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New Hybrid iOptron HEM27 Harmonic/ Worm gear


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Interesting new mount announcement from iOptron with very little fanfare as far as I can see. From iOptron’s website

Introducing the HEM27 and the HEM27EC, iOptron’s revolutionary hybrid harmonic drive mounts. These light weight, high payload tiny titans will deliver an astronomy experience like never before. Imagine a mount head weighing in at 8.15lbs with a payload capability 29.74lbs, without needing a cumbersome counterweight or shaft. 

Utilizing state of the art harmonic drive technology for the RA movement in tandem with backlash-free DEC worm/belt drive design, the HEM27s deliver unparalleled weight to payload efficiency. 

The HEM27EC features a high precision RA axis encoder that delivers incredible tracking accuracy, enough that many will choose to image “sans” guiding.

 

Don’t have the technical background to comment but I wonder why they decided to keep a belt driven worm gear on the DEC. Price is very competitive coming in at half the price of rainbow RST and cheaper and lighter than the ZWO AM5. 
 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Icesheet said:

but I wonder why they decided to keep a belt driven worm gear on the DEC. Price is very competitive coming in at half the price of rainbow RST and cheaper and lighter than the ZWO AM5.

I think you probably answered your own question ;)

Mark

Edited by markse68
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, markse68 said:

I think you probably answered your own question ;)

Mark

Probably 😊

Still, if the trade off saves me some me money, a lot of weight and I get similar guided performance out of it then I can live with that. 
 

For what it’s worth my CEM40 had very little backlash and I love the idea that a 3.5kg mount head could carry my rig with no counterweights at that price. 

Edited by Icesheet
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Counterweights are such a literal pain, especially if you assemble and breakdown every session, why I tend to use my azgti more than my gem.

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Looks interesting, if it come in under the price of the Zwo Harmonic and has those payloads to weight ratio it looks tempting. I realise the Zwo is uses the harmonic gear setup on both RA and DEC (I think?) but this hybrid approach with a worm/belt system on the DEC might work perfectly well and if it saves on manufacturing costs...

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Looks like a very interesting design approach. Interested in seeing the real world unguided performance. I assume that is a prototype given that it looks like something you would bolt to a tractor hitch 🤣

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On 07/05/2022 at 22:03, Icesheet said:

@FLO get me on the pre order list please 😉

Thank-you 🤗

IOptron revealed this new mount to dealers only Friday.

They have promised us pricing info early this week so we should be able to add it to our website before end of week. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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1 hour ago, FLO said:

Thank-you 🤗

IOptron revealed this new mount to dealers only Friday.

They have promised us pricing info early this week so we should be able to add it to our website before end of week. 

HTH, 

Steve 

Perfect 😊

 

I’ll keep a look out for it 👍🏻

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10 hours ago, 900SL said:

Looks like a very interesting design approach. Interested in seeing the real world unguided performance. I assume that is a prototype given that it looks like something you would bolt to a tractor hitch 🤣

I’m not expecting great unguided performance based on the other harmonic mounts. As long as it can hold a loaded Esprit 100 with no counterweights and guide sub arc sec RMS I’m in!

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4 hours ago, Icesheet said:

I’m not expecting great unguided performance based on the other harmonic mounts. As long as it can hold a loaded Esprit 100 with no counterweights and guide sub arc sec RMS I’m in!

There's a HEM27EC with encoder that comes in at under half the cost of an RST-135E. if it comes close to how RST-135E owners report unguided performance, it should be a considered option.

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15 hours ago, raadoo said:

There's a HEM27EC with encoder that comes in at under half the cost of an RST-135E. if it comes close to how RST-135E owners report unguided performance, it should be a considered option.

I did see that but it might be stretching the pennies a bit further than I had planned. Having said that it’s a significant birthday this year. Maybe I could treat myself 😆

I’ll have a read round to see what’s being said about the 135E. 

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4 hours ago, Icesheet said:

I did see that but it might be stretching the pennies a bit further than I had planned. Having said that it’s a significant birthday this year. Maybe I could treat myself 😆

I’ll have a read round to see what’s being said about the 135E. 

For what it may be worth, I'm over the Moon (pun intended) with my little RST-135 (non-E).

If the HEM27EC delivers on better performance than the regular 135 because of the encoder, then it's worth stretching those pennies.

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On 09/05/2022 at 15:42, FLO said:

IOptron revealed this new mount to dealers only Friday.

They have promised us pricing info early this week so we should be able to add it to our website before end of week. 

Done 🙂 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, cfrommen said:

I still like to see a compact mount that allows me to do both: Alt-AZ and EQ. Something like the RST-135 but for half the price.

If this one doesn't actually turn out to allow EQ/ALT-AZ config... the ZWO AM5 does.. which is almost half the price of the RST-135 :) 

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On 09/05/2022 at 21:13, raadoo said:

There's a HEM27EC with encoder that comes in at under half the cost of an RST-135E. if it comes close to how RST-135E owners report unguided performance, it should be a considered option.

Yes I have my eye firmly on the EC version for this reason. I also have and love the RST-135 (non E) for my refractors, but it is not quite good enough to guide my 8" EDGEHD....the 0.5 second guide exposures needed for optimal performance all but rule out an OAG for the EDGE, but the feedback from the RST-135E suggests the encoder-tamed PE allows for 2-3 second guide exposures which brings the OAG back into the equation. If the HEM27EC does similar at a significantly lower price than that mount, as you say, it could be a game changer for longer focal length imaging.

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This is an interesting hybrid mount, but one thing that intrigues me is that the tech-specs for the non-EC version show it to have PPEC. One thing I have gleaned, looking at these strainwave mounts, is that periodic error is not regular and therefore it should not be possible to use PPEC. The EC version is a different story of course, as it applies error correction in real time.

I've plumped for the ZWO AM5, another unknown quantity of course, but I can't afford the Rainbow mounts. At least I know it should talk to the ASIAir without issues, and it can be used as an alt-az mount, should it ever be needed. Still hoping it'll be delivered in June, subject to the ongoing Covid restrictions in China.

Ian

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On 13/05/2022 at 10:00, The Admiral said:

This is an interesting hybrid mount, but one thing that intrigues me is that the tech-specs for the non-EC version show it to have PPEC. One thing I have gleaned, looking at these strainwave mounts, is that periodic error is not regular and therefore it should not be possible to use PPEC. The EC version is a different story of course, as it applies error correction in real time.

I've plumped for the ZWO AM5, another unknown quantity of course, but I can't afford the Rainbow mounts. At least I know it should talk to the ASIAir without issues, and it can be used as an alt-az mount, should it ever be needed. Still hoping it'll be delivered in June, subject to the ongoing Covid restrictions in China.

Ian

For those who want to use the mount for visual as well as AP, it's worth noting that the HEM27 ships with a hand controller and full goto. The AM5 appears to rely on an ASIAIR or some other external controller to provide goto facilities, so a bit less flexible for casual use.

I am keen to see some reviews of these new harmonic drive mounts - while not in the market at the moment, having a single mount that is not much bigger than my AZ-GTI but which can carry all my scopes is an attractive proposition. No counterweights and an easier setup than my AVX would make it much easier/quicker if travelling to darker sites than my back garden.

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19 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

The AM5 appears to rely on an ASIAIR or some other external controller to provide goto facilities, so a bit less flexible for casual use.

ZWO have apparently released the mobile ASI Mount App for iPad and Android which will communicate with the mount via Wi-Fi, and will allow you to control the mount, do goto, and has built in planetarium. What's not to like? :)

Ian

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28 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

For those who want to use the mount for visual as well as AP, it's worth noting that the HEM27 ships with a hand controller and full goto. The AM5 appears to rely on an ASIAIR or some other external controller to provide goto facilities, so a bit less flexible for casual use.

I am keen to see some reviews of these new harmonic drive mounts - while not in the market at the moment, having a single mount that is not much bigger than my AZ-GTI but which can carry all my scopes is an attractive proposition. No counterweights and an easier setup than my AVX would make it much easier/quicker if travelling to darker sites than my back garden.

 

To be fair to the AM5, it does come with what looks like half a Nintendo Wii nunchuck.  Hopefully they'll be less prone to getting thrown through TV's.  I guess it depends on ZWO's attitude, but the Wi-Fi could mean you could control the AM5 from a tablet or phone and Stellarium/Skytracker which is not quite as limiting an external source.

I agree the potential of one mount, many scopes is very interesting. 

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In fact, I've just downloaded the ASI Mount app onto my Android tablet from the Playstore. It would seem to do the job, but all I really need is for my mount to arrive ;<)

Ian

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25 minutes ago, The Admiral said:

ZWO have apparently released the mobile ASI Mount App for iPad and Android which will communicate with the mount via Wi-Fi, and will allow you to control the mount, do goto, and has built in planetarium. What's not to like? :)

Ian

It's a personal preference, but I prefer the tactile feedback from pressing buttons when slewing the telescope rather than using a touchscreen - it's probably the one thing that irritates me about the AZ-GTI - but I don't want to pay £150 for a hand-controller.

When I am using the AVX, I use a gamepad for slewing via CPWI when controlling the mount via a laptop instead of the hand-controller.

Wasn't aware they had released the app, which does make it a lot more attractive for visual users.

 

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16 minutes ago, Shimrod said:

It's a personal preference

 

Indeed. But I guess things are so fluid now we still might not be able to find the exact combination of preferences. I accept that as an early adopter I will have to take things as they come. I intend to use the ASIAir for imaging anyway, so my needs will be different. Each to their own.

Ian

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