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Discouraged and looking for a new mount

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#1 zakry3323

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 01:29 PM

Hi folks. 

 

Several weeks ago I took a chance on a used Exos2gt that I had some great plans for- a DIY hypertune, EQmod motors, and a complete strip and paintjob. With bearings on both axis I was hoping to end up with a decent travel mount for wide-ish astrophotography with my FRA400.  

 

Well, long story short, the RA axis had been taken apart previously, and put back together a real mess. Stripped, marred threads on the RA assembly made removing the nut impossible with the tools I had - I actually sheered off one of the pins on the spanner.

 

Having missed a recent rare stretch of good imaging weather, I'm feeling down in the dumps with egg on my face. I'm re-selling my hypertune and EQmod kits to try to recoup some money on this failed venture.  

 

With a new round of stimulus checks likely on the horizon, I feel like this could be a good opportunity to pick up a new lightweight mount without breaking the budget. I'm thinking about the new PCM8 version of the Exos2 (Though there's a very bad taste left in my mouth, I understand that the new version is a completely different mount than it's predecessor), or the CEM26. It may come down to whichever of the mounts might be available, and I do think that I should purchase sooner rather than later (when the other bottom-feeders like me suddenly have enough money for a mid-tier mount) before they become even more scare. 

 

Between the two, what would you choose? 

 



#2 Sandy Swede

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 01:50 PM

In your decision making process, I suggest you do the following:  Call tech support and/or customer service at both iOptron and ES with a standard question about the mount in question.  The responses you get (or don't get) will inform your decision making process.  After-the-sale support, to me, is just as important as the gear quality itself.  Just my opinion.  You can PayPal me the two cents.  lol.gif


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#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 01:52 PM

Hi folks. 

 

Several weeks ago I took a chance on a used Exos2gt that I had some great plans for- a DIY hypertune, EQmod motors, and a complete strip and paintjob. With bearings on both axis I was hoping to end up with a decent travel mount for wide-ish astrophotography with my FRA400.  

 

Well, long story short, the RA axis had been taken apart previously, and put back together a real mess. Stripped, marred threads on the RA assembly made removing the nut impossible with the tools I had - I actually sheered off one of the pins on the spanner.

 

Having missed a recent rare stretch of good imaging weather, I'm feeling down in the dumps with egg on my face. I'm re-selling my hypertune and EQmod kits to try to recoup some money on this failed venture.  

 

With a new round of stimulus checks likely on the horizon, I feel like this could be a good opportunity to pick up a new lightweight mount without breaking the budget. I'm thinking about the new PCM8 version of the Exos2 (Though there's a very bad taste left in my mouth, I understand that the new version is a completely different mount than it's predecessor), or the CEM26. It may come down to whichever of the mounts might be available, and I do think that I should purchase sooner rather than later (when the other bottom-feeders like me suddenly have enough money for a mid-tier mount) before they become even more scare. 

 

Between the two, what would you choose? 

Between those two, the CEM26, and it's not a close call.  The Exos2 PM8 is basically an ancient mount with fancy electronics.   With modern data acquisition software, the fancy electronics are not needed.  The CEM26 does everything you could want a mount to do, and does it better, it's a state of the art design for low end mounts.  Either the hand controller or the iOptron Commander software has a 4 line RA and DEC display, that makes platesolving a breeze.

 

Re the above.  You do NOT call iOptron tech support, you email them.  If they're working on your mount (unlikely, but it happens), they won't be interrupting your work to answer the phone.  They're quite responsive by email. 

 

I've bought 3 iOptron mounts, have been happy with all the mounts, and the customer service.  They fix things (had to do that once) at reasonable cost OR are willing to work with you to DIY a repair and avoid shipping, where possible.  Parts prices are also reasonable, they usually have the parts in stock.


Edited by bobzeq25, 08 March 2021 - 02:01 PM.

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#4 zakry3323

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 03:40 PM

Between those two, the CEM26, and it's not a close call.  

Thanks Bob. I suppose I'm just going to go with the CEM26 then. They're mostly out of stock, so I think I'm just going to grab the one with the 1.5" tripod instead of the larger version, and maybe I can buy a case separately in the future. 


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