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Manual Mount Malarky


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Hi 

I am about to buy a long 100mm refractor, F11,  which i will use on a manual mount . I have two choices in mind , an AZ5 or an AZ4 . 

I have to say that i already have a steel tripod ,3/8" Skywatcher , so the AZ5 mount head will be placed on this ,giving extra stability ( apparently with this tripod the AZ5 can accept upto 9kgs ..,the scope i am getting is around 4kgs )

Or i can buy the AZ4 with steel/aluminium tripod ( with the included steel tripod the mount can take up to 8kgs ) 

The only other  differences i see are that the AZ4 has no slow motion controls , but has useful degree markings on the mount head . oh and i can alter the fitment angle on the AZ5 to help with longer scopes 

So , i am leaning towards an AZ5 , but does anyone else know of any other reason one way or the other . 

Please note that i am set on either of these two mounts .

 

Stu

 

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3 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Please note that i am set on either of these two mounts .

Ok, that is a problem.

You really want SkyTee II for such a long scope. I fear that Az5 simply won't be able to cope with size / length of the scope - and Az4 will make it less than comfortable.

I have 4" F/10 on Az4 - and I can't wait to replace mount with something better.

image.png.2f4352567fdacf25679cf3a8988eb153.png

Here is small 4" shootout on planets this summer. You can see that 4" F/10 is starting to make Az4 a bit small already.

Maybe go with Eq5 instead? Refractors work well on EQ type mounts as you can easily rotate diagonal without the need to rotate the whole scope?

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20 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Ok, that is a problem.

Totally agree I'm afraid. I have 102ED f/11 and it will NOT perform to the best of it's ability on the mounts you mention. It's not the weight, it's the length. Sky-Tee II for alt-az or EQ5 for EQ as Vlaiv says. I have mine on a Vixen GP and it's great but I had to replace the dovetail with an extra long, extra wide one from TS.

Here's mine, it's very long and the breeze will move the scope if not supported by larger dovetail.

20210810_143024.jpg

Edited by Franklin
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Yes, there seems to be somewhat of a gap between lighter mounts supporting ~6Kg payload and ones supporting 12-15Kg (and having slow mo and all - and not costing arm and a leg).

I was also looking at ScopeTech zero mount as replacement for Az-4, but don't think it will work well with long tubes like that.

 

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Thanks guys , really good advice on here,  as always ... although not what i wanted to read lol ... might have to rethink my whole strategy here which won't please the seller of the scope :( . I have a budget ( like most ) to work with and the scope and mounts suggested put me over that line . Got to be practical and realistic . 

 

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2 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

All about timing though isnt it ?... @Franklin

its a bit oif a mare as i saw a couple of those mounts come up recently , ce la vie ...

 

Yes, it’s tricky. I bought and sold a SkyTee II recently for £150. It had updated saddles both ends and on top. With patience you should be able to pick one up. I agree with the other views, you want a bit more stability than the AZ4 or 5 will offer. Of the two I think the 4 is a bit more rigid if you have to stick with that idea.

You might also consider a Giro II or III which you could probably get for similar money. No slow motion controls (let’s not go there 🤪), but on a good tripod still very capable.

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3 minutes ago, Stu said:

es, it’s tricky. I bought and sold a SkyTee II recently for £150.

lol Stu , thats like telling someone how good a cake was , but its been eaten so you can't have any 🤣 🤣

Thanks for the input though . A bit "caught between the devil and the deep blue see " at the moment with this .

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3 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

lol Stu , thats like telling someone how good a cake was , but its been eaten so you can't have any 🤣 🤣

Thanks for the input though . A bit "caught between the devil and the deep blue see " at the moment with this .

Or this? 🤣
 

Look at what you could have won! 🤣


Apologies 😉

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So I am a brand-new-as-of-this-week Skytee owner... and I have to give a plus one for it. I don't have a frac that long but can see that the sturdiness of this mount would be great for the scope you are suggesting.

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3 minutes ago, badhex said:

So I am a brand-new-as-of-this-week Skytee owner... and I have to give a plus one for it. I don't have a frac that long but can see that the sturdiness of this mount would be great for the scope you are suggesting.

Just one problem , costs outweigh desire ... I am sure you are right about the mount but it means buying the mount,tripod and the scope. Not something which was in my plans . Can't believe I'm being so sensible for once.  Thanks for the input though . Really appreciate it :)

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Just one problem , costs outweigh desire ... I am sure you are right about the mount but it means buying the mount,tripod and the scope. Not something which was in my plans . Can't believe I'm being so sensible for once.  Thanks for the input though . Really appreciate it :)

No, I know - sorry for being a pain Stu! I was lucky that I already had the EQ6 tripod. Fingers crossed you manage to get something figured out.

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7 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

No need to apologise  :)

The SkyTee looks a great  mount

 

Well, there are some well-documented issues with the thick factory applied grease which I'm sorry to say mine is not without, but the mount itself is super solid, especially for the size/weight. I bought mine primarily because I have an 80ED which sees no use because the AZ-GTi cannot really cope with it even when well balanced. Conversely, the ZS73 is only about 0.75kg lighter but the difference in how the mount handles it is huge, I suspect due to the compact size of the ZS73.

I fear you might have similar issues with the AZ5. I have read a lot of posts talking through the real world performance of the AZ5 as I was thinking of buying one for the 80ED, and there are quite a few suggesting that for longer fracs such as yours, it may not be up to the task. I believe the AZ5 is rated at about 5kg load but once you add accessories, plus the length of the tube you might see some issues, especially at higher powers which I assume you'll be using.

As @vlaiv said above there is definitely a gap between say the AZ5 and the Skytee in terms of weight class.

 

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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

One thing to note is that the thick grease is used to make up for poor tolerances in the mount so if using a thinner grease the mount will need regular regreasing.

We call that grease "Gorilla Snot"  (^8

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Thank you all for the Input  guys I have decided to put on hold the purchase of the scope, which I am sorry to the seller on SGL , but you all raised some important points about the mount which made total sense. As someone who prefers smaller scopes, generally it was an ambitious plan by me. @badhexI am on a very similar path to you so I especially was interested to read that the ed80 was too heavy for your gti . 

Thanks guys. 

Edited by Stu1smartcookie
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Well, to be honest I have a long AA 102mm ED f11 ‘frac that I use on an AZ5 mount, which is mounted on a Berlebach Report tripod . I use a Baader zoom lens mostly for the EP with it so I can balance the scope well, and fitted longer slo mo cables on the AZ5, and whilst in windy conditions it does shake around a little, mostly I can use it just fine. Yes, a Skytee2 does hold it much sturdier so that in windy conditions there is very minimal shake of the scope in strong gusts of wind, but for observing the planets and the moon I find the AZ5 OK. I’m sure the wooden tripod dampens things down quicker perhaps than a metal tripod, but as long as its not too gusty when using it is fine to use. I even have the Skywatcher extension tube on the mount so that the telescope doesn’t snag on the legs of the tripod and it still works very good. Much easier to lug out the AZ5 mount over my Skytee 2, so for shorter observing sessions I tend to use the AZ5 mount more. 

Edited by Knighty2112
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17 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

Well, to be honest I have a long AA 102mm ED f11 ‘frac that I use on an AZ5 mount, which is mounted on a Berlebach Report tripod . I use a Baader zoom lens mostly for the EP with it so I can balance the scope well, and fitted longer slo mo cables on the AZ5, and whilst in windy conditions it does shake around a little, mostly I can use it just fine. Yes, a Skytee2 does hold it much sturdier so that in windy conditions there is very minimal shake of the scope in strong gusts of wind, but for observing the planets and the moon I find the AZ5 OK. I’m sure the wooden tripod dampens things down quicker perhaps than a metal tripod, but as long as its not too gusty when using it is fine to use. I even have the Skywatcher extension tube on the mount so that the telescope doesn’t snag on the legs of the tripod and it still works very good. Much easier to lug out the AZ5 mount over my Skytee 2, so for shorter observing sessions I tend to use the AZ5 mount more. 

Yeah I guess the Berlebach certainly helps. I think @Stu1smartcookie maybe has the same tripod as me (the Skywatcher black and white metal tripod which comes with the AZ-GTi and others) and I'm sure that added to the vibration and flexing issues. It's not that it was unusable, but I didn't really enjoy the experience.

Of course you raise a good point about ease of use - the AZ5 and similar sized mounts like the AZ-GTi are hugely convenient and loads quicker to move anywhere and set up. The Skytee itself is surprisingly light, it's the tripod legs that seem to add all the weight!

 

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Hi Stu. Lots of good advice & suggestions from all of us. Major brain overload. Here comes some more.😲

Knowing how you like to try different scopes, and knowing your storage situation has influenced my two pennorth.

You need choices. Don't buy to just fit the new scope. Keep payload in hand.
Consider the tripod and mount as separate purchases.

When buying a tripod go for the heaviest/strongest you can manage to handle. The wallet has a say as well!
If you store it in the shed, there are no stairs to consider so weight is not an issue.
Even a tripod from an EQ6 type mount is not that much bigger than a flimsy tripod.
If you buy used with tarnished chrome, what does it matter? Provided the legs aren't wobbly and fixings aren't rusted, it is OK.
This helps your wallet.

A similar sizing comment goes for the mount. A used Skytee2 is a good choice at £200 downwards.
Not as elegantly engineered as (for example) a Giro, but quite good enough.
It will even let you fit two scopes!

Don't worry about 3/8" to M10 adapters and whatever to fit an incompatible mount & tripod together.
You can quickly make something temporary using a block of wood and a few screws/bolts.
If you like the package, then you can spend on a ready made adapter.
Or approach someone who has the metalworking tools if an off the peg adapter is not available.

Something like the setup described above would let you (for example) hang your little Mak alongside the new frac.
Or trial a new purchase against your long frac.

Just don't get carried away like I have. The pics show a CG5 (Celestron like EQ5) sitting on top of the D6 (in the handset holder) for a size comparison.
Yes they both look the same size on web pages😁
However, the D6 load capacity lets you get carried away with scopes. 8" & 10" newts for a side by side comparison🤔

DSCF6883.JPG

Dual Europa.jpg

Edited by Carbon Brush
A few more words.
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1 hour ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Thank you all for the Input  guys I have decided to put on hold the purchase of the scope, which I am sorry to the seller on SGL , but you all raised some important points about the mount which made total sense. As someone who prefers smaller scopes, generally it was an ambitious plan by me. @badhexI am on a very similar path to you so I especially was interested to read that the ed80 was too heavy for your gti . 

Thanks guys. 

Sorry to hear that you've had to put things on hold - that said, I was a bit worried you might end up not enjoying the experience which is arguably worse, having spent money. 

Yes - I had also recognised from the various posts we've both chatted on that we seem to be on a similar orbit, which is why I wanted to share my experiences with the AZ-GTi.

Of course they are not the exact same mount  so they might behave a bit differently and it's not that it was totally unusable or anything, but I'd be kidding myself if I said it was the experience I wanted.

Edited by badhex
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