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High quality Alt Az mounts

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 08 October 2021 - 10:35 PM

I was thinking about what high quality Alt Az mounts are available today that can handle a 20 to 25 pound load.

I currently have a very nice Unistar that does well, but I don't have encoders and would like to have some.

I used to have an FTX which would do well, but they don't come up often anymore.

I know discmounts is still around, but the DM-6 seems unappealing to me because it's heavy. And the DM-4 would not handle the weight good enough. Wish they had a DM-5.

Any other thoughts on what is out there that can have encoders? Or is it possible to install encoders on an old Unistar Basic?
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#2 Codbear

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 12:09 AM

Stellarvue M2C mount holds up to 25 lbs and costs about $350 I believe.

 

Encoders are available for Push-To.

 

I have this setup for my AT92, NP101is and NP127is with a Manfrotto 161B tripod that holds up to 44 lbs and 

it works great.


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#3 Traveler

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 12:39 AM

Giro III with ArgoNavis and DSC's. (I own one more then 10 years)

 

Also maybe a good option: Ayo DIgi 



#4 Traveler

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 12:43 AM

Also, keep in mind that the weight alone is not the only factor. Consider this as well:  https://www.cloudyni...h-2/?p=11383306


Edited by Traveler, 09 October 2021 - 01:34 AM.


#5 Space_Race_T.J.

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 01:27 AM

Rowan AZ100 is another option. I’m looking at one of those for the future.

 

T.J.



#6 rhaskins

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 05:51 AM

Roan AZ100. Rated load is 15 to 20kg (33 to 44 lb.) each side depending on how long the scope is. DSC is available, motors are coming as an option soon (whatever that means). Pricey tho.

 

Rick



#7 bobhen

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 06:13 AM

Here are a few…

 

1. Desert Sky Astro DSV-3 (twin mount)
2. Rowan AZ100 (twin mount)
3. DiscMounts DM6 (single mount)
4. Losmandy AZ8 (twin mount)
5. AYOdigi II from AOK Swiss (twin mount)

 

Tripods are very important when considering capacity.

I can’t vouch for availability on any of the above.

 

Bob


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#8 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 07:56 AM

Rowan AZ100 is more than capable and excellent - I have the version with encoders and Nexus DSC and it's a pleasure to use. User-installable motors are coming, but the push-to works very well as well because of its slow motion controls. 

 

I recently got the Stellarvue M2C for my 80mm, to replace the AZ-GTi, when travelling or as a grab-and-go. They had a few in stock. Very well made as well, I'm looking forward to using it. Encoders are on their way from Serge, I'll set it up as a second scope in the Nexus I already have, which is nice. Its stated capacity is 25lb so right at your limit. M2C is manual only. My experience has been that the mechanical quality and the precision brought by encoders is more useful than motors. If the mount moves butter-smooth and it knows where the object is, even if I unintentionally moved the scope, than the tiny moves to track are something automatic for FL<1000mm.

 

As already mentioned in the thread, I'd recommend a good tripod to make them perform at their best. My travel tripod is a compromise (I'll reuse the one from AZ-GTi) but that's ok, for a 80mm with FL 480mm it's ok. The AZ100 should be used on a solid tripod, especially if without counterweights. 


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#9 GOLGO13

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 12:46 PM

If the 25 pound capacity of the MC2 is accurate that would work. Kind of at the limits I would guess. I have not measured, but I'm guessing 22 pounds would be my total weight

#10 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 12:58 PM

It should work then. Quality manufacturers are conservative with their promises as well. Plus you can use the M2C while travelling on a plane, it should last a lifetime.


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#11 GOLGO13

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:34 PM

Turns out the TSA-120 fully outfitted is just over 18 pounds. Not bad. That makes for more possibilities, but right now I am leaning towards the MC2. I have some time to wait before ordering.

#12 Spikey131

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:40 PM

Manual only?  How about the AZ Mount Pro with GOTO and tracking?



#13 GOLGO13

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 07:11 PM

Manual only? How about the AZ Mount Pro with GOTO and tracking?


I prefer push to in this situation, but I can consider it.

#14 JoshH

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 08:32 PM

I've been thinking about making this very post myself. I have a Unistar with Encoders, I love it but it is pretty much maxed out on capacity with my MN-76 on it. It is fine for low-medium power viewing but for high power planetary it isn't quite enough. 

 

The length of the TSA-120 might make it behave like a scope heavier than it is. 


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#15 PJ Anway

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 10:01 PM

I have both the AZ100 and the Giro Ercole. I can recommend them both. Different features; different prices.

 

AZ100 -   http://rowanastronom.../productsa6.htm

Giro Ercole -   http://www.apm-teles...t-azimuth-mount


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#16 luxo II

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 10:12 PM

I was thinking about what high quality Alt Az mounts are available today that can handle a 20 to 25 pound load.
Any other thoughts on what is out there that can have encoders? Or is it possible to install encoders on an old Unistar Basic?

I have a SV M2C - you can add encoders from AstroDevices (its a DIY kit) - and my typical payload is a 6" mak (MK66) with a turret on the back and 6 eyepieces - fully loaded it must be close to 10kg (22lbs).

 

The M2C is smooth as butter and very rigid, no wobblies at all.


Edited by luxo II, 12 October 2021 - 10:13 PM.

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#17 GOLGO13

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 12:44 AM

I've been thinking about making this very post myself. I have a Unistar with Encoders, I love it but it is pretty much maxed out on capacity with my MN-76 on it. It is fine for low-medium power viewing but for high power planetary it isn't quite enough.

The length of the TSA-120 might make it behave like a scope heavier than it is.


How's it going Josh!! The first person I ever observed with!

Yeah. That mak newt would be pretty close to the edge of the Unistar capacity.

Couple options discussed in here. Just have to consider weight vs performance. I am hoping to keep weight a bit low if possible. The Unistar rocks the TSA-120, but no encoders unfortunately

#18 Alan White

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 04:16 AM

Here are a few…

 

1. Desert Sky Astro DSV-3 (twin mount)
2. Rowan AZ100 (twin mount)
3. DiscMounts DM6 (single mount)
4. Losmandy AZ8 (twin mount)
5. AYOdigi II from AOK Swiss (twin mount)

 

Tripods are very important when considering capacity.

I can’t vouch for availability on any of the above.

 

Bob

You may find this list growing soon, we have had the Korean NOH mount reviewed by Bill Paollini and that's not here, but....

I have something arriving very soon and it's a NEW mount that sits in the list very well.
Cannot tell more, its SECRET until it's not.
I am one of the Prototype testers for the product.

I may not post much here on CN, but I lurk, my main home is SGL as I am UK based.

I will tell more when I can, but I think it will be a great addition to the Astro Market.


Edited by Alan White, 14 October 2021 - 04:23 AM.

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#19 25585

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 08:58 AM

Looking forward to the motorisation options to the AZ100.


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#20 HxPI

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 11:55 AM

You may find this list growing soon, we have had the Korean NOH mount reviewed by Bill Paollini and that's not here, but....

I have something arriving very soon and it's a NEW mount that sits in the list very well.
Cannot tell more, its SECRET until it's not.
I am one of the Prototype testers for the product.

I may not post much here on CN, but I lurk, my main home is SGL as I am UK based.

I will tell more when I can, but I think it will be a great addition to the Astro Market.

Does the “new” mount have motorized goto and tracking functionality?


Edited by HxPI, 14 October 2021 - 11:56 AM.

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#21 JoshH

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 09:25 PM

How's it going Josh!! The first person I ever observed with!

Yeah. That mak newt would be pretty close to the edge of the Unistar capacity.

Couple options discussed in here. Just have to consider weight vs performance. I am hoping to keep weight a bit low if possible. The Unistar rocks the TSA-120, but no encoders unfortunately

Going good! 

 

Looks like there are some interesting options out there and more on the way. I still don't think anything I've seen beats the bang for buck of the Unistar though. I wish Larry hadn't closed up his shop, and I wish he would have made an even heavier duty Alt-Az. 



#22 GOLGO13

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 09:39 PM

Going good! 

 

Looks like there are some interesting options out there and more on the way. I still don't think anything I've seen beats the bang for buck of the Unistar though. I wish Larry hadn't closed up his shop, and I wish he would have made an even heavier duty Alt-Az. 

I think no doubt he could have upscaled the design a bit. It's a pretty light mount. But yeah, his mounts were the best bang for the buck. Maybe that's why he closed up, but it's a shame someone didn't buy the company and make the mounts still. Surprisingly, there are no other mounts that mimic this design. Seems weird because the way these are designed, zenith is no issue with most scopes. Most of the other mounts require a extension tube.

 

Before I got the larger Unistar, I ordered what I thought was going to be the larger version and it ended up being the Unistar light. I ended up keeping it anyways and it's turned out good for my smaller scopes. It's a good design. It's not quite as good as top end mounts as far as smoothness of motions...but still quite smooth. Actually, I think it's smoother with a large load on them.

 

But yeah, there are quite a few new alt/az mounts available. That's a good sign to me. I like alt/az most of the time. Just simple and light weight.


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#23 K. Dauzat

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 09:56 PM

I have modified the saddle plate holder to accept vixen type dovetail bars on the U-mount with good results. KD...

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#24 Alan White

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 04:39 AM

 

Does the “new” mount have motorized goto and tracking functionality?

No, this is a NEW mount, its just arrived via DHL, so here you go CN.
Oh no, cannot post images....



#25 Brent Campbell

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 06:35 AM

Going good! 

 

Looks like there are some interesting options out there and more on the way. I still don't think anything I've seen beats the bang for buck of the Unistar though. I wish Larry hadn't closed up his shop, and I wish he would have made an even heavier duty Alt-Az. 

I have a unitary delux.  Isn’t that the heavier duty version of that mount?  I absolutely love mine.  1 sec vibration dampen times.




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