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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Wilsonman]
      #4783093 - 09/01/11 08:16 PM Attachment (162 downloads)

Hi,

I've had this mount for just a wee while and I am quite impressed with it. It has a few little issues but it works brilliantly (I was pleasantly surprised) with my 4" f/15 classic refractor as well as my 5" f/9 semiapo. I enjoyed some high magnification views of Jove through the 5" glass sitting comfortably and using the slow mo extension cables - an absolute must IMO for longer refractors. Tracking at high power is very good! I have also found that the head is not raised off the ground nearly as much as I'd like. That's why I ordered up a 16" half pillar that mates to the tripod and allows the head to sit on top. An additional £89 UK cost plus shipping.Should be here tomorrow. I'll post some pics once it's all set up.
Link here:
http://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/Products/Pillar_Extension_for_EQ5_.html

First pic shows my 5" refractor.

Regards,

Neil.

Edited by astroneil (09/01/11 08:20 PM)


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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4783097 - 09/01/11 08:17 PM Attachment (158 downloads)

And here is the Skytee with my 4" f/15 classical achromat

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Jan Owen
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Sun City West, Arizona
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Wilsonman]
      #4783348 - 09/01/11 10:35 PM

If you think about it, $504 probably isn't out of line, given it's greater payload capacity, AND the slo-motion controls, when compared to the SkyView AZ at $449. However, it's your money, so it's also your opinion that counts for your own use, for SURE...

I knew what the price would be, but I still tried to get Skyview USA, and their compatriots at Celestron, not to mention even Orion, to bring the SKYTEE 2 to the US, all to no avail.

So I bought the SkyView AZ, because I could GET one here, not because I thought it was a better mount, or a better value.

I certainly like my SkyView AZ, but I'd still have rather had the SKYTEE 2...


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Jan Owen
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Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Sun City West, Arizona
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4783375 - 09/01/11 10:46 PM Attachment (115 downloads)

With those scopes of yours, you'll like the pier extension you have enroute... Nice looking scopes they are, too!

I also use the 16" extension with my SkyView AZ mount(since I couldn't convince anyone here in the US to bring the SKYTEE 2 here, and was nervous about ordering one direct from the UK without having experience with any sellers there). It makes a great match with my EON 120...

Edited by Jan Owen (09/01/11 10:49 PM)


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ioflying
sage
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Reged: 05/04/11

Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Jan Owen]
      #4783392 - 09/01/11 10:58 PM

Yes the price seems ok to me too.

Reason being I really looked around when I decided I wanted an Alt-Az
I think I looked at all of them including, ES,Orion,Vixen,UA etc. I saw only one available in the US that met the requirements of payload capacity (thinking ahead for a heavier scope) + having slow motion controls.

That was the Stellarvue MG2. That head is $379 or $500 with tripod & is wait listed. So the SkyTee2 seems like a fair price. Also the MG2 holds 20lbs per side & the SW 33 lbs per side.Through Jan's posts I saw the SkyTee2... & thought That would really fit the bill.

As detailed in the OP I wrote SW & they were very nice & seemed really interested in what I though about it being viable in the US. Their last response thanked me & said they were forwarding it to management so we will see if anything ever comes of it. I mentioned to them I thought their product would do well & the lack of comparable mounts in the USA. So we will see.

For now I am ok because I have converted my SVP to alt-az & am very happy with it. But if the SkyTee2 comes to the US I would still buy one for future heavier scopes.

Thanks for the pics Neil nice to see one in actual use. Please post a shot with the pier extension when you get it if you can


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Wilsonman
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/30/07

Loc: S.E. PA
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: ioflying]
      #4783534 - 09/02/11 12:11 AM

I'm not saying that $504 for a Skytee 2 is necessarily asking too much, but given that the Orion Skyview can be had for $300 right now, I would have to be convinced it's worth $200 more.

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ioflying
sage
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Reged: 05/04/11

Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Wilsonman]
      #4783572 - 09/02/11 12:36 AM

Agreed that Orion deal is an excellent sale price.

If it had slow motion controls I would have bought one instead of converting my EQ.
Especially given Orion's free shipping & excellent customer service.


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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: ioflying]
      #4784108 - 09/02/11 10:17 AM Attachment (139 downloads)

Jan & Mike,

Thank you for the compliments.

I must say Jan, the EON 120 looks the bizz on your mount.

OK, the half pillar arrived this afternoon and it took me all of five minutes to attach it to the tripod. It is very sturdy.
As I expected, it has raised my long refractors much higher off the ground and even at the zenith, I can comfortably sit at and enjoy the view.

Dampening time didn't increase that much. When I stuck a 5mm eyepiece into both instruments and applied a good rap to the side of the tube, it took about 2.5 seconds to calm down. Not bad at all.

While observing, I'd like to have both slow mo extension cables at my fingertips and orientated so that they are facing the eyepiece. If you swing the head round, the cables are too far apart to reach comfortably. The solution is just to move the entire mount so that the scope and cables are facing the object under study. Even with these scopes attached, the system is easy enough to move over short distances.

Now, I'm sucking diesel!

All I need is some clear skies to come my way. Sadly, that ain't gonna happen any time soon.

Some pics attached showing both the 5" and 4" refractors aimed at ~45 degrees altitude and at the zenith, respectively.

Regards,

Neil.


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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4784111 - 09/02/11 10:18 AM Attachment (123 downloads)

5" at Zenith

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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4784114 - 09/02/11 10:19 AM Attachment (92 downloads)

4"f/15 at 45 degrees

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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4784116 - 09/02/11 10:20 AM Attachment (114 downloads)

And finally; the long scope at the zenith.

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ioflying
sage
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Reged: 05/04/11

Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4784574 - 09/02/11 01:46 PM

Hey Congrats Neil !

That looks great!

Yes what you mention about the slow motion cables makes sense.
One thing nice about mine is the DEC slo-mo cable is always at the EP.
The RA I have a knob on both sides so it is usually within reach.

As you say though it is easy to spin the tripod which usually should give you a good range

BTW: That pillar looks exactly like the Orion pillar.
That would be good news if the skytee is ever available in the US as it would fit on my existing pillar

Thanks again for the pics & Congrats


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Jan Owen
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Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Sun City West, Arizona
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4784678 - 09/02/11 02:36 PM

Excellent!!! And thanks for the nice images of your scopes on the mount/pier extension/combination... Looks great!!!

I'd bet the Orion and Skywatcher extensions come right off the same production line in the same manufacturing facility...


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Rat
professor emeritus
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Reged: 10/13/06

Loc: USA
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Jan Owen]
      #4785977 - 09/03/11 08:17 AM

I emailed Opticstar Ltd for the price of the Skytee2 head and the reply was 304 GBP shipped to Ca. That's around $500 shipped for the head only.

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Jan Owen
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Sun City West, Arizona
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Rat]
      #4786486 - 09/03/11 01:23 PM

That's why I wanted to stay away from shipping one from Europe. What *I'd* call a fair price would be about $450 US Dollars (+/-), plus shipping. Could be the shipping in the transaction you mention was around $50, though, and that, I'd call fair, even though it's more than I'd prefer to pay overall... Of course, I understand that YMMV, so you're welcome to see it differently...

Edited by Jan Owen (09/03/11 01:47 PM)


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astroneil
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: res publica caledoniae
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: Jan Owen]
      #4794063 - 09/07/11 09:28 AM Attachment (88 downloads)

Hi folks,

The weather here has been deplorable of late. I have only been able to set up a couple of times during very brief clear spells (half hours) between heavy showers. I wanted to see how the Skytee II would cope with the half pillar extension at or near the zenith.

I almost always observe in the seated position and although the pillar enables me to view objects high overhead comfortably, I found reaching UP for the slow-mo cables to be a tiresome exercise. That got me thinking; I have become accustomed to observing with a Gibraltar mount with the f/15 and particularly enjoyed the freedom I had to move the scope on both axes. So, I tried a similar approach with the Skytee II. I removed the slow-mo extension cables and just left both the azimuth and altitude locks open to see how well it could cope tracking Vega at 300x (testing at these high powers is critical for me, as I'm a double star enthusiast).

Well, it actually worked very well! There is quite enough tension in this mount to allow me to track, simply by nudging the scope along. As an additional bonus, I regained the freedom I have enjoyed using the Gibraltar, in that I was now able to swing the scope round on its axes without having to worry about the extension cables getting in the way. Of course, I can always re-engage the locks and use the slow mo knobs for tracking objects at lower altitudes if I need to.

It's a learning game I guess.


Cheers,

Neil.

Edited by astroneil (09/07/11 09:30 AM)


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: ioflying]
      #4794655 - 09/07/11 02:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What is the cost for this mount in American dollars?




I have only seen prices in the UK
Looks to average GBP 230 pounds or $372 Head only


And GBP 312 pounds or $504 with Tripod & Head




Hi Mike,

Could you post a link to where you found the Sky Tee 2 for £230 (pounds).

Thanks


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Jan Owen
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Sun City West, Arizona
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4794658 - 09/07/11 02:55 PM

That speaks well for the SKYTEE 2 mount; it works well even without the slo-mo controls...

That's how I use my Sky View mount (because it HAS no slo-mo controls), and it does fine, once you get used to the drill... I'm used to nudging the scope along, after years as a Dobsonian user, but here, you're moving the BACK end of the scope instead of the front, so it's a little different (but no big deal)...

Hope your weather improves... It's been a blazing hot summer here in always sunny Arizona, and I'm more than ready for it to begin to cool off in the evenings!!!


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GlenM
Vendor - Lyra Optic


Reged: 05/20/07

Loc: Lancashire England
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? new [Re: astroneil]
      #4794934 - 09/07/11 05:19 PM

Hi Neil,

I've had a 6" f/8 on one side of the SkyTee II and it worked pretty good without the clutches. I suppose the Chinese grease has a lot to do with it. I did have to take out quite a bit of play in the Azimuth gear. The internals look like the same gearing and clutches as a few CG 5's I've stripped down.

This mount really does show promise.

If you keep buying new kit the weather will never clear up.


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John Huntley
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/16/06

Loc: South West England
Re: Would you buy a Skywatcher SkyTee 2 if available ? [Re: GlenM]
      #4795169 - 09/07/11 07:29 PM

I was loaned a Skytee II for a few weeks and found it had a lot of potential but I ran into 2 issues with it that worried me:

1. I found the altitude motion extremely stiff, even with a heavy optical tube on board. I tried a Meade AR6 and a 10" F/4.8 newtonian on the mount. This stiffness did not lessen with use and got worse as the night cooled - with heavy OTA's some resistance is fine but moving them was not enjoyable or smooth with the level that I found.

2. I found the design and manufacture of the dovetail clamps rather poor. They look fine superficially but the travel in the "jaws" is barely enough to accept a standard dovetail bar and the thread within the alloy clamp knob was quickly stripped so that one clamp became unusable after just a couple of sessions.

The 2nd issue is the more worrying and I soon lacked the confidence to risk a heavy OTA on the mount. Another UK owner also realized this weakness and has replaced both clamps with good quality replacements by ADM but at some cost.

If Synta can remedy these issues then I'd be really enthusiastic about the Skytee II but I'm not going to invest in one until then.


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