Review of IOptron CEM60 mount
Recently installed at Astrofarm Astronomy Centre
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.
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.
The 9 objects in the Solar System catalogue.
Deep Sky Objects. This menu includes objects outside our Solar System such as galaxies, star clusters, quasars, and nebulae.
Named Objects: consists of 60 popular deep sky objects with their common names.
Messier Catalogue: consists of all 110 Messier objects.
NGC catalogue: consists of 7,840 objects.
IC catalogue: consists of 5,386 objects.
UGC catalogue: consists of 12,921 objects.
MCG catalogue: consists of 30,642 objects.
Caldwell catalogue: consists of 109 objects.
Abell catalogue: consists of 4,076 objects.
Herschel catalogue: consists of 400 objects.
Named Stars: consists of 195 stars with their common names.
Binary Stars: consists of 210binary stars
GCVS: consists of 38,528 variable stars in the catalogue
SAO catalogue: consists of 258,997 SAO catalogue objects
Comets: catalogue contains 15 comets.
Asteroids: catalogue contains 116 asteroids
Constellations: catalogue consists of 88 modern constellations.
There is also the function for you to add user data for new comets and other objects which allows the storage of up to 60 user-defined objects, including comets
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.
You can find out more about the Astrofarm Astronomy Centre here and further details of the CEM60 here.