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Old 12-09-2019, 10:07 AM
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chrisp9au (Chris)
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Alt Azimuth mounts - comparison/recommendations

I find my Nexstar goto mount a bit limiting if I want to do terrestrial viewing or show family members a few things in the night sky.
I've got a DIY alt az mount but I really miss having smooth slow motion controls.
So I'm looking for an alt az mount for my ED80 f7.5 scope, budget up to $500.

Bintel have a SkyView Deluxe AZ Mount for $399.
Sky Watcher have their SWAZ5 Alt-Azimuth mount for $449.
Saxon have an AZ5 mount with Steel Tripod for $449.

I rather like the look of the Saxon mount because of the steel tripod.

Before I spend my cash I'm interested to hear of other mounts that would fit my budget, plus any advice on the three I'm looking at.
And if somebody had one to sell which would save me a few dollars I'd be very happy!
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:20 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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I have the Vixen PortaMount which I can thoroughly recommend. Mine has the flexible slow motion handles and everything is adjustable, eg clutch tensions. I have not checked pricing but I think it is at your price point.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:29 AM
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chrisp9au (Chris)
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Thanks Steve,
B&H in the USA offer this for AU$290 plus AU$52 postage.
That is certainly within my budget.
Chris
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:51 PM
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DeWynter (ILYA)
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Explore Scientific Twilight I Alt-Az (same as Saxon AZ5) is A$300 + $20 postage.

On a side note it's possible to put Nexus encoders on ES/Saxon.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:54 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisp9au View Post
I find my Nexstar goto mount a bit limiting if I want to do terrestrial viewing or show family members a few things in the night sky.
I've got a DIY alt az mount but I really miss having smooth slow motion controls.
So I'm looking for an alt az mount for my ED80 f7.5 scope, budget up to $500.

Bintel have a SkyView Deluxe AZ Mount for $399.
Sky Watcher have their SWAZ5 Alt-Azimuth mount for $449.
Saxon have an AZ5 mount with Steel Tripod for $449.

I rather like the look of the Saxon mount because of the steel tripod.

Before I spend my cash I'm interested to hear of other mounts that would fit my budget, plus any advice on the three I'm looking at.
And if somebody had one to sell which would save me a few dollars I'd be very happy!
I don't know how much it is over there but the Skywatcher SkyTee2 is what I use
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2019, 04:08 PM
LewisM
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I have often wondered how this one would be: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295...chweb201603_52

Same but blue anodised: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3295...2ef65ed1bMkMB8
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:14 PM
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MortonH
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Avoid the Saxon. The arm isn't strong enough according to many reports on CN of the same mount under a different brand (e.g. Astro Tech Voyager 2).

The Skywatcher AZ5 can be bought with a steel tripod from Astro Anarchy or Andrews for less than $449. One minor issue is that the azimuth slow motion control points to the left instead of towards the observer, assuming you're using a refractor or 'Cat'. For a short scope like the ED80 you should be fine but with a longer scope you wouldn't be able to reach the control.

http://www.astroanarchy.com.au/Mount...nlessLegs.html


The Skyview comes with a weak aluminium tripod but it takes a 10mm bolt so can be attached to a Vixen/EQ5 type tripod if you remove the alignment peg.


Overall the Skywatcher AZ5 with steel tripod is the best value.

Last edited by MortonH; 12-09-2019 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonH View Post
Overall the Skywatcher AZ5 with steel tripod is the best value.
A friend of mine has SW AZ5 and he said it has an issue with altitude worm gear when it's reaching max altitude. Not a big deal, but something you should know before purchasing. Kinda design flaw.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:13 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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YES sorry I forgot, the skyview tripod is really carp (rea arrange letters) see my video

https://youtu.be/dKvRG28dwnc



.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:24 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Hercules mounts

This thread on CN has some negative comments about the Hercules mounts:
https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/6...-alt-az-mount/
Check out the link at the end of the thread to their newest 30 kg capacity version - itís a rather odd looking oversized beast on the tripod shown...



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Old 12-09-2019, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWynter View Post
A friend of mine has SW AZ5 and he said it has an issue with altitude worm gear when it's reaching max altitude. Not a big deal, but something you should know before purchasing. Kinda design flaw.

Can you provide more details on the issue?
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:14 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonH View Post
Can you provide more details on the issue?
You can't point it straight up the mount gets in the way hence the SkyTee mounts where the scope is mounted on the SIDE

See how a lot of the mount fouls the scopes movements you will be forever moving the mount or kneeling on the grass/standing on a stool
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:06 PM
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Thank you all for your thoughts on this.
I'm in no rush to buy.
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Old 13-09-2019, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MortonH View Post
Can you provide more details on the issue?
When you reach the highest possible altitude the only way to go back down is to push the scope down with hands and turning alt knob at the same time. The worm gear at this position just gets disconnected from each other as there is no stopper inside. So you need to push the scope down with hands to get worm gear connected again. You can live with that, but that's just inconvenience.
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Old 14-09-2019, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWynter View Post
When you reach the highest possible altitude the only way to go back down is to push the scope down with hands and turning alt knob at the same time. The worm gear at this position just gets disconnected from each other as there is no stopper inside. So you need to push the scope down with hands to get worm gear connected again. You can live with that, but that's just inconvenience.

That sucks. This doesn't happen with the Skyview (I've owned one).
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Old 14-09-2019, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
You can't point it straight up the mount gets in the way hence the SkyTee mounts where the scope is mounted on the SIDE

See how a lot of the mount fouls the scopes movements you will be forever moving the mount or kneeling on the grass/standing on a stool

That's not the issue being referred to, and this isn't a flaw, it's a consequence of making a lightweight mount where the scope is positioned on the inside for better stability. I used to own a Skytee 2 - it's very heavy and really a different proposition from lightweight mounts like the AZ5 or Skyview.
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Old 16-09-2019, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWynter View Post
When you reach the highest possible altitude the only way to go back down is to push the scope down with hands and turning alt knob at the same time. The worm gear at this position just gets disconnected from each other as there is no stopper inside. So you need to push the scope down with hands to get worm gear connected again. You can live with that, but that's just inconvenience.
I reached out to someone in the UK that has posted positive comments on the AZ5 and has also posted a nice picture of his FC-100D pointed at zenith. I repeated your comments and he replied:


I found the AZ5 adequate for my own scope. The problem is that they are sent out from the factory without being properly adjusted, or at least that's how it seems to me. I had to adjust the tension of the worms on the gears to fine tune the mount to my liking, after which it worked pretty well in every position. I suppose if heavy eyepieces were used there might be a problem.

Another problem I initially had was that of squealing when turning the worms. I dismantled the mount and found the lubrication added in the factory, was missing the target. I reaplied the silicone grease and the problem was solved.

I found the AZ5 steady enough for my kind of observing as a grab and go mount, but its not as massive or as stable as the AZ4, which I prefer for stability at high power on a good tripod.


Of course the AZ4 doesn't have slow motion controls.
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Old 17-09-2019, 09:58 AM
WynneP (Peter)
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ALT/AZ mounts

I have a GSO Skyview alt/az mount, which is actually the same one Bintel sells under their brand. I am fully satisfied with it - smooth action on both axes. I bought it from Andrews Communications and they threw in:
- extended hand knobs (probably essential for a refractor, as it is difficult to reach the originals in some tube positions)
- an eyepiece tray (quite handy).

Not sure if Andrews are still offering this, but worth considering if you go for the Skyview.
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Old 17-09-2019, 02:15 PM
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chrisp9au (Chris)
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Thanks Peter
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Old 17-09-2019, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WynneP View Post
I have a GSO Skyview alt/az mount, which is actually the same one Bintel sells under their brand. I am fully satisfied with it - smooth action on both axes. I bought it from Andrews Communications and they threw in:
- extended hand knobs (probably essential for a refractor, as it is difficult to reach the originals in some tube positions)
- an eyepiece tray (quite handy).

Not sure if Andrews are still offering this, but worth considering if you go for the Skyview.

According to their website it includes one flexible cable and extension column but not the eyepiece tray. You could always ask of course.
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