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waylander

IOptron iEQ45 pro OR Skywatcher EQ6-R

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Hi everyone,

I'm just getting into astrophotography and astronomy in general. I've been using a DSLR for a while, doing milky way shots etc etc.

Just bought a Starwave EDR80 and a couple of hyperion eyepeices, trying out some visual and EPP and just getting used to the scope really.

Currently i'm on a completely unsuitable camera tripod, but its allowed me to at least use the scope!

I would like a decent mount, suitable for taking the EDR80 as well as a larger triplet in future, as well as guide cam, guider, dslr etc. It seems these two mounts are similarly priced, both seem to get good reviews. The one thing that puts me off the skywatcher is the weight, it would really put me off taking it anywhere! They both seem to support the same apps/eq mod stuff from what i know. Some people say the 45 pro has a better guider. I also value quietness when slewing too...

Any thoughts? 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have an "old" iEQ45 V2  that I bought for star parties because of the light weight.

It works well but needed rebuilding as the original QC left a lot to be desired, to give iOptron credit they have a policy of continuous improvement and the latest iEQ45pro is a big improvement on mine.

Mine is quite noisy, don't know about the latest one.

Weight capacity is OK, I've had various setups on it 110 triplet imaging rig, and 152mm refractor with Lunt LS60DS side by side for solar imaging.

Dave

Doesn't support EqMod as far as I know.

Edited by Davey-T

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Just now, waylander said:

Hi there hypergiant. It does look like theres an ASCOM driver, does that mean it can be used with EQMOD? What would you use the ASCOM driver for?

http://www.ioptron.com/Articles.asp?ID=295

 

My original iEQ45 can't be run with EQmod.

Dave

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3 hours ago, waylander said:

It does look like theres an ASCOM driver, does that mean it can be used with EQMOD? What would you use the ASCOM driver for?

ASCOM drivers are what enable ASCOM capable software to (planetariums, guiding automation etc.) control specific hardware (mounts, cameras, focusers etc.). The uniqueness of each piece of hardware is abstracted into the driver allowing the the controlling software to use a common "language" when requesting services from the drivers. The drivers then interpret the ASCOM requests as mount specific commands. So, if you want to control your mount via ASCOM you will need a specific ASCOM driver written for your mount type.

EQMOD is an ASCOM driver written specifically for skywatcher mounts.

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Posted (edited)

Oh ok then. So there’s an ascom driver I should be ok for both. What about the tracking accuracy of both these mounts? Build quality? Reliability? Ease of setup? 

Edited by waylander

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1 hour ago, waylander said:

Oh ok then. So there’s an ascom driver I should be ok for both. What about the tracking accuracy of both these mounts? Build quality? Reliability? Ease of setup? 

No the iOptron ASCOM driver doesn't work with EQMOD.

Build quality on the iEQ45 is good now, mine tracks fine using pulse guiding in PHD.

It has a good polar aligning setup with polar finder in the handset.

Dave

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Eqascom though should be fine for the IOptron? Are we saying the eq6r is just a better choice because it’s Eqmod native?

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EQASCOM and EQMOD are the one and the same thing. EQMOD is the name of the community project that produced the EQMOD ASCOM Driver (EQASCOM). The EQMOD project has produced other software but by far the most widely used is the ASCOM driver which folks got into the habit of refering to as simply EQMOD.

Whilst EQASCOM is at its core an ASCOM driver it also provides lots of other mount control functionality (Polar alignment tool, Sky model, gampead interface, GPS interface, PEC, Audio prompts etc.) that are not typical of other ASCOM mount drivers. If those features matter to you, and in all other respects the IOptron and EQ6r are matched, then the EQ6r may be a better choice.

Chris.

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Having had an AZ-EQ6-GT it is like chalk and cheese against my iOptron CEM60EC, I wish I had changed earlier, the software is lovely and straight forward. In my opinion the IOptron is in a totally different league both for quality, performance and customer service.

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Are the two mounts similar build quality - also how do they stack up performance wise?

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3 hours ago, waylander said:

Are the two mounts similar build quality - also how do they stack up performance wise?

While it is true that the early IOptron mounts were good only for looks and nothing more, they've improved over the years and their quality is really good these days. They tend to have a lighter self weight compared to the payload capaity while the sky-watchers are heavier. IOptron customer service is really good, but for UK, Robert at Optical Vision, the sky-watcher distributor is a very helpful person too. I'd say you can go for the ioptron. Given a chance I will.

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5 hours ago, waylander said:

Are the two mounts similar build quality - also how do they stack up performance wise?

There is no comparison the iOptron knocks the spots of the SW

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1 hour ago, Jkulin said:

There is no comparison the iOptron knocks the spots of the SW

So it should at £2.7K !

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4 minutes ago, Rob63 said:

So it should at £2.7K !

The IEQ45 is about £1399 vs. an AZ-EQ6-GT which is £1385, although I own the CEM60EC, the quality, of the iOptron build and technical response is so far so much better than the SW, I owned an AZ-EQ6-GT for about a year, so can only compare that which is the reason I sold it, too much backlash, annoying DEC adjustment arm protruding and tracking not as good as I would have liked, JMHO and that was what the OP was asking.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

The IEQ45 is about £1399 vs. an AZ-EQ6-GT which is £1385, although I own the CEM60EC, the quality, of the iOptron build and technical response is so far so much better than the SW, I owned an AZ-EQ6-GT for about a year, so can only compare that which is the reason I sold it, too much backlash, annoying DEC adjustment arm protruding and tracking not as good as I would have liked, JMHO and that was what the OP was asking.

I just felt your post was a bit confusing since you own the CEM60EC which is a different class of mount I  very much doubt the IEQ45 comes anywhere near it for performance.

Anyway:

I have had an EQ6-R for a year now and have had excellent support from SW (via FLO) when I was dialing in PHD settings, the mount is very well built with little backlash. A bit heavy but the built in handle helps a lot. I looked at the IEQ45 but decided on the EQ6-R as it had good reviews, has EQMOD and since it is basically an improved NEQ6 pro there is a wealth of information for tinkering. It's only ever used in my garden (Set up/tear down each night) so I can't comment on portability but I would't really want to carry it far.

Skywatcher had a poor reputation for QC but they have improved a lot since the black gunge days (the same is true of iOptron).

I get  0.8" guiding out of the box in the low south and once the guarantee has passed and I start tinkering I am confidant I get get under 0.6"   - very happy with that.

Rob.

 

Edited by Rob63
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No Offence was inferred Rob.

I did an awful lot of research before buying the iOptron having owned a SW HEQ5Pro which was Hypertuned and belt modded and an AZ-EQ6-GT, personally that was the reason why I moved away from SW, I looked very closely at the IEQ45 but needed a higher load capacity and thus why I plumbed for the CEM60EC, I had a number of discussions with iOptron prior to my purchase and they were simply fantastic at turning things around. My only two communications with SW UK Disties were simply useless with the first enquiry not even getting an answer and the second was "Ask around the forums"

Indeed I have seen some excellent results with the EQ6, I just decided that based on my own experience to move away from SW mounts, I do use their SW Esprit scopes which to me are the dogs danglies 🙂

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No offence taken John.

I think the Number 1 thing for the OP is that you should buy from a seller with a good reputation who will take care of you if/when there is a problem.

 

Rob.

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My  iEQ45 went back to Altair Astro a couple of times when it was new, faults were fixed but not very speedily.

Dave

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I’d love the cem60 of course but it’s just too much initially for a hobby I’m not sure I’ll get the most out of. I could always get the 45 and sell it on if I needed to upgrade though with the rate of learning and lack of dark skies that could be years ahead. 

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

My  iEQ45 went back to Altair Astro a couple of times when it was new, faults were fixed but not very speedily.

Dave

Hopefully that was when they were first Launched Dave as there were a number of software issues, when I did my research it would seem that it took iOptron about 18 months to sort the teething problems with the software.

1 hour ago, waylander said:

I’d love the cem60 of course but it’s just too much initially for a hobby I’m not sure I’ll get the most out of. I could always get the 45 and sell it on if I needed to upgrade though with the rate of learning and lack of dark skies that could be years ahead. 

Have a look at the non EC version, it's about a £1000 cheaper and I'm told produces excellent results and that by spending the extra £1000 I gained no benefit, I've only used it for a few nights so far and am just absolutely stunned at its performance and guiding.

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So £1400 for the 45 and £2000 for the cem60. Significant sums both of them to be honest but obviously the smaller is easier to swallow!

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16 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

Hopefully that was when they were first Launched Dave as there were a number of software issues, when I did my research it would seem that it took iOptron about 18 months to sort the teething problems with the software.

Problems were caused by the updater which if it stalled halfway through corrupted the control board so it had to be replaced.

Dave

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5 minutes ago, waylander said:

So £1400 for the 45 and £2000 for the cem60. Significant sums both of them to be honest but obviously the smaller is easier to swallow!

I think you can get the CEM60 a few hundred cheaper, talk to Ian At Altair when he is back from hols.

1 minute ago, Davey-T said:

Problems were caused by the updater which if it stalled halfway through corrupted the control board so it had to be replaced.

Glad to hear it's sorted Dave, how good is the guiding now?

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2 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

Glad to hear it's sorted Dave, how good is the guiding now?

Pretty good but I have had it all apart and improved the dodgy Chinese engineering :grin:

Dave

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