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SCOPETECH MOUNT ZERO, FIRST IMPRESSIONs, EXCELLENT!


paulastro
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There is an excellent thread started by Stu in July 2020 (link below) regarding this mount. It has many useful comments and photos which I will consider to be  Invaluable if you're not familiar with the mount, and still are if you're are familiar with it!

I took delivery this morning of a used Scoptech Mount Zero, at a sensible used price, complete with slow motion cables and a Vixen tripod adapter which come at additional cost when new.

Since my observatory roof blew off I'd been keeping an eye out for a used altaz mount with slow motions of light weight, but sturdy enough to use with my 102ED at high powers.  I found my AZ5 not up to my requirements with the 102, though it is an excellent, great value, mount for smaller scopes or lower power with my 102. I needed a mount I could carry out easily and quickly.  My need had become more urgent having been recently diagnosed with a severe back condition which impairs my mobility.  The Scoptech only weighs 1.4 kilos.

I must admit I was a bit pensive having read and reread Stu's thread.  Some of the posts, to me, gave the impression it was a bit on the fussy side, and perhaps difficult to balance. It was with some trepidation I awaited delivery this morning, as I had never seen one in the flesh.

I couldn't have been more wrong !  Delivery was at 11am and by 11.30 it was safely mounted on my Vixen tripod with the Tecnosky 102ED on board. The Scoptech oozes quality, very sturdily made and extremely smooth motions, it took me all of a couple minutes to balance it.  I added the slow motions  and straight away they worked while still being able to move the mount by hand without again adjusting the tightening knobs on each axis. Brilliant, just what I wanted and clearly a few steps up from the AZ5.

I  may have been lucky in that the previous owner had probably took time to set it up properly before I became the custodian. Non the less, I am really pleased with the purchase.  Once I've had time under the sky with it, I'll provide an update, I can't wait!

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Edited by paulastro
Added link to Stu's thread.
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  • paulastro changed the title to SCOPETECH MOUNT ZERO, FIRST IMPRESSIONs, EXCELLENT!
  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, bond19 said:

Hope you all still share the love for the Scopetech Zero. I’ve just ordered one and it should be with me tomorrow. Can’t wait to get my frac back on its legs.

I’m sure you will love it, they are excellent mounts

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6 hours ago, bond19 said:

Hope you all still share the love for the Scopetech Zero. I’ve just ordered one and it should be with me tomorrow. Can’t wait to get my frac back on its legs.

Sure do, I couldn't be more pleased with its performance since I wrote the review. I'm sure you'll be delighted with your purchase 👍 😊.

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Some can fall off if not tightened on properly, but its also important not to use too much force or you'll mar the bit you attach them to.  I use two slow motion cables  I already had.  I've no idea who made them.

I don't know of any good or bad ones particularly, I don't recall where I got mine.  Most are probably OK if used properly.

At least if you buy the ones that FLO sell for the Scopetech they should be fine, and they have a good returns policy.

In my view slow motion controls are essential as they make things so much easier.  The mount is made so well that when your scope is balanced on the mount, and the clutches adjusted, (two knobs) you can easily go from pushing it into place and using the slow motion controls without readjusting the clutches every time you do it. 

The clutches need surprisingly little pressure on them by the way, use the least pressure you need.  When you use the same telescope you shouldn't need to readjust the clutches, as long as you balance it each time you put the scope on the mount.

It reality its all really easy to balance the scope and adjust the clutches, and probably will not take you more than a couple of minutes at the most.

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Paul the Scopetech Zero has arrived. What a lovely, compact, well engineered piece of kit. I will order the slow motion controls from FLO for sure.

On another note do I need a spacer in between the mount head and my tripod?

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36 minutes ago, bond19 said:

Paul the Scopetech Zero has arrived. What a lovely, compact, well engineered piece of kit. I will order the slow motion controls from FLO for sure.

On another note do I need a spacer in between the mount head and my tripod?

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You have tried to attach it to the fitting where the arm should be attached to the base of the mount!!  

See the photos below for how it should look.  

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The 'L' shaped bracket does not come with the mount.  I use it with the PST which has to be supported from below.

 

 

 

 

Edited by paulastro
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45 minutes ago, bond19 said:

Paul the Scopetech Zero has arrived. What a lovely, compact, well engineered piece of kit. I will order the slow motion controls from FLO for sure.

On another note do I need a spacer in between the mount head and my tripod?

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As Paul says, you need to assemble the mount from its ‘stowed’ configuration. Unscrew the black knob at the top left of your image, then the two faces with notched teeth will fit together and you fix them in place with the bolt at whichever angle you want it. Much easier to do than explain!

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I'm pleased you have it sorted, your scope looks great on the mount.  It will be more stable of course, the lower you have the extending column on the tripod.

No need to feel a 'doofus', whatever that might be.  Looking at the Japanese manual again, I'm not surprised you were a little confused. Though for Japanese speakers it's probably fine 😊.

Hope you have first light with it soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Stargazers,

My Scopetech Zero does not attach securely to my Manfrotto 475B tripod. The tripod has a 3/8" male screw head which is just a tad too short.

It does however attach securely to my Manfrotto 390RC2.

Is there a way to solve this problem?

Thanks

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Hi Doublevodka,

 

It seems they are just little grub screws which are designed to help secure the Scopetech Zero to the tripod itself. They don’t serve any other purpose.

Edited by bond19
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I may be wrong but it looks like the top threads on the offending screw are stripped? I wonder can you get replacement parts?

The Manfrotto website has a spares section https://www.manfrottospares.com/475b-parts.html

I couldn't see the bit you need for your tripod but I may have been looking at the wrong model.

You might need a whole center column :( 

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1 hour ago, doublevodka said:

I have an idea...

 

Can you remove the 3 screws marked here from underneath?

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If so you should be able to take the top off and replace the center screw with a slightly longer one?

Manfrotto photo heads don't have flat bases below, but angled faces  , when used on any other make of  tripod the high parts of the base sit level, but on a manfrotto tripod like this, you screw the photo head on, then tighten the 3 grub screws from below, which protrude into the 'valleys' between the angled faces , and stop the photo head from rotating off the 3/8 screw if you pan the camera left a lot !

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Wow, great find doublevodka. After watching the video, I suspect the thread might have weakened on the centre bolt (3min 57s)

If I could find a replacement or even better one that’s a couple of millimetres longer that should work a treat. Thanks again, I certainly own you a double, no triple 😀

 

Edited by bond19
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If anybody is having problems securing their Scopetech Zero to their Manfrotto 475B tripod. I can confirm if you follow the instructions on the video posted by doublevodka then you can easily replace the centre thread with a taller one. This has made the world of difference and I’m confident now that my refractor is finally safe and secure on my tripod.

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Its worth repeating the comment about the three grub screws being used to lock the mount head to the top of the tripod. This removes the need to have to apply a lot of torque on the head and tripod bolt to prevent rotation. Bolt centres the head the grub screws secure the head to the tripod. No excess force required. 

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On 09/10/2021 at 10:28, StarryEyed said:

Its worth repeating the comment about the three grub screws being used to lock the mount head to the top of the tripod. This removes the need to have to apply a lot of torque on the head and tripod bolt to prevent rotation. Bolt centres the head the grub screws secure the head to the tripod. No excess force required. 

It seems the grub screws do indeed lock the head had to the top of the tripod when using a Manfrotto tripod / head combo. When using a Scopetech Zero  there is nowhere for the grub screws to ‘bite’

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