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Rowan AZ100 Mount Owners Thread


johninderby
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Posted (edited)

The AZ100s sheer build quality is amazing.  An engineering masterpiece that is a pleasire to use and makes manual tracking using the slo-mo  controls very easy.

The GOTO upgrade will have several different tracking modes from simple slew to the target and start tracking without alignment or using Sky Safari to select your target, or use a DSC. Looks like alignment for full GOTO will be very simple as well.

Edited by johninderby
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10 minutes ago, Alan White said:
  • The load capacity.

My SXP2 can take 22.5 kg, thats enough for a 4" and 5" APO.

11 minutes ago, Alan White said:
  • Tracking, who needs it? If your used to Alt Az that is.

Well if you used tracking on planets it's hard to go back, all other targets  I would agree.

12 minutes ago, Alan White said:
  • Its quiet in use, so you can enjoy nature around you.

SXP2 is belt driven, so whisper quiet...

If I was not packing up to move house I would of probably of purchased one my now... I don't have a gold pass... 

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17 minutes ago, Deadlake said:

My SXP2 can take 22.5 kg, thats enough for a 4" and 5" APO.

Well if you used tracking on planets it's hard to go back, all other targets  I would agree.

SXP2 is belt driven, so whisper quiet...

If I was not packing up to move house I would of probably of purchased one my now... I don't have a gold pass... 

To be fair, it’s an EQ mount costing over £4K, so not exactly a straight comparison. I doubt many/any of us need 22.5kg for a single scope, but I often dual mount scopes so that is much more useful for me personally.

I do agree on the benefits of tracking for planetary observing, it makes for very relaxed viewing. For lunar and solar, I often find myself panning around the surface and in that case slo motion controls work just as well.

The beauty of push to is also that it is also very quick to pan across to a different part of the sky.

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2 hours ago, Alan White said:

I had my suspicions already, but will you be a tracking beta tester one wonders?
And I do think the AZ100 on a tripod is the best option and looks the nicest as well.

 

I’m hoping that I will be Alan, yes. Dave at Rowan had said he will let me know when they are ready, I think they have taken longer than expected to get right.

I am getting one with encoders (obviously!), two dual format clamps and a handle. I have a Nexus II unit so don’t really need the DSC unit, and the tracking will work with that too. They have a new little bracket that will hold the Nexus which I’m going to try out too.

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21 minutes ago, Stu said:

The beauty of push to is also that it is also very quick to pan across to a different part of the sky.

That was my thoughts, I'm holding off until the winter nights. when you have no use for the tracking, push to is all you need.

Also anyone know if the AZ50 is close to being ready?

Ps: I mentioned the SXP2 due to not all EQ mounts being noisy, of course that comes at some cost. The cheap Vixens mounts are quieter than their counter parts. 

Edited by Deadlake
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1 hour ago, Deadlake said:

Looking at the above discussion if you didn't have setup time for an EQ mount to budget for, what are the pro's the AZ100 brings? 

The AZ100 lacks goto which is a dis-advantage for the the planets season, the main plus I can see are: 

  • Side-by-side telescope mounting.
  • Good for bino-viewers (no rotating around for the EP's to fall out). 
  • Easier to move. 

Any others?

The push to is really good..

 

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4 hours ago, Stu said:

I’m hoping that I will be Alan, yes. Dave at Rowan had said he will let me know when they are ready, I think they have taken longer than expected to get right.

I am getting one with encoders (obviously!), two dual format clamps and a handle. I have a Nexus II unit so don’t really need the DSC unit, and the tracking will work with that too. They have a new little bracket that will hold the Nexus which I’m going to try out too.

Sounds wonderful Stu, something I so much desire, but sadly not the bank ballance for now,
well not until the builder is finished and based on speed of progress that will be quite sometime yet for us.

An encoder AZ100 whichever way you get the data from it sounds a very wise move.
I truly love my Nexus DSC, but I can see why a Nexus II works so well for many.

Looking forwards to the its arrived images and your joyful posts of its use, may your mount have many adventures with you
and give you very many years super service.
Somehow I thing the next ice age will arrive before they wear out.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Well the hardware for the motor system is ready and the test software is just about ready so hopefully not much longer.🤞🏻

Looking forward to receiving my beta test gear. Derek has asked us not to post reviews as it is a work in progress with a lot of software development before it’s ready for sale. 

However plenty of pics to come. 😁

 

Edited by johninderby
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8 hours ago, Alan White said:

Sounds wonderful Stu, something I so much desire, but sadly not the bank ballance for now,
well not until the builder is finished and based on speed of progress that will be quite sometime yet for us.

An encoder AZ100 whichever way you get the data from it sounds a very wise move.
I truly love my Nexus DSC, but I can see why a Nexus II works so well for many.

Looking forwards to the its arrived images and your joyful posts of its use, may your mount have many adventures with you
and give you very many years super service.
Somehow I thing the next ice age will arrive before they wear out.

 

 

Thanks Alan, yes, I’m looking forward to it. I agree the DSC is a very nice unit, and handy if you don’t want to connect a phone. I just couldn’t justify the cost at the moment.

I have a little something coming today which will go on it very nicely, so will post up about that soon 😁. Might have to wait a week or two for my house move to complete.

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I am impressed with the AZ100 on the whole but have a niggle with the Nexus DSC shelf.

Is anyone else unimpressed with the cheap plastic threaded attachment to secure the shelf to the ball socket or is it just me?

Whatever I do, I can't get the damn thing tight and so quite frequently it will work loose and the shelf swivels to an odd angle.

See the offending article circled on the attached photo.

I'm tempted to get a suitable threaded countersunk screw and attack the shelf with a countersink bit to match.

I'm not sure whether this is an Astro Devices or Rowan fabrication but this solution seems a bit cheap and nasty to me when compared to the quality of both the mount and Nexus DSC head unit that it was supplied with.

Edit: I assume that the shelf that is shipped with the AZ100, encoders and Nexus DSC bundle comes from Astro Devices as the description on FLO for the Rowan Nexus DSC shelf suggests that it's CNC Machined and of an all metal construction.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-mounts-motors/nexus-dsc-shelf-with-ball-joint-for-rowan-az100.html

I sense more raiding of the piggy bank is on order.

 

IMG_20210728_195036.thumb.jpg.e1d790f2d1e7edd9cd4ebcb0966fda38.jpg

IMG_20210728_200351.thumb.jpg.c2b627b0357badea480bdbbd6d564956.jpg

IMG_20210728_200421.thumb.jpg.4cb8e12b84ab8a88774e8171ce68ed76.jpg

Edited by AdeKing
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1 hour ago, AdeKing said:

I am impressed with the AZ100 on the whole but have a niggle with the Nexus DSC shelf.

Is anyone else unimpressed with the cheap plastic threaded attachment to secure the shelf to the ball socket or is it just me?

Whatever I do, I can't get the damn thing tight and so quite frequently it will work loose and the shelf swivels to an odd angle.

See the offending article circled on the attached photo.

I'm tempted to get a suitable threaded countersunk screw and attack the shelf with a countersink bit to match.

I'm not sure whether this is an Astro Devices or Rowan fabrication but this solution seems a bit cheap and nasty to me when compared to the quality of both the mount and Nexus DSC head unit that it was supplied with.

Edit: I assume that the shelf that is shipped with the AZ100, encoders and Nexus DSC bundle comes from Astro Devices as the description on FLO for the Rowan Nexus DSC shelf suggests that it's CNC Machined and of an all metal construction.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/all-mounts-motors/nexus-dsc-shelf-with-ball-joint-for-rowan-az100.html

I sense more raiding of the piggy bank is on order.

 

IMG_20210728_195036.thumb.jpg.e1d790f2d1e7edd9cd4ebcb0966fda38.jpg

IMG_20210728_200351.thumb.jpg.c2b627b0357badea480bdbbd6d564956.jpg

IMG_20210728_200421.thumb.jpg.4cb8e12b84ab8a88774e8171ce68ed76.jpg

I use a tiny bit of thread lock and there is enough at the top to get a spanner on to nip it up. I do agree it's not great.

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I have to agree with Adeking I think the shelf is really not up to scratch the square low profile screw is difficult to tighten and is quite easy to swivel on its axis.

I notice the one for sale as a separate item from flo as two screws in it,  mounting the ball head to the plastic plate which looks more up to the job

I  purchased the Encoder package with Nexus dsc, and picked up that if you ask for the shelf  they will throw it in free  but this one as the single screw

I have managed to break my shelf  which I am not happy  about.

No complaints about the mount though its  built like a tank and rotates about both axes silky smooth and very happy to buy a British built mount.

Just getting to grips with the mount and struggling a bit balancing it with my Equinox 120 ed  with a 2" diagonal and suspect a sliding counterweight may be req'd up front,but enjoying the learning process.

Cant wait to see the motor upgrade to appear

 

 

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2 hours ago, Steve Clay said:

I use a tiny bit of thread lock and there is enough at the top to get a spanner on to nip it up. I do agree it's not great.

Thanks for the tips Steve, I'll try tightening it up with a spanner and am pretty sure I have some blue threadlock in the bike toolbox somewhere.

40 minutes ago, lifeonmars said:

I  purchased the Encoder package with Nexus dsc, and picked up that if you ask for the shelf  they will throw it in free  but this one as the single screw

Me too, through FLO, and you're right, the shelf was a freebie so I probably shouldn't be too bothered.

However, I think I might try 1/4" screw with a countersunk head and then add a corresponding countersink to the hole in the plastic shelf to tidy things up.

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Ade, the plate I bought from Serge at Astro Devices with my Nexus DSC looks different,
but it not purchsed for the AZ100:

0?ui=2&ik=0ff663df71&attid=0.2&permmsgid=msg-a:r3235089487062576442&th=17af2605ab2c4b5b&view=fimg&sz=s0-l75-ft&attbid=ANGjdJ_qHISj_a4dGd0-I6joaKFO8UfzGUr3uuNm-AFDL3IqSlYP6zUwosNmpAY8FSk60aamvQ7fNp3kuTg5fPok0qbspngM4c4xO73nTrfUhaIyxEEcomyE_AO8FEo&disp=emb&realattid=17af260024ae7f36e262

Its Australian, so obviously upsdie down in the UK 😉

 

0?ui=2&ik=0ff663df71&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-a:r3235089487062576442&th=17af2605ab2c4b5b&view=fimg&sz=s0-l75-ft&attbid=ANGjdJ8cNVAPgFMZ5roq4hjdGT1xioD6GRZaAZx0x_BiDriQEkJa7wnwFP2Z2vPgeuOxLqbNVPOOg01s5m8oPFHGnH2VxuC7-Dox69sd7dd0BIg8plSxxNcvXNmejg0&disp=emb&realattid=17af26019ea4c3982273

 

Edited by Alan White
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4 hours ago, Alan White said:

Ade, the plate I bought from Serge at Astro Devices with my Nexus DSC looks different,
but it not purchsed for the AZ100:

0?ui=2&ik=0ff663df71&attid=0.2&permmsgid=msg-a:r3235089487062576442&th=17af2605ab2c4b5b&view=fimg&sz=s0-l75-ft&attbid=ANGjdJ_qHISj_a4dGd0-I6joaKFO8UfzGUr3uuNm-AFDL3IqSlYP6zUwosNmpAY8FSk60aamvQ7fNp3kuTg5fPok0qbspngM4c4xO73nTrfUhaIyxEEcomyE_AO8FEo&disp=emb&realattid=17af260024ae7f36e262

0?ui=2&ik=0ff663df71&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-a:r3235089487062576442&th=17af2605ab2c4b5b&view=fimg&sz=s0-l75-ft&attbid=ANGjdJ8cNVAPgFMZ5roq4hjdGT1xioD6GRZaAZx0x_BiDriQEkJa7wnwFP2Z2vPgeuOxLqbNVPOOg01s5m8oPFHGnH2VxuC7-Dox69sd7dd0BIg8plSxxNcvXNmejg0&disp=emb&realattid=17af26019ea4c3982273

 

Hi Alan,

I'm not seeing any images, but thanks for checking.  I did look on Serge's site and the shelf there is different.  The box it came is is also branded as Rowan Optics.

Anyway, I came up with a satusfactory solution that didn't involve any extra costs or drilling.

I had a 1/4" camera QR base securing screw hanging around which is just long enough to pass through the plastic shelf and thread into the base of the ball socket.

There is just enough clearance between the back of the head unit and the top of the screw for the Nexus DSC to clear the screw.

I may also see if I can find a serrated washer as I note that this is what Serge supplies with his shelf. This should stop the shelf from rotating.

Now feels much more secure.

IMG_20210729_181235.thumb.jpg.7387e946a6355531f91a8eeabddd1ca3.jpg

IMG_20210729_180024.thumb.jpg.c0f7f89156a150520977799788c63a90.jpg

IMG_20210729_180111.thumb.jpg.28dd0b277e42c229c817c3a9504f701a.jpg

Edited by AdeKing
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As posted on the Postman thread, I’ve finally joined the AZ100 owners club!

Looks fab, handle is a nice addition and they supplied me with a nice little bracket to hold my Nexus II which looks just the job. Velcro supplied to hold the Nexus in place too.

The packaging is great, much improved since the prototype days!

I’ll have to wait a few weeks to use it unfortunately but am really looking forward to it.

D5D0E558-1467-4F18-9F80-8C92B39093D0.jpeg

F58B09E9-DB43-403A-89AD-7E8F13BE21B6.jpeg

BFBE5879-1E06-421A-A95A-FB6699B83938.jpeg

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