paul Posted January 11, 2021 Share Posted January 11, 2021 Since October last year I had been staring wistfully at the iOptron Tri-pier in my dining room wondering when the CEM70G was going to turn up. In the middle of December it arrived.This is a big step up from the EQ5 and HEQ5 Pro I'd been using for the last 10 years. The Tri-pier is fanatically rigid, simple to set up and although its not a grab and go solution I actually could see it being used as a portable tri-pod. As I have seen mentioned in other reviews, the black paintwork is easily scuffed and scratched the first time you adjust the height of the central column, it quickly looks used. (I have no idea how to address that but it is only cosmetic). The pier is at least twice the weight of the HEQ5 tripod. On its own its no problem but I wont be moving the pier and mount as one item like I did with the HEQ5.Mounting the CEM70G onto the pier takes some practice to get the two bolts of the mount aligned to the pier but after you have done it once or twice you get the feel for it. But even after you have tightened everything down it is still possible to rock the mount vertically in the north south plane - I think this is some play between the mounting plate and the azimuth adjustment plate (once its all loaded up this should not be an issue but it was disconcerting at first).Mount Alt-azimuth adjustments are effortless with the large knobs, the HEQ5 altitude adjustment is a trial in comparison. Combined with the integral iPolar polar alignment is very easy, very quick and accurate.The cable arrangement on my version of the CEM70G was different to the pictures in the user guide and in other reviews. The mount USB port has moved from the main interface panel to be on the RA axis panel next to the secondary power input, which I guess reduces internal wiring (it doesn't rotate with the axis so no problem there).The hand controller is very easy to use, after using skywatcher products for years I was concerned I would get lost but it is very easy to work out and I like it a lot. What I am not so happy about is single line of missing pixels, I shall contact the supplier to get advice. Balancing the OTA is a new experience, there is so little friction with the clutch disengaged that even a few grams misplaced is obvious. After a while I decided not to stress out too much - the mount is designed to handle much more than I was loading it with (at max about 15kg) and you are supposed to offset anyway to improve guiding.I have not used the built in guide scope yet, that needs some time to get it in focus and I just haven't had enough clear nights. Also my current arrangement of equipment blocks its view of the sky (camera pointing down). I think its more suited to refractors than newts.ASCOM just works and using the builtin GPS to sync clocks and location makes everything just smoother. I have had a couple of guided sessions with my 150mm newt imaging M45, guiding was under 0.6 average and that was without applying east side weighting. I've loaded up my OO 250mm and the mount throws it around effortlessly so I expect to achieve the same if not better when I get some clear skies.I'll add more observations (pros and cons) later but so far its full of promise and I am very happy with my purchase. Cheers,Paul 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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