After a bit of a rocky start, I can finally and happily report that my iExos-100 is functioning the best I could possibly hope.
Here's the gear:
Mount: iExos-100 with tripod legs not extended for stability. Leveled, then balanced, then Polaris sighted through PA tunnel
Telescope: William Optics Zenithstar 73 430mm focal length; f5.9 (with WO's 1:1 flattener)
Camera: Stock Canon 60d (no filters) (which has a 1.6x crop sensor)
Guidescope: William Optics 50mm (200mm focal length)
Guidecam: zwo asi290mc
Software: serial ASCOM using POTH Hub tied into Nighttime Imaging N Astronomy (NINA), ASTAP for platesolving, PHD2 for guiding. NINA is a one-stop shop and does all of it once you download everything and get all the settings correct. With windows 10 on a mac through parallels.
The weight of the telescope, cameras, counterweights, etc, comes to 20.4lbs.
I went on vacation to a bortle 3-4 so used it to really test the limits of this mount. Unfortunately, I was somewhere VERY hot (generally above 90 until 12 or 1am) so my subs were unbelievably noisy. I took calibration frames but they weren't enough to get rid of all of it. Honestly though, I pretty thrilled with the performance I got!
Pinwheel Galaxy - 27x 240 seconds
Helix Nebula - 18 x 300 seconds (!!!!!!!!) these are noisy as heck but had PINPOINT stars
My guiding was unbelievably smooth. I dithered every frame hoping to help with noise and also to give the poor DSLR sensor an extra second to cool down but my guiding was consistently below .5 seconds.
Finally, I’m also including an image from my primary viewing location, which is pretty obstructed (so much that I can’t see Polaris or either horizon to do a proper drift alignment) and in the middle of bortle 8-9 skies (Los Angeles), using a cheap CLS filter from amazon.
Trifid Nebula – 74x40 seconds
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to processing but I am thrilled that this is my starting place!!