My iEXOS-100 arrived this evening and here are some of my first impressions after assembling it and playing with it indoors:
- Assembly is simple and straight-forward.
- The tripod is very lightweight. Even the mount itself is rather lightweight. I'm coming from an EXOS-2GT and a Celestron CG-2/3 and I was surprised by how lightweight this mount is even when assembled. My first impression is that the tripod is actually a bit too lightweight and plastic-y but it might be suitable for my lightweight telescopes. There is no wobble nor any loose fittings so it seemed stable albeit lightweight. I won't know how stable it actually is until I can get it outside to do some viewing.
- I mounted a Celestron 70mm refractor with diagonal and an eyepiece... balanced it... the clutches were smooth and easy to work. Smooth clutches are important to me and I liked these clutches. This first payload was lightweight at around 3.75 lbs. Tomorrow I plan to mount my Skywatcher Evostar 72mm refractor which will weigh in at about 4.75 lbs. The counterweights were located about a third of the way down the counterweight shaft with the Celestron 70mm mounted. The shaft is short and the counterweights are rather lightweight so I'm thinking that for payloads in the 10-15 lb range, you would probably need additional counterweights. My thoughts, right now, are that my Explore Scientific ED 102mm will not work on this mount... at least not without extra/heavier counterweights and being balanced perfectly.
- I connected my Talentcell power bank... powered it on... then realized that I need to connect my mount to my MS Surface's wifi... did that... started Explore Stars... I may have done something in the wrong order because it wouldn't connect on the first shot. I had to turn everything off again... then on... it connected quickly the second time around though. (I stopped for a dinner break but my third attempt at connection worked as expected.)
- I chose a target using Explore Stars.... and clicked the "Slew to Target" button... the mount immediately whirred to life... a silky smooth whirring... I was immediately impressed! Compared to my EXOS-2GT (non-PMC) this new mount is very smooth. I slewed to a few targets and it seemed exceptionally smooth and sure. Of course, I'm indoors so I do not know how accurately the GoTo worked but it is silky smooth with a soft whirring sound. By comparison, my EXOS-2GT (non-PMC) sounds a bit gravel-y, coarser while slewing. Maybe I'll put together a short video in the next couple of days to compare the sounds of each.
So far, I'm quite impressed with this little GoTo mount! It is lightweight, which is what I wanted. It operates very smoothly. Control with the Explore Stars app is easy. The info within the app about each target is a nice feature too.
I hope to play around with it some more tomorrow and I'll add more info here as necessary.