Date   

locked Re: Replacing the tripod for the IEXOS-100 #iEXOS-100

Ming
 

Thanks very much for the link and for sharing your experience, Chris.

The ST2 tripod + 1x extra weight can help increase the visual payload capacity to 8.8kg. So theoretically it could go even further if the mount + az adj were compatible with the slightly heavier skywatcher eq5 tripod (compared to st2). That would be very impressive for a mount in this price range considering all the other features I get (belt drive, pmc8 and wifi). Let's hope someone who's tried this combination or an ES support staff could chip in.
--
Scopes: APM-LZOS 115/805, Skywatcher 200P Dob & APM 107/700 (grab'n'go)
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro w/ Rowan belt mod + ADM saddle & portable EQ mount (still choosing ...)

Eyepieces: ES68 24mm, ES82 8.8mm, 14mm; TV Delos 4.5mm, Panoptic 35mm & 2.5x Powermate; BST 3.2mm, 5mm, 12mm & 25mm
Imaging: Canon EOS 600Da, Canon 135mm f/2L + 1.4x extender, TS 2" 0.79x FR, IDAS NB1 & D2 filters, Altair Starwave 50mm + ZWO ASI120MM Mini (guiding)

Software: BYE, PHD2, Astrotortilla, Stellarium, DSS, PIPP, AutoStakkert2, PS CC

Binoculars: Vixen Ascot ZR 8x42WP


locked Re: Replacing the tripod for the IEXOS-100 #iEXOS-100

Chris Bourque
 

Hmm, I suppose at 5.6Kg + 2" diagonal + eyepieces, you may be getting close to (and above) the rated load capacity. But I would still think you'd be okay, for visual alone. Given I am in the same ballpark for weight (23-24lbs including CW), and I am imaging (visual weight limit is higher than for imaging). But perhaps one of the experts can weigh in? (gah... no pun intended! Haha)

In the mean time, I would refer you to the following thread re: weight limits for the various tripod configurations (perhaps you have seen this?):

https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/topic/34237941#4665

Jerry has provided a very nice comparison chart between the different configurations (focused on upgrade price though, so not exactly what you're looking for). In addition to this, I think if you search around these forums, you will run across a few other folks pushing the weight limits of this mount quite successfully.

I believe Jerry has also mentioned in several posts that the internals (gear and motor system) in the iExos-100 is very similar to that of the EXOS2. And thus weight limits for the iExos-100 mount should actually not be too far off, if not for the smaller tripod. Again, perhaps one of the experts can confirm?

I am afraid I am unsure if adding the az adjuster alone will help increase payload capacity of the ST1 tripod. All I can relay is my experience. And as I say, I am already above the rated limits of the mount using the ST1 tripod for imaging. Nevertheless I am having great success with it. Perhaps this is, in part, due to the addition of the az adjuster.

--
Mounts: iExos-100 + ST1 Tripod + Az Adj
Scopes: WO Zenithstar 71 + 0.8x Flattener/Reducer, Celestron 5SE, Starfield 60mm guidescope
Cameras: Canon 60D (non-astro) main cam, ZWO ASI120MM Mini guide
Software/Computer: ASIair Pro


locked Re: Replacing the tripod for the IEXOS-100 #iEXOS-100

Ming
 
Edited

The refractor that I use for visual is the APM 107/700 which weighs about 5.7kg on its own. If I add a 2" diagonal and a decent eyepiece, it will be over the payload limit of the mount on the stock tripod (6.6kg + 2kg weights = 8.6kg as shown in the specs). And I haven't taken into account the extra weights that I'll need for balancing on the RA axis.

I've noticed that you're using the az adj with the stock tripod. Does that alone help increasing the payload limit to 10kg+ for imaging? If this is the case, I might give it a try with the stock tripod although I'd still like to know if the az adj would make the mount compatible with the skywatcher eq5 tripod (in case I need it).
--
Scopes: APM-LZOS 115/805, Skywatcher 200P Dob & APM 107/700 (grab'n'go)
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro w/ Rowan belt mod + ADM saddle & portable EQ mount (still choosing ...)
<
Eyepieces: ES68 24mm, ES82 8.8mm, 14mm; TV Delos 4.5mm, Panoptic 35mm & 2.5x Powermate; BST 3.2mm, 5mm, 12mm & 25mm
Imaging: Canon EOS 600Da, Canon 135mm f/2L + 1.4x extender, TS 2" 0.79x FR, IDAS NB1 filters, Altair Starwave 50mm + ZWO ASI120MM Mini (guiding)

Software: BYE, PHD2, Astrotortilla, Stellarium, DSS, PIPP, AutoStakkert2, PS CC

Binoculars: Vixen Ascot ZR 8x42WP


locked Re: Replacing the tripod for the IEXOS-100 #iEXOS-100

Chris Bourque
 

How much does your 4" refractor weigh?
For comparison, I am imaging with a 71mm refractor, plus 60mm guidescope. Plus guide cam, and dslr with focal reducer, all-in is close to 12 lbs. Plus an 11lb counterweight to balance everything. All of this with the original ST1 tripod, and getting very impressive results!

Since you are only looking to do visual with the iExos-100, is it even worth upgrading the tripod?
--
Mounts: iExos-100 + ST1 Tripod + Az Adj
Scopes: WO Zenithstar 71 + 0.8x Flattener/Reducer, Celestron 5SE, Starfield 60mm guidescope
Cameras: Canon 60D (non-astro) main cam, ZWO ASI120MM Mini guide
Software/Computer: ASIair Pro


locked Replacing the tripod for the IEXOS-100 #iEXOS-100

Ming
 
Edited

I'm thinking about getting the IEXOS-100 as a portable GOTO mount for my 4" refractor. It will be used for visual only as I've got a belt modded HEQ5 for imaging already.

The mount looks like it can take more payload than what is in the specs if I get the fine azimuth adjuster, additional weights and a heavier duty tripod. The AZ Adjuster and the counterweights are available in UK, but the heavier ST2/ST3 tripods are nowhere to be found. Bresser (the reseller of ES in the EU/UK) does sell the Twilight I Alt-AZ mount that includes the ST2 tripod, but the tripod isn't available on its own.

Does anyone know how I'll be able to get my hand on one of these tripods? If not, can I just get the AZ Adjuster and then use the mount with my Skywatcher tripod (the one for EQ5/HEQ5)?


Re: polar-finder reticle not centred #polaralignment

Mikas
 

Hi Mick,
As far as I can see polarscope can be calibrated tho ways:

1. focusing distance, whole reticle unit screws in on polarscope tube to have reticle focused the same time as stars.
2. there are 3 slot head screws to fix the reticle in the adjusted distance and with those screws centering of the reticle can be adjusted a very tiny bit. 

In my video polarscope is calibrated as best as physically possible without replacement of the reticle glass. I have measured, it is off-center by 1mm. Better picture attached.  I think it happened because the glass has rounded edges, but in one place the edge is flat (most likely for better illumination). Most likely in the factory, the glass was fed the wrong way into the printer and the picture got shifted towards that flat area. I think the only way to sort my problem is to replace the reticle.



Regards,
Mikas


Re: polar-finder reticle not centred #polaralignment

 

Mikka, the polar scope needs calibrating. 


On 19 Oct 2020, at 19:51, Mikas <mikas.sakalauskas@...> wrote:



[Edited Message Follows]

Looks like I have to be more specific. I have Skywatcher EQ5 pro. I mastered polar alignment, takes 15 min polar and 3-star alignment with nearly 0 correction data. I even double checked using goto polar alignment utility where you adjust polar alignment after 3-star alignment. Still, I had oblong stars in sequence 2 good 2 bad 30-second exposures. Lenses Sigma 500mm prime APO f4.5 and Nikkor 300mm ED f2.8 prime, camera Nikon Z7. It is not so bad with Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3, but it is a much darker and not so sharp lens. I'm not going to use autoguiding, because I live in Northern Ireland. I never know when will be a few hours of clear sky. By the time everything gets setup with auto-guiding will be no stars anymore.

After exhausting all possibilities for improvement I've upgraded new EQ5 with brand new EXOS-2. Now alignment takes 2 -3 hours with terrible results. And the is no polar alignment utility on the ExploreStars app. Last time it nearly missed the whole M31, still oblong stars, but it is the least of my problems now. I have attached a video Bad Explore Scientific EXOS-2 reticle


--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Not Applicable. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment. 


Re: polar-finder reticle not centred #polaralignment

Mikas
 
Edited

Looks like I have to be more specific. I have Skywatcher EQ5 pro. I mastered polar alignment, takes 15 min polar and 3-star alignment with nearly 0 correction data. I even double checked using goto polar alignment utility where you adjust polar alignment after 3-star alignment. Still, I had oblong stars in sequence 2 good 2 bad 30-second exposures. Lenses Sigma 500mm prime APO f4.5 and Nikkor 300mm ED f2.8 prime, camera Nikon Z7. It is not so bad with Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3, but it is a much darker and not so sharp lens. I'm not going to use autoguiding, because I live in Northern Ireland. I never know when will be a few hours of clear sky. By the time everything gets setup with auto-guiding will be no stars anymore.

After exhausting all possibilities for improvement I've upgraded new EQ5 with brand new EXOS-2. Now alignment takes 2 -3 hours with terrible results. And the is no polar alignment utility on the ExploreStars app. Last time it nearly missed the whole M31, still oblong stars, but it is the least of my problems now. I have attached a video Bad Explore Scientific EXOS-2 reticle


Re: PHD2 stopped talking to my mount #EXOS2 #OpenGOTO #pmc-eight #ASCOM

James Everson
 

Jennifer,

Cool. Oh, and I think I found the issue with the dithering. I had it set to port 4300 which is for PHD and not 4400 which is for PHD2. I also "connected" Stellarium to APT. Just need to read up on how to use it to "replace" ExploreStars. Hopefully I can test it tonight.

Thank you to all of you for your quick responses and help in figuring this out.


On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 9:35 AM Jennifer Shelly via groups.io <drunkendogg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
James:

Thanks.  I was aware, but until it breaks I will leave it alone. Maybe one day I will get a little crazy and change it.
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, QHY Mini Guide Scope, Solomark F60 Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY600M, QHY128C, QHY168C
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance, QHY CFW3-L, Baader 2” LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


Re: polar-finder reticle not centred #polaralignment

brian skinner
 

Hi Mikka, I am using my iEXOS 100 Polefinder without major issues, managing 2minute exposures with no noticeable trailing. I'm intrigued by your illustrated star pattern. Mine clearly shows Ursa Major and Cass. and not the 4 star pattern you are showing.
I have tried several times to collimate the Polefinder but found this almost impossible! What I do now, and this does work, is eyeball Ursa Major and then carefully turn the Polefinder reticule until I judge I have the correct angular alignment between the two. I then place Polaris in the reticule, I then consider I have achieved at least reasonable Polar Alignment. I then power up the mount and proceed to normally a 3 star alignment before slewing to my intended target which usually is well within my DSLR view finder..... Plate Solving will confirm this if you feel the mount is not pointing accurately enough but as I say, in almost all cases, the pointing accuracy is fine.
I also would strongly recommend a red dot finder to you to help when the target is not visible in the view finder.

Hope this helps, Brian
--
Brian Skinner
iEXOS100
Canon 1300d dslr
Various lenses
ES Polar scope
Sequator image stacker
PIXR image editor


Re: PHD2 stopped talking to my mount #EXOS2 #OpenGOTO #pmc-eight #ASCOM

Jennifer Shelly
 

James:

Thanks.  I was aware, but until it breaks I will leave it alone. Maybe one day I will get a little crazy and change it.
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, QHY Mini Guide Scope, Solomark F60 Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY600M, QHY128C, QHY168C
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance, QHY CFW3-L, Baader 2” LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


Re: Non-Messier objects in ExploreStars #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I have not been monitoring this thread, it appears to have gotten way off topic. Please start another thread if you wish to continue talking about connectivity issues.

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: iEXOS-100 Accessories

Mirko Gude
 

Hi Wade,

did you replace the original clamp oder do you use the new one on top? Maybe you can send a photo?
I also did not like that the screw cuts in the dovetail.

Thanks and best regards,
Mirko
--

Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT 
Scopes: Skywatcher 80/600
Cameras:  Nikon Z6, D7000, ZWO ASI385 Color, QHY 5L-II-mono
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8, Tamron 70-200mm
Msc: LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4, Polemaster, GPS Dongle
Software: PixInsight, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift


Re: Non-Messier objects in ExploreStars #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Paul Meesters
 

Wes,

This happened on two very different laptops, that not have been out in the dew at all.
I'm not technical enough to find out what the issue is. I only can observe what is happening, which isn't very helpful.
A rs232 cable has been ordered (very expensive I must say, because of the fdti chipset that seems to be required), but i'd rather be on wifi. there are too many cables already.. it's a mess.


Re: polar-finder reticle not centred #polaralignment

 

Hi Mikka, mine isn’t exactly centred either and if you apply too much pressure it moves slightly as well. Saying that, since I have had mine calibrated it as been very good. I think people think it as been callibrated at the factory but after I checked mine it was miles out. I use an app on my iPhone called PS Allign Pro and use the inverted image. If you can see the other stars in the image then you’ve got much better skies than I have so i have to rotate as close as I can. The calibration made a massive difference, and I get my targets reasonably central in my field of view. I just polar align and go straight to my first target where I may have to toggle LRUD sometimes. I use ExploreStars at the moment and use it for astrophotography with short exposures, usually 30-60 seconds with good results. 


On 18 Oct 2020, at 22:12, Mikas <mikas.sakalauskas@...> wrote:



I'm struggling with polarfinder alignment with the mount itself.

On my new EXOS-2 field and center of the reticle were moving in circles when RA axis rotated. After struggling with centering adjustment I have removed the reticle glass itself. Apparently, the center cross itself is not centered, and not the glass is exactly round. On the instruction manual, it looks perfectly centered. Is it supposed to be like that or I got a bad reticle?
 

<SCAN0019_01.jpg>
 
<SCAN0021.jpg>


--
Michael Whitaker
Wakefield, UK. 
MOUNTS. Exos-2 PMC Eight..
SCOPE: RVO Horizon 72ed. 
CAMERA: Not Applicable. 
SOFTWARE: Just iPad at moment. 


polar-finder reticle not centred #polaralignment

Mikas
 
Edited

I'm struggling with polarscope alignment with the mount itself. (sorry about the wrong title, cannot be changed)

On my new EXOS-2 field and center of the reticle were moving in circles when RA axis rotated. After struggling with centering adjustment I have removed the reticle glass itself. Apparently, the center cross itself is not centered, and not the glass is exactly round. On the instruction manual, it looks perfectly centered. Is it supposed to be like that or I got a bad reticle?
  


Re: PHD2 stopped talking to my mount #EXOS2 #OpenGOTO #pmc-eight #ASCOM

James Everson
 

Jennifer,

I was looking into your suggestion and just wanted to give you a heads up...

"Note that Stellarium supports ASCOM telescopes natively since version 0.19.3. There’s no need to use StellariumScope in order to use your ASCOM telescopes with Stellarium anymore. Users should consider switching to the native Stellarium ASCOM option going forward rather than using StellariumScope. StellariumScope continues to work with Stellarium 0.20.x if you need the extra features that StellariumScope provides."

Thanks

--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


Re: PHD2 stopped talking to my mount #EXOS2 #OpenGOTO #pmc-eight #ASCOM

James Everson
 

Jennifer,

Thanks, I will look into that. I was able to calibrate and guide with PHD2 last night, so I think that is good to go. I do have another question, but it may be better suited for the APT or PHD2 forums. I tried to use dithering for the first time last night but it didn't seem to work. I pointed APT to PHD2 and the log showed that had started dithering, but after 15 min it still hadn't resumed imaging. Any ideas?

Thanks again


--
Mounts: Explore Scientific EXOS II GT, iEXOS-100, Celestron AVX
Scope: Explore Scientific AR102, AR152, FirstLight 152mm Mak-Cassegrain, SpaceCat 51
Guide Scope: Astromania 50mm Guidescope (190mm focal length)
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini Monochrome
Camera: Canon RP (IR modification)
Software: PHD2, ASCOM, and APT


Re: PHD2 stopped talking to my mount #EXOS2 #OpenGOTO #pmc-eight #ASCOM

Jennifer Shelly
 

James:

If you want to have a visual aid will need a planetarium program to use with APT such as Stellarium or Cartes de Ciel.  Once you choose your program you will have to configure APT for the program.  If you choose Stellarium you will need to use Stellarium Scope as well.  If you do not care about a visual aid then APT does have its own catalog that you can use that are called Objects.  You would need to select the Object on the main tab, slew to it, and plate solve.  Or you can use Point Craft and do the same.  I hope that makes sense.

Jennifer
--
Sincerely,

Jennifer Shelly
AstroPorch, VA

Mounts
: ES PMC-8 G-11, ES PMC-8 EXOS-2
Scopes: ES ED127 FCD-100, ES Levy Comet Hunter, ES N208CF, QHY Mini Guide Scope, Solomark F60 Guide Scope
Cameras: QHY600M, QHY128C, QHY168C
Misc: MoonLite CFL 2.5 / High Res Stepper / V2 Mini Controller, Baader SteelTrack NT / SteelDrive II, Baader UFC, Optolong 2" L-Pro / L-eNhance, QHY CFW3-L, Baader 2” LRGBSHO CCD
Imaging Software:  NINA, APT, SharpCap Pro
Processing Software: PixInsight, Lightroom, Premiere Elements


Re: Non-Messier objects in ExploreStars #EXOS2 #ExploreStars

Wes Mcdonald
 

Paul

Poth used to crash on my tablet occasionally.  After I replaced the tablet (got ruined by dew) I don’t think it has happened again.  

Suggest you get going in serial mode and see how that compares. 

I assume you have the pc set to not connect to any other WiFi  network?  I won’t but it might try anyhow.  

But think of the progress you have made.

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired