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Alan White

Biggest Refractor on an AZ4?

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As per the title, what is biggest Refractor on an AZ4 that you have mounted with success?
Seriously wanting to go back to a refractor as I don't like my 6" reeflector as mad as that sounds.

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SW say Max Load = 6.8Kg, so at a guess one of the ES 102 refractors, either S or L variant would seem about the top.

Do not have an AZ4 to be more specific with. Will say looking at the AZ4 mount I would think that 6.8Kg might be a bit optimistic, equally the SW page makes it appear possibly less substantial then it may actually be.

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Thanks Ronin: they are more substantial than they look.
The SW max load rate, where did you find it as I had a good google and failed badly to find it.


 

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Its more the length rather than the weight that causes issue`s i sometimes hang my 150 skymax with crayford focuser on the AZ4 and it works for low power so for example a star travel 120 would work very well but an evostar 120 would be to much, i used my Tal 100rs on the AZ4 but high mags were a bit wobbly, what refractor are you wanting

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13 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

Its more the length rather than the weight that causes issue`s i sometimes hang my 150 skymax with crayford focuser on the AZ4 and it works for low power so for example a star travel 120 would work very well but an evostar 120 would be to much, i used my Tal 100rs on the AZ4 but high mags were a bit wobbly, what refractor are you wanting

I was looking at the ed ones either an 80 or 100, I know these are somewhat different.
80 because I can afford it and its an ed, 100 because its bigger.

ST cost has apeal, but now I have used a newt, not sure CA would no longer annoy me.

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I use to have one on a 4" apo and worked fine.  3 to 4" ideal  -  120 startravel will have a lot of ca though but also well suited.

 

andrew

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Ed80 or ED100 would be good on AZ4, funny enough i would say ED100 as the 80 is very front heavy

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SW Site: http://www.skywatcher.com/product/az4-with-steel-tripod/

An ED at 80 or 100 would match the weight of the AR 102, still got 2 bits of glass at the front and the tube will be the same weights more or less.

Was not sure about the mount as the SW page just shows it on a blank background so you are never sure - is the arm 2.5 inches, 3 inches, 4 inches.

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I'd say something in the region of a 4" f/10 max, or for rich field 5" f/6 max when it comes to fracs on an AZ4. As mentioned long scopes can vibrate a lot when knocked or caught by the wind.

ED100 would be a very fine choice, I think Jules touched upon this :)

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Dropping down from  6" aperture though is noticeable, and good refractors are not cheap.  Have you considered a 5" mak/sct ?

 

andrew

Edited by andrew63
info.
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Thanks folks.
All valid points.

I had thought about a mak, never had one so unsure what it would be like.
I have had the 80mm Achro so know what to expect or expect improvement on with an ED100 or ED80.

Glad no one says I am mad though!
Clearly the AZ4 is up to the job, would perhaps need the riser i had from you Chris.

I have seen a used ED100 up for sale, looks nice, mmmmm.

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55 minutes ago, Alan White said:

 would perhaps need the riser i had from you Chris.

Does make things more comfy with long fracs that's for sure :)

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4 hours ago, Alan White said:

As per the title, what is biggest Refractor on an AZ4 that you have mounted with success?
Seriously wanting to go back to a refractor as I don't like my 6" reeflector as mad as that sounds.

Hi Alan,

I love the AZ4 as a lightweight grab and go mount. They will easily carry a 100mm ED without much issue. For low power sweeping of deep sky they are ideal, and once balanced with the tension set to match the scope, they can be used for reasonably high power lunar and planetary viewing. I regularly use mine at X180. The only issues I've found with the AZ4's that I've owned is that they can be a bit rough on the altitude axis straight from the box. I would suggest very simply dismantling the altitude axis and cleaning any excessive grease. Also, just check the casting for any rough areas that may scuff the fork arm and gently file away the roughness. Correct tension will a Low the mount to glide reasonably easily in both altitude and azimuth. Skywatcher are due to bring out a AZ5 with slow motion controls soon!

Mike ?

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575300660c28f_2016-06-0417.14.03.jpg.51bc08309365e24eb3531600349b7a34.jpg

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Thanks Mike

You said:

"The only issues I've found with the AZ4's that I've owned is that they can be a bit rough on the altitude axis straight from the box. I would suggest very simply dismantling the altitude axis and cleaning any excessive grease. Also, just check the casting for any rough areas that may scuff the fork arm and gently file away the roughness. Correct tension will a Low the mount to glide reasonably easily in both altitude and azimuth." 

I have to agree, stripped my one down a while back, regreased with Molly grease and its really nice now.

Thanks for te vote for the 100ED and the pictures, makes me feel comfortable with my thinking.
That scope of yours looks wonderful, no wonder your bank account is empty though.

Alan

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I think the ST120 is going to be as big as you can go on the AZ4. The unobstructed ST will not loose much light grasp against the larger newt but it will still have soft edges due to the fast optics and suffer CA. Far more aesthetically pleasing stars / views overall but due to purple fringing will lack the contrast the false colour free 150P offers on planets.

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I tend to agree that the ED100 F/9 would be around the max. I used to put my ED120 on my AZ-4 and it was OK for low to medium power but not ideal at high power. My AZ-4 had the steel tubed tripod.

The Tak 100's are even lighter than the ED100's - not light on the bank balance though !

 

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I regularly use both an ED80 and a Evo 120 on my AZ4. As said above the ED80 is hard to balance but not impossible. The Evo 120 works really well for low to medium power and having a longer tube it's easy to balance. I also use a Celestron 102 f/6 refractor which I feel is about the perfect size being of 660 mm focal length.
 

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I had the ed 100 on the az4 steel legged version with the 16 inch  pier extension.. worked very well...very stable...my mate tried his ed120 on it..was  ok but not as steady at high mag...got a bit shakey..

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I use mine with my tak 100 now..its a bit heavier but shorter being  F7.4...and some of my eps are 1.6 lb..handles it all with no problems....

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I assembled the AZ4 (Stainless vesrion) and the pier extension (thanks Chris Lock) and an old clamp and weighted soil pipe to similate 
a longer refractor.
Works really nice, feels ok with the pier extension, added a counter weight on the bottom long bolt jobbie.

Now just need a refractor again.

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Final update on this thread.

I have purchased a Skywatcher 100 ed ds-pro and will run it on the AZ4 until gas gets ahold of me, then who knows!

A final thank you for those who helped me.

First light with scope 17/11/2016, wonderful.

Edited by Alan White
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