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New ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Mount

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590 replies to this topic

#1 zephyr179

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 04:10 PM

Anybody going to roll the dice and pre-order this mount?

#2 Beaverpond Astro

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 05:59 PM

yup, rolled the dice...hope they don't come up snake eyes...grin.gif

 

If it performs as advertised, I would consider getting rid of my GEM45 and SGP mounts and use the AM5 as the portable/travel mount.


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#3 zephyr179

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 06:06 PM

Price seems hard to believe given what Hobym and Rainbow are charging. Maybe they were just massively overcharging. I have pre-ordered as well.
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#4 Dean J.

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 06:26 PM

I would like to try one when they come out.  I’ll hold off on the pre-order thing though.  



#5 Mike Sandy

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 09:59 PM

I preordered one on the first day.  I’m really pretty confident that ZWO can get this right, or at least make it right.  Sure there is always some risk being an early adopter, but where’s the fun in waiting.


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#6 Tom3

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 12:11 AM

I ordered one because of the light weight, hope it actually works.

Tom
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#7 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 01:02 AM

iOptron has never ever offered absolute encoders. So there's that. My own CEM120EC2 has worked perfectly for almost 4 years now. At the end of the day, a few bad apples doesn't mean that the tree has been poisoned. My dad always said that a poor carpenter always blames the tools.......... YMMV and IMHO. 

 

I'm waiting on the AM5 because others have already entered the cheap harmonic drive wars. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#8 Mike Sandy

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 01:02 AM

I may be wrong here, but I’m nearly positive ZWO is not going to manufacture any of the key drive components used in this mount.  I think they will basically integrate the strain wave gear sets, stepper motors, bearings made by others.  In many respects this mount should be less complex to produce than their camera products (of which I have owned many without a single issue).  Certainly they have had some issues - but I don’t think they are as widespread as many imply.  I’ve heard it said that the oil issue was something that impacted less than 1% of certain models.  

 

 

I’m almost thinking that a separate manufacturer is producing these new similar “Harmonic Drive” mounts that have suddenly begun to be offered by several companies - simply branding them to their customer’s specs.   Time will tell, but I’m looking forward to trying one out.


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#9 luxo II

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 01:19 AM

I may be wrong here, but I’m nearly positive ZWO is not going to manufacture any of the key drive components used in this mount. 

They made that quite clear - someone else manufactures the strain wave drive.


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#10 Zambiadarkskies

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 06:27 AM

I have taken a gamble and placed an order. I am in the market for a mount anyway (around that price) and I need portability and simplicity of set up and tear down. I hope this thread doesn't get locked... I have no opinion on zwo. Either pro or con. Sure there have been QC issues, but they also make products that make AP accessible and less complicated, so I am hoping this mount does the same.
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#11 Jaimo!

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 08:58 AM

I am watching these new mounts (ZWO, Pegasus Astro, Sharp Star, and potentially SW) and will probably get one after they hit the market, I usually am an adopter in the second round.  I do like the idea of a smaller, easy to transport travel mount.  I'm interested who rises to the top, and will be following the early reports. 

 

Hopefully the global pandemic will lessen and NEAF will happen this year, it's always nice to see them in person.


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#12 chimerasaurus

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 05:35 PM

Curiously, ZWO now says the laser will be missing on the mount per their FAQ.

 

Objectively, it's a red flag to me when the features of a product change after it's announced and close to when it's supposed to ship.


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#13 Beaverpond Astro

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 06:14 PM

Curiously, ZWO now says the laser will be missing on the mount per their FAQ.

 

Objectively, it's a red flag to me when the features of a product change after it's announced and close to when it's supposed to ship.

Perhaps they realized there might/would be legal and liability issues in some regions.  I doubt it would be for technical reasons...these are pretty simple devices.

Would have been handy though for rough PA.


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#14 chimerasaurus

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 06:17 PM

Perhaps they realized there might/would be legal and liability issues in some regions.  I doubt it would be for technical reasons...these are pretty simple devices.

Would have been handy though for rough PA.

For sure. A motorized laser is a horrible idea for many people who live in a city, like me - KSEA traffic flies over the entire city all the time.

 

Just pointing it out since they're changing the specs of the mount in an FAQ and not their own product page. smile.gif


Edited by chimerasaurus, 14 January 2022 - 06:19 PM.

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#15 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 06:45 PM

Gday Steve

Perhaps they realized there might/would be legal and liability issues in some regions.

There certainly is down here.

My state is the worst in Australia but basically, any laser above 1mW is declared a prohibited weapon. In some states, being a member of a valid astro society means you can get a simple permit, but in my state, you need to get a special weapons permit to own or use one.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#16 HxPI

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 08:39 PM

After several complaints about a polar alignment laser was a safety hazard and generally a bad idea, they decided against it. Probably for the best!


Edited by HxPI, 14 January 2022 - 08:41 PM.

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#17 ChrisWhite

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 09:44 PM

iOptron has never ever offered absolute encoders. So there's that. My own CEM120EC2 has worked perfectly for almost 4 years now. At the end of the day, a few bad apples doesn't mean that the tree has been poisoned. My dad always said that a poor carpenter always blames the tools.......... YMMV and IMHO.

I'm waiting on the AM5 because others have already entered the cheap harmonic drive wars.

Rgrds-Ross


Geeze Ross, a little insensitive to everyone who has bought a problem product through no fault of their own. You can't be serious that people are imagining problems that occur because of poor QC or lack the skill to use it.

Wow....
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#18 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 10:56 PM

Sorry, but I just post what I observe in the "world". 

Rgrds-Ross


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#19 wargrafix

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 11:04 PM

We are on an astronomy forum and we interact with different products.

The issue with zwo right now is QC and QA. 2k for a mount is a very expensive product to bets test
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#20 hfsarber

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 11:30 PM

Cost is relative.

 

Very expensive to some.

 

"Yeah, I'll try that" to others.

 

I'm in the second category.  I will probably buy one to see what all the fuss is about.  And, to see how it compares to the RST-135.


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#21 Jaimo!

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 01:12 PM

Curiously, ZWO now says the laser will be missing on the mount per their FAQ.

 

Objectively, it's a red flag to me when the features of a product change after it's announced and close to when it's supposed to ship.

From the very beginning it was always a potential feature, I had NEVER expected it to make it into the final product.  With all of the varying laws across the world, there was no chance of this feature making it... more of a cute idea, marketing and wishful thinking than anything else...  And it is unnecessary.

 

From the product page:

Capture.JPG


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#22 ChrisWhite

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 03:16 PM

Sorry, but I just post what I observe in the "world".
Rgrds-Ross


Gotcha. Well, remember this when you get your zwo mount and it has issues. ;-)
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#23 calypsob

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 11:47 AM

From the very beginning it was always a potential feature, I had NEVER expected it to make it into the final product.  With all of the varying laws across the world, there was no chance of this feature making it... more of a cute idea, marketing and wishful thinking than anything else...  And it is unnecessary.

 

From the product page:

attachicon.gifCapture.JPG

A hole the size of a drinking star would suffice for rough pa.



#24 biz

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 01:43 PM

Gotcha. Well, remember this when you get your zwo mount and it has issues. ;-)

How can you make a statement that it will have issues . It’s a bit premature don’t you think.

Shouldnt you wait till it hits the market first and see what happens.

cheers

Graham


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#25 ChrisWhite

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 02:29 PM

How can you make a statement that it will have issues . It’s a bit premature don’t you think.
Shouldnt you wait till it hits the market first and see what happens.
cheers
Graham


Zwo has a track record of quality control issues. Ross is claiming that these are user error. You know... like oil leaking onto the sensor, and tilted sensors and non flat tilt plates and missing AR windows (like one of my cameras had)...

My faith in zwo getting something dynamic and complicated like a mount to work when they can't even put static parts together with consistency... is pretty non-existent. Good luck to all of the early adopters. Hopefully I'm wrong.


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