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SkyTee-2 Alt/Az Mount Review

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20 replies to this topic

#1 ScrewLoose

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 05:01 AM

Overall, I think that this mount is good value for money and a good choice for my purposes. I'm confident that the mount will be more than adequate for my needs.

Click here to view the article
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#2 John Huntley

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 06:52 AM

Good report - thanks for posting it :-)

 

I have owned a Skytee II for about 5 years now and also use it with an ED120 refractor. It does a very good job with that scope. Not the most sophisticated mount but a solid workhorse.


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#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 10:33 AM

SL:

 

A nice review of a solid mount that generally flies under the radar. I have a StellarVue MG-2 which is a single sided version of the Sky Tee. Like you, like John, I primarily used it with a 120 ED though in my case, it's the Eon version.

 

I've had mine close to 10 years. A couple of observations:

 

- I adjust the clutches/locks so they hold the scope but allow manual slewing.

 

- The azimuth slow motion control does not rotate with the telescope, it's fixed to the tripod. This means that it's often somewhat awkward to reach, sometimes it's around the backside requiring the observer to reach around the back.

 

Thanks for this review, it's a solid mount that handles heavier scopes than the Portamount class, it has slow motion controls and it's affordable... there's a lot to like.

 

Jon


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#4 ancleto

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 09:59 AM

Great review, thanks for all the detail!



#5 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 12:04 AM

I have been using a Sky-tee for a fair while now. Hmm, 8 years.

 

A standard upgrade is to install an ADM saddle, and I have a pair of 11lb counterweights.

 

The mount can take a surprisingly large load, especially when paired with a larger tripod (I had mine on a cgem-dx tripod for awhile). In that configuration, my 11" SCT was very well mounted, and could be pushed back and forth with one finger.

 

Right now I have it on the smaller cg-5 tripod and I use it to mount an 8" F7 newtonian--that's mounted in a 10" x 60" tube, which weighs in at 29.5lb without an eyepiece (from memory my edgehd weighed 28lb, and was perhaps 30 inches long).

 

The Newt tube will hit the tripod if used for viewing the full sky, but it's perfect for planetary viewing when well balanced.

 

thanks for the review, I think these are very much under appreciated mounts.



#6 sunrag

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 12:01 PM

Thanks for the review. 
I have the same SW Tripod to hold my HEQ5 head. Be aware of a fatal flaw in the tripod. On one occasion when i put my 20lb refractor and 10lb CW, one of the tripod legs broke free from its upper bracket on the hub and swiveled out to almost  90 Degrees. There needs to be a central spider to keep the tripod legs from swiveling out. Fortunately it is easy to make a spider.



#7 Hesiod

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 12:43 PM

I got the SkyTee (as T-Sky) when I purchased my C8, have used it extensively for years and totally agree about the fact that it is a good value for the money and a very serviceable piece of equipment.

I have seldom used the counterweights but found that the rod makes for an excellent "panhandle" to aim and track the telescope



#8 Uldahl

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 02:23 PM

DP



#9 Uldahl

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 02:32 PM

I just receive mine from TS along with their Big Bino ED 20x80. counterweights weight 2.8 kg and Lbracket.

There was paint in the thread on the head, so it needs to be removed before I can mount it. Looking forward to getting it in use. But it have to wait to the heat is over here in Andalusia.

 

Thank you for the review.



#10 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 11:23 AM

I got the SkyTee (as T-Sky) when I purchased my C8, have used it extensively for years and totally agree about the fact that it is a good value for the money and a very serviceable piece of equipment.

I have seldom used the counterweights but found that the rod makes for an excellent "panhandle" to aim and track the telescope

I used the counterweight bar as a handle for a bit, then I added the Kokusai Kohki handle for the Vixen Porta mounts,and I really like this handle. https://agenaastro.c...a-ii-mount.html

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#11 GShaffer

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 09:22 PM

Good review....I have had mine for a few years now, replaced the saddles with ADM saddles which work very well with it, far better than the stock ones.

 

I also added some simple manual setting circles which are surprisingly accurate for having just printed and clear taped them on. Pretty much everything I aim for is within the field of a 20mm EP with whatever scope(s) I have on it. Really handy mod.....I simply level the mount, find a known object, look up its alt-az location in sky safari, rotate the az circle to match and the mount is calibrated for the rest of the night. The pointers are simply black electrical tape (I said it was simple lol)

 

That is a CG5 tripod with an 16" pier on it......lets me keep the CG5 tripod pretty much fully collapsed and makes for a really steady mounting.....thats a 6" F/8 AR6 and a Vixen 102SS on there, it is rock steady. 

 

The az circle is made from a piece of alum plate and has 3 spring steel clips on the back side which gives it a friction mounting on the mount body and still allows you to rotate it for calibration. It is actually pushed up out of place a bit in the pic and covering the sharp point in the black tape pointer. The printed circle is double sided sticky taped to it with clear tape over it. The alt scale is simply clear taped on the mount body..... Has worked well for about 5 years now.

 

I have been threatening to disassemble it and see if I can take the play out of the slow motion gears since I got it but obviously it isnt a big issue or I wouldnt be procrastinating with it smile.gif

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#12 Maharg

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 03:54 PM

I've owned a Skytee mount and its matching long-legged tripod (as depicted in the poster's photo) for several years now, and it has provided excellent service for my ES 6" Mak-Newt, although reaching the zenith can be a bit of a chore.* Once I had to do some work on the mount's bearings, which had gone slightly astray; but it's been as good as gold ever since then. It's a tad heavy used as a portable mount - by this I mean lugging it over muddy fields and the like. Yet it's always worth the effort once you get to the viewing site. It also supports my 4" refractor as if it (the scope, that is) were made of balsa wood. Rock solid? You bet. So no complaints on that score!  

 

* To be fair to the Skytee, that may be due to my having never used a counterweight.



#13 xcy

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 10:58 AM

I have been using a Sky-tee for a fair while now. Hmm, 8 years.

 

A standard upgrade is to install an ADM saddle, and I have a pair of 11lb counterweights.

 

The mount can take a surprisingly large load, especially when paired with a larger tripod (I had mine on a cgem-dx tripod for awhile). In that configuration, my 11" SCT was very well mounted, and could be pushed back and forth with one finger.

 

Right now I have it on the smaller cg-5 tripod and I use it to mount an 8" F7 newtonian--that's mounted in a 10" x 60" tube, which weighs in at 29.5lb without an eyepiece (from memory my edgehd weighed 28lb, and was perhaps 30 inches long).

 

The Newt tube will hit the tripod if used for viewing the full sky, but it's perfect for planetary viewing when well balanced.

 

thanks for the review, I think these are very much under appreciated mounts.

Can you give more details about the configuration of the mount and the 11" SCT?
 



#14 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 04:22 AM

Can you give more details about the configuration of the mount and the 11" SCT?
 

If you have something specific in mind, let me know.

 

The cgem-dx tripod needs an adapter to work, which is made by geoptic (bought from Telescope Service in Germany). It's the orange thing that can be seen in the picture.

 

The ADM clamp can be found through their site--just a matter of getting one with the right bolt spacing.

 

I also added a slow motion control that I pulled off a super cheap mount.

 

REd IMG_1014.JPG


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#15 xcy

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 09:30 AM

If you have something specific in mind, let me know.

 

The cgem-dx tripod needs an adapter to work, which is made by geoptic (bought from Telescope Service in Germany). It's the orange thing that can be seen in the picture.

 

The ADM clamp can be found through their site--just a matter of getting one with the right bolt spacing.

 

I also added a slow motion control that I pulled off a super cheap mount.

 

attachicon.gifREd IMG_1014.JPG

Would a more lightweight tripod such as the one that used to come with the CG-5 be sufficient for the 11" SCT? Are counterweights not needed? Were the dovetail sadles that came with the mount unsuitable?
 



#16 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 01:50 PM

Yes, I have kept my CG-5, and it works great with the C11. You'll probably want to use counterweights for balance, but it is not essential.

 

In the picture above, I see that I also put another clamp on the other end. I don't ever use that, and leave the counter weight bar in place, and I have two 11lb weights.

 

Right now I use that set up with my 8" F7, which is a 60" x 10" tube, which weighs more than the C11. 

 

The standard sadles are definitely NOT up to holding a C11. I wouldn't go beyond a C8 with the originals. It's really odd they put those on there. I use the origial one on top of the mount to hold my telrad.



#17 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 03:57 PM

And here's the skytee with the 8" F7 attached, on CG-5 mount (it's a planetary set up, so I'm not concerned with the OTA hitting the tripod).

 

8F7.jpg



#18 BinoGuy

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 05:27 PM

Excellent read, ScrewLoose.  Please do post your tear down process.  You seem to be extremely knowledgeable about mechanical things and I'd like to learn.

 

Clear skies, BinoGuy  °¿°



#19 jesco_t

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 08:58 AM

Thank for this nice review, ScrewLoose. If you still want to, please post your tear-down. I am very interested to read it.

 

I also have a SkyTee2 and like it. It's good value for the money and a good match for my C8.

 

I added stepper motors, a belt-pulley system and OnStep controller to to it. The wormgear housings have some very conveniently positioned screws that can be hijacked to hold mounting brackets for the steppers. I can do 10s exposures at 1280mm focal length, so tracking is really acurate.

 

One of the bad things that I noticed is that AZ bearing has some play in my unit.



#20 25585

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 01:10 PM

https://stargazerslo...kytee-ii-mount/



#21 Bener

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 01:17 PM

I appreciate all of the details and information about equipment in threads just like this one.  Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experiences!  It’s a big help to those of us just getting started with the hobby.

 

As such, I do have a question, please.  Can someone please expand on the CG-5 that is mentioned here several times?  I myself am studying up mounts and tripods because I would like to be able to mount my OneSky Newtonian on a tripod which, hopefully, would be suitable for another scope in the future.  Of course that scope of the future is hard to plan for today, but I don’t imagine that I would likely need something that would support more than 20-25 lbs.  Perhaps that’s a naive assumption….

 

TIA




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