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ZWO AM5 Owners' Club

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2064 replies to this topic

#26 joshman

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Posted 06 October 2022 - 09:50 PM

I would say none. My rc6 setup is pretty unbalanced in Dec and it works just fine.

To be fair, the AM5 has a strain-wave drive on both Axis, so this is no surprise.


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#27 hfsarber

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Posted 06 October 2022 - 10:01 PM

I say none for both the AM5 and RST-135.  I roughly balance things, but these mounts aren't that picky.


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#28 Reid W

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 06:36 AM

That's good to know, somehow I misinterpreted the description that only the RA was strain wave gearing.


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#29 sctchun

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 01:39 PM

That's good to know, somehow I misinterpreted the description that only the RA was strain wave gearing.

That's only for the iOptron offering (HEM-27) where only the RA is SWG and a normal worm drive in DEC.


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#30 sctchun

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 01:45 PM

I’ll be joining this club eventually. Maybe over the winter when supplies get better. I’m wondering if I should use my Gitzo 3 series systematic tripod instead of the TC40 one. Also I keep seeing recommendations to use the pier extensions. Anyone do it?

A Gitzo 3 should be fine, note that the TC40 uses a Gitzo 5 style top plate without the safety / locking grove.  Being that, the PE160 pier extension won't work on your Gitzo 3.  The PE70's would of worked for you, but they have been discontinued.  I remembered that someone tried using the pier extension from a RST135.


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#31 AngryBear

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 04:18 PM

First Light ZWO AM5 using Askar FRA300 Pro with ZWO AMI294MC Pro. Optolong L-Ultimate, moon was just 94% or so. Guiding was great most of the time average around .7, I would have the occasional glitch that would cause the guiding to go over 1.x, using the ASIAir+. Think my PA could have been better. Guide Scope is a William Optics 50mm UniGuide using the ZWO ASI290MM bin1 1sec exposures gain 110 when I got it sorted. 

 

Note to self or pro tip, polar align then add filter. waytogo.gif 

quick and dirty edit,,, I am still processing and learning

 

418724A2-FC1C-4E05-B65A-CFF40FB48B8F.jpeg

New Process

 
6F588B9A-24EF-420B-90E8-02F7DC468BC2.jpeg

 

https://www.worldofz...ez579db1tb6its8
 

 


Edited by AngryBear, 13 October 2022 - 06:36 PM.

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#32 joshman

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 06:49 PM

First Light ZWO AM5 using Askar FRA300 Pro with ZWO AMI294MC Pro. Optolong L-Ultimate, moon was just 94% or so. Guiding was great most of the time average around .7, I would have the occasional glitch that would cause the guiding to go over 1.x, using the ASIAir+. Think my PA could have been better. Guide Scope is a William Optics 50mm UniGuide using the ZWO ASI290MM bin1 1sec exposures gain 110 when I got it sorted. 

 

Note to self or pro tip, polar align then add filter. waytogo.gif 

quick and dirty edit,,, I am still processing and learning

 

attachicon.gif418724A2-FC1C-4E05-B65A-CFF40FB48B8F.jpeg

New Process

 
attachicon.gif6F588B9A-24EF-420B-90E8-02F7DC468BC2.jpeg

 

https://www.worldofz...ez579db1tb6its8
 

Looking Good AngryBear!

 

How are you finding the few little 3D printed bits and pieces? Do you have any suggestions for improvements I could make to them? Or suggestions for more/different brackets/bits-and-pieces?



#33 AngryBear

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 12:12 AM

Looking Good AngryBear!

 

How are you finding the few little 3D printed bits and pieces? Do you have any suggestions for improvements I could make to them? Or suggestions for more/different brackets/bits-and-pieces?

Thanks Joshman! The 3D models are really well done. I have made a few modifications, still working on getting cable management dialed in on the AM5. I have printed most everything you have created and the prints come out really well. The hand controller cradle I cut open a bit so it snaps on and off the 16mm posts. I am using the counterweight nut wire bracket you modeled not seen in the photo above. Probably will need an alternate when I use my ES127 with the counterweight bar. I use Ethernet cable at home running to a gigE switch. Might look at something to house a keystone jack etc… I do like the idea of just having a wiring harness for each scope, and the 3d bits and pieces really help. Work in progress. I’ll let you know if an idea hits me. 

 

I am a bit miffed at the hand controller. I was in the middle of polar alignment when my iPad decided to switch from my wireless home network to the mount. Needless to say it just added to my PA woes. bawling.gif



#34 joshman

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 12:27 AM

Thanks Joshman! The 3D models are really well done. I have made a few modifications, still working on getting cable management dialed in on the AM5. I have printed most everything you have created and the prints come out really well. The hand controller cradle I cut open a bit so it snaps on and off the 16mm posts. I am using the counterweight nut wire bracket you modeled not seen in the photo above. Probably will need an alternate when I use my ES127 with the counterweight bar. I use Ethernet cable at home running to a gigE switch. Might look at something to house a keystone jack etc… I do like the idea of just having a wiring harness for each scope, and the 3d bits and pieces really help. Work in progress. I’ll let you know if an idea hits me. 

 

I am a bit miffed at the hand controller. I was in the middle of polar alignment when my iPad decided to switch from my wireless home network to the mount. Needless to say it just added to my PA woes. bawling.gif

ooh, I hate that. I only have the AM5 wireless setup on my phone, and use the ipad for running the ASIair. I went with a wireless router (slate) that is hardwired to the AA+ because it has a much better signal strength. and should be better at remote sites. It is currently powered from the air. The air, slate and a 1tb SSD ride piggy back on top of my OTA.

 

I do like the idea of adding a keystone jack, and I have thought about adding a second power port to my little DEC head distribution block. Might be something to think about for a rev 2.

 

The design for rev 1 was driven by the desire to keep the ability to use the 2 screw hole to mount a dovetail receiver if i ever needed it down the track.


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#35 Astromonocle

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 10:09 PM

So currently have an AM5 on order, the biggest scope I use is a William Optics FLT120 which is 16 pounds. (Also have an Orion Newt 8”. For those that have it, anyone with a similar weight set up without using the counter bar? Sounds like I should be fine, since with the imaging train, probably will only add 4 pounds or so.

#36 Wow!

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 10:31 PM

no idea what the conversion to pounds is, as well.. metric is better :p

 

But I have about 17kg of gear in total on my AM5 and it works fine but needs the counterweight bar.


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#37 dciobota

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Posted 15 October 2022 - 09:24 AM

I currently have about 20lb on mine without counterweight, and it's fine. But my tube is a fairly short RC. With longer tubes like yours, it's possible you may need a counterweight due to the longer moment arm, mostly to prevent the mount from tipping over.

#38 jerrygerber

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Posted 15 October 2022 - 01:24 PM

I have a NEW Mount!! smile.gif

 

I didn’t know whether to post this in the Beginners DSO forum or in the Mounts forum. I know that there is currently a more than 71-page topic on this mount commented by mostly experienced AP’ers, but I was looking for a place that fellow beginning AM5 owners can discuss the ins & outs of this product and what they may be experiencing with it for imaging.

 

So, here’s my story…

As a beginner I wanted to keep the decision making down to a minimum until I had enough experience under my belt and a better understanding of DSO imaging. I really was not interested in the "Best-of-Breed" (BoB) in equipment or software as a beginner, there are way too many things I must understand first about the art of DSO astrophotography before I delve into the finer things.
Coming from an IT background a lesson that I learned was that having the "BoB" equipment, was that if things didn't work just right, and when you looked to support, they would say it's the other companies’ component that was at fault and not theirs or offer you no solutions at all (not wanting to saying its user error). So, for my current computing needs I bought into the Apple ecosystem, because I’m too old to fiddle with PCs to have them work for me.

 

In just starting out in DSO imaging this approach of "Best-of-Breed" seems to create too many points of failure for me, so I decided that I would move to a one company's ecosystem for my astrophotography hardware, in the hope that I had one place to turn too. I understood that I could be missing out on some (maybe great) features that could be offered by the "BoB" products, but as a newbie to the astrophotography world, I wanted to keep the points of failure down to a minimum. With the biggest one to overcome being between the telescope and the chair, so I got the highly recommended “The Deep-sky Imaging Primer, Third Edition” to help with that issue.

 

After trolling the forums here for some time, there seems to be many experienced Astro photographers who did not like being tied to one ecosystem and preferred using the "BoB" method of equipment to acquire the results they wanted. I'm a sucker for "new tech" (at least to me) and being a newbie, I decided to buy into the ZWO's ecosystem for my imaging adventure, with the full understanding that they come with their own issues. I now own ZWO’s ASI533, Air Plus, EAF, OGA, ASI120 mini and now the AM5 mount. Because I use Apple computers, I decided to go with Astro Pixel Processor software for my image processing.

 

I hope that this thread can be a place for new ZWO AM5 owners where they can discuss their findings as they work with it and share solutions that they find during their journey in using this mount.

Hi Matt Lock,

 

Thanks for starting this thread.  I am nearly 100% decided on getting the AM5 mount with the Esprit 100 ED scope and a ZWO ASI 2600MC camera.  I notice that the periodic error on this mount is considerably higher than on the CEM 40.  I will be doing autoguiding using the ASAIR Plus and a the ZWO guide scope and guide camera.  I wonder if that will compensate for the periodic error.   There's an awful lot I don't know!

 

Thanks,

Jerry


Edited by jerrygerber, 15 October 2022 - 01:26 PM.


#39 dciobota

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Posted 15 October 2022 - 02:07 PM

Hi Matt Lock,

 

Thanks for starting this thread.  I am nearly 100% decided on getting the AM5 mount with the Esprit 100 ED scope and a ZWO ASI 2600MC camera.  I notice that the periodic error on this mount is considerably higher than on the CEM 40.  I will be doing autoguiding using the ASAIR Plus and a the ZWO guide scope and guide camera.  I wonder if that will compensate for the periodic error.   There's an awful lot I don't know!

 

Thanks,

Jerry

Jerry, let me give you a nudge.  ;-)

 

I have a 30mm f4 guidescope and asi290mm as my guiding solution, and so far I have gotten between 0.5-0.8 arcsec total rms guiding.  There are numerous posts getting similar and even better results than mine.  Zwo advertises 0.8 arcsec guiding, which is bang on if not a bit too conservative.  The large PE is a non issue with these mounts because they are so responsive, essentially no backlash.  Check out the humongous am5 thread (go to the last ten pages or so, and you'll see for yourself.

 

Hope this helps.


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#40 AngryBear

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Posted 16 October 2022 - 01:07 AM

Wow just wow

 

i have never had or seen guiding numbers this low

 

E7451F46-F992-4B5E-99ED-4D437F4EC78D.jpeg

 

Granted this was one of the best #, I have been averaging .60 to .75. And I was always happy to see around 1. Going to become a guiding snob if this keeps up. waytogo.gif


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#41 nwcs

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 02:31 PM

Anyone have an idea what the wait list is on the mount? I've put in my order but it seems like it'll be a while.



#42 sctchun

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 05:31 PM

Anyone have an idea what the wait list is on the mount? I've put in my order but it seems like it'll be a while.

It would depend on where you ordered it from.  The wait is a whole lot shorter than the 7 months I waited, when they first came out.  Checking out Agena's site they are saying early Nov.



#43 nwcs

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 05:44 PM

It would depend on where you ordered it from. The wait is a whole lot shorter than the 7 months I waited, when they first came out. Checking out Agena's site they are saying early Nov.

Thats where I ordered from. I like that they have given some updates as well. I’m trying not to be impatient. I’ll have years with his combo so I don’t have to do it all in one night. At least that’s what I repeat to myself often…

#44 Wow!

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Posted 18 October 2022 - 05:21 AM

Has anyone got any solutions to mount a PoleMaster to this mount? I don't want to connect it to any Losmandy bar.


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#45 Zambiadarkskies

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Posted 18 October 2022 - 08:57 AM

Anyone have an idea what the wait list is on the mount? I've put in my order but it seems like it'll be a while.

ZWO said this on their AM5 Mount Facebook group today: 

"

Basically, ZWO's current capacity for AM5 mounts has been able to meet the order requests. Previous orders are being processed right now and will be sent out soon.
And when we receive the NEW orders, no matter whether they are from the ZWO website, or from one of our dealers, we will process them within one month.
But since the speed of shipping and customs clearance in different countries and regions varies, the arrival dates of your orders are normally less specific. If you are ordering an AM5 from our dealers, then the actual arrival date might also be subject to the time when the dealers submit their order requests to us. So as usual, in this case, we recommend you contact the dealers for the possible shipping & arrival date.
Anyway if you have the intention to purchase an AM5, then please rest assured that the wait time will not be long!
For any questions, please leave them in the comments below. We'll help!" 


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#46 Lex

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 02:33 PM

Hi all, I just started using the AM5 mount and ran into a strange issue last night with autoguiding. Tripod was leveled, I had a very good polar alignment, and, after calibration (I’m using AA+), initial guiding errors were really good, .4-.7 total RMS. But, after I started the shoot, I saw really bad star trails on the images; and, when I looked at autoguiding, RA RMS was gradually going up, all the way to 6.0+. Then came back down to 1.5-1.7, only to climb up again. I have no idea why. Any advice or link to kbs you may have on this odd issue? No wind, clear skies. Really odd behavior.

 

Also, I’ve been googling like crazy to find information on the ASIAIR+ “Guiding Stability Settings”, i.e. what they mean and what they do, and what values are appropriate for a particular gear combo, but can’t find any info on that. Does anyone know, or have links to documentation on that? 

 

Many thanks…

 

Logs from the shooting session attached. 

Attached Files


Edited by Lex, 20 November 2022 - 03:24 PM.


#47 Kabalist62

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 10:12 AM

Anyone have an idea what the wait list is on the mount? I've put in my order but it seems like it'll be a while.

I got my AM5 the first week of November and it took about 6 weeks.  I ordered through OPT.  You can check the ZWO website and Alibaba sometimes has them in stock.  I bought my ASIAIR Plus direct from ZWO when all the North American suppliers were out of stock.  I checked the website every day and got lucky.  After I ordered my ASIAIR, I checked the website, and they were out of stock the next day.

 

I just checked the ZWO website and they have AM5s in stock as of today Nov. 21.


Edited by Kabalist62, 21 November 2022 - 10:21 AM.

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#48 dciobota

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 12:11 PM

Hi all, I just started using the AM5 mount and ran into a strange issue last night with autoguiding. Tripod was leveled, I had a very good polar alignment, and, after calibration (I’m using AA+), initial guiding errors were really good, .4-.7 total RMS. But, after I started the shoot, I saw really bad star trails on the images; and, when I looked at autoguiding, RA RMS was gradually going up, all the way to 6.0+. Then came back down to 1.5-1.7, only to climb up again. I have no idea why. Any advice or link to kbs you may have on this odd issue? No wind, clear skies. Really odd behavior.

 

Also, I’ve been googling like crazy to find information on the ASIAIR+ “Guiding Stability Settings”, i.e. what they mean and what they do, and what values are appropriate for a particular gear combo, but can’t find any info on that. Does anyone know, or have links to documentation on that? 

 

Many thanks…

 

Logs from the shooting session attached. 

Lex, you might want to post a new topic in the beginning imaging section, as you might get more help there.  Also, you might want to list your equipment as well, especially scope/camera, etc.  And how your guidescope/oag is mounted.

 

Hard to offer advice without knowing everything about your setup.

 

Hope this helps.


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#49 glancey

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 03:30 PM

Lex, you might want to post a new topic in the beginning imaging section, as you might get more help there.  Also, you might want to list your equipment as well, especially scope/camera, etc.  And how your guidescope/oag is mounted.

 

Hard to offer advice without knowing everything about your setup.

 

Hope this helps.

I had a similar issue while using my RedCat51. I went back and checked my PA and found that it was not what I thought. I reset it to within 1' and also went back and recalibrated my guiding (I use ASIAIR +). At first, calibration kept failing until I aligned on a star nearer the celestial equator. I also had to set the guide calibration levels to 3000. That worked and star trails "magically" disappeared from my imaging session. I am now able to easily take 5 min. subs.


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#50 rimcrazy

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 04:46 PM

Hi all, I just started using the AM5 mount and ran into a strange issue last night with autoguiding. Tripod was leveled, I had a very good polar alignment, and, after calibration (I’m using AA+), initial guiding errors were really good, .4-.7 total RMS. But, after I started the shoot, I saw really bad star trails on the images; and, when I looked at autoguiding, RA RMS was gradually going up, all the way to 6.0+. Then came back down to 1.5-1.7, only to climb up again. I have no idea why. Any advice or link to kbs you may have on this odd issue? No wind, clear skies. Really odd behavior.

 

Also, I’ve been googling like crazy to find information on the ASIAIR+ “Guiding Stability Settings”, i.e. what they mean and what they do, and what values are appropriate for a particular gear combo, but can’t find any info on that. Does anyone know, or have links to documentation on that? 

 

Many thanks…

 

Logs from the shooting session attached. 

Lex, I have a similar setup to you with a RedCat51, AM5, AA+.  I don't know if you have a filter on your RedCat51 but if you do, you should remove it when you do a PA.  I ended up not using the screw on filter on the inside back of the RedCat51 and purchased a ZWO Filter Drawer and I use that for my CLR and Optolong narrow band filters.  That way I can easily remove a filter when I do my PA and then insert my filter for shooting my object for the evening.  I found I was introducing 5' - 10' of error in my PA alignment by setting it with a filter in place.  When I focus and then do a PA alignment with no filter I found my initial PA and my Phd PA value were always quite close.  

 

On Guiding I have found I need to make adjustments, all be it slight, depending on the time of the month.  When the moon is out or the sky is bright I found 2 sec exposures work better than 1 sec.  When there is no moon and the sky is dark, 1 sec guiding exposures work fine.  I use an ASI290MM Mini as a guide cam on a WO 32mm Guide camera.  With that I set my gain at around 200 and since I use an AA+ I create a set of darks for my guide cam so can reduce the chance that Phd will be guiding on hot pixels.  Things can still get messed up if clouds roll in.  Can't control the environment but I found these settings to be helpful.  YMMV so take my inputs as a guide to get close.  Especially on the guiding.  On the no filter when doing a PA, if you are using one now, look at a solution so you can remove the filter when you set up your PA.


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