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Experience with Avalon M-Zero

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#1 Solartiger

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 02:43 PM

I am looking for a portable mount for a 4” refractor. I like the concept and the specs of the Avalon M-Zero. Are there any users of this mount here who can give me some feedback of their experience? 
 

Thank you and clear skies,

Ecki



#2 Destrehan Dave

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 03:18 PM

I am looking for a portable mount for a 4” refractor. I like the concept and the specs of the Avalon M-Zero. Are there any users of this mount here who can give me some feedback of their experience?

Thank you and clear skies,
Ecki


Yes. 4” Refractor short focus refractor at upper limit of mount; not advisable for A/P.. marginal for visual only.

Much much much better suited for M-UNO.

YMWNV

DD


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#3 Astrojedi

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 03:51 PM

Assuming you want to do imaging? I would stay away from M Zero.  I think the RST-135 is a much better option.



#4 Camissa

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 04:10 PM

Thank you! 
 

My main rig is a AP Mach1 with a 5” refractor. Although it is portable enough from the house to the garden, I don’t want to carry it around the country. So I am looking for a more portable mount. It would need to carry a TSA102 for visual and for AP. 
 

The M-Zero looked nice and is pretty light. I feared it would not support my 4” refractor. 
 

I will look into the the RST. 
 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Clear skies,

Ecki

 

Ps: I started this thread by error with my old nick as my iPad was still logged in. Sorry for any confusion.



#5 psandelle

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:59 PM

I've used the M-Zero and now have a Rainbow RST-135. Both for imaging. The M-Zero is a great little mount and very stable in its development (the teething was years ago). The first setting up is weird (having to put the mount in the right slot for balancing your scope), but after that it's easy-peasy (as you never have to do that again unless you change scopes). I used a 90mm Borg (light and slightly smaller than what you're asking about, but I think the 102 should be fine; I'd double-check with Avalon, though, but, from my experience, should be fine), and it tracked extremely well, had a looong slow drift, so no unguided, but very easy guiding, slow and smooth. It also had some really effective positioning of dual scopes, and can go no-meridian-flip depending on your rig. I almost got another one but wanted to try out the RST-135, which is even lighter!

 

The RST-135 is going through babyhood right now, and there are some things a little wonky about it, still. Not big things, but some software things that will, I'm sure, get ironed out (it's very new compared to the Avalon) and one hardware thing (the Alt knob is idiotic). At the moment, I have it guiding extremely well, but gotos and meridian flips are still "odd," but there's just been a new firmware update I'm going to try (knock-on-wood, weather permitting) tomorrow night. I REALLY like it...but want the oddities ironed out (and am trying out some alternatives to the Alt knob). It WILL do a 4" scope, no problem (provided it's not f18 or something), as the harmonic drives are super torque-y.

 

So, more mature mount, or newbie build? If the RST-135 were as far along in its production curve as the M-Zero, I'd say go with that (though they're very close, both light, both easy to use), but it's still early, and there are some oddities (can anyone say "backdrive?") to the RST-135. So, that's my 2 cents.

 

Paul


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#6 Camissa

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 02:40 PM

Paul,

 

thank you for this succinct analysis. As the next telescope dealer is 10.000 km away, my appetite for experiments is rather limited. It is a pity that none of the premium manufacturers like A-P, 10Micron or Bisque produces a small portable mount. 
 

Clear skies,

Ecki


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#7 akulapanam

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 04:09 PM

Paul,

 

thank you for this succinct analysis. As the next telescope dealer is 10.000 km away, my appetite for experiments is rather limited. It is a pity that none of the premium manufacturers like A-P, 10Micron or Bisque produces a small portable mount. 
 

Clear skies,

Ecki

I would really consider Avalon as premium at this point.  It has been out for years and has lots of happy customers.  The RST looks like a premium mount too but its probably a year away from being stable...



#8 psandelle

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 04:52 PM

Paul,

 

thank you for this succinct analysis. As the next telescope dealer is 10.000 km away, my appetite for experiments is rather limited. It is a pity that none of the premium manufacturers like A-P, 10Micron or Bisque produces a small portable mount. 
 

Clear skies,

Ecki

Ecki,

 

You and me both! A 10Micron the size of the RST-135 (with absolute encoders and their modeling?!?)...SIGN ME UP!

 

Paul


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