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SW AZ5 with a heavy payload?


wibblefish
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I created a thread where I mentioned this but it seemed a better place to ask than where I had done previously (as this is also a different question).

I am curious to know if anyone has used the Skywatcher AZ5 (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html) with the heavy duty tripod  (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html) to mount anything over 5kg and how you found it?

I believe that it should be capable of 9kg and I am looking at putting an AR-127S (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bresser-telescopes/bresser-messier-ar-127s-635-refractor-ota.html) on one but at 7.7KG OTA I am wondering if it might struggle and whilst I would like to keep costs down where possible I don't want to have an unstable telescope / mount combination! :) 

 

Edited by wibblefish
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  • wibblefish changed the title to SW AZ5 with a heavy payload?

The myth of the AZ5 handling 9kg when used with the steel tripod persists. I and many others have tested this and found it is still not good over 5kg load.

While the AZ5 with the steel tripod would hold the 127S it would be wobbly. 

Edited by johninderby
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26 minutes ago, johninderby said:

The myth of the AZ5 handling 9kg when used with the steel tripod persists. I and many others have tested this and found it is still not good over 5kg load.

While the AZ5 with the steel tripod would hold the 127S it would be wobbly. 

Ah, thanks for shedding light on that, I was sucked in by the various posts when I was looking at AZ options that might be cheaper than the Skytee2 guess it will end up a choice between that and the SW EQ-5 then! 

Much appreciated! 

Edited by wibblefish
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That is a good shout but I am also starting to wonder if I should pick an easier OTA or just give in to the EQ-5 mount option or the heavier duty Exos-2 it comes with when supplied by Bresser!

Luckily its just working out costs and options at this point especially with everything out of stock so not actually out of pocket (yet) :) 

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I find the AZ5 is good with my mak on it, but I parked my 102s Bresser on it to use it (before it's own mount arrived) and found that even though it is about the same weight as the mak, the greater length of the 'frac tube allowed an annoying amount of vibrations to occur. Mechanically , the AZ5 can bear the weight, no problem, it's the way that weight behaves that was the problem.

I know that Basementboy found the AZ5 didn't work nicely with his refractor, and asked about it here

 

 

 

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An ST120 with 50mm RACI finder, 2" diagonal and eyepiece was OK on th AZ5 and steel tripod however I suggest this was at the very limit of realistic useability. I would not dare try a 7.7kg ota. You will have problems with focus wobble and slomos not working correctly. The 102mm f7 refractor does work a bit better on the mount than the ST120 did, but it's not perfect.

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On 15/10/2021 at 06:00, wibblefish said:

I created a thread where I mentioned this but it seemed a better place to ask than where I had done previously (as this is also a different question).

I am curious to know if anyone has used the Skywatcher AZ5 (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html) with the heavy duty tripod  (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/tripods/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html) to mount anything over 5kg and how you found it?

I believe that it should be capable of 9kg and I am looking at putting an AR-127S (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bresser-telescopes/bresser-messier-ar-127s-635-refractor-ota.html) on one but at 7.7KG OTA I am wondering if it might struggle and whilst I would like to keep costs down where possible I don't want to have an unstable telescope / mount combination! :) 

 

I have, if you look at the specs it is good for at least a 20lb scope. The mount / tripod weighs a little over 21 lbs. with the extension,  I mounted my 20 lb 127mm, f6.6 on it and gave it a test.  It performed excellent with those solid 1.75" stainless steel legs, up till now my Vixen Porta II with half the weight and capacity was the one but now its in second place.  My 13lb.  NP101 rides well on it, a perfect combination

 

250B7598-9B80-44F6-B003-F5C68E1B8EFA.thumb.jpeg.f717cecc9276f219c6880c054198d1e3.jpeg091574DA-DC61-41D3-A411-ADD9CC13B8C7.thumb.jpeg.75b79dba650b9c16662b6dde7b3cba1a.jpeg

Edited by LDW1
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On 15/10/2021 at 07:25, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

An ST120 with 50mm RACI finder, 2" diagonal and eyepiece was OK on th AZ5 and steel tripod however I suggest this was at the very limit of realistic useability. I would not dare try a 7.7kg ota. You will have problems with focus wobble and slomos not working correctly. The 102mm f7 refractor does work a bit better on the mount than the ST120 did, but it's not perfect.

The slomo's work great if you balance the scope correctly, I did and no problem.  Its just in the Alt movement.

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On 15/10/2021 at 06:22, johninderby said:

The myth of the AZ5 handling 9kg when used with the steel tripod persists. I and many others have tested this and found it is still not good over 5kg load.

While the AZ5 with the steel tripod would hold the 127S it would be wobbly. 

Its not a myth by any stretch, its a heavy (21+lb) with big solid legs, its a work horse with my 20lb 127mm refractor. It carries as good as it gets.

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Well I did extensive testing and the mount simply wobbled too much when an OTA of over 5kg was used and I’m not the only one who has found this.

I wonder if the latest AZ5 mounts have changed. Perhaps the older mounts would carry more or are there is some variability in the mounts.?

Edited by johninderby
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1 hour ago, LDW1 said:

The slomo's work great if you balance the scope correctly, I did and no problem.  Its just in the Alt movement.

That's exactly the problem, "it's just in the Alt movement". The heavier and longer the scope gets, the more the alt slomo struggles. With a 130PS reflector and Skymax 102 the alt slomo was fine, with a modifiied P150i there is an issue overcome by tightening the the clutch further. The heavier ST120(fully loaded) struggled even more, often requiring a nudge to move in the alt axis. Similarly with the 102mm f7 refractor, although not as much.

The mount is obviously best suited to shorter instruments weighing less than 5kg, but does work with decreasing effectiveness with heavier scopes and at longer focal ratios past f6.

Reiterating joyninderby's view; focus vibration also takes longer to settle down the heavier the load becomes.

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

Well I did extensive testing and the mount simply wobbled too much when an OTA of over 5kg was used and I’m not the only one who has found this.

I wonder if the latest AZ5 mounts have changed. Perhaps the older mounts would carry more or are there is some variability in the mounts.?

I don't know, mine is only a month or 2 old.

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1 hour ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

That's exactly the problem, "it's just in the Alt movement". The heavier and longer the scope gets, the more the alt slomo struggles. With a 130PS reflector and Skymax 102 the alt slomo was fine, with a modifiied P150i there is an issue overcome by tightening the the clutch further. The heavier ST120(fully loaded) struggled even more, often requiring a nudge to move in the alt axis. Similarly with the 102mm f7 refractor, although not as much.

The mount is obviously best suited to shorter instruments weighing less than 5kg, but does work with decreasing effectiveness with heavier scopes and at longer focal ratios past f6.

Reiterating joyninderby's view; focus vibration also takes longer to settle down the heavier the load becomes.

Not with my 20lb refractor, f6.6 as a matter of fact it is so smooth in the alt/az that moving it by hand is as good as the control knobs unless one is just picky and then nothing might work for them. Here it is with my 10+lb, f6.25 look at its solidness.

04E9826D-7D9E-4C7D-86AF-4F0C7AD39785.thumb.jpeg.ea0c359be0fa6e607a09afdf842ce828.jpeg

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1 hour ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

That's exactly the problem, "it's just in the Alt movement". The heavier and longer the scope gets, the more the alt slomo struggles. With a 130PS reflector and Skymax 102 the alt slomo was fine, with a modifiied P150i there is an issue overcome by tightening the the clutch further. The heavier ST120(fully loaded) struggled even more, often requiring a nudge to move in the alt axis. Similarly with the 102mm f7 refractor, although not as much.

The mount is obviously best suited to shorter instruments weighing less than 5kg, but does work with decreasing effectiveness with heavier scopes and at longer focal ratios past f6.

Reiterating joyninderby's view; focus vibration also takes longer to settle down the heavier the load becomes.

Longer scopes are always more of an issue with any Alt / Az, its the nature of the beast for the most part.

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24 minutes ago, LDW1 said:

I don't know, mine is only a month or 2 old.

Have owned the AZ5 for two years and as demonstrated in the previous post, tried several different telescope types on the mount. I'm far from 'picky' otherwise the mount would by now be well gone.

Several owners on SGL have reported similar experiences, so I consider it helpful to provide honest feedback so the opening poster can potentially avoid making a poor purchasing choice. There are better mounts out there for those wishing to use a 7.7kg ota plus accessories.

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12 minutes ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Have owned the AZ5 for two years and as demonstrated in the previous post, tried several different telescope types on the mount. I'm far from 'picky' otherwise the mount would by now be well gone.

Several owners on SGL have reported similar experiences, so I consider it helpful to provide honest feedback so the opening poster can potentially avoid making a poor purchasing choice. There are better mounts out there for those wishing to use a 7.7kg ota plus accessories.

I agree, I'm just passing on my early experience with this mount. Before that it was 3 Porta II's and before that 3 AZ4's and a Twilite I .  To me it is the best of them all in an AZ configuration but I am surely not the only owner. I researched high and low but couldn't find any better but I will reseach in this forum more.

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17 minutes ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

Have owned the AZ5 for two years and as demonstrated in the previous post, tried several different telescope types on the mount. I'm far from 'picky' otherwise the mount would by now be well gone.

Several owners on SGL have reported similar experiences, so I consider it helpful to provide honest feedback so the opening poster can potentially avoid making a poor purchasing choice. There are better mounts out there for those wishing to use a 7.7kg ota plus accessories.

Please guide me to the better mounts in an AZ type, I am interested ?

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26 minutes ago, LDW1 said:

Please guide me to the better mounts in an AZ type, I am interested ?

I recently mentioned several altaz mounts I investigated after finding my AZ5 fine for my mak 127 but poor for my 102 'frac due to vibration in the threadI l link to below. I ended up buying a mount which is very similar (in terms of vibrations ) to the AZ5, but is far lighter and more compact , therefore serves my purposes better with the refractor . The other mounts I investigated (Skytee, Giro Ercole and Berlebach_models ) are all better but expensive , I'd suggest you read the very new thread on here about the Rowan 75 too ...

 

Edited by Tiny Clanger
Rowan 75 not 750 ,doh !
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7 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I recently mentioned several altaz mounts I investigated after finding my AZ5 fine for my mak 127 but poor for my 102 'frac due to vibration in the threadI l link to below. I ended up buying a mount which is very similar (in terms of vibrations ) to the AZ5, but is far lighter and more compact , therefore serves my purposes better with the refractor . The other mounts I investigated (Skytee, Giro Ercole and Berlebach_models ) are all better but expensive , I'd suggest you read the very new thread on here about the Rowan 750 too ...

 

I saw that ROWAN ad, I will have a look.  The other problem is / was who has what in stock when you want it.

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22 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

I recently mentioned several altaz mounts I investigated after finding my AZ5 fine for my mak 127 but poor for my 102 'frac due to vibration in the threadI l link to below. I ended up buying a mount which is very similar (in terms of vibrations ) to the AZ5, but is far lighter and more compact , therefore serves my purposes better with the refractor . The other mounts I investigated (Skytee, Giro Ercole and Berlebach_models ) are all better but expensive , I'd suggest you read the very new thread on here about the Rowan 75 too ...

 

I had a look at the Rowan, it is a wonderful, solid mount but I don't think it is an apples to apples comparison with the AZ5 when it comes to price. It will likely come in at twice the price which is a big factor for many astronomers who just want great viewing on a dark night. This Rowan is probably a level or 2 above manys needs, which is my situation and thus the less but very sufficent AZ5 for my and I am sure many other fellow astronomers.  In its class there is non better than the AZ5 that I have used.  Thanx for that point out though, for me maybe down the road.

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