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New iOptron GEM45 finally arrived! Comment and a Question.

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#1 DRK73

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:16 PM

I ordered this thing last November and it finally arrived. 

 

One lament/comment I have is that I would've liked a tool-less setup. I'm not looking forward to having to fumble with an Allan wrench on a frigid night as setup/takedown is going to take longer than I'm used to. I'm really used to the Celestron/Orion/Skywatcher kind of mount-tripod connection where there's a beefy central rod you screw up into the mount head; quick and no tools required (or that can get lost). It's a lot of turns on those two azimuth locking screws to get them into place. 

 

One question - the dual saddle: the manual makes it look like I need to remove/replace screws to use it in either Vixen or Losmandy mode - but I was able to swap in/out dovetails of either size without changing anything. So do I actually need to change anything on the mount to go from Losmandy to Vixen? 



#2 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:41 PM

I believe that the newer GEM45s have a better saddle design.

 

I hear you about the tools, that was actually one reason that I sold mine, but just in case you didn't notice: You did find the Allen key hidden in the side of the mount, right? It's still a tool but it's nice that it has a home and won't tend to get "as lost".


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#3 DRK73

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:51 PM

Thanks Ken, 

 

I did find the hidden Allen key. Not a deal breaker - especially since I haven't even had a chance to get the thing outside yet and get a feel for how it handles. 



#4 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 11:56 PM

I think you'll be pleased. Mine tracked well.



#5 starblue

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 02:18 AM

In late summer I got a GEM45G. Since then I gather that new GEM45's have been redesigned to match the GEM45G except they don't have the built-in guidescope. Mine has the standard dual Vixen/Losmandy saddle, not the flippy saddle. The ports are different, and the power plug is smaller. You are also right about the screws holding the mount to the tripod; the screws aren't knurled but very slippery, you have to contend with tiny black washers that can get jammed easily in the holes the screws fit into, and there's virtually no room to turn the screws even with their tool. A beefy central rod would be far preferable, as you stated. I got this mount to travel with, but I just can't see dealing with these tiny parts in the dark and cold in some distant location. At home I can assemble the thing indoors in light and warmth and carry it out to the backyard.

 

However, I must say 3-star alignments always work, the resulting go-to's point where they're supposed to, and it tracks well, and the motors are relatively quiet. I haven't had much opportunity to use mine either (our clear fall skies were negated by the California fires). I'm willing to give it a chance, but I'm disappointed it's so cumbersome to assemble and disassemble.


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#6 Tom3

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 06:52 AM

 

I'm not looking forward to having to fumble with an Allan wrench on a frigid night as setup/takedown is going to take longer than I'm used to. I

 

I do my major set up during the day, and just do the polar alignment at night.

 

Tom




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