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AstroRuz

iOptron CEM25P Reviews?

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Hey all, 

I'm considering and tempted by an iOptron CEM25P.

Just wondering if there's any owners (current or former - for any reason) who can share their experiences with this? I intend on buying it new, so a substantial wedge to drop.

Many thanks

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I don't have the CEM 25 but the CEM 60, I'm impressed with the finish and attention to detail which I feel will be to the same level on the CEM25 model, a cut above the finish on my AZ EQ 6.

Alan

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I sold my NEQ6 and bought a CEM25-EC, so the same as the P but with the encoders.

The bulid quality and ease of use is excellent compared with the NEQ6. I did not need the NEQ6 payload capacity and was finding the weight of the mount and tripod quite demanding in terms of a nightly setup. The CEM25 is easy to move around when setting up. Polar alignment is very easy using the built in polarscope with adjustment of both alt and az very much better than the NEQ6. Both axes are extremely free running so balancing is very sensitive compared with my NEQ6.

So far I have only used the mount with a Samyang 135mm or Canon 200mm coupled to a ASI1600 with ZWO filter wheel, so not much of a payload. So far I have had no issues taking subs up to 300s without guiding - the extra expense of the encoders paying off for me in that respect; with sky conditions of Bortle 5 where I live there is no great advantage in pushing the 1600 beyond 180s! Although I've not tried it yet it should be quite happy with my WO-ZS71 + 1600 and I am hoping that with the addition of the 2kg counterweight I may be able to use my ED80 as well.

Although I've not used it much the hand-controller seems far more intuitive than the equivalent SynScan controller. ASCOM compatibility seems fine (works well with all my other software). I did find using iOptron Commander very different to EQMOD but now I've got used to it I am finding it a much better with the simpler interface.

In short - I love it!

Cast caution to the wind and buy one - in fact go mad and get the EC model ;)

HTH

Adrian

IMG_9701.thumb.jpg.3c276c0836e157c3c53ff485472f9887.jpg

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I've had the 60EC and now have the 120EC and have just ordered a 40EC, I think that shows how much I like the iOptron brand, I was going to buy the 25EC which has a 12.3Kg payload and weighs 4.7Kg, but reckoned that for a mount weighing just 2.5Kg more I could increase the payload to 18Kgs which would cover most of my requirements apart from my 10" Truss and 10" Newt.

For the money iOptron is a leader in its price bracket, the only thing you need to make sure of is that you keep up to date with the firmware as iOptron are constantly evolving.

I've been using my SA for widefield but wanted a goto facility, so that's why I am changing to use the 40EC for widefield as well.

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Excellent all, many thanks for your input. I have a HEQ5 Pro currently and I know they're comparable. But I like the CEM design and I think it looks like it has a bit more fit and finish to it than the SW brand.

11 hours ago, Adreneline said:

I sold my NEQ6 and bought a CEM25-EC, so the same as the P but with the encoders.

The bulid quality and ease of use is excellent compared with the NEQ6. I did not need the NEQ6 payload capacity and was finding the weight of the mount and tripod quite demanding in terms of a nightly setup. The CEM25 is easy to move around when setting up. Polar alignment is very easy using the built in polarscope with adjustment of both alt and az very much better than the NEQ6. Both axes are extremely free running so balancing is very sensitive compared with my NEQ6.

So far I have only used the mount with a Samyang 135mm or Canon 200mm coupled to a ASI1600 with ZWO filter wheel, so not much of a payload. So far I have had no issues taking subs up to 300s without guiding - the extra expense of the encoders paying off for me in that respect; with sky conditions of Bortle 5 where I live there is no great advantage in pushing the 1600 beyond 180s! Although I've not tried it yet it should be quite happy with my WO-ZS71 + 1600 and I am hoping that with the addition of the 2kg counterweight I may be able to use my ED80 as well.

Although I've not used it much the hand-controller seems far more intuitive than the equivalent SynScan controller. ASCOM compatibility seems fine (works well with all my other software). I did find using iOptron Commander very different to EQMOD but now I've got used to it I am finding it a much better with the simpler interface.

In short - I love it!

Cast caution to the wind and buy one - in fact go mad and get the EC model ;)

HTH

Adrian

 

What is the main benefit of those encoders? Is it like freedom find/always knows where its pointing sort of deal?

 

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4 hours ago, AstroRuz said:

What is the main benefit of those encoders?

The periodic error quoted is much smaller and hence the tracking is far more accurate once aligned. I take care to get the best PA I can and then I follow it with a two star alignment (one of which is currently M31 - very easy to identify!). After that I find the GOTO is very accurate and the tracking excellent. Most of my imaging is with 120s or 180s exposures 135mm focal length and there is no sign of trailing. I love the fact I don't have to use a guidescope or PHD. That is not to say that my days of guiding are over - when I get the ZS71 on the mount (~320mm) or maybe the ED80 (~520mm)  the increased focal length may well require me to guide. Time will tell!

Adrian

P.S. Have you ordered it yet? ;)

 

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8 hours ago, Adreneline said:

The periodic error quoted is much smaller and hence the tracking is far more accurate once aligned. I take care to get the best PA I can and then I follow it with a two star alignment (one of which is currently M31 - very easy to identify!). After that I find the GOTO is very accurate and the tracking excellent. Most of my imaging is with 120s or 180s exposures 135mm focal length and there is no sign of trailing. I love the fact I don't have to use a guidescope or PHD. That is not to say that my days of guiding are over - when I get the ZS71 on the mount (~320mm) or maybe the ED80 (~520mm)  the increased focal length may well require me to guide. Time will tell!

Adrian

P.S. Have you ordered it yet? ;)

 

Ah good then, I may get the EC, but then the price begins getting close to the SW EQ6-R range 🤔 

 

I haven't ordered yet. Need to sell my mono set up first and then find a buyer for my HEQ5 first THEN I can order my iOptron 😁

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I bought mine in May and used it about 3 times, its a superb lightweight mount which is so easy to pick up, set up outside and get going. Its quiet and handles small scopes easily. Periodic error, which I measured was around 15 arc secs and nice and smooth. I also bought and fitted the Ipolar which works like a charm. The CEM40 was released shortly after and I ended up buying that to support my FSQ which would have been at the CEM25p's limit. I am planning on selling the CEM25p, although havent advertised as yet. 

Adrian

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