ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre Tripod
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ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre TripodZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre TripodZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre Tripod
ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre TripodZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre TripodZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre Tripod

ZWO AM5 Harmonic Drive Equatorial Mount & Carbon Fibre Tripod

Now: £2,260.00 (Save:  £320.00) Was:  £2,580.00
  (13 Reviews)
✓ 2 year warranty

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Out of stock due 7-10 working days

About this product

Model:  zwo_am5_pkg
Part Number:  ZWO-AM5+TRIPOD

ZWO Solar Eclipse Sale!

£2,580   £2,260  (Save £320)

Offer ends 30th April, while stock lasts.  

Harmonic Drive mounts offer several advantages over conventional German Equatorial Mounts. 

Traditional Equatorial mounts require counterweighting. The AM5 can work at loads up to 13kg without counterweights, making it a much lighter and more portable option. 

NOTE: The ZWO AM5 Mount is also available without a tripod. Please see this page if you want to buy the mount only. 

 

*Note: The recommended operating voltage for the ZWO Harmonic Equatorial Mount is 12V.

When the actual input voltage is below 10.8V, the mount will emit a beeping alarm to indicate an under-voltage condition.

Customer reviews

Average Rating (13 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating (max 5):  
Amazing, just amazing!
18 April 2024  | 

I usually use a Skywatcher Alt-Az EQ 6 GT Pro for mounting and guiding three imaging telescopes, the largest and heaviest being an Esprit 120 Super Apo, that scope and its required accessories weight in at approximately 14.5 Kgs. Laughably, I have injured my back twice lifting the mount and weights into the garden, so I decided recently that I wanted to image from remote sites and that the EQ6 GT Pro is just not suited for fast and easy breakdown, so I needed a suitable portable rig to follow my needs for remote imaging. After weeks of deliberation and watching the many videos and reviews on line, I arrived at my decision to purchase the AM5 as it would give me the options when needed to use any of the three imaging telescopes I have.

I can report that its likely to be one of the best Astro purchases I have made, It's incredibly light but incredibly rugged at the same time. The engineering and manufacturing that has gone into the AM5 is just astoundingly good. First light using the ASIAir Polar alignment was a little challenge using my Esprit 120 due to its focal length when making micro Alt-Az adjustments, as I'm use to using a PoleMaster for alignment, but time and usage will bring alignment times down I'm sure. Guiding is a breeze with the combination of the AM5 and 2600 MC Duo I use. My average guiding being reported in 0.5 arc seconds and I have seen it as low as 0.3! The AM5 is pricey but well worth the investment just for the guiding alone. My initial concern prior to purchasing an AM5/TC40 was going to be balancing a heavy rig and the safety of the investment therein. But having done my research ahead of purchase, I was aware that I would need to use the recommended counterweight bar, weight and a secondary weight in the accessory tray just to ensure stability. All has gone well using the AM5/TC40 even using the Esprit. Testing such a weighty telescope proved to me that my fears were unfounded.

I can highly recommend the AM5 for its looks, manufacturing excellence and its seem less operation. I'm looking forward to imaging some of the lower southern targets during the summer months that I have been unable to image from home! Great service, support and delivery as always from the FLO team. Clear skies!


Rating (max 5):  
Excelent Lightweight Mount
14 March 2024  | 

FLO helped me when my HEQ5 died just before I set of to a Star Camp. Usual flawless fast service.
The AM5 mount had its first test in a field in Northumberland with Indi,Ekos,Kstars on Linux. Worked without any issues except the clouds where annoying. Oh and it needed datetime and location syncing after power on.
I 3D printed a PoleMaster bracket but have since made a bracket out of a QHY PoleMaster Adapter - for EQ8 Mounts and a More Blue 80mm Vixen-style Finder Dovetail Bar, required drilling and tapping one M6 hole in the adaptor and rail.

All together, a very happy customer.


Rating (max 5):  
Great product. Great pre-sales support. Great post-sales customer service.
09 February 2024  | 

Thank you FLO.
As a complete novice I would definitely not have chosen the right solution for me. I was sceptical about getting guidance online however the support I received could not be faulted. And, unlike a face to face discussion, I was able to re-read the emails from FLO as, over several weeks, I gradually refined my choice of scope, mount and eyepieces. So, a super massive thank you to the FLO presales team.
The ZWO AM 5 is perfect for me, I could not be more pleased.


Rating (max 5):  
9/10 - Ultimate in portability, some refinements notwithstanding!
12 September 2023  | 

Iíve had this for around 3 weeks now and although it was shipped with the standard FLO clouds these quickly cleared and I was able to use it around 6-7 times (nights) as of time of writing. I purchased the mount to replace a Skywatcher Az-Gti as it couldnít quite manage the payload I needed for a rooftop based (the only place I can really see the sky) wide-field imaging project using an Askar FMA230. I am sure itíll be used with other scopes and also on travels as well. Although the list of things I donít like is rather long, I would stress they are all minor, donít affect functionality, and have all been addressed. Overall, itís an excellent mount (particularly for ASI-Air users).

Things I like:
- It really is rock solid, very well engineered, and a counterweight is not needed for my 5Kg wide-field rig. Iím sure itíll cope with a Williams Optics Zenithstar 71 later on as well. The light weight and stability is just outstanding. I will certainly also use it for outreach, rather than lugging my old Vixen SP and counterweight. All the controls/locks are butter-smooth and precise. The slewing accuracy and mechanics are first class.
- The app (iPhone in my case) is excellent, and works nicely on my iPad as well, whether connected via a home WiFi or through the mounts hotspot. Unlike the skywatcher app, itís a full featured planetarium program, and very nicely done, very easy to use.
- Personally I like the simple/small handset/joystick rather than the ďfull featuredĒ controller (which is basically the app). I donít miss a handset at all.
- Although some folks think the matching TC40 tripod is a bit short I find it perfect for my application - with the caveat that this is currently used for a very compact wide-field rig. Extended, it is high enough for me (just about!), particularly in Alt-Az mode. I have yet to try it visually, but I can see it being just fine.
- Guiding performance hits the spec of 0.5-0.8Ē, albeit taking a while to get it ítweakedí (see below!). As I type this, the mount is getting 0.55Ē RMS and I have yet to drop a sub tonight. Itís very impressive. UPDATE, a week later, it was tracking at below 0.4Ē. I think this is outstanding, considering the unit is so light and portable.
- Not having a polar alignment scope was going to be an annoyanceÖ but itís forced me to try out a more modern electronics/software solution (which I have been putting off!), and itís far easier than I thought. I used Ekos/INDI for this but similar routines are built into Sharpcap, ASI-Air, and other software packages (as I understand).

Things I donít like (mostly minor/technical):
- The system really tries to lock you in to the ASI-Air ecosystem and, as I have an Atik camera and filter wheel, and other non-ASI gear, it took a lot of time and research to be sure itíd work befre purchase (thanks to FLO, and many others on various websites and fora!). Iíve now gotten it working nicely with Ekos/INDI and I understand there are EQMod and NINA drivers, etc. as well. But, it took some effort.
- There is no manual to speak of. This really is not great and it took an age to read though various websites and fora to track down answers.
- Whilst the hand controller is included, a counterweight bar is not (I use the Az-Eq6 extension bar which is M12 threaded but without a counterweight as I donít need it). Ditto, a power supply is not included. Although I have many 12v supplies ZWO might have at least thrown in a few cables into the case (they at least included an USB2 cable).
- The 12v power socket is just a simple 2.1mm barrel connector rated 5A maximum: thatís a lot of current for a rather basic socket/connector. It took me a while to find a plug that sat in there firmly as the main socket is not very deep (I was able to ďwiggle outĒ some plugs/leads). This really ought to have been a threaded connector and use a higher voltage to reduce voltage drops. Then again, the mount technically takes 11-15v (buried in an online FAQ somewhere - details that ought to be in the MANUAL). The 12v side connector seems to be simply wired in parallel - rated 3A. Which is odd, as it means either socket can supply power to the mount, and the 3A socket is not an independent ďsupply outputĒ (run from an internal DC-DC converter, say). If you put in 14v in the main power socket you get 14v out the side (caveat - I donít have a schematic, but thatís what the multimeter suggested!). The side connector (which is panel mounted, rather that PCB-mounted for the main socket) on my unit is extremely stiff - An astro essentials silicone power cord canít get in there unless I force it.
- The INDI/ASCOM driver is a bit rough. It took several nights to get it to guide properly (disabling/re-enabling pulse guiding was one solution) and it seems to have to be briefly connected to the ASI app to get time/position data before the INDI software will allow it to GoTo/slew in KStars. And because the WifI antenna is in the hand control this means the hand controller needs to be plugged in to do this: once it it set up it can be unplugged and controlled via software. And unparking the mount via INDI means first pressing ďtrackĒ then ďunparkĒ rather than just ďunparkĒ. So, there are a few bugs for the non-ASI Air crew to deal with still (well, this one anyway!).

On the guiding, Iíd also add that my 30mm/F4 astroessentials guidescope (using an Starlight Express Ultrastar camera) initially didnít manage an RMS error below ~2-3Ē but when I swapped it out for a EvoGuide ED50 from my other rig it immediately decreased to around 1Ē (with 1s guide exposures). Then, with a better polar align, I finally got it down to 0.5Ē which is where I am now (plus with tweaks to the autoguider settings inside Ekos/INDI). So, itís on spec, eventually.

Overall, I donít think I can give this 5/5 (even though I just have!) but itís better than 4/5! Letís call it 9/10

Phil


Rating (max 5):  
Just superb
23 July 2023  | 

If you've got this far, to read the reviews, you've probably made your mind up anyway, but here's my impressions of my new mount.

It's amazing!

I have a 98mm triplet refractor and a 200mm RC, with cameras, filters, guide scopes and all the extras, and this mount swings them about like they're made of paper. I had an HEQ5 Pro with the Rowan belt drive before the AM5, and it's like going from a Kia to a Mercedes. Smooth, quick, and very quiet. My guiding, with the lump of the RC, is below 0.5" and the graphs are almost flatlines.

I was a bit concerned that with no counterweight, and the featherweight carbon tripod, it may tip over with the RC weighing in at 11kg. I slewed to the maximum overhang it could go to, and it stayed there. No rocking, no drama. To be on the safe side, I do put my power brick and a handy 4kg lump of steel I have, in the tripod sling, when outdoors, but that's just belt & braces really. If you think you need a counterweight, don't go above 5kg. It's there to stop the tripod tipping over at full stretch, not for balancing the mount. The harmonic drives are powerful, high torque, motors, and precision balancing of your OTA isn't the issue it is with a conventional mount.

I like the fact that there is a 12v power out socket on the side, to connect an ASIair, or other peripherals, which means you only need a single power cable cable to run all your kit.

So what are the bad points?
1. It's eye wateringly expensive
2. The ZWO tripod weighs nothing, but it's very short (800mm high at full stretch). I bought the 200mm tripod extension, and it's brought the scope up to a sensible height - I would really recommend getting it
3. To control it by wifi, instead of the supplied USB cable, you have to have the hand controller attached. I imagine it's due to the all metal body of the mount blocking the wifi signal, but it's just another bit of kit hanging off it that could possibly get snagged. You also need to download the AM5 app in order to setup the wifi connection between the mount and an ASIair. Not a showstopper, but it would have been nice to have it all integrated with the ASIair software. If you're using the USB cable, it's plug and play.

Hope that helps. I'm so impressed with it, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone think of switching to a harmonic drive mount


Rating (max 5):  
ZWO AM5 Mount
13 March 2023  | 

Thanks to FLO for the excellent service and help in my purchase. I received the parcels within 24 hours of ordering and well packaged ,unfortunately the Skys have not be clear for more than a few hours since delivery but I have carried out some trial runs with my ASIAIR and the mount and all seems to work well. despite this I can say this mount looks great and a marvel of engineering !! . Also on a practical note this mount with the tripod is easy to assemble and very portable, I was able to move the mount on the tripod with ease to a new viewing position in the back garden to try and find a target that was not hiding behind the clouds. it would be nice if there was a polar scope although not essential, and the tripod was a little taller. Apart from this I think the quality and the features on this mount justify its price.


Rating (max 5):  
Highly recommended
23 November 2022  | 

The AM5 has superb build quality. It marries with the ASair seemlessly. It is virtually silent, highly compact. Once fitted to tge tripod and connected to a telescope, two cameras and tge ASiair it is light enough to be moved yet robust enough to have confidence in its operation.


Rating (max 5):  
AM5 Mount Saddle Problem
12 October 2022  | 

I purchased this mount about a month ago and initially I was delighted with it. It is easy to use and works well with my ASIair. However, when I came to remove my telescope from the mount one of the saddle clamps had stuck. It was very difficult to remove my scope and I ended up scratching my dovetail quite badly. FLO were good when I reported the problem and arranged to collect the mount promptly (for free). Unfortunately they were unable to fix the problem and they are now going to replace the mount. It is now over two weeks since I returned the mount and it looks like it will be a further two weeks before I get a replacement. So I have two criticisms of ZWO and one piece of advice.
First why had ZWO shipped the mount without checking that the saddle clamp worked properly. Its not rocket science. Second, why do they not have a system for replacing faulty goods more quickly?
My advice, if you buy one of these mounts, is to insert a wooden batten into the saddle and tighten and loosen the clamps a few times to make sure they release correctly. If they do stick, you will not damage your dovetail.
Clear skies.


Response:

We are sorry you experienced a fault with your new mount, this is the first such fault we have seen on the AM5 mounts so this certainly isn't a common issue. Ordinarily if we had stock available this would have been replaced straightaway but due to the huge demand for these mounts we are currently out of stock and not due anymore until around a weeks time.


Rating (max 5):  
So far so good
28 September 2022  | 

Iím new to Ďproperí astrophotography. I thought about getting a rig a couple of years ago, but Iím so glad I waited. The new harmonic mount is a game-changer for hobbyists like me.

Naysayers speculated it would be terrible, but so far so good for me.

I guide in near IR and have had no issues at 0.5 seconds. Iím under 0.7RMS, often 0.4. Itís light. The workflow with the ASIair is a delight and I canít think of a single negative. Being able to frame an object on an iPad or iPhone is lovely.

Since July Iíve imaged every clear nightÖ which has been about 8 nights, thank you UK clouds! Considering I didnít know what I was doing, everything has been simple and I have some lovely images (LíExtreme also comes highly recommended for colour cameras).

I bought a more sturdy tripod but havenít used it just as the card on fibre one seems fine for my WO 73III. No worries about tipping or flexing.


Rating (max 5):  
Early Review of the AM5
24 September 2022  | 

Bottom Line Up Front: As hobbyist astrophotographers and ASIair Pro owners, this is a perfect mount for us. We are really pleased, so far, with the AM5 it appears to be really well made and runs smoothly and quietly, and teamed up with the ASIair pro it has performed perfectly for the short period of time that we have used it. It is easy to use, and polar alignment was straightforward.

We bought this mount with its lightweight tripod for several reasons; we wanted a new goto mount, we wanted a system that could handle moderate payloads and we were looking for a relatively light weight mount for transport in and out of the house and to dark sky locations; the AM5 perfectly fits all of these requirements. So far we havenít had much chance to test all of these but certainly we are amazed by how light weight it is but at the same time very sturdy.

So this is an early review of the AM5 mount as we have only used it once for astrophotography, this was using a Redcat 51 as the OTA, a 120mm guide scope and ASIair pro as the control. We can say that even with a relatively poor polar alignment the mount performed really well and we were pleased with the 300s subs that were produced (from a Bortle 4-5 location with reasonable seeing conditions) using this relatively forgiving focal length.

Indoors we have tested it with a Celestron 8SE, and it seems to be able to handle this without any issues but, of course, the real test will be when we get it outside and guiding with the larger OTAs.

For us, so far, we cannot think of any negative aspects but we havenít tried driving it using the ASCOM driver on a PC, neither have we used the hand controller nor the AM5 specific App for any significant amount of time, although we have not encountered any issues during testing with these. Our main observation with the latter is that they are pretty basic and without doubt it is expected that you will be using a version of the ASIair to control the mount and get the best out of it.

Based on our limited testing of the mount, we would definitely recommend it.


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