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Old 30-06-2020, 10:50 PM
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Avalon M-Zero owners...?

Just wondering for advice, are there any Avalon M-Zero owners out there...?
Cheers
Fox
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:41 AM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Yes, I have one.
What would you like to know?
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:12 PM
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Hi Jason

I am very interested to know of your experience with the mount. Iím wanting to upgrade and like the idea of dual AZ-EQ ability. My immediate need is visual only and AZ seems more grab and go, but I would also like the potential for AP later on.

Iíve weighed up all the AZ-EQ options (Skywatcher, iOptron iEQ45, Rainbow, HobyM, Avalon), and Iím coming down to Skywatcher or Avalon. The AZEQ6 is just too heavy, whilst the AZEQ5 just doesnít look as well built as its big brother. This leaves the M-Zero, and cost aside, it looks to be a big step up in terms of engineering, precision and finish, and in an amazingly lightweight mount. I have a few questions specifically as they relate to my Televue NP127is:

1) For visual use, the NP127is weighs in around 9kg, and I reckon it will punch into the 10-11kg range by the time a DSLR and guidescope are added for AP. I am sure the M-Zero can handle 11kg in AZ mode, but in EQ mode for AP, do you think it is over stressing the mount (given the max AP payload is rated as 8kg).

2) As you can see in the photo, the NP127is is on the longer side, and extends about 50cm from the centre balance point to the end of the diagonal. Will the length be a problem, particularly if the scope is pointing towards the Sth celestial pole, will the scope collide with the mount or tripod legs ?

3) Because the scope is on the longer side, will the moment/vibration of the scope be problem with the M-Zero ?

Avalon says none of the above will be a problem, but I am not totally convinced and want to gather direct user experience, you can never do too much homework at this level. An alternative is the M-Uno, but it weighs just as much as the AZEQ6, or opt for separate mounts - one AZ and one EQ.

Thx, Fox
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Last edited by Fox; 01-07-2020 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:08 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Hi Fox,
Unfortunately I think your NP127 will be far too long for the M0 and a bit heavy, youíre correct in thinking it would be better suited to the Muno. I have a similar sized ED120 and wouldnít consider putting it on the M0.
The M0 is great for AP with a small refractor, but it needs to be guided - the advantage is that guiding is very smooth. I rarely set mine up in AltAz mode as itís a bit of a pain to switch between modes - itís not simple as with AzEq6. Without guiding, targets tend to drift off so I donít think the M0 is as good at AltAz as advertised.
Also, if the wifi is appealing with the M0 then prepare to be disappointed. Connections are very unstable and canít be relied upon particularly with a precious load on board.
Both the M0 and T-pod tripod are beautifully machined and it is great as a small AP Mount in EQ mode with USB control.

Last edited by AstroApprentice; 02-07-2020 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:05 PM
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Many thanks Jason for that very down to earth appraisal, especially since I explained exactly the same to Avalon, pictures and all. Now that you have pulled my head out of the clouds, I need to re-evaluate, maybe leaning to either an AZEQ-5 or -6, or separate AZ and EQ mounts.

Now that’s one valuable reality check for me! Many thanks, Fox

Last edited by Fox; 01-07-2020 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:10 AM
Rainmaker (Matt)
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If you want to use high magnifications with the 5" TV I suggest nothing lighter than the AZ-EQ6.... Even with the AZ-EQ6 you have a weak point, the tripod....

An AZ-EQ6 on a Berlebach Planet, Losmandy FHD or other "proper" tripod is an excellent future proof setup for AZ or EQ use.. For the ultimate tripod, Tak EM400 Metal.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Matt, on those rare nights I do push the magnification up on planets or moon, with a Pentax XW 7mm, 5mm and 2.5x Powermate. I wonder if there is vibration/jitter from the LXD75 drive and critical joints/junctions in the mount which degrade image quality, as I am pushing to the upper limits of power. I’m beginning to resign myself to the AZEQ6 as the necessary option; if the head was that smidgen lighter at 12-13kg I reckon it would make a big difference. Fox

PS: or if it had handles, how great would that be !

Last edited by Fox; 02-07-2020 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:06 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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There are rumours that Rowan Astronomy plan to motorise their AZ100 - that could be the perfect AltAz mount for your needs...if you're willing to wait!
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2020, 10:50 PM
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Adox (Adriano)
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I have an M-Uno that I use with a SharpStar 121 SDQ. The guiding is very precise, better than an EQ8.
The M-Zero would not be a bit small for your Televue NP127. An M-Uno or a Linear would be a perfect fit.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:58 PM
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Hi Jason, thanks for the tip about the AZ100, the machining looks downright stunning, similar to Losmandy. Adriano, do you really mean "the M-zero would be a bit too small for the NP127..."

My concern of the NP127 hitting the mount is a red herring - very unlikely I'd want to observe/photo anything so close to Sigma Octans.

Avalon sent me some pictures of a long refractor mounted on the M-Zero, and to be honest, it does look rather mechanically cruel and merciless for the size of mount. I assume that it can be done, but over-bearing for the mount.

All said and done, neither the AZ100 and M-Uno are dual AZ-EQ, which is what I am ideally after.

thanks for the replies! Cheers, Fox
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:50 AM
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Adox (Adriano)
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Well, rethinking to what I have said, maybe the NP 127 is just at the limit of the M-Zero.

The M-Uno would be a better fit.



Perhaps the best option is the M-Zero for astrophotography and a nice Dobson Go-To for visual. Apochromatic refactor offer a nice and sharp view but it not enough for me anymore I want more light and details on planets.

For visual I prefer a 12" Dobson.
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:44 AM
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Thx Adriano, I reckon your right, the M-zero is probably just on the edge in handling the NP127is, which translates to not the best combination. I take your point about 127mm being rather meagre for planets, and a 10inch SCT or dob has passed my mind more than once.

Fortunately we still have a major retail astronomy store in Melbourne, and I think I need to visit with my scope in hand to really get a feel for the AZEQ-5 and 6.

Fox
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