Its been several years since ive been engrossed in hobby - with recent "COVID-camping" with friends, have gotten back into it.
cloudynights has always tho a good sporadic read and astronomics had done me good on some of my setups.
figured i'd throw in my experience with AZ100
brief thread hijack...
my gear:14.5" dob 105mm apo 80mm apo binocs 60mm mechanical IS binoc
nice collection of EPs. ethos'z creeping in, requiring the obligatory balancing act (and purging a few of naglers)
the 105 mounted onto an old APM alt/az brick
the 80binocs mounted on a universal astronomics macrostar prototype, tuned up by Larry after some feedback. this version never went into production tho
both in turn mounted on bogen 3036's. all well used and simple overbuilt workhorses
i upgraded saddles and dovetails for this. the prominar got a TS optics L bracket from APM. i dont regret it. seeing Markus still in the biz was good. he is a champion. i wish he would get into amazon level retail. he'd give bezos a run for his money
o/w the ADM products are solid and incredibly prompt.
had to go with a rowan saddle x1 for the altitude adjustment plate and pan/tilt handle compatibility
including slowmo control, i wanted a mount to share the view with friends. the 105 is 20LBS and the 80binocs are 13LBS
hence i considered
tripod wise, ive never been a fan of the wood berlebach type - i like handcrank centercolumns
manfrotto bogen hasnt let me down despite metal - there was a 3258 on the market so i nabbed it even though a little under rated for the payload.
im a starhopping traditionalist. never liked the lack of challenge with computers.
the AZ100 is available +/- 100USD import duty
I advise if you can hold your horses go with the AZ100 after brexit fiasco gets determined and the GBP drops OR get in line for a DSV3
the losmandy AZ8 seems to me an afterthought altho im guessing it would be a first world problem if you had to go with it
i wish i had more info on the DSV3. Raul was very good at communicating. I kinda wish i had patience - my guess his 10wk lead time is generous to keep folks happy
the DSV3 tho would need to be pretty beefy AND precise in which case definitely worth the savings vs coming from UK for this
the AZ100 is a very smooth monster. how nice to have slowmo control!!!
a set of metric allen wrenches (5, 2.5 and 2mm) is needed including out in field to adjust things
rowan was generous in providing a variety of caphead screws.
ask for washers - the screw thread holes on the mount might not be of sufficient depth and you'll have to run to hardware store or grind your screws otherwise.
fiddling with dampener vs clutch screws vs altitude lock is very effective and critical. balancing the scopes helps a ton. ive got it now so the lockscrew is totally free and maximally effective.
altitude adjuster plate - based on micro-pivoting the saddle around offset axis for altitude AND canting saddle for azimuth. both using 2mm set/grub screws (2x for alt, 4x for azimuth). the altitude adjust grubscrews push against either side of a "reaction pin" causing rotation about the "shoulder bolt pivot". the 4x azimuth grubscrews simply push off the rowan saddle. i switched the adjustable saddle to the 105 which still worked find despite it being 10LBS heavier than the binoc
rowan saddles - nice, compatible with adjustment plate and pan/tilt handle. the ADM does have more forgiveness given its split design and feels more beefy. the rowan is more polished and has spring loading pads that grab the scope, not just naked screws. ironically it was the rowan saddle that needed the washers to provide the necessary screw depth. ADM fit nice on the myriad screw options on the mount.
pan and tilt handle good if youre not doing dual mounting. it feels redundant with 2 scopes and so much mass to grab and the mount is very smooth
at 20+LBS the 105 did not need counterweighing when alone
this mount does deserve a better tripod for dual use - i see now you can do an addon Berlebach planet center column from...who else? Markus. this would tho be another $1k tho.
the 3258 i think will suffice for a while