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#1 Ben the Ignorant

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 02:57 AM

My recently bought 115mm apo is riding on an AZ-4 mount but sharing it part time with an 80mm semi-apo, and it's right at the top weight limit that an AZ-4 can carry. 6.8 kilos maximum load but the BARE apo with rings and bar only reaches the 6.4 kilos weight.

 

So a heavier manual mount is needed, but looking at offerings, something puzzles me: the most adequate for me seems to be the least expensive of the selection. First in my choice was the classic EQ-5, it has excellent reputation, excellent reviews, a totally proven device. It can take 10 kilos and costs 460€.

 

https://www.teleskop...-bis-10-kg.html

 

eq-5.png

 

 

 

Second in my selection is another heavily built machine, the AZ-5, a proven telescope pointer, too; its capacity is 20 kilos and its price is 400€

 

https://www.teleskop...erstellung.html

 

az-5.png

 

 

 

Next I considered the GSAZ, 9 kilos maximum load and 294€.

 

https://www.teleskop...und-Stativ.html

 

gsaz.png

 

 

 

And last in line came the TS clone of the mount known as the Twilight in the USA, only 219€ but it can take an 8 kilos load, the weight of the apo with diagonal, finder and grenade eyepiece. It also has good written and video reviews.

 

https://www.teleskop...llkupplung.html

 

twilight.png

 

 

 

I'm not such a bigot that I believe anything more expensive is necessarily better, and experience demonstrated the opposite many times. But I'm also prudent, so, asking the users of these mounts in the forum's crowd, is the TS/Twilight too good to be true? Is it as smooth as the others? Is it as free of backlash and slack? It even rests on a stainless steel tripod when the GSAZ has aluminum legs, does it make a noticeable advantage in stability?

 

In a few words, is it really the great value it seems to be?


Edited by Ben the Ignorant, 04 May 2021 - 05:36 AM.


#2 OneGear

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 06:32 PM

The GSAZ is identical to the GSO Skyview Deluxe, which I have.  I would say it is the sweet spot between cost, weight, and capacity.  The aluminum tripod is lightweight but very stable.  The mount itself is solid, very smooth slow motion controls and easy controlled movement without using slomo.  

 

The twilight clone appears to have a good tripod but if you compare the mount itself to the GSAZ it's easy to see it is not engineered to the same standard.  Based on the number of posts by people not satisfied with the Twilight carrying 100mm scopes, I wouldn't expect you to be happy with it carrying a 115mm.  It's a fine mount for smaller scopes I'm sure.

 

I would go with the GSAZ for a 115mm APO.  I used mine with my 150mm f/5 reflector one night just to see, and it was quite solid, minimal vibration that damped out immediately.  High power focusing was not an issue.  It's typically used with an AR102 or AT80.  Overkill for the 80mm, arguably, and definitely rock solid with the AR102.  


Edited by OneGear, 04 May 2021 - 06:35 PM.


#3 Ben the Ignorant

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 01:14 AM

Thanks for the tip on the Skyview/GSAZ, I'll look for more reviews about the Twilight, it seems I have missed some info that was out there. It would make sense that the lesser cost means lesser carrying power. I'm not losing sight of the AZ-5 and EQ-5, though, they are not terribly more expensive and they have their built-in balance system, so crafting an extra arm and drilling the base would not be necessary.

 

z-arm.jpg

 

The AZ-5 does not include counterweights but the most expensive of the bunch, the EQ-5, does. And it can be fitted with a right ascension motor if I decide for that later, so it might be the simplest and most complete solution for its higher cost.

 

 



#4 bobhen

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:42 AM

I’ve been using a “manually driven” CG5 for around 15 years. The only mod I did was to replace the tripod. You can add slow motion cables for longer scopes. Setting up takes a few minutes longer than an alt/az mount but the advantage is that even with a rough polar alignment to track you only have to move one axis. I can hand track at 400x and keep the object near the center of the field. And of course when used manually there are no power issues, batteries, cords, etc.

 

I’ve used mine with a Tak TSA 120, a Mewlon 210 a C8 and smaller scopes with no issues.

 

Of course alt/az mounts have some advantages and I use them as well, but if you like GEMs for what they offer and are on a budget, the CG5 or one of is clones is a strong consideration.

 

Bob

 

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#5 Wildetelescope

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:18 AM

The twighlight is too small for a 115 mm scope in my opinion.  That is starting to be a pretty large refractor.   I have one and 80 mm is about as high as I would go with it.  It is a perfectly fine mount, if you do not over load it.  My son uses it with his 60mm scope.  I would go with one of your first two choices.  The AZ5 looks interesting to me if you are not looking for a motorized mount.   I also like the Stellarvue MC2 mount, but you would need to provide a tripod and it does not have slow motion controls.   

 

Cheers!

 

JMd


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#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 06:31 AM

My two cents:

 

Don't believe the ratings. The TW-1 is unusable with my 4 inch TeleVue.

 

I have a 120 Eon,  a 120 mm F/7.5 ED doublet. It weighs 6.8 kg ready to go, diagonal,  rings, finder. 

 

I use a StellarVue MG-2. It appears to be a single sided version of the AZ-5. It's solid. I would not want anything less.

 

Jon



#7 Ben the Ignorant

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:28 AM

The twighlight is too small for a 115 mm scope in my opinion.  That is starting to be a pretty large refractor.   I have one and 80 mm is about as high as I would go with it.

I liked that the Twilight has its jaw rather high above the ground, but it's starting to look weak. And there's something I overlooked: wether we are people or machines, we don't like to carry unbalanced weight, it's not mechanically sound and it feels clumsy. So I'd rather tote around a heavier thing if it's only a few kilos more. The GSAZ needs the same homemade arm that's on my AZ-4, the looks will suffer and the warranty will vanish even if the mod is not a damage to anything.

 

Bob's CG5 seems to be an EQ-5 with another paint job, that's good news for the mass I need to attach to a mount. So it boils down to equatorial versus altaz, prices being equal when separate counterweights are bought for the AZ-5. I also like white mounts because of visibility in the dark, so the EQ-5 is a the top of the preferences for now.




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