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Am I wrong? iOptron Az M Pro + SW 150ED

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#1 Yun-Oh

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 06:43 AM

First posting in a long time.  I haven't had much time for stargazing, but want to get back to it.  Just want to check with the experts here if I'm thinking right because I have read pretty much all the threads on iOptron Az Mount Pro and can't find a definite answer.

 

What I'm trying to do is to find a convenient mount (hence looking into Alt Az rather than equatorial) that can handle my Skywatcher Evostar 150ED.  The scope is about 50" long and weighs around 20 lbs.  I have no plan to do side-by-side, so the other side will have counterweights.  Can iOptron handle it without much trouble if I balance it well?  I know it is well under the mount's 33 lb capacity, but the length could be a problem.

 

Another question is about the tripod.  I'm planning to get the tri-pier considering the weight and length of the scope.  Do I need a pier extension (e.g., 8" iOptron Mini Pier)?  Hitting the pier leg is one problem and also the observing height is another.  I am going to use this setup for outreach time to time, so comfortable viewing position is important.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Stay healthy, everyone!

 

Clear skies,

Yun-Oh


Edited by Yun-Oh, 07 August 2020 - 06:45 AM.


#2 sewhite

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 07:38 AM

Hi Yon-Oh,

I use a TSA-120 on my AZ Pro with the Tri-pier, and find that it is close to my personal limit on steadiness.  Your Skyywatcher 150 is a similar weight and and somewhat longer so I am not sure how well it will work for you.   You would probably also need the half pier extension.   I could make some measurements for you later today for leg clearance.   It would hold your other scopes quite well, including putting one of your William Optics on the other side for a dual setup.

Using the AZ Pro with Skysafari on a tablet is a visual observer's Eureka,  so simple and effective.   Three of our little observing group have the AZ Pro. 

Clear skies, 

Stan 


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#3 GaryShaw

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 07:41 AM

Hi Yun-Oh

Ive been using the AZ Mount Pro for several years with a 19# F4 Newtonian. It’s been a great mount-fast and easy to set up and very sturdy with just the 2” tripod. At first I was observing with a smaller Schmidt Newtonian so when I purchased the new, larger, 200mm diameter by 32” length scope, I was concerned about the scope hitting the legs so I also bought the mini pier extension to go on top of the tripod.  It turned out that the longer scope easily cleared the legs so I returned the pier extension and have been happily observing ever since.... well, I’ve had some minor adjustments done to mount to fix tracking issues.

 

I’m pretty certain that with the 50” scope you have, you would likely need the pier extension if you were going with the 1.5” or 2” tripod. Given that you’re going with the tri-pier, I’m not sure if you’d need the extension. I’d suggest getting the extension and returning it, as I did, if it turns out to be unnecessary. I would also encourage you to ask iOptron about your situation Since they can probably predict pretty well what you’ll need. They have been extremely helpful to me and might be able to tell you whether you’d need the extension.

 

Regarding the CW question, I use two of their standard 5 kg CWs and need to locate them at the extreme end of the CW bar, actually, the outside one hangs over the bar a bit to allow me to correctly balance the moment arm of the 20# 8” scope on the other side. With your smaller diameter scope , the center of gravity will be closer to the mount so your pair of CW’s may not need to be centered so far left of mount...easy enough to do the math and see - or, better yet, ask iOptron when you speak with them about whether you need the mini pier. John and Kevin are the two primary tech support people.

 

Regarding outreach, I suspect that you can manage that once you know whether pier extension is necessary. Assuming you’ll use a diagonal, only the higher altitude objects would likely be a challenge and that would only be if you’re doing outreach with folks viewing through the eyepiece. So much outreach these days is being done with cameras in the drawtube and people gathered in front of a large screen or laptop to view the objects.  This usually is a far superior viewing experience for non- astronomers and eliminates the difficulty of assisting people of differing heights and ages to get positioned and get a decent look through an eyepiece. Once I experienced EAA, electronically assisted astronomy, I went out and obtained 1 color and 1 mono camera each and haven’t used an eyepiece now in over two years. Not only is it easier and better viewing that way, I also can see so very much more from my light polluted skies than I ever would with an eyepiece....it’s the way to go as far as I’m concerned. 
 

Anyway, I hope there’s some useful info in the above. Good luck!

Gary

 

 


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#4 junomike

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 08:00 AM

You might find the AZPro acceptable but IME the combination of length and weight will make for a frustrating (shaky) outing.

If you don't need GOTO there's a few Alt/Az out there that can handle the OTA.

For GOTO, I'd personally go with something like the AZ-EQ6.


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#5 Spikey131

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 09:36 AM

If you are going to use the AZ Mount Pro with a 150mm refractor, I would advise putting it on their Tri-Pier for added stability.  

 

You are right that the weight of your refractor will not be a problem, but the moment arm will be an issue.  Balance will be critical.


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#6 Xeroid

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 11:04 AM

I have and use an AZ Mount Pro + Tri Pier with all of my scopes, including my 25 lbs SCT or my 45" long 25 lbs 130mm Refractor.

 

I can live with a little focus wiggle (when using a tripod) because the AZ Pro TRACKING makes using these l-o-n-f focal length scope a pure joy....but hey, that just me.

 

Given the LENGTH of your 150mm. I would suggest you take a long hard look at the Rowan AZ100. They are currently working on adding TRACKING to the AZ`100 and that might just make it a killer Alt-Az mount due to is 20 kg (44.09 lbs) payload...

 

eeeeeeoooooooowwww!!

 

 

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#7 sewhite

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 11:58 AM

Xeroid,

 

That's one hard working AZ Pro.   Nice looking setup,  I use a split tray also, but placed at the top of the legs.  Might make one for the spreaders like yours. 

 

I agree, the Rowan AZ 100 could be a fine choice,  made even better when they have the tracking motors and control ready for prime time. 

 

Clear skies, 

Stan


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#8 eblanken

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 06:20 PM

First posting in a long time.  I haven't had much time for stargazing, but want to get back to it.  Just want to check with the experts here if I'm thinking right because I have read pretty much all the threads on iOptron Az Mount Pro and can't find a definite answer.

 

What I'm trying to do is to find a convenient mount (hence looking into Alt Az rather than equatorial) that can handle my Skywatcher Evostar 150ED.  The scope is about 50" long and weighs around 20 lbs.  I have no plan to do side-by-side, so the other side will have counterweights.  Can iOptron handle it without much trouble if I balance it well?  I know it is well under the mount's 33 lb capacity, but the length could be a problem.

 

Another question is about the tripod.  I'm planning to get the tri-pier considering the weight and length of the scope.  Do I need a pier extension (e.g., 8" iOptron Mini Pier)?  Hitting the pier leg is one problem and also the observing height is another.  I am going to use this setup for outreach time to time, so comfortable viewing position is important.

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Stay healthy, everyone!

 

Clear skies,

Yun-Oh

Hi Yun-Oh & All,

 

I took quite a while to work up the courage to try my 6 inch Celestron C6R (152mm, f/8) on my iOptron Az Mount Pro held up by my on the 2 inch iOptron tripod and the 8 inch iOptron pier extension. So far it is working, but I believe that this long refractor is at the upper limit of the AZ Mount Pro capability, because of the combination of mass and long moment arm (front lens and adjustable cell = heavy and far from rotation axis and diagonal and heavy eyepiece are far in the other direction at back of the scope). I also have other iOptron mounts (Mini-Tower II & Mini-Tower Pro) and they also work. Proper balance is crucial as is proper leveling. I also have used Skywatcher SW100ED (100mm, f/9) and SW80ED (80mm, f/7.5) on the mount in parallel on these iOptron mounts. The mount can handle it, but the suggestions of others in this thread are good: Tri-Pier would be better and 8 inch pier extension recommendations are good as well. I am somewhat tolerant of the "jiggle" that happens during focusing so you may or may not like that issue.

 

Ed (aka eblanken)


Edited by eblanken, 07 August 2020 - 06:32 PM.

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#9 Yun-Oh

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 02:10 PM

Thanks everyone for your input.  I guess the consensus is that SW Evostar 150ED would be right at the upper limit of AZM Pro.  I don't mind 1-2 second focus wiggle, but if it is too much weight and moment arm for the mount, I'm concerned about the durability of the mount gears.  I am also looking into Rowan AZ-100 with Nexus DSC option.  It is more money and there is no GOTO or tracking, but that 33 lb each side load capacity is really attractive.  I wish there was a beefier version of AZM Pro.

 

I was looking for someone who can tell me, "yeah, it works fine, so go for it!", but I think I will have to wait a little more.  I really don't want an EQ mount because my AP is done mostly with 110ED on AVX, which works great.  A simple AZ mount with one-star alignment is what I want, but there are not many options for a heavy and long scope like 150ED.

 

Or, maybe it's time to seriously think about building an observatory...

 

Stay healthy, everyone!


Edited by Yun-Oh, 10 August 2020 - 02:11 PM.


#10 GaryShaw

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 02:22 PM

As I mentioned before, it’s fine with 19# and I would advise you to call IOptron directly for their input. They are the experts in how their product will perform.

I’m not sure about the focus ‘wiggle’ someone mentioned or why that’s an issue. First, who cares if there’s a few seconds of wiggle as you find focus- this is not an issue unless you are incorrectly trying to focus while also capturing an image. And Second, if you’re a bit ‘O-C’, just use a remote focuser. That would be nice for remote EAA in winter as well. IMHO, a non-goto Mount is a far bigger issue than transient wiggle when you touch the OTA. Call John or Kevin at iOptron.
Good luck
Gary

#11 Yun-Oh

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 12:39 AM

Gary,

 

Thanks for the advice!  I will call iOptron and see what they say.

 

Clear skies,

Yun-Oh




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