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ZEQ/CEM25 Max Weight for visual

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Hi Guys,

I'm looking for some help, I'd like to upgrade my DOB to a GOTO/Tracking mount. Primary aims are to no longer have to nudge to keep things in view and perhaps some initial planetary imaging via video capture. My scope is the skywatcher 200p (1200mm/F6). While the weight (10kg/22lbs) is well within what the CEM25 claims to support I wonder is it realistic to stick this scope on it? I will also probably use this with just a camera for some wide field work and also learn the ins and outs of EQ mounts, tracking, maybe auto guiding in the future and eventually buy another scope for dedicated DSO AP. Does this approach seem feasible or am I going the wrong way?



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Hi Peter, I don't know from practical experience, however, a couple of years ago a did lots of research into Ioptron and decided that they are a really innovative company with some great mount ideas, but I read that they might be a bit optimistic regarding weight limit claims. 

You could give it a go if you have enough counter weights, but my gut feeling is that you might get plenty of vibration at the eyepiece. 

The CEM25 does place the centre of mass down the centre of the mount which I thought was a really great and new idea, this might help some, but the Ioptron standard tripods can be a bit on the light side from what I remember reading, and tripods can make all the difference. 

If you're keen to give it whirl a would probably upgrade the tripod, I think this would help a lot. There is of course nothing to lose by trying the standard tripod first :) 

You could use it as an opportunity to prove/disprove the weight limit claims. bearing in mind that a short scope will do better than a long scope of the same weight.

Edited by Chris Lock

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I would tend to agree with Chris. I went looking in a retailers a bit of a drive away at an iOptron SmartEQ for a scope I have. Didn't want anything too big.

The SmartEQ is rated at 5Kg, 11lbs, the scope is 3.5Kg, 7.7lbs. So about 2/3 the capacity, seemed like a fair option. I took one look at the SmartEQ and immediate thoughts were "No way will that mount hold the scope." Not sure what the ZEQ/CEM25 is physically like, waiting for them to become a bit more common place here. I expect to drop the same scope on one of them.

Will say that the tripod the SmartEQ was on was very lightweight in appearance. It may have been that which disuaded me almost immediatly.  However I do recall that every mount seemed to have the option to purchase (at additional cost) the next tripod in size up. So that may be the catch, the mount head is OK but you sort of immediatly need a tripod upgrade. At least the Skywatcher tubular tripods are solid, I am just suspect of their electronics.

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