Jump to content

Banner.jpg.b6007b69ccdf5c69bf18273ddfe023df.jpg

Calling all Scopetech Zero owners - advice needed


badhex
 Share

Recommended Posts

40 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

The Zero arrived yesterday and I can’t fault it at the moment. I appear to have been lucky straight out of the box and no adjustment needed (though the altitude axis tension knob does turn when it is moved, even when tight…..is that supposed to happen???…the azimuth one doesn’t). Very impressed with the engineering quality and it appears (at the moment) to be an upgrade on the AZ5

78DAE42B-F308-429A-BE9E-7895F4B96568.thumb.jpeg.9dd24956ef947a2c532d80dfad8d52f6.jpeg

Mine turns as well so this seems quite normal.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I just received mine two days ago and have used it once.  I put it on my Manfrotto 475B which has a geared elevator, so no extension column needed.  I tried it with all three of my refractors - ST80, AT120ED, ST120 - and it seemed to handle all quite well.  I did not try very high power - that's a test for another session.

I had no trouble with balance.  I was surprised how easy it was to balance because I had a Stellarvue M1V (not sure what the Altair equivalent is called) friction mount and I sold it because I could never get the balance right.

There was resistance in az with slo-mo at first, but that smoothed out.  Balance is important in alt or you'll have to really clamp down the alt clutch.

Slo-mo cables have fallen off almost every mount I've had, so I use knobs on my AZ5.  I have shorties on the Zero now, but I'm looking for knobs for it.  I find that cables with Phillips head set screws hold much better than thumbscrews.

I also have a Twilight-1 tripod with a Berlebach puck adapter on it.  I might try that with the Zero, but I really prefer to use the 475B.

Anyway, that's my very limited experience so far.

Edit:  I should probably add that I think the Zero is a noticeable improvement over the AZ5 (not that the AZ5 is a bad mount).

 

Edited by jjohnson3803
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a bit of a fettle with the worm adjustment grub screws and also found a way to put it on the steel leg tripod I have. Definitely seems better although I suspect that the tripod is still not really up to it. 

Still have to play around a bit finding the right balance between alt clutch friction and smoothness of the slow motions so we'll see. 

I also tried rotating focuser so the finder arm is horizontal i.e. along the alt axis which has definitely helped. 

Will see what it's like under the stars as soon as possible. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a couple of pics to show the slow motions controls I have fitted. They are old Vixen long jobbies, and the handles hang in a very convenient place, easy to find and use without reaching.

1DB4E127-6A70-4405-8FC7-93FB2E91E8A1.jpeg

7402AC43-DF66-40F0-848B-1BF24E665CB0.jpeg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two of the things I like are that, firstly, there are many more positions (19 I think) that the angle can be set to compared with most other mounts.  This means I don't need an extension to see up to the zenith.

Secondly, scopes can be mounted on either side.  As I'm left eye dominant, I like my finderscope on the right hand side so the scope doesn't get in the way.  Additionally, this would allow me to swap the Starsense Explorer for my SLR and still get its flip screen to open. 

However, this means that even short flexible slow motions cross over each other.  Therefore I kept just the altitude slow motion and replaced the azimuth one with a knob.

 

1234373373_ScopetechMountZero3.jpg.601db282f5eb77803efaa4dec377bd46.jpg

Edited by Second Time Around
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Second Time Around said:

Two of the things I like are that, firstly, there are many more positions (19 I think) that the angle can be set to compared with most other mounts.  This means I don't need an extension to see up to the zenith.

Secondly, scopes can be mounted on either side.  As I'm left eye dominant, I like my finderscope on the right hand side so it doesn't get in the way.  Additionally, this would allow me to swap the Starsense Explorer for my SLR and still get its flip screen to open. 

However, this means that even short flexible slow motions cross over each other.  Therefore I kept just the altitude slow motion and replaced the azimuth one with a knob.

 

1234373373_ScopetechMountZero3.jpg.601db282f5eb77803efaa4dec377bd46.jpg

I actually prefer it with the handles crossing over, at least when they are long flexible ones. I prefer not to have to reach round to turn the control, but maybe that’s just me an my little T-Rex arms 😉

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/03/2022 at 11:48, johninderby said:

HollyHound used his Scopetech Zero on a Berlebach Report tripod and found it was a good match.

644C658E-F5F4-447D-B571-67AD07FB925E.jpeg

Still is… I’ve had this ScopeTech and Berlebach combination for almost two years now, with various scopes onboard… it is my most used mount/tripod setup as my primary grab and go 😀

I had one of the very first ScopeTech Zero mounts and it developed a fault within hours, but was replaced ( I believe they identified a fault in the very first batch🤔) and this one has never skipped a beat. Occasionally need to tighten the  nuts on the end of the slow motion gears, but takes seconds and very infrequent 👍

17046ABA-B050-449D-85B2-870A8EA71B01.jpeg

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Stu said:

I actually prefer it with the handles crossing over, at least when they are long flexible ones. I prefer not to have to reach round to turn the control, but maybe that’s just me an my little T-Rex arms 😉

I'm so thick that I kept getting the cables mixed up!

I tried long cables but found the short ones easier on my back and neck.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Second Time Around said:

I'm so thick that I kept getting the cables mixed up!

🤣🤣 I do that regularly too! 🤪🤪

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Second Time Around said:

Secondly, scopes can be mounted on either side.  As I'm left eye dominant, I like my finderscope on the right hand side so it doesn't get in the way.

I'm right dominant, but observe with my left eye usually.  I should flip the orientation and put my finder on the right. 

What are you using for your az slo-mo control?  Looks like aluminum.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, jjohnson3803 said:

I'm right dominant, but observe with my left eye usually.  I should flip the orientation and put my finder on the right. 

What are you using for your az slo-mo control?  Looks like aluminum.

Yes, aluminium. They're available in a black or silver finish.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adm-misc-mounting-accessories/adm-slow-motion-control-knobs.html

One other thing I like with the Mount Zero is that, in addition to using the slow motions, you can push it around manually without having to disengage anything.

FLO have a fully guaranteed reconditioned Mount Zero with almost 20% off.  See

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/offers/offer_scopetech-mount-zero_264069.html

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used my mount zero only with my 80mm triplet as a portable, quick to deploy setup. I have it on an ES ST-1 tripod (1.25" steel leg) with a M10 to 3/8 adapter rather than a heavy duty tripod in order to keep the overall weight down. I could imagine if I tried my 107 triplet on it, it would become unstable.

I had the same issue with the standard skywatcher slow-mo cables. Got fed up and replaced them with a pair of ADM knobs. No falling-off in middle of use anymore.

I tighten the tension knobs to a point slightly over where they natually stop (difficult to describe). This allows both push-to and slow-mo to work at the same time.

Edited by KP82
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple more questions.

The tighter you do up the alt clutch, the stiffer the slow motions become. How stiff are the slow motions on your setups?

Even when balanced perfectly to start with, changing EPs means some level of imbalance even if only slight, and the Zero seems to be quite sensitive to that. Obviously it's impractical to rebalanced the scope every time you change EPs, so I would have thought the solution is to the tighten the alt clutch enough that the scope can still be moved by hand but does not drift of its own accord, but at this point the slow motions are also quite stiff and I'm worried that it could damage the worm gear. 

I did adjust worm gear tension per the instructions from Scopetech, but I did this with no scope mounted. Should I perhaps mount the scope, tighten the clutch so there no drift but it can be moved easily by hand, and then adjust the worm tension? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 16/03/2022 at 03:34, badhex said:

I did adjust worm gear tension per the instructions from Scopetech, but I did this with no scope mounted. Should I perhaps mount the scope, tighten the clutch so there no drift but it can be moved easily by hand, and then adjust the worm tension? 

I'm curious about this.  I use two AT and two Vixen SLV EPs.  The designs are similar and I think the weights are very close.  I do clamp down the az clutch when changing EPs, then gradually back off the tension without trying to rebalance.  I keep the tension as loose as possible for the slo-mo to work.  Maybe that's not the best way of doing things.

Some people advocate using a zoom EP so there are no balance changes, but I'm not interested in switching to a zoom.

Edited by jjohnson3803
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, jjohnson3803 said:

I'm curious about this.  I use two AT and two Vixen SLV EPs.  The designs are similar and I think the weights are very close.  I do clamp down the az clutch when changing EPs, then gradually back off the tension without trying to rebalance.  I keep the tension as loose as possible for the slo-mo to work.  Maybe that's not the best way of doing things.

Some people advocate using a zoom EP so there are no balance changes, but I'm not interested in switching to a zoom.

Agreed, I'm also not a zoom fan. I haven't had chance to do any actual observing yet to check the adjustments I made, so I guess I'll see how they work out first and report back. OTOH if it's cloudy this weekend maybe I'll readjust with a scope on there and see if that seems better. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mount is indeed quite sensitive to balance. I often limit myself to use only the ES68 20mm, N9T6 and Morpheus 6.5 along with the Q-Barlow when using my 80 f/6 + zero portable setup because these 3 eyepieces weigh similarly (Morpheus is slightly heavier but ok). The Delos and XW are simply too much heavier. When I do put the ES68 34mm in for ultra widefield, I'll have to rebalance.

I've also adjusted the worm tension so the stiffness of the slow-mo is as close to the other AZ mounts I owned before (AZ5 and AZ Pronto) as possible.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, KP82 said:

The mount is indeed quite sensitive to balance. I often limit myself to use only the ES68 20mm, N9T6 and Morpheus 6.5 along with the Q-Barlow when using my 80 f/6 + zero portable setup because these 3 eyepieces weigh similarly (Morpheus is slightly heavier but ok). The Delos and XW are simply too much heavier. When I do put the ES68 34mm in for ultra widefield, I'll have to rebalance.

I've also adjusted the worm tension so the stiffness of the slow-mo is as close to the other AZ mounts I owned before (AZ5 and AZ Pronto) as possible.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the mods, how stiff is stiff? 😳

Perhaps along with @Stu's industry standard tap, we need an industry standard slow motion stiffness scale. Starting at zero all the way up to Monty Python's parrot. 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.