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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5826342 - 04/27/13 01:37 PM

Quote:

I found a M-Uno mount owner at:

http://davesastroimaging.zenfolio.com/p55643342/h55EF7348#h56090e1e

Lots of good pictures.

Peter




Note that the version pictured is the European Synscan version which is being discontinued.


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: EFT]
      #5826549 - 04/27/13 03:27 PM

So.. what controller will the Avalon use going forward?

I understand that initially they emulated the Synscan so that the standard Synscan controller can be used.

And the magic question.. what will pricing be like. Also for 10Micron. I assume it won't follow the EU pricing (no 19% tax) but the cost of shipping, stocking, support, etc...


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5826641 - 04/27/13 04:16 PM

Quote:

So.. what controller will the Avalon use going forward?

I understand that initially they emulated the Synscan so that the standard Synscan controller can be used.

And the magic question.. what will pricing be like. Also for 10Micron. I assume it won't follow the EU pricing (no 19% tax) but the cost of shipping, stocking, support, etc...




The new controller is manufactured by Avalon. It currently allows for the use of any computer control program like The Sky X as well as control by Bluetooth using programs like SkySafari. Wifi may be added as well soon (or possibly in place of Bluetooth). There is also propriety software for the mount. The mount has a basic hand control that can be used for alignment and manual slewing but does not currently have any kind of readout.

You are correct about the pricing. The details are in the works. Of course to you in Singapore, you would not likely be looking at a US dealer.


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orlyandico
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Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: EFT]
      #5827686 - 04/28/13 02:20 AM

Hi Ed, I'm actually not in the market right now, as I have a Mach1 balcony queen.

I was asking for the benefit of others who might or would be interested. The 10Micron HPS 1000 for example looks like a good buy at near-Mach1 price (based on EU price less 19%) and with dual-axis absolute encoders. I believe it's the cheapest encoder mount you can buy anywhere.


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morten
super member


Reged: 07/22/08

Loc: Denmark
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5828546 - 04/28/13 02:53 PM

The belt drive is in my opinion a design failure. When connected directly to the main axes, it just can't be rigid enough to handle wind properly. There is a reason for the worms in mounts like AP and Paramount.


Edited by morten (04/28/13 03:18 PM)


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Mike7Mak
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Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: morten]
      #5828826 - 04/28/13 05:52 PM

Quote:

The belt drive is in my opinion a design failure. When connected directly to the main axes, it just can't be rigid enough to handle wind properly. There is a reason for the worms in mounts like AP and Paramount.




I think I disagree. If the mount works as described in the literature the zero stretch, toothed belts provide a more solid, backlash free connection to the axes than the single contact point of a geared system. I believe this is precision industrial robotics applied to an astro mount.

In any case I'm sold on the concept. Gears are just so '19th century'.


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orlyandico
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Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5828964 - 04/28/13 07:33 PM

Yes i believe they are using an automotive timing belt.

This ain't your usual rubber belt. Car engine timing belts are under a huge amount of tension. They won't stretch.


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: EFT]
      #5828998 - 04/28/13 07:58 PM

Hi Ed,

I hope you can bring one of those beauties to PATS 2013.

Hmmm, I just checked PATS Facebook.
It seems that PATS 2013 has been canceled?

If true, I guess Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo in Tucson, maybe?

Tammy


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5829307 - 04/28/13 10:56 PM

Quote:

Yes i believe they are using an automotive timing belt.

This ain't your usual rubber belt. Car engine timing belts are under a huge amount of tension. They won't stretch.




These are definitely not automobile belts.

The pulleys and belts are the same kinds used in high-precision machine tools. The pulleys are made of a polymer
resin combined with glass fiber that resists deformation from thermal expansion and contraction, and erosion of the teeth. The four belts on each axis are made from a technopolymer with reinforcements. These types of belts and pulleys are much better than those found in automobiles and are made to run with very high precision at virtually any temperature.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5829310 - 04/28/13 10:58 PM

Quote:

Hi Ed,

I hope you can bring one of those beauties to PATS 2013.

Hmmm, I just checked PATS Facebook.
It seems that PATS 2013 has been canceled?

If true, I guess Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo in Tucson, maybe?

Tammy




Yes, PATS has been cancelled.

We will definitely be at ASAE in Tucson with the Avalon and 10Micron mounts. The manufacturers will probably be there as well.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: EFT]
      #5829327 - 04/28/13 11:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi Ed,

I hope you can bring one of those beauties to PATS 2013.

Hmmm, I just checked PATS Facebook.
It seems that PATS 2013 has been canceled?

If true, I guess Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo in Tucson, maybe?

Tammy




Yes, PATS has been cancelled.

We will definitely be at ASAE in Tucson with the Avalon and 10Micron mounts. The manufacturers will probably be there as well.




As Charlie Brown would say... "RATS!"

I couldn't make it last year and was hoping for this year.. oh well.. That's the way the cookie crumbles.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: morten]
      #5829335 - 04/28/13 11:19 PM

Quote:

The belt drive is in my opinion a design failure. When connected directly to the main axes, it just can't be rigid enough to handle wind properly. There is a reason for the worms in mounts like AP and Paramount.





Ted Sacker, the person who wrote the review for the March issue of Astronomy Technology Today reported that the mount worked fine in a breeze at the Winter Star Party. Once the wind got too strong he was not able to continue, but neither were the other mounts nearby.

Edited by EFT (04/29/13 09:37 AM)


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Jesper
member


Reged: 01/29/07

Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: morten]
      #5829674 - 04/29/13 08:27 AM

Quote:

The belt drive is in my opinion a design failure. When connected directly to the main axes, it just can't be rigid enough to handle wind properly. There is a reason for the worms in mounts like AP and Paramount.




Unfortunately I can confirm this. I have been using the Avalon Linear for a few months and it is very wind sensitive; Much more so than the EQ6 pro (Atlas) I was using before on the same pier. It's a serious problem if the mount is not in a dome. With My C11 and matching counterweights on the mount it's actually easy to feel the elasticity in the belt drive.


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morten
super member


Reged: 07/22/08

Loc: Denmark
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Jesper]
      #5829964 - 04/29/13 11:30 AM

Here's the calculation. Jesper have experienced in real life that the mount is wind sensitive. I have investigated the design and found out that the inherent elasticity of belts is the culprit. Judge for yourself. But don't say you weren't warned.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27494488/avalon.pdf

Edited by morten (04/29/13 11:32 AM)


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Mike7Mak
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Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: morten]
      #5830204 - 04/29/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

Here's the calculation. Jesper have experienced in real life that the mount is wind sensitive. I have investigated the design and found out that the inherent elasticity of belts is the culprit. Judge for yourself. But don't say you weren't warned.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27494488/avalon.pdf



Interesting. I'd like to hear Avalon's rebuttal. I'm also curious if the idler/tensioner pulleys are spring loaded or fixed (I would assume fixed or extremely heavy springs). Also how do those figures compare with the backlash that has to exist in a gear drive system?

I won't say I wasn't warned , but wind isn't really a concern for me. It will be observatory mounted and it's rarely windy at night here.


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Mike7Mak
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Loc: New York
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5830259 - 04/29/13 01:45 PM

Just speaking for myself, even if belt elasticity is as described the other attributes of the mount outweigh any potential unstability in gusty winds. It's a fork (the main attraction for me), slow guidable PE without the need for tedious training sessions and inscrutable PEC programs, no lubrication or gear mesh concerns, and the ability to handle more than a single dedicated OTA.

From my perspective stepping up from an LX200gps fork it's a dream come true.


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Jesper
member


Reged: 01/29/07

Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5830279 - 04/29/13 01:56 PM

I can add that that I communicated at length with Baader Planetarium Germany, where I bought the mount, and through Baader with Avalon about my experience with the mount. I also sent them Mortens pdf file (which by the way describes perfectly what I see in the real world). Neither Baader nor Avalon would acknowledge that there is a problem. Baader is a good company though, and I believe I could have returned the mount without problems. I choose to keep it and shield it from the wind with hinged panels, because I like it in all other ways and because a Mach1GTO is about twice as expensive in Europe.

Mike, if you have an observatory to put it in and not much wind I can recommend the mount. Itís very beautiful, the fit and finish and the functionality is much better than the EQ6/Atlas, and itís stronger. If it wasnít for the belt drive I would call it a winner, but if it is to be used in any kind of wind I cannot recommend it. Even a gentle breeze can be seen in the guide graph.

Perhaps I should emphasize again that I'm talking about the Linear, not the Uno which I havent used.

Edited by Jesper (04/29/13 02:05 PM)


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: Jesper]
      #5830393 - 04/29/13 02:39 PM

Jesper, your comments are encouraging.

As I said the wind thing doesn't really concern me that much and I'm determined to stick with a fork mount. Besides the M-uno that leaves the $12k Mathis 500 which I am far less likely to ever actually buy, barring a lottery win. The Mathis would also require picking an OTA that would probably match it in price. The M-uno will work with what I already have and easily convert to something new later. I'd be a little more enthused about the M-uno if it could handle a 14" but that might push it out of my financial comfort zone anyway.

I've got time before this becomes real for me so I'm hoping to hear more first person accounts.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF new [Re: morten]
      #5830424 - 04/29/13 02:51 PM

Quote:

Here's the calculation. Jesper have experienced in real life that the mount is wind sensitive. I have investigated the design and found out that the inherent elasticity of belts is the culprit. Judge for yourself. But don't say you weren't warned.




Considering the annual average wind speed for most places in the US is well under the 5 m/s, this does not seem like an issue even if the calculations presented are correct. In addition, the implication here seems to be that gear driven mounts do not loose subs in windy conditions when that is clearly not the case, nor does it appear to be the case for other belt-driven mounts, even some that weigh considerably more or not designed to be particularly portable in the first place. Some elasticity in the belts can actually help since the mount quickly returns to its original position after a wind gust without having to compensate for the change in position mechanically and the return to position. There have not been a lot of complaints about a wind problem for the mounts that have been sold in Europe and so far I have not be able to confirm whether Jesper ever spoke with the manufacturer about his mount specifically.

Here is the response from Avalon (with some editing for English):

We have a lot of cases of using [the mount] with a moderate wind without problem (during [the] last WSP we had a lot of wind and the M-uno performance was still good as written in [the] ATT review). We have to know that the mount works in a different way from the worm-gear based mounts. The elasticity allows a bigger movement of the star, but it come[s] back in the same pixel in a few milliseconds (due to the zero backlash) so, normally 90% of the light is on the same pixel and the final result is rounded stars.

In [a] normal worm-gear mount, after a wind shot the star moves to a distant pixel and it is the motor that moves the star back and it [can] take some seconds (depending on the backlash amount). In th[at] case the light information [is] written [on a] different pixel, so in the final picture we can have stars moved.

Another advantage [of the belt drive] is that normally the guiding star is not lost and also if you can lose a single shot you don't lose the subsequent shots (if you are taking a sequence of shots). It is important to remember that this situation is true when we have a moderate wind (in this case [it] is also better to use short telescopes), otherwise our mounts have the same problem [as] the other mounts!

Sometimes, looking to a bad autoguiding graph, some people [do] not even start to tak[e the] picture because they are thinking in the old way: bad graph = moved stars!
Just for having an idea you can see the attached [images] where Sreen1.png is a screenshot of a session with 20 min. exposure time with some wind (look at the History graph!) and M27.jpg is the final picture that still shows rounded stars. (picture taken during last starparty in France on Sept. 2012) In this case we used a M-uno with Takahashi Mewlon 10" at f12 , 3mt. of focal lenght , this telescope is longer more then a C11 and is very sensative to the wind because of the long tube.

I'm also seeing that in the Mr. Morten calculation is considering only the bad aspect of the elasticity effect and not the zero backlash effect!! .... I think that a good formula MUST have the backlash parameter in both case belt and worm gear, especially If we want to know what really happens to our star, otherwise this thinking has no sense. Other parameters in the Mr. Morten formula are not the same used in the mount. The last pulley, which is the one that absorbs the main load, is diam. 108 mm. (not 50 mm.) and the belt is 19 mm wide (not 10 mm.). So using the real parameters the final numbers may be very different.

In our Users Gallery web page there are a lot of pictures taken in different situations and we have no reports about the wind problem ... none!!

I think that all this people are not so lucky for having only no windy nights!! We are talking after hundreds of nights spent for testing and hundreds of pictures from different costumers and not behind a formula.


(I will try to post the images in a separate post since it will not let me do so in this post.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

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Re: Avalon M.Uno @ NEAF [Re: EFT]
      #5830448 - 04/29/13 02:57 PM

Here are links to the images:

Screen Shot
M27


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