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Rowan AZ75 - Stu’s thoughts


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37 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

I find slo-mos are absolutely critical for solar Ha observing, when you need to constantly manipulate the view to pick out best detail. Great that AZ75 can be used with push-to controls, and of course it looks superb, but would need slo-mos to make me consider replacing my Skytee

Given the feedback I think there might be a market for the A75 with slo mo. If the AZ75 could take two 15 kg scopes each side I would take it over the AZ100, if it had slo mo. The next size up to me would be an APM max load, the AZ100 in the case is not enough of a step up. 

Of course the A75 not having slo mo protects AZ100 sales…

Edited by Deadlake
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29 minutes ago, Highburymark said:

I find slo-mos are absolutely critical for solar Ha observing, when you need to constantly manipulate the view to pick out best detail. Great that AZ75 can be used with push-to controls, and of course it looks superb, but would need slo-mos to make me consider replacing my Skytee

From the outset (ie: prior to the launch of the AZ100) I had hoped that a high quality version of the Skytee II might be produced, including slow motion controls and maybe allowing a slightly higher capacity instrument. I felt that the market would probably support a retail cost of £400-£600 for such a mount - somewhere in between that of Skytee II and the Giro Ercole and the £1K plus mounts such as the APM Maxload / T-Rex etc.

I guess the reality is that quality engineering and materials have costs associated with them that preclude that so some compromise is needed ?

 

 

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To me, a mid-capacity, dual-setup mount without slo-mo and probably without saddles looks very expensive at £550. But I’m wondering if I used the AZ75 and experienced the quality whether I would feel very differently, especially after years of using nothing but Synta mounts! 

Edited by RobertI
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I was interested in buying an AZ100 because quality az mount with Slow mo and the possibility to attach encoders and the "coming soon"  motor/goto kit.
The problem is that a mixed home/travel user finds the AZ100 a too heavy support.
It is not a price problem to have a more compact and transportable AZ100. That's why I would buy the AZ75 regardless of the price.
Unfortunately, the decision to eliminate the Slow mo is a commercial policy that also discourages me from buying the AZ100, which I renounce with much regret.
The only reason that would make me change my mind is if the company corrects the shot and adds the Slow Mo and the possibility of adding encoders and the next goto motor kit. .
Who need large weight capacity will buy the AZ100, who would be satisfied with a smaller load capacity will buy AZ75.... WHERE IS THE PROBLEM GUYS???

Who buys ROWAN is a mature user who aims for quality. We are not fools. and I repeat it is NOT A BANAL PRICE PROBLEM

same reasoning for the slow mo .... put them on. if one wants them he uses them otherwise he does not use them

Another option that could make me change my mind, is if the az75, despite not having the Slow mo, gave me the possibility to attach the encoders for passive systems and therefore also the COMING Motor/goto  KIT with the same functions.
I didn't understand if this second point (encoders and goto kit) is possible in this AZ75.
 

Edited by Fedele
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11 hours ago, Stu said:

It’s a definitely a step up from the Ercole. There is no slack in the Alt axis at all and the motion stays smooth even when unbalanced horizontally ie only one scope on without a counterweight. The motion, clutches, clamps and overall quality are all superior. The Ercole is obviously a lot less expensive so in a different category to a degree.

What do you mean by ports? The mount will have optional encoders if that’s what you mean, I’ll be testing them out as soon as I get the chance.

Exactly that and you need a youtube channel.

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57 minutes ago, Fedele said:

Another option that could make me change my mind, is if the az75, despite not having the Slow mo, gave me the possibility to attach the encoders for passive systems and therefore also the COMING Motor/goto  KIT with the same functions.
I didn't understand if this second point (encoders and goto kit) is possible in this AZ75.

The mount can have encoders fitted for push to functionality, the one I am testing has them so I will check those out.

My understanding (which I will correct if I’m wrong) is that the tracking system needs the slo motion control gearing to work, so is unlikely to be oossible on the AZ75. That is my thought without checking with Rowan so as said, I will confirm/correct as needed.

I suspect the decision to leave slo motion controls off is also a desire to keep the size and weight down as much as possible.

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9 minutes ago, Stu said:

I suspect the decision to leave slo motion controls off is also a desire to keep the size and weight down as much as possible.

And the cost I would think.

If they had produced simply a smaller version of the AZ100, apart from a modest saving in the raw materials used, I reckon the production effort involved would be much the same.

Having seen the workmanship involved with the AZ100 worm drives and the aluminum wheel on both axis I can see that incorporating those in the AZ75, albeit on a slightly smaller scale would add a lot of work to the manufacture.

Where the AZ75 might gain some points would be if it can handle a reasonably heavy / long scope without the need for counterweighting. The Giro type mounts certainly need careful counterweighting to ensure smooth motions even with comparitively modest scopes on board from my experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John
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30 minutes ago, John said:

Where the AZ75 might gain some points would be if it can handle a reasonably heavy / long scope without the need for counterweighting. The Giro type mounts certainly need careful counterweighting to ensure smooth motions even with comparitively modest scopes on board from my experience.

That is definitely the case John. The Ercole becomes a lot less smooth when unbalanced side to side, and really needs the counterweight. I’ll test for it, but the AZ100 remains totally smooth with the LZOS without any counterweight, and I’m fairly sure the AZ75 will too. Will report back!

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46 minutes ago, John said:

And the cost I would think.

If they had produced simply a smaller version of the AZ100, apart from a modest saving in the raw materials used, I reckon the production effort involved would be much the same.

Having seen the workmanship involved with the AZ100 worm drives and the aluminum wheel on both axis I can see that incorporating those in the AZ75, albeit on a slightly smaller scale would add a lot of work to the manufacture.

Where the AZ75 might gain some points would be if it can handle a reasonably heavy / long scope without the need for counterweighting. The Giro type mounts certainly need careful counterweighting to ensure smooth motions even with comparitively modest scopes on board from my experience.

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder what else Rowan could do to keep the price, which looks relatively competitive and add the slow mo. The NOH CT-20 supports both sides and no slow mo and can have encoders as well. It’s a similar price.

Discussing the CT-20 with BillP

With scope in balance on the CT20 I found the movement as smooth and actually more precise than what I am used to with slo mo controls. So it was quite amazing even at 600x as was able to move even the tiniest bit in the FOV very easily. It was really quite amazing as was able to move from crater to crater in the Moon at high mags quite effortlessly with no jitters in the view. More intuitive to move also compared to the two axis movement with slo mo.”

 I wonder if the AZ75 has the same level of control? Maybe a comparison is needed?

I suspect slo mo will move the mount to cost between the current price and the AZ100.

Edited by Deadlake
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If the AZ75 works without counterweights that will be a major selling point. One other thing would how sensitive the AZ75 is to the balance of the OTA. If you could change from a small eyepiece to a big heavy one without having to rebalance the OTA that would be a big plus. 

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23 minutes ago, Deadlake said:

I wonder what else Rowan could do to keep the price, which looks relatively competitive and add the slow mo. The NOH CT-20 supports just one side and no slow mo and can have encoders as well. It’s a similar price.

Discussing the CT-20 with BillP

With scope in balance on the CT20 I found the movement as smooth and actually more precise than what I am used to with slo mo controls. So it was quite amazing even at 600x as was able to move even the tiniest bit in the FOV very easily. It was really quite amazing as was able to move from crater to crater in the Moon at high mags quite effortlessly with no jitters in the view. More intuitive to move also compared to the two axis movement with slo mo.”

 I wonder if the AZ75 has the same level of control? Maybe a comparison is needed?

I suspect slo mo will move the mount to cost between the current price and the AZ100.

My spin test, whilst it may be perceived as just a bit of gimmicky fun, is actually a very real demonstration of the quality of the bearings, machining and tolerances used in these mounts. When you use the top clamp on an Ercole with a scope on one side, you can see and feel the axis move slightly as the slack is taken up.

The AZ100 is equally free running with the LZOS on one side and no counterweight. The handle on the AZ100 is very useful for controlling the mount if you don’t want to use the slo mos, so I’m checking with Rowan if one is available for the AZ75. I’m sure the control, smoothness and lack of stiction will make pointing at high power very straightforward.

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47 minutes ago, Stu said:

That is definitely the case John. The Ercole becomes a lot less smooth when unbalanced side to side, and really needs the counterweight

Thinking about it, that was exactly my reason for not getting on with it Stu.

I found the Ercole to be very finicky about exactly where I put the counterweight and found I spent too much time fiddling with the counterweight position to get maximum smoothness in the Az axis.

I'll be interested to hear how you find the AZ75 loaded with an ED120'ish weight tube and no counterweight.

If its nice and smooth in both axes without the counterweight then I can see another item making it to the wish list despite me deciding that the AZ100 was every mount I'd ever need 🤔.

Well, it is every mount I'll ever need semi-permanently mounted in the garden, but a more portable version is always welcome........wallet positively groans and positively winces.

🤣

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I was thinking that a new expense was looming when I saw news about the AZ75. I was thinking it would be ideal fit between my ScopeTech Zero and AZ100. But better engineered than my WO EZTouch, which has no SLO-MO. However, lack of SLO-MO on AZ75 rules it out. I don’t need the electronics, just ability to manually track at high mags like the AZ100.

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20 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I don’t need the electronics, just ability to manually track at high mags like the AZ100

Hold your thoughts until we give it a go Jeremy 👍

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23 minutes ago, AdeKing said:

Thinking about it, that was exactly my reason for not getting on with it Stu.

I found the Ercole to be very finicky about exactly where I put the counterweight and found I spent too much time fiddling with the counterweight position to get maximum smoothness in the Az axis.

 

I've been in a similar position and let an Ercole go. I have another now and have learned about the importance of counterweighting to make the mount work well.

The quandary for me is whether I keep the Ercole (which cost me about £150 I recall) and the Skytee II (about £130 I think) or let both go and find another £250 or so for the AZ75 in due course :icon_scratch:

I'd have to be convinced that I could live without the slow motion controls that the Skytee II has. Lately I find I'm using them all the time :undecided:

I'll await Stu's and Alan's reports with great interest :thumbright:

 

 

Edited by John
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Some more info….

The AZ75 comes in a EXACTLY 4.50kg, how do they do that? That’s with encoders and two Vixen saddles fitted, no DSC shelf. For comparison I believe an Ercole is 3kg without saddles, whilst a SkyTee2 weighs as much as a 1m cube cut from the middle of a neutron star 🤪🤪🤣🤣.

My fully loaded AZ100 is 9.90kg with handle, 9.65kg without. That’s with encoders and two dual format saddles.

The last image shows the base of the AZ75. The four bolts can be positioned in different locations to fit different tripod tops (basically to centre the bolt hole to make locating the bolt easier), or can be removed completely to fit a flat tripod.

A5E26BF3-E1FE-4D33-90BD-1D42453527B7.jpeg

375630AE-95F9-481E-BC72-DD9A657094BD.jpeg

F73D1D27-2AEF-4962-AB72-5406CAC3DF40.jpeg

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16 minutes ago, John said:

What fitting is the centre threaded hole in the base of the AZ75 Stu ?

(apologies if you have already mentioned this)

Yes that is the info I require. I have the AZ5 metal tripod which is 3/8th thread same as a standard photo tripod. If it fits I fancy this new mount but don't want to purchase another tripod.

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49 minutes ago, Stu said:

AZ75 comes in a EXACTLY 4.50kg, how do they do that? That’s with encoders and two Vixen saddles fitted

Thats very light, looking forward to how it performs when viewing planets and the moon, where you need slo-mo.

Would it work on your Gizmo tripod at all?

Could we also have a video of "The Nudge Test" on @Stu YouTube channel. 😀

Edited by Deadlake
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42 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Impressively low weight👍🏻
@Stu, can it be connected to an EQ6 type tripod?

Yes, the Uni-28 has an EQ6 head on it.

Rowan have confirmed M12/M10 or 3/8” options for the base

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6 hours ago, Stu said:

My understanding (which I will correct if I’m wrong) is that the tracking system needs the slo motion control gearing to work, so is unlikely to be oossible on the AZ75. That is my thought without checking with Rowan so as said, I will confirm/correct as needed.

This has been confirmed, the tracking motors won’t be possible on the AZ75.

Also confirmed that the AZ75 is aimed at a different niche. Adding slo mo controls would add size, weight and cost, taking it too close to the AZ100 so leaving them off has allowed for sufficient differentiation. Personally I think it was the right decision.

A pan/tilt handle is being planned, and the saddles already have the necessary holes to take it. I think this will make panning at high powers perfectly fine but I’m not here to sell the mount, just report on what I find. If it suits your needs then I don’t think anyone would be disappointed.

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Just renamed a YouTube channel I had messed around with some time back and uploaded the videos there. Hope it works…

I’ll maybe add some more useful stuff on there as I go along. There’s a Jupiter video on there too just for interest.

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