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CEM40EC & iPolar review

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340 replies to this topic

#51 Skymind

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:12 PM

To my knowledge, iPolar does plate solving in real time as long as it can resolve 4 star or more within an area of the north pole. I ordered but have not received my iPolar.



#52 tbcgeorge

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:35 PM

You're totally right. it does real time plate solving to recognize where the virtual north pole is. According to iOptron (and we kind of tested it during the demo in NEAF), it only needs to have 4 stars in its 14 degree FOV to identify the virtual north pole. I will try to test this again with some real obstructions, but has to be a bit later.

 

 

To my knowledge, iPolar does plate solving in real time as long as it can resolve 4 star or more within an area of the north pole. I ordered but have not received my iPolar.



#53 ron scarboro

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 01:53 PM

Cool looking mount, but I'm totally unfamiliar with iOptron. 

 

If you declutch and manually move a CEM40 does it lose its position?  I just read that the new Mach2 (different mount I know) doesn't.

 

I used to like the old Losmandy push to.

 

Thanks,

 

Ron



#54 OldManSky

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 02:41 PM

Cool looking mount, but I'm totally unfamiliar with iOptron. 

 

If you declutch and manually move a CEM40 does it lose its position?  I just read that the new Mach2 (different mount I know) doesn't.

 

I used to like the old Losmandy push to.

 

Thanks,

 

Ron

Yes, if you declutch and move it manually, it loses its position.  

If you have a hand controller with rapid movement though, and GOTO, why would you declutch and move manually?


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#55 tbcgeorge

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 02:43 PM

CEM40EC has encoder on RA only, but Mach2 will have encoders on both axis.

 

I'll try that tonight, but my guess is you'll lose its position even on RA.

 

 

Cool looking mount, but I'm totally unfamiliar with iOptron. 

 

If you declutch and manually move a CEM40 does it lose its position?  I just read that the new Mach2 (different mount I know) doesn't.

 

I used to like the old Losmandy push to.

 

Thanks,

 

Ron



#56 tbcgeorge

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 02:56 PM

Agree, not sure why this is a concern. If I unclutched by mistake, i would rather move it back to home position and do "set zero position" and start again.

 

Plate solving or 1 star alignment won't take much time.

 

 

Yes, if you declutch and move it manually, it loses its position.  

If you have a hand controller with rapid movement though, and GOTO, why would you declutch and move manually?


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#57 ron scarboro

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:11 PM

Not really a concern, just curious.  I'm looking for a pretty simple GOTO grab and go, so probably will opt out of the EC anyway.



#58 tbcgeorge

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:17 PM

The beauty of EC is on the accuracy of tracking and being less dependent on guiding. If you don't need that, a non-EC version will be good enough.

 

 

Not really a concern, just curious.  I'm looking for a pretty simple GOTO grab and go, so probably will opt out of the EC anyway.



#59 Skymind

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 12:31 AM

Cool looking mount, but I'm totally unfamiliar with iOptron. 

 

If you declutch and manually move a CEM40 does it lose its position?  I just read that the new Mach2 (different mount I know) doesn't.

 

I used to like the old Losmandy push to.

 

Thanks,

 

Ron

You need both axes with encoders to do push-to. The big brother CEM120EC2 has push-to function. 



#60 cfichter

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 04:15 AM

Great review, Ben, and thank you for the videos!  All are great -

 

I'm interested in your results first posted (the PHD2 data) -

How did you do your balancing?  Did you east-heavy balance RA? Did you off-center balance DEC?

I'm not familiar enough with iOptron or the CEM mounts, if they have anything that keeps the wormgear engaged tight especially during ascension.

 

Did you run the auto-tuning wizard in PHD? I forget what it is called off hand - this will help with determining the right settings based on your mount activity.  Looking at your settings (the little white boxes across the bottom) looks like maybe you haven't and you still have the default values in there. Might help.

 

I'm impressed out of box with the mount and what you achieved, very attractive mount there.

 

I agree with others, try to get high snr star for guiding with a sharp peak profile non saturated -- you can see a little image of your guide star in the 'Star Profile' window of PHD for the star peak, although I can't remember if that shows up default in PHD2 - you might have to click an option to see the Star Profile window. You want a rough, sharp pointy star profile to get best tracking performance.  There are some good guiding/tuning threads floating around here on Cloudynights, here is a link to a great pdf file with tips from the PHD2 site: http://openphdguidin...best-practices/

 

With your image scale with the WO 81, with ~.38 overall error you are rocking it as it is - that is more than enough to get awesome tight stars, but I agree, I think with practice you'll get even better tracking going over time. I still am a mere novice in guiding but improving steadily.

 

thx again - this review and the videos are a  nice contribution to the community.


Edited by cfichter, 17 April 2019 - 04:28 AM.


#61 otis4411

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:27 AM

Will they offer the cem40ec without the tripod? I see the cem40 offered without it but not the cem40ec.

#62 tbcgeorge

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 12:58 PM

Just posted another video about iPolar with 50% obstruction. Have to say it works amazing!

 

 

https://youtu.be/P69TpJM3p7U


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#63 tbcgeorge

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 01:01 PM

Thank you for your comments and questions. I'll answer them in the next video to be posted tonight or tomorrow. The short answer is: it works great and it's not picky. smile.gif

 

 

Great review, Ben, and thank you for the videos!  All are great -

 

I'm interested in your results first posted (the PHD2 data) -

How did you do your balancing?  Did you east-heavy balance RA? Did you off-center balance DEC?

I'm not familiar enough with iOptron or the CEM mounts, if they have anything that keeps the wormgear engaged tight especially during ascension.

 

Did you run the auto-tuning wizard in PHD? I forget what it is called off hand - this will help with determining the right settings based on your mount activity.  Looking at your settings (the little white boxes across the bottom) looks like maybe you haven't and you still have the default values in there. Might help.

 

I'm impressed out of box with the mount and what you achieved, very attractive mount there.

 

I agree with others, try to get high snr star for guiding with a sharp peak profile non saturated -- you can see a little image of your guide star in the 'Star Profile' window of PHD for the star peak, although I can't remember if that shows up default in PHD2 - you might have to click an option to see the Star Profile window. You want a rough, sharp pointy star profile to get best tracking performance.  There are some good guiding/tuning threads floating around here on Cloudynights, here is a link to a great pdf file with tips from the PHD2 site: http://openphdguidin...best-practices/

 

With your image scale with the WO 81, with ~.38 overall error you are rocking it as it is - that is more than enough to get awesome tight stars, but I agree, I think with practice you'll get even better tracking going over time. I still am a mere novice in guiding but improving steadily.

 

thx again - this review and the videos are a  nice contribution to the community.



#64 dapalmer

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:52 PM

Will they offer the cem40ec without the tripod? I see the cem40 offered without it but not the cem40ec.

$2848 for CEM40EC with hard case and ipolar. No tripod. Directly from Ioptron. I haven't seen this offering from any of the distributors yet.

 

https://www.ioptron....t-p/7420eca.htm


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#65 dapalmer

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:02 PM

This mount would look awesome on the red tri-pier. They should bring that option back. JMO


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#66 tbcgeorge

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:06 PM

Exact! They told me on NEAF that a dedicated tri-pier will come this fall.

 

I'm also interested with Avalon's T-pod 110. It's much more portable. Just a bit expensive...

 

 

This mount would look awesome on the red tri-pier. They should bring that option back. JMO


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#67 tbcgeorge

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 07:37 PM

Here's the 2nd part of my review on CEM40EC, focusing on guiding and unguided exposure, as well as cable management.

 

Hope this answers some of the previous questions under this topic:)

 

 

https://youtu.be/_LxDIc_RJwk


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#68 aneeg

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 02:24 AM

Great report on a most unusual mount re price and quality. I will go for the EC version myself.

 

Arne



#69 GregKo

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:11 AM

Love your videos Ben. Thanks!

 

Greg - NJ



#70 tbcgeorge

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:16 AM

Thank you Arne! I think that's a great choice:)

 

Great report on a most unusual mount re price and quality. I will go for the EC version myself.

 

Arne



#71 tbcgeorge

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 08:20 AM

Thank you Greg. This is the first time I use Final Cut Pro to edit my video, the rendering file counted 50G! But it deos help to present my contents:)

 

 

Love your videos Ben. Thanks!

 

Greg - NJ



#72 dapalmer

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 05:52 PM

I appreciate the videos, Ben!  I am following this thread with interest.

I am still saving up to get one. Your posts make me think I may want to save a little longer to get the EC version. Still undecided on that detail. 



#73 niccoc1603

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 06:14 PM

What is the advantage of the EC version?

#74 gotak

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 06:26 PM

What is the advantage of the EC version?

1) ioptron provides a tighter PE spec. Due to the encoders.

2) I theory if you use the right approach you could achieve unguided for some specific conditions and focal lengths.

3) Even if you use it like a regular mount it allows for less aggressive guide settings. So you can for example use longer guide exposures, useful if you are running off an OAG and have few stars to choose from.

4) Should be a better behaved mount with fewer surprised under guiding.

Edited by gotak, 20 April 2019 - 06:27 PM.

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#75 tbcgeorge

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:17 PM

Thank you Doug!

 

My last mount was AVX too, used it for 2 years. And just after 2 nights with CEM40ec, I would say CEM40ec is definitely a big upgrade on every aspect. I used to take 2-minute subs in my backyard, and I have to dump 1/3 of them because of tracking/guiding problem. Now I'm very confident that it won't be the case anymore:)

 

 

I appreciate the videos, Ben!  I am following this thread with interest.

I am still saving up to get one. Your posts make me think I may want to save a little longer to get the EC version. Still undecided on that detail. 


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