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Skywatcher AZ goto mount?


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Has anyone got a picture of one of these with the head separated from the tripod.

Thinking about attaching the head to my GEM1 tripod, probably using MDF, my scope if well under the weight limit at 3kg, even if slightly over aperture by 20mm but is the shorter F5 version so might work?

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If you are thinking of this for your 6" Orion Optics I fear you may be dissapointed - that mount is at it's limit with the 130mm F/5 I reckon - an under-mounted scope is such a frustration.

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I did think that myself but my newt is at only just over half the max weight recommend and I've seem a lot of reviews of people using 6" 5kg scopes very satisfactorily with the only issue being the tripod.

Although you may well be completely right. Hmmmmm.

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I did think that myself but my newt is at only just over half the max weight recommend and I've seem a lot of reviews of people using 6" 5kg scopes very satisfactorily with the only issue being the tripod.

Although you may well be completely right. Hmmmmm.

The tube length is more of an issue than the weight. That's why the 127mm maksutov-cassegrain works OK on that mount but the 130mm newt is a bit too much, IMHO.

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did wonder about that, is it the inertia that's an issue or interfering with movement?

thinking if I very carefully mount around the balance point I was hoping it would balance the overall thing quite well?

The issue is a force which I believe is referred to as moment force or moment arm :)

Basically it means that longer tubes need more solid mounts to hold them steady enough for satisfying viewing.

My practical experience was switching from a 127mm mak to a F/6.5 102mm refractor on a similar mount. Although a lighter tube, the refractor was quite a bit longer than the mak and it was just not happy, however hard I tried to balance it. I even swapped the tripod legs for more substantial ones, with no joy - above around 80x there were just too many vibrations which took too long to dampen - viewing was not at all fun :)

Edited by John
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I have a SkyWatcher SynScanAZ goto mount that I purchased in April or May of 2009 just after they were introduced. Except for two weeks when I had an 8 inch SCT attached to it and a few weeks when it went back to the UK for warranty (needed a new hand controller), the mount has carried my Celestron C6S OTA (6 inch SCT) and occasionally a piggy back mount and a Canon EOS Rebel 1000D approximately 12 pounds (5.5 kg). I use the mount about 6 to 8 hours per week. The mount has no problem carrying the load or the oversized telescope. The trick is to keep the load balanced. The center of gravity with the 6 inch scope is still close enough to the center axis of tripod to keep a stable configuration when using the lightweight tripod that comes with the SkyWatcher SynScan AZ mount.

For a couple of weeks, I attached my Meade LX 200 8 inch SCT OTA to the SkyWatcher SynScanAZ goto mount. It carried the 8 inch SCT just fine and still had accurate gotos. Vibration cause by the tripod increased with the 8 inch SCT. Also the center of gravity with the 8 inch scope on the mount results in an unstable situation with the lightweight SkyWatcher tripod.

If you use the tripod that comes with the SkyWatcher mount, it is a shaky Jake. There are some easy modifications that will improve the situation but ... you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

When I use the mount for photography, I attach it to my CG5 tripod. (I had to send my iOptron goto drive I used on my CG5 mount back to the USA for warranty service; almost one year turn around time). The SkyWatcher tripod simply vibrates too much. On the CG5 tripod, the thing is as solid as a rock, no vibration at all.

Yes, you're correct, the mount is not suited for photography. I use it as a learning tool .. focusing, feel for exposure times, etc. and once in a while luck out with a decent photograph. Attaching the SkyWatcher SynScanAZ mount to a CG5 tripod is a piece of cake. Simply get a 5 mm bolt about 6 cm long, remove the guide pin from the CG5 tripod's head, and bolt the mount to the tripod. I've attached a photo of my C6S on the SkyWatcher AZ mount attached to a Celestron CG5 tripod. As you can see, the center brace/accessory tray is not used as there is no way to attach it. This seems to have no impact upon stability or cause any vibration.

Needless to say, I am impressed with the SkyWatcher AZ mount. It's sort of like the Timex watches from the 1950s, accurate and keeps on ticking.

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post-15640-133877494565_thumb.jpg

Edited by sxinias
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  • 7 months later...

Sxinias,

That looks like a nice tripod setup. I'm curious have you done anything else with the goto mount head aside from bolt it down to get it to grip the tripod? The heads for the supplied mounts seem to have a set of little groves / teeth for the goto to grip onto.

Tyr

ps sorry if reviving a 8 month old thread is not ok, I couldn't see anything in the forum conduct about it, I know some forums object to "thread necromancy".

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Tyr,

Hi, I did nothing to the SkyWatcher AZ mount. Firmly but not overly tightening the mounting bolt seems more than enough to hold it firmly on the tripod.

Currently, I'm in my photography configuration. My C6S is back on the CG5 mount and my 8 inch SCT OTA is on the SkyWatcher mount and SkyWatcher tripod. The SkyWatcher mount and tripod are going into their third year of service now. The mount is as strong as new but the tripod is showing wear .... its soft plastic fittings are the problem as you can tighten metal bolts so much before they pull through, screw holes enlarge, etc. The impact of this is I can no longer control tripod flexure and my goto accuracy with the 8 inch SCT using the SkyWatcher tripod is not as good as it once was. I often have closetos.. just out of view in a 32 mm eyepiece. However, it's still good enough for my needs. I know that the tripod is the problem because the mount's accuracy on the CG5 tripod remains outstanding.

I use the C6S for photography because the way I've attached a dovetail to the Meade LX200 OTA is not adequate for photography (one screw on either end). This causes a light rotational movement which is difficult to correct and not good for a photograph but is something that you will never notice visually. The C6S is a pound or so lighter and that also helps.

The other night, just for the heck of it, I used the SkyWatcher mount and tripod with the 8 inch SCT attached for a photograph of M57. I think it came out fairly well considering the mount and tripod used. I took a half hour total of exposures but only 6 minutes worth were good enough for DeepSky Stacker to process.

edit: I just noticed you have the Celestron SLT mount. I think that anything mechanically that applies to the SkyWatcher AZ mount and tripod will apply to the Celestron SLT mount and tripod as they are essentially clones of each other.

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Edited by sxinias
added part about slt mount
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Sxinias,

Thank you for the quick response and information and for sharing the picture :). It's nice to hear the mount (head at least) is still going strong after 3 years. It sounds like there are more options tripod wise than I'd thought for it.

Tyr

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