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IOptron CEM70 w/iPolar vs. CEM70EC

Beginner EAA Astrophotography Mount
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#1 JTNX01DC

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 10:29 PM

I'm looking to get an iOptron 70 and wondering just exactly what you get for the extra $1,500 in the EC version. I expect to use a LiteRock tripod but am open to alternatives.

Currently starting w/EAA but suspect it will devolop into full blown astrophotography in time. The mount is going to be supporting an 8" SkyWatcher Quattro + accessories. 


Edited by JTNX01DC, 21 October 2021 - 10:31 PM.


#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 10:41 PM

I had this decision when I got my CEM60.  Which is what I got.  Cost was not a factor.

 

I'm a big fan of iOptron.  But their implementation of precision encoders is rudimentary.  With most mounts, it's just on RA.  There's no complicated sky model. like on something like a 10Micron.  It matters.

 

So, EC is of limited usefulness.  I guide the CEM60, and that works well.


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#3 JTNX01DC

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 10:53 PM

I've heard that the iGuider can also be of limited usefulness depending on what scope one uses. Any truth in this?



#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 11:31 PM

I've heard that the iGuider can also be of limited usefulness depending on what scope one uses. Any truth in this?

All I can say is that opinions on the iGuider vary.  In many cases it simplifies.  I don't like things that may cease to work if I change my setup.



#5 Linwood

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 01:38 PM

I haven't followed ioptron closely lately but the CEM70"G" with G for guider was mostly about better USB setup thru-mount.  The iGuider was largely pointless for the type of imaging load for which most people would by a CEM70 vs CEM40.  Its optics were mediocre, the focus was an exercise in frustration that left you wanting to pound it with a hammer.  But I was pleased with the USB improvements the "G" had.

 

I never had experience with ioptron encoders, but from reading I echo @bobzwq25's thoughts: Encoders, done right, are great.  Doing it right costs a LOT of money, and ioptron price for them shows no indication they are investing in really good encoder implementations.  If you are guiding, I would pass, especially if only on RA (on DEC at least you get rid of all backlash). If you really want unguided imaging... maybe.


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#6 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 03:32 PM

I had this decision when I got my CEM60.  Which is what I got.  Cost was not a factor.

 

I'm a big fan of iOptron.  But their implementation of precision encoders is rudimentary.  With most mounts, it's just on RA.  There's no complicated sky model. like on something like a 10Micron.  It matters.

 

So, EC is of limited usefulness.  I guide the CEM60, and that works well.

I second that, CEM60 guided, works really well.


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#7 JTNX01DC

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 07:19 PM

Thanks for the input! When you say guided, do you mean iGuide or using your own guidescope?



#8 bobzeq25

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 10:11 PM

Thanks for the input! When you say guided, do you mean iGuide or using your own guidescope?

Usually with my own guidescope.  When I'm using my long focal length scope, a TE 130 F7, I use an off axis guider.  Both systems work about as well.

 

I wasn't tempted by EC.  When I got my mount iGuide did not exist, but I wouldn't be tempted by it either. 

 

But, note that I got a CEM60 5+years ago, and have been very pleased.  I have no other equipment that old.  I think it's still the best lightweight mount (25 pound head weight) there is.  At the time I got ir, I could have afforded a Paramount or an AP, they were too heavy for this old man.  <smile>  The CEM70 no doubt is better, and only weighs a bit more.

 

It started as a setup I setup/tore down in my backyard every imaging night.  It now sits on a portable pier in my observatory, has traveled to a total eclipse and Bortle 1 skies outside a cabin.  The only thing that's ever failed was the on/off switch (!), iOptron sent me a new board, and replacement instructions.


Edited by bobzeq25, 22 October 2021 - 10:15 PM.

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#9 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 02:19 AM

I use a guide scope. Also with the TS 130 mm F/7 which Bob happen to own also . Guidescope  60 mm F=280 mm with ASI 290 mm guide camera. As i never had guide issues sofar i assume this is a good combo.

 

Weight is for me also an issue. CEM60 is just over 12 kg but still quite managable, EQ6+ types are allready 16 kg.

 High end mounts  are always at least 25 kg , i can't manage that...


Edited by F.Meiresonne, 23 October 2021 - 02:22 AM.

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