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Orion AZ-3 mount for 102ED?

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#1 ibase

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 11:10 PM

Have an Orion AZ-3 mount coming for grab&go, can I use it also for a 102ED refractor or will it only be suitable for my ST-80? Thanks.

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#2 Starlighter

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:04 PM

I doubt it will work well with your 102ED. The AZ-3 has rather flimsy aluminum legs plus the mount head isn't that beefy. Vibration will be the main problem when using your 102ED.

#3 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

I have a Skywatcher 102 F/5 on the AZ3 but i mainly use it for land viewing,birdwatching or for large extended DSO viewing, like North American neb,Pelican neb,M31 etc etc.

For the 102ED its twice the length & you will be on your knees, so i would get something like an EQ3/ or EQ4 type mount better.

Joe

#4 Starlighter

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 01:18 PM

Or the Vixen Portamount II.

I have the older Portamount that I replaced the aluminum legs with wooden one from Hands On Optics. This makes for a very stable platform to mount a 102ED.

As you can see from the photo, I use my SV102ED on the Porta. Vibration time was cut in half by installing wooden legs. The slow motion controls work well.

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#5 Joe Aguiar

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 01:24 PM

true with large tripod legs the AZ3 can be much better for that scope.

Joe

#6 gordianknot

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 03:23 PM

I think the 102ED is seriously pushing it for AZ-3. I'd suggest checking out a Porta Mount or maybe an AT Voyager.

#7 ibase

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 07:21 PM

Thanks guys for the advices/guidance, I really appreciate it much. Actually I obtained the AZ-3 mount head only (used; it's hard to ship long tripod legs overseas) and will try to bolt/customize it onto the heftier Nexstar 8 or CG-5 tripods that I already have.

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#8 Terrance

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 04:13 PM

Some years ago I used a AZ-3 with an Orion ST 80mm f/5 refractor and it worked fine with that. However when I put an Orion 80ED f/7.5 on it, which was heavier, longer, and wider, it did not work at all. The problem was the altitude tension, and no matter how tight I tried to make it, it would not hold the weight of that scope so that it kept slipping down.

Some people have made the AZ-3 work with scopes heavier than the Orion 80ST by modifying the mount in some way, but I was too big a mechanical idiot to make that work.

I have used a SV 102ED (f/7) on a Vixen PortaMount, and that was very portable but marginal as to stability even when I replaced the aluminum tripod it came with, with wooden legs. (4-5 seconds damping time at 100x for either a tube or leg slap)

SV 102ED on WO EZ-Touch on Oberwerk Wooden tripod, and now on Vixen HAL-130 tripod is very solid, but not as portable.

#9 ibase

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 08:23 PM

Terrance, thanks for sharing your experience on this.

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#10 Starlighter

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

I have used a SV 102ED (f/7) on a Vixen PortaMount, and that was very portable but marginal as to stability even when I replaced the aluminum tripod it came with, with wooden legs. (4-5 seconds damping time at 100x for either a tube or leg slap)


I have my SV102ED out right now on the Portamount. I put in a 6mm and then tapped the focuser. I counted 2.5 seconds. Then I tapped one of the wooden legs. Nothing. But then I have the tripod sitting on interlocking cement pavers. Maybe that makes the difference from what you found. When I'm viewing, my neighbor's cat Floyd can rub up against a tripod leg and I hardly see any vibration.

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#11 KWB

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:24 PM

Been there,done that with this size refractor and the AZ/3 with solid wooden tripod. I give this setup a "F",as in an abysmal failure. A frustrating astro experience.






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