Date   

Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

Hi Craig,

We currently do not provide a longer counter-weight bar, but you can call customer service at +1 (866) 252-3811 ext. 2 and Kent can take your order for extra weights.
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Craig Bobchin
 

Jerry,

Do you know where I might get a longer counterweight bar and exrea weights that will fit the counterweight bar? 


Re: iEXOS 100 RA Axis Loose #ExploreScientific

jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

Hello Jalowry,

 

I am curious as to the number of versions of the iEXOS-100 are out there and which one is current from the manufacturer?  These are the right and left sides of my mount respectively.  Notice, how the altitude is located on the left side is highlighted in white, no such markings on the right side as you view the mount from the back.

 

 

 

JR

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of Alex Sanchez - Explore Scientific R&D and Director of Quality
Sent: Thursday, May 9, 2019 8:31 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] iEXOS 100 RA Axis Loose #ExploreScientific

 

Hi jalowry

 

Give me a couple of day and I will send you a video on how I adjust lash,  but first  is important to identify where the movement is coming from, the person in the you to video turn out to be that he forgot to tighten the AZ bolts after adjusting his latitude.  Just make sure this bolts are not loose and that you check for lash buy the head of the mount and not by the counter weight shaft, this may mislead you.

 

Alex

 

De: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] En nombre de jalowry0328 via Groups.Io
Enviado el: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 11:51 PM
Para: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Asunto: [ESPMC-Eight] iEXOS 100 RA Axis Loose #ExploreScientific

 

Hi everyone

I recently received the iEXOS-100 mount and have been impressed with it. I am quite new to astronomy in general and this is my first mount to replace the junky tripod that came with my scope. I took all my gear out for the first time tonight as the skies were decently clear for once. All I was able to do was look at and take some photos of the moon as my university is a white zone for light pollution.

About half way through my short session the RA axis seemed to develop a bit of play/slop as if it was loosened somehow. I'm talking about the bit that has the two hex bolts that's right above the plastic box with the small cover with the gears/belts inside.

My issue is very similar if not the same as seen in this youtube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Et4xiiy38

Is this something that  I can fix easily by just tightening the two bolts? The guy in the video said in the comments that he was sent another one but I would like to avoid having to ship it back.

Thanks!


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@...>
 

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the response and ideas.  Jerry added to the comments and said that the Android app is not the same as the iOS app.  Hence the reason for this, particular discrepancy.  He also added they are working on a release that would put the apps more in sync.

Regards,
Richard

Sent from my pocket. 

On May 9, 2019, at 2:23 AM, brian skinner <brianjimskinner@...> wrote:

Hi Richard, as I'm not running iOS I can't help on this problem I'm afraid. I know you have mentioned this before but have you turned auto alignment off before you start?
Also before I start anything in Explorestars I find it helps to restart my controlling device first to ensure a everything  is fully synchronised. On the Android app there is a prompt to do this whenever any changes are made to any of the settings....
One other thought, after you have syncd to your first star if you return to the catalogue page you should then be offered to choose your second star, thus ignoring the suggested one that appears on the home page.
Kind regards, Brian 

On Wed, 8 May 2019 17:36 Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@... wrote:
Hi Brian,

I just tried this as a practice run during the daytime using “practice stars” to check if this works in iOS.  It does not work.  I connect to the mount via my iPad then chose “Two Star Alignment”.  It suggest a star that I ignore and go to the catalogue,... there I clicked on the “Alignment” button on the top and chose Deneb, the “Slew To”.  ExploreStars goes back to the main page but the object shown is not the one I selected but the original one that it had there in the first place. Not sure what I’m missing.

Richard


iEXOS 100 RA Axis Loose #ExploreScientific

jalowry0328@...
 

Hi everyone

I recently received the iEXOS-100 mount and have been impressed with it. I am quite new to astronomy in general and this is my first mount to replace the junky tripod that came with my scope. I took all my gear out for the first time tonight as the skies were decently clear for once. All I was able to do was look at and take some photos of the moon as my university is a white zone for light pollution.

About half way through my short session the RA axis seemed to develop a bit of play/slop as if it was loosened somehow. I'm talking about the bit that has the two hex bolts that's right above the plastic box with the small cover with the gears/belts inside.

My issue is very similar if not the same as seen in this youtube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Et4xiiy38

Is this something that  I can fix easily by just tightening the two bolts? The guy in the video said in the comments that he was sent another one but I would like to avoid having to ship it back.

Thanks!


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

brian skinner
 

Hi Richard, as I'm not running iOS I can't help on this problem I'm afraid. I know you have mentioned this before but have you turned auto alignment off before you start?
Also before I start anything in Explorestars I find it helps to restart my controlling device first to ensure a everything  is fully synchronised. On the Android app there is a prompt to do this whenever any changes are made to any of the settings....
One other thought, after you have syncd to your first star if you return to the catalogue page you should then be offered to choose your second star, thus ignoring the suggested one that appears on the home page.
Kind regards, Brian 

On Wed, 8 May 2019 17:36 Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@... wrote:
Hi Brian,

I just tried this as a practice run during the daytime using “practice stars” to check if this works in iOS.  It does not work.  I connect to the mount via my iPad then chose “Two Star Alignment”.  It suggest a star that I ignore and go to the catalogue,... there I clicked on the “Alignment” button on the top and chose Deneb, the “Slew To”.  ExploreStars goes back to the main page but the object shown is not the one I selected but the original one that it had there in the first place. Not sure what I’m missing.

Richard


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Gord Farmer
 

Any estimation on when the help section will be available on the iOS version of explore stars? 
 Any videos on you tube etc. Deal with windows .
But I am slowly getting it sorted .  Still , love the mount and scope and looking forward to being able to get the most out of it .
 
Cheers 
Gord (newbie) lol




On May 8, 2019, at 3:57 PM, Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering <jrh@...> wrote:

On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 12:39 PM, Wes Mcdonald wrote:
The iOS app works differently than does the Android when it comes to selecting stars from the catalog
Wes is correct in that we are still working on getting all three apps synchronized in their features and behavior. 
 
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Wed, May 8, 2019 at 12:39 PM, Wes Mcdonald wrote:
The iOS app works differently than does the Android when it comes to selecting stars from the catalog
Wes is correct in that we are still working on getting all three apps synchronized in their features and behavior. 
 
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@...>
 

Hi Wes,

Thanks for the reply.  However, “Harry”, in a few posts earlier said he tried this method with iOS and it worked for him.  Do I need to load a different version of the app?

Richard

Sent from my pocket. 

On May 8, 2019, at 11:39 AM, Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...> wrote:

Richard

You are not missing anything.  The iOS app works differently than does the Android when it comes to selecting stars from the catalog.  You just have to next your way through the selections.  I think.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Wes Mcdonald
 

Richard

You are not missing anything.  The iOS app works differently than does the Android when it comes to selecting stars from the catalog.  You just have to next your way through the selections.  I think.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@...>
 

Hi Brian,

I just tried this as a practice run during the daytime using “practice stars” to check if this works in iOS.  It does not work.  I connect to the mount via my iPad then chose “Two Star Alignment”.  It suggest a star that I ignore and go to the catalogue,... there I clicked on the “Alignment” button on the top and chose Deneb, the “Slew To”.  ExploreStars goes back to the main page but the object shown is not the one I selected but the original one that it had there in the first place. Not sure what I’m missing.

Richard


Re: iEXOS-100 1st ever tracking mount Part 1

brian skinner
 

Hi Richard, many thanks for this update on where you are with your photography.
 As far as I can see accurate Polaris Alignment is not essential for my level of photography. I think accurate Polaris Alignment is only required for very long, single exposures...... For this I understand a polar scope is probably essential. I too gave up on using the peep hole but as I say for me it doesn't seem to be essential as I am using my camera live view to centre my alignment stars and it is working very well for my shortish duration exposures.
Kind regards, Brian  

On Tue, 7 May 2019 13:02 jrichard333 <jrichard333@...> <jrichard333@... wrote:

Good day Brian,

 

During the time, I could not see Polaris, which I too believe is a critical 1st step in any alignment.  As for star-alignment, those stars were below the horizon at the time I was imaging planets; which was between 5:00AM and 6:30AM.   As long as I my planets were track-drifting (new term) through my frame in 3-minute intervals, I was happy.  Previously I had about 24-seconds of useable footage to image using my ballhead and  tripod.

 

For imaging planets, my workflow software is as follows:

1.        PIPP:  Convert, center, histogram, and cropping MOV files and converting them to an uncompressed AVI

2.       Castrator:  another centering program to filter and move bad data to the end

3.       Autostacker:  works well, but still going through the menu and experimenting with various settings

4.       Registax 6:  Currently analyzing/ dissecting the software.

 

For stars, before the tracker:

1.        Sequator:   Straight forward and easy to use interface, I love the light pollution/ gradient tools. 

 

I am still learning and figuring things out which I enjoy.  I am more focused  on repeatability and centering objects within my frame.  If I can take 2 to 3-minute vs .5-second-frames with a 600mm lens, I will be more than overjoyed.  However, for now, I will continue to play and share my discoveries with the group.

 

JR

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of brian skinner
Sent: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 2:07 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] iEXOS-100 1st ever tracking mount Part 1

 

Hi Richard, I'm not at the same stage of development of knowledge as you just yet. The only suggestion I think I can usefully make is that accurate tracking of any object is dependant on at least the two star alignment being done first.

I'm sure the other more experienced guys will confirm this.

Also when you have started using a stacker package I'd be interested in your thoughts on the subject.

Kind regards, Brian 

 

On Mon, 6 May 2019 17:07 jrichard333 <jrichard333@...> <jrichard333@... wrote:

Good day Brian,

 

You are welcome.  The series is mostly for novices like myself, sharing my discoveries.

 

The only astrophotography I have done, if you can call it that J , is taking pictures of the moon.  I like imaging  planets.  I am currently working on Jupiter and Saturn and learning how to use various software packages:  Autostacker, PIPP, Castrator, WinJupos, Registax 6, and a host of Android apps (further examined in part 2).   I am learning/ improving, which is a good thing. 

 

The iEXOS-100 has allowed me to hold planets in my frame for about 2 to 3 minutes using a focal length of 3500mm with a digital zoom of 10 while slowly drifting out of frame.  One time I got lucky setting up the mount, couldn’t see Polaris, Saturn was steady for 5-minutes, it would have been longer, but I was tired and it was cold.  I did not do any star alignment.  My main goal is repeatability.  For that to take place, my setup must be consistent….RA, AZ, and Dec alignments; once I can assure myself the mount is aligned, then I can proceed to the next step.

 

One day, I will experiment with guide scopes and etc., but for now, I am developing a baseline for future expansion.  Hopefully, by that time, Ascom and all of its many faucets will interface better with other pieces of software and/ or hardware.  For now, it is entirely too involved and complicated for my limited understanding.  Thinking too much hurts my brain J

 

It reminds me of the old days when people chose to pay $69.00 dollars for Netscape Navigator Gold.  When Windows heard the peoples’ cry, they introduced Internet explorer which brought automation/ integration into the game J.  I view iEXOS-100 mount connecting by apps in the same light.  No hand controllers or GPS dongles. 

 

A couple of things I would like to see with the iEXOS-100 is the following:

1.       More marketing through social media outlets.  Comparison/ contrast of other products

2.       Having in-depth reviews by known astro-photographers who are popular on YouTube.

3.       A polar alignment scope which can be added to the current mount; no interest in polemaster.

4.       Alignment markers for the next generation of iEXOS-100 mounts for RA, DEC, and Azimuth.

 

Well, that is about it on this end.

 

JR

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of brian skinner
Sent: Monday, May 6, 2019 2:40 AM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] iEXOS-100 1st ever tracking mount Part 1

 

Hi Richard, all good information thankyou. As I only intend (at this stage at least) to do photography I have not bothered with a finder scope. I find my DSLR live view screen to be fine for alignment. With a wide angle lens and bright stars as a target I have little trouble aligning and tracking my intended viewing object.

Kind regards, Brian 

 

On Sun, 5 May 2019 20:05 jrichard333 <jrichard333@...> <jrichard333@... wrote:

Good day all,

 

My experience with the iEXOS-100 

 

Portable power (possible suggestions):

Before I purchase anything, I always have to determine if the cost is justified.

 

Four possible options:

1.       Orion Power Bank:   expensive ($169.00)

2.       Celestron Power Bank:  expensive and bulky ($65.00 to $119.00)

3.       TalentCell Power Bank:  cost effective/ lightweight ($33.00)

4.       8-C cell batteries:  ($12.30) not cost effective long term

 

I chose the “TalentCell Rechargeable 12V 6000mAh/5V 12000mAh DC Output Lithium Ion Battery Pack.”  I bought it on Amazon about a week ago.  I am still in the testing phaseJ.  What I like so far:

1.        Lightweight/ portable

2.        95% charge…12,45 VDC

3.        5-hour run…11.50 VDC

4.       (1) USB port

5.       Y-cable is long enough to go from the battery to the  iEXO-100 mount; when installed in the battery holder

 

Mounting options for Celestron C90 and Sigma 150-600mm lens:

1.      Astromania Deluxe Dovetail Plate Dovetail Rail with 228 mm Length  purchased on Amazon.  Perfect fit for the iEXOS-100 mount:

 

Tunnel Scope:

Does not work for me for the following reasons:

1.        I can’t see Polaris with the naked eye

2.       The tunnel has too many reflections

a)      Finder scope (8X21) vs Tunnel scope:  the finder scope wins.

b)      Smartphone used to capture images:

Error! Filename not specified.

 

Error! Filename not specified.

 

I can’t see Polaris: Update to follow in part II

1.       Don’t feel bad, I couldn’t either.

2.       What I could see with the naked eye was Sirius, Arcturus, and Fomalhaut to name a few, but not Polaris.

 

JR

 

 


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

brian skinner
 

Hi Craig, did I call you Richard in my last email? Sorry about that (again...). No I don't think you can sync on any non alignment object (which has to be a star).
If you centre on an object manually I don't think the mount will necessarily track accurately either but Jerry will clarify I'm sure.
Kind regards, Brian 

On Tue, 7 May 2019 20:13 Craig Bobchin <cbobchin@... wrote:
Hi Brian,

Yeah, I figured that out after about an hour of fooling around with the app/Mount. Not the most inutiive app is it? Do you know how to sync on an object not during hte alingment? For example, I have M3 centered and I want to Sync on it to refine the model, how do I do that?


A Taxonomy of Stellar Imaging Errors That Contribute to Poor Astrophotographs #ExploreScientific

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I recently was talking to Wes McDonald about gear backlash and guiding and mentioned that flexure could be a contributor also. That reminded me that I wrote a paper a couple of years ago and updated last year (but never posted) on all the different effects that affect the final image we create acquired with our astronomical imaging system (AIS). I have attached it below.  


Let me know your thoughts and be sure to let us all know if I have left anything out that needs to be added.

Thanks
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Re: EXOS II PIER

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 
Edited

Really nice pier Jack!! 

Reminds me of the one we made for our MSRO Station 2 to hold our Meade 12-inch LX200. We made it close to the ground since it is only for imaging and we needed to cover it with our "out-house" LOL!!
SSSHHHHH.... This is a secret prototype mount we show here. When we first installed the pier we mounted the secret mount with the Celestron C14 SCT shown here.


--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


EXOS II PIER

Jack Bruner
 


--

Build this pier for about $100.

In addition to having an extremely rigid platform, a pier makes life easy in that you only have to level and polar align your mount once.  If you have a dark location, this, easy to build, pier will let you spend more time photographing  and viewing instead of aligning. 

 

Once mounted on a pier your mount must be protected from the elements.  The ideal enclosure is Gord’s roll off roof.  I have a basic covering now and am working on a weatherproof enclosure for the mount and OTA.  I will post my results when I am finished.

 

If anyone wants more information about the pier or my working diagrams and detailed plans feel free to contact me and I will provide the information.

 

Jack


Explore Scientific EXOS 2 with pmc8
Explore Scientific N208CV 8 inch Neutonian
QHY 5-II Guide camera
Canon 7Ti DSLR
Rising Cam G3 camera
SharpCap software
Astro Photoography Tool Software
Cartes Du Ciel Software


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Craig Bobchin
 

Hi Brian,

Yeah, I figured that out after about an hour of fooling around with the app/Mount. Not the most inutiive app is it? Do you know how to sync on an object not during hte alingment? For example, I have M3 centered and I want to Sync on it to refine the model, how do I do that?


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

brian skinner
 

Hi Richard, yes sorry I should have said autoslew. I'm running android and the catalogue page allows me to scroll through the stars and select any of my choice. I'm not sure why you seem not to be able to do the same with IOS.....
Kind regards, Brian 

On Tue, 7 May 2019 14:00 Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@... wrote:
Hi Brian,

I also have limited sky view and, for the most part, am only able to do a rough polar alignment.  However, I have not found where you can turn off “AutoAlign”.  I am using ExploreStars for iOS.  In “Setting”, I have “Autoslew” turned off but, if I chose 2 or 3 star alignment, it just suggests a star.  I can click on “Next” and on and on.  But I don’t see a way to go to the “Catalogue”, chose “Alignment Stars” and pick 2 or 3 from that list.

Suggestions?

Richard

Sent from my pocket. 

On May 7, 2019, at 2:14 AM, brian skinner <brianjimskinner@...> wrote:

Hi Craig, if you have a limited sky view like me, turn autoalign off, select 2 or 3 star alignment and then go to the catalogue page when you will be invited to select the first alignment star of your choice. When aligned go back to the catalogue page and select your next star and then your good to go....
Kind regards, Brian 

On Mon, 6 May 2019 21:17 Craig Bobchin <cbobchin@... wrote:
All,

I've received my IEXOS-100 last week and had a chance to test it on Sat. Night for a couple of hours, and I've got a few thoughts and complaints about the mount.

As background, I'm no newbie to EQ mounts, or imaging as I've had a Losmandy G-11 for about 15 years now and have done quite a bit of imaging through it. My purpose in getting the IEXOS-100 is as a portable mount to take to dark sites to do (hopefully unguided) dslr imaging with a FF camera and variety of DSLR lenses (zooms and primes).

A few months ago I picked up a Skywatcher AZ-Gti to hopefully allow this, but I was unable to get even 30 second exposures  with a 100mm lens unguided without getting trailing. The mount works fine for visual work with an 80mm f/6.5 APO in both Alt-Az and EQ mode, but for unguided imaging it's useless. Hence the IEXOS-100.

So un-boxing and set up went well, and the mount is a lot heavier than I expected.  The Az-GTi is 10lbs complete (Head, Tripod/Wedge, and counterweight.) the IEXOS-100 head is almost that heavy. I'm not sure how far I could hike with this and the camera gear, not to mention how I'd pack it all into a camera backpack. It might not meet my portability requirements, but I'm still considering that aspect separately.

I noticed after the mount was attached to the tripod that it still rotated within the tripod mounting no matter how much I tightened the bolt on the bottom. This is my first concern, in that it won't be steady enough for imaging. I might put some felt or something to give a bit of friction there.

My biggest complaint is that I had to purchase a tablet to use the mount as I intend to. I plan on taking this to the field where I will have limited power and don't want to haul a laptop etc.. If there was a phone version of the ExploreStars app that would be ideal, but the app won't work with either my LG V10 (which I use for the Skywatcher mount) or my LG V30. This is an additional cost that I wasn't anticipating and am not thrilled about.

Alignment: First off the polar alignment bore tunnel is less than useless for my 55 year old eyes. perhaps a younger set would enable me to see Polaris through it, but I don't know. I tried shining a green laser through it, but there was no way of ensuring the laser was actually square to the tube. In the end I simply put Polaris in the center of my 16x magnified live view on the camera's LCD screen. Not ideal, but it kind of worked. Just a side note, the Az-GTi suffers the same problem of trying to get polar alignment in EQ mode, and it doesn't even have a polar bore tunnel. This mount just begs for a PA scope in the bore tunnel, as I'd be out in the field with no laptop using the Polemaster is not an option for me (I've got the Polemaster for my G-11 and believe it or not, I get better PA with the Losmandy polar scope than the Polemaster.). Another option is some form of Polar alignment correction/drift alignment tool in the app (Skywatcher has this in the Synscan app.).

The ES app is okay, once you get used to it, but could stand a lot of improvement from a UI/UX perspective. It took me a lot of hunting around to figure out how to select my own alignment stars as I have an obstructed view from my light polluted back yard. One thing I couldn't find is a way to sync on an object that is not part of the alignment process. Is there such an animal in the app? If so where? It would also be nice to be able to use SkySafari to control the mount. 

Now on to the actual experience of using the mount once it was as aligned as I could get it. I was able to balance my Pentax K-1 and FA* 300mm f/4.5 using the two counterweights and a bunch of steel washers sandwiched between them.  My system for this test was about 2kg (4.75 lbs) in weight  For a mount that has a capacity of 15lbs, 2kg is not enough to balance the camera/lens combo and more counterweights are necessary, and I'm not sure where to get them. Considering I want to use a Camera/Lens combo that weighs in at 7.5lbs (3.5kg) that's a fair amount of counterweights.

The mount has a very pleasant hum when slewing and put the alignment stars pretty close to center of the F.O.V. of the unmagnified live view. A slight adjustment to center them at 16x was all that was needed. Strangely enough, this off-center alignment did not seem to improve as I added more alignment stars (I used three stars for alignment Dubhe, Mizar/Alcor, and Arcturus). I slewed to M3 as my target to try and image it. At one minute I had some trailing, at 30 sec none was visible in a 300mm lens. This was leaps and bounds above the AZ-GTi, which can't track a 30 sec image with a 3lb (1.3kg) payload (Pentax K-1 and 100mm f/2.8 lens).

If I can get a better polar alignment, I light be able to realize my dream of a portable mount that can do 2 min unguided subs. 


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Richard Kirsch <Kirsch41@...>
 

Harry,

Tried it and it worked.  Thanks again,

Richard

Sent from my pocket. 

On May 7, 2019, at 12:49 PM, Harry via Groups.Io <flykai1@...> wrote:

Richard, I did a test this morning at home to simulate 
the procedure. You don’t have to be connected to the mount. Just use ExplooreStars and enter commands as if you were outside. The app behaved just as if a scope was
connected. Saves time and frustration when it’s dark!
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, IPAD & Fire HD8, Oberwerk 5000 Tripod
Binos: Oberwerk 15x70, 8x40


Re: IEXOS-100 First Light report and a few thoughts/complaints #iEXOS-100

Harry
 

Richard, I did a test this morning at home to simulate 
the procedure. You don’t have to be connected to the mount. Just use ExplooreStars and enter commands as if you were outside. The app behaved just as if a scope was
connected. Saves time and frustration when it’s dark!
Harry
--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL
Scopes: ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight, IPAD & Fire HD8, Oberwerk 5000 Tripod
Binos: Oberwerk 15x70, 8x40

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