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iOptron GEM45 German Equatorial GoTo Mount Mount Head + Case + 1.75" Tripod
Model: iop_gem45_7603a-hc_1.75Part Number: 7603A-HC
With its integrated electronic polar scope (iPolar) polar alignment is a breeze, even when the pole star is obscured.
IOptron's reliable ultra-quiet stepper motors provide precise pointing and tracking together with low power consumption. Large levers make it easy to engage the drive gears into place, even when wearing gloves.
Integrated internal cable management means there is little chance of your cables becoming snagged and a new, patent pending, Universal Self-Centering Saddle (USCS) accommodates both Losmandy and Vixen style dovetail plates.
A new 'LiteRoc' 1.75" tripod delivers high stability in a lighter, more compact package.
Other features include computerised GOTO with a 212,000+ object library (includes star identification) GPS and Wi-Fi (requires optional iStarFi adapter).
Supplied in two boxes.
iOptron GEM45 Quick Start ManualFirmware:
Coming sooniOptron Telescope ASCOM Driver:
I've used this mount since September 2019, first with an EdgeHD800 and then with a WO GT81 and the feature that stands out most is how quick and easy it is to set up. This is mostly due to the light weight of the mount and tripod, which makes it possible to carry it outside fully assembled with the OTA. Then the built-in iPolar makes for very quick and accurate polar alignment - once calibrated to the mount, you only have to adjust the Alt and Az knobs to put the circle on the cross to give very accurate alignment in seconds. I have tried the Polemaster, Sharpcap and others, but none of these come close IMHO. Also, the GPS unit ensures that your time and location are accurately set. The through the mount wiring is very convenient to avoid tangles for USB and 12v, although sadly 1Amp capacity is insufficient to run dewbands and a camera cooler. Once you have called up the zero position from the hand control and run a plate solve to sync the mount to the sky, you can accurately centre any object you want, provided it's above the horizon!
I purchased this mount in May and have been using it with a Vixen VMC200L and an Altair Wave 102 ED plus A/G and camera. Max pay load I have used is around 10kg. I have used the mount with mains power only so I have no idea how heavy the power consumption is in reality. Overall I'm very happy with it and it is undoubtedly a step-up from the Celestron CG5 AT I was using previously. My views of pros & cons are:Pros:1. iPolar alignment is so much easier than grubbing around on the floor trying to squint through a polar alignment scope.2. Guiding performance has been very good. 3. It is relatively lightweight for the payload and easy to assemble. A slot of the allen key is a nice touch.4. I bought the carry case and that is a nice touch.5. The ioptron hand controller is good to use - clear and the menus are well laid out, IMHO.6. The USB port which feeds though to a USB port just below the clamp is really useful. Likewise the 12V auxiliary socket.7. It is visually attractive and well finished. Cons:1. The allen key bolts for the mount head to the tripod are a little fiddly in the dark (but do hold the mount well).2. The clamp screws are a bit on the small side I think. They have allen-key sockets so I use an allen key to tighten the dovetail into the clamp. It usually takes a couple of goes to get them tight.3. The rubber feet on the end of the tripod legs come off and get lost. Aside from the feet, I've had no problems with the 1.75" tripod (although I am no where near the payload limit). 4. 5kg counterweight is too light.A suggestion for improvement would be to have an internal USB hub inside the mount head and then to have, say, three USB ports to connecting A/G, camera etc.
First Light Optics LtdUnit 7 Budlake UnitsBudlake RoadMarsh Barton Trading EstateExeter, DevonEX2 8PY
Company No. 5892293VAT No. 907 2895 01
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