The iOptron Corporation began in 2007 and hit the ground running with their innovative SmartStar GoTo mounts. The SmartStar Cube was compact, worked in alt-azimuth mode, had computerized pointing and tracking capabilities, and cost under $200. It was the perfect solution for the thousands of small, lightweight refractor telescope owners who, up until the debut of the iOptron Cube, either used their telescope on a standard photographic tripod or, if they wanted computerized assistance, attached it to a larger (and much heavier) mount. The introduction of the Cube gave these folks a third option, allowing them to have a computerized set up without all the trouble and heavy-lifting associated with a larger telescope mount.
Over the last several years, iOptron has continued to expand their telescope mount line-up. The SmartStar CubePro Alt-Azimuth mount, the latest version of the original Cube, comes with iOptron's GoToNova computerized control system, with over 130,000 objects in its database! Other features and upgrades, like internal GPS, make this lightweight, easy to use mount very popular for small telescope owners, and the price is still very competitive, too.
iOptron Telescope Equatorial Mounts
iOptron has made their mark in the equatorial mount market as well. Newer models include the ZEQ25; a "Z"-shaped mount that puts the weight of its payload at the center of gravity, thereby improving stability in a natural way. Want the versatility of an alt-azimuth mount and an equatorial mount? iOptron has got you covered! Their iEQ45-AZ mount can change from alt-azimuth mode to equatorial mode. With a weight capacity of 45 lb., an amateur astronomer could ride an 8" SCT, plus imaging gear, on the iEQ45, and have the choice of which set-up they wished to use for the night.
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