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Solved Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA?

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17 Dec 2020 20:26 - 23 Dec 2020 14:36 #444 by danielh21
Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA? was created by danielh21
Hi all,

I've had a first-generation M-Zero for several months now but I've mainly used it with a light 71mm refractor. I got an 8" RC over the summer but have only used it with the M-Zero once because I wanted to capture some more widefield targets before switching to the long focal length.

I can balance the RC in the "reversed" position with the angle of the L-shaped brackets pointing down, but this seems to make the OTA too low causing the focuser and camera to bump against the mount. I suppose I could add riser blocks or something like that but I don't have any. I can balance the RC in the other position, with the L brackets pointing upwards, if I use a heavy counterweight. I'm wondering if there is any harm in doing it this way or if this will negatively impact tracking.

I also am fairly well above the stated capacity of 17.6 lbs but I think I've read that the M-Zero can go above its capacity.

So what are peoples' experiences with heavy OTAs on the M-Zero, if any?
Last edit: 23 Dec 2020 14:36 by Stefano82.

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19 Dec 2020 06:27 #446 by danielh21
Replied by danielh21 on topic Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA?
So I managed to reverse the brackets and balance the scope with the "L" point down. Having the "L" point upwards actually would not let me balance with the camera etc. attached, even with 10lbs of counterweights. However, in the current position the camera doesn't clear the tripod. I'm not sure why the manual seems to suggest only the other position will require a meridian flip because it looks like this position would require one. On the plus side, I seemed to have very good guiding performance even with the scope, camera, and accessories all mounted.

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23 Mar 2021 18:07 #517 by Schaefer
Replied by Schaefer on topic Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA?
Hi,

I‘m also thinking about putting an 8“ RC on my m-zero... So could you share some more details of your setup, like the total weight (OTA plus camera etc)? Are you using a carbon tube?
Sharing a picture of your setup would be perfect of course!

Clear skies,
Stephan

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03 Jun 2021 21:41 #564 by danielh21
Replied by danielh21 on topic Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA?
Stephan,

Sorry for the very late reply. I actually ended up selling my 8RC in part because I just could not get it to work well with the M-Zero. I was using the standard version, not carbon fiber, with an ASI1600, filter wheel, OAG, and a mini PC with other accessories mounted to the OTA. The MoonLite focuser also probably added to the weight. Total weight was probably about 25lbs but I never measured it. Obviously this is pretty far above Avalon's recommended capacity for the M-Zero so it's not all that surprising. I had to use two non-Avalon counterweights to balance it.

Curious to hear what your experience has been like. Seems that very few people have the M-Zero so it's always a bit tough to troubleshoot.

Dan

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04 Jun 2021 07:29 #565 by Schaefer
Replied by Schaefer on topic Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA?
Hi Dan,

thanks for your reply and sad to hear that it didn't work for you - but yes, that really sounds like a lot of weight...

I didn't continue with my idea yet. And in fact, reading about the collimation issues that might come with an RC, I guess I will stay with a refractor.
Minimizing the number of error sources, especially when you only have a mobile setup seems to be a very important goal...

Best regards,
Stephan

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07 Jun 2021 15:27 - 07 Jun 2021 15:30 #575 by danielh21
Replied by danielh21 on topic Anbody used the M-Zero with a heavy OTA?
Hi Stephan,

Probably a good choice to stick with a refractor. The amount of headache is just so much less than with any other kind of telescope. My skies are really only suitable for narrowband anyway, so chasing galaxies isn't really a fruitful endeavor. There is also the option of a large-aperture refractor.

If I ever do experiment with a long-fl setup again I might try an EdgeHD 8 because of the light weight and relative ease of use compared to an RC. But I don't know if the M-Zero would support such a long focal length, especially since my M-Zero does not have the HQ motors. A long Newtonian would probably be too heavy, and would require a meridian flip. Being able to avoid the meridian flip is one of the great things about Avalon mounts. When I had the RC I had to do the flip because of the long backfocus and that was very annoying.

Dan
Last edit: 07 Jun 2021 15:30 by danielh21.

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