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

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#551 moxican

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 07:37 PM

Hi guys.

I have recently acquired a AT90 EDT and looking for a fairly light and easy to set up mount for AP with it. I am an intermediate astrophotographer, polar aligning, platesolving and such is not intimidating to me, as a matter of fact that is how I prefer doing my AP sessions.

Now this scope is not a light one. The OTA only is like 11.5 pounds. I have put the entire package (scope, mounting rings, camera, guide scope, guide camera) together and weight it, it clocks in at 17.5 lbs. I know that the recommended weight for AP is 15 lbs, but did anyone tried AP over 15 lb with the iEXOS 100?

The native focal length of the AT90 is 600 mm.



#552 Devonshire

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 08:59 PM

Moxican,

 

Well, there's payload weight, and there's payload weight... :-)

 

Here's what the product page says:
 

 

Approx. 9 lbs (equipment weight only),15 lbs Photographic (equipment and counterweights); Approx. 19 lbs Visual (equipment and counterweights)

 

There certainly have been folks on the PMC8 support forum that have pushed beyond the spec and done surprisingly well, but YMMV.  Jerry has posted up-rated iExos-100 capacities for folks using larger tripods in the context of ES's azimuth adjuster. My reading of that chart is that you're probably into an ST3 tripod (2" legs) for that much payload, exclusive of counterweights.  

 

Rather than uprating the iExos-100, might as well just get an EXOS2 PMC8 if that's the weight you want to carry from the get-go.  Comes with the ST3 tripod and sufficient counterweights, and the mount's rated for it.

 

- Bob



#553 moxican

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 10:04 PM

Thanks for the info Bob. I followed up on it and checked out the PMC8 support forum. I found this: https://espmc-eight....45318,ct=1&ct=1

 

Here Jerry mentioned a couple of interesting thing. Namely:

1.  The motor drive/pulley system and the motor current setting is the same as the larger EXOS 2 mount.
2.  Placing the iEXOS 100 mount into the adapter plate and larger tripod provides a stiffer base that reduces flexure significantly.

 

Furthermore:

I think that based on these characteristics of the iEXOS 100, that you would end up with a mount system with the tripod and plate upgrade that would come within a few pounds of the EXOS 2 mount in terms of capacity and performance.
Currently the nominal mount equipment capacity for the iEXOS 100 is 15 lbs for visual use, and around 11 lbs. for astrophotography. This could be increased by probably 30-50% up to 23 lbs. for visual use, and maybe 17 lbs. for astrophotography.

So if you wanted to push this mount's performance up to nearly 20 lbs. of equipment you would need to buy the adapter plate, an ST2 tripod, and an extra counter-weight. The carrying capacity may even be more with the ST3 tripod that comes with the EXOS 2 PMC-Eight mount.

 

Just like you have mentioned the tripod update will help a lot. I am suprised to read that the belt and drive system is the same as the larger EXOS 2. I have a tripod from my NEQ6 which is mounted permanently in my observatory. Would that work with the iEXOS 100? I don't really know the specs of a ST3 tripod.



#554 Devonshire

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 10:38 AM

Moxican,

 

You're welcome!  Yes, the motors and pulleys are common to both.  The PMC8 modules in the iExos-100 and EXOS2 are different physically, but functionally the same except for some communications (wired/wireless) differences. 

 

I've no idea whether the EQ6 tripod will work or not, but they do look similar to an ST3.  I see a peg rather than a fin, for the AZ adjuster to work against, but that's neither here nor there. It's whether the dimensions are similar enough that things fit as they should, and I simply don't know about that.



#555 Ethanwyh

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 09:23 PM

Merry Christmas all!
I tried my best to time this project to coincide with this holiday season, however rain and clouds in the tropics here almost made this impossible. My first time trying out this target, quite a fair bit of a challenge i'd say.
Nevertheless, I'm quite happy with this.
In this picture: NGC2264 (Fox Fur Nebula, Cone Nebula, Christmas tree Cluster)
Reason for choosing this target was due to the Christmas tree star cluster (right side), which can be seen enveloped in dust tendrils and clouds of ionised gas.
Narrowband (SHO) Hubble palette
12h 36mins of exposure time
3h 46min Ha
4h 50min Sii
4h Oiii
QHY 183M
William Optics Z61
Explore Scientific iExos-100
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ethanwastro/
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ethanyh/
Taken in Singapore

https://astrob.in/2ydx1t/0/

 



#556 asanmax

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 02:42 AM

Nice Christmas Tree Ethan, just in time!smile.gif

That's a lot of time you spent on collecting the light, amazing!



#557 asanmax

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 02:54 AM

I had some clear sky last night and ended up shooting two targets: the Pleiades and M42.

Also wanted to do a test imaging at ISO 3200 and see how the mount performs when it's cold outside.

I was wondering if the grease was good enough to not make the mount too stiff for autoguiding.

All went very well, as usual. Actually a bit better as I noticed that guiding was smoother for some odd reason.

The guiding was so flawless that I ended up using all 100% lights for stacking.

Here is a result from a very short session on M42, combination of three different exposures:

30x10sec @ ISO3200

17x60sec @ ISO3200

10x150sec @ ISO3200

Canon T3i Ha modified

Lens: 3M-5CA, 500mm F/8

CLS filter

Bortle 8

Stacked series separately and combined in PhotoShop to even up the nebula core.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Final.JPG

Edited by asanmax, 27 December 2019 - 02:55 AM.

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#558 nwww66

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 11:08 AM

Merry Christmas all!
I tried my best to time this project to coincide with this holiday season, however rain and clouds in the tropics here almost made this impossible. My first time trying out this target, quite a fair bit of a challenge i'd say.
Nevertheless, I'm quite happy with this.
In this picture: NGC2264 (Fox Fur Nebula, Cone Nebula, Christmas tree Cluster)
Reason for choosing this target was due to the Christmas tree star cluster (right side), which can be seen enveloped in dust tendrils and clouds of ionised gas.
Narrowband (SHO) Hubble palette
12h 36mins of exposure time
3h 46min Ha
4h 50min Sii
4h Oiii
QHY 183M
William Optics Z61
Explore Scientific iExos-100
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ethanwastro/
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ethanyh/
Taken in Singapore
https://astrob.in/2ydx1t/0/



#559 nwww66

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 11:09 AM

Please the number of exposure and each exposure time for each narrow band filter.

#560 Danoglide63

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 03:17 PM

Hi Patrick,

 

The 12 Vdc jack is the 5.5mm x 2.1mm one:

 https://www.digikey....ords=CP-037A-ND

 

The center pin is + (positive) and the barrel is -  (negative, common).

Hi Jerry,

My iEXOS PMC-Eight will be here Wednesday. I came across this post here and I wonder if the Celestron power tank and/or the 110v-12v dc 5 amp power cord will be ok to use.

Thanks,

Dano



#561 caballerodiez91

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 02:52 PM

Hi,

I tried to use the app explore stars with the Explore Scientific iEXOS-100 PMC-Eight.

I did everything mentioned in the web, but the app doesn't work. It says 'files missing'.

Any help is appreciated.

I already asked amazon for refund, so I will probably return it back.

Cheers.



#562 wanthalf

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 03:13 PM

Hi, no need to return the mount, it has nothing to do with it. You just need to download and install the database files into the proper location, either on an external SD card or the internal storage. It is a bit awkward to have to deal with this, but there are much more difficult pitfalls in the usage of go-to mounts than installation of the application.

BTW, the application should run well also without the database, but you will not be able to search for objects and navigate to them automatically, of course.



#563 caballerodiez91

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 03:18 PM

Hi, no need to return the mount, it has nothing to do with it. You just need to download and install the database files into the proper location, either on an external SD card or the internal storage. It is a bit awkward to have to deal with this, but there are much more difficult pitfalls in the usage of go-to mounts than installation of the application.

BTW, the application should run well also without the database, but you will not be able to search for objects and navigate to them automatically, of course.

Thanks for your answer.
Yes I extracted the files into the pictures folder. Still says data missing.

Any help is appreciated.

Cheers.


Edited by caballerodiez91, 05 January 2020 - 03:19 PM.


#564 wanthalf

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 03:34 PM

No, not into the picture folder! It must be copied into the external SD card as described in the documentation. OR, if there is no external card, into the internal application path. If you are quick enough, you can watch the error message to find out the path the application is trying to open.

 

If the path starts with "/storage/emulated/0/...", it is the internal storage and the full path is "/storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com.explorescientific.explorestars/files/ExploreStars" (there can also be a shortcut through the somewhat confusing path "/sdcard/..." instead of "/storage/emulated/0/...").

 

If the path looks like "/storage/XXXX-XXXX/ExploreStars" ("XXXX-XXXX" is a code of your SD card and it varies), then you need to place the "ExploreStars" folder with the database contents directly into the root of your external SD card, as described in the documentation.



#565 caballerodiez91

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 04:41 PM

No, not into the picture folder! It must be copied into the external SD card as described in the documentation. OR, if there is no external card, into the internal application path. If you are quick enough, you can watch the error message to find out the path the application is trying to open.

 

If the path starts with "/storage/emulated/0/...", it is the internal storage and the full path is "/storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com.explorescientific.explorestars/files/ExploreStars" (there can also be a shortcut through the somewhat confusing path "/sdcard/..." instead of "/storage/emulated/0/...").

 

If the path looks like "/storage/XXXX-XXXX/ExploreStars" ("XXXX-XXXX" is a code of your SD card and it varies), then you need to place the "ExploreStars" folder with the database contents directly into the root of your external SD card, as described in the documentation.

Sorry I'm not using android, but a laptop.

Their website says 'Unzip the download and place the ExploreStars folder in your user account Pictures directory'.

Doesn't work for me.



#566 wanthalf

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 04:51 PM

Oh, sorry, I forgot about the other platforms again! Then we must hope for help from some Windows user...



#567 asanmax

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 05:16 PM

Alright, I have the app working perfectly fine on both Android tablet and Windows computer.

On the Windows machine I have the following folder structure:

 

The Explore Stars folder is located here:

C:\Users\"username"\Pictures\ExploreStars

 

Please see the attached image for the folder structure

Capture01.JPG

 

Capture02.JPG

 

 



#568 Danoglide63

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 07:56 AM

Alright, I have the app working perfectly fine on both Android tablet and Windows computer.

On the Windows machine I have the following folder structure:

 

The Explore Stars folder is located here:

C:\Users\"username"\Pictures\ExploreStars

 

Please see the attached image for the folder structure

attachicon.gifCapture01.JPG

 

attachicon.gifCapture02.JPG

I have done the same thing you have but haven't got the mount in my hands yet. I'm finally seeing Please Wait,that took a whole day to show. I assume that's because there's no mount yet? BTW will my Celestron power tank safely run the mount?

 

Thanks,

Dano


Edited by Danoglide63, 06 January 2020 - 07:57 AM.


#569 asanmax

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 11:17 AM

I have done the same thing you have but haven't got the mount in my hands yet. I'm finally seeing Please Wait,that took a whole day to show. I assume that's because there's no mount yet? BTW will my Celestron power tank safely run the mount?

 

Thanks,

Dano

I think once you get your mount connected to your computer it will be fine.

Just connect the mount to your computer, then wait for about 15 seconds, then launch the app.

 

Any DC 12V source will work if it has at least 2A output. My mount runs on a 110V power supply 12V/5A.

 

Edit: just tried to launch the app without the mount connected, it shows 'Please Wait'. So I guess you're on the right track.


Edited by asanmax, 06 January 2020 - 11:18 AM.

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#570 asanmax

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:07 AM

One thing I've noticed over the years of receiving parcels is that the delivery companies don't care if it's a stone or a precise instrument inside the box. Even with a red "FRAGILE' sticker the boxes look like they have gone through a war. This rough delivery takes its tall on the instruments. It is a good idea to adjust the worm gear mesh along with the belt tension before you start using the mount. I figured it out!

It takes just one good bump or drop for the worm gear to go out of alignment. I had some backlash in my mount and was able to tune it so there is virtually none now, of course it takes some time but I don't mind and sometimes enjoy taking things apart.

Waiting for your report now, mtbkr123!



#571 mtbkr123

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:44 AM

Ok, I have had the mount for 5 days now and still haven't gotten it out under the stars yet, due to
rain and clouds (what a surprise !!) So i have been practicing with it inside, doing a  rough alignment to polaris using a compass and doing 2 and 3 star alignments just to get the feel of the app and mount.
The first thing I noticed was that it made a grinding sound from the DEC drive when slewing and the RA belt was skipping ( I popped the little covers of of both of the drives to peep inside while it was slewing. This was after I balanced My ST80 on the mount.
I had found a link to a video in another message on how to take the covers off and adjust the belt. When I got the covers off
I found the RA motor block screws ( 4 screws ) were loose so the belt was very loose, I tightened the belt and adjusted the worm, It was too tight, it would bind in several spots in a 360 rotation, and adjusted both pulleys so the belt would run in the center and not rub. done with the RA on to the DEC.

The DEC worm was too loose and the pulleys were not aligned either, fixed those issues.
So it now runs quiet and smooth when it slews or tracks.

I am concerned about how the RA motor runs in little jumps though, and I wish it came with enough counterweights to balance a 9 - 10 lb scope which is well under the 19lb visual weight limit.

I'm looking forward to actually using it outside !!
The mount looks to be well built and has quality parts, but just a heads up the quality of assembly work on this one was very bad.

Derrell.



#572 mtbkr123

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:49 AM

Hi Asanmax,

You are correct in how the delivery companies handle packages, actually when I unboxed the 

mount both of the snap on covers over the belts were loose in the box !!

Hopefully the weather will clear up soon.



#573 lpaelke

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:56 AM

I've had this mount now for a couple of days (most of which have unfortunately been cloudy), and so far I’ve been mostly pleased with it.
However, I really did miss an azimuth adjuster.

So I’ve designed and printed one myself.

It can be mounted on the tripod using the M8 thread which is already there for no apparent reason. (No, it doesn’t seem to be a setscrew, since it doesn’t really press against anything.) The adjusting screws then push against the altitude adjuster. This is probably not a perfect solution, but it works for me.
If you want to try it yourself, you can download my design for an azimuth adjuster from thingiverse.

Lutz



#574 Devonshire

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 12:18 PM

Lutz,

 

ES does have an azimuth adjuster for this mount now.  I'm surprised that they didn't do an announcement post here...

 

https://www.explores...djuster-adapter



#575 Astro_Mac

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:43 PM

Lutz,

 

ES does have an azimuth adjuster for this mount now.  I'm surprised that they didn't do an announcement post here...

 

https://www.explores...djuster-adapter

Oh, they did.
Not as an announcement, but Jerry mentioned it a while ago
 




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