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Author Topic: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC  (Read 3931 times)

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Offline psjshep

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1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« on: 17:45:08, 25 June, 2014 »
Well... after patiently waiting for what seems an ice age, my CEM60-EC (the "EC" denotes the high precision encoders with realtime periodic error correction) finally arrived.

Big thanks to Nick & Ian @ Altair for them keeping me informed of everything and the swift sorting out & dispatch of the equipment  :urock: :clap:

When it all arrived. it consisted of 2 boxes - 1 counterweight box & 1 with the mount in it

In with the mount was
  • power cord from the mount to a cigarette lighter type connector
  • bag with counterwight shaft lock bolt & 2 x studs
  • counterweight shaft
  • Go2Nova® 8407+ hand controller & cord
  • PE curve printout
  • Connector for mount to DB9 for firmware upgrades and/or PC control
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Offline psjshep

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2. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #1 on: 17:58:27, 25 June, 2014 »
In order to attach it to my pier, I had to drill & tap 2 x M8 holes approx. 130mm apart - these were for the 2 x studs included, which locate via a slot on each side of the mount to allow slight rotation in azimuth for polar aligning.

What I did find really snazzy was that any of the adjusters have holes along the direction needed for tightening/untightening and a small lever is included (almost hidden as it stores at the front of the mount) which fits into these holes to allow good torque when tightening... ingenious. The adjusters include the altitude knob, both capped nuts which fit on the 2 x studs (& the studs even have a hole through them to allow tightening on the pier plate!) - see 1st picture below




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Offline psjshep

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3. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #2 on: 18:06:18, 25 June, 2014 »
The unique design of the CEM means it looks odd when both axis are moving... and lets it carry a phenomenal payload... 

check out
      
this utube
of Paul Chasse who loaded his up with as close to the 60lbs as he could

Some more pics of the mount with my 102mm Triplet along with the normal camera gear on board





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Offline psjshep

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4. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #3 on: 18:15:40, 25 June, 2014 »
Naturally, the 1st night was cloudy, but I did manage a quick outing on the following night... I did post the output without making too much of a deal about what mount was involved...

See the image posting here

What I didn't really say in the posting was the amazing accuracy involved in the imaging - at the time, I had the ST4 cable plugged in between the Lodestar & the mount... the current ASCOM driver from iOptron for the CEM is not a hub & therefore I couldn't do the usual pulseguiding via the telescope driver. It didn't matter in the end as the actual guiding requirements were virtually nil!!! Just slight corrections due to polar drift - I was amazed!

Last night I managed to get a couple of runs with my PemPro, which I purchased a few years ago to help with the Celestron CGE mount I had - it really helped create a great PE curve for the PEC.

Details:
102mm Triplet (715mm fl) with 1.0x field flattener & a SXVR-H16 camera, giving an image scale of about 2.1 arc seconds per pixel
1 second exposures
2 complete worm cycles

The following is the analysis from that run... note: there is NO guiding involved in this data acquisition, and also note that the high's & low's are under 4 ARC SECONDS
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Offline psjshep

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5. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #4 on: 18:18:24, 25 June, 2014 »
Just for fun, I completed the analysis & got PemPro to generate a PE curve that would show what corrections were necessary to correct the errors...... I just laughed when I saw the output  :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Offline psjshep

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6. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #5 on: 18:26:30, 25 June, 2014 »
Finally, I think I have got to grips with the hand controller & it's control mechanism... Here are a few miscellaneous observations :

  • The software It is completely different from anything I have used before but is intuitive I believe.
  • It helps having the built-in GPS...
  • A single star align is very accurate... and can be augmented by then using multi-star align afterwards....
  • The slew to a star somewhere & slew back put the original star COMPLETELY on the CCD crosshairs I had on my screen - never seen that before with either the CGE nor EQ6.
  • I love the quiet motors when slewing
  • the pac man-like subtle noise of the encoders when whirring is dinky (and quiet)
  • Being able to use the polar scope no matter where the RA/DEC is... nice... and nice graphics of where Polaris is on the handset when called for
  • built-in handset heater - nice
  • Length of cord attached to the handset so it can be hung off any of the knobs/levers
All in all... VERY pleased... and after the imaging test and the PemPro test, am very glad I went for the EC model....  :pirate: :pirate: :pirate: :pirate: :pirate: :pirate:

If you want pricing information of the next batches, please talk to either Ian or Nick @ Altair Astro.

Phil
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Offline chris.bailey

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #6 on: 19:06:36, 25 June, 2014 »
Very nice Phil. It is a clever design and seems well thought through. How are you finding the mag clutches?

Chris
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Offline psjshep

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #7 on: 19:13:15, 25 June, 2014 »
Very nice Phil. It is a clever design and seems well thought through. How are you finding the mag clutches?

Chris

yeah, a doddle Chris....

The really weird thing is engaging them. to almost feeling resistance & then backing them off - the clutch thumbscrew (clutch suggests friction... but it isn't) is almost loose...

The 1st time I slewed, I had it too tight - well... I was used to a CGE's clutches... tighter than a tight thing on tight day!  all that happened here was a 'orrible noise until I hit stop straight away! Scared the %£%*"$%$ out of me.

Phil
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #8 on: 19:47:05, 25 June, 2014 »
It helps having the built-in GPS...
Why ?

Surely you know where you are ?  And by the looks of that, you're not going to port it around ?  Hard to tell as there is little to give a scale.

Mike
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Offline psjshep

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #9 on: 19:52:15, 25 June, 2014 »
It helps having the built-in GPS...
Why ?

Surely you know where you are ?  And by the looks of that, you're not going to port it around ?  Hard to tell as there is little to give a scale.

Mike

... for precise date/time information...

and it's a purely personal taste..

Phil
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Offline psjshep

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #10 on: 19:54:14, 25 June, 2014 »
and as for weight... it feels a lot lighter than my EQ6 Pro...

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Offline nigelg

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #11 on: 20:12:09, 25 June, 2014 »
Hi Phil,
So your wife made you upgrade to a GEM. Well done I think you are going to enjoy using it.
Have fun. :big_clap:

Nigel
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Beauty is in the eyepiece of the 2" holder

Offline psjshep

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #12 on: 22:26:42, 25 June, 2014 »
I will, Nigel... thx... yeah.. the missus is so insistent for me to spend on astro gear...... just like yours :laugh:

Phil
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Offline psjshep

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #13 on: 18:58:38, 30 June, 2014 »
I made a recording with my phone of the encoders at work.... most "R2-D2" like  :laugh:

Phil
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Offline psjshep

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Re: 1. iOptron CEM60-EC
« Reply #14 on: 12:24:09, 05 July, 2014 »
The final piece to the ensamble is a very nicely made adapter & extension made by a good friend of mine, who is a retired engineer - Ray (Thanks Ray... it's the mutts nuts  :urock: :urock: )

Scope is now at the same height it was when it was on the CGE....

Phil
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