iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ go-to German equatorial mount with Hard Case

$558.00

Availability: More on the way

The iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ mount is a nifty little grab-and-go German equatorial go-to mount ideal for visual observation and wide field astrophotography that can fit into almost everyone's budget. 

Our Product #: SMARTEQHC
iOptron Product #: 3200-HC
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Product Description

This new iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ grab-and-go German equatorial mount has:
Built-in go-to computer drive with 149,000+ object database
Dual-axis servomotor with optical encoders
11 pound maximum payload capacity
Runs 16 hours on 8 AA batteries for use in the field
Metal worm and gears
Built-in polar alignment scope
Built-in autoguider port
Adjustable height tripod with 1.25" diameter stainless steel legs

The iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ mount is a very portable and very affordable grab-and-go German equatorial mount for entry-level visual astronomers and wide-field astrophotographers. Flashlight battery operated, it is designed for travel, backyard imaging, and transporting to a dark sky site. It is ideal for go-to visual observing and wide-field astrophotography with many of the most popular short focal length refractors, small catadioptrics, and cameras of all types.

Payload capacity: The SmartEQ Pro comes with a 2 pound (0.9kg) counterweight and a retractable 16mm counterweight shaft that stores inside the equatorial head. The design of the equatorial head and position of the battery compartment let you use payloads of up to 4 pounds (1.8kg) without using the counterweight. The mount and installed batteries will provide the balancing weight needed. The counterweight and extended counterweight shaft will balance payloads between 4 pounds and 8.8 pounds (4kg). If your payload is greater than 8.8 lbs (4 kg), an additional optional counterweight will be needed.

Drive system: The SmartEQ Pro+ mount has aluminum alloy 120-tooth 60mm diameter drive gears and brass worms in both right ascension and declination. The steel right ascension and declination axis shafts are 25mm in diameter, with 42mm diameter bearings.

The standard equipment dual-axis DC servo motors with encoders provide 0.5 arc second per step resolution, more than precise enough for an imperceptible stepping motion during visual observing and wide-field imaging.

The DC motors require a 9-12VDC, 1 amp power supply. The motors draw 0.1A while tracking and 0.3A while slewing. Eight AA batteries provide up to 16 hours of continuous tracking, depending on the ambient temperature. An optional external 12VDC power supply can be used to power the scope indefinitely, for example from 110VAC in your back yard.

There are nine guiding, centering, and slewing speeds available: sidereal and 2x sidereal for guiding; 8x, 16x, 64x, and 128x sidereal for centering; and 256x (1°/sec), 512x (2°/sec) sidereal, and a maximum speed of ~4°/sec for slewing. There is a serial port on the hand control for mount firmware upgrade and ASCOM control using an optional computer.

An ST-4 autoguider port is standard equipment for long-exposure astrophotography.

The supplied GoToNova hand controller has a 4 line/21 character LCD display. After entering the local time ande location information, a simple one-star alignment is all that is needed to start you observing. You can sync the scope to known objects to improve the pointing accuracy.

The GoToNova hand controller contains a go-to database of more than 149,000 objects that includes: 60 named deep sky objects; the 110 object Messier Catalog, the 7,840 object NGC Catalog; the 5,386 object IC Catalog; the 12,921 object UGC Catalog; the 109 object Caldwell Catalog; the 400 object Herschel Catalog; 195 named stars; 15 comets; 116 asteroids; 210 double stars; 26,584 bright stars from the SAO catalog; 5,553 bright variable stars from the GCVS catalog; the 88 modern constellations with their names; plus 60 user-defined objects.

Mount details: The SmartEQ Pro+ mount is designed to be very portable for travel and grab-and-go use. The equatorial head weighs only 6.2 pounds (2.8kg), not counting the 2 pound (0.9kg) counterweight. The supplied adjustable height tripod has 1.25" diameter stainless steel legs, and weighs only 5.7 pounds (2.6kg).

It is quite stable, able to support the SmartEQ Pro+ equatorial head and the maximum rated payload with ease. An optional set of vibration-dampening pads might be a useful addition during visual observing, however. During transport and storage, the standard counterweight shaft stores conveniently within the mount body.

The mount is designed to operate in both northern and southern hemispheres at latitudes from 0° to 62°. Twin adjustment knobs in the base of the mount let you fine-tune the azimuth alignment on the pole over a +/-10° arc.

The standard equipment AccuAligning bright field polar alignment scope works in conjunction with a display in the computer hand control to provide very accurate polar alignment for long-exposure astrophotography. There is a built-in bubble level for leveling the mount for the most accurate tracking.

This package comes with an aluminum hard carrying case for the mount head giving you peace of mind while keeping your mount portable.

Optical tube mounting method: The mount head accepts industry-standard Vixen-style dovetails.

If you're looking for an extremely affordable grab-and-go go-to mount for visual observing and serious auto-guided wide-field astrophotography, you won't find a better value than the iOptron SmartEQ Pro+ equatorial. It may be the grab-and-go travel mount you've been looking for.

Tech Details

Weight 14 lbs.
Warranty 1 year

Reviews

Review by:
Not impressed with this mount at all. Will be selling this and getting a better mount. Just not satisfied. (Posted on 7/30/2019)
Review by:
I am a beginner in astrophotography and am starting out with DSLR & camera lens landscape astro shots. I decided to buy this mount because of the relatively low cost and small size, important for when I travel in my RV. So far I have not used it a great deal, but as others have remarked, the tripod is not the sturdiest. Although the mechanism will not attach to a standard photographic tripod I've considered machining an adapter plate that would marry the Smart EQ head with my Manfrotto Pro tripod, thus I would have one less bulky item to pack. In terms of the mount itself, it seems to have a number of quirks that I am slowly learning to deal with but again, I knew I was not getting a mount to be used with serious astro gear. I earlier had bought an iOptron SkyTracker, which would work with my tripod, but decided that the GoTo capability of the Smart EQ was something I needed. (Posted on 1/12/2019)
Review by:
I haven't had a lot of time with this mount yet, but overall a nice piece of equipment. I purchased mainly to have a light weight mount and tripod. As much for my back as a grab and go setup. The controller is simple to use. My unit has very little backlash, though to be fair I've only used it with my ST-80 and Lunt 50mm solar scope. It may be more obvious with longer FL scopes, but it still is minimal.

As mentioned in the previous review, the tripod legs are a bit flimsy. There are some modifications that can be done that can help to make it a bit stiffer. I knew this going in so it wasn't a big deal. Modifying the supplied legs will keep it light, though replacing the legs may provide a more stable yet heavier platform. (Posted on 1/8/2019)
Review by:
I needed to spend considerable time and effort to get mine updated and even had to replace both motors. iOptron is very helpful, friendly and accommodating so they helped me work through my issues. I had the non '+' mount but now I do and it works great now with good goto's and is tracking nicely.

The tripod is very flimsy and needs to be improved. I solidified mine quite a bit by injecting a special glue into the gaps between the plastic and metal legs. (Posted on 10/16/2018)
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