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Is the EQM-35 the best lightweight portable go-to mount out there?


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It's around $980 here in Canada, is there anything out there that surpasses it in the same price range?

I have a Star Adventurer 2i currently, the eqm-35 would double the carrying capacity and add go-to. At the very least the extra automation would increase efficiency quite a bit. No longer would I be manually finding objects, let alone the bonus of having a motorized declination axis. I'd love go for something larger but my setup needs to be as portable as can be. Typically I'm driving out somewhere to image so I setup and tear down every single time. It's a bit concerning to be looking at a goto mount like this at this price range, I instantly think crappy performance, but I've read some people having good experiences with them. The fact that it's described as an "imaging platform" is certainly enticing.

So lay it on me. Is there a better mount in this price range? Would it perform better with guiding than the Star Adventurer? Does it work well with the asiair pro?

 

 

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I'd bypass that one.  An EQ5-class doesn't weigh that much more, but it will carry considerably more.  This one is (CAD)$966.99 as I type...

https://www.telescope.com/Orion/Orion-SkyView-Pro-Equatorial-GoTo-Telescope-Mount/rc/2160/p/24709.uts

If you don't get that one, and go with the one you're asking about, you'll always wonder how the other one might've been.  :D

You can do some serious imaging with that one.

Edited by Alan64
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Double the payload? No. Payload of 10kg is false advertising and only applies to visual use, and even then it is not a good idea.

Ask yourself what you want to do with the mount: Carry a camera, small refractor, medium to large focal length telescope?

Rule out everything but the camera and small (fl less than 500mm) refractors if you want to remain relatively frustration free.

I am imaging with a technically within payload limits telescope and i throw away somewhere between 50-100% of my 60s guided subs. Most of the issues are not fixable due to the bearingless bushing design. The DEC axis is unfixable and you will almost certainly have to guide in one direction or not at all in DEC.

I would argue that the EQM35 is more expensive than for example an HEQ5 since you will probably want to upgrade soon after anyway and getting rid of the mount is not guaranteed for a good price.

If i could go back in time i would pay more for a better mount.

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27 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

I'd bypass that one.  An EQ5-class doesn't weigh that much more, but it will carry considerably more.  This one is (CAD)$966.99 as I type...

https://www.telescope.com/Orion/Orion-SkyView-Pro-Equatorial-GoTo-Telescope-Mount/rc/2160/p/24709.uts

If you don't get that one, and go with the one you're asking about, you'll always wonder how the other one might've been.  :D

You can do some serious imaging with that one.

Huh, that looks like a rebranded eqm-35 though. Even the specs are basically identical!

SmartSelect_20210806-105853_Chrome.thumb.jpg.41ebbfea0f210c4881c6e0abf8bab6c8.jpg

 

eqm-35-pro_1800x1800.thumb.jpg.89ace259382aebb9425af6ca0c54348b.jpg

Did you mistake the mount I was inquiring about for something else? 

26 minutes ago, ONIKKINEN said:

Double the payload? No. Payload of 10kg is false advertising and only applies to visual use, and even then it is not a good idea.

Ask yourself what you want to do with the mount: Carry a camera, small refractor, medium to large focal length telescope?

Rule out everything but the camera and small (fl less than 500mm) refractors if you want to remain relatively frustration free.

I am imaging with a technically within payload limits telescope and i throw away somewhere between 50-100% of my 60s guided subs. Most of the issues are not fixable due to the bearingless bushing design. The DEC axis is unfixable and you will almost certainly have to guide in one direction or not at all in DEC.

I would argue that the EQM35 is more expensive than for example an HEQ5 since you will probably want to upgrade soon after anyway and getting rid of the mount is not guaranteed for a good price.

If i could go back in time i would pay more for a better mount.

I get what you're saying, I just meant double the payload capacity of the Star Adventurer on paper, 11lbs vs 22lbs, though I don't plan on getting near the maximum no. I have a new Zenithstar 61ii (360mm) that I've barely used and there seems to be a huge amount of objects I can image before I decide to move on to something else. And even then I'd have to be careful because it needs to be as portable as possible. Right now all the equipment I use adds up to around 7lbs.

I will read up about the heq5, weight and cos, thanks for the suggestion. 

What are the issues with the dec axis you are talking about?

Edited by Jay6879
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The one you're considering is an EQ-3.  The one I suggested is an EQ-5.  This is my CG-4(EQ-3) head compared to my LX70(EQ-5) head...

1032266050_LX70vsCG-4.jpg.03f5324823dc0ba5d89d950fddb2ab27.jpg

The CG-4 is the same as the one you're asking about, exactly.  The LX70 is the same as the Orion "SkyView Pro" I suggested, exactly.

Edited by Alan64
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This is the go-to EQ-3...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/skywatcher-eq3-pro-synscan-goto.html

This is the go-to EQ-5...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

But then, if you really want the smaller one.

There are the EQ-3 and EQ-5 mount-heads, but they come in different colours and styles, but still only two sizes of heads.

The Celestron AVX is an EQ-5, just as the Orion "SkyView Pro", and just as my non-goto Meade LX70.  They are all made in the same factory overseas, and by Synta.  You can blame Synta for the confusion.

Edited by Alan64
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23 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

This is the go-to EQ-3...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/skywatcher-eq3-pro-synscan-goto.html

This is the go-to EQ-5...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

But then, if you really want the smaller one.

There are the EQ-3 and EQ-5 mount-heads, but they come in different colours and styles, but still only two sizes of heads.

The Celestron AVX is an EQ-5, just as the Orion "Sirius", and just as my non-goto Meade LX70.  They are all made in the same factory overseas, and by Synta.  You can blame Synta for the confusion.

What the hell synta. This is ridiculous. So not only are there all sorts of rebranded models, the name changes based on country?

https://telescopescanada.ca/products/sky-watcher-eqm-35-mount-s30500?variant=32811968331856

This is the one I'm looking at. Apparently the "M" stands for modular. It can be turned into a star tracker as well.

Edited by Jay6879
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1 hour ago, Jay6879 said:

Huh, that looks like a rebranded eqm-35 though. Even the specs are basically identical!

SmartSelect_20210806-105853_Chrome.thumb.jpg.41ebbfea0f210c4881c6e0abf8bab6c8.jpg

 

eqm-35-pro_1800x1800.thumb.jpg.89ace259382aebb9425af6ca0c54348b.jpg

Did you mistake the mount I was inquiring about for something else? 

I get what you're saying, I just meant double the payload capacity of the Star Adventurer on paper, 11lbs vs 22lbs, though I don't plan on getting near the maximum no. I have a new Zenithstar 61ii (360mm) that I've barely used and there seems to be a huge amount of objects I can image before I decide to move on to something else. And even then I'd have to be careful because it needs to be as portable as possible. Right now all the equipment I use adds up to around 7lbs.

I will read up about the heq5, weight and cos, thanks for the suggestion. 

What are the issues with the dec axis you are talking about?

The dec axis is very weak and will have backlash that is only partially adjustable. You can tighten everything down as far as possible without binding and still have play in the gears or the mechanics of the mount itself. This is more noticeable with higher payloads, but not fixed with smaller ones. Backlash will ruin guiding, especially if it is not consistent (it isnt). 

60mm aperture refractor might be an ideal load with the mount, so maybe not entirely a wrong choice.

30 minutes ago, Jay6879 said:

What the hell synta. This is ridiculous. So not only are there all sorts of rebranded models, the name changes based on country?

https://telescopescanada.ca/products/sky-watcher-eqm-35-mount-s30500?variant=32811968331856

This is the one I'm looking at. Apparently the "M" stands for modular. It can be turned into a star tracker as well.

Most products in the affordable astro gear markets are manufactured by some single factory in china and sold under different names and sometimes even wildly different prices. Doesnt mean its all bad, just takes a bit of research to know what youre buying.

The modular part of the mount is its strongest point as it removes its weakest point: The entire DEC axis 🤣. This way its an extra sturdy camera tracker with RA go-to and periodic error correction. That would be a direct upgrade for a star adventurer, but imo a bit of a gimmick.

EQ5 and EQM35 look quite similar but are different instruments and have mechanical differences. The specs dont really mean anything for imaging, they are just marketing fluff. The real payload for imaging purposes is around half of the stated one, if you want to have a consistent mount.

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7 hours ago, Jay6879 said:

What the hell synta. This is ridiculous. So not only are there all sorts of rebranded models, the name changes based on country?

https://telescopescanada.ca/products/sky-watcher-eqm-35-mount-s30500?variant=32811968331856

This is the one I'm looking at. Apparently the "M" stands for modular. It can be turned into a star tracker as well.

Know your Synta equatorials...

vzO8amq.jpg

Of those, the EQ-4 is a bit rare these days, but it does exist.  Those are the basic heads coming out of China.  It is the EQ-5, however, that is the go-to chameleon.

These are the optional modes for the EQM-35...

DoiuNUP.jpg

I have no idea of what that is on the left, but note the teeny-tiny counter-weight within the mode on the right.  That's for balancing a camera, only, no telescope. 

With an EQ5-class mount, you can attach an 80mm refractor, or a 130mm f/5 Newtonian, then insert a camera into those. 

The EQM-35 is for dabbling, puttering; a little bit of this, perhaps a little bit of that, but in the end not much else I'm afraid.

I made a big mistake back in 2012, and got an EQ-3.  I now have an EQ-5, which is the "sweet spot" among equatorials, and portable in its own right.

To be fair, the EQM-35, in its full-blown equatorial mode, will allow for a small telescope with a camera inserted, like a 60mm or 72mm, at most.  Then, you can certainly try an 80mm.  You do want to keep the weights of everything in mind.  The telescope and camera combined should only weigh 50% to 60% of the mount's load-capacity.  

If you reside within or near a heavily light-polluted location, you might want to rethink your strategy.  Then, dare I up the ante and suggest a Sky-Watcher HEQ5(in white)/Orion "Sirius"(in black)?  Those are basic EQ-5 heads, incognito, as well, and enhanced.

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1 hour ago, Alan64 said:

Know your Synta equatorials...

vzO8amq.jpg

Of those, the EQ-4 is a bit rare these days, but it does exist.  Those are the basic heads coming out of China.  It is the EQ-5, however, that is the go-to chameleon.

These are the optional modes for the EQM-35...

DoiuNUP.jpg

I have no idea of what that is on the left, but note the teeny-tiny counter-weight within the mode on the right.  That's for balancing a camera, only, no telescope. 

With an EQ5-class mount, you can attach an 80mm refractor, or a 130mm f/5 Newtonian, then insert a camera into those. 

The EQM-35 is for dabbling, puttering; a little bit of this, perhaps a little bit of that, but in the end not much else I'm afraid.

I made a big mistake back in 2012, and got an EQ-3.  I now have an EQ-5, which is the "sweet spot" among equatorials, and portable in its own right.

To be fair, the EQM-35, in its full-blown equatorial mode, will allow for a small telescope with a camera inserted, like a 60mm or 72mm, at most.  Then, you can certainly try an 80mm.  You do want to keep the weights of everything in mind.  The telescope and camera combined should only weigh 50% to 60% of the mount's load-capacity.  

If you reside within or near a heavily light-polluted location, you might want to rethink your strategy.  Then, dare I up the ante and suggest a Sky-Watcher HEQ5(in white)/Orion "Sirius"(in black)?  Those are basic EQ-5 heads, incognito, as well, and enhanced.

No HEQ5 pictured Alan ?

The HEQ5 was an important step between the EQ5 and the EQ6 I think. You do at least mention it in the last para but the HEQ5 was much more than a slightly enhanced EQ5 I think. Inboard motors for one thing.

I'm not at all sure that the EQ4, that you picture, was a Synta product. Several references I've seen have it as a Kenko product (the Kenko NES) and made in Japan. It's probably been cloned at some point by a Chinese manufacturer though.

The EQ3-2 was also known as the CG-4 and the EQ5 as the CG-5 when branded Celestron, just to make things even more confusing.

 

 

 

 

Edited by John
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1 hour ago, John said:

No HEQ5 pictured Alan ?

The HEQ5 was an important step between the EQ5 and the EQ6 I think. You do at least mention it in the last para but the HEQ5 was much more than a slightly enhanced EQ5 I think. Inboard motors for one thing.

I'm not at all sure that the EQ4 was a Synta product. Several references I've seen have it as a Kenko product (the Kenko NES) and made in Japan. It's probably been cloned at some point by a Chinese manufacturer though.

The EQ3-2 was also known as the EQ-4 and the EQ5 as the CG5 when branded Celestron, just to make things even more confusing.

I did not say "slightly enhanced".  I'm fully aware of their construction.  Then, there's the "Rowan" upgrade. 

I had a chance to get a manual EQ-6 years ago, but I digress.  The HEQ5 is, indeed, seemingly a merging between an EQ-5 and an EQ-6, however "5" is used in its designation.  Perhaps it should have been called an HEQ5.5, or would the "H" eliminate the need for the fraction?  Does anyone know what the "H" indicates in that: heavy-duty?

The only mounts branded "Celestron" in the past have been the CG2(EQ-1), CG3(EQ-2), CG-4(EQ-3), and the CG5(EQ-5), up to that point.  Why the CG-4 has a hyphen, I've no idea.  The CG5 is no more, or rather it has morphed into the go-to variant, the AVX.

By the by, what does the "2" indicate within the EQ3-2?  It's identical to my CG-4.

Did you know that if I had the outlay for an EQ-8, I would custom-order one, and as a manual, then fit my own single motor to the RA-axis.  Yes, quite!

Edited by Alan64
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2 hours ago, Alan64 said:

Know your Synta equatorials...

vzO8amq.jpg

Of those, the EQ-4 is a bit rare these days, but it does exist.  Those are the basic heads coming out of China.  It is the EQ-5, however, that is the go-to chameleon.

These are the optional modes for the EQM-35...

DoiuNUP.jpg

I have no idea of what that is on the left, but note the teeny-tiny counter-weight within the mode on the right.  That's for balancing a camera, only, no telescope. 

With an EQ5-class mount, you can attach an 80mm refractor, or a 130mm f/5 Newtonian, then insert a camera into those. 

The EQM-35 is for dabbling, puttering; a little bit of this, perhaps a little bit of that, but in the end not much else I'm afraid.

I made a big mistake back in 2012, and got an EQ-3.  I now have an EQ-5, which is the "sweet spot" among equatorials, and portable in its own right.

To be fair, the EQM-35, in its full-blown equatorial mode, will allow for a small telescope with a camera inserted, like a 60mm or 72mm, at most.  Then, you can certainly try an 80mm.  You do want to keep the weights of everything in mind.  The telescope and camera combined should only weigh 50% to 60% of the mount's load-capacity.  

If you reside within or near a heavily light-polluted location, you might want to rethink your strategy.  Then, dare I up the ante and suggest a Sky-Watcher HEQ5(in white)/Orion "Sirius"(in black)?  Those are basic EQ-5 heads, incognito, as well, and enhanced.

Well my telescope is only 61mm and with all equipment is around 7lbs so I guess I'm within the weight boundary with this scope eh. The only other scope I could imagine picking up would be a Mak 90 to get in closer to planets or dso's. Turns out Skywatcher says it can handle up to a 127 Mak...

But beyond weight limits and portability is cost. It's like $500 more for the next step up from the ewm that I'm just not willing to spend right now. That's why I was curious if there was anything else in the same price range that would rival the eqm.

 

Regardless, that's a fascinating picture showing all the different eq mounts. Didn't realize there were so many!

Edited by Jay6879
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6 hours ago, Jay6879 said:

Well my telescope is only 61mm and with all equipment is around 7lbs so I guess I'm within the weight boundary with this scope eh. The only other scope I could imagine picking up would be a Mak 90 to get in closer to planets or dso's. Turns out Skywatcher says it can handle up to a 127 Mak...

But beyond weight limits and portability is cost. It's like $500 more for the next step up from the ewm that I'm just not willing to spend right now. That's why I was curious if there was anything else in the same price range that would rival the eqm.

 

Regardless, that's a fascinating picture showing all the different eq mounts. Didn't realize there were so many!

The Orion "SkyView Pro", that I had linked to initially, is the same price, practically, yet more capacious than the EQM-35, as it's an EQ5-class equatorial.  Then, a basic EQ-5 weighs only 5 lbs/2.3 kgs more than a basic EQ-3, the latter from which the EQM-35 arose.

Synta began producing all of those sizes of mounts around the year 2000, save perhaps the EQ-8.  The EQ-8 comes with a tripod, for presumed portability, but perhaps best suited on a pier within a static observatory.  These are the first three, from the smallest, that I have...

212257652_EQ-1EQ-2EQ-3.jpg.1d1123f1bc068f4cbf78c529698361bd.jpg

Then, again, my EQ-3 compared to my EQ-5...

464963832_LX70vsCG-4b.jpg.82bf4c43ea0b6973dccc96f2f4a4bba0.jpg

Whilst it is true that a camera's sensor is far more sensitive than the human eye, therefore not requiring a large telescope, brightness-wise, there is also the aspect of resolution, detail, afforded and increased as you go up in aperture.  This is resolution illustrated; and from my images of the Moon...resolution2.jpg.4a63d2aa14880da2163f66880d1bc339.jpg

Note how the image is softer, on the left; not as much detail seen.

Although, a 61mm will perform quite well, regardless.  I don't want my example to lead you astray.

Incidentally, Synta places a 4"(102mm) refractor atop an EQ-3...

fH7KLbi.jpg

It's doable, but for visual use only, with eyepieces.  Then, Synta also places a 4.7"/120mm(once marketed as a full 5" under the Meade marque) on an EQ-3, which is frightful, but I digress.  Now, this is my 4"/102mm refractor on my EQ-3...

FS-102z2.jpg.653f921fa52f734fc9040651e9036970.jpg

My refractor is actually a bit shorter than Synta's, but it's fatter.  I call it a "porker", for a 4".  Hence, that appears every bit as frightful as Synta's 4.7" on same.  It looks like a large bird perched upon a skinny tree-limb.

All of that is to illustrate the importance of pairing a mount with a telescope, whether for visual-use, where you can get away with it; or for imaging, where you can't.

Edited by Alan64
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5 hours ago, Alan64 said:

Know your Synta equatorials...

vzO8amq.jpg

Of those, the EQ-4 is a bit rare these days, but it does exist.  Those are the basic heads coming out of China.  It is the EQ-5, however, that is the go-to chameleon.

These are the optional modes for the EQM-35...

DoiuNUP.jpg

I have no idea of what that is on the left, but note the teeny-tiny counter-weight within the mode on the right.  That's for balancing a camera, only, no telescope. 

With an EQ5-class mount, you can attach an 80mm refractor, or a 130mm f/5 Newtonian, then insert a camera into those. 

The EQM-35 is for dabbling, puttering; a little bit of this, perhaps a little bit of that, but in the end not much else I'm afraid.

I made a big mistake back in 2012, and got an EQ-3.  I now have an EQ-5, which is the "sweet spot" among equatorials, and portable in its own right.

To be fair, the EQM-35, in its full-blown equatorial mode, will allow for a small telescope with a camera inserted, like a 60mm or 72mm, at most.  Then, you can certainly try an 80mm.  You do want to keep the weights of everything in mind.  The telescope and camera combined should only weigh 50% to 60% of the mount's load-capacity.  

If you reside within or near a heavily light-polluted location, you might want to rethink your strategy.  Then, dare I up the ante and suggest a Sky-Watcher HEQ5(in white)/Orion "Sirius"(in black)?  Those are basic EQ-5 heads, incognito, as well, and enhanced.

Both of the EQM-35 versions in your pic are in the "reduced mode" where the DEC axis is removed. The example on the right uses star adventurer accessories (dovetail, counterweight) for some added stability. To be fair the mount is rock-solid for just a camera and lens in this mode.

I bashed the mount pretty harshly but i think its a bit unfair to say that it allows a 72mm at most. Technically you can mount an 8 inch aluminium newtonian with cameras and guiding on top, its just not time-efficient and you will never get to arcsecond resolution accuracy.

Pictured below is the monstrosity that is my setup and a sample picture. Youll notice that the counterweights are not at the end when the OTA is mounted upside down. RA is workable while DEC i have abandoned completely and rely on polar alignment. Sure the picture is not anyting special and nothing most people havent seen before, but just wanted to make it clear that it is NOT impossible to use the mount for higher payloads. I would just never recommend it as it is a waste of time, most of the time.

20210807_083644.thumb.jpg.54d7f1897249dd1e2e2f63df07571da4.jpg

M81-2h24min-small.thumb.jpg.6ba14519f193021766c011fc0eb318ec.jpg

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Have you had a look at ES iEXOS-100 PMC8? With its default configuration it's a lot cheaper than the EQM35, but also much less stable (similar to a star adventurer but with DEC axis). However once you add the optional upgrade: ST2 or 3 tripod, Fine AZ adjuster, better saddle and additional counterweights, the mount matches or possibly exceeds the specs of EQM35. The cost will also then be in the same ballpark.

According to the ES staff at ESPMC-Eight Groups the iEXOS-100 uses the same stepper motors and belt driven worm gears as the bigger EXOS2 and with the necessary upgrades could carry an imaging payload of about 9.8kg.

Edited by KP82
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6 hours ago, KP82 said:

Have you had a look at ES iEXOS-100 PMC8? With its default configuration it's a lot cheaper than the EQM35, but also much less stable (similar to a star adventurer but with DEC axis). However once you add the optional upgrade: ST2 or 3 tripod, Fine AZ adjuster, better saddle and additional counterweights, the mount matches or possibly exceeds the specs of EQM35. The cost will also then be in the same ballpark.

According to the ES staff at ESPMC-Eight Groups the iEXOS-100 uses the same stepper motors and belt driven worm gears as the bigger EXOS2 and with the necessary upgrades could carry an imaging payload of about 9.8kg.

I actually was looking into that mount, actually the upgrade one with the pmc-8. It's about $200 more but I dunno, the whole thing seemed really flaky. While I'm all for open source stuff I'm not sure I want that for my mount control software. I don't have a tablet so I wouldn't be able to use it anyways! It requires a tablet WITH an SD card for some reason?

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3 hours ago, Jay6879 said:

I actually was looking into that mount, actually the upgrade one with the pmc-8. It's about $200 more but I dunno, the whole thing seemed really flaky. While I'm all for open source stuff I'm not sure I want that for my mount control software. I don't have a tablet so I wouldn't be able to use it anyways! It requires a tablet WITH an SD card for some reason?

I've had my iEXOS-100 for about 10 months now. It's actually pretty well made for its price tag. The PMC8 system offers the possibility to control the mount via WiFi both direct or through ASCOM, but WiFi is never a hard requirement. It works fine just like any other mount with a usb cable (iEXOS-100 has the serial-to-usb controller built in) and a pc for imaging. The latest firmware upgrade provides more customisations.

I use mine mainly for visual. I've got all the upgrades mentioned above. It carries my 107 triplet, 50mm finder and the eyepieces in my sig without any issues. I control it with my phone through Sky Safari connected to a rpi4 running astroberry and some custom scripts (the scripts are for plate solving). I've also tried to image with it and my 72EDF.

 

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16 hours ago, KP82 said:

I've had my iEXOS-100 for about 10 months now. It's actually pretty well made for its price tag. The PMC8 system offers the possibility to control the mount via WiFi both direct or through ASCOM, but WiFi is never a hard requirement. It works fine just like any other mount with a usb cable (iEXOS-100 has the serial-to-usb controller built in) and a pc for imaging. The latest firmware upgrade provides more customisations.

I use mine mainly for visual. I've got all the upgrades mentioned above. It carries my 107 triplet, 50mm finder and the eyepieces in my sig without any issues. I control it with my phone through Sky Safari connected to a rpi4 running astroberry and some custom scripts (the scripts are for plate solving). I've also tried to image with it and my 72EDF.

 

It's awesome that these products like the eqm-35 and iexos are available. Not everybody wants or needs a huge setup. Could you imagine 20 years ago Celestron or Meade having their software be open source? It's a great time to be into this hobby.

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Update

So in the end I decided to take my chances with the eqm-35 pro, I've had two nights in a row with it and I'm very impressed so far. It's well built, the alt/az adjustments, for example, are light-years better than the Star Adventurer. 

Both nights the guiding was phenomenal...

Screenshot_20210814-224250_ASIAIR.thumb.jpg.2accb0e78dd77cddc38f93a104b3bb96.jpg

This was after two hours of guiding, the average was under 1" rms. There were a few times it peaked to 1.2"-ish but quickly corrected. Last night I felt comfortable enough to sleep while it imaged and I captured almost 5hrs worth of data, and since it plays well with the asiair pro when it was done it parked itself and shut off. 

Thus far, with the equipment I have now, this has worked out very well. One complaint is both axis are quite stiff, it can be hard to balance properly though I must be doing something right if I've got guiding numbers like that?

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The stiffness goes away with a bit of use. Or you could loosen up the nuts holding the axis together, its very sensitive to tiny changes which is why i believe they slightly over tighten it in the factory. I would be very happy with a guide graph like that, but then again my mount is grossly unmatched for my OTA.

995194145_Goodluck.thumb.PNG.a4169fb790ce3a7d847b842e3b950ceb.PNG

Mine looks like a seismograph.

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46 minutes ago, ONIKKINEN said:

The stiffness goes away with a bit of use. Or you could loosen up the nuts holding the axis together, its very sensitive to tiny changes which is why i believe they slightly over tighten it in the factory. I would be very happy with a guide graph like that, but then again my mount is grossly unmatched for my OTA.

995194145_Goodluck.thumb.PNG.a4169fb790ce3a7d847b842e3b950ceb.PNG

Mine looks like a seismograph.

To be honest I don't want to rock the boat. I marked off where everything was that got me these numbers two nights in a row so hopefully going forward it can continue to be replicated. If anything pops up I'll start tweaking things!

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4 hours ago, ONIKKINEN said:

The stiffness goes away with a bit of use. Or you could loosen up the nuts holding the axis together, its very sensitive to tiny changes which is why i believe they slightly over tighten it in the factory. I would be very happy with a guide graph like that, but then again my mount is grossly unmatched for my OTA.

995194145_Goodluck.thumb.PNG.a4169fb790ce3a7d847b842e3b950ceb.PNG

Mine looks like a seismograph.

What sort of exposure lengths can you get with your setup?

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9 hours ago, Jay6879 said:

What sort of exposure lengths can you get with your setup?

The graph here is with 60s exposures, dithers every 3 frames (gray stripes are dithers). Ive since dropped DEC guiding as it does some wild trips to arcminute error territories for a pretty long time after a dither sometimes. Working on making one directional DEC maybe working if its at all possible.

60s is really all i need and overkill for some targets with 200mm aperture in light pollution so i don't feel the need to take longer subs, but as you can see the spikes in RA (blue) are within a couple of seconds of eachother so any exposure can be ruined. These spikes i believe are the result of mechanical flexing of the mount itself somewhere along the counterweight-RA axis. RA tries to correct, but vibrates/flexes "back" in the next exposure and PHD tries to fight a drift that is not real or consistent. I did take some 3 minute subs for a test once but had to throw them all out, any small gust of wind will knock the giant light newtonian tube off course. This was also taken quite near the meridian, where balancing is key and the biggest problem, its not quite this bad somewhere else in the sky.

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2 hours ago, ONIKKINEN said:

The graph here is with 60s exposures, dithers every 3 frames (gray stripes are dithers). Ive since dropped DEC guiding as it does some wild trips to arcminute error territories for a pretty long time after a dither sometimes. Working on making one directional DEC maybe working if its at all possible.

60s is really all i need and overkill for some targets with 200mm aperture in light pollution so i don't feel the need to take longer subs, but as you can see the spikes in RA (blue) are within a couple of seconds of eachother so any exposure can be ruined. These spikes i believe are the result of mechanical flexing of the mount itself somewhere along the counterweight-RA axis. RA tries to correct, but vibrates/flexes "back" in the next exposure and PHD tries to fight a drift that is not real or consistent. I did take some 3 minute subs for a test once but had to throw them all out, any small gust of wind will knock the giant light newtonian tube off course. This was also taken quite near the meridian, where balancing is key and the biggest problem, its not quite this bad somewhere else in the sky.

That's still quite impressive that it can handle it, you've got over 15lbs loaded up right? Does the eqm dither well? It was a nightmare on the Star Adventurer so I never bothered with it.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, SteveNickolls said:

An iOptron Gem 28?

Cheers,

Steve

Actually no I went for the eqm-35!

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