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Rowan AZ75 Mount


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Well as the Cat is out of the bag...  New from Rowan – AZ75 Mount

I have been a Rowan AZ100 admirer since its very public testing and launch, I openly admit I would love one, but in reality wanted a smaller version for my style of Astronomy and the scopes I own and didn't want slow motion either, all my mounts of late have been manual tracking, no slow motion and simple in design and lacked a certain something that perhaps the AZ75 brings.
My dear Mum always used to tell me Patience was a Virtue and that waiting for something to work its way through was time well spent in anticipation, so I have been patiently waiting, like a good boy.

I talked with Dave and Derek Rose at Rowan about a smaller, non-slow-motion mount  of the same high standard and finish, firstly at the IAS when they launched the AZ100, as I know others did as well.
They said yes, but it will be a while as other things are ahead of that.
Things such as further goodies for the AZ100, which are also on the way very soon and have been seen on Facebook and Astronomy forums.

Well those gentle chats or nudges and my patience has paid off.
I can inform the world that my wish is no longer a wish but a prototype reality, several prototypes are out in ‘The Wild’ having escaped the Rose’s grip and are now being tested.
One of those most fortunate testers is me alongside @Stu
I am most honoured to be trusted to do so.
 

The mount is named the AZ75 and is the smaller sibling of the AZ100, the numbers refer to the body diameter, so the new sibling is a slimmer 75mm diameter to the more solid 100mm of the AZ100. The change of 25mm does look more when side by side, but be assured it really is only a 25mm change.

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The mount shares many similarities to the AZ100, high quality machining, high quality materials, high quality bearings, good design and above all made here in Britain.
You cannot escape the Family resemblance or the quality of finish, its anodised to the same standard as the AZ100 and has the same design of knobs and fitments.

The mount has a good and decent capacity of 15Kg per side, dedicated Vixen sized clamps and Tripod fitting sized for my mount sized tripod, which is the HEQ5.
I think the mount will be highly suited to refractors, but also very good with reflectors.
My testing will tell of course.
It should be noted that the mount has the ability to be fitted to an HEQ6 tripod as well as 3/8 photo threads as well and has some clever tricks in how it does so, more to tell later.
It weighs 4.5 Kg with the Vixen Clamps.

The mount will be available with or without encoders fitted, the version I am testing has them fitted, and I will use them with my own Nexus DSC unit that I already own and use on my OOUK Dobson, so something that I am familiar with.

The mount is at this stage a prototype and some final design tweaks may yet happen, subject to the testing feedback from myself and others.
This testing is live now and subject to the weather being kind intended to be completed ASAP for any final changes and then production readiness, I hope for Christmas if we are all lucky, and then buying from our friends at @FLO.

As many of Stargazers Lounge (SGL) know, I was fortunate enough to make a factory visit to Rowan in September and jokes aside abou having my memory wiped as I left,
was shown the production facility and the AZ100 and AZ75 being made, down to single component level, some of which I can share during this feedback of the testing.

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It was a delight to watch the machinery in action and be shown the development that has gone on and is continuing at Rowan Towers, as I jokingly refer to the factory.
Rowan have been highly innovative with many products, they serve the Astronomy Market well.
They have a  saying of ‘Sometimes perfection is not quite good enough’ and although banter between the Rose brothers, it really has a truthfulness to it, they aim to make things perfectly.

I will report some more, such as specifications etc. at a later date once I get some testing under my belt, we all know how fickle UK weather is to us poor astronomers.

Please do remember this is the ‘Prototype’ and some tweaks may be made, as they were with the AZ100 during the development and testing phase, so the final mount may change a little, or perhaps not, testing will tell after all and why they are out in ‘The Wild’

Images to follow later over the weekend 
later within this thread. 

It has already been christened in White Light Solar already today, showing itself as an invisible mount, something a mount should truly be in use.

So here we go, watch this thread and ask away, where I can answer I will, where I cannot, well I will go try things.

Edited by Alan White
added info and typos as usual
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Alan this is really good news and I pleased that you and @Stu are doing the review. You partly answered a concern that I had about the Rowan mounts. I have a Skywatcher AZ5 mount and I use the metal tripod with a 3/8th thread. I was wondering whether I could use this 3/8th tripod with the Rowan mount so I think your comment suggest that I can.

Alan look forward to your review in due course.

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I'm also happy @Stu is doing the review. He can tell me how it works with his LZOS 130/F6.  😄


Would be good to know if you can get away with a lighter tripod, however I suspect the tripod used is related to weight/moment applied by the scope.

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Well here are some pictures from unwrapping today for starters.
Stu's on a tripod are nicer than these ones, but I have been distracted since its arrival.

IMG_3159.thumb.JPG.2da00c7a7d6f2ab1d7e138665babeed1.JPG

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It has new Vixen Rail clamps, made just for the AZ75, really nice and solid and the siblings of the AZ100 clamps.
Very impressed with clamping so far, I only use Vixen Rails, so perfect for me and my scope/s.

IMG_3161.thumb.JPG.a3d2cdc4bd56013ad00be4627ec71fc7.JPG

 

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I was blessed with a clear sky after delivery so mounted up varios scopes to see how things fitted and got a spin in WL Solar of the 80mm f6 Long Perng that I have recently aquired for use in my Camper Van, but it might be a WL wonder as well....but that's another thread.

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Smooth as anything with a full disk at 50x, all that the sky let me have,
but its very smooth and slow motion is not required, but I have not used slow motion on
a mount since I had the Skytee some years ago.

And it is sat on the 1.75" standard S/Steel Sky-Watcher tripod that's years old, handles it very well,
In fact made for each other, this does not hit me as a Planet requiring mount in anyway.
Clearly a very nice UNi28 or similar will look great, but as of the minute, probably not needed.

Edited by Alan White
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I have also been blessed with a clearish (but average seeing) sky with a 78% Waxing Moon.
Got to try the mount with the Nexus DSC fitted, with which I am familair using on my Dob.
Faultless in operation, after 2 star allign, target middle of the 30mm UFF and near centre of 10mm XW,
can you ask more of these encoders and the mount?

I did a whistle stop tour, but with dampness, my knees giving me a tough time and tryting to talk with No.2 daughter had to call it a day and come in and type all of this up.

The mount was just pushed about and no issues, it become invisible in use, so exactly what you would want.



 

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Weight is 4.5 Kg with saddles, that's what Rowan told me,
will double check over the weekend with my scales.

Hope that helps @Greymouser 😀

And confirmed by @Stu and his scales earlier and now my scales as well.

Edited by Alan White
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Something @Stu mentions in his thread is the protruding screw heads on the base.
Its visible in my images above.
It is not bad design, but very clever design, allows for a flat base or EQ5 or EQ6 hole alignment, 
a series of holes allow those screws to be moved in or out and it really does assist sitting the mount onto the tripod.

To be honest when Derek told me of this at the factory visit, I was a bit, hmmmm, we will see.
Now I have the mount with me to test, well, wow, what a clever idea.

 

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Edited by Alan White
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4 hours ago, Deadlake said:

I'm also happy @Stu is doing the review. He can tell me how it works with his LZOS 130/F6.  😄


Would be good to know if you can get away with a lighter tripod, however I suspect the tripod used is related to weight/moment applied by the scope.

So am I Deadlake, a scope size that I would one day love to own.

I don't think a lighter tripod involves any 'getting away with it' here, the mount sits solidly on the EQ5 one well,
this was part of the design ethos at Rowan I am lead to believe.

 

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Many of us need an AZ100 but simply smaller and lighter.
Then put the fine manual movements and prepare it for encoders and next motor kits or in that category we will choose another.

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Thanks for posting Alan, the AZ75 looks absolutely great and is clearly a little brother to the AZ100 and I hope that you enjoy your time testing it.

Having only just invested in an AZ100, when your thread popped up I was concerned that maybe I should have waited a little longer for  the much anticipated smaller Rowan Mount instead.

However, the lack of slow-mo controls on the AZ75 has convinced me that I made the right decision for me.

I have tried several Giro-Type mounts including a full-size Ercole, a Giro GR2 and the WO EZTouch (a clone of the AYO) but despite desperately wanting to like them, I have really never got on with them due to the lack of slow-mo controls, I'm much happier with a set of slow-mo controls hanging off of a mount.

I will however be watching this thread and Stu's thread with much interest. 

Ade

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Just now, johninderby said:

There are those that insist on having slo-mo controls and those that aren’t bothered so now they have a choice which can’t be a bad thing. 👍🏻

Absolutely John, the Slow-Mo controls are the right choice for me but not necessarily for others.

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se questa è una sorta di "test commerciale", sappi che mi convince a comprare qualcos'altro....onestamente. 

Quindi metti i rallentatori nel 75 e prepara questo per il kit motore

 

You set up the mount for everything, even slow motion and motors encoders etc, if one wants them he uses them otherwise he doesn't use them

Edited by Fedele
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As long as the movements are very smooth (which I fully expect they will be) I can easily live without slow motions.  
 

I once had an Astrotech Voyager alt-az with slow motions.  It does depend on the length of the scope but even with a 900mm focal length refractor I found stretching for the slo-mo controls was a pain.  I tried longer cables but it was still a pain. It was far easier to hand guide by holding the focuser because that’s always in a convenient place.

The other issue was the AT Voyager dovetail clamp was on the end of an arm.  I found that a Giro type mount with the weight of the scope closer to the mount head was noticeably more stable, so I think I’d prefer the similarity with the AZ 100 & 75.

YMMV of course….

Ed.

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It will be interesting to see if a saddle(s) is included in the price (I don’t believe it is with the AZ100). If not, given that there are no slo mo’s either, it’s possibly starting to look a teeny weeny bit expensive at £550? But possibly a bit too early to be commenting on price, and I don’t want to divert this helpful review. 

Edited by RobertI
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9 hours ago, RobertI said:

It will be interesting to see if a saddle(s) is included in the price (I don’t believe it is with the AZ100). If not, given that there are no slo mo’s either, it’s possibly starting to look a teeny weeny bit expensive at £550? But possibly a bit too early to be commenting on price, and I don’t want to divert this helpful review. 

Robert, go look at the AYO prices and you will see where the pricing sits.
I

10 hours ago, johninderby said:

There are those that insist on having slo-mo controls and those that aren’t bothered so now they have a choice which can’t be a bad thing. 👍🏻

Very true John and my view entirely.
I actually found slow motions a deal breaker for me when I pondered buying the AZ100.
Funny old world.

A 'Marmite' moment.

10 hours ago, Fedele said:

Many of us need an AZ100 but simply smaller and lighter.
Then put the fine manual movements and prepare it for encoders and next motor kits or in that category we will choose another.

We all take a choice on our purchases, thank fully we are all different Fedele, that's what is great about life, let alone astro.

The AZ75 is Encoder ready, its in my report above. 

A smaller lighter AZ100, would be missing the point, if you want a mount like that, they have a certain size to them to fit in all those goodies, just look at what else is on the market...smaller and lighter? 

Anyway, this is not the AZ75 thread for debate on other mounts really, its a means of me interacting about the AZ75 and what it is, but this is a Prototype testing not a full review of the production mount.
 

 

Edited by Alan White
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So as everyone wants to compare to the AZ100 size, as I said above.

The A100 is 100mm Diameter
The AZ75 is 75mm Diameter.

Here is a badly Photoshopped image from me taken at Rowans, I just remembered it was taken 😉

511296771_AZ100andAZ75PS.jpg.f0dcb1101f7012536f9a668318bb2849.jpg

And one of Stu's robbed from his thread on Tripods.

F5EF61C4-9EF4-4E91-BD7A-6819DFD12597.jpeg

As you can see they differ in size, its making a second option available to us guys.
 

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21 minutes ago, Alan White said:

Robert, go look at the AYO prices and you will see where the pricing sits.

Thanks Alan, yes good point, it does give a different perspective on pricing. I shall lurk and eagerly wait for more feedback from you and Stu. 

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11 hours ago, Alan White said:

for a flat base or EQ5 or EQ6 hole alignment, 
a series of holes allow those screws to be moved in or out and it really does assist sitting the mount onto the tripod.

To be honest when Derek told me of this at the factory visit, I was a bit, hmmmm, we will see.
Now I have the mount with me to test, well, wow, what a clever idea.

I'm interested the hear more about this aspect as you form opinions and this thread progresses Alan.

I really am following both threads with interest.

Whilst looking similar to the AZ100, as well as being more compact, it is clearly a different mount and aimed at a different niche than the AZ100.

This does very much look like it will very nicely fill the gap in the market that @John has been pointing out for a few years now.

What's more is it's British designed and built which has to be a good thing.

Hats off to the Rowan boys.

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