iOptron

iOptron SMARTSTAR IEQ45TM User Manual

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®

SmartStar® iEQ45TM GOTO German Equatorial Mount

With Go2Nova® 8407 Hand Controller

Instruction Manual

Table of Content

Table of Content .................................................................................................................................................

2

1. iEQ45TM Mount Overview .............................................................................................................................

4

2. iEQ45TM Mount Assembly .............................................................................................................................

5

2.1. Parts List..................................................................................................................................................

5

2.2. Assembly Terms......................................................................................................................................

6

2.3. Prots on iEQ45TM Mount.........................................................................................................................

7

2.4. Introduction .............................................................................................................................................

7

2.5. iEQ45TM Mount Assembly ......................................................................................................................

8

3. Go2Nova® 8407 Hand Controller ................................................................................................................

17

3.1. Key Description.....................................................................................................................................

17

3.2. The LCD Screen ....................................................................................................................................

18

4. Getting Started..............................................................................................................................................

20

4.1. Setup the Mount and Polar Alignment ..................................................................................................

20

4.2. Manual Operation of the Mount ............................................................................................................

20

4.3. Setting Up the Hand Controller.............................................................................................................

20

4.3.1. Set Up Time and Site......................................................................................................................

20

4.3.2. Initial Star Alignment .....................................................................................................................

22

4.3.3. Go to the Moon and Other Stars.....................................................................................................

22

4.3.4. Star Identifying Function................................................................................................................

22

4.4. Turn Off the Mount ...............................................................................................................................

22

5. Complete Functions of Go2Nova® Hand Controller....................................................................................

24

5.1. Slew to an Object...................................................................................................................................

24

5.1.1. Solar System...................................................................................................................................

24

5.1.2. Deep Sky Objects ...........................................................................................................................

24

5.1.3. Stars:...............................................................................................................................................

24

5.1.4. Constellations .................................................................................................................................

24

5.1.5. Comets............................................................................................................................................

24

5.1.6. Asteroids.........................................................................................................................................

25

5.1.7. User Objects ...................................................................................................................................

25

5.1.8. Enter R.A. DEC..............................................................................................................................

25

5.2. Sync to Target........................................................................................................................................

25

5.3. Electric Focuser .....................................................................................................................................

25

5.4. Set Up Controller...................................................................................................................................

25

5.4.1. Set Up Time & Site ........................................................................................................................

25

5.4.2. Set Display and Beep......................................................................................................................

25

5.4.3. Set Anti-backlash............................................................................................................................

26

5.4.4. Meridian Treatment ........................................................................................................................

26

5.4.5. Set Eyepiece Light..........................................................................................................................

27

5.4.6. Heating Controller ..........................................................................................................................

27

5.4.7. Upgrade RA & DEC.......................................................................................................................

27

5.4.8. Firmware Information ....................................................................................................................

27

5.5. Align ......................................................................................................................................................

27

5.5.1. One Star Alignment........................................................................................................................

27

5.5.2. Two Star Alignment .......................................................................................................................

27

5.5.3. Three Star Alignment .....................................................................................................................

28

5.5.4. Disp R.A Axis Error .......................................................................................................................

28

5.5.5. Test Backlash..................................................................................................................................

28

5.5.6. Pole Star Position ...........................................................................................................................

29

2

 

5.6. PEC Option............................................................................................................................................

29

5.6.1. PEC Playback .................................................................................................................................

29

5.6.2. Record PEC ....................................................................................................................................

29

5.6.3. System Self-Test.............................................................................................................................

30

5.7. Set Tracking Rate ..................................................................................................................................

30

5.8. Set User Objects ....................................................................................................................................

30

5.9. Guide Options........................................................................................................................................

31

5.9.1. Set Guider Rate...............................................................................................................................

31

5.9.2. Guide Port Direction.......................................................................................................................

31

5.10. Set Slewing Rate..................................................................................................................................

31

5.11. Park Scope ...........................................................................................................................................

31

5.12. To Zero Position..................................................................................................................................

32

5.13. Balance Test ........................................................................................................................................

32

6. Maintenance and Servicing ..........................................................................................................................

33

6.1. Maintenance ..........................................................................................................................................

33

6.2. iOptron Customer Service .....................................................................................................................

33

6.3. Product End of Life Disposal Instructions ............................................................................................

33

6.4. Battery Replacement and Disposal Instructions....................................................................................

33

Appendix A. Technical Specifications .............................................................................................................

34

Appendix B. Go2Nova® 8407 HC MENU STRUCTURE ..............................................................................

35

Appendix C. Firmware Upgrade ......................................................................................................................

37

Appendix D. Computer Control an iEQ45TM Mount .......................................................................................

38

Appendix E. Go2Nova® Star List.....................................................................................................................

39

IOPTRON TWO YEAR TELESCOPE, MOUNT, AND CONTROLLER WARRANTY............................

46

WARNING!

NEVER USE A TELESCOPE TO LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT A PROPER FILTER! Looking at or near the Sun will cause instant and irreversible damage to your eye.

Children should always have adult supervision while observing.

Dec 2012 Rev.3.1

iOptron reserves the rights to revise this instruction without notice. Actual color/contents/design may differ from those described in this instruction.

3

1. iEQ45TM Mount Overview

The iEQ45TM mount is one of the new breed of premium astro-imaging equatorial mounts from iOptron. The iEQ45TM mount offers the next generation GOTO technology from iOptron. The mount is made of the highest quality materials to ensure stability and durability. With a payload of 45 lb (20 kg), balanced – it comes standard with a calibrated dark field illumination polar scope and a sturdy 2-inch stainless steel tripod. It also fits both Vixen and Losmandy-type mounting plates. Its lighter weight (only 25 lb or 11.4 kg) makes it much easier to carry.

Features:

Specialized astrophotography mount ideal for entry-level and intermediate astrophotographers

Portable, compact, and sturdy German equatorial mount with the highest Payload/Mount ratio (1.7) in the category

Payload: 45 lb (20 kg) (excluding counterweight)

Mount weight: 25 lb (11.4 kg)

Ultra-accurate tracking with temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO)

FlexiTouchTM Gap-free structure for both R.A. and DEC worm gears

Angular contact bearing for R.A and DEC axles, as well as worm gear shafts

Resolution: 0.09 arc second

Go2Nova® 8407 controller with Advanced GOTONOVA® GoTo Technology

Permanent periodic error correction (PEC)

Built-in 32-channel Global Positioning System (GPS)

Integrated ST-4 autoguiding port capable of reverse guiding with auto-protection

Calibrated polar scope with dark-field illumination and easy polar alignment procedure, allowing for fast and accurate polar alignment

iOptron port for electronic focuser, laser pointer, planetary dome control

RS232 port for computer control via ASCOM platform

Heated hand controller for low temperature operation (as low as -20ºC)

Fits with both Vixen and Losmandy-type telescope mounting plates

2 inch heavy-duty stainless steel tripod

Optional pier

Optional counterweight extension shaft

Optional carrying case

Optional PowerWeightTM rechargeable battery pack

4

2. iEQ45TM Mount Assembly

2.1. Parts List

There are two shipping boxes for a regular tripod version. One box contains an EQ mount, an 8407 hand controller, a Vixen-type dovetail saddle (attached to the mount) and a Losmandy-D dovetail saddle. One box contains a tripod, two 11lb (5kg) counterweights and accessories.

Figure 1. EQ mount box

Other parts included in the package1:

2 RJ11 coiled controller cables

Dark field illuminating LED with cable

AC adapter (100V~240V)

12V DC adapter cable with car lighter plug

RJ9 to RS232 serial cable for hand controller firmware upgrade

RS232 cable

4 M6 hex head screws (for mounting Losmandy-D dovetail saddle)

ONLINE CONTENTS (click under “Support” menu) www.iOptron.com

Quick Start Guide

This manual

Tips for set up

Hand controller and mount firmware upgrades (check online for latest version)

ASCOM driver

Reviews and feedback from other customers

1 US market only. Actual contents may vary.

5

2.2. Assembly Terms

DEC Clutch Handle

DEC Unit

Polar Axis Cover

DEC Axis

CW Shaft

Counterweight (CW)

CW Locking Screw

CW Safety Screw

Bubble Level Indicator

Alignment Peg

Tripod Spreader

Tripod Leg

Leg Lock Screw

Dovetail Saddle

R.A. Clutch Screw

R.A. unit

Main Control Unit

Polar Scope Cover

Lat. Locking Screw

Lat. Adjust. Knob

Azi. Locking Screw

Azi. Adjust Knob

Tripod Head

Tripod Lock

Figure 2. iEQ45TM mount assembly terms (mount and tripod)

6

2.3. Prots on iEQ45TM Mount

Ports on Main Control Unit

LED

Switch

Figure 3. Ports on main control unit

Dec: For connecting to DEC driver unit

iOptron port: For connecting to other iOptron accessories, such as an electronic focuser, a laser pointer, or a planetary dome control

HBX (Hand Box): For connecting to the 8407 Hand Controller

Reticle: Power supply for the Polar Scope dark field illumination LED

Power DC 12V: AC adapter power plug

ON/OFF Switch: Power switch

Guide: Autoguiding port for ST-4 compatible guiding cameras

RS232: Series port for ASCOM control and main board, R.A. and DEC unit firmware upgrade

Port on DEC Unit

The only port on the DEC unit is used to connect to the Dec port on main control unit.

2.4. Introduction

You have just purchased a telescope mount that is capable of taking you to a new level of astronomy. No matter which telescope or optical tube assembly (OTA) you select to install on the mount, the overall performance will be greatly enhanced. In order for you to get the optimum performance from the mount and OTA combination, you must assemble and adjust the mount correctly. The following fundamentals of telescope mounts are included to help you understand the big picture before you get into the specific details of the iEQ45TM mount.

Telescope mounts are either equatorial mounts or altitude-azimuth (Alt-Az) mounts. Both types of mounts rotate the OTA around two perpendicular axes to point to a desired object in the night sky. An equatorial mount has the right ascension (R.A.) axis aligned with the celestial North Pole (CNP), or celestial South Pole (CSP), to provide rotation matching the celestial sphere rotation around the Earth and the declination axis (DEC) to provide elevation relative to the celestial equator. Since all celestial objects appear to rotate around the CNP, the R.A. axis allows the OTA to rotate with the celestial sphere and provide accurate tracking for visual observations and astrophotography. R.A. is the celestial equivalent of longitude. Like longitude, R.A. measures an angle that increases toward the East as measured from a zero reference point on the celestial equator. An Alt-Az mount has a horizontal axis to provide vertical (altitude) OTA movement from the local horizon and a vertical axis to provide horizontal (azimuth) OTA movement, similar to compass headings. An Alt-Az mount can provide tracking that is good enough for visual observing and short exposure photos, but not good enough for serious astrophotography. Alt-Az mounts require star alignments for the OTA to track stars and they do not have adjustment components on the mount.

7

Figure 4
Alignment Peg
Tripod Spreader

Equatorial mounts require alignment of the mount components as well as star alignments for accurate OTA tracking.

In order to provide the required Polar Axis alignment, equatorial mounts use a combination of both mount types described above. The adjustable part of the mount moves in the Alt-Az mode in order to align the R.A. axis, also known as the mount’s Polar Axis, with the CNP. These Polar Axis adjustments do not involve any rotations of the OTA about the R.A. or DEC axes and can be performed without the OTA installed. The first step is to make an approximate azimuth alignment of the Polar Axis by aligning the specified tripod leg or reference point toward True North using a compass for reference (you must allow for the variation between True and Magnetic North at your location). Precise horizontal alignment of the Polar Axis is accomplished with azimuth adjustments on the mount. The second step is to adjust the Polar Axis vertically (altitude) above the North horizon by setting the observer’s latitude on the provided latitude scale. This procedure is based on the fundamental geometry of the Earth’s coordinate system in conjunction with the concept of the celestial sphere. You can verify this by visualizing yourself at the North Pole (latitude N90°) and Polaris will be 90° from the horizon, or directly overhead. These steps will place the Polar Axis very close to the CNP. Both of the above adjustments can be enhanced by the use of an opening along the R.A. axis that allows direct viewing of the North Star and the use of a polar scope to view through this opening. If you are going to get the most out of your equatorial mount it is essential to understand the concept of the Polar Axis and how the equatorial mount helps you establish and maintain a true Polar Axis alignment. Now, you are ready to perform star alignments using the equatorial mount’s electronic controller and enjoy the night sky.

The iEQ45TM mount is a next-generation equatorial mount that provides the precision alignment capabilities required for today’s complete astronomy solution. The following sections of this manual provide the detailed steps required to successfully set up and operate the iEQ45TM mount.

2.5. iEQ45TM Mount Assembly

NOTE: The iEQ45TM mount is a precision astronomical instrument. It is highly recommended that you read the entire manual and become familiar with the

nomenclature and function of all components before starting the assembly.

STEP 1. Setup Tripod

Expand the tripod legs and install the Tripod Support using the Tripod Lock as shown in Figure 4. Tightening the Tripod Lock will expand the tripod legs fully and provide maximum support for the mount and the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA). Adjust the tripod height by unlocking the tripod Leg Lock Screws, sliding the lower tripod leg to the desired length, and relocking the tripod Leg Lock Screws. It is recommended that you extend the legs fully during the first assembly and modify the length as required in subsequent adjustments. After the legs are adjusted and locked, stand the tripod with the Alignment Peg facing True North. If you are located in the southern hemisphere, face the Alignment Peg True South.

Tripod Lock

CAUTION: If the latitude of your location is below 20º, you may move the Alignment Peg to the opposite

position to prevent the counterweights from hitting the tripod legs. If the latitude is below 10º, a pier is recommended in place of a tripod. The mount can also be specially modified for the application near the equator.

8

STEP 2. Set Latitude Adjustment Knob

Carefully remove the mount from the shipping box and familiarize yourself with the components shown in Figure 2. Unlock the four (4) R.A. Clutch Screws and rotate the mount 180º around the R.A. axis to move the dovetail saddle face topside to the highest vertical position as shown in Figure 5. Tighten the R.A. Clutch Screws.

Dovetail Saddle

R.A. Axis

R.A. Clutch Screw (4)

Polar Axis

(a) Rotating the mount

(b) Upright position

Figure 5

The iEQ45TM mount is equipped with two positions for the Latitude Adjustment Knob as shown in Figure 6, an upper position and a lower position. If the latitude of your location is between 5º and 40º, set the Latitude Adjustment Knob to the lower position (factory default position) as shown in Figure 6. Install the Latitude Safety Block, as shown in Figure 7, using the included hex key to release and tighten the attachment screw. If the latitude of your location is between 35º and 70º, remove the Latitude Safety Block and set the Latitude Adjustment Knob to the upper position.

Latitude Adjustment Knob

 

Locking Screw

 

Lat. Safety Lock

Lat. Adjust. Lever

Upper Position

Lower Position

Figure 6

Figure 7

 

CAUTION: If your location latitude requires changing the Latitude Adjustment

Knob position,

change the knob position before attaching the mount to the tripod.

 

 

9

STEP 3. Attach the Mount

Locate the Azimuth Adjustment Knobs (next to the Bubble Level Indicator) and retract them to allow enough clearance for the mount to fit on the tripod head. Unscrew the three (3) Azimuth Locking Screws shown in Figure 8 and be careful not to lose the plastic washers; they will be needed to secure the mount. Place the mount onto the Tripod Head with the Bubble Level Indicator on top of the Alignment Peg as shown in Figure 9. Place the Teflon washers and the three (3) Azimuth Locking Screws back and tighten the screws. Level the tripod base by adjusting the individual legs. You may use the built-in Bubble Level Indicator or an external torpedo level to check leveling.

Lat. Locking Screw (4)

Bubble Level Indicator

Alignment Peg

Lat. Mark Window

Azi. Adjust. Knob

 

 

Azi. Locking Screw (3)

 

Plastic Washer

Figure 8

Figure 9

STEP 4. Set the Location Latitude

This step requires you to know the latitude of your current location. This can be found from your 8407 hand controller after the embedded GPS receives the signal from the satellites. It also can be easily found on the Internet, with your GPS navigator or a GPS capable cell phone. You will have to change this latitude setting every time you significantly change your night sky viewing location. This setting directly affects the mount’s tracking and GOTO accuracy.

Unscrew the Latitude Adjustment Lever from the Latitude Adjustment Knob as shown in Figure 6. Turn the Latitude Adjustment Knob to set your current latitude in the Latitude Mark Window, using the Latitude Adjustment Lever for a fine adjustment, if needed. At this point, with the mount level and pointed North, and the latitude set, the Polar Axis (R.A. axis) should be pointing very close to the NCP and Polaris. This alignment accuracy will be sufficient for visual tracking and short duration piggy-back (camera mounted on top of the OTA) astrophotography.

CAUTION: For safety reasons, always adjust the latitude without an OTA and/or counterweights installed. Also, it is much easier to make this precise adjustment without a load on the axis being adjusted.

STEP 5. Attach Counterweight (CW) Shaft

Unscrew the CW shaft from the top of the mount as shown in Figure 10(a) and thread it into the opening of the DEC axis as shown in Figure 10(b).

10

(a)

(b)

Figure 10

STEP 6. Attach Dovetail Adapter

Both Vixen and Losmandy-D dovetail saddles are included for your convenience. Two (2) M6x20 hex head screws are used for the Vixen dovetail saddle. Additionally, four (4) M6x20 screws are provided for the Losmandy-D saddle installation. A customer-made large adapter can also be installed. The mounting-hole distribution on the mount is shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11

STEP 7. Connect Cables

Attach one end of an RJ11 cable into the socket on the side of the DEC unit and the other end into the DEC socket located on the main control unit. Using another RJ11 cable, connect the hand controller and the HBX socket located on the main control unit. Plug the 12V DC power supply into the Power socket on the main control unit. The red LED will illuminate when the power switch is turned on.

STEP 8. Polar Alignment

CAUTION: It is recommended that whenever possible you perform this procedure before loading the OTA.

11

NOTE: You may need to re-check the polar alignment after loading the OTA.

As explained in the introduction, an equatorial mount must have an accurate polar axis alignment in order to track properly. With the iOptron innovative AccuAligningTM Polar Scope and Quick Polar Alignment procedure, you can do a fast and accurate polar axis alignment.

Figure 12. Polar Scope Dial

As indicated in Figure 12, the Polar Scope Dial has been divided into 12 hours along the angular direction with half-hour tics. There are 2 groups, 6 concentric circles marked from 36’ to 44’ and 60’ to 70’, respectively. The 36’ to 44’ concentric circles are used for polar alignment in northern hemisphere using Polaris. While the 60’ to 70’ circles are used for polar alignment in southern hemisphere using Sigma Octantis.

You have already pointed the tripod to True North in Step 1 and set your current latitude in Step 4. Now, you are ready to perform the Quick Polar Axis Alignment procedure.

Polar axis adjustments

Whenever polar axis adjustments are required, loosen the three Azimuth Locking Screws and adjust the Azimuth Adjustment Knobs to do a fine adjustment of the mount in the azimuth direction. Tighten the locking screws to secure the mount. Loosen four Latitude Locking Screws on the side of the mount, turning the Latitude Adjustment Knob to adjust the latitude (altitude). Use the Lever for a fine latitude adjustment. Re-tighten the lock screws.

Initializing the polar scope

NOTE: Do not disassemble the Polar Scope to rotate it. It is adjusted at the factory and can be misaligned if you disassemble it. A good Polar alignment is the basis for good GOTO and tracking performance.

During initial setup of the iEQTM mount, it is likely that the viewing hole on the DEC axis of the polar scope may be blocked by the DEC axle. The Polar Scope Dial in the polar scope may not be set at the normal clock position with 12 located at the top, as shown in Figure 12. Before doing the Quick Polar Axis Alignment, complete the following steps:

(1)Take off both the Polar Axis Cover and the Polar Scope Cover from the mount.

(2)Remove the protection tape on the threaded hole located on the Polar Scope. First, thread the dark field illuminating LED end into the threaded hole and then plug the other end into the Reticle socket located on the R.A. unit. The illumination intensity can be adjusted using the hand controller (HC) via the “Set Eyepiece Light” function under the “Set Up Controller” menu.

12

(3)Use the ▲ or ▼ button to turn the DEC axle to unblock the Polar Scope view.

(4)Adjust polar scope eyepiece shown in Figure 13 to bring the polar scope dial in focus.

(5)To rotate the Polar Scope to align the 12 position of the dial on the top, as shown in Figure 12, release the four R.A. clutch screws while holding the OTA, then turn the R.A. drive using HC’s ◄ or ► button (press 9 button to change the rotation speed to MAX). PLEASE remember to hold onto the OTA or it could swing. If your Polar Scope is equipped with a bubble level indicator, as shown in Figure 13, simply make sure the bubble is in the middle.

Level indicator

Polar scope eyepiece

Figure 13. Polar scope with bubble level indicator

CAUTION: It is recommended that whenever possible you perform this procedure before loading the OTA.

Quick polar axis alignment

(1)Turn on the mount power by pressing the On/Off switch on the R.A. unit. Waiting “GPS OK” is shown in the upper right corner of the HC. If you are practicing inside or the GPS signal is weak, manually enter the correct site information and locate time. Pressing the MENU button, then select “Align” and “Polaris Position” to display the Polaris Position on the LCD screen, as shown in Figure 14 (a). For example, on May 30, 2010, 20:00:00 in Boston, US (Lat N42º30’32” and Long W71º08’50”), 300 min behind UT, the Polaris Position is 1hr 26.8m and r= 41.5m, as shown in Figure 14 (a).

(2)Look through the polar scope; make sure the polar scope is not blocked by the DEC axle. The 12 o’clock indicator of the Polar Scope Dial must be positioned on top.

(3)Follow the Polar axis adjustment procedure (not the hand controller) to adjust the mount in altitude (latitude) and azimuth (heading) direction and place Polaris in the same position on the Polar Scope Dial as indicated on the HC LCD. In this case, the Polaris will be located at a radius of 41.5’ and an angle of 1 hour 26.8 minute, as shown in Figure 14 (b).

(a)

(b)

Figure 14

13

NOTE: Thread the polar scope eyepiece all the way in after polar alignment, before put the Polar Scope Cover back on. Otherwise, the polar scope eyepiece could be stuck inside the Polar Scope Cover to cause R.A. axis jamming.

NOTE: If you are located in southern hemisphere, Sigma Octantis will be chosen for Polar Alignment. For example, on May 20, 2010, 20:00:00 in Sydney, Australia (Lat S33º51’36” and Long E151º12’40”), 600 min ahead of UT, the Sigma Octantis Position is 1hr21.8m and 64.4m.

STEP 9. Install Counterweight(s)

iEQ45TM mount comes with two 11lb (5kg) counterweights (CWs). Use one or both CWs as required for your particular OTA. Additional CW(s) or shaft extension bar may be needed to balance a heavier OTA.

Remove the CW Safety Screw on the end of the CW shaft. Loosen the CW Locking Screw on the side of the CW (there is a CW pin inside) and slide the CW into the shaft as shown in Figure 15(a). Tighten the CW Locking Screw to hold the CW in place. Tighten the CW Safety Screw.

CAUTION: For safety reasons, the CW Safety Screw must be installed and tightened to prevent the CW from dropping off the end of the CW shaft. This can cause serious personal injury.

When the OTA load is over 22lb (10kg), an optional CW shaft extension, as shown in Figure 15(b) or extra counterweight(s) may be needed. They are available from iOptron.

(a)

(b)

Figure 15

STEP 10. Attach and Balance an OTA on the Mount

After attaching an OTA and accessories to the mount, the mount must be balanced to ensure minimum stress on the mount’s gears and motors. There are four (4) Clutch Screws on R.A. axis and one Clutch Handle on DEC axis. Each axis will rotate freely after the related clutch screws are released. The balancing procedure should be performed after the CWs, OTA, and any accessories are installed.

CAUTION: The telescope may swing when the R.A. and DEC clutch screws or handle are released. Always hold on to the OTA before you release the clutch screws or handle to prevent it from swinging. It can cause personal injury or damage to the equipment.

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