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FORGETFUL iOPTRON CEM70G MOUNT

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#26 DesertCrawler

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 09:18 PM

Thanks, That's something to consider. I will take a look.

 

Interestingly, I also have a GEM45G. Tell me you have a first run ZEQ25GT and it'll be spooky.

 

 

Check your internal wires for cracks or torn plastic shielding. You could be getting a short when something move in just the right place.

I bought a new GEM45 to go along with my CEM70G and found I had 3 wires from the factory that where sliced. One was only hanging on by a single thread of wire. This is what was causing my issues. I replaced the wires and all was good.

 

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#27 Blackhawk163

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 09:34 PM

I will try giving the mount 10A itself, just haven't done that because the data from the power monitor does not support expecting a different outcome. The mount never draws more than 3A and voltage is stable. Max current draw for the PBB is 4.3 at full tilt. That's a lot of overhead in each case.

Will report back if a stiffer power supply resolves the issue. If that doesn't work, I'll also try a single high current power supply to eliminate the possibility of ground loops due to differing ground potential.

I have total of 15A powering everything, 5A to the mount proper, 10A to everything else. The devices that disconnect from the CEM70G hub, or won't connect properly at all, are low power USB 2.0 devices. USB 3.0 devices, which are the two cameras, do not disconnect. This would not be the first time a manufacturer did not implement USB 3.0 backwards compatibility properly, or USB 2.0 for that matter. Speculation at this point, of course, and not ruling out power.


It's weird isn't it? I more or less know for a fact that I overloaded my system.

I had the asi 294mc pro, two dew heaters with no controller running at full power, the ipolar and mount all connected to the supplied 12v 5a power adapter supplied by Ioptron. The asi294 had the asi178mm connected to its usb hub. The zwo EAF 5v connected to one of the powered usb slots with the 294 connecting to the other powered one. All this did was cause disconnects from the cameras constantly especially when I would try to cool the camera and slew to a target.

This also blew the supplied power adapter. Since I've upgraded, no problems so far, and since I moved the majority of the usb stuff to the unpowered pass thru port via hub, I was able to attach a USB cooling fan set up as well with no issues.

Of course this doesn't mean that I won't find a smoldering mess one morning out in the middle of my observation platform. But it works and I'm happy with it so far.

Hopefully you can work out your gremlins.

#28 MikeCrapo

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 10:27 AM

Thanks, That's something to consider. I will take a look.

 

Interestingly, I also have a GEM45G. Tell me you have a first run ZEQ25GT and it'll be spooky.

No I donโ€™t have a zeq25gt, but I do have a cem25p. Lol.



#29 limeyx

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 07:18 PM

I think your random disconnects are due to power as well.

What I did was upgrade the psu to a 160w 15a ac/dc. Then (I have the non G version) I bought a usb3 charging capable 4 port hub and attached that to the non powered usb port on my mount, as I discovered for myself, that one acts as a pass through to the pc which I then plug into my pc's usb 3 slot from the ra port of the ipolar.

If anyone read my thread about NINA and this mount, they'd know that I had struggled mightily with random disconnects.

Now if I can get guiding down to past 1.0 consistently, I might start to not regret this purchase.

Quick question about NINA and the coordinates message I get., there's a mismatch between the pc and the mount, I usually push the values from the mount to NINA as opposed to letting NINA use its values. Is that correct?

I do the same thing with USB and power (from my 12V battery into the saddle power port powered by the RA, then I have a USB 3.0 hub (with a USB 2.0 cable out the back) into the unpowered USB port (all power comes from the power port)

 

Only had one night so far and no disconnects. Hopefully we will get some clear nights with no smoke this week



#30 Blackhawk163

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 08:31 PM

I do the same thing with USB and power (from my 12V battery into the saddle power port powered by the RA, then I have a USB 3.0 hub (with a USB 2.0 cable out the back) into the unpowered USB port (all power comes from the power port)

Only had one night so far and no disconnects. Hopefully we will get some clear nights with no smoke this week

I don't even power thr ra port anymore as the ipolar completely stopped working all together ๐Ÿ˜’ I don't have need for the 3rd 12v power supply port on the saddle at the moment, and so I don't miss it.

I'm glad everything is working out for you, save for the weather of course.

I'm also about to order a counterweight to truly make it 3d balanced. Currently it's balanced on the ra and Dec, however once I disengage the Dec clutch the OTA immediately starts to swing to one side.

Have you, or anyone else have had this problem?

#31 limeyx

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 01:14 AM

I don't even power thr ra port anymore as the ipolar completely stopped working all together ๐Ÿ˜’ I don't have need for the 3rd 12v power supply port on the saddle at the moment, and so I don't miss it.

I'm glad everything is working out for you, save for the weather of course.

I'm also about to order a counterweight to truly make it 3d balanced. Currently it's balanced on the ra and Dec, however once I disengage the Dec clutch the OTA immediately starts to swing to one side.

Have you, or anyone else have had this problem?


Yup. I had the same balance issue. I got an M8x1.25 threaded bolt and a bunch of nuts and attached it to the side of the saddle.

Unfortunately one bolt was not enough so I taped two together
Itโ€™s virtually perfectly balanced now but it does have a few orientations where it will move

I may need a bigger weight.

The best solution would be rings for my scope instead of the door. Then I could mount the guide camera centered and not off to one side. This would help balance a lot.

#32 pyrasanth

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 04:15 AM

Frankly, I do not know for certain. Perhaps someone here has tried to image at max payload.

 

I suspect the load capacities published by iOptron are not imaging load, but I have not tested that. I suspect 50lbs would be feasible though. I asked this very question of iOptron and was told 50-60% of rated load or maybe more would be a very reasonable expectation for imaging. It likely depends on focal length and other factors. I have up to 40+ lbs on it now with great results and believe it will take more. Good balance is key. My best guiding sessions are when everything is properly balanced.

 

Not the same class of mount of course, but I maxed out my ZEQ25GT in earlier days with an F/10 SCT. While it worked, it was very much hit and miss and very sensitive to balance. It is not the mount's fault. It works fine with a reasonable payload.

 

What size of 'scope are you considering?

I have close to 50 lbs on my CEM70G (A RASA V2 & parallax mount cage) and it works great- I don't think you will have problems with 50 lbs and may be a bit more.



#33 Blackhawk163

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 08:29 AM

Yup. I had the same balance issue. I got an M8x1.25 threaded bolt and a bunch of nuts and attached it to the side of the saddle.

Unfortunately one bolt was not enough so I taped two together
Itโ€™s virtually perfectly balanced now but it does have a few orientations where it will move

I may need a bigger weight.

The best solution would be rings for my scope instead of the door. Then I could mount the guide camera centered and not off to one side. This would help balance a lot.


Ah cool, I had ordered the adm saddle counter weight (side mount) system in hopes that I can make the micro adjustments on the fly. You're right about getting rings, to make balancing easier in the future.

#34 limeyx

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 10:59 AM

Ah cool, I had ordered the adm saddle counter weight (side mount) system in hopes that I can make the micro adjustments on the fly. You're right about getting rings, to make balancing easier in the future.

This one ?
 

https://www.admacces...ounting-option/

 

My plate is sadly too short to mount it. I used the hole in the saddle (M8) since I have the non-G, I have one each side.

However, finding enough weight was hard - I need something bigger, with an M8 thread but I dont know what falls in that bucket (I have some small nuts but they are not enough)
 



#35 mtenboer

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Posted 28 August 2021 - 07:47 PM

Here is a good solution for saddle counter weights.

I use this set of heavy washers with an M8 threaded rod on my CEM70.  The rod extends 6" from the saddle.  I put two nuts in the back and one in the front to lock in washers.  Easy to adjust.   I have not had to use all the weights, but of course it depends on where you locate your accessories on the OTA.

 

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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#36 DesertCrawler

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Posted 29 August 2021 - 12:10 PM

Just closing the loop on this since I have had sufficient time to arrive at what I believe to be the locus of the issue, and things are working reliably.

 

I realize a lot of people assume the inexpensive 12v 5A power supply provided by the mount manufacturer will drive everything plugged into it. That's not me.

 

As I believed based on the observed data -- always follow the data -- this was not a power issue. As mentioned a few times power was logged and power headroom was double the amount required. Peak load did not correlate to the loss of connectivity for a device, or time, or temperature. Also, Windows believes the devices are connected, and no events are logged by any related device driver or windows subsystem.

 

The only correlation I observed was the apparent loss of communication (only for one of the USB 2.0 devices) would occur eventually when one or more USB 2.0 devices were plugged into the USB 3.0 HUB on the back of the mount while the USB 3.0 imaging camera is also plugged into that HUB. USB 2.0 devices in question are a USB powered ZWO EFW, and a separately powered Pegasus Astro focuser.

 

The errant behavior has not been observed over several nights since changing to the following configuration: plug the two USB 2.0 devices to the USB 2.0 HUB on the ZWO camera, and plug only USB 3.0 devices (imaging camera and ZWO guide camera) into the mount's HUB. Also, works fine bypassing the mount HUB completely. It isn't the devices per se. It is not the cables.

 

The problem will generally reveal itself in <6 hours by plugging one or the other of the USB 2.0 devices in to the USB 3.0 HUB alongside the USB 3.0 camera.

 

There may be issue with the USB implementation in either the mount or one or more of the attached devices. This is unlikely to be iOptron's fault and more likely a USB chipset issue somewhere, possibly not in the mount's HUB.

 

Another possibility is EMI from the cables (all top quality and with ferrites) causing odd behavior.

 

I've seen odd behavior and compatibility issues in USB 3.x chipsets and 2.x backwards compatibility. Some of it may even be USB 2.x chipset implementations. The original ASI120MM is one example. I bought my first one in ~2013. It always worked well under Windows and linux. Now it won't function properly with modern USB 3.x chipsets even with revised drivers. It appears to be a hardware problem that ZWO so far has not addressed even in revised drivers. New ASI120MM cameras work fine.

 

Anyway, problem apparently solved for now.

 

 

I do the same thing with USB and power (from my 12V battery into the saddle power port powered by the RA, then I have a USB 3.0 hub (with a USB 2.0 cable out the back) into the unpowered USB port (all power comes from the power port)

 

Only had one night so far and no disconnects. Hopefully we will get some clear nights with no smoke this week


Edited by DesertCrawler, 29 August 2021 - 05:36 PM.

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#37 limeyx

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 04:25 PM

Here is a good solution for saddle counter weights.

I use this set of heavy washers with an M8 threaded rod on my CEM70.  The rod extends 6" from the saddle.  I put two nuts in the back and one in the front to lock in washers.  Easy to adjust.   I have not had to use all the weights, but of course it depends on where you locate your accessories on the OTA.

 

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I may try this. I have an M8 bolt with 4 nuts on it (they are quite small). It was not enough so I strapped 2 allen wrenches to it ! It's almost enough (yeah pretty ghetto)

 

I'm honestly not sure how "good" is good enough. Some positions for me are rock solid, some there is some movement (sometimes camera heavy sometimes scope)

I suspect the right solution is to change where my guider is mounted (currently on the diagonal bracket on the scope - since I came from the Skyguider and wanted low weight)

 

Mounting the guider vertically centered will mean I only have to offset the EAF which ought to be easier

 

I need to check my voltage also as I have a 12V input battery - maybe I am getting dropoff ?
 



#38 Blackhawk163

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 05:46 PM

So to work on the counter balance issue. I removed the 60mm guide scope and bought the ioptron 120mm one and replaced the asi178mm camera with the 120mm from my other setup. I then drilled an 8mm hole in the center of the guider bracket and installed an m8 rod through it and now it sits side mounted on the Dec.

 

On the other side of the Dec I have an m8 bolt loaded with SS nuts, and as you can see, on my edgehd 925 that I deforked, I used one of the fork arm bolt holes and loaded up a bolt with washers. This nearly gives me a perfect 3d balance, and yet PhD2 never goes below .8 total rms, with the average at 1+. Guiding assistant had me last night at a PA error rate of 1.0. Luckily I'm shooting with a hyperstar so stars came out really good due to short 60 sec subs. 

 

This mount is really trying my patience. I am going to change the guide cam with an asi174, and buy another CW, so that the existing one doesn't have to sit so low.

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#39 limeyx

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 07:00 PM

So to work on the counter balance issue. I removed the 60mm guide scope and bought the ioptron 120mm one and replaced the asi178mm camera with the 120mm from my other setup. I then drilled an 8mm hole in the center of the guider bracket and installed an m8 rod through it and now it sits side mounted on the Dec.

 

On the other side of the Dec I have an m8 bolt loaded with SS nuts, and as you can see, on my edgehd 925 that I deforked, I used one of the fork arm bolt holes and loaded up a bolt with washers. This nearly gives me a perfect 3d balance, and yet PhD2 never goes below .8 total rms, with the average at 1+. Guiding assistant had me last night at a PA error rate of 1.0. Luckily I'm shooting with a hyperstar so stars came out really good due to short 60 sec subs. 

 

This mount is really trying my patience. I am going to change the guide cam with an asi174, and buy another CW, so that the existing one doesn't have to sit so low.

I am just a beginner but would you not want an OAG or a much longer scope than this on this setup ?

 

I have a reasonable 3D balance but my payload is only 10 pounds or so.

 

With the ASI120MM-mini and a 30mm scope I am guiding in the 0.4-0.6 range (although some spikes that I am still wringing out)

 

I do have some PA slipping after a meridian flip (I think) and had to redo PA last night after the flip, which brought guiding down to high 0.3s

 

I'm able to do 20 min exposures but my focal length is only 360MM and I would usually never do anything that long (my star shape and size probably would not make many people on here happy also)

 

I hope you manage to figure it out. I am starting to really love this mount (except it forgets its park position and meridian settings and iOptron is blaming NINA)

 

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#40 Blackhawk163

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 08:26 PM

I am just a beginner but would you not want an OAG or a much longer scope than this on this setup ?

I have a reasonable 3D balance but my payload is only 10 pounds or so.

With the ASI120MM-mini and a 30mm scope I am guiding in the 0.4-0.6 range (although some spikes that I am still wringing out)

I do have some PA slipping after a meridian flip (I think) and had to redo PA last night after the flip, which brought guiding down to high 0.3s

I'm able to do 20 min exposures but my focal length is only 360MM and I would usually never do anything that long (my star shape and size probably would not make many people on here happy also)

I hope you manage to figure it out. I am starting to really love this mount (except it forgets its park position and meridian settings and iOptron is blaming NINA)


No can do with a hyperstar unfortunately. I'll have to look at my logs for when I had the .7x reducer on. I think it might have been at the .6-.8 range with the oag. The problem was that I had 3 cloudless nights (give or take)when I received it. So I didn't have much time imaging with it, and then the hyperstar was delivered, followed by more cloudy skies, and then power issues with the mount.

I have cloudless nights again, and I tweaked the balance a bit so fingers crossed.

#41 limeyx

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 08:40 PM

No can do with a hyperstar unfortunately. I'll have to look at my logs for when I had the .7x reducer on. I think it might have been at the .6-.8 range with the oag. The problem was that I had 3 cloudless nights (give or take)when I received it. So I didn't have much time imaging with it, and then the hyperstar was delivered, followed by more cloudy skies, and then power issues with the mount.

I have cloudless nights again, and I tweaked the balance a bit so fingers crossed.


Ugh yeah the weather is so frustrating sometimes. I hope you get it going.

#42 rgsalinger

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 04:10 AM

"No can do with a hyperstar unfortunately. I'll have to look at my logs for when I had the .7x reducer on." doesn't add up to me. You can't use the .7 reducer with hyperstar so you must have been trying to image with an SCT and a guide scope. That's not going to work. You will need two guiding setups, one for hyperstar and one for when you are imaging at F7. I feel that I'm missing something. 

 

In addition, looking at those setups, the cabling needs to be tidied up. I'd worry much more about getting the cabling right than 3D balancing. None of my systems has ever been 3D balanced particularly and they have all done at least OK. At the same time, danglind cables dragging on the ground can mess up any guiding solution. 

 

Finally, you appear to be setting up on soft ground which is not likely to be a good approach. Bring out some pavers so that you have a solid base or make sure that you have spiked in the ground so that the system does not move during the night. 

 

I think that if you are having trouble getting results, you should post a guide log and some raw subs to get help. If those were my rigs I'd be buying a quality USB hub and some Powerwerx components to clean up the cabling as my first step. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#43 Blackhawk163

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 09:54 PM

"No can do with a hyperstar unfortunately. I'll have to look at my logs for when I had the .7x reducer on." doesn't add up to me. You can't use the .7 reducer with hyperstar so you must have been trying to image with an SCT and a guide scope. That's not going to work. You will need two guiding setups, one for hyperstar and one for when you are imaging at F7. I feel that I'm missing something.

In addition, looking at those setups, the cabling needs to be tidied up. I'd worry much more about getting the cabling right than 3D balancing. None of my systems has ever been 3D balanced particularly and they have all done at least OK. At the same time, danglind cables dragging on the ground can mess up any guiding solution.

Finally, you appear to be setting up on soft ground which is not likely to be a good approach. Bring out some pavers so that you have a solid base or make sure that you have spiked in the ground so that the system does not move during the night.

I think that if you are having trouble getting results, you should post a guide log and some raw subs to get help. If those were my rigs I'd be buying a quality USB hub and some Powerwerx components to clean up the cabling as my first step.

Rgrds-Ross

You are missing something but I guess that's my fault really. So I'll explain.

My reply to the previous poster about using an OAG was based on the fact that I can't use an OAG because I'm using a hyperstar, the segue about using the .7x reducer was meant to imply a different setup that utilized an OAG when not using the hyperstar, because I know that you can't use anything connected to the back of the sct.

The scope has pavers for each of the tripod legs. Over grown grass obscures them on both setups. Although you can somewhat see the center pad on one if not both of the setups. That being written, maybe vibration pads will be needed.

Wires.
Since we've been having nothing but rain and generally poor weather where I am at, I had invested in Alex tech cable loom, and not powerwerx
The skywatcher eq6r (which has been guiding excellently) was being torn down to be moved to a different location on the property, and the sct was just mounted for an initial balance before the wires where tidied up and balanced again, obviously not shown.

Guiding was much better last night at .7 so to me, balance was the issue. I'll run it again once weather clears up in my area Monday. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿฝ

Edited by Blackhawk163, 04 September 2021 - 09:54 PM.


#44 Sitt

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 11:34 PM

I recently upgraded to the CEM70EC and also having one or two issues with the mount being forgetfull. I have a new battery in the handcontroller to test but I normaly use the mount without the handcontroller.However, to test last night I had the hand controller connected but still getting issues

 

At the end of a sequance in NINA I'm finding that the mount tends to forget its Park position (which I have set in Commander and NINA) and Parks in a horizontal position occasionally with the OTA facing backwards - I prefer a counter weights down Park position. I'm thinking there's an issue with the mount driver as this morning NINA reports that its waiting for the telescope to Park but never refreshes itself. I raised my issues on the NINA Dischord chat and was told that its up to the driver to report the position correctly. This issue has been ongoing for around 3 months since I purchased the mount. I've contacted iOptron support but they don't respond

 

By the way, loving the guiding (between 0.23-34 RMS using my Espirit 120 with ZWO LOAG & ASI 174mini)

 

2021-09-05_9-39-44.jpg



#45 limeyx

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 03:48 PM

I recently upgraded to the CEM70EC and also having one or two issues with the mount being forgetfull. I have a new battery in the handcontroller to test but I normaly use the mount without the handcontroller.However, to test last night I had the hand controller connected but still getting issues

 

At the end of a sequance in NINA I'm finding that the mount tends to forget its Park position (which I have set in Commander and NINA) and Parks in a horizontal position occasionally with the OTA facing backwards - I prefer a counter weights down Park position. I'm thinking there's an issue with the mount driver as this morning NINA reports that its waiting for the telescope to Park but never refreshes itself. I raised my issues on the NINA Dischord chat and was told that its up to the driver to report the position correctly. This issue has been ongoing for around 3 months since I purchased the mount. I've contacted iOptron support but they don't respond

 

By the way, loving the guiding (between 0.23-34 RMS using my Espirit 120 with ZWO LOAG & ASI 174mini)

 

attachicon.gif2021-09-05_9-39-44.jpg

Yeah something isn't right with either how the mount stores some parameters or some weird NINA interaction. iOptron said they think its NINA but the NINA devs disagree so ... I don't have a solution for this one yet



#46 rgsalinger

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Posted 07 September 2021 - 12:41 PM

Since my CEM120EC2 uses the same driver and handset and never has these issues, I am wondering how you are approaching getting going and whether a bit of workflow might fix all ths. When starting up always do a search zero and then park the mount wherever you want to. That should fix it. I do this every time I use my mount  and do not experience errors. 

 

I've used MaximDL and the SKYX to park the mount at the end of a session and never once had my mount fail to park. My guess is that it was not initially parked and unparked properly. That goes back to my other thought about searching zero and then parking. 

 

Remember you can end up in a pretty messy situation trying to park any mount counterweight down, when the mount has a soft zero position - it's easy for the mount to go counterweight up if you are a bit off.

 

To get in touch with iOptron don't call, send email. I have never in 11 years had them return a call (well maybe once). If they don't respond to me via email in 24 hours, I just send another one. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#47 limeyx

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Posted 07 September 2021 - 01:09 PM

Since my CEM120EC2 uses the same driver and handset and never has these issues, I am wondering how you are approaching getting going and whether a bit of workflow might fix all ths. When starting up always do a search zero and then park the mount wherever you want to. That should fix it. I do this every time I use my mount  and do not experience errors. 

 

I've used MaximDL and the SKYX to park the mount at the end of a session and never once had my mount fail to park. My guess is that it was not initially parked and unparked properly. That goes back to my other thought about searching zero and then parking. 

 

Remember you can end up in a pretty messy situation trying to park any mount counterweight down, when the mount has a soft zero position - it's easy for the mount to go counterweight up if you are a bit off.

 

To get in touch with iOptron don't call, send email. I have never in 11 years had them return a call (well maybe once). If they don't respond to me via email in 24 hours, I just send another one. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

Mine has no issue actually parking. It just "forgets" the position to park in (as well as how far past the meridian to stop tracking)

 

If those values are in the settings, it works great. It's just that sometimes I go to the commander and the values themselves are zero, so it doesn't know what to do

 

I did email iOptron and they said it was likely a NINA issue, which the NINA devs dont agree with



#48 Sitt

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  • Loc: Perth, Western Australia

Posted 07 September 2021 - 04:02 PM

Since my CEM120EC2 uses the same driver and handset and never has these issues, I am wondering how you are approaching getting going and whether a bit of workflow might fix all ths. When starting up always do a search zero and then park the mount wherever you want to. That should fix it. I do this every time I use my mount  and do not experience errors. 

 

I've used MaximDL and the SKYX to park the mount at the end of a session and never once had my mount fail to park. My guess is that it was not initially parked and unparked properly. That goes back to my other thought about searching zero and then parking. 

 

Remember you can end up in a pretty messy situation trying to park any mount counterweight down, when the mount has a soft zero position - it's easy for the mount to go counterweight up if you are a bit off.

 

To get in touch with iOptron don't call, send email. I have never in 11 years had them return a call (well maybe once). If they don't respond to me via email in 24 hours, I just send another one. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

I always do a search for the zero position and start my imaging session from that point. It doesn't make any differance to my CEM70EC it still forgets the set Park position. I even tried using the hand controller with a new battery (although I don't normlly use the handcontroller), makes no differance still forgets the set Park position.



#49 tocster

tocster

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 258
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2016
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 07 September 2021 - 05:39 PM

WRT parking, according to iOptron support, you can't park in zero position - it needs to be very slightly off (even a tiny bit) before it works.  I do this and it seems to have stuck.




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