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alan potts

Thoughts on EQ8 CEM 60/120

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I keep coming back to mounts, I decided I am OK as I am with my AZ EQ 6 and then I open up FLO's site and start wondering. As much as I could afford pretty much any mount, even the 5 figured prices, I feel if I were to buy one I would be filleted and put in a hole in the garden, maybe with a nice tree as a headstone.

I like the look of both CEM's,  60 and 120, I wish to guide otherwise the gear I have bought recently I may as well throw away as there is no market here and sending to the Uk is ridiculous for the money I will receive after couriers have been paid. I also keep looking at the EQ 8, how good is this for little more than 2400 pounds, not that that is free with Cornflakes?

 I also feel i could very easily use the Meade SC 12inch tripod before I have a pillar made and plant it. The same planting would be true of the CEM 120 as well. But maybe not the 60

With the CEM choice I sort of value the 120 over the 60 only because I have a Meade 12 inch SC that could be mounted and played with, whilst the 60 may carry this at 18kg the 120 will for sure, though at 3000 pounds plus I can hear filleting knives being sharpened.

So I would like to hear the thoughts of owners of Eq 8, and CEM 120 and 60, especially though that have a few KGs on the mount or multi scope set ups.

Alan

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Hi Alan,

My CEM60EC was simply superb and I was very happy with it, it developed a fault and I took the opportunity to upgrade to the 120EC, I knew there was issues with the firmware for the 120EC but it was useable and would only be a matter of time before they fixed things.

Last night I upgraded the firmware and despite wispy clouds and poor seeing I was guiding as low as 0.3RMS Error, which with 20 min subs produced truly beautifully round stars and I reckon I could have easily pushed it to 30 mins, this was in Bortle 4/5 suburban skies.

For the price there really isn't anything to compare.

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51 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

Hi Alan,

My CEM60EC was simply superb and I was very happy with it, it developed a fault and I took the opportunity to upgrade to the 120EC, I knew there was issues with the firmware for the 120EC but it was useable and would only be a matter of time before they fixed things.

Last night I upgraded the firmware and despite wispy clouds and poor seeing I was guiding as low as 0.3RMS Error, which with 20 min subs produced truly beautifully round stars and I reckon I could have easily pushed it to 30 mins, this was in Bortle 4/5 suburban skies.

For the price there really isn't anything to compare.

It would be the un encodered model I would be looking at on either size mount, but then I am sure these would guide well too, my skies are a step above that at I would say 2, very little light from the village and even more important no industry around here, South North and West there is nothing other than a few villages for tens of miles.

Alan

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I do keep looking at the 120 mounts and I think I would go for this rather than the eq8.  I think the cable management and connection options on the 120 are allot more appealing. I am just trying to find out if you can transfer data from the camera via the lan connection on the mount.

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2 hours ago, spillage said:

I do keep looking at the 120 mounts and I think I would go for this rather than the eq8.  I think the cable management and connection options on the 120 are allot more appealing. I am just trying to find out if you can transfer data from the camera via the lan connection on the mount.

I have to say that also appealed to me, the cables and wifi part, even though my understanding of this system is worse than awful, my friend knows these things inside out though

Alan

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4 hours ago, spillage said:

I am just trying to find out if you can transfer data from the camera via the lan connection on the mount.

Hi and no, you can not. It is just a connection to the mount like the other three which are RS232, USB or WiFi

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I'm waiting to hear about the new Skywatcher CQ350 supposedly coming next spring. Hope I've not put the spanner in the works, lol. Anyway I've heard the gearing is better in the ioptron CEM120 as apposed to the CEM60. 

I've got a neq6 which I've modded, but I'd probably keep that as well if I was going for a new mount. 

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14 hours ago, Nigella Bryant said:

I'm waiting to hear about the new Skywatcher CQ350 supposedly coming next spring. Hope I've not put the spanner in the works, lol. Anyway I've heard the gearing is better in the ioptron CEM120 as apposed to the CEM60. 

I've got a neq6 which I've modded, but I'd probably keep that as well if I was going for a new mount. 

Thanks for the input, I am beginning to wonder if the CEM120/EQ8 may be a bit on the big side for my space in the obsey, as much as I would like one of them. The main thinking behind them is they can easily carry my 12 Sc, thought the CEM60 should manage it as well at 18kg, maybe 19, but no more. Now imaging with this scope on anything but the finest mount is never going to be easy, Olly has told me about this and he is a man I tend to take notice of. Being a man that was responsible for quality in the worlds largest pottery I have an eye for detail and feel I may always find things wrong with my shots, even though I haven't actually tried. In truth I haven't even managed to get it off its forks yet.

Waiting is an unknown for me living out here, I will not use businesses other than FLO and I am worried events of the 31st Oct may have a part to play in the shape of import duties of the like, if I don't do it now I never will.

Alan

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Alan - I have a CEM60 standard model which (I find) a real treat to use. Guiding via PHD2 is positive where ever I choose to calibrate across the sky (usually near the subject). I haven't put the sort of loading your 12" SCT but my 800mm refractor stays put even in reasonable winds.

I use the USB connectors on the dec hub and find them really useful in reducing cable runs - just short usb's to focuser, filter wheel, guide camera. I run the main camera straight to the laptop giving me two cables main camera and mount.

It's bigger brother the CEM120 looks good too but beyond justification for me.

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CEM 60 user here, for now still on the tri-pier (I move it a lot to darker skies); but I am installing a pier in the garden and will put it on there. 

I had a Meade 10" ACF on it, and a C11 Edge, both guide beautifully, although the Meade is a lot heavier. I don't know how much of a stretch it is to the Meade 12. 

If I had a fixed observatory, and no need to move the mount to better places, I'd consider the 120 for sure. I might still consider it in the future if keeping it outside for a longer time is possible. 

 

One remark: Meridian flip! I had an EQ mount and imaging over and beyond the meridian looked a lot less troublesome. 

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1 hour ago, fwm891 said:

Alan - I have a CEM60 standard model which (I find) a real treat to use. Guiding via PHD2 is positive where ever I choose to calibrate across the sky (usually near the subject). I haven't put the sort of loading your 12" SCT but my 800mm refractor stays put even in reasonable winds.

I use the USB connectors on the dec hub and find them really useful in reducing cable runs - just short usb's to focuser, filter wheel, guide camera. I run the main camera straight to the laptop giving me two cables main camera and mount.

It's bigger brother the CEM120 looks good too but beyond justification for me.

Francis, I feel this may well be the mount as even though the other are affordable for me, I'm not actually sure I would use that extra size, in fact having just got a 77EDll Borg I am looking at 2.5kg counter-weights as I am sure the one with it will be way too heavy, with that saved money a ASI 183mc may be a good move for this scope, the coating on the glass are amazing and everything is just quality.

The one thing I really feel I will miss is EQmod, I have got so use to it.

Alan

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1 hour ago, Wiu-Wiu said:

CEM 60 user here, for now still on the tri-pier (I move it a lot to darker skies); but I am installing a pier in the garden and will put it on there. 

I had a Meade 10" ACF on it, and a C11 Edge, both guide beautifully, although the Meade is a lot heavier. I don't know how much of a stretch it is to the Meade 12. 

If I had a fixed observatory, and no need to move the mount to better places, I'd consider the 120 for sure. I might still consider it in the future if keeping it outside for a longer time is possible. 

 

One remark: Meridian flip! I had an EQ mount and imaging over and beyond the meridian looked a lot less troublesome. 

The Meade tube for the 12 inch is 17kg as far as I can find out, but these f/L's are so hard to guide anyway, I am not even sure the CEM120 is of high enough quality to get the best out of it. I have seen work from them with mounts costing as much as a small car, though Gorann has started to use his 14 inch on a EQ8 with decent results, he though is so much more experienced than me.

Alan

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Following this thread with interest because I'm in the same boat as yourself buddy but on a lighter payload. 

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4 hours ago, alan potts said:

Francis, I feel this may well be the mount as even though the other are affordable for me, I'm not actually sure I would use that extra size, in fact having just got a 77EDll Borg I am looking at 2.5kg counter-weights as I am sure the one with it will be way too heavy, with that saved money a ASI 183mc may be a good move for this scope, the coating on the glass are amazing and everything is just quality.

The one thing I really feel I will miss is EQmod, I have got so use to it.

Alan

The Commander software (to me) is every bit as good as I remember EQMod. It's probably 5-6 years since using EQMod so it may well have evolved since then. But iOptrons Commander just works. 

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1 minute ago, fwm891 said:

The Commander software (to me) is every bit as good as I remember EQMod. It's probably 5-6 years since using EQMod so it may well have evolved since then. But iOptrons Commander just works. 

I am sure it does in your hands Francis, but I haven't got mine on it yet, I'm sure something will go wrong. I have just said on another thread seeing results from the Encoder version of the mount, maybe I should bin my guiding gear and just go with that, very good results with long F/L's too.

Alan

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2 hours ago, alan potts said:

I am sure it does in your hands Francis, but I haven't got mine on it yet, I'm sure something will go wrong. I have just said on another thread seeing results from the Encoder version of the mount, maybe I should bin my guiding gear and just go with that, very good results with long F/L's too.

Alan

iOptron Commander is most definitely easier than EQMOD to understand. Everything you need to know and do is just right there. 

Alan, the result you saw on the other thread were from the non-encoder mount. Sorry to burst the bubble mate :)

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10 hours ago, souls33k3r said:

iOptron Commander is most definitely easier than EQMOD to understand. Everything you need to know and do is just right there. 

Alan, the result you saw on the other thread were from the non-encoder mount. Sorry to burst the bubble mate :)

I misread this, best go take the guide scope out the bin then. I am beginning to think the CEM 60 is the way to go with the nice tripod they do.

Alan

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2 hours ago, alan potts said:

I misread this, best go take the guide scope out the bin then. I am beginning to think the CEM 60 is the way to go with the nice tripod they do.

Alan

I haven't heard good things about their tripod for CEM60. People say its wobbly and I'm not sure how wobbly it is. The tri-pier is great but it doesn't like uneven grounds. Again I have none of these so can't tell you first hand experience. 

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2 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

I haven't heard good things about their tripod for CEM60. People say its wobbly and I'm not sure how wobbly it is. The tri-pier is great but it doesn't like uneven grounds. Again I have none of these so can't tell you first hand experience. 

The tri-pier is really solid and doesn't mind uneven solid ground. Each leg is adjustable via changing it's angle (no extensions).

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1 minute ago, fwm891 said:

The tri-pier is really solid and doesn't mind uneven solid ground. Each leg is adjustable via changing it's angle (no extensions).

Yeah that's what I would've thought too but there's so much around this on different forums how the tri-pier doesn't like uneven grounds. Glad you've debunked that theory mate :)

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I would be going for the tripod priced at 499, the other looks a bit over kill for the CEM 60. Ina any case the obsey floor is flat concrete.

Alan

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The tri-pier is a must when using longer scopes. It is a bit of a handfull to level at first, and you need a fairly even piece of ground. (but some leveling on plastic or wooden tiles works well!)

In May I went to my favorite dark spot and took both Ioptron mounts: one to image (Esprit 80ED on IEQ45 pro) and one to sketch (C11 on CEM60)scopes.thumb.jpg.4410a9c38366a72d5ccd385a6c9bbc52.jpg

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On 14/09/2019 at 06:15, alan potts said:

I am not even sure the CEM120 is of high enough quality to get the best out of it.

Hi Alan,

I understand your dobts about the CEM 120XXX and yes it has been a long and steep way until they iOptron finally got a firmware for round stars on heavy equipped CEM120XXX (mainly the encoder fitted mounts)

All my attempts since having uploaded the last beta firmware have given me excellent results. The know issues like short frequency oscillation are gone. The latest proof is from a German user after uploading it. No oscillations anymore using a 16" Newton with 35kg ( ~77 lbs).

I can send you a bunch of RAW fit images if you want for analysing them. I am speaking of a Mewlon 250S @ 3203 mm focal length together mounted with two other refractors with a total payload (Telescopes and Counterweights) of about 220 lbs.

I can also provide you PHD2 Log fiels if you want to take a look at them. Below one example of round stars at that focal length. The Setup in the back it the one in question. The setup in the from in the meantime is also carrying a third telescope on top of the Takahashi TOA 130S and is a Takahashi FS-78.

Again, I admit that it has been a long, steep and unpleasant fight with iOptron until the results came out, but since August 22nd with the release of latest beta firmware version190718 a lot has been achieved. Not yet oficcialy released, still in beta. I can finally say after 10 months of intensive use after my day job retirement that I am now not thinking anymore in sending them back.

 

IMG_3840_C1.thumb.jpg.63510ac243b3a4c59b1d7ce1c1a40837.jpg

 

The image below is an integration of 15 subexposures with each 600s from a session of 16 sub exposures with Luminance filter only. What looks like a problem of light leak it is not. Thise are verybright stars outside the FOV but still shiny enough to get those streaks onto my image.

All questions are welcome and data is available. Just ask and you will get it.

 

IC4665_3203mm_600s-0015_1_L_a_c_cc_r_PI_01_II_HT_MLT_20190830_et.thumb.jpg.020aff2b8c6f931adfb5c5e8a1ed046a.jpg

 

M57_3203mm-0012_1_HaOIIISII_c_cc_r_II_HT_MLT_SCNR_PI_01_20190909_et_r.thumb.jpg.4c20e8091d6bc630310303d28288d64f.jpg

 

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Some stunning pictures there and I wouldn't want that lot dropping on my foot from the piers. I was just grabbing words from the air talking about the 12 inch SC and mount without any really knowledge, seem the CEM 120 handles that focal length very well indeed and even the most expensive model about half the price of some of the ones I was looking at.

I feel with the way I work and that really means in the obsey with the scope and relaxing room will be the cancelling factor for the CEM 120 and in this case I would come down on the side of the 60 model. I have a few problems with my Bank at the moment which is actually stopping me access to see the online account. In short they have put in a 4th line of security used our phones and sending a text number. Bulgaria has a 3 digits in its code and they can't send a text to that at the moment, Holland is the same because they only have one digit. security so tight even I can't get into my account.

So it looks like the CEM 60 which I am sure is a bit smaller and more AZ EQ 6 size, Thanks for the pictures.

Alan

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12 hours ago, alan potts said:

Some stunning pictures there and I wouldn't want that lot dropping on my foot from the piers. I was just grabbing words from the air talking about the 12 inch SC and mount without any really knowledge, seem the CEM 120 handles that focal length very well indeed and even the most expensive model about half the price of some of the ones I was looking at.

I feel with the way I work and that really means in the obsey with the scope and relaxing room will be the cancelling factor for the CEM 120 and in this case I would come down on the side of the 60 model. I have a few problems with my Bank at the moment which is actually stopping me access to see the online account. In short they have put in a 4th line of security used our phones and sending a text number. Bulgaria has a 3 digits in its code and they can't send a text to that at the moment, Holland is the same because they only have one digit. security so tight even I can't get into my account.

So it looks like the CEM 60 which I am sure is a bit smaller and more AZ EQ 6 size, Thanks for the pictures.

Alan

Hi Alan,

I would not put a 12" cher on a CEM 60 ... My guts tell me that is not going to work as expected but OK

JMHO 🤔

Edited by Rainer

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