding would look better and your imaging worse.

 

Other than that, general good-to-do-to-help-tracking stuff:
- Balance your scope and camera East-Heavy / Camera-heavy
- Tripod legs down
- Gears adjusted for close mesh without binding, in both axes.
- Belts adjusted snug and tracking down the middle of the small pulley, in both axes.

 

Hope this helps!

 

- Bob

Hey Bob,

 

Taking the time to reply :) You're right, my PA isn't spot on as I live near the equator, so Polaris isn't visible to me. I did try drift alignnment but the azimuth adjustments are quite hard (e.g it's rather impossible t make micro adjustments)

 

Will try to perfect it regardless. And yes, seeing wasn't good, will it affect guiding by a lot? I'm starting to learn more about the different settings in PHD2 and as I heard, native settings won't always ive you the best results.

 

 

Will keep you and the rest here posted for any updates, hopefully those who face such issues in the future can refer to this :D

 

 

Cheers!

Ethan



#523 Devonshire

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 10:14 PM

 

And yes, seeing wasn't good, will it affect guiding by a lot?

Ethan,

 

Oh yes!.  What's basically going on w/PHD2 and your mount is the establishment of a closed-loop control system that uses the guide star as a proxy for the target that you're trying to image.  If the seeing is poor, then the guide star image appears to your guide camera to be moving randomly (see the scatter diagrams in PHD2 and the log reader), when really it's not.  Depending on how you have PHD2 set up, and the mechanical ability of the mount, PHD2 might happily try to chase it around, when the right thing to do might be to just stay the course and keep tracking.  

 

If you search around CN, you'll find lots of threads (and perhaps conflicting opinions) on how best to deal with bad seeing.  Sometimes, the right thing to do is adjust settings, and sometimes the right thing to do is just pack it up and go inside.   


Edited by Devonshire, 31 October 2019 - 10:16 PM.

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#524 asanmax

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 12:28 AM

Great job on Rosette Ethanwyh. Lots of detail.

If you're imaging at the same spot each time, you may want to consider to do drift alignment in PHD2 once and then mark the leg positions on the ground/concrete/pavement.

Next time you can just bring your mount out and start shooting right away.

I did drift alignment about a month ago at my backyard and noted the leg positions. Since then I just bring the mount out, let it sit outside for some time for the optics to cool down. Then just point at the desired object using APT plate solving and start imaging. Can't believe how easy it is now with this mount. And yeah, no Polaris for me as well.

Please keep sharing your experience, it's always interesting to learn from others.


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#525 Ethanwyh

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 01:25 AM

Ethan,

 

Oh yes!.  What's basically going on w/PHD2 and your mount is the establishment of a closed-loop control system that uses the guide star as a proxy for the target that you're trying to image.  If the seeing is poor, then the guide star image appears to your guide camera to be moving randomly (see the scatter diagrams in PHD2 and the log reader), when really it's not.  Depending on how you have PHD2 set up, and the mechanical ability of the mount, PHD2 might happily try to chase it around, when the right thing to do might be to just stay the course and keep tracking.  

 

If you search around CN, you'll find lots of threads (and perhaps conflicting opinions) on how best to deal with bad seeing.  Sometimes, the right thing to do is adjust settings, and sometimes the right thing to do is just pack it up and go inside.   

Sounds about right, tonight will probably be clear *fingers crossed*, so will definitely take note of these tips :)

 

 

Great job on Rosette Ethanwyh. Lots of detail.

If you're imaging at the same spot each time, you may want to consider to do drift alignment in PHD2 once and then mark the leg positions on the ground/concrete/pavement.

Next time you can just bring your mount out and start shooting right away.

I did drift alignment about a month ago at my backyard and noted the leg positions. Since then I just bring the mount out, let it sit outside for some time for the optics to cool down. Then just point at the desired object using APT plate solving and start imaging. Can't believe how easy it is now with this mount. And yeah, no Polaris for me as well.

Please keep sharing your experience, it's always interesting to learn from others.

Thanks asanmax! It's really encouraging hearing from you as if you recalled earlier on, newfiestargazer and your images gave me a sense of direction I was aiming for. 

 

Plan on collecting Sii and Oiii tonight with succesful drift alignment. Oh and btw, how were you able to make minor adjustments to the azimuth? It was quite a challenge for me to do so and it made me PA even worse on PHD2 (i gave up and decided to redo a rough PA with decent results)

 

Cheers!
Ethan




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