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Wobbly scope - suggestions please?

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40 replies to this topic

#26 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 08:13 AM

Springs ? Weights ? On an AZ3 ? Really ?    ???

Really.

 

There are lots of inexpensive ways for someone of sufficient ingenuity to improve the AZ3 mount. For instance:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-modifications/

 

http://www.homebuilt...odification.htm

 

https://www.cloudyni...s-improvements/

 

https://www.tanstaaf...nterweight-mod/

 

https://www.instruct...-3-altazimuth-/

 

https://astromart.co...-for-az3-mounts


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#27 LDW47

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 08:48 AM

I’ll take your word for it, lol !



#28 Ulmer Spatz

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 09:04 AM

This little black bag of pebbles allowed the 60 mm optical tube to balance nicely in its yoke mount. For fine-tuning, you remove a little pebble or add one. Bumping the bag revealed that the design needs work: the bag's swinging motion was visible in the scope. At one time, I saw Jupiter making elegant figure-eights in my field of view.

 

observer 60 mm balance bag.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

    


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#29 SeattleScott

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:14 PM

This little black bag of pebbles allowed the 60 mm optical tube to balance nicely in its yoke mount. For fine-tuning, you remove a little pebble or add one. Bumping the bag revealed that the design needs work: the bag's swinging motion was visible in the scope. At one time, I saw Jupiter making elegant figure-eights in my field of view.

observer 60 mm balance bag.jpg

I commend the ingenuity but I would rather spend $200 on a suitable mount than spend hours of creative energy trying to make an unsuitable mount tolerable.

Scott
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#30 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:36 PM

I have the Az3 and I know exactly what the issue is. The mount is only usable with small, light tubes. I have a 70mm f/5 and it is ok. But only just ok. If you tighten the pivot bolt, you can hardly move the tube. Loosen it, and you get play. If you want to stay with an alt/az mount, you should look at something like the Porta. The Az3 mount is best suited for birding or terrestrial observing, not astronomy.
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#31 LDW47

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 04:39 PM

I have the Az3 and I know exactly what the issue is. The mount is only usable with small, light tubes. I have a 70mm f/5 and it is ok. But only just ok. If you tighten the pivot bolt, you can hardly move the tube. Loosen it, and you get play. If you want to stay with an alt/az mount, you should look at something like the Porta. The Az3 mount is best suited for birding or terrestrial observing, not astronomy.

A great, to the point post !



#32 Andromeda31

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 07:35 AM

Thanks so much for all these suggestions.  I'm glad to know it's not something broken that i need to fix, and i've tried some of your suggestions that may make it better in the short term.  Just knowing this makes it less frustrating and just something i have to live with.  

 

I'm thinking when finances allow I may upgrade the mount (is the tripod itself ok? - it seems quite solid).  My budget isn't huge but i'm thinking of trying this Skywatcher goto mount https://www.firstlig...unt-tripod.html (for which I'd also need a new tripod).  It actually costs more than whole thing did originally!  Daft idea or not?



#33 Andromeda31

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 07:40 AM

Get rid of the AZ3 and go to something like a Porta II or if you are short a Twilte I and your concerns will disappear !

Thanks for these specific suggestions LDW47 - I'm looking at these now. It'd make me so happy to get rid of the wobble!



#34 Ulmer Spatz

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 09:17 AM

I commend the ingenuity but I would rather spend $200 on a suitable mount than spend hours of creative energy trying to make an unsuitable mount tolerable.

Scott

If it had taken me hours to come up with this, I would have to agree with you. 

 

In theory, yoke mounts are good mounts. They can hold the optical tube at the tube's exact center of mass, which enables you to balance the tube perfectly. A magnet would have been the more elegant solution, but I didn't have one. I like to try and fix things with stuff I've got around the house. In this case, it didn't really work out as well as I had hoped. Balance weights can't be swinging about, learned something.


Edited by Ulmer Spatz, 27 January 2021 - 09:21 AM.

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#35 Jim Haley

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 09:54 AM

Thanks so much for all these suggestions.  I'm glad to know it's not something broken that i need to fix, and i've tried some of your suggestions that may make it better in the short term.  Just knowing this makes it less frustrating and just something i have to live with.  

 

I'm thinking when finances allow I may upgrade the mount (is the tripod itself ok? - it seems quite solid).  My budget isn't huge but i'm thinking of trying this Skywatcher goto mount https://www.firstlig...unt-tripod.html (for which I'd also need a new tripod).  It actually costs more than whole thing did originally!  Daft idea or not?

Don't know much about that GOTO mount but I would ask myself if I really needed GOTO when what I really want is a sturdier mount.  Limited budget could pay for one or the other (or both if want to spend twice as much).

 

I have the AZ-3 mount and it is "backlash" on the altitude that is your "problem" (as well as a scope that is too heavy for the AZ-3).  However, the AZ-3 can be made to work with a little bit of extra effort.  The big bolt (altitude/vertical) should be tight enough so can move the scope in altitude with a bit of effort and it will stay where it is put.  Similar for the azimuth (horizontal) Macro adjustment. The slow motion controls should be put near the center each time BEFORE you move the scope to a new target or at least when close to the object, not to do Macro adjustments.  The Altitude "slow motion" one could be put even further toward the low end of the range as I know I am going to have to raise the altitude after the backlash settles.  There is a bit of backlash on the slow motion control as well so I just have to compensate for that by going further than necessary in altitude (1/2 telescope FOV?) and let it settle back.    

 

In the end I moved the 6" tube to a larger AZ-5 mount (FYI The Twilight 1 mount is still just a bit too flimsy for a 6" scope like yours) and now use the AZ-3 with an old  60mm lightweigt refractor.  With a lighter weight instrument it is much better but I have to keep it lightweight (including lightweight eyepieces, No using my Ethos 13mm grenade!).  


Edited by Jim Haley, 27 January 2021 - 10:01 AM.

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#36 Andromeda31

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 10:08 AM

That's helpful information Jim, thanks. I'd arrived at setting the slow motion controls to half way, after hitting the end of their track many times, and not always easy to see what's gone "wrong" in the dark!  

 

The GOTO mount I mentioned is about the same price as a Porta ll.  I've never favoured GOTO before as i enjoy the process of finding an object, but it may open up new objects for me.  Not what I went to look for though.  Does anyone know if a Porta ll type mount would fit on my existing tripod, or would I need to buy it with the Vixen tripod??


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#37 Andromeda31

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 10:11 AM

P.S. my scope's a 90mm or 3.5 inch



#38 Jim Haley

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 10:13 AM

The last link (from previous post) has a particularly simple virtual (spring) counterweight.  

 

https://astromart.co...-for-az3-mounts



#39 SeattleScott

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:25 AM

Thanks so much for all these suggestions. I'm glad to know it's not something broken that i need to fix, and i've tried some of your suggestions that may make it better in the short term. Just knowing this makes it less frustrating and just something i have to live with.

I'm thinking when finances allow I may upgrade the mount (is the tripod itself ok? - it seems quite solid). My budget isn't huge but i'm thinking of trying this Skywatcher goto mount https://www.firstlig...unt-tripod.html (for which I'd also need a new tripod). It actually costs more than whole thing did originally! Daft idea or not?

I have heard that mount is pretty stable for its size when paired with a suitable tripod. And it can be used GoTo or manually.

Scott

#40 Gary Riley

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 10:57 PM

Seems to be an inherent problem with this type of mount from various reviews I’ve read. I have a Meade StarPro 90 refractor and the mount is more sturdy than what you have. It’s certainly not perfect but definitely better.
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#41 teashea

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 06:46 PM

A good mount is essential - as essential as the telescope itself.  A poor mount can ruin a fine telescope.

 

Unfortunately the mount you have is worthless.  You have described it correctly.  There is not practical way to turn it into a silk purse.  

 

You need to acquire a very good mount.  




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