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Rowan Astronomy AZ100


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I was at the IAS today and one of my main points of interest and visiting was the Rowan Astronomy AZ100 on the Rowan stand as well as the IKI stand.

Had a very long chat with Dave and Derek Rose of Rowan about the mount., thank chaps for being so friendly and open in our discussion.
Also chatted with SteveG of FLO / IKI about things, the mount and supporting UK manufacture as a whole.

Firstly, wow what a well engineered item this is.
Decent bearings throughout, solid metal throughout, super machining and finish.
Made here in the UK.

The movements were buttery smooth,
slow motions sublime and oh my I just want one more than ever.

The development through the Beta testing was talked about and the changes made.
What a brave and trusting move by all involved, respect due on doing this.
The mount is all the better for this additional input, it was rather good before this though anyway.
Big thanks to @Stu and @John for the Beta testing to date and yet to come.

The one item I loved was a second altitude clutch added after suggestion by @Stu, thanks Stu, EP changes will now be simples.
From now on refer to this as the 'Stu Lock' please :D

@johninderby, wow you have a treat in store my friend.

I also saw another SGLer @Helen looking at the mount and captured her in full inspection.

Took a few images.

1799688026_IMG_13431.thumb.JPG.c45a55140ebdce6649c32296f93cbc21.JPG

The manual no encoder Beta test rig on a pier.

1537213294_IMG_13451.thumb.JPG.c5b03adc9ceddb08434d0964db8f8916.JPG

The chaps in full conversation with Helen.
This is the Encoder version with Nexus DSC fitted, wow that's nice.

1032041743_IMG_13421.thumb.JPG.2a04efb3dbefa2ca029507899eee1017.JPG

Encoder version and DSC with fitted 'Stu Lock'
This I am told very close to the production model now.

I am so impressed with the mount, the guys attitude and care for detail and also my conversation with SteveG at FLO as well.
This mount is destined for great things, so much so I want one myself and it is now the target for my Astro Want list.

All in all, this is something good for Astronomy.

Can we have a smaller encoder version too one day chaps?

PS I will call in for a cuppa as you invited so nicely.

 

Edited by Alan White
typos of course
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Yes Alan I am indeed looking forward to receiving my AZ100. 🙂

I’ve dealt with Rowan before for some non astro bits and they were very accommodating in making changes to suit me. Good old British engineering. Those Americans on CN will be so jealous. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Edited by johninderby
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58 minutes ago, Alan White said:

I was at the IAS today and one of my main points of interest and visiting was the Rowan Astronomy AZ100 on the Rowan stand as well as the IKI stand.

Had a very long chat with Dave and Derek Rose of Rowan about the mount., thank chaps for being so friendly and open in our discussion.
Also chatted with SteveG of FLO / IKI about things, the mount and supporting UK manufacture as a whole.

Firstly, wow what a well engineered item this is.
Decent bearings throughout, solid metal throughout, super machining and finish.
Made here in the UK.

The movements were buttery smooth,
slow motions sublime and oh my I just want one more than ever.

The development through the Beta testing was talked about and the changes made.
What a brave and trusting move by all involved, respect due on doing this.
The mount is all the better for this additional input, it was rather good before this though anyway.
Big thanks to @Stu and @John for the Beta testing to date and yet to come.

The one item I loved was a second altitude clutch added after suggestion by @Stu, thanks Stu, EP changes will now be simples.
From now on refer to this as the 'Stu Lock' please :D

@johninderby, wow you have a treat in store my friend.

I also saw another SGLer @Helen looking at the mount and captured her in full inspection.

Took a few images.

1799688026_IMG_13431.thumb.JPG.c45a55140ebdce6649c32296f93cbc21.JPG

The manual no encoder Beta test rig on a pier.

1537213294_IMG_13451.thumb.JPG.c5b03adc9ceddb08434d0964db8f8916.JPG

The chaps in full conversation with Helen.
This is the Encoder version with Nexus DSC fitted, wow that's nice.

1032041743_IMG_13421.thumb.JPG.2a04efb3dbefa2ca029507899eee1017.JPG

Encoder version and DSC with fitted 'Stu Lock'
This I am told very close to the production model now.

I am so impressed with the mount, the guys attitude and care for detail and also my conversation with SteveG at FLO as well.
This mount is destined for great things, so much so I want one myself and it is now the target for my Astro Want list.

All in all, this is something good for Astronomy.

Can we have a smaller encoder version too one day chaps?

PS I will call in for a cuppa as you invited so nicely.

 

What you have said about this mount is absolutely true.

I was also at the IAS just to see this mount.

I will be placing my order in the new year.

I was also told that ADM saddles should fit this mount.

I'll probably order a mount and go for the encoders later in the year. 

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I’ll be using an Altair dual fit saddle and Rowan have provided plenty of mounting holes so the ADM should be fine. They have added a couple of M8 holes on an 80mm centre that aren’t shown on this drawing.

49899763-2E9E-4F5F-887C-884977AA7E10.png

Edited by johninderby
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Great stuff Alan, all looking very good and I'm glad to see the additional alt lock which will be very handy.

It also looks like they have now produced dual format ie Vixen and Losmandy clamps which was another request, will be much better having everything matching! When funds allow, I will certainly be going for one myself!

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5 minutes ago, Stu said:

Great stuff Alan, all looking very good and I'm glad to see the additional alt lock which will be very handy.

It also looks like they have now produced dual format ie Vixen and Losmandy clamps which was another request, will be much better having everything matching! When funds allow, I will certainly be going for one myself!

Yes Stu.

The dual format saddles are quite expensive at £150 each. 😓

 

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The Rowan clamps are beautifully made. I did try an ADM clamp on the AZ100 briefly and it fitted but it didn't look right compared with the finish of the AZ100 so I took it straight off !

I've just recognised the Rose lads - from Robot Wars !

This was their creation back then:

image.png.e4d4ff8b330684ebbd533ace8c7009b4.png

 

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Yes the ADM are a matt finish that that wouldn’t match the mount. 

Hopefully the Altair dual saddle that I already have will  match. Did replace the stock knobs with some stainless steel ones that are far easier to tighten up.

CB830E68-4CB6-46CF-80B3-DE54A28BC3DA.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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49 minutes ago, Stu said:

My lovely wife has just said how proud she is of me, having a knob named after me 😉😉😉🤣🤣🤣.

Stu, please note, I was very careful to pen the name ‘Stu Lock’

Somehow Stu Knob was just plain wrong, however tempting it sounded 😂

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Great stuff Alan, all looking very good and I'm glad to see the additional alt lock which will be very handy.

It also looks like they have now produced dual format ie Vixen and Losmandy clamps which was another request, will be much better having everything matching! When funds allow, I will certainly be going for one myself!

They have produced dual format clamps, and they have also added a threaded hole at the centre of one of the clamps on show to accept the counterweight bar so that the whole clamp doesn't need to be removed to install a counterweight.

1 hour ago, djpaul said:

Yes Stu.

The dual format saddles are quite expensive at £150 each. 😓

They said that they may produce just a vixen clamp as well if there was the damand for it, but that currently it was a choice between dual format or Losmandy.

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1 hour ago, John said:

The Rowan clamps are beautifully made. I did try an ADM clamp on the AZ100 briefly and it fitted but it didn't look right compared with the finish of the AZ100 so I took it straight off !

I've just recognised the Rose lads - from Robot Wars !

This was their creation back then:

image.png.e4d4ff8b330684ebbd533ace8c7009b4.png

 

Ahh heck - busted 🙂

Derek and Dave

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1 minute ago, AdeKing said:

They have produced dual format clamps, and they have also added a threaded hole at the centre of one of the clamps on show to accept the counterweight bar so that the whole clamp doesn't need to be removed to install a counterweight.

Good stuff, that was something else I discussed with Dave. Not sure whether it will be as strong as mounting it on the plate but it's a useful addition I think. They were going to do some testing on it to check.

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The pier on the stand had a story as well, it looked rather nice, the top plate was quite tasty.

I was told it was a surplus bollard that had been adjusted to pier duties, well if a bit of surplus can be adapted and look so good, no wonder the chaps are doing such a fine job on the mount.

The decent bearings within and the solid engineering will make this a life mount, a real keeper.

So much impressed me that I think I failed in my initial post, it’s set me off about piers, bigger refractors and the like, I can see a well engineered astro future and very empty pockets over the coming years.

I also went and talked to Serge at Astro Devices and he talked me through the DSC and Nexusii devices, I was already sold on the concept, having tried a Nexus locally. These devices are quite something, especially as I am a bit Technophobic, but  hey, we adapt so why not.

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12 hours ago, johninderby said:

Yes the ADM are a matt finish that that wouldn’t match the mount. 

Hopefully the Altair dual saddle that I already have will  match. Did replace the stock knobs with some stainless steel ones that are far easier to tighten up.

CB830E68-4CB6-46CF-80B3-DE54A28BC3DA.jpeg

@johninderby the Rowan items are very solid, look wonderful and really suit the mount and it's dimensions.
If I were in your shoes, I would be going for the Rowan clamps if I could.

I likes the mount so much, it is now a danger at home, I am looking at what I can convert to cash each footfall.

 

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15 hours ago, Dek Rowan Astro said:

Ahh heck - busted 🙂

Derek and Dave

Hypno Disc. I'm fairly sure we had a small toy of your robot, along with other early competitors, and the Arena thing when my boy was a child. 

Edited by steveex2003
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Yep Alan I had a thoroughly enjoyable time talking about the mount and the design processes and outcome.  It really is lovely.  The one on the IKI stand with a Tak 100 on one side and a Tak Mewlon on the other did look absolutely the business!  Dream set up (a own one bit, just two more to go..... but not quite yet 😉)

Helen

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I went along to the IAS yesterday, and had a very enjoyable day.  

The high spot for me was certainly the new Rowan mount, especially the quality and thoughtfulness of the engineering, and the many totally practical design points.  Learning about it from Derek and Dave was an enjoyable experience in itself.  Due to a dodgy back, I was a bit concerned about liftability, and the guys very kindly assembled another bare mount from components in their display cabinet, so I could try lifting it and finding the optimum hug & cuddle stance!  It was no problem at all to lift, particular as it's much more compact than a typical EQ mount and, indeed, much nicer to cuddle!  

The overall concept of the mount, and its impressive execution, certainly made me think very hard about the kind of astronomy that gives me the greatest pleasure.  I do enjoy a bit of imaging, but as I get older I find a few hours simply observing to be rather more relaxing.  And the more I think about it, a well designed push-to alt-az mount seems to be about the nicest way of doing it.  A new, and very short shopping list has begun!

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1 hour ago, Helen said:

Yep Alan I had a thoroughly enjoyable time talking about the mount and the design processes and outcome.  It really is lovely.  The one on the IKI stand with a Tak 100 on one side and a Tak Mewlon on the other did look absolutely the business!  Dream set up (a own one bit, just two more to go..... but not quite yet 😉)

Helen

Tee hee, I have two bits of that setup Helen, would work really well together!!

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