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Takahashi EM200 still problematic


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Hi,

I have decided to send this mount back. Initial problems of wild unrequested slews have gone away after cleaning up all connections and settling on a standard routine for which USB goes where and in what order. (When are computers going to grow up?)

But I still get aboninable tracking accuracy, above all in Dec. There is clearly a fault in the backlash adjustment since the mount oscillates between above and below the right position. I confirmed this (you may laugh!!) by attaching an elastic to the bottom of the tube and setting it to pull gently in one direction. The oscillating stopped but I'm blowed if I'm adding two metres of knicker elastic to the existing cables that entangle the observatory! Further confirmation comes when you change a filter; you expect to nudge the mount but the amount of 'nudge' on this mount is about 4 times what I get on an EQ6. Something has too much play.

What is NOT good is that I have heard nothing from Takahashi in over a month, dealing via the importer. That's it, they can have it back. I expect service when I pay premium prices. Indeed I expect it when I don't. I'm now bracing myself for arguing the toss over whether it goes for repair or replacement or refund. I like refund. I will try to get an AP Mach One instead. To hell with it, even an AP900.

Olly

UPDATE The Dutch importer Robtics (www.robtics.nl) have replied to my mail of this morning within an hour and are sending a new mount out straight away without waiting to receive the original. Now that is service so I have agreed to do it. They said they have failed to get a satisfactory answer out of Tak but Robtics can't be blamed for that.

By the way, I hung on till this week before doing anything because there was always the possibility that I was the problem! But Tom O'Donoghue is here now and has an EM200 which he loves. He did his best with mine for two nights and then gave up and said, 'Just send it back. There is something wrong with it.'

Edited by ollypenrice
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that's a really bad experience Olly, you've spent some time trying to get that mount to work and time is very precious in this hobby. I hope the new one works perfectly as you would expect for that price.

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I know just how you feel Olly, I had problems with my Vixen Atlux Skysensor controller, Vixen customer support was worse than zero, in fact I believe the dealer actually lied to me about sending the unit to Japan for repair. In the end I took the mount to AWR Technology and had it converted to their microstep drive system. I find it incredible that some major manufacturers and dealers seem to have no idea how to look after their customers, what fools, how likely is it that I would ever spend my money on their products again! At least your dealer has looked after you properly.

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Thanks for the moral suport, guys. It really does mean a lot to me. We were imaging till five this morning and I have been up all day getting the spare mount ready so I guess Tom will be checkong everything I do tonight!! But it looks like we will be running at least.

So cloned on the EM200 is the EQ6 that you can put an EQ6 on a Tak pier top jusslikethat!!

Would you believe a motherboard fried on the spare EQ6 so I had that to change as well. Gor blimey...

Olly

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Hi Olly,

Most disapointing but not surprising. It appears, and I could be wrong but, the only person that Tak deal / listen to outside Japan is Art Ciampi. One of the main Tak dealers in Japan won't even reply to emails if they're not written in Japanese. Fair enough you may think but not if the sender has just spent thousands in the place.

I sincerely hope this blip is now over.

I've heard EQ6 boards some times don't like flakey power supplies. Give it a good check.

Dave.

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Hi Dave,

I think that Tak are very Japanese, as you imply. That is okay but remove their American sales and would they exist? You get a set of 'instructions' that look as if they were printed on a Banda machine by a sunday school teacher in a Dorset village circa 1910. They just run out of paper before getting to the bit about finding an object using RA and DEC. All this is forgven by owners who plug in their mounts and sit there on a tracking trace of +/- 0.04 pixels on both axes. I look forward to joining them.

They have a company culture problem despite making great stuff. My rave review of the Baby Q stands as firm as ever. It is the best instrument I have ever touched.

Olly

Olly

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Not had a problem with my NJP except user error but they really need to do something about customer aftercare and I agree the booklets are c**p but thats not only a Tak fault

Oh and don't get me started about the adaptors you need to get up and running

Hope you get the clone sorted and a replacement for the 200

Steve

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If there's a problem with Takahashi support it's a Japanese thing.

My wife is Japanese and when I've dealt with Tak via her, they have treated me like a King. (Or possibly an Emperor...)

The Australian Tak dealer also seems to have no problems, as I understand it, so those of us down here aren't forced to deal with Art in the USA.

It's a real shame that Olly has had these problems with his EM-200, because frankly it's hard to do better than Tak hardware and optics as far as sheer and unadulterated craftsmanship goes.*

My money is still on that mount having been seriously brutalised by somebody between it leaving the Tak factory and arriving at Olly's place.

*Yes, I'm a Tak fanboy.

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if you need some email or document you are sending to them translating into Japanese to get a better response, drop me a pm and I'll ask my wife to translate it, but it would need to be quite brief as she's really busy and I don't have many brownie points (could even be negative points)!;)

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if you need some email or document you are sending to them translating into Japanese to get a better response, drop me a pm and I'll ask my wife to translate it, but it would need to be quite brief as she's really busy and I don't have many brownie points (could even be negative points)!;)

That's very, very kind of you. I used to be a professional buyer years ago and so I stick rigidly to the principle that I bought from an outlet and therefore I deal only with them. But your generous offer is appreciated. I hope the points situation improves!! Mine's a bit perilous as well, having been either in the workshop or the observatory for 60 out of the last 72 hours... But the stand-in mount performed like a trooper last night and delivered us of a beautiful baby Trifid so we kept going through the assorted breakdowns.

Olly

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if you need some email or document you are sending to them translating into Japanese to get a better response, drop me a pm and I'll ask my wife to translate it...

There are three other amateur astronomers I know of besides myself here in tiny NZ who have Japanese wives.

Oh and we all have cats too, of course.

The correlation between astronomers and cats was already well-established, but the Japanese wife thing...?

;)

Edited by Marmite
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we were almost moving to NZ and I will probably get a cat too as I like them! ;) (actually moving to Oz for visa/work reasons, but it's close enough....relatively :))[/quote

May not seem that close when you get there! It's like the Amercicans in a cartoon I saw. They get off the plane at Heathrow and say, 'Could you direct me to Anne Hathaway's Cottage, please.'

Curiously the closer you get to a palce the further apart things seem...

Olly

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Hi Olly,

I'm sorry to hear you had problems with your mount but pleased that the dealer you used is getting it resolved.

I have used the UK dealer here for all my tak purchases, and....touch wood.....Nick at TruTek has always gave good service and the scopes purchased off him have been excellent.

One thing I will mention is when I was thinking of choosing a mount for my observatory I did quite seriously consider the njp or the new em500. I spoke to quite a few people and the opinion was they are very good, but very 'Japanese'! Not sure what this means but I think it relates to their very individual way of doing things.

For what it's worth I bought the paramount ME and to cut a long story short, after 2 blown PCB's later I have one fantastic mount, the guys at SB in Colorado made the problems very easy to deal with, but I could deal directly with them unlike the guys in Japan.

Hope your second mount is as good as I have heard they can be.

All the best,

Neil.

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Sorry to here about the problems Olly. Very helpful to be able to compare side by side with Tom's mount. The whole point of getting a Tak is for it to work straight out of the box without tweaking!

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Thanks Martin and Neil. When the mount was on form it showed what it could do, which was darned impressive. I'm sure the replacement will be fine. Meanwhile the humble EQ6 knocked out brilliant guide values last night so we are all happy. That's the main thing.

It is slightly scary to think that I bought my Fiat Panda twin cam turbo fuel injection diesel new for the same price as this mount and in four years absolutely, literally, nothing has gone wrong with it. 73 mpg, unaffected by snow and purring along at 3000 rpm at eighty. Now that's what I call working straight from the box!

Anyway, Tom and I are more than a little pleased with our Trifid luminance... When Tom peers at an image for ten minutes and says 'It's all there' you know it's a good'un!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Hi Olly,

Just joined this forum. Sorry to hear about the troubles with the EM200. When do you expect to receive the new unit from Robtics?

I also read that you'll receive an iEQ45 for testing. Very curious on the tracking and stability of that mount. Judging its low price, that mount may become very popular (as in EQ-sixes being replaced by this newcomer).

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Greetings and welcome, Maurice. A nice surprize to find you here.

Rob and Menno are trying to send out a new mount straight away but it is not a problem because the EQ6 is going very well at the moment.

I agree that the iOptron could be the choice of many in the time to come, if it is a good product. It looks a bit like your AP but let's not get too optimistic!!

Welcome to SGL. Folks are going to love your pictures...

Olly

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I had been thinking about getting a Celestron CGEM mount this winter, but with the IEQ45 being only a few hundred more it certainly looks like it could be the way to go. I'll be very interested to see how you get on with your IEQ45 and if it really is as good as the specs suggest.

John

Edited by johninderby
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Hi John,

The review will be for Astronomy Now though I gather delivery of the first mounts will be delayed by a couple of months. To be honest this suits me because I have too may things to do in the peak holiday season.

Olly

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a social visit from the Robtics boss Rob Lefeber, a most genial giant of a man, the other day and he actually took the mount back there and then, which saved me the hassle of organizing collection. That was rather handy! He was in the area on holiday, observing with Danny Cardoen's 1 metre RC at Puis Michel.

Meanwhile the EQ sixes march solidly on.

Olly

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Hi Olly,

I also read that you'll receive an iEQ45 for testing. Very curious on the tracking and stability of that mount. Judging its low price, that mount may become very popular (as in EQ-sixes being replaced by this newcomer).

aah...you got that one?

Price is double that of the EQ6, so I think it's a different ballgame, but were I Losmandy, I would be papping it right now!

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