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Space Oddities

New iOptron GEM45 mount

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Posted (edited)

I just came across this post on Instagram, from Artesky astronomy, showing an upcoming iOptron GEM45 mount. Apparently, there is also an EC version.

9F7C8B37-B63E-4E47-8C48-86FC3DD6C549.jpeg.3cd62432eef57542c465a89dae14e47a.jpeg

Edited by Space Oddities

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Yes, iOptron confirmed this was in the pipeline to me last month. An iEQ45pro replacement. 

I don’t quite understand why they have a GEM line and CEM line that have many similar features and therefore compete with each other. 

The specs I was given were pretty similar to CEM40 but with some manufacturing differences and of course the extra 5lb payload. 

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That is interesting. Thank-you for posting the photo. We heard the rumours but nothing official from iOptron yet... 

Edit: The iOptron GEM45 and iOptron GEM45EC mounts are now available 🙂 

Steve 

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1 hour ago, Icesheet said:

Yes, iOptron confirmed this was in the pipeline to me last month. An iEQ45pro replacement. 

I don’t quite understand why they have a GEM line and CEM line that have many similar features and therefore compete with each other. 

The specs I was given were pretty similar to CEM40 but with some manufacturing differences and of course the extra 5lb payload. 

While CEM and GEM generally accomplish the same end result, they obviously do so in significantly different ways and at slightly different price points. The CEM's are typically lighter with a similar carrying capacity to their GEM counterparts, whereas the GEM's are heavier and slightly lower cost. You could argue that something heavier will also be somewhat sturdier and less susceptible to vibration and wind. You could also argue that the weight savings of a CEM makes them more portable and that having the weight centered over the tripod makes them more stable. Then there's also the familiarity people have for GEM's as that is what is commonly used, but the CEM's have a 'newness and uniqueness' to them.

So while they do compete with each other, they both have their pro's and con's. iOptron is just diversifying their product line and marketing to both sides of the house. Right now they kind of have the market cornered on CEM's though.

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It’s no criticism of iOptron and it certainly seems like they know what they are doing. The CEM design and performance in particular appears to be leading the way in mounts at their price point. However, particularly with this model it seems the differences are not that significant. At least not significant enough to merit a whole new model. Ironically one of them would be beneficial to me so please carry on as you are iOptron 😉

It will be interesting to see if we see a GEM30 in the future too. Looking forward to the official announcement. 

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Having used both CEM and GEM designs (and my personal mount is a CEM40, after upgrading from a CEM25p), I find that the CEM design is great for refractors and SCT/RCs, but unwieldy for newtonians. Especially smaller newtonians.

This is because the imaging train will then be comparatively heavier than the primary mirror, and the whole tube has to be pushed backwards in order to balance in declination. However, the length of the imaging train hanging downwards means that there is a strict limit on how far you can push it backwards before it clashes with the CEM's counterweight shaft housing. I have had to use a counterweight at the rear of the tube to help balance the set up in declination.

This problem is less pronounced when the newtonian is mounted on a GEM mount, because the whole tube can be pushed backwards quite a bit further and it still will not make contact with the counterweight shaft or mount head.

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3 hours ago, Icesheet said:

It’s no criticism of iOptron and it certainly seems like they know what they are doing. The CEM design and performance in particular appears to be leading the way in mounts at their price point. However, particularly with this model it seems the differences are not that significant. At least not significant enough to merit a whole new model. Ironically one of them would be beneficial to me so please carry on as you are iOptron 😉

It will be interesting to see if we see a GEM30 in the future too. Looking forward to the official announcement. 

I take your point. I guess I could have stated that better. The differences are significant in terms of design, but not necessarily performance. I was personally all set on getting an EQ6-R until the CEM40 released. I saw the weight savings as significantly beneficial, but there was the slight loss in payload capacity. Had the GEM45 been out, I may have also considered it. It seems like it will also be a lighter weight mount than the traditional EQ mounts. It seems to have taken a lot of the design cues from the CEM models. The DEC plate seems to be further away from the RA axis than on the iEQ45 and those nice quarter turn gear switches. Much more similar to the CEM design.

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On 16/08/2019 at 09:09, Space Oddities said:

I just came across this post on Instagram, from Artesky astronomy, showing an upcoming iOptron GEM45 mount. Apparently, there is also an EC version.

9F7C8B37-B63E-4E47-8C48-86FC3DD6C549.jpeg.3cd62432eef57542c465a89dae14e47a.jpeg

Read the text printed on the mount.

😉

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What is the current thinking at SGL towards iOptron GEM mounts please? (Currently we stock iOptron’s CEM, AZ & tracker mounts but we have access to the full range). In particular, how do they compare to Sky-Watcher’s GEQ mounts? 

Steve 

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27 minutes ago, Space Oddities said:

What do you mean?

Printed on the side of two of the mounts it says. GEM45 on the other two it says GEM45 EC.

 

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9 minutes ago, FLO said:

What is the current thinking at SGL towards iOptron GEM mounts please? (Currently we stock iOptron’s CEM, AZ & tracker mounts but we have access to the full range). In particular, how do they compare to Sky-Watcher’s GEQ mounts? 

Steve 

I have an old iEQ45 that wasn't the greatest thing since sliced bread but after a bit of rather extreme fettling performs well, I purchased it originally for star parties because of it's light weight and now use it for solar imaging with 152mm frac'.

iOptron do have a good policy of continuous improvement of their stuff so the later iEQ45 was a big improvement on my original.
Presumably they think there is a market for both and I would certainly consider the latest GEM if buying a new mount.

Dave

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Posted (edited)

Double post

Edited by Davey-T

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Keeping it short.

Something better than and EQ5 that can handle 10kg but cheaper than a Vixen AP. Visual only not for astrophotography so no need for goto if it brings the price down.

There is little choice for visual astronomers that want a solid light weight tracking mount that doesn't need fixing out of the box or is made from putty. And having to pay for features I don't need.

iOptron could nail this. iEQ30 RA drive only without goto. Stick a WiFi on it and loose the controller like an AZ GTI. Sell the add ons  it will keep the visual only happy and allow a lower point of entry for those that will upgrade over time.

it goes on and on.........

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1 hour ago, StarryEyed said:

Printed on the side of two of the mounts it says. GEM45 on the other two it says GEM45 EC.

 

Well yes, that's why I created this topic :) 

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For what its worth I have been waiting for such a mount for years. As much value as my EQ5 is its fithteen years old and now a bit too loose for high power and I have stripoed it down enough times to admit it's well used but still loved. I would happily buy a Vixen AP with an RA if we're £750.

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Altair Astro has the mount listed here: https://www.altairastro.com/iOptron-GEM45-GOTO-German-Equatorial-Mount.html

Nothing new, and the product pictures show the CEM40, but this note gives some information:

Quote

NOTE: This is a "leak" and specs and/or pricing may change...! A new German Equatorial Mount from iOptron with PE test report included.
Specs are similar to the CEM40 but with a slightly wider latitude range of 14° ~ 68° (vs. the 0° ~ 60° of the CEM40. Weight is 2kg more and capacity slightly higher. The same high precision worm and gearing as well as synchronous drive technology is used so this will be a very accurate mount!

 

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Hi Stacey, please send my regards to Nick & Ian... 🙂 

Steve

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Also an interesting spec sheet comparing the CEM40 vs GEM45. 

ioptron_gem45_vs_ioptron_cem40.jpg

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IOptron tell us they will formally introduce the new GEM45 "in the upcoming weeks". They will provide details on price, final features and availability closer to release.

We know the GEM45 will share many of the same components as the CEM40, will have higher maximum operational latitude (68°) and be rated for a 45 lb payload capacity.

They predict the mount will be available to buy in "approx 60 days". An EC model is also in the pipeline. 

We will add it to our website soon. 

HTH, 

Steve

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This is a really odd ball marketing strategy. The two are essentially the same with one having 5lb more payload which is nothing at all.

 

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13 hours ago, FLO said:

Also an interesting spec sheet comparing the CEM40 vs GEM45. 

ioptron_gem45_vs_ioptron_cem40.jpg

 

3 hours ago, cotak said:

This is a really odd ball marketing strategy. The two are essentially the same with one having 5lb more payload which is nothing at all.

 

This is what I was getting at, although I didn’t want to quote specs I had been given as it was not my place to do so. I’m not an engineer but I can’t see why the ‘upgrades’ couldn’t have been added to the existing CEM40.

 

Also, looking at the expected retail price there’s  every chance it will be squeezed by the cheaper CEM40 offering and the competitively priced CEM60. 

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