#21  
Old 15-07-2019, 09:03 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Originally Posted by benklerk View Post
I just ordered the CEM120EC with the RA encoder. Ordered it though Sidereal Trading so I have full Australian warranty on the mount. I should have it in about 3 weeks. I also got 4 counterweights and the permanent pier.

This is going along with all new gear, including a 14" RC with a G4-16000 camera with filters.

Cant wait to set everything up.
Nice.

I'll be ordering more counterweights later on when I load up my mount with a side by side setup and put at least 2 scopes on there (RC10 + Sharpstar 107PH and maybe the Coronado as well).

I got mine through Telescopes and Astronomy, so I also have Australian warranty/consumer protection.
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  #22  
Old 28-07-2019, 02:30 PM
ghealey56 (Geoff)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benklerk View Post
I just ordered the CEM120EC with the RA encoder. Ordered it though Sidereal Trading so I have full Australian warranty on the mount. I should have it in about 3 weeks. I also got 4 counterweights and the permanent pier.

This is going along with all new gear, including a 14" RC with a G4-16000 camera with filters.

Cant wait to set everything up.

Ben
I have ordered a CEM60EC also through Paul Litchen at Sidereal Trading. Terrific services and I gather there are a few of us filled with iOptron anticipation!
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  #23  
Old 14-08-2019, 09:09 AM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Time for an update. I've had other things on my plate for a bit besides this hobby, so time has been an issue.

However, shortly after my last update, I got the mount on to the pier in the dome and loaded up the counterweights. Then to my shock, I discovered I could not get the RC10 or my other dovetail (for the refractor) on to the mount's saddle plate. I was very annoyed that I had not checked this beforehand while it was in the house, but it just did not occur to me that it would be an issue.

To cut a very long story short, I now have a replacement mount saddle plate that I received yesterday. My RC10 now fits it quite snugly. The other plate slides in/out much easier.

I held off on an update until this was resolved to ensure the full picture can be presented - overall support with iOptron has been good/ok given it's via email and massive time zone differences (they're in US east coast). It took nearly a month to sort out as I had to post the saddle plate to them first before they would send a replacement. I can understand this process, but it's still frustrating.

So, what was the issue you might be thinking? There's specs for what a losmandy dovertail should be, and theoretically there's also specs for the mount saddle plate too (as provided by iOptron). I hit the "perfect" combo of my dovetail plates being slightly over spec and the mount saddle plate slightly under spec. There's 2 significant measurements here - the narrow and large widths. For my problem it was the narrow width that caused the grief.

So while I was not "blameless" for this problem given the out of spec dovetails, iOptron really had the greater fault in not ensuring the mount saddle plate was correct spec. If they were at perfect spec, my dovetails would have worked, albeit with tight margins. Also, I personally believe their mount saddle plate is inferior to what I've used on the G11.

However, it should be noted that iOptron has come through and sorted out the problem for me.

I'm hoping I can do more with it tonight, weather permitting - and if we can get my dome rotation going again.
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  #24  
Old 15-08-2019, 12:09 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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I did manage to do some more work on the setup yesterday/last night.

With all the time passing, I've become a little impatient, so I decided to put the RC10 on for the largest FL I've got to really test things out (so no FR, just the "vanilla" 2000mm F8 setup). I may need to collimate the scope, so this setup may change to my refractor depending on how that goes.

The first thing I discovered was that balancing the CEM seemed to be a little bit more tricky than the GEM. Part of this was related to only having 2 counterweights and the back heaviness of the RC10. Getting the RA balance close was not too difficult, but I had to adjust it if I made changes to get the DEC balance sorted (when shifting weight as well as the obvious add/remove weight).

The DEC balance was more difficult because of the saddle plate locking knobs. I wanted to ensure all 3 were used to grabbed the dovetail, so the RC10 was sitting back further than what I used to have on the G11. To sort out the lack of weight on the front, I found that using my solar scope mounted on the top rail did the trick - which is handy because I was planning to mount it there anyway.

Wiring up the mount is great now. I connect to the mount via ethernet, so that's one less cable to the computer. I also connect to the USB3 on the mount, and have wired up the camera, fw and guide cam to that. I'll be adding the focuser to that as well, but it means I have just one direct connection from mount to PC - USB3.

Not content with just changing one thing, I messed with a few other things, including the OAG I was using, a tilt adjuster, the spacing between the camera and the filter wheel, etc. This meant that it took me a while to sort out the correct backfocus. It didn't help when the guide camera got chosen instead of the main camera when I was trying to check things. It confused me until I realised what was happening and sorted it out.

Eventually I got a very rough focus in place and noticed the PA was quite whacked (well having done no PA so far, probably not a surprise. ). My dome still can't rotate, so I had a fixed opening to try to sort it out. I spent a bit of time trying to get it better, but I was still getting drift in one direction. I ran out of time to do any more (and I was getting tired), so I hope to continue tonight. I'll go back to basics and work it out from scratch.

I am starting to get used to the idiosyncrasies of the mount hand controller and the Commander software. There's a few things in each I would do differently (just like for the G11), but nothing that's completely broken. Probably the most annoying thing is having to power cycle the mount if you park using the hand controller. The Commander software allows you to unpark. Just the usual type of weirdness one gets with astro gear/software.
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