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WD-17S harmonic equatorial mounts servo motor direct drive

Mount Astrophotography Equipment
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#101 dcweaver

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Posted 15 November 2023 - 05:30 PM

Dcweaver I picked one up in September, my birthday present to myself. The guiding and tracking are unbelievable. It is the best tracking mount I've ever owned. Another thing with my mouth when I tell Nina to go to an object it normally takes 2 or 3 attempts to get a dead center what does it the first time, no fine-tuning like my others. If they come out with larger version with more payload capacity I'll probably end up with one of those too.

That's awesome! It looks like they have a winning design approach. I'm actually considering one too. I always felt like dc servos, even with a gearbox, could offer better performance than steppers if implemented right (like Losmandy mounts). The direct drive approach takes things a step further. I wonder if they plan on selling through typical US suppliers like Astronomics, HighPointScientific, AgenaAstro, etc.


Edited by dcweaver, 15 November 2023 - 05:32 PM.


#102 Sheridan

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Posted 15 November 2023 - 06:05 PM

I ordered mine directly from Robert. They also have them on aliexpress. It took about 20 days to arrive here in Houston. Robert kept me appraised of every step and I was able to track it once I got to the US. I'm not sure how long it would take to get to the Silicon Valley area.
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#103 katana_750

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Posted 01 December 2023 - 05:45 PM

Long over due update, but life got busy and the clouds would come back when I had the free time. Over all I must say this mount is working well. This picture of the Soul Nebula was done over 5 different nights. I was using 10 Minute exposure for a total of 12 hours. I have not finished processing the picture yet, but it gives you a good idea of the performance. As others have said it it dead quiet when slewing or tracking. I was seeing  0.2 to 0.7 RMS and that was including nights that I had some wind and also some bad seeing.

One thing that seem to happen is the mount will not do a PA routine with an ASIair unless you do a go to first. But all you have to do is pick a target, let it find it, sync the mount and then do the go home on the ASIair. After that, it will do the PA no problem at all. As compared to my HEM27 I would say I get better over all tracking with the WD-17s as it corrects quickly on the rare occasions that is jumps up to the 0.7 RMS.

I would say that I am very happy with this mount.

Attached Thumbnails

  • SoulN.jpg

Edited by katana_750, 01 December 2023 - 05:55 PM.

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#104 Robert008

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 10:15 PM

Update Discord group invitation:

 

https://discord.gg/X8ASFcNhRj



#105 MarkoPolo

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Posted 11 February 2024 - 03:07 PM

Hi, Robert,
I am really interested in WD-17 or WD-20 mount.
Looks like this is what I've been waiting for for more than a decade!
The servo motor might be a game changer in that price range.
Everyone here is interested in astrophotography.
I am interested in something else as well...
What about tracking of the satellites even at low orbits, even passing through zenith?
Now we have quite a solid, convenient and revolutionery (it is interesting why I was waiting so long ;-)) mount with encoders and servo motors.
Yes, there are already mounts with direct drives and they are dooing amazing things, but at what price!
So, I wonder if WD17 (20) can do (nearly) the same?
What is the maximum available tracking (slewing?) speed? There is no information about that in the manual or specifications...
Has someone tried already to track ISS, Starlink train or something else with that mount?

All the best!
Marek

Edited by MarkoPolo, 12 February 2024 - 02:06 AM.


#106 Robert008

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 04:11 AM

Hi, Robert,
I am really interested in WD-17 or WD-20 mount.
Looks like this is what I've been waiting for for more than a decade!
The servo motor might be a game changer in that price range.
Everyone here is interested in astrophotography.
I am interested in something else as well...
What about tracking of the satellites even at low orbits, even passing through zenith?
Now we have quite a solid, convenient and revolutionery (it is interesting why I was waiting so long ;-)) mount with encoders and servo motors.
Yes, there are already mounts with direct drives and they are dooing amazing things, but at what price!
So, I wonder if WD17 (20) can do (nearly) the same?
What is the maximum available tracking (slewing?) speed? There is no information about that in the manual or specifications...
Has someone tried already to track ISS, Starlink train or something else with that mount?

All the best!
Marek

Hello Marek.
Tracking special objects such as international space or satellites, more factors depend largely on your tracking routine

Equatorial mounts can be unlocked and passed through zenith tracking is possible, but you need to prevent the telescope from colliding with the tripod.
Equator mount tracking speed is around 2.8-3 degrees
There is still a significant gap compared to those expensive equatorial instruments, But the tracking accuracy and performance is amazing.
And we also hope that WarpAstron will have greater breakthroughs in the future
 



#107 xonefs

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 12:02 AM

can this track far past the meridian and be set up to track  on the "wrong" side before the meridian? Wondering since the eclipse will have a meridian flip near totality otherwise...



#108 Ozzoid

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 12:33 AM

Hello from Down Under!

 

This is regarding the WD-20, I presume the WD-17 would be similar.

 

I own modest amateur equipment (now an SVBONY 122mm APO, ASKAR 500, Touptek 2600MC etc) and until last December had three years experience with a belt-modded HEQ5 and 80/90mm refractors. By no means an expert, but with a background in maths, physics and 30 years in computing and software development, I consider myself reasonably competent to assess software and/or hardware as for quality and functionality.

 

Apparently, I was the first user in the Southern hemisphere (Perth, Western Australia) and received my WD-20 end of December 2023.

There was no YouTube review back then (Cuiv has done one in the meantime, I have viewed many of his tutorials and reviews over the years, and I strongly reject imputations that he might be some biased 'influencer') - in short, all I had were a few, but positive reviews from Chinese and Japanese users about WarpAstron and the WD-17S. But the specs and guide logs I looked at convinced me, and I was wary of belt driven backlash of any kind. I decided to take a bit of a risk, we are talking close to AUD 5000, but I did not regret it, and to my relief Cuiv had a very similar impression.

 

Over the last almost 8 weeks and due to clear (but often very hot) weather, I was able to use the WD-20 many nights on various targets with both OTAs, many remote sessions (W11 mini PC, NINA) went from 2100 until 0300 including flips, and this is my user experience so far:-

 

1) the 'asset' shipped express to Australia in under 3 weeks despite Xmas period, arrived end of December.

2) communication with seller and support: professional, friendly, replies typically within the hour

3) the mount out of the box needed a firmware upgrade for the Southern hemisphere. Received the file and information from support, ran the firmware upgrade tool - upgrade done within minutes, no problem. Mount looks and feels high quality.

4) decided to use a ZWO TC40 with a PE200 extension - turned out to be a good choice - easy to set up, light but sturdy. WD-20 fits like a glove.

5) Performance: PHD2: GA always reporting near zero/no backlash, PA adjustments precise, sometimes as low as 5", guiding RMS errors varying from as low as 0.35" to 0.75" when windy - typical average is around 0.5", this was basically constant every single night since early January - will now look into PPEC and it will most likely get even better.

6) not one single malfunction or erratic slewing all this time - but I make sure the mount is getting a direct and reliable 12V supply.

7) I have simulated several power failures:  RA stops dead in its tracks, DEC unmoved.

8) HOME button: very useful when a quick HOME position reset is required

9) GPS: kicks in after 2-3 minutes, is not reliant on hand controller (HC), data go into NINA - aliens could blow up my backyard if they read the coordinates

10) HC: quite small, but not flimsy (despite 'the looks of it'), lots of functions, some labels could be improved, but I only use it now to do a quick slew to a HC selected target for testing.

11) portability: great, weighs just 5.4kg, no counterweights needed (my OTAs max ~ 25Nm), no comparison to dismantling/schlepping the HEQ5 around. Simply disconnect, take off the OTA, then the WD-20, fold the TC40 - done. Move to your next location, and be ready for PA within 15 minutes.

12) OnStep: working fine, stable, but I miss the look and feel of GSS I was used to - WarpAstron may add more features to the interface over time

13) slewing speed: at ~3°/s slower than some other mounts - but I don't mind - heavy gear worth thousands of dollars I rather see moved around gently. Apart from that - slewing is dead silent. Since I live inner city, my neighbours probably prefer it to the whining of the HEQ5 at 2am.

14) of course, how it will perform over time needs to be seen, but so far:

 

'You can have my WD-20 when you pry it from my cold, dead hands' - (apologies to Charlton Heston)...


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#109 Greatdanes

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Posted 28 February 2024 - 10:52 PM

What saddle does the WD-17S accept? Losmandy or Vixen?
Thanks

#110 katana_750

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 02:42 PM

Both

#111 Greatdanes

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Posted 29 February 2024 - 07:33 PM

Thanks

#112 Greatdanes

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 09:57 AM

So I pulled the trigger on the WD-20 as the 17 was out of stock. Was a bit nervous ordering outside my normal vendors but Robert has been super responsive in answering all my questions in a prompt manner. Now the wait begins!
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#113 paolotto

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 01:08 PM

The wait's not too bad... my WD-20 shipped out around the 22nd, and it's on a UPS driving towards me today bow.gif  .  I'm jumping out of my skin.  Will send some pretty pictures and initial impressions inthe next few days, clouds permitting.


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#114 Ben Diss

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 02:25 PM

Are there plans to offer the WD-17 again?



#115 Greatdanes

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 06:21 PM

He did mention they would be back in april.
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#116 paolotto

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 07:00 PM

Yes, it was mentioned that they would be available again, after a redesign to use the same polar alignment mechanisms as the WD-20, which is apparently more accurate.


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#117 katana_750

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Posted 13 March 2024 - 11:29 AM

So I have been having such good results with the WD-17s with my FRA500, I wanted to try and push the mount  and see how well it could handle my AT130 EDT.

I reached out to Robert to inquire about the counterweight shaft and my plans for testing.  He sent me the shaft and it is a very nice design. It is a three piece unit, so you can adjust the length to the desired needs.

Here is my set up with the AT130 EDT
20240312 190950
Besides the OTA I have a Losmandy dovetail plate on top to which I have attached my Askar Multi-Connection Finder Plate, Orion 50 guide scope, ASI715MC, ASIair,  and Pocket Powerbox. I am also using a ZWO EAF.
To really test out the mount I am using the new ZWO 585MC pro with the Astro-Tech AT130 0.8 reducer giving a resolution of 0.82, so definitely not an easy test.

I have done some initial testing and I must say so far I have been impressed with the results. I will update my findings here as I find more time to do some more testing.


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#118 Greatdanes

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 10:56 AM

Curios on a strain wave mount how do you determine how much weight you need and how far back to position that weight??

#119 katana_750

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 04:22 PM

Strain wave gear works well at imbalanced conditions, therefore, a mount made from strain wave gears does not need a CW. The CW that I am using with my AT130 EDT test is not necessary for the weight of the load, but the whole set up gets tippy when it gets too far over to the side.  It's just there to make sure the whole thing does not tip over with so much weight on one side. I do not use any CW at all with my FRA500 setup. If you are using something let the iOptron HEM-27 and the like which is a hybrid you don't need a CW, but you do have to balance the scope on the saddle.


Edited by katana_750, 14 March 2024 - 04:27 PM.


#120 Greatdanes

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 08:02 PM

Thanks for the reply. I have the WD-20 on order. Shipped yesterday. It will hold any optical tube I now have, which I also own the AT-130. My biggest reason for purchasing is I now have a CEM-70, awesome mount, but tired of lugging all these pieces to my pier. Has become a bigger issue as I had my lower back fused last summer and every pound counts.

#121 Sctom

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Posted 23 March 2024 - 06:25 PM

Yes, it was mentioned that they would be available again, after a redesign to use the same polar alignment mechanisms as the WD-20, which is apparently more accurate.

Exactly what does that mean? Will that include a way to go “home” using ASIAIR+.

I am interested in the 17 only because it is smaller for my smaller scopes.



#122 paolotto

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Posted 26 March 2024 - 01:59 PM

Exactly what does that mean? Will that include a way to go “home” using ASIAIR+.

I am interested in the 17 only because it is smaller for my smaller scopes.

Robert008 (the reseller who sold me my WD-20) can probably give you more details, but I meant the RA and Dec hardware (the knobs bolts and locks you use during a polar alignment).  I don't think the newer version of the 17 haa the "home" button that the 20 has (the old version did not) but you should verify with Robert or WarpAstron support.




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