iOptron TV Mount ZEQ25GT User Manual

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iOptron® ZEQ25GT Balanced GoTo Equatorial Mount

With Go2Nova® 8408 Hand Controller

Instruction Manual

Product #7100, #7101 and #7102

Table of Content

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

2

1. ZEQ25GT Overview ......................................................................................................................................

4

2. ZEQ25 Terms .................................................................................................................................................

5

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

5

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

6

2.3. ZEQ25 Ports ............................................................................................................................................

7

2.4. Go2Nova® 8408 Hand Controller ...........................................................................................................

7

2.4.1. Key Description................................................................................................................................

8

2.4.2. The LCD Screen ...............................................................................................................................

8

3. ZEQ25GT Mount Assembly ........................................................................................................................

10

3.1. Introduction ...........................................................................................................................................

10

3.2. ZEQ25 Mount Assembly.......................................................................................................................

10

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

20

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

20

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

20

4.3. Initial Star Alignment ............................................................................................................................

20

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

20

4.5. Star Identifying Function.......................................................................................................................

21

4.6. Turn Off the Mount ...............................................................................................................................

21

5. Complete Functions of Go2Nova® 8408 Hand Controller...........................................................................

22

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

22

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

22

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

22

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

22

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

22

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

22

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

22

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

23

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

23

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

23

5.3. Set Up Controller...................................................................................................................................

23

5.3.1. Set Up Time & Site ........................................................................................................................

23

5.3.2. Set Display and Beep......................................................................................................................

23

5.3.3. Set Anti-backlash............................................................................................................................

23

5.3.4. Meridian Treatment ........................................................................................................................

24

5.3.5. Track Below Horizon .....................................................................................................................

24

5.3.6. Set Polar Light................................................................................................................................

24

5.3.7. Firmware Information ....................................................................................................................

24

5.3.8. GPS Status......................................................................................................................................

24

5.3.9. Upgrade RA & DEC.......................................................................................................................

25

5.4. Align ......................................................................................................................................................

25

5.4.1. Polar Alignment..............................................................................................................................

25

5.4.2. SolarSys Alignment........................................................................................................................

25

5.4.3. One-Star Alignment........................................................................................................................

25

5.4.4. Multi-Star Alignment .....................................................................................................................

25

5.4.5. Pole Star Position ...........................................................................................................................

26

5.5. PEC Option............................................................................................................................................

26

5.5.1. PEC Playback .................................................................................................................................

26

2

 

5.5.2. Record PEC ....................................................................................................................................

26

5.6. Set User Objects ....................................................................................................................................

26

5.7. Set Guide Rate.......................................................................................................................................

27

5.8. To Zero Position....................................................................................................................................

27

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

28

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

28

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

28

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

28

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

28

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

29

Appendix B. Go2Nova® 8408 HC MENU STRUCTURE ..............................................................................

30

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

32

Appendix D. Computer Control an ZEQ25GT Mount.....................................................................................

33

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

34

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

41

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.

Ver. 1.2

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

3

1. ZEQ25GT Overview

Welcome to a new type of EQ mount! The iOptron “Z” design mount puts the payload weight at the center of gravity allowing for greater natural stability. This also means the mount is extremely light compared to its payload—a nice benefit when setting up at a remote site. Other features include an adjustable counterweight bar to prevent obstruction with the tripod. And Polar aligning is quick and accessible all the time since the Polar scope is not blocked by the DEC shaft.

The ZEQ25 is equipped with the most advanced GOTONOVA® GOTO technology, making it one of the most powerful and accurate GOTO mounts available. It comes with over 59,000 objects in its database. Plus, the Go2Nova® Hand Controller is intuitive to use with a large 4-line LCD screen to easily set up your telescope and select where you want to go. The ZEQ25 – a new category of viewing and astrophotography.

Please read the instruction before operation the mount.

Features:

A new design “balanced” equatorial mount for maximum payload and minimum mount weight

Specialized astrophotography mount ideal for entry-level and intermediate Astro-photographers

Payload of 27 lbs (12.3 kg) with the mount-only weight of 10.4 lbs (4.7 kg)

Spring loaded gear system with customer adjustable loading force

Gear switches on both R.A. and DEC axes for easy balancing when disengaged

Adjustable counterweight shaft for 0º latitude operation

Dual-axis servomotor with enhanced optical encoder for precise GOTO and accurate tracking

iOptron AccuAligningTM calibrated polar scope with dark-field illumination and easy polar alignment procedure, allowing for fast and accurate polar alignment (model #7100 and 7200)

Polar alignment routine for those who can’t see the Pole Star

Go2Nova® 8408 controller with Advanced GOTONOVA® GOTO Technology

Periodic error correction (PEC)

Integrated autoguiding port

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

Serial port for firmware upgrade and computer control

Spring loaded Vixen-style saddle

Standard 1.5 inch heavy-duty stainless steel tripod (5kg), optional 2 inch tripod (8kg)

Die-cast metal tripod spreader with accessory tray

Optional PowerWeightTM rechargeable battery pack

DO NOT rock the counterweight shaft rigorously. You’ll degrade the performance of the spring loaded gear meshing system, or even damage it.

The Tension Adjusters are used as the last step to lock, and the first step to release the gears. When disengaging the gear system, release the Tension Adjuster first. Then turn the Gear Switch to OPEN position. When engaging the gear system, turn the Gear Switch to LOCK position first. Then tighten the Tension Adjuster.

Never fully tighten the Tension Adjusters during operations. Fully screw in the Tension Adjuster and then back out by about 2 turns. The optimum spot varies with actual conditions, but is mostly within 1-3 turns from the fully tightened position. Ideally, it should be at a position just deep enough to rid any free movements (plays), while force on the worm assembly is kept at a minimum.

4

2. ZEQ25 Terms

2.1. Parts List1

There are two shipping boxes for a regular tripod version. One box contains a ZEQ mount, hand controller, one 10.4 lbs (4.7kg) counterweight, counterweight shaft, tripod spreader and accessories. The other box contains a tripod.

iOptron® ZEQ25GT telescope mount (with built-in GPS)

Go2Nova® 8408 Hand Controller

1.5-inch Tripod (#7100) or 2-inch Tripod (#7200)

Tripod spreader

One 10.4lbs (4.7 kg) counterweight

Counterweight shaft

Dark field illuminating LED cable (for model #7100 and #7200 with polar scope)

AC adapter (100V-240V)

Controller Cable X 2

Serial cable (RS232 to RJ9)

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)

.NET ASCOM driver

Reviews and feedback from other customers

Accessories

1 US market only. Actual contents may vary.

5

2.2. Assembly Terms

R.A. Drive Unit

Polar Axis Cover

Front CW position screw

CW mounting nose

CW Locking Screw

Lat. Locking T-bolt

 

Lat. Adj. Knob

CW Bar

Azi. Adj. Knob

Counterweight

CW Safety Screw

Main board

DEC Drive Unit

Dovetail Saddle

Polar Axis (R.A. axis)

Polar Scope Cover

Alignment Peg

Center Rod Knob

Accessory Tray

Tray Locking Knob

Tripod Leg Lock

Figure 1. ZEQ25 assembly terms (mount and tripod)

6

2.3. ZEQ25 Ports

Ports on the mount

DEC Unit

 

R.A. Unit

Main Board

Main Board

Figure 2. Ports on a ZEQ25 mount

On main control board:

OFF/ON Switch: Power switch

Dec: For connecting to DEC drive unit

Power DC 12V: DC power plug

iOptron Port: For connecting to other iOptron accessories, such as a laser pointer or a planetary dome control.

HBX (Hand Box): For connecting to an 8408 Hand Controller

Reticle: Power supply for the polar scope dark field illumination LED, or illuminated eyepiece

On RA unit:

Guide Port: Autoguiding port for guiding cameras

On DEC unit:

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

2.4. Go2Nova® 8408 Hand Controller

DEC+

RA+ RA-

DEC-

Serial HBX

Port Port

Figure 3. Go2Nova® 8408 hand controller

7

The Go2Nova® 8408 hand controller (HC) shown in Figure 3 is the standard controllers that used for a ZEQ25 mount. It has a 4 line, 21 character large LCD screen, function keys, direction keys and number keys on the front; a and a HBX port (6-pin) and a serial port (4-pin) at the bottom.

2.4.1.Key Description

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

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

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

Arrow (▲▼◄►) Keys: The arrow keys are used to control the movement of DEC and R.A. axes. Press and hold ▲(DEC+),▼(DEC-) buttons to move a telescope along the DEC direction, ◄(R.A.+), ►(R.A.-) to move a telescope along the RA direction. They are also used to browse the menu or move the cursor while in the menu. Holding an arrow key for a fast scrolling.

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

? Key: Identify and display nearby bright stars or objects where the telescope points to.

0 Key: Stop the mount during GOTO. Also toggling between start and stop tracking.

HBX (Handbox) port: connect the HC to a ZEQ25 mount using a 6 pin 4 wire (6P4C) RJ11 plug.

Serial port: connect the HC to a Computer via a RS232 to 4 pin 4 wire (4P4C) RJ9 cable (iOptron item# 8412). The pin out of the serial port is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Serial port pin out on an 8408 hand controller

2.4.2. The LCD Screen

The 8408 HC has a large 4-line, 21-character per line LCD screen. The user interface is simple and easy to learn. When the mount first turned on, an initial information screen will be displayed as shown in Figure 5, after company logo displayed. It displays the Zero Position, current date and time.

Figure 5. 8408 Initial Information Screen

The LCD screen will switch to the information screen, as indicated in Figure 6, with pressing any

button.

8

Target Name

Magnitude

Declination

Right Ascension

Azimuth

Altitude

N/S Hemisphere

Mount Status

Slew Speed

Current Time

Figure 6. 8408 HC LCD Information Screen

1.Target Name/Mount Position: displays the name of the target that telescope is currently pointed to or the current mount position.

An object name, such as “Mercury” or “Andromeda Galaxy”: Name of the Star or celestial object that the mount is currently slewing to, GOTO or tracking;

User Position: The mount is point to a user defined position, which could be a real sky object or just simply due to press an arrow key.

2.Magnitude: the magnitude of the current celestial object

3.Right Ascension: Right Ascension of the telescope, or R.A.

4.Declination: Declination of the telescope, or DEC.

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

6.Altitude: Altitude of the telescope (degrees vertical from the local horizon - zenith is 90º).

7.Mount Status: Display current operation status of the mount.

Stop: mount is not moving;

Slew: mount is moving with an arrow key is pressed;

GoTo: mount is slewing to a celestial object using “Select and Slew”;

8.Slew speed: It has 9 speeds: 1X, 2X, 8X, 16X, 64X, 128X, 256X, 512X, MAX (~4.5º/sec, depends on power source).

9.Current Time: display local time in a format of HH:MM:SS.

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3. ZEQ25GT Mount Assembly

3.1. 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 ZEQ25 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) in southern hemisphere, 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. 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 ZEQ25 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 ZEQ25 mount.

3.2. ZEQ25 Mount Assembly

NOTE: The ZEQ25 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.

10

WARNING: Please DO NOT rock the counterweight shaft rigorously. You’ll degrade the performance of the spring loaded gear meshing system, or even damage it.

WARNING: The new Gear Switch will allow you to have most precise weight balance. This also means the mount or OTA will swing FREELY when the Gear Switch is disengaged. Always hold the OTA or mount when release Gear Switch or adjust gear tension.

WARNING: DO NOT fully lock the 2 Tension Adjusters during operations.

NOTE: The mount is shipped with latitude setting at high range (35º ~ 60º). If your site latitude is lower than 35º, please switch the latitude range before using.

STEP 1. Select Mount Latitude Range

Carefully remove the mount from the shipping box and familiarize yourself with the components shown in Figure 1.

The mount is by default shipped with the Long Latitude Adjustment Knob installed (for 35-60º). At lower latitudes of 0-35º, the Short Latitude Adj. Knob needs to be used. To change this knob, remove the Latitude Locking T-bolts on both sides (do not lose the 4 washers). Unscrew Bottom Post Locking Screw to free the Bottom Latitude Adj. Post and remove the Latitude Adj. Knob. Thread in evenly the adequate Latitude Adj. Knob to Top and Bottom Latitude Adjustment Posts. Reinstall and tighten bottom locking screw. Lastly, with 4 washers all properly placed, insert and tighten Latitude Locking T-bolts into the upper threaded holes.

Short Lat. Adj. Knob

Level Bubble

Latitude Indicator

 

 

 

 

Long Lat. Adj. Knob

For Low Latitude

 

 

 

Lat. Locking T-bolt

For High Latitude

 

 

Bottom Lat. Adj. Post

 

 

Locking Screw

Azi. Adj. Knob

 

 

 

(a)

(b)

 

Figure 7. Switching latitude adjustment knob

STEP 2. Tripod Setup

Expand the tripod legs. Adjust the tripod height by unlocking and re-locking the Tripod Leg Locks to desired height. Position the tripod so that the Alignment Peg faces north, if you are located at northern hemisphere. If you are located in southern half, face the Alignment Peg south. Thread the tripod center rod into the tripod head and install the Accessory Tray and tread the Tray Locking Knob onto it. Do not fully tighten the Tray Locking Knob.

There are two threaded holes on the tripod head for alignment peg installation. The Alignment Peg may be moved to the opposite position shall the mount hit the tripod leg when used at a high latitude.

11

Figure 9. Attach a mount

Center Rod Knob

Alignment Peg

Accessory Tray

Tray Locking Knob

Figure 8. Set up tripod

STEP 3. Attach the ZEQ25 Mount

Retract both Azimuth Adj. Knobs to allow enough clearance inside the chamber. Position the mount on the tripod head with the Alignment Peg in between the 2 Azimuth Adj. Knobs. Thread the Center Rod into mount to secure it with tripod. Tighten the Tray Locking Knob to fully spread the tripod legs. Adjust the tripod legs to level the mount using the Level Bubble.

Azi. Adj. Knob

Alignment Peg

STEP 4. Adjust Latitude

This step requires you to know the latitude of your current location. This can be found from your 8408 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.

Slightly loosen the Latitude Locking T-bolts. Turn Latitude Adjust Knob to adjust the latitude until the arrow points to your current latitude on the Latitude Indicator (see Figure 7b). Relock the Latitude Locking T-bolts. At this point, with the mount leveled 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.

STEP 5. Install Counterweight (CW) Shaft

CW Mounting Nose

Front CW Position Screw

(1)

(3)

(2)

CW Shaft Locking Screw

Figure 10. Install counterweight shaft

12

(1)Remove CW Shaft Locking Screw from the CW Mounting Nose.

(2)Insert CW shaft into the CW Mounting Nose as indicated in 2nd photo below.

(3)Lock it using CW Shaft Locking Screw from the other side of the CW Mounting Nose. Tighten the Front CW Positioning Screw which is located in front of the CW Mounting Nose.

If the latitude of the observation location is lower than 10º, thread in the Rear CW Position Screw (a hex head set screw) before tightening the Front CW Positioning Screw to avoid CW hit tripod legs. Then tighten the Front CW Positioning Screw.

CW Locking Screw

CW Bar

Counterweight

Rear CW Position Screw

CW Safety Screw

Figure 11. Tilt counterweight shaft for low altitude

Figure 12. Install counterweight

STEP 6. Install Counterweight

Remove CW Safety Cap at the end of CW Shaft. With the wider opening towards the shaft end, guide CW through the shaft. Use the CW Locking Screw to hold the CW in place. Place Safety Cap back onto the shaft. ZEQ25 comes with a 10.4 lbs (4.7kg) counterweight. It should be able to balance a total payload of about 13 lbs (6kg) for a 6” diameter telescope. An optional CW or extension bar is needed for a heavier payload or a larger diameter Telescope.

STEP 7 Attach and Balance an OTA on the Mount Connect Cables

After attaching an OTA and accessories to the mount, the ZEQ25 mount must be balanced in both R.A. and DEC axes to ensure minimum stress on the mount (such as gears and motors inside).

CAUTION: The telescope may swing freely when the R.A. or DEC Gear Switch is released. Always hold on to the OTA before you release the gear switch to prevent it from swinging. It can cause personal injury or damage to the equipment.

Release Tension Adjuster by turning it counterclockwise. Turn Gear Switch knob 90 degree to OPEN position to disengage the worm from the worm wheel.

Tension Adjusters

Gear Switch

LOCK

 

OPEN

Figure 13. Gear Switch operation

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