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CEM40EC & iPolar review

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#101 Tristarcapt

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:37 PM

Good call!  I checked RAW and increased the exposure time and was able to see the display get washed out in white as I boosted the exposure time.  Unchecking RAW had it go black again.  So at least I know the camera's working.  Hopefully weather will cooperate and I'll be able to get out and really check it out soon.

 

And you're right, that's some funky contrast enhancing software they got running when RAW is unchecked.

 

Scott

I believe iPolar has some image enhancement running in background. Only that can explain why the stars have such a high contrast on my screen.

 

There's a check box in the settings, saying "display raw image". By checking that you might get the same effect as from pole master. 

 

Let me know if that works.



#102 tbcgeorge

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 08:30 AM

Thank you Greg, this is the best comment I received so far, you just made my day:)

 

I'm currently on vacation, the next episode will come in 2 weeks.

 

 

Your videos are great. I can't wait for the next one. Better then Netflix!

 

Greg


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#103 tbcgeorge

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 08:39 AM

Thank you Doug!

 

Galaxy will be a whole new challenge, if you're talking about 1500mm+ focal length.

 

My friend has a CEM60+Edge HD 8", which worked great. It would be great if I can grab his OTA and put on my CEM40ec, but that will probably happen in another 4-5 months.

 

But for sure I'll keep posting the results of my new 22lb (FL=500mm) OTA here.

 

It will be great to see your results with your future OTA. Currently I only have an AT80EDT for imaging which is comparable to your current setup, but I am looking at a larger OTA for galaxies which would be in the same range as the one you have on order. I have debated on whether the CEM40 is the right upgrade for me or the CEM60. I'm leaning toward the CEM40EC based on my financial situation. I am still saving my pennies so I will patiently watch this thread. Your feedback is valuable! Good Luck!



#104 tbcgeorge

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 08:40 AM

Glad it helps. Good luck with the first light!!

 

Good call!  I checked RAW and increased the exposure time and was able to see the display get washed out in white as I boosted the exposure time.  Unchecking RAW had it go black again.  So at least I know the camera's working.  Hopefully weather will cooperate and I'll be able to get out and really check it out soon.

 

And you're right, that's some funky contrast enhancing software they got running when RAW is unchecked.

 

Scott



#105 starbob1

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for all your info and video's. Really great.  Do you know how far the CEM40 will track past the meridian. Thanks



#106 dapalmer

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:44 AM

Thank you Doug!

 

Galaxy will be a whole new challenge, if you're talking about 1500mm+ focal length.

 

My friend has a CEM60+Edge HD 8", which worked great. It would be great if I can grab his OTA and put on my CEM40ec, but that will probably happen in another 4-5 months.

 

But for sure I'll keep posting the results of my new 22lb (FL=500mm) OTA here.

Actually I'm looking at more like 900mm f/l with a 5" refractor but the weight is close to the same. I guess that really is not apples to apples but I'd still like to know. I'm sure the length of the OTA will affect the moment so it won't be a straight comparison. 



#107 DonBoy

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 10:53 AM

Reading the Quick setup manual it looks like one has to make physical changes to the saddle to switch between Vixen or Losmandy dovetails.  It requires flipping the locking sides and exchanging screws of different lengths.  I don't have to do this on my CEM60 or AZMPro.

 

'6.  Install  Telescope:  CEM40  is  equipped  with  a  5”

iOptron Universal Saddle. It can receive either a Vixen
or a Losmandy‐D plate by flipping both locking sides. 
This  unique  adjustable  dovetail  saddle  enables
centering the scope to the center of the saddle. 
The  following  graphics  show  how  to  change  the
dovetail saddle to fit either Vixen or Losmandy plate.'

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 11.49.31 AM.png


Edited by DonBoy, 02 May 2019 - 10:54 AM.


#108 ron scarboro

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 06:31 PM

That saddle thing looks like a cluge.  Is it such that an ADM saddle couldn’t be attached instead?



#109 Michael Covington

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 06:59 PM

That saddle thing looks like a cluge.  Is it such that an ADM saddle couldn’t be attached instead?

ADM will probably jump at the chance to make an aftermarket saddle!



#110 tbcgeorge

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:56 AM

Thank you!

 

I haven't tested that yet, but it does go past meridian for a while and then get stuck (camera touched my tripod). I think there's a setting in the mount to control that, and there's a setting in my Sequence Generator Pro to do a meridian flip.

 

 

Thanks for all your info and video's. Really great.  Do you know how far the CEM40 will track past the meridian. Thanks


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#111 tbcgeorge

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:04 AM

I do agree this design is inconvenient. I remember the iOptron folk from NEAF told me there's those marks to make sure your OTA is centered on the saddle, but didn't mention why they designed this flipping thing. My guess is to keep the payload as close to the saddle as possible, even for just 1 inch...

 

 

Reading the Quick setup manual it looks like one has to make physical changes to the saddle to switch between Vixen or Losmandy dovetails.  It requires flipping the locking sides and exchanging screws of different lengths.  I don't have to do this on my CEM60 or AZMPro.

 

'6.  Install  Telescope:  CEM40  is  equipped  with  a  5”

iOptron Universal Saddle. It can receive either a Vixen
or a Losmandy‐D plate by flipping both locking sides. 
This  unique  adjustable  dovetail  saddle  enables
centering the scope to the center of the saddle. 
The  following  graphics  show  how  to  change  the
dovetail saddle to fit either Vixen or Losmandy plate.'

 

attachicon.gif Screen Shot 2019-05-02 at 11.49.31 AM.png



#112 ron scarboro

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:40 AM

They had to put enough space under the saddle to flip the unit, so not sure that they accomplished the "closer" goal.  Is the right side of the saddle adjustable?  If not, then that whole tickmark thing is nonsense.

 

I'm pretty crabby this morning.  I think I'll have another coffee.

 

PS: Love the mount though.



#113 SteveGR

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 10:12 AM

I do agree this design is inconvenient. I remember the iOptron folk from NEAF told me there's those marks to make sure your OTA is centered on the saddle, but didn't mention why they designed this flipping thing. My guess is to keep the payload as close to the saddle as possible, even for just 1 inch...

It's puzzling.  It wouldn't have to be an inch taller, not even close.  I can't imagine it would be much cheaper to make. shrug.gif


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#114 spokeshave

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 01:23 PM

I have to admit that the whole flippable saddle thing looks like a solution in search of a problem, but I may be missing something. The up-side is that most people (I think) have standardized on one type of rail, so the saddle will likely only need to be configured once.

 

Tim


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#115 amoncayo

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:33 PM

That saddle thing looks like a cluge.  Is it such that an ADM saddle couldn’t be attached instead?

The saddle thing actually works well. It only requires swapping two pairs of screws. It makes for a compact, low-profile dual saddle. It took just about three minutes to swap/align the saddle.

 

I vote for it being a nice feature. Too bad it is on the short side, in terms of overall length. Then again, it is only a 40 lb mount. I'm not planning on putting my 12" RC on it.. Lol. The 8" RC, though, tipping the scale at about 28 lbs with accessories, hasn't stressed the mount in any way.

 

Al



#116 amoncayo

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:37 PM

Thanks for all your info and video's. Really great.  Do you know how far the CEM40 will track past the meridian. Thanks

It will track up to 14 degrees (56 minutes clock time) past the meridian. In fact, it is +/-, so it can stop or flip up to 14 degrees before the meridian if one chose that scenario.

 

Al



#117 amoncayo

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:39 PM

They had to put enough space under the saddle to flip the unit, so not sure that they accomplished the "closer" goal.  Is the right side of the saddle adjustable?  If not, then that whole tickmark thing is nonsense.

 

I'm pretty crabby this morning.  I think I'll have another coffee.

 

PS: Love the mount though.

The side that has the markings is the "stop". The other side, with the knobs, is simply to clamp the rail to the stop. This makes perfect sense to me and it works.

 

Al



#118 amoncayo

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 02:51 PM

Thanks Doug!

 

Yes, it's 1.5" and I think it's sturdy enough with my ~20lb gears. I extended only half of the lower part of my tripod. iOptron told me they will release a Tri-pier for CEM40 later this year. That might be the upgrade I'll consider. I'm using it as a portable mount to carry around, so 1.5" tripod is definitely a proper start.

Hi,

 

Mine is 2" tripod. I had a bit of under-damped settling response the first night I had it out. This, of course, was while I tinkered with the mount, scope, focus, etc.. while guiding.

 

I realized that the root-cause was the little rubber caps that were at the tripod feet. Once I removed them, all was better. Quite a bit better. I'm wondering if the little rubber caps were simply there for protection (not sure thought because the metal is not pointy) or whether iOptron intended for them to be used in-situ? I vote to remove them. I had the mount set up on a concrete pad in my back driveway.

 

Al


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#119 amoncayo

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:04 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.

Ron,

 

I use a CEM120 and the 40EC. So far, I see that they are so closely related in feature set that they are almost indistinguishable. I agree with folks stating that the go-to-zero command is king.

 

Finding and setting zero must only be done once, at time of mount installation. After that, a simple go-to-zero moves it to a known-good reference. My pointing on both mounts has resulted in placing the targets within the FOV. This has been true even on my 120, with the 12" RC and its tiny FOV of approximately 20'.

 

I do not do any kind of star alignment. I do clear any pointing model from the mount, however. Then, using CdC and APT, I can point, slew, plate solve, fine adjust to center (using APT's aim feature), and sync very quickly.

 

Al


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#120 Michael Covington

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:45 PM

I am glad to hear the 40 is more like the 120 than the 60 -- my impression is that the 120 is a more sophisticated product.  Is that your impression?

Also, now that there are a good many 40s in circulation, are people still happy with them?  Anyone disappointed anywhere?


Edited by Michael Covington, 08 May 2019 - 08:44 PM.


#121 leadman1

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:52 PM

Thanks for the videos and these posts!  Regarding Ipolar, you mentioned it only has to be aligned once. If you aligned it to the polar north, and then traveled to the s.hemisphere with it, would you need to do another polar alignment to the polar south? 

 

I recently traveled to the s.hemisphere and couldn't polar align easily which sucked. The ipolar/cem40ec looks like it'd be perfect for AP down there. Thanks!


Edited by leadman1, 09 May 2019 - 09:53 PM.


#122 Michael Covington

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:09 PM

The iPolar has to be aligned to the mount only once.  The mount has to be aligned to the pole every time you set it up.


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#123 tbcgeorge

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 09:50 AM

Hi, thanks for the comments! 

 

Michael is right, the once in a life time thing for iPolar is aligning it to your mount, but as for polar alignment, you need to do it everytime you moved your mount.

 

As for the s.hemisphere alignment, according to iOptron's spec, it should be as easy as in the north, coz it uses multiple stars and real-time plate solving to identify the virtual north/south pole.

 

 

I guess there should be a switch in the software to identify which hemisphere you are, I'll check that for you when I get home.

 

 

Thanks for the videos and these posts!  Regarding Ipolar, you mentioned it only has to be aligned once. If you aligned it to the polar north, and then traveled to the s.hemisphere with it, would you need to do another polar alignment to the polar south? 

 

I recently traveled to the s.hemisphere and couldn't polar align easily which sucked. The ipolar/cem40ec looks like it'd be perfect for AP down there. Thanks!



#124 tbcgeorge

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 09:53 AM

Yes, like Al said, the right side of the saddle is adjustable, and there're marks to help identify how much distance you adjusted and to sync both screws.

 

They had to put enough space under the saddle to flip the unit, so not sure that they accomplished the "closer" goal.  Is the right side of the saddle adjustable?  If not, then that whole tickmark thing is nonsense.

 

I'm pretty crabby this morning.  I think I'll have another coffee.

 

PS: Love the mount though.


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#125 tbcgeorge

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 09:56 AM

Thank you Al for sharing your tips!

 

It's great to have another CEM40 owner under this thread:)

 

It seems you're satisfied with your CEM40ec too, that's great!

 

Hi,

 

Mine is 2" tripod. I had a bit of under-damped settling response the first night I had it out. This, of course, was while I tinkered with the mount, scope, focus, etc.. while guiding.

 

I realized that the root-cause was the little rubber caps that were at the tripod feet. Once I removed them, all was better. Quite a bit better. I'm wondering if the little rubber caps were simply there for protection (not sure thought because the metal is not pointy) or whether iOptron intended for them to be used in-situ? I vote to remove them. I had the mount set up on a concrete pad in my back driveway.

 

Al




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