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Rowan AZ100 Mount Owners Thread


johninderby
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So a different high capacity design is required if my niche is going to be filled perhaps ?. In the past their have been mounts such as the Bray Tablet (UK made) and the Giro XXL (German made) that have provided simple but really well made and high capacity alt-azimuth solutions capable of holding the sorts of loads that the AZ100 is capable of.

Maybe everyone wants slow motion controls and DSC capability these days though so the simpler approach would not find a market :dontknow:

Probably a topic for another thread though so I'll shut up about it now :hiding:

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15 hours ago, johninderby said:

Bring on the AZ50 or AZ75. 👍🏻

Contacted Rowan a few weeks ago about slo mo cables, also asked them if they had anything in the pipeline in regards to a lighter version of the AZ100 and something that would compete against the Skytee II & Giro Ercole.  He said they are looking at producing a smaller mount, not a miniature AZ100 but different spec intending to take the best points from several other types. No other details apart from that unfortunately.

Edited by jock1958
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Can someone confirm the correct Berlebach tripod to fit the AZ100? I read it is the EQ6 version, closest I can find on FLO is "Uni-28 for NEQ-6, EQ6-R & AZ-EQ6", is that the right one?

Unfortunately I found out tonight the 1.75" steel tripod and 16" pillar extension aren't really up to the job. There's a wobble (very low frequency vibration) due to the weight of it all up high, even using the slow mo's was causing a wobble :( 

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Yes it is the Uni-28 for NEQ-6, EQ6-R & AZ-EQ6  tripod top version that you need. Alt the EQ6 versions have the same fitting.

The Planet tripod is a heavier duty version but more expensive and not really needed but............

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/berlebach-tripods/berlebach-planet-with-double-clamps-for-neq6-eq6-r-az-eq6-heq5.html

Edited by johninderby
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On the CN forum some folks suggest that the BB Planet is highly desirable with the AZ100 if you are using push to, to maintain accuracy.

I didn't use that facility with the early versions that I had so I don't know if there is something in that or not. I think @Stu uses a Planet.

 

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@johninderby how do you find the Uni copes with the AZ100 and big red? Do you extend the legs on the tripod when in use?

The planet would be nice, but £££!

Before trying a BB tripod I've ordered the somewhat cheaper Orion Atlas 8" pillar extension (same as EQ6 but black) which is half the length of my current one. I'll try that with the steel tripod in a lower position to start with to see if the situation improves. If not it will fit on the BB at a later date.

I'm reasonably tall and had everything set up to reduce back bending as much as possible so the saddle was at head height, maybe just too much mass up high.

20200624_190539.thumb.jpg.258752494aa80eeb22cf9d2585b251b8.jpg

Edited by parallaxerr
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I currently have both a Planet and a Uni-28, the latter on loan from FLO. I use the Planet most of the time but could try them both out to see the difference in stability.

One thing I have learned is that the spiked feet really help! Pushed into the grass they definitely reduced the vibration that was coming from the rubber feet sitting on the grass.

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27 minutes ago, Stu said:

I currently have both a Planet and a Uni-28, the latter on loan from FLO. I use the Planet most of the time but could try them both out to see the difference in stability.

That would be much appreciated Stu. No doubt the Planet will be better, but by how much I wonder?

In the grand scheme of things the Planet is not that much more than the Uni but I do like the look of the metal spreader for the uni that enables the legs to be "kicked out" as I read. 

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34 minutes ago, parallaxerr said:

That would be much appreciated Stu. No doubt the Planet will be better, but by how much I wonder?

In the grand scheme of things the Planet is not that much more than the Uni but I do like the look of the metal spreader for the uni that enables the legs to be "kicked out" as I read. 

The Planet also has a spreader

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1 hour ago, parallaxerr said:

That would be much appreciated Stu. No doubt the Planet will be better, but by how much I wonder?

In the grand scheme of things the Planet is not that much more than the Uni but I do like the look of the metal spreader for the uni that enables the legs to be "kicked out" as I read. 

I’ll see what I can do 👍

The Planet has the spreader too, as standard which works well.

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Probably wouldn’t notice any real difference without the legs extended but with the legs fully extended would expect a small difference. With a really heavy OTA and mount would be different I would expect. 🤔

 

Edited by johninderby
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I looked up the Uni vs Planet specs. The Planet is the same collapsed height as my steel tripod, whereas the Uni 28 is taller. Infact the Uni 28 with 8" extension would be slightly taller than my steel tripod with 16" extension when both collapsed. The Planet would need the legs extending to a degree to reach the same height.

Therefore it's a toss up between a Uni 28 with fully collapsed legs vs a Planet with partially extended legs......there may not be a lot in it and the lighter weight of the Uni would be appreciated 🤔 This would dictate seated observing as opposed to my usual standing though as the EP gets quite low......so if legs needed to be extended then the balance may shift to the Planet.

I'll try the new 8" extension on the steel tripod and match the BB heights to get a feel for the options.

Edited by parallaxerr
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Hi All,

Using my sample of the AZ100 I found that the damping time of my longer refractors after tapping the focuser firmly in the vertical plane at around 200-300x magnification (mounted on Berlebach Uni 28 plus 6 inch extension) to be around 1 to 1 1/2 seconds The mount and tripod combo  exhibited a similar characteristic when tapped horizontally.  Note the locking castors as pictured on the tripod were removed.

After installing the AZ100 on a pier (see next post for picture) this time dropped to under a second in both axial planes. Note the tapping was firm enough to move the target half way across the field of view. 

Thus the potential to achieve precise focus at high magnification was, I felt, an issue only related to the current astronomical seeing and was not in anyway compromised by the performance of the mount itself - and so it has proved in practice .

1FB0AC5F-0893-4257-B8EE-209E47006179.jpeg

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AZ 100 mounted on a Todmorden pillar. Damping time at 200 - 300x magnification around 1 second or just under. I have used a variety of extension pillar heights attached to a variety of tripods and I have found that the greater the extension the more i.m.o. the tripod resembles a monopod causing the stability to decrease.  In the instance above using the 6 inch extension on the Berlebach you can clearly see movement and flex between the elements of the extension and to a lesser extent in the tripod head on removing even a 5 kilo weight. I suspect but do not know  (Planet on order) that the Planet's increased ability is due to its increased resistance to twisting and flex together with its larger cross section members and clamps which provide more friction/grip when in use. I have a cheap IKEA stacking chair in the shed which I subject to a load of around 100 kilo every time I flop into it (and this is not a static load nor is it applied evenly) the timber used in its construction is around 32x21mm in section and it has not failed, yet!

Note that with either set up (tripod or concrete pillar) I could smoothly track across the lunar surface at high magnification whilst maintaining sharpness by just pushing on the tube of the scope without having to resort to the slo mo controls. This did require a delicate touch though.

D28DA4A2-12D4-4F1C-A3BF-D0E1734FF185.jpeg

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Hello Parallaxerr

The extension is a cut down Orion (I think) 16 inch for an HEQ5 - the tripod fitting at the bottom is therefore HEQ5 to match the Berlebach but with a EQ6 extension fitting at the top to match the AZ100.  Whilst the Orion was well made with machined components at either end of the tube the white EQ6 fitting at the top seems to be a casting and tightening up the cap head screws even moderately eventually strips the threads (currently on no.2). Additionally the three tappings on both my examples are not precisely located even when used with the correct white EQ6 extension tube and this occasioned me drilling slightly over sized holes - hence the movement that I referred to.

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That's exactly what I am using, a 16" Orion HEQ5/SVP extension with machined bottom adapter and a cast EQ6 adapter in the top (machined down and painted). I noticed some movement in the lower bolts and torqued them satisfactorily in the machined adapter, but you're right - I fear I may strip the cast threads up top so I'm using knurled knobs done up as tightly as I can by hand. There doesn't appear to be any movement there though.

I hope the incoming 8" extension improves matters and if the tripod is then identified as the weak spot, a Berlebach with EQ6 fitting will be next. Uni or Planet is the question, but the picture you shared suggests even the Uni is significantly chunkier than the 1.75" steel SW tripod, at least in the collapsed position.

Edited by parallaxerr
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I have a Uni 28 and an EQ6 2 inch steel tube tripod. They seem to be about as stable as each other but the Uni 28 goes a lot taller. The EQ6 is still a good height but you need the legs fully extended with a long refractor on board. The Uni 28 legs don't need to be  anywhere near fully extended to get the mount to a decent height. The only reason you might want to use a pillar extension with the Uni 28 is to ensure that a long scope clears the tripod legs all the time, not for additional height.

I have the 8 inch pillar extension with the EQ6 tripod but I don't find that I really need it.

An EQ6 tripod plus the 8 inch pillar might be a lower cost alternative to a BB Uni / Planet for the AZ100. It does not have the looks but it is a stable tripod.

My T-Rex mount is similar in bulk and weight to the AZ100 but does not use counterweights.

 

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