iOptron Telescope 8600, Telescope 8603 and 8604, Telescope 8602, SMARTSTAR CUBE 8603 User Manual

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®

SmartStar®CubeTM-A Series

Mount and Telescopes

(For 8600, 8602, 8603 and 8604)

Instruction Manual

Table of Content

 

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

2

1. SmarStar® CubeTM-A Series Overview .....................................................................................

4

1.1. SmartStar® CubeTM-A Series Features ..............................................................................

4

1.2. Assembly Terms ................................................................................................................

6

2. Telescope Assembly.................................................................................................................

7

3. GoToNova® 8401 Hand Controller..........................................................................................

10

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

10

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

11

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

12

4.1. Level and Align the Mount ...............................................................................................

12

4.1.1. Level the Mount.........................................................................................................

12

4.1.2. Initial Positions ..........................................................................................................

12

4.2. Setting Up the Mount .......................................................................................................

12

4.2.1. Set Up Local Time and Site Info ...............................................................................

13

4.2.2. Set Mount Type.........................................................................................................

14

4.2.3. Set Anti-backlash ......................................................................................................

15

4.2.4. Using your telescope.................................................................................................

16

4.2.5. Go to the Moon .........................................................................................................

16

4.2.6. Initial Star Alignment .................................................................................................

17

4.3. Turn Off the Mount...........................................................................................................

17

5. Operate SmartStar® CubeTM-A mount in EQ Mode.................................................................

18

6. Use SmartStar® CubeTM-A Telescopes...................................................................................

20

6.1. Manual Operation of a Telescope....................................................................................

20

6.2. Slew to an Object.............................................................................................................

20

6.2.1. Planets, Sun, Moon...................................................................................................

20

6.2.2. Deep Sky Objects .....................................................................................................

20

6.2.3. Comets......................................................................................................................

20

6.2.4. Asteroids ...................................................................................................................

21

6.2.5. Stars..........................................................................................................................

21

6.2.6. Constellations............................................................................................................

21

6.2.7. User Objects .............................................................................................................

21

6.2.8. Enter R.A. DEC .........................................................................................................

21

6.3. Sync to Target..................................................................................................................

21

6.4. Electric Focuser ...............................................................................................................

21

6.5. Set Up Controller .............................................................................................................

22

6.5.1. Set Up Local Time.....................................................................................................

22

6.5.2. Set Up Site ................................................................................................................

22

6.5.3. Set N/S Hemisphere .................................................................................................

22

6.5.4. Set Display Contrast .................................................................................................

22

6.5.5. Set Eyepiece Light ....................................................................................................

22

6.5.6. Set Backlight .............................................................................................................

22

6.5.7. Set Anti-backlash ......................................................................................................

22

6.5.8. Set Key Beep ............................................................................................................

22

6.5.9. Set Mount Type.........................................................................................................

22

6.5.10. Reset All..................................................................................................................

22

6.5.11. Update Firmware.....................................................................................................

22

6.5.12. Set gear ratio...........................................................................................................

22

6.5.13. Set Language..........................................................................................................

23

6.6. Align .................................................................................................................................

23

2

6.6.1. One Star Align...........................................................................................................

23

6.6.2. Two Star Alignment...................................................................................................

23

6.6.3. Three-Star Align ........................................................................................................

23

6.6.4. Dis R.A axis error ......................................................................................................

23

6.6.5. Test Anti-backlash.....................................................................................................

24

6.6.6. Polaris Position .........................................................................................................

24

6.7. PEC Option ......................................................................................................................

24

6.8. Set Up Tracking ...............................................................................................................

24

6.9. User Object List................................................................................................................

24

6.10. Auto Guide .....................................................................................................................

24

6.11. Park Scope ....................................................................................................................

24

6.12. To Park Position.............................................................................................................

24

7. Maintenance and Servicing.....................................................................................................

25

7.1. Maintenance ....................................................................................................................

25

7.2. Storage and Transport .....................................................................................................

25

7.3. Troubleshooting ...............................................................................................................

26

7.4. iOptron Customer Service................................................................................................

27

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

29

Appendix B. GoToNova® 8401 HC MENU STRUCTURE...........................................................

30

Appendix C. GoToNova® Star List ..............................................................................................

32

Appendix D. Set Up USB-PC Connection...................................................................................

38

Appendix E. Firmware Upgrade..................................................................................................

45

Appendix F. Use a PC to Control an iOptron Mount ...................................................................

48

WARNING!

NEVER USE A TELESCOPE TO LOOK AT THE SUN!

Looking at or near the Sun will cause instant and irreversible damage to your eye. Children should always have adult supervision while observing.

2011.12.15 Ver 2.1

3

1. SmarStar® CubeTM-A Series Overview

1.1. SmartStar® CubeTM-A Series Features

Alt-Azimuth Mount– The Cube™, with AltAzi/EQ dual application

The SmartStar® Cubetm-A series come with our patented Alt-Azimuth (AltAzi) mount, a.k.a. The Cube™. This compact mount design is probably the most functional and flexible unit on the market. It was named “Hot Product 2008” by Sky and Telescope. Both axis motors are built into a small single unit with optical encoders which provides accurate GOTO and tracking. The mount is universally compatible with all telescopes using a dove-tail connection. In addition, there are no “dead spots” – so you can point your telescope to ANYWHERE above the horizon, whereas, other mounts block the telescope tube at certain points of rotation. This mount also comes standard with AC connection. An optional DC adaptor is available so you can plug your telescope mount into your car if you’re camping or at any remote location.

With the integrated wedge and a standard counterweight, the A-series can also be operated as a German equatorial mount (EQ) for those who want to get familiar to or demonstrate a GOTO EQ mount operation.

32-Channel GPS Module

All A-series telescopes come standard with a 32-channel GPS module for fully automated operation. Simply turn on the GoToNova® Hand Controller and the GPS module will automatically synchronize your telescope location and time with the GoToNova® computerized control system. View celestial objects without having to manually punch in the date, time, latitude or longitude.

GoToNova® Computerized Control System

The revolutionary GoToNova® computerized control system is by far the most technologically advanced automated tracking system available on the market today. With a database of 130,000 celestial objects, including all of the most famous galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, not to mention the planets, you’ll be able to enjoy star gazing with the simple push of a button.

The easy to understand controller on the market

The GoToNova® hand controller is much easier to use than other similar products. The hand controller is more intuitive with menu categories better organized. It also has a larger LCD screen with more lines of content compared with the competition. Using the easy-to-use hand controller and its large LCD screen, you can easily set up your telescope and select where you want to go.

More precise speed control for viewing objects

The 8401 hand controller comes with the A-series allows you to slew the telescope at 9 different drive speeds, keeping the object within the telescope’s viewfinder for as long as you wish.

Compatible with many OTAs

4

Most light weight (<7lbs) Optical Tube Assembles (OTAs) with dovetail connection should be compatible with the SmartStar® CubeTM-A GOTO AltAzi mount. If you do not have a dovetail connection -- attach your OTA using mounting rings and dovetail available at your local telescope store or the OTA manufacturer. Contact iOptron for expert’s advice on compatibility issues.

USB Port

The 8401 hand controller equipped with a USB port that tremendously expands the functionalities of the already powerful system. With the USB2COM driver installed, the USB port works as an RS232 serial port. It supports firmware upgrades and computer control. With ASCOM protocol, you can control your telescope with most ASCOM compatible software. This enables you to utilize the CPU, large screen, and disk space of your PC/laptop. With a wide selection of software, your star gazing experience will never be the same again.

Package Contents1

(1) SmartStar® CubeTM-A Mount with built-in GPS receiver (Models 8600, 8602, 8603 and 8604)

(1) GoToNova® Hand Controller (Part No. 8401)

(1) Controller Cable

(1) USB Cable

(1) Tripod with wedge

(1) Tripod bolt and Tray Lock

(1) Tripod Tray

(1) AC adapter with cord

For Model 8602 (SmartStar® CubeTM-A R80)

(1)80mm Refractor Telescope

(2)Eyepieces (10mm & 25mm)

(1)3X Barlow Lens

(1)45º Diagonal

For Model 8603 (SmartStar® CubeTM-A N114)

(1)114mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope

(2)Eyepieces (10mm & 25mm)

(1) Red Dot Finderscope

For Model 8604 (SmartStar® CubeTM-A MC90)

(1)90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Reflector Telescope

(2)Eyepieces (10mm & 25mm)

(1) Red Dot Finderscope

(1) 45º Diagonal

1 The contents may vary from batch to batch.

5

1.2. Assembly Terms

1.Telescope tube

2.Dovetail lock

3.Hand controller

4.

Altitude lock

Zenith

 

5.

Mount

Polaris

 

6.

Tripod

 

 

7.

Tripod shaft

 

 

8.

Tray

 

 

9.

Tray lock

 

 

10. Azimuth lock screw

 

 

11.

Wedge tilt screw

 

 

12.

Tilt locks

 

 

13.

Counterweight and shaft (not included)

 

 

 

5

10

 

 

13

11

 

 

 

12

 

 

7

6

 

 

8

 

 

 

9

 

Figure 1. Assembly Terms

6

2. Telescope Assembly

Step 1. Preparing the Tripod

1. Extend tripod legs to full extension.

2. Slide tray on bottom of shaft (#7). Then screw on round black knob (#9).

Step 2. Attaching the Mount

1.Raise wedge plate on the tripod by turning two tilt locks (12);

2.Attach mount to wedge plate using supplied azimuth lock screw (10).

3.lower wedge plate to it’s lowest position by turning the upper tilt lock upward while lightly push the mount down. Secure the mount by tightening the lower lock.

Step 3a. Installing Batteries (not included)

Note: you may use 8 AA batteries (Step 3) or the AC adaptor (Step 5) to operate the mount.

Pull the batteries compartment cover (shown) open. Gently pull the batteries holder (shown next) out of the compartment to avoid breaking the attached wires.

Step 3b.

Insert 8 AA batteries (not included) according to the diagrams on the holder. Refer to the diagram on the holder to orient the batteries properly. Replace the holder back into the batteries compartment and replace the cover.

For reference: the battery pack fits in with wires on the bottom right (See arrow in photo). Use only fresh batteries. Using/mixing old or low batteries may cause error messages.

Optional AC Adapter and Car Charger accessories are available at www.ioptron.com

Step 4. Attaching Telescope

Attach telescope to mount using the dovetail lock knob Dovetail(#2).

lock (#2)(Picture shows 80mm refractor. However all scopes will attach in the same manner.)

7

 

 

 

 

Step 5. Plug in hand controller and AC adaptor.

 

 

 

 

Plug hand controller into either one of the two HBX ports on

 

 

 

 

the mount. Next plug in AC adaptor. (Or use batteries—see

 

 

 

 

step 3). Turn on power (the red light should go on).

 

 

 

 

At this point you can begin observing manually. Use the 4

 

 

 

 

Arrow keys (▲▼◄►) to rotate the scope Up, Down, Left,

 

 

 

 

and Right. Use the SPEED key to change the slew rate

 

 

 

 

from the slowest (2X) to the fastest (MAX).

 

Plug in AC

The other HBX is reserved for accessories, such as

 

adaptor

external GPS module, electronic focuser or laser pointer.

 

 

 

here

DO NOT plug non-iOptron accessories into the unit to

 

 

 

 

avoid damaging the mount or accessories.

 

 

 

For 80mm Refractor (#8502)…….....................................................

 

 

 

 

 

Insert 45º diagonal: Insert the diagonal

into the eyepiece

 

 

 

 

side of the telescope. Tighten the thumbscrews to a firm

 

 

 

 

feel only.

 

 

 

 

Insert the eyepiece: Slide the eyepiece into the open end

45º

 

diagonal

of the diagonal. Tighten the thumbscrews to a firm feel

 

 

 

 

only. Remove the dust cover from the other end of optical

 

 

 

eyepiece

tube assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the focus knob to bring objects into focus. You may

 

 

 

 

need to turn the focus knob quite a few turns to focus your

 

 

 

 

telescope for the first time. Always start observing using a

Focus knob

low power eyepiece (such as a 25mm eyepiece) to get a

 

 

 

 

nice wide field of view. Later you can change to high power

 

 

 

 

if so desired. Higher powered eyepieces have a much

 

 

 

 

narrower field of view. So it’s more difficult to initially locate

 

 

 

 

objects using higher powered eyepieces.

 

 

For 114mm Newtonian (#8503) …….................................................

 

Point toward open

Attach the red dot finder scope to the

telescope tube (#1):

First remove the two washers on the tube. Then place the

end of telescope

 

 

 

 

finder scope onto the two bolts and re-attach the washers

 

 

 

Bolts

securely. The finder scope should face towards the open

 

 

 

end of the tube (see arrow in diagram).

 

 

 

 

Turn on the beam using the switch on the side. (note: you

 

 

 

 

may need to remove the plastic insulation placed next to

 

 

 

Switch

the battery underneath)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Flip switch

For 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain (#8504)………………………………….

Diagonal

Install Diagonal by screwing it onto the back end of the

 

 

scope. You can adjust the position of the diagonal by

 

loosening the free-spinning threader on the diagonal.

Eyepiece

Install the Finderscope by sliding the dovetail plate onto

 

the sleeve (see arrow) and tightening the side screw.

 

The eyepiece can be placed on the end of the scope or on

 

the side (see next step). Secure the eyepiece using the

 

side screw.

 

Use the focus knob to adjust the focus.

 

This picture shows the eyepiece on the side. Remove the

 

protective cap to insert the eyepiece. The diagonal is not

 

used for side viewing.

 

Use the flip switch to flip the internal mirror to view from

 

the side or the end of the scope.

9

3. GoToNova® 8401 Hand Controller

HBX USB

Port Port

Figure 1. GoToNova 8401 Hand Controller

GoToNova® 8401 hand controller (HC) is the standard controller for a SmartStar® CubeTM-A series mount and telescope, as shown in Figure 1. (The earlier version equipped with a 8402 hand controller. Contact iOptron for instruction.)

3.1.Key Description

MENU: Press “MENU” to enter the Main Menu.

BACK: Move back to the previous screen, or end/cancel current operation, such as slewing.

ENTER: Confirm an input, go to the next menu, select a choice, or slew the telescope to a selected object.

Arrow (▲▼►◄): Press ▲▼ buttons to move a telescope along the DEC direction, ►◄ to move a telescope along the RA direction. Brows the menu or move the cursor in operating menu.

Number Keys: Input numerical values. Also used to adjust speeds (1: 1X; 2: 2X; 3: 8X; 4: 16X; 5: 64X; 6: 128X; 7: 256X; 8: 512X; 9: MAX)

10

Light Key(☼): Turns on/off the red LED reading light on the back of the controller.

? Key: For help or extra information.

STOP/0 Key: Stop/Start tracking.

HBX (Handbox) port: connect the HC to MiniTower mount using a 6-wire RJ11 cable.

USB port: connect the HC to a Computer via a USB cable.

3.2.The LCD Screen

The 8401 HC is designed to use for SmartStar-A GOTO mount and telescopes. It can also be used for iOptron’s equatorial (EQ) mount, such as the SmartStar®-PR GOTO German Equatorial Mount and the GoToNova® Equatorial Kit, as well as all other AltAzimuth (A/A) mounts, which include all SmartStar® GOTO mounts and telescopes. It consists of a large 8-line LCD screen, which displays all the information as shown in Figure 2. The user interface is simple and easy to learn.

Figure 2. 8401 HC LCD Information Screen

1.GPS Status: when the power is turned on, it shows “GPS ON”, which means a GPS receiver is connected. When the GPS receiver finds the satellite and receives GPS signal, it shows “GPS OK”. The “GPS OK” will turn off after few minutes.

2.Slew speed: It has 9 speeds: 1X, 2X, 8X, 16X, 64X, 128X, 256X(1º/sec), 512X(2º/sec), MAX(4º/sec). Press SPEED key to change it.

3.Tracking speed: It has 4 speeds: Cel (celestial), Sol (Solar), Lun (Lunar), Def (user defined)

4.Altitude of the telescope (zenith is 90º).

5.Azimuth of the telescope (north is 0º, east 90º, south 180º, and west 270º).

6.Local Date and Time: display local time in a format of YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.

7.Mount Type: EQ is equatorial and A/A altazimuth.

8.N/S Hemisphere: display the observation hemisphere.

11

2) Up

4. Getting Started

In order to experience the full GOTO capability of GoToNova technology, it is very important to set up the mount correctly before observation.

4.1. Level and Align the Mount

4.1.1. Level the Mount.

Leveling is critical for a good GOTO and tracking accuracy.

Level the mount by observing the bubble (shown) on the base of the mount by adjusting tripod legs. The bubble should be in the center of the circle. It is also recommended to use additional levelers (such as a torpedo leveler) to assure precise leveling. Turn the mount around by pressing ► or ◄ button to make sure it is always leveled.

4.1.2. Initial Positions

Each time the mount is turned on, the default position is Park Position. For the A/A operation mode, its altitude is 90º 00’ 00” and azimuth is 180º 00’ 00”, which means the “SOUTH” mark is pointing to south and the telescope is pointing straight up at the zenith. To set the Park Position, you can:

1. Align the mount to south by turning the mount so that

1) South

lock (#4)

the South mark facing south. An additional compass is

 

 

 

needed. Unlock the altitude lock (#4) and rotate the

 

 

telescope to point straight up at the Zenith. A torpedo

level may help. Make sure the mount is leveled. Retighten the altitude lock. Then turn the mount power on.

or

2.Turn the mount power on. Press the SPEED button to select a slew speed (MAX for fast slew and 1X for fine tuning). Turn the SOUTH mark pointing to south using ► or ◄ button. An additional compass may be needed. Rotate the telescope point to the zenith using ▲ or ▼ button. A torpedo level may help. Then turn the mount power off and turn it on.

4.2. Setting Up the Mount

A SmartStar Cube-A is equipped with a GPS receiver, which will receive the local time, longitude and latitude information from a satellite after the link is established. However, manual input is still needed for time zone and Daylight Saving setting.

A clear sky outside is needed for GPS to communicate well with the satellites.

12

4.2.1. Set Up Local Time and Site Info

Press MENU button, from the main menu, scroll down and select “Set up controller

Select and Slew

Sync. to Target

Electronic Focuser

Set Up Controller

Align

Set Up Tracking

User Objects

Auto Guide

Press ENTER. Select “Set Up Local Time

Set Up Local Time

Set Up Site

Set N/S Hemisphere

Set Display Contrast

Set Eyepiece Light

Set Backlight

Set Snti-backlash

Set Key Beep

Press ENTER. The “Set Local Time” screen will show:

Set Local Time:

2009-06-01 11:55:09

300 Min. behind UT Daylight Saving Time Y

The local time will be updated when the GPS picks up satellite signals. If for any reason your GPS can’t pick up a signal you can manually enter the time. Press ◄ or ► key to move the cursor and using ▲ or ▼ key to change the number.

Press ◄ or ► key, move the cursor to the line below time info to set the time zone information (add or subtract 60 minutes per time zone). Enter minutes “ahead of” or “behind” UT (universal time).

New York City is 300 minutes “behind” UT

Los Angeles is 480 minutes “behind” UT

Rome is 60 minutes “ahead of” UT

Beijing is 480 minutes “ahead of” UT

Sydney is 600 minutes “ahead of” UT

All the time zones in North America are behind UT (universal time), as shown in the following table. So make sure it shows “behind” instead of “ahead of” UT.

Time Zone

Hawaii

Alaska

Pacific

Mountain

Central

Eastern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hour behind UT

-10

-9

-8

-7

-6

-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enter Minutes

600

540

480

420

360

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

To adjust minutes, move the cursor to each digit and use ▲ or ▼ key to change the number. To change the “behind” or “ahead of” UT, move the cursor to “ahead of” and using ▲ or ▼ key to toggle between “behind” and “ahead of”. For other parts of the world, you can find out your “time zone” information from internet, such as http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/. DO NOT COUNT DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.

To set daylight saving time, use the ◄ or ► key to move the cursor to the bottom of the screen, use ▲ or ▼ button to toggle the Daylight Saving Time between N, which means “No” and Y, which means (Yes).

Press BACK to go to previous screen. Select “Set Up Site” and press ENTER to check your site info.

Set up site info:

Longitude:

W071d27m47s

Latitude:

N42d15m40s

The longitude and latitude coordinates will be updated when the GPS picks up satellite signals. “W/E” means west/east hemisphere; “N/S” means north/south hemisphere; “d” means degree; “m” means minute; and “s” means second.

If for any reason your GPS can’t pick up a signal you can manually enter the GPS coordinates. Press ◄ or ► key to move the cursor and using ▲ or ▼ key to toggle between “W” and “E”, “N” and “S”, or to change the numbers. It is always a good idea to do your home work to get the GPS coordinates before traveling to a new observation site.

The site coordinates information can be found from internet, such as GPSVisualizer (http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/geocode), by entering the city name or address. In case you only find the site information in decimal format you can convert them into d:m:s format by multiplying the decimal numbers by 60. For example, N47.53 can be changed to N47º31'48”: 47.53º = 47º +0.53º, 0.53º=0.53x60'=31.8', 0.8'=0.8x60"=48". Therefore, 47.53º=47º31'48" or 47d31m48s. Same as N47º31.8’: 31.8’=31’+0.8’, 0.8’=0.8x60”=48”.

4.2.2. Set Mount Type

The SmartStar-A series can be operated in both A/A and EQ mode, for the A/A operation, the mount type needs to be set correctly. Scroll down and select “Set Mount Type”,

Set Up Site

Set N/S Hemisphere

Set Display Contrast

Set Eyepiece Light

Set Backlight

Set Anti-backlash

Set Key Beep

Set Mount Type

14

Press Enter.

Equatorial Mount

Alt/Azi Mount

Select Alt/Azi mount and press ENTER to go back the previous screen.

4.2.3. Set Anti-backlash

For an Alt/Azi operation, both R.A. and DEC anti-backlash should be set to 0 step.

Scroll down and select “Set anti-backlash”

Set Up Local Time

Set Up Site

Set N/S Hemisphere

Set Display Contrast

Set Eyepiece Light

Set Backlight

Set Anti-backlash

Set Key Beep

Press ENTER. A R.A. anti-backlash will display:

R.A. anti-backlash:

0000 steps

One steps equal to 1.5 arc second.

To adjust steps move the cursor to each digit and use the number keys to input number directly. Press ENTER – “DEC anti-backlash” will display:

DEC anti-backlash:

0000 steps

One steps equal to 1.5 arc second.

Move the cursor to each digit and use the number keys to set the anti-backlash to 0. Press ENTER to go back the previous screen.

Press BACK button to go back to main menu.

15

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