Most of today’s amateurs are familiar with fork and German equatorial mounts. Both have their pros and cons, but a common problem with each is that the mounted telescope’s position is offset from the center of the tripod or pier it sits on. As a result, torque can cause stability issues that adversely affect both visual and photographic use.
iOptron, an innovative company in Woburn, Massachusetts, has devised a new approach to this old problem by introducing what they call the center-balanced equatorial mount (CEM). A hybrid design mating the German equatorial with the old-style cross-axis mount, the Z-shaped CEM puts the mount’s balance point directly over the tripod. The result is a mount that features greater stability.
The first mount to use the CEM design was the company’s ZEQ25, designed for relatively small instruments. Building on the success of that mount, iOptron now offers the CEM60.