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Alt-AZ for 115/800 refractor


spudlet
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Hi,

I'm frustrated with using either my EQ4 and CG5-GT for grab and go purposes with my Altair 115/805 refractor. I never have a decent polar alignment due in part to the impossibility of finding Polaris with the four street lamps that seem to flood into my garden blinding me so using an EQ mount doesn't seem to serve much purpose. And in any case for the quick sessions I just want to mount up, point and look without hassle.

Can anyone recommend an alt-az mount that I can shove onto my CG5-GT tripod? The scope weighs about 8KG I think. The SkyTee 2 seems to be a good match? Anything else I should consider? I'm not after anything that requires power, that just adds to the hassle :)

Cheers!

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I just want to mount up, point and look without hassle.

Same reasons I moved to the Skytee 2 and not looked back. I did consider the AZ4 but felt I'd get some wobble with my frac, on the Skytee it's rock solid even when focusing or re-alignment.

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I've used my ED120 refractor on my AZ-4 mount and it was OK up to a point but I'd not be happy with that as my only mount for that scope. My current Giro-type mount holds the ED120 very steadily as would a Skytee II. I'm expecting delivery of the latter within the next day or two so I'll be able to report back on how it handles the ED120 then.

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Sounds like the Skytee may be the way forward. Will look forward to your thoughts when you receive it John. Your Ambermille Aztech - how does that perform. I've not come accross this brand before, and presume it is no longer available.

I saw Altair have an interesting looking mount, but seems to lack slow-mo controls, and when you start adding in the extras: vixen dovetail, shaft, etc, the cost seems to mount up.

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The Ambermille Aztech is a T-style alt-az mount that was made by a small English engineering firm that is no longer in the astro business as far as I know. It's very similar to the Giro III mount with no slow motion controls and just the adjustable tension control on each axis. It has a dovetail clamp on either side of the "T" and I have a counterweight bar that I can attach to one side if I'm using a heavy (say 10kg or more) optical tube on the mount. I've used scopes up to 10" F/4.8 newtonians and 6" F/8 refactors on the mount successfully and they track smoothly as long as properly balanced. Tracking is manual of course but I've used 300x or more and it tracked smoothly.

Heres a photo of it with my ED120 on board:

post-118-0-64689400-1375484275_thumb.jpg

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I have an old AOK Swiss Ayo mount. The previous owner had a TMB 115 with binoviewers on it.

The new Ayo Mark II can be bought or retrofitted with encoders and computer in case you missed it later

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Got to say I find the idea of fitting encoders to the mount a somewhat attractive proposition. I'll give the review a read. I'm also keen on the idea of buying local; OK Switzerland isn't THAT local to sunny Oxfordshire, but it is a damn sight closer than the far east :-) It should presumably be a well engineered product from a Swiss manufacturer. I had a glance at the prices, translated by google and I couldn't make sense of them, but it is just a short glance and I'm in no hurry so i'll research this when I'm more awake :-)

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unfortunately you still will have to pay VAT and handling fees when buying in Switzerland
:(
(Prices are in Swiss Frand, they are roughly 0.66 £, you then have to ad 20 % UK VAT) You can always send Beat, the owner of AOK, an email, they dont have an online shop as they like to talk to you about your needs (in english), payments can be made via Paypal or BT.
Edited by Bender
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I use Mini Giro and Giro II mounts for my refractors, the biggest of which is a 106mm triplet which weighs around 5.5kg, so probably not far off yours with accessories. On an EQ6 tripod it is rock solid, no vibration at all. I found that I naturally moved the scope rather than bothered finding slo mo controls so the Giro style is perfect for me. I can use it for two scopes, often PST and white light these days, or add the counterweight bar and weight if needed for the 106 on its own.

I've recently acquired, although not actually received yet, an Argo Navis plus the encoders for the Giro II which will give me digital setting circles for push to functionality. I'll report back on this in a couple of weeks.

post-6762-137568695768_thumb.jpg

post-6762-137568706093_thumb.jpg

Just another option to consider...

Stu

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That's an interesting point actually, Stu. I more often than not just push my scopes around when they're on EQ head, so maybe I don't need the slow-mo control you get on the SkyTee.

But then that's a wake up call on import costs of the AOK - it could well push up the cost beyond what I can realistically afford.

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  • 3 months later...

Dragging this old one up, I've made my mind up finally. Having read Emad's review of the ES Twilight recently, it looks like a goodun, and still being offered at a bargain price. I've decided to go for it.

But before I do, is this thing likely to mount straight on to my existing tipods?

I have the CG5 2inch steel tubular, the HEQ5 1.75nch steel tubular and even the old EQ4 alluminum one one in the garage. All share the same mounting bit at the top.

This'll work out the box, right? Please? :smiley:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Just trolling through some old posts. I was lucky to pick up a mint AyoDigi with encoders and computer on a German astroforum from a guy in Austria. Shipping 20£ and no duties :)

They dont come up very often but if are excellent value for money.

It is somewhat oversized for the task but i was hopping that this will give me a bit more friction to make it easier to swap eyepieces of different size. Just hoping for the skies to clear up to see how they compare.

As a comparison my old Ayo mount in red (same as the original WO Ezytouch), sorry dont have the obligatory coke can in my fridge ;)

post-6357-0-31777900-1387997429_thumb.jp

Edited by Bender
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Here is my latest alt-az find. It's a Bray Tablet Mount made in the UK by Bray Imaging up until 2010. The central boss is 150mm in diameter. The mount will hold a C14 SCT optical tube without the need for a counterweight:

post-118-0-78437700-1388162548_thumb.jpg

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