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New Mount on the way!

beginner EAA equipment mount
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#1 Seaquel47

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:56 PM

After several months to digging through Cloudy Nights forums and trying to understand my needs, wants and desires (my biggest problem) I decided to get the iOptron AZ Mount Pro.  It is supposed to be here later this week and I can't wait.  My goal is to get into EAA and to create a setup to use for outreach programs.  I plan to mount the TV-85 first in order to learn and understand the mount and sky.  Later I may de-fork the Meade 8" and get a camera to play with.  

 

Up until recently I was leaning strongly towards a Sky Watcher AZ-EQ6 or the smaller AZ-EQ5 but changed my mind for better or worse.  I found some good references on how to interface the Sky Watchers to a computer using EQMOD,EQDIR but now it appears that the process will be different for the iOptron so it is back to the research.  These forums are such a great resource and the help is great.


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#2 Gary Z

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 01:02 PM

Congrats.  Your new mount should be awesome for EAA. 

 

Of course, you'll have to wait for the cloud nebulas to pass during the standard bad two weeks after getting astronomy gear...lol.

 

Gary



#3 StarmanDan

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 01:59 PM

Later I may de-fork the Meade 8" and get a camera to play with.  

The iOptron AZ won't handle the 8" SCT for photography outside of planetary images.  You need an EQ mount to do DSO imaging well.  Do you have an EQ wedge for the fork?  If you decide to de-fork it, you'll need something more in the class of at least an AVX or Orion Sirius mount.  Preferably an Orion Atlas.



#4 Seaquel47

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 03:12 PM

Gary you are right, when I got the Meade, the rainy season began.  

 

Dan, I plan to do imaging with the TV initially and I'm prepared to go to a heavier mount if necessary.  Right now portability is a bigger concern.  This is strictly an ALT-AZ mount so serious imaging will have to wait.



#5 OldManSky

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:49 PM

Congrats :)

 

BTW, there isn't a whole lot of research that needs to be done to connect the mount to software or your computer.

 

Get the iOptron ASCOM drivers/Commander ( https://www.ioptron....cles.asp?ID=295 ).

Get an RS-232 to USB cable with an FTDI chipset (I like this one: https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ).

Install the drivers/software.

Plug the cable into the mount and computer.

Enjoy.

 

For other software, just pick the iOptron mount in the ASCOM mount list.  Easy-peasey :)


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#6 Seaquel47

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:37 PM

The iOptron AZ Mount Pro has finally arrived!  I've got it charging now and plan to run it through its paces indoors for starters.  I do like the way it is packaged.  We travel a lot in an RV and this should be a good mount to travel with.  I got the bag for the tripod and the mount comes in a nice carrying case.  In fact I discovered a star party in Mississippi right after we travel there for a wedding next month.  Thinking seriously about going.



#7 Seaquel47

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:48 AM

I've had the new mount out for several nights now with the TV-85 and I really like the way it performs.  It is very quiet and the setup is a snap.  I was mildly disappointed the first night with the goto accuracy.  I re-read the documentation and it emphasized the importance of leveling.  The next night I spent more time on the leveling and discovered that mounting the scope after the initial leveling threw the level off.  Now with more careful leveling the goto is spot on.  I ordered the optional (they shouldn't be) knobs for the azimuth locking ring and found it needs to be very tight otherwise a casual bump of the scope will knock it out of position.  I'm not impressed with the Vixen style mount.  It is convenient but several times I thought I had it tight only to have the scope try to slide out when I oriented it vertical prior to initializing.  That would not be a good thing!  I haven't tried to mount a second scope yet, I am waiting for mount rail for it.  Descott12 has posted some helpful info on this mount and I plan to get a hex lock screw for the secondary mount rather than use the provided knob.



#8 ken30809

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 12:33 PM

Does it come with a Losmandy saddle also? Or is it strictly Vixen?



#9 Seaquel47

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 03:56 PM

Does it come with a Losmandy saddle also? Or is it strictly Vixen?

 

The main saddle is a combination Losmandy and Vixen saddle.  The secondary saddle is strictly Vixen.


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