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DirkSteele

APM AzMaxLoad Mount Review

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Many of you will recall when I purchased my APM LZOS 180mm triplet a couple of years ago I wanted to mount the scope on an Alt-Az but at 23kg for the barebones OTA and more than 1 metre in length, there was very little choice available that was up to the job.  Fortunately APM themselves actually manufacture a seriously heavy duty Alt-Az mount called the AzMaxLoad.  At the time a number of SGL members expressed some interest and more recently I have received a couple of PMs asking about it so I have finally got round to committing my thoughts into a review (work seems to have taken over my life over the last year, hence my inactivity on SGL).

 

You can find the review on my astro-site on the link:  http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2016/02/27/apm-azmaxload-mount-review/

 

To give a flavour of the size, here is the AzMaxLoad (on the left) next to my very capable Tele Optic Ercole (18kg OTA capacity).  Quite a bit bigger isn't it!

Comparison.jpg.96a91f2a6e0d52c334b129d5f

 

Edited by DirkSteele
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Good to see you back Matthew, nice review.

I may consider one of these in future. I was a little confused about the options for dual scope setup, whether you could have the mount configurable to have either the counterweight bar, or a second clamp?

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I enjoyed your review Mathew, and what an impressive mount! 

Were you ever tempted to buy something like an EQ8 or G11, and live with it being an EQ mount rather than the commonly prefered Alt/Az for visual?

Edited by Chris Lock

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Great review Matthew !

I thought about one of these when I had my 6" F/12 Istar refractor. Unfortunately the mount costs about 50% more than the scope had cost me and my budget would not stretch that far.

I wonder how the Maxload would compare with the new Losmandy AZ8 alt-az mount ?:

http://www.losmandy.com/AZ8.html

It looks like the Maxload has a higher weight capacity for a starter.

Edited by John

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On 2/28/2016 at 14:58, Stu said:

Good to see you back Matthew, nice review.

I may consider one of these in future. I was a little confused about the options for dual scope setup, whether you could have the mount configurable to have either the counterweight bar, or a second clamp?

I am not actually sure how the two arm model functions.  Certainly not clear whether you can switch between the two.  On my older Tele Optic Giro II, the second arm could be taken off (loosen a couple of hex bolts) and it exposed a connection for a counterweight bar.

On 2/28/2016 at 15:47, Chris Lock said:

I enjoyed your review Mathew, and what an impressive mount! 

Were you ever tempted to buy something like an EQ8 or G11, and live with it being an EQ mount rather than the commonly prefered Alt/Az for visual?

Not so much for visual, but dare I say it, my mind is now wandering towards an EQ mount as i am currently looking to sell my house in central London and move to the countryside.  And you know what that means..... Darker skies and possibly a permanent observatory!

On 2/28/2016 at 17:30, John said:

Great review Matthew !

I thought about one of these when I had my 6" F/12 Istar refractor. Unfortunately the mount costs about 50% more than the scope had cost me and my budget would not stretch that far.

I wonder how the Maxload would compare with the new Losmandy AZ8 alt-az mount ?:

http://www.losmandy.com/AZ8.html

It looks like the Maxload has a higher weight capacity for a starter.

Thanks John.  I recalled you mentioning your interest when I first posted pics of the APM 180 on SGL.  I had not heard of the Losmandy Alt-Az mount before.  Looks rather nice.  Different weight class for sure, but at that price including a tripod it looks like to could be rather good value if it performs as good as it looks.  Will have a Google and see if anyone has reviewed it.

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€250 each for a counter weight! !! 

I would of strapped one my kids to the pole insted :D

Nice review , stunning equipment you have Mathew.

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1 hour ago, cs1cjc said:

Note that AOKSwiss has an AZ mount in this class, the AYOmaster and that encoder versions are available:

http://www.aokswiss.ch/index_mont.html

 

That is a nice looking mount and provides another option for heavy weight scopes.  Perhaps slightly lower capacity but certainly a similar order of magnitude.  I wonder if you can switch out the vixen style clamps for a Losmandy mounting system?  From reports I have read about the Argo Navis digital setting circle system, it is a very accomplished piece of equipment.  I suspect if one were more technically minded than I am, it might be possible to retrofit an Argo Navis to the AzMax Load, but unlike the AOKSwiss model you mention, cables etc would be on the outside.

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3 hours ago, DirkSteele said:

That is a nice looking mount and provides another option for heavy weight scopes.  Perhaps slightly lower capacity but certainly a similar order of magnitude.  I wonder if you can switch out the vixen style clamps for a Losmandy mounting system?  From reports I have read about the Argo Navis digital setting circle system, it is a very accomplished piece of equipment.  I suspect if one were more technically minded than I am, it might be possible to retrofit an Argo Navis to the AzMax Load, but unlike the AOKSwiss model you mention, cables etc would be on the outside.

You can specify what you prefer at the time of order with the AYO mounts I believe. You can just have flat plates either side with standard spaced threaded holes to allow you to fit which ever clamps you chose, quite handy. The standard Vixen clamp is actually pretty good, but you would definitely want something chunkier for your scope Matthew!

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