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Rob

RR RST-135 Goto Mount

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nice mount but the price is up there too far for most mortals to reach when theres loads of other cheaper mounts to have.charl.

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4 minutes ago, xtreemchaos said:

nice mount but the price is up there too far for most mortals to reach when theres loads of other cheaper mounts to have.charl.

I agree Charl.. but wow. Its stuff of engineering dreams!. And looks so slick. The payload with no weights to boot. Its certainly a glimpse of the future 

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Agree, it looks very swish...

Is that a hand tightener on the polar axis ??     18kg is a lot to have levered on a hand tightened knob  !!..... especially with a 'cheap' expendable  Tak swinging around on the end of it.

Lets hope the big manufacturers take note and get the price down.

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I think the principles of their design are spot-on.

1. No counterweights: These are an Edwardian engineering anachronism that have no other function than to allow badly-designed worm gearing to deliver acceptably smooth operation and wear life. Sadly the GEM with counterweights has become something of a meme. Industrial robots have managed to combine good accuracy and repeatability for many years without resorting to them, as have professional scope mounts.

2. Compact and lightweight. The value of this to end-users is more substantial is commonly realised by equipment manufacturers. The success of giant-killing small tracking AltAz mounts from iOptron and Skywatcher is evidence of that. With the shift away from long exposure CCD technology to CMOS stacked subframes, and the growing awareness that high resolution (>24 bit) axis encoders and direct drive provide no compelling advantages over an autoguided open-loop mount outside a permanent observatory, I expect to see fewer cost-optimised 'toy' tracking AltAz mounts in the future and more 'authentic' mounts based on industrial automation technology, like this one.

3. Billet-machined construction. This offers no functional advantages whatsoever compared with a mount made from machined castings (and sometimes serious stiffness disadvantages), but in the minds of many buyers it connotes superior performance

4. Freedom from routine mechanical maintenance. This is increasingly important as imaging equipment proliferates, and it characterises harmonic-type reducers as are used here.

 

The pricing is going to be an issue I suspect.

The controls environment (ASCOM, smartphone interfaces, homing, cable-wrap, backlash detection and compensation, sky modelling) is generally a greater challenge than the mechanical engineering. It will be interesting to see how well evolved this is.

All credit to the developers for bringing this to market!

Tony Owens

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