iOptron CEM60 by Andrew Davies

Astrofarms proprietor reviews the iOptron CEM60 Equatorial Mount.

A brief review by Andrew Davies of the iOptron CEM60 center balance equatorial mount. Andrew is the lead astronomer at Astrofarm residential astronomy center in the South of France. He has been hooked on astronomy since his childhood and continues with observation and astrophotography to this day. Always willing to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with others, he teaches both astronomy and photography classes.

"Last night I managed to spend some time getting to grips with the IOptron CEM60 mount. If like me, all you have been used to up to now is standard hand controllers then the CEM60's display will seem a little daunting to begin with. This is, however, only until you read the user manual, something I never used to do, and then it becomes a wealth of information from GPS position to object position in Re and Dec.

Setup

Polar alignment is, if you take your time, relatively easy with the CEM60. Once the system is switched on and the GPS has got your position and you have put in all the other required data such as UT difference, it shows you where the polestar should be in the polar scope. There are also options for when you cannot see the pole star from your position and a correction option using two stars to show what adjustments need to be made to mount to improve polar alignment.

Other useful menu options on the CEM60 are Period Error Correction (PEC) utility which allows you to record the Period Error using a guide scope and save it so that the mount compensates for any errors in the gears, which most mounts with gearing have by the way. This utility is a great utility for long un-guided exposures.

Closing comments

I am very impressed with the CEM60. I like the funky robotic noise it makes when tracking. The CEM60 is a very powerful mount which I am looking forward to using more of. That said, like most things that come with any form of technology it is easy to see how some people could become very frustrated at the companies expectation that the user is either computer savvy or has some years of experience. This is another justification for outreach, teaching, and patience with newcomers."

For more information about Andrew or Astrofarm: http://astrofarmfrance.com/

 

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