I'm a bit frustrated. I find my optically excellent C102GT awfully difficult for zenith targets. I use the Synta AZ-4 mount head on a set of Hands On Optics wooden legs with solid metal eyepiece tray to provide a relatively steady setup, but zenith targets, besides being very uncomfortable, are sometimes simply impossible, as my focuser can smack up against the legs, prohibiting views at zenith. I have replaced the focuser with a Synta single speed Crayford (from an Orion 100ED?), which is a big improvement over the adequate, if greasy, Synta standard rack & pinion it came with. This focuser is light weight and relatively small for a Crayford, which suits me fine, since I don't use eyepieces over a pound, can't use binoviewers, and am not into AP at all. So for my needs, the focuser is the cat's meow for an optically excellent performer.
But, there's the zenith problem. It's bothered me so, I've even considered replacing it with a 150XLT 6" reflector. But Don Pensack noted I might have the same problem, and this has been confirmed by Eric63. So this makes the Orion Mount Extension more compelling. First, although I believe it is, can someone confirm it would work with the Synta AZ-4? I wrote Orion and was told, no, it only works with the SVP. Uh, I've read extensively here -- and even on Orion's own reviews section for this product! -- that it should work with the EQ-3/AZ-4 class of mounts, but I thought I'd ask to make sure. Assuming it is true, does anyone know how much it weighs? Also, is there something else available that might be lighter and a bit smaller. I'm betting an 8" extension would be enough. 16" will certainly make zenith targets "get-able" with my C102GT, but skiing behind a Battleship wasn't on my agenda. To say nothing of the weight of this bad boy. I'm sure it's solid, but I was hoping for something a little more, hmm, practical. Like an 8" extension, which should clear my focuser-leg issue, and hopefully not make this mount so heavy and unwieldy I don't want to use it.
Any advice is appreciated.