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Tony

Ioptron mounts

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Since getting into this hobby, I've moved through several mounts beginning with a Meade LX90 on a wedge, ETX125, Vixen SX Star Book, Celestron CGEM and now a iOptron CEM60, its been a frustrating journey but learned a lot along the way. My last durable mount was the CGEM with which I took many satisfactory images with guiding that allowed up to 15 minute sub frames on a pier mounted in my light polluted area of metropolitan Los Angeles, California, Pasadena actually. After about 6 years the CGEM movements were getting a  bit sketchy and from time to time fount it had a mind of its own when trying to align it to the night sky. So I started looking about for a replacement. I settled on a portable light weight iOptron CEM25 for my lighter optical tubes. This experiment proved very successful with smooth opteration and exceptional guiding performance one aligned to the north celestial pole which was fairly easy with the given polar scope. I was so impressed with its smooth operation and ease of use, that I decided on replacing my pier mounted Celestron with its big brother, the CEM60. I had to have a new adapter block made to secure it to the pier, but once set up it has turned out quite well following a few pilot error hiccups. Pay attention to the owner's manual when plugging in the cables! I plugged my Starlight Express guide camera into a power outlet by mistake and seem to have fried the connection from it to the scope. A GPUSB cable and box from Shoestring Astronomy has become a very good work around so it now works great. I'm impressed with the smooth operation and guiding I have gotten with this set up as being ligh years ahead of my prior struggles. I don't like to endorse products because your experience might be quite different, but so far this has exceeded my expectations. I use a Celestron 9.25" SCT, Stellarvue 102SV refractor and  Celestron 6" SCT on this set up. Its a bit too robust to balance m 66mm Williams optics refractor, which resides happily on the smaller CEM25P.

IMG_1471 mount.JPG

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Endorse away buddy. If something is well built and good value for money, then share it around I say. Its handy to know because I'll be in the market mid next year for a portable mount or a wide field tracker to place a DSLR on. 

Ray

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I plan to use my CEM25P for DSLR tracking of milky way shots. I had an AstroTrac gadget that really worked well but it was a bit bulky and not as flexible as the iOptron light weight mount. Once aligned I think I can take 5 minute subs with my DSLR without guiding if I use a wide angle lens. with a guide camera and PHD the graph is very flat.

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I am looking at the Vixen Polarie or the iOptron Sky Tracker. I really need a digital camera before Christmas.

Regards

Ray

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A quick question Tony, is your mount the  CEM60 or CEM60EC? At the moment I am having issues with my SWNEQ6 and "IF" I can talk the minister of finance and war into it I might be able to purchase a new mount. These CEM mounts might be a viable cheaper alternative to going to a premium mount which I will never convince the minister into. lol.

Shane

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The EC must be phenomenal as it reportedly can take images without guiding, however as you can see on this map of the graph, with minimal guiding the CEM60 is really the best I've ever used by a long shot. I am used to seeing some sawtoothed motions recorded on the lines of both axes on the graph, but this mount seems to be able to track superbly, and for the price its hard to beat. I've used the smaller CEM25P with this  same 4" refractor with similar guiding results. That is why I bought its bigger brother for my 9.25" SCT and 80mm guide scope. Its load capacity is listed I think at 60 pounds which is a lot, so i'm using only about half of that on my pier. Erratic guiding messed up some much time and effort in the past, that having this thing just perform so smoothly with no hassles, makes the tediousness of imaging go away. I'm using an OPT TRIAD filter that eliminates a lot of light so exposures here run 12-20 minutes per frame. In each session I've had not bad frames due to tracking errors. Even on its flip at the meridian, the target is dead center in the field of view... have to re-calibrate the guiding for the opposite hand, but it works flawlessly.

If I sound enthusiastic about it, its because I've spent 8 years fighting all manner of mount deficiencies!

 

cheers, I think the minister would approve of this purchase and hopefully you'd have similar good fortune using it!

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On 02/03/2019 at 9:18 AM, Tony said:

If I sound enthusiastic about it, its because I've spent 8 years fighting all manner of mount deficiencies!

I know this pain and feeling well mate. 

Ray

 

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