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Skywatcher AZ GTi mount


Elvis Starbug
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Good afternoon,

Opinions please...also would like to add iOptron ZEQ25/CEM25 LiteRoc Tripod & RVO Horizon® 72 ED Doublet Refractor Full Imaging Package - still looking at options for guide scope camera and imaging camera - looking at ZWO ASI 120mm Mini for guiding & Explore Scientific 16MP Deep Sky Astro Camera for imaging. Please note budget is £3000 (or there abouts)...so no silly suggestions please...much obliged...also, this is for a light weight travel option...

Look forward to input.

Thank goodness winter is coming...clear skies (earlier nights!) all round I hope!

Cheers,

Ewan.

 

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One of the reasons I bought an azgti is it's small, light, has goto, can track, is alt az, equatorial, manual (loosen clutches), fine control via phone app.

It's not super accurate (depends on your alignment), would have liked it to be more than 5kg payload.

Mainly it fits my requirement for compactness and is feature rich.

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Many thanks for responses.. I am still swithering between this goto mount or the Ipotron Skyguider pro mount...I suppose a decision between ease (lazyness!) and star atlas!

Any further input, particularly regarding guide cameras and imaging cameras would be greatly appreciated! Apart from dabbling in astrophotography with a digital camera, this is definitely new territory!

Kind regards,

Ewan.

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I would say get the iOptron in whatever form. The AzGTi is a nice small mount however it is still at source an Alt/Az mount. You can set the operation mode to Eq, would have to buy the bit between the tripod and the scope to get equitorial and even then it is still sort of approximately an equitorial mount. Seems Skywatcher are getting tired of telling people that the AzGTi is or was not intended as an imaging mount.

If you are going imaging get the proper mount and that is an equitorial.

The Az GTi is a great little visual mount, easy to use and set up. However it reads that you want an imaging mount. Also the carrying capacity will soon be reached and exceeded, especially if you add guiding. Then you would need a bigger mount. As in from 5Kg to around 25lb as a first step. Which is from Az GTi to CEM26 (OK I did pick those deliberately 😛)

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I had a Star Adventurer which is very similar to the ioptron skyguider, sold it as soon as I got the AZGTI as the goto function and "slow motion" control provided by the app made it better to use.

Polar aligning is more involved yes but not difficult, if you're looking to do AP drift alignment will be what would be good to learn.

Guide cam: any cheapish ZWO which have the benefit of being used for planetary work.

Cam: DSLR works fine for me, if you do decide to get a better astro guide cam that can be your AP option too.

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I have a sw 72ed evostar ds pro on AzGti mount in EQ mode with a asiair pro, 120mm guidescope with zwo asi120mc-s as the guidecam and use my canon 600D to image with. Using my tablet to control the asiair and mount so easy and lightweight, I use mains power and whole set up is around 6.5kg in all so quite lightweight, had some lovely images. Guiding has been as good as 1rms and lower. So I'd definitely go for AzGti, simply great. 

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Edited by AstroNebulee
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  • 4 weeks later...

At some point you're going to get fed up with the AZ-GTi's quirks.

Sometimes it's great. But often it will point to the ground for no apparent reason.

Other times it'll guide under 1" RMS. Most times it's a spiky mess. And if I should dare to try and guide while near the meridian, then it's just spike galore on the guiding graph.

Sometimes it stops tracking, as if it's got a mind of its own. Other times I can do 3min exposures with no trailing.

 

All that to say that I am never getting rid of mine, for the simple reason that doing planetary imaging with it and a tiny Mak is dead simple.

It's also pretty fun to take the little [removed word] apart, clean, re-lube and realign everything.

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  • 2 months later...

When it works it's really nice.
Unfortunately it is also not very well made altogether. 
My experience is pretty awful : broken clutch spring required a return to Skywatcher. They fixed it but also broke it more: it now has a crazy behavior, rotating randomly whenever receiving any order. Probably some problems with the sensors... And Skywatcher now has stopped answering my (nice) emails :(

I'd stay away. 

Update : Skywatcher reached out and offered a refund. That was the right thing to do and although I'm disappointed in the product, I'm satisfied with the customer service. 

Edited by Flamidey
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  • 2 months later...

Late to the partty again but let's add my twopenneth worth. 

I started out with the az gti and used for intended purpose for a good while, now recently I have turned it into a mini imaging rig.

Main scope the 50mm evoguide, the zwo asiair + and a 30mm miniguide along with a couple zwo cameras. I use the tripod and pillar the azgti came with and sw wedge.

The whole shebang minus battery is under 5kg and despite the problems others have had, my finding, guiding and whatever else all run fine.

Results to date have been encouraging although I am on a steep learning curve. 

It is permanently set up and lives in a corner of the living room and swmbo seems reasonably unphased with it's occupation of said corner.

I wouldn't change any of it, I always wanted to do imaging lite. The thought of clunking around with heavier eq mounts (which swmbo would be more inclined to fall out with) so having to put that away then setup again isn't at all attractive. 

Cheers steve

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