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completenovice

AZ4 versus Vixen Porta II

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As above really.

What's the general consensus regarding the above mounts?  I'm  currently using an EQ1 mount that came with the scope (ST102) and it's a bit of a pain really.

Apart from quality issues, it's a pain to properly set up in a small garden with blocked views so I'm after a Alt/az mount for speedy setup and use.

Previously considered GOTO but when I borrowed a friends, numerous 'targets' were obscured by buildings, trees, etc that I find manual targeting more satisfying and less frustrating plus I like trying to find things on my own :smiley: .

Ta!

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Good question.

Funny enough I was looking at these about an hour ago for a grab and go mount/tripod for my C8.

I will keep an eye on this one.

Edited by hobsey

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I've used both, and still own an AZ4.  In my view it's far more stable and very easy to use.  It hasn't got slow motions, but it's so smooth that this wont bother you.  I use an Equinox ED120 on it and it works very well. 

In term of ease of use and stability it will give your scope a new lease of life.

You can get two versions of the AZ4, one with a standard aluminium tripod and one with much better pipe tripod.  Although both will be great with your telescope, the latter will be better if you get anything a bit larger.

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I have ordered the Star Travel 120 and the aluinium version of the AZ4.

I went for the AZ4 as after much research on here and on other sites it kept getting good reviews. I did not go for the steel version as that is another 2 Kgs heavier and I am looking at portability and grab and go. You can always add a weight the tray to add further stability.

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Over the years, I've never heard a single bad word about the AZ4. I'll be getting one later this year.

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I am very happy with my AZ4. I use it with either ST80, Skymax 127 or Explorer 150P. I have the steel pipe leg version and it is very stable, a good deal more stable than the ali leg version (also have the ali leg EQ3-2 so compared tripods) but it is a proper lump to cart around if you have to walk any distance with it.

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Thanks Paul.

I was leaning towards the Vixen purely for the slow motion controls that I couldn't see on the AZ4 but if this isn't an issue than that's good to know.

The price difference is also quite significant (about £100 between them). Is the Vixen worth the extra in quality terms? I don't mind paying extra if it's worth it but not if it's inferior to the Skywatcher.

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I've owned both the Vixen Porta (the Mk1 though) and an AZ-4 with steel legs. Both are good quality mounts and would carry your ST102 happily (as would the aluminum legged AZ-4). As the ST102 is not that optimal for high power observing the lack of slow motion controls on the AZ-4 seems less of an issue to me. 

I would not say that the Vixen was particularly better quality than the AZ-4 - the slow motion knobs on mine were quite poor quality for example and I replaced them with CNC machined alloy ones. 

I use my AZ-4 for my Vixen ED102SS F/6.5 refractor which weighs around 8lbs and is easily held very solidly by the mount. My 14lbs and somewhat longer ED120 F/7.5 refractor is usable on the AZ-4 but not optimally for 150x or more magnification, in my opinion so I have a more stable mount for that larger refractor.

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Another vote for the superb AZ4, i have the steel leg version, it will carry my Mak 150, or TAL 100rs or 150pds newt with ease, and has all but made my HEQ5 redundant, I can also use it with my 2" CG5 tripod, but so far no need

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I have an AZ4 on the way to me. I am sure it will handle anything I put on it - looking currently at mounting a 114mm fl 500mm ultrawide newt but might eventually get a 130/150 pds as my wide field. In all honesty my 12" f4 is my grab and go but I want something with a nice wide field that I can also sling in the car when camping etc.

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I have an AZ4 with steel legs and use my TAL100R on it. Works a treat :)

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To those that have the az4 mount, is the fork on it long enough to take a c8?

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To those that have the az4 mount, is the fork on it long enough to take a c8?

I have my AZ-4 mount head in front of me as I type this. While you could put a C8 physically onto the mount, you would not be able to point it above around 60 degrees or so without the bottom of the tube contacting the mount as far as I can see. A 6" scope would probably be OK.

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Thank you for that john.<br />

<br />

I thought that may have been the case.

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Thank you for that john.<br />

<br />

I thought that may have been the case.

A Giro-type mount would be fine with the C8 though.

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well my AZ4 has landed. it's the one with the steel legs and is everything I hoped it would be. very sturdy, reasonably light and ultra smooth - like a tri-dob.

  • Like 2

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I have my AZ-4 mount head in front of me as I type this. While you could put a C8 physically onto the mount, you would not be able to point it above around 60 degrees or so without the bottom of the tube contacting the mount as far as I can see. A 6" scope would probably be OK.

From what i can see and tell, the same rule applies for the Porta II mount. 8" may just be too big (in size), but a 6" should have more clearance. I guess though its more about the length of the OTA rather then the aperture size.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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Yeah, think the AZ grab and go for the C8 is out of the question.

Looking for a grab and go EQ now without motor drives and that can handle the payload.

Cheers for the replies.

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Yeah, think the AZ grab and go for the C8 is out of the question.

Looking for a grab and go EQ now without motor drives and that can handle the payload.

Cheers for the replies.

Hmm....interesting topic. I looked at an AZ4 and although it does look solid and well made, I didn't think it would suit me as it has no slow motion controls and I usually work at high mags. maybe it's a basic EQ for me as a grab 'n go as well....

Chris

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well my AZ4 has landed. it's the one with the steel legs and is everything I hoped it would be. very sturdy, reasonably light and ultra smooth - like a tri-dob.

Never thought you would get a tripod! you have seen how well the AZ4 handles my 150pds, a very good set up...................................all you need now is a frac to put on it

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Indeed Jules. it seemed the best option for a small newt. frac? never, the eyepiece is at the wrong end! :grin:

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Thanks Paul.

I was leaning towards the Vixen purely for the slow motion controls that I couldn't see on the AZ4 but if this isn't an issue than that's good to know.

The price difference is also quite significant (about £100 between them). Is the Vixen worth the extra in quality terms? I don't mind paying extra if it's worth it but not if it's inferior to the Skywatcher.

I looked at both for exactly the smae reasons to carry my C100ED, and I chose the Vixen Porta II over the AZ4, mainly because I prefer slo-mo controls, which work very well as I prefer accuracy and quality in my views.  The aluminium tripod is very stable and I have never had an issue with it, in fact it is suprisingly stable.  I have never owned an AZ4 but tried one at a nearby star party, and I found it also very good, but I prfer my Viwen, absolute quality!

  • Like 1

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