iOptron CEM70 Review

The CEM70. Observatory grade, high capacity and sleek. I was surprised and extremely excited when First Light Optics offered me the iOptron CEM70 mount to review. With great jubilee I agreed and for a few months now I’ve been enjoying this heavyweight Centre-Balanced Equatorial Mount. In this video I’m going to share my thoughts and feelings on this mount.

 

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How To Set The Equatorial Home Position

The Equatorial Home Position (EQ Home) is an important parking position to place your mount in. It’s the basis where your Go-To stems from, and having an accurate EQ Home will make your life easier. It improves your Go-To accuracy, makes it easier to use finder-scopes to align as well as speeding up plate-Solving.

In this post I’m going to show you how to set the equatorial home position. In this example I’ll be using my Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, but the instructions here will apply to any EQ mount. For this recipe you’ll need your EQ Mount and a Spirit Level.

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Belting The Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro

“If you own a HEQ5 then you know exactly the noise I’m on about. It’s horrible, it sounds nasty and doesn’t sound healthy at. all.”

Getting A Grip With Belts

The HEQ5 Pro is a fine mount. A fine mount indeed. It’s such a gateway Go-To tracking mount for astrophotographers. It came to me, highly recommended, second hand from a bloke in Birmingham. What a fun drive that was! I upgraded my EQ5 to a HEQ5 Pro SynScan Go-To Tracking Mount and boy was that a monumental day for me.

One issue is apparent with these mounts originally: graunchy gears.

The thing about spur gears (straight edge cut gears that interlink with one another) is that they’re noisy. It’s the same sort of gear in a car’s reverse, and we all know how loud reverse gears squeal.

But aside from the noise another, more insidious issue permits gear based systems.

Backlash.

You may have heard of this, it’s what your Periodic Error endevours to mitigate. Backlash is the tiniest of play inbetween gear teeth. Even with grease, over time these gears will wear themselves down and it seemed that was possibly the case with mine. My right ascension axis had loads of play between the idler gear and worm gear – you’ll see it in the video! It was crazy.

Clat. Clat. Clat.

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