It’s been a while since I have posted, I have like four blogs and more YouTube videos in process but work like always, is keeping me super busy and I have not had the time to finish them all yet. So here it is the final chapter. It’s been 7 months since purchasing the iOptron HEM27 and this is going to be a review of what I love, what I see is lacking, and my final thoughts on this mighty mount.
The First Review
First off if you didn’t see my first blog on all this I wrote a full breakdown of the HEM27 vs the AM5 and why I picked the HEM27 over the AM5. A lot has happened since this first post and one of the things I fixed was getting rid of all those stupid weights on my RedCat and upgrading to the William Optics Swan Dovetail Plate from Agena Astro. Since doing that my RMS has crushed both Bob’s and now Gwin’s AM5s at the GNTO field but really who cares about RMS? What I truly care about is I am not getting tangled with wires like Bob and Gwin who have both suffered this with the AM5s. No disrespect to my brothers (Bob & Gwin) or ZWO, but iOptron has simply engineered the better solution by keeping the power on the DEC Head which adds to the best mount in this new Strainwave / Hybrid market for mid-range Equatorial Mounts.
What I Love
So seven months and roughly 30 hours of usage I have been overly impressed with this mount. I have used it with the RedCat51, and also Celestron EdgeHD 8. It’s allowed me to capture some pretty spectacular images along the way that I have been happy about on my Astrobin account.
Here is a list of things I absolutely love about the iOptron HEM27.
- I love that there is power in the DEC head as I will never ever ever snag a cable and my cable management is as simple as can be because of this!
- I love how light the mount head is. When using the RedCat and the carbon fiber tripod I can easily pick it up and take it inside if I happen to be at home. The same can be done with the Celestron HD8 and the LiteRoc tripod as well but I always take off the scope and the counterweight to save my back 🙂
- I appreciate there is a brake for DEC and RA in the event of power drops. I have never had this problem yet but I would hate for my gear to go crashing into the mount like the ZWO AM5 does 🙂
- I really like the Wi-Fi management mode iOptron released that they don’t talk about. I have more details in the following post with a full YouTube on how to configure it https://joeytroy.com/ioptron-gl-mt3000-asiair/
- I love the carrying case it’s super durable and has come with me to GNTO multiple times and still looks as new as the day it arrived.
- Support has been just awesome and has answered all of my questions in no time, this was the same when I owned the GEM28 as well.
- I also love that the mount head can be configured for Vixen or Losmandy which is on page 14 and page 15 on how to set it up in the manual. I have mine set for Losmandy https://www.ioptron.com/v/Manuals/HEM27_Manual.pdf
- The guiding after replacing my funky weights on the RedCat has been amazing. I have nothing to hide from you so here are all my guiding logs showing you I am not crazy and this mount freaking rocks with 7 months of data https://joeytroy.com/HEM27%20PHD2%20Logs.zip
What is Lacking?
Ok so the HEM27 is damn near perfect it really is, but you know there is a few things I would like to mention.
- This is a Hybrid mount with a worm gear for the DEC gear and a Strainwave for the RA gear. I have not seen any issues with this, however, when guiding I always clear the mount settings and recalibrate each time and then I will start both the DEC and RA at 30% and increase the aggressiveness in the ASIAIR software. I normally have more aggression in the DEC than the RA, it’s not an issue as guiding is still amazing just throwing that out there.
- *Remember you need to balance the mount in Declination. I don’t have a problem with this at all however if it was a full strainwave for both DEC and RA you wouldn’t need to do this.
- There is a screw that iOptron added under the DEC head so the mount can not rotate 360° degrees. I am not sure why they did that however I ran into an issue at the site when imaging Rho Ohphiuci and had to come home as I thought something was broken with the mount. After finding the culprit I simply removed the flat head screw from the mount after removing the DEC head and have not had an issue imaging objects due South or anywhere in the sky for that matter.
- The screws that connect to the tripod work but are not perfect. I heard there are some people that have used other screws. As it stands I am still using the stock screws and they work, I just think maybe iOptron could have used some grooves so they are easier to tighten instead of the smooth coating they have. Again not a deal breaker just something I am bringing up.
So I talked about the Love and the Lacking so let’s talk about the Double Down. That is right, I am doubling down! I love this mount so much and own two telescopes I thought what the hell you only live once and I purchased a second mount for Black Friday sales and an ASI2600MC Pro to drive it. If that doesn’t show love, then I don’t know what does.
Till next time…