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Model: es_iexos-100_PMC_eight_eqmPart Number: 0456100
The Explore Scientific iEXOS-100 PMC-Eight Equatorial Mount - a highly portable, lightweight, wireless-controlled German Equatorial mount for visual astronomy and astrophotography. Ideal for smaller telescope setups and cameras.
Fitted with a regular Vixen-style saddle the payload for visual astronomy is 8.6kg or 6.8kgs for imaging.
Controlled by the class leading PMC-Eight wireless control system, this mount doesn't require a handset and will run off any modern Android device, Apple iPads (running iOS12+), or Windows 10 tablets and computers. In addition to these packages, the PMC-8 is also fully ASCOM compliant and will connect to any ASCOM Standards Compliant POTH Client from Explore Scientific (either wired or wireless) to work with virtually any sky software that supports ASCOM.
The Explore Stars control app can be downloaded from Android, Apple and Windows app stores and is a very intuitive piece of software, with the ability to use your device's GPS signal to download location and time/date data - no more entering info by hand. Explore Stars allows for simple setup with the click of a button.
The PMC-Eight hardware is based around 8 separate CPUs - neatly apportioning different control instructions and calculations to each processor. This makes for very smooth control functionality and very accurate tracking and encoder responses. From a tracking and slewing point of view, the mount is very quiet, which users will doubtlessly appreciate when the using mount late at night, especially in more heavily populated areas.
Alignment takes place using either a two or a three star system (three giving the more accurate results). Simply roughly polar align the mount through the polar borehole and the PMC-8/Explore Stars system will correct for slight polar offset when using a three star alignment. If you require more accurate tracking, the mount is fully ST-4 auto guiding compliant with its own guide port, supporting both on camera and serial guiding.
The latitude altitude adjustment on the mount head is geared, whereas azimuth is a simpler revolving moment. The tripod of the iEXOS is lightweight but has a handy spreader tray which helps reinforce the spreader bar. A bubble level also helps the user keep the tripod as level as possible. RA and DEC clutches are operated by reassuringly solid helical knurled metal designs. Both mount and tripod have luminous "glow-in-the-dark" inlays, which help orientate the mount in the dark and may also prevent accidental knocking of the iEXOS, while in use in low light situations.
I do like this mount but I have upgraded the Tripod for a Medium Explore Scientific Tripod, I also have the Azimuth adjuster also, and I have jury rigged securely an iOpton iPolar mount onto the RA axis where there is a hole in the front for easy polar alignment. I am using this for a Canon EOS with a Samyang 135mm lens, with Pegasus FocusCube focuser, ZWO Mini guide scope and guide cam, The mount is easy to set up and tracks really well. However the tripod supplied is wobbly junk IMHO, but the explore scientific medium tripod can be sourced for approx £120, and with the Azimuth adjuster, this makes it one of my favorite mounts due to portability, it is far better than a star tracker for light loads and handles my setup really well with a second counterweight, but good polar alignment is necessary. For those complaining about things breaking and tracking binding, quite simply you are overtightening the clutch, I only tighten enough to stop the load moving which is not very tight at all and I never have issues.I purchased this mount for a cheaper mount, I ultimately was forced to upgrade to make it usable for imaging. the question is would I buy it again? its a difficult one to answer, I love the mounts portability, and it pairs well with my kit. but for the money spent upgrading i could have stretched to the price of an Celestron AVX mount (I also own one), and my head says but the Celestron instead but my heart loves this mount more than my Celestron AVX and Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro, due to the fact I don't put my back out moving it around. and this is the only setup i take away from my home with me when travelling in my caravan, which i am not sure i would do if it was an AVX.So in summary I suppose, if you have other mounts and want something far more portable that's akin to what you are used to as it is a full goto mount, instead of going to a star tracker then this is a great choice, I can only comment on USB connectivity as i don't use the WIFi connectivity, then I would recommend this mount with the tripod and Azimuth upgrades. but if its your first mount for a larger load, definitely look elsewhere.
I have had this mount for about 8 months now. After using it only a dozen times it was binding multiple times through the night. Wouldn’t adjust and one of the worm mesh adjustments disintegrated when I tried to which is a common problem. After long discussions ES finally said they would look at it and fix it ($250NZD) to ship almost as much as the mount. Explore Scientific have been absolutely useless to deal with to the point of being rude. The mount for the price is good and certainly never have any issues with FLO so hopefully any issues could be taken care of by then but living in NZ it wasn’t an option so for this reason I wouldn’t recommend it.
After a useful discussion with Grant at FLO, I ordered the mount for use with a Coronado Solarmax III 70mm. The mount arrived very well packed, and the manual from ES was well written. Since there is no handset as such, the mount is controlled via an inbuilt "dumb" WiFi receiver/transmitter, and so I installed the control software on an Amazon Fire HD tablet. This requires that the tablet connects to the mount's wifi, and no longer internet-connected. I had no problems connecting to the scope, even in a noisy environment, and the software is intuitive and does it's job well. The scope (~4 kg) is possibly towards the upper end of what the mount is comfortable with, as I found balancing in RA tough, and it may need another counterweight or a longer counterweight bar. The "biggest" issue, however, is the latitude adjustment knob, especially if you live in the "far" north or south. Once you need to set your latitude to much more than 59 degrees, the RA locking nut and the latitude adjustment knob crash and lock together, and it's no longer possible to go further. It would be much more useful to have the whole latitude adjustment on the other side of the mount. However, since this is unlikely, then a smaller knob (50% smaller) would solve this problem. This is much more of a critical point for me, as I'm at 59.5 degrees north!In summary, even with the issues just highlighted, the mount behaves well and for lighter equipment is extremely good value for money.
First Light Optics LtdUnit 7 Budlake UnitsBudlake RoadMarsh Barton Trading EstateExeter, DevonEX2 8PY
Company No. 5892293VAT No. 907 2895 01
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