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The SkyTee 2 in 2024?


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I've often considered the SkyTee 2 since it seems like a cost-effective way to mount two moderately sized OTAs. But old stories of soft metal and iffy saddles have deterred me. My guess is that most SkyTee 2s have provided years of trouble-free service. But I'm curious how owners feel about theirs now, especially since FLO sells a version that, if I understand correctly, has better saddles (and includes counterweights). Please share your thoughts!

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I've owned my current Skytee II for around a decade and it was pre-owned when I bought it.

Both saddles were replaced with ADM ones by the previous owner and I would have done that myself if that had not been the case.

My Skytee II has carried scopes up to an 8 inch F/6 newtonian well. It's a regular for my 100mm F/9, 102 F/6.5 and 120 F/7.5 refractors and occasionally coped with my 130mm F/9.2 triplet refractor although I'd have to say that it was a touch out of it's comfort zone with that one.

I don't find that I need counterweights up to and including the 120mm F/7.5 refractor. 

I have re-lubed the mount once during my ownership and I have tweaked the worms to reduce backlash from time to time. 

Overall I feel that the Skytee II has provided great service during the years that I've owned it. It's fit and finish is not as polished as Rowan's or Tele Optik Giro's but it does the job pretty well.

If the saddles have been improved on the later versions then that's great - they were poor on the earlier ones that I've used, frankly.

I have only rarely mounted 2 OTA's on my mount though. I can see that the mount would take that but it's not something that I do.

I still feel that there is a niche for a better engineered / finished alt-az with similar capabilities / capacity to the Skytee II. I also have a Giro Ercole which is a little lighter, has similar capacity but no slow motion controls. The Rowan mounts are brilliant and superbly engineered but, understandably, occupy a significantly more costly price bracket.

 

 

 

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It’s a real workhorse. I’ve had mine for 4 or 5 years and am very happy with it. The original owner even called me a year or so after he sold it to me wondering if I’d like to sell it back to him.

It has ADM saddles, and I’ve only ever had one main scope on it. The other side I have a counterweight bar. The top saddle I have occasionally put a 62mm spotting scope onto for use as a super-finder at 16x. I use it with a pillar too.

It handles my 8” f/5 newt quite happily, and it’s recently also taken my 140mm Stellarvue, which is a “heavy” 140 approaching 14kg with all accessories attached.

It just works. And the slow-motion controls are ace too (2.5 degrees per full turn in case you’re interested 🙃).

Here it is with my Skymax 180 attached (that’s not me btw, I’m taking the picture 😁).

Magnus

edit: I should also add that I also have an AOK AYO2, and I never use it. I always go for the SkyTee. I’ve never really asked myself why, it just happens.

IMG_3074.thumb.jpeg.451c0eeae8010db27c96755e21fcc86a.jpeg

Edited by Captain Scarlet
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I've had one for about 4 years now, I wanted a sturdy alt az, with slow motion controls, no need for goto/tracking, and capable of holding something up to the likes of a C8 or 5 inch refractor. Having researched it to death I went for the skytee 2. I thought the skytee 2 was good enough and there wasn't anything at its price to compete with it. I never use counter weights as the skytee 2 is for me my simple/fast set up for heavier scopes, and it works fine without counterweights (but you trade off a little in terms of smoothness of azimuth movement and vibes). It vibes slightly with a C8 or 5 inch refractor but the vibes are fine for me (I am visual only). I had read about the concerns on the standard clamp - my take on it is that the very thin lip on the clamp means you have to be careful to seat a dovetail in it but fundamentally it is sound. The thing that over time played on my mind was the clamping screw and a plastic bushing that takes the tension. I stuck with that for a few years but when I got a 5 inch refractor I did upgrade the saddle to an ADM. I'm not sure if it was really necessary but it stopped me worrying about it.

I'm happy with the skytee 2, probably the best compliment about it is that I don't think about it. I admit I have been fantasizing about a high end alt az mount with the ability to track track but that would be literally 10x the price and isn't comparable to a skytee 2.

Here's mine in action using a pier - it vibes a bit more with a pier but is inside the boundaries of what I think is ok.

20240330_210100.thumb.jpg.c71bd2128e944d8d73b676a7e7a8682a.jpg

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My skytee gets used mainly for solar in the summer , though it does get the ocassional use for winter visual.

(I have other systems I used for winter guided AP)

 

It is a breeze to set up and use.

I did upgrade the saddles to ADM dual fit.

I have used it with an 8 inch SCT in the past for moon viewing (with counterweight).

 

20240622_112931.jpg

Edited by fifeskies
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3 hours ago, fifeskies said:

My skytee gets used mainly for solar in the summer , though it does get the ocassional use for winter visual.

(I have other systems I used for winter guided AP)

 

It is a breeze to set up and use.

I did upgrade the saddles to ADM dual fit.

I have used it with an 8 inch SCT in the past for moon viewing (with counterweight).

 

20240622_112931.jpg

Nice tray, too!

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I love mine. Have used it for years as my main mount for 5” refractor and 130mm Newtonian. Slow mo capability is crucial for me. Like others, I’ve added ADM clamps. Here it is carrying solar Ha and white light scopes - I do a lot of solar observing from my kitchen. 

56FB8C80-3441-4E3A-9C73-5E3E35FF9EF3.jpeg

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I would guess there are now thousands of these, I recently stripped mine and greased it with Superlube, they are sensitive to the grease type that's used as they run metal on metal, I polished my surfaces and inspected everything for fatigue,  I
find counterweights play a big part of success.

Mines converted to goto for observing lunar details & double stars at high mag. One less job constantly re-positioning the target..

@Highburymark I'd counterweight that beautiful Tele Vue if I were you, my top mount has slipped on more than one occasion before turning some brass buttons for the clutches   :) 

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7 hours ago, Coco said:

I would guess there are now thousands of these, I recently stripped mine and greased it with Superlube, they are sensitive to the grease type that's used as they run metal on metal, I polished my surfaces and inspected everything for fatigue,  I
find counterweights play a big part of success.

Mines converted to goto for observing lunar details & double stars at high mag. One less job constantly re-positioning the target..

@Highburymark I'd counterweight that beautiful Tele Vue if I were you, my top mount has slipped on more than one occasion before turning some brass buttons for the clutches   :) 

Thanks! I only rarely use it with two scopes - but good advice.

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I tried a 6 inch F/12 and my Vixen ED102 (as a finder !) on the Skytee II once. Not a truly viable option but the mount coped (ie: nothing broke) and it enabled me to star test the big refractor. I was on my knees of course ! 🙄

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150f12006.jpg.63a290afbd0796e6877278ab9760e6a0.jpg

 

Edited by John
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I have had the StellaLyra version a few months, and have been very pleased with it.  I think the saddles are better than those supplied with early SkyTee versions, but I did add an ADM clamp to one side.  It wasn't because I thought there was anything wrong with the supplied clamps, but I find it quicker to balance with a longer clamp.

I have only used it on one side, and have used it with up to about 7 kilos load, and don't need to use either of the weights.  Very smooth motion.  Don't forsee any need to replace it at any time.

Attached is a pic with the StellaMira 125ED f7.8 on board.

20240508_012734.thumb.jpg.096bd67c9eaa39336dd4da476904b74b.jpg

20240413_221624.thumb.jpg.fe274ffdd8088caaa58032d96128f1fa.jpg

Edited by paulastro
Pics added.
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Posted (edited)

Upgrade saddles to ADM or the RVO 150MM.

I added a pair of brass rod extenders with flexis on the alt az fine adjustment,  then accidentally applied pressure to  one causing the worm end to bend.  I had to wait a few months for a new brass worm to arrive from Germany as was only place I could find for spares. 

Heavy agricultural mount , mines sits on a Vixen p110  pillar.

For the money one can't really complain about  it's value when the nearest competition is double or a bit more.

Edited by Naughty Neal
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